What's your favourite atheist (secular/science) quote?
There are lots of inspiring ones out there. Lots of well known ones too.
My favourite is one that has come to mean a lot to me recently, taken from Dawkins' brilliant 'River Out of Eden':
"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference."- Richard Dawkins
I find the Nietzsche quote quite endearing(?), considering his father and grandfathers were all protestant priest and his sister, his favorite person, was quite religious too.
by ascribing it to his gods... When, therefore, he ascribes to his gods the production of some phenomenon... does he, in fact, do any thing more than substitute for the darkness of his own mind, a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe?
Baron de Holbach,
This is my favorite
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, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light, and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world—not even in infinite space.
I was free—free to think, to express my thoughts—free to live to my own ideal—free to use all my faculties, all my senses—free to spread imagination's wings—free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope—free to judge and determine for myself—free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past—free from popes and priests—free from all the "called" and "set apart"—free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies—free from the fear of eternal pain—free from the winged monsters of the night—free from devils, ghosts, and gods.
For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought—no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings—no chains for my limbs—no lashes for my back—no fires for my flesh—no master's frown or threat—no following another's steps—no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.
And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain—for the freedom of labor and thought—to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs—to those whose flesh was scarred and torn—to those by fire consumed—to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.
"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid."
- Marcus Aurelius
I have two.
"Isn't it enough to see that the garden is beautiful, without having to believe that there are faeries at the bottom of it too?" ~Douglas Adams.
“Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.”
~ Richard Dawkins
Why is this simple statement my favorite? because he so well clarifies the point, I am allowed to be offended and so are you. Fine, you told me, now shut up and get on with your business and quite trying to tell me what I can and can not do, it's your crazy hang up, not mind and I won't abide by it. Unless of course I like and respect you, well then I will try to not piss you off but you can still suck it up if you like and respect me.
I've got an interesting one. A lot of atheistic arguments revolving around "evidence" sometimes involve the notion of "The Scientific Method."
Well, here's a riddle for you, the father of the modern scientific method once said,
"It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to God."
Another quote that I believe sort of goes along the same lines.
"If you can't believe in God, chances are your God is too small." - James Phillips
These are amongst my favorites for the fact that they can offer a different perspective as they're obviously quite astray from the quotes being posted thus far.
That's the kind of shit they tell you when they want you to kill your fellow man for them, after all we have the BIGGEST god. If you think the throngs of believers are deep philosophers then we must live on different planets !
I've never really related it to the "throng of believers." Notice he said "back to God," meaning that they were returning from a period of atheism. Some famous examples I've come across are Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Richard Alpert. All deep philosophers whose constant pondering did not lead them to arrive to the "atheistic conclusion."
Notice he said "back to God,"
Who said, "back to God"? It is not in either of your quotes.
Francis Bacon. The depth in philosophy is where you arrive at after you've had a little. He didn't say it verbatim, but it's something you can infer. I've seen variations of the quote where people have used "back to," but I'm not sure which is the original.