Quotations – Momentous, Memorable, Meaningful


Quotations – Momentous, Memorable, Meaningful

A place to share the words of others (or your own!) which have been impactful in your life, whether they're serious, poignant, humorous, or just something worth noting.

Members: 24
Latest Activity: 6 hours ago

I have been a quote collector and quote monger for at least as long as I've been an atheist and probably a good deal longer.  My admiration for those who enjoy reputations as wordsmiths extends even further back, whether we're talking about John F. Kennedy's assertion: "We choose to go to the moon," George Santayana's warning: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it," or James T. Kirk's deft observation when faced with the dauntingly huge First Federation ship: "Not chess, Mr. Spock ... poker!"

The realm of atheist activism has had its own share of verbal craftsmen and women, from Madalyn Murray O'Hair's: "An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church." to Aron Ra's succinct: "If you can't show it, you don't know it."

Regardless of the topic, these are words which are capable of fomenting inspiration, reflection, and sometimes even action.  They can educate and illuminate the human condition and allow us to better know ourselves.  That said, here is an open invitation to share those words which have been particularly meaningful or impactful or timely or just special to you for one reason or another.

Let's share those words and have fun!

One bit of clerical business: please hold your quotes in the comment area below to 20 lines or 200 words.  One comment should not so dominate the Home page of this group that no other comment is visible.  That way, the briefer comments and quotes of all participants are more likely to be seen, read, and appreciated.  If you have a long quote or commentary, create a post, please.

Discussion Forum

The Founding Myth: A Striking Quote

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Grinning Cat Nov 4. 4 Replies

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reading Andrew L. Seidel’s excellent book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is UN-AMERICAN. Barely four chapters in, Seidel has already…Continue

Tags: rights, The Founding Myth, Seidel, Andrew

"Mr. President ... I Don't Work For You"

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Aug 31. 13 Replies

There has been a major shot across President Donald Trump's bow and it came, believe it or not, from Fox News.  Specifically, it came from Fox reporter and commentator Neil Cavuto, in response to a…Continue

Tags: Neil Cavuto, Fox News, Donald Trump

On authority, obedience, and "liberal" vs. "conservative" values

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jul 1. 1 Reply

Last week Loren shared this quotation in the group comments:But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial…Continue

Tags: politics, purity, loyalty, liberal, conservative

On Emotion, Vulnerability, and a Flawed God

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Craigart14 Jun 1. 6 Replies

On 31 May, 2018, Joan Denoo posted a most excellent quote from David Hume: That quote was well deserving of a response, which is the following:The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever…Continue

Tags: flawed, vulnerable, emotion, god

Comment Wall


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Comment by Loren Miller on June 11, 2019 at 4:21pm

I have to ask Joan: what James Randi quote? I don't think anyone has posted anything from him in quite a while.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 11, 2019 at 2:58pm

Loren, I LIKE the James Randi quote! 

"“I have always considered "Pascal's Wager" a questionable bet to place, since any God worth believing in would prefer an honest agnostic to a calculating hypocrite.”
Alan Dershowitz, Letters to a Young Lawyer

Comment by Loren Miller on June 11, 2019 at 6:07am

Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth.
-- J. Michael Straczynski

Doesn't matter how many sides there are to an argument. It should never be assumed that ONE of them holds the truth of it, and that is the point of this quote.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 10, 2019 at 5:32am

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all this artificial scaffolding...
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams - 1823

[Loren looks around at the current day and shakes his head] Sorry, Tom, it's been not quite 200 years since you suggested the above, but we're still a fair distance from THAT beatitude!

Comment by Loren Miller on June 9, 2019 at 6:46am

In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.
-- Isaac Asimov

Checkmate may end a game of chess, but it doesn't end everything else going on around us. By the same token, losing an engagement, on the battlefield or debate stage or an argument with your loved one is just the termination of THAT vignette. The question becomes: do you learn from it?

Comment by Loren Miller on June 8, 2019 at 6:27am

We are part of the universe that has developed a remarkable ability: We can hold an image of the world in our minds. We are matter contemplating itself.
-- Sean Carroll

We are star-stuff. We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out.
-- Mimbari Ambassador Delenn, Babylon 5, "A Distant Star"

It's entirely possible that J. Michael Straczynski was inspired by Carl Sagan's Cosmos in giving Delenn that line. I could cite Lawrence Krauss saying much the same thing, too, and perhaps Stephen Hawking as well. Point being: Homo sapiens as a natural product of the universe is an idea with resonance.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 7, 2019 at 6:28am

Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.
— Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Morality with a gun to your head isn't morality by my lights. Anyone, deities included, who try to extract good or right behavior under threat deserve all the ass-kicking they get.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 6, 2019 at 5:56am

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.
-- Robert Tew

Religion never really served me (I think I served IT instead), never aided in my growth or made me happy. I think there are a lot of people out there (and some right here!) who have done a far better job of all three and made the business of walking away from religion that much easier.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 5, 2019 at 5:44am

If there's something you really want to believe, that's what you should question the most.
-- Penn Jillette

Very true – WHY do you want that belief to be true? Does the real world in any way support your belief at all? Most importantly, could you accept that belief NOT being true, or would you deny reality to maintain it for yourself?

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 4, 2019 at 4:56pm

Maybe we can speak out more often and with more power than ever and laugh at them when they accuse us of one failure or another. 

Let's turn this around and find the positive approach and see what happens. What would a positive response be to their absurd claims?

Possible Responses:

1. Thank you for sharing your story with me; I heard it before and here is the fallacy ...

2. I know you are a busy person however, I am too and I do not want to receive any more of your stories.

3. I hear your stories and invitations to join your group; I am not interested and find them tedious. 

If you want a synonym for the term meaning "tedium", try:  monotony, boredom, ennui, uniformity, routine, dreariness, dryness, banality, vapidity, insipidity

I'm not finding anything positive, so the answer seems to me to be verbal and visible as I express my need to end the intrusions. The problem becomes theirs. I express my opinion and position and it is up to them to stop whatever is problematic for me. That is what I did with my persistent family members who would not acknowledge my needs. They responded by blocking my emails. OH! Thank goodness. I didn't reject them, they rejected me. 

My problem is solved! 


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