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: 2 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 Bertold Brautigan on April 24, 2018 at 8:24am

Man is himself the creator of his heaven or hell, and there are no demons except his own follies.

~ Eliphas Levi

Comment by Loren Miller on April 24, 2018 at 5:41am

Gods always behave like the people who make them.
-- Zora Neale Hurston

That does seem to be the pattern, doesn't it?

Comment by Loren Miller on April 23, 2018 at 5:49am

How does it become a man to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Geez, Hank, prescient much?

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 22, 2018 at 2:48pm

I like Black's quote! Timely for our situation. 

Comment by Loren Miller on April 22, 2018 at 8:39am

The founding fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role it has in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.
-- Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black

The above quote came from the Supreme Court decision in US v New York Times and was cited toward the end of the movie, The Post. To say it is timely in the current day is to state the obvious.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 22, 2018 at 1:33am

If god exists, there would be many universities of peace, instructions on how to work with different races, there would be no class and indeed no class warfare. There would be information about our common traits and the things we have in common. 

If god exists there would be evidence of unifying all beliefs, dogmas, litanies, traditions, and values into a coherent whole. 

If god exists we would be led by choirmasters leading songs of people from around the globe singing together in celebrations of our lives. 

Because there is no evidence that god exists, Homo sapiens have to figure out a way to live on the planet without killing each other and all living forms. 

There are some who say, "The universe is drifting toward disorder." I don't see that. Scientists can predict the movement of stars in their paths to the hour. 

I am not a physicist. However, existence seems to be very ordered. The ways human beings think and act appear to grow even more chaotic.  Especially with Trump, and the chaos created by his minions making disorder. It isn't the physical aspects of the planet; it is the social aspect that seems to be going to a literal hell. 

Comment by Loren Miller on April 21, 2018 at 6:38pm

"God is in control," eh?  If that is, in fact, the case, then why would anyone worship a being who would subject the world the the kind of mad, inhuman suffering and us-vs-them struggles, all while failing to show the least hint of his own existence.

It's a blunt fact: the world behaves as though there is NO GOD ... and until there is evidence to the contrary, that's the premise under which I operate.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 21, 2018 at 1:41pm

Bertold, that powerful statement of Nelle Smith reveals the terrible truth of the religious fervor that underlies these current political and religious times. 

"I partnered with neuroscientists, who used MRI to compare the brain activity of devout Christians to that of brand fans. It turned out that brand iconography activated the same region in the brains of fans that was activated in the brains of Christians when they were exposed to faith-related triggers."


If Apple cultivated religious followings, is it not feasible that progressive values can be cultivated by the same strategies?

The strategies used to cultivate a following:

A sense of belonging 

An Enemy

Sensory appeal 





Rituals . 

The article defines each strategy.



Comment by Bertold Brautigan on April 21, 2018 at 11:42am

But every extreme idea gets its DNA from a more legitimate idea—usually from one that is innocuous on the surface—and even mainstream evangelicalism is saturated with ideas and narratives that enable a certain apathy toward the human consequences of political action.

Consider the refrain “in the world, but not of it,” the insistence that earth is just a place of trial and suffering before the final destination of heaven. Consider the popularity of Left Behind, the wildly popular book series that paints the destruction of human life as regrettable but necessary collateral damage in Christian victory. Or consider a milder form: “God is in control,” the ubiquitous phrase used all over social media to comfort those scared for their lives after the election of Donald Trump.

“God is in control.”

Was there ever such a whitewashed sepulcher of a phrase? Was there ever a slogan so beautifully engineered as to simulate theological uprightness while simultaneously exempting the wielder from any hint of personal responsibility?

--Nelle Smith

Comment by Loren Miller on April 21, 2018 at 6:36am

I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion [...]. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society's admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?
― Ruth Hurmence Green, The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To The Bible

The more I see the words of Ms. Green, the more I think that I would be the better for picking up her book. The lady sees the bible as it is, and she minces no words in her evaluation of it.


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