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: 23
Latest Activity: 7 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


Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Sep 14. 2 Replies

The word “Permaculture” is the combination of the two words “permanent” and “agriculture.” It is a method of agricultural philosophy that allows gardeners to create and sustain growing food in a way…Continue

Tags: production, shelter, food, permaculture, Mollison

On Emotion, Vulnerability, and a Flawed God

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Grinning Cat Sep 10. 5 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

Will McAvoy's Rant: "America Is NOT the World's Greatest Country"

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Joan Denoo Aug 25. 3 Replies

Aaron Sorkin has a habit of swinging for the fences when he writes political commentary as entertainment for television.  This was first evinced in the network television series, The West Wing, and…Continue

Tags: The Newsroom, Will McAvoy, Aaron Sorkin

Ingersoll Day August 11th

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Plinius Aug 12. 2 Replies

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)"When I became convinced that the universe is natural, that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood…Continue

Tags: fearless, joyous, freedom, Day, agnostic

Comment Wall


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Comment by Loren Miller on July 20, 2018 at 6:09am

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 M. Dershowitz

That's presuming the god in question hasn't become fetishistic about his own rules, and sadly, Yahweh fits that description.

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 20, 2018 at 1:38am

I perceive belief as a powerful force that fuels behavior. Why do some people climb the highest mountain or dive into the deepest ocean? Or why do some individuals train to be doctors, carpenters, or nurses? Or those who commit those horrid crimes, i.e. kidnap the Lindbergh baby, or assassinate John Kennedy or fly planes into buildings; or those who reach for the stars; or those who write books, or sing, or dance? What about those who use violence in their homes and those who do not? There are those who replicate the values of their families and society and those who reject the values of the status quo.


Comment by Bertold Brautigan on July 20, 2018 at 12:20am

I've heard that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it--but I would say, far worse, that they might begin to think it doesn't matter. At which point some version of a hive life is all but inevitable.

~Sven Birkerts

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on July 19, 2018 at 6:12pm

I never said all beliefs get acted on, or that everyone who holds a belief . . . actively exercises that belief in his or her environment. In any case that has nothing to do with the fact that enough ignorant beliefs sure as hell get acted on to royally fuck things up.

Comment by Loren Miller on July 19, 2018 at 4:09pm

Okay, Bertold, then ask yourself this: do all beliefs get acted on?  I'm not convinced that all beliefs spawn action.  Just because I believe I'd like a beer right now doesn't mean I'm going to go and get one.  I might wait until later ... or I might not at all.

Matt Dillahunty has stated in the past that "beliefs inform our actions," and they do, plus or minus.  Obviously, religious belief has given rise to all sorts of actions, too many of them untoward.  I'm just not convinced that everyone who holds a belief, religious or otherwise, actively exercises that belief in his or her environment.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on July 19, 2018 at 3:56pm

You said yourself that "belief is the basis upon which those actions are based." What that means is, the beliefs are causing the actions, and that powerful and scary to me. 

Comment by Loren Miller on July 19, 2018 at 3:37pm

Bertold, I have to say it again: it is believers' ACTIONS – espousing beliefs and transmitting them to their kids, pushing said beliefs on others, including the government, putting their money and effort into supporting such organizations – which sustain their churches and their influence.  Certainly, belief is the basis upon which those actions are based, but without action, those beliefs are IMPOTENT.

A belief by itself, not acted upon, changes nothing.  A belief which is acted on can change damned near anything.  It's still the actions that count.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on July 19, 2018 at 3:18pm

I think Randi, whom I greatly admire, is wrong. Belief in god makes the church a fact. Belief in the goodness of Drumph makes fascism a fact. Etc., etc. ad infinitum.

Comment by Patricia on July 19, 2018 at 3:18pm

They just think everyone ''needs' to believe in gawdjeezzuzz & everything would be hunky dory. They live in their own little world, surrounded by their churchites, with no room for anything else.

We're not close, & we told them years ago, that the topic has to stay closed for us to get along.

Our daughter was not raised with religion of any sort, but she also was never, & still is not a questioner. When she met her husband, she was young, in love, & very accepting of whatever he, & all his churchies told her.

They've now been married 28 years, have 5 kids who are also all religion soaked, & the oldest daughter is married, & due for her first baby in a few weeks.......she married another nutter, with a preacher father who performed the ceremony.......& on it goes.

We don't argue well, so its best we stay the hell out of it. They have their lives, we have ours. They live in  a different city, which also helps.

Comment by Loren Miller on July 19, 2018 at 3:09pm

Belief in WHAT, specifically, Patricia, and how do they JUSTIFY or establish the credibility of such belief?  How well does their belief align with reality (presuming it does at all), and what would they do if it were proven false?

Have they got any answers, 'cuz I gots LOTS more questions!


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