More Quotations for
Inspiration, Wonder, and Meditation
(some by Saints and some by Sinners)

(Also check out our main page of "Inspirational Quotations by Famous Yoans")

God is something that needs rescuing from religion. (Sinead O'Connor)

The religious idea of God cannot do full duty for the metaphysical infinity. (Alan Watts)

My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests. (Santayana)

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. (Napoleon Bonaparte)

The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself. (Karl Marx)

Driving through a Swiss city one day, Alfred Hitchcock suddenly pointed out of the car window and said, "That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen." His companion was surprised to see nothing more alarming than a priest in conversation with a little boy, his hand on the child's shoulder. "Run, little boy," cried Hitchcock, leaning out of the car. "Run for your life!" (Source Unknown)

How so many absurd rules of conduct, as well as so many absurd religious beliefs, have originated, we do not know; nor how it is that they have become, in all quarters of the world, so deeply impressed on the minds of men; but it is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, while the brain is impressionable, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason. (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man)

Educationalists in general agree that imagination is important, but they would have it cultivated as separate from intelligence, just as they would separate the latter from the activity of the hand. They are the vivisectionists of the human personality. In the school they want children to learn dry facts of reality, while their imagination is cultivated by fairy tales, concerned with a world that is certainly full of marvels, but not the world around them in which they live. On the other hand, by offering the child the story of the universe, we give him something a thousand times more infinite and mysterious to reconstruct with his imagination, a drama no fable can reveal. (Maria Montessori)

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. (Stephen Roberts)

Religions are like farts. Yours is good, but everyone else's stinks . . .

Monotheists think all gods but theirs are false. Atheists simply don't make an exception for the last one . . .

God made me an atheist. Who are you to question His wisdom? (Sources Unknown)

God is a concept by which we measure our pain.
I'll say it again.
God is a concept by which we measure our pain. (John Lennon)
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And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible were used to beat plowshares into swords. (Alan Watts)

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches. (Benjamin Franklin) Drink Coca Cola

Learn to think and judge for yourself, responsibly. Don't accept everything without criticism and as absolutely true, everything which is brought to your attention. Learn from life. The biggest mistake of my life was that I believed everything faithfully which came from the top, and I didn't dare to have the least bit of doubt about the truth of that which was presented to me. Walk through life with your eyes open. Don't become one-sided; examine the pros and cons in all matters. (Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz and self-described as “the greatest mass murderer in human history,” in a partially ingenuous, final letter to his son before he was executed.)

Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe. (Frank Zappa)

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols. (Aldous Huxley)

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin. (Cardinal Bellarmine, during the trial of Galileo, 1615)

Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it . . . Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory. (Rev. Jimmy Swaggart)

The earth is flat, and anyone who disputes this claim is an atheist who deserves to be punished. (From an edict issued in 1993 by Sheik Abdel-Aziz Ibn Baaz, Supreme Religious Authority, Saudi Arabia)

No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered citizens . . . This is one nation under God. (President George Herbert Walker Bush during his 1987 campaign for the presidency [and reaffirmed by him after he was elected, i.e., this was not an off-the-cuff campaign misstatement])

What you should say to outsiders is that a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our Association than an atheist. When [the Women's Suffrage] platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself shall not stand upon it. (Susan B. Anthony)

The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians . . .

[Y]ou're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists . . . Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them. (Pat Robertson)

Genocide in AfricaWhenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it as I detest everything that is cruel. (Thomas Paine)

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand . . .

Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the [One] True Religion—several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven. (Mark Twain)

Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience. (Adam Smith)

A person who is guided by God will never be misguided . . . (Osama Bin Laden)

[Humans] never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. (Blaise Pascal)

The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. THAT my friends, is true perversion. (Harvey Milk, a San Fransisco Supervisor, at a 1978 Gay Freedom Day Rally, before a fanatic killed him and Mayor Moscone later that year)

You only have to glance at the daily news to see how passions are stirred by claims of exclusive loyalty to one's own kin, one's own clan, one's own country, and one's own church. These ties that bind are vital to our communities and our lives, but they can also be twisted into a noose. (Bill Moyers)

Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities. (Voltaire)

One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. (Arthur C. Clarke)

I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. (Martin Luther King, Jr., the closing words of his last public address, just hours before he was murdered by a racist, Memphis, 3 April 1968)

We can learn by the example of the Catholic Church. Though its doctrinal edifice . . . comes into collision with exact science and research, it is none the less unwilling to sacrifice so much as one little syllable of its dogmas. It has recognized quite correctly that its power . . . [lies] in rigidly holding to dogmas once established, for it is only such dogmas which lend to the whole body the character of faith. And so it stands today more firmly than ever. (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf)

A pile of anonymous bodies from the Holocaust.Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile! (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)

Honest Advice, 1543

First, [the Jews'] synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or a stone of it. . . . [Jewish homes should likewise be] broken down or destroyed. Jews should then be put under one roof or in a stable . . . in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land. They should be put to work to earn their living by the sweat of their noses . . . These poisonous bitter worms should be stripped of their belongings which they have extorted usuriously from us and driven out of the country for all time . . .

There is on earth among all dangers no more dangerous thing than a richly endowed and adroit reason, especially if she enters into spiritual matters which concern the soul and God . . . Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees it must put out of sight, and wish to know nothing but the word of God . . . Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason. (Martin Luther)

The way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason. (Benjamin Franklin)

I knew of course that my connection with the concentration camp of Auschwitz would provoke a negative response . . . We obviously knew that the things that had happened there did not necessarily comply with human rights. (Oskar Gröning, SS officer at Auschwitz)

Gröning's "Non-compliance with Human Rights"
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There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance. (Goethe)

So, when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, if you go for all these fairy tales, that "evil" woman convinced the man to eat the apple, but the apple came from the Tree of Knowledge. And the punishment that was then handed down, the woman gets to bleed and the guy's got to go to work, is the result of a man desiring, because his woman suggested that it would be a good idea, that he get all the knowledge that was supposedly the property and domain of God. So, that right away sets up Christianity as an anti-intellectual religion. You never want to be that smart. If you're a woman, it's going to be running down your leg, and if you're a guy, you're going to be in the salt mines for the rest of your life. So, just be a dumb fuck and y'all will go to heaven. That's the subtext of Christianity. (Frank Zappa)

My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them. (Abraham Lincoln)

Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense. (Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary, 1764 )

If fifty million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. (Anatole France)

Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains. (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army. (Frederick the Great)

We are all born originals. Why is it so many of us die copies? (Edward Young )

Be careful what you pretend to be, because you are what you pretend to be. (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. (Yogi Berra)

That hand is not the color of your hand, but if I pierce it I shall feel pain. The blood that will follow from mine will be the same color as yours. The Great Spirit made us both. (Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux)

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day, even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into a oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by content of their character. I have a dream today! (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Practical religion consists in doing good: and the only way of serving God is that of endeavoring to make His creation happy. All preaching that has not this for its object is nonsense and hypocrisy . . .

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. (Thomas Paine)

Nature [has] implanted in our breasts a love of others, a sense of duty to them, a moral instinct, in short, which prompts us irresistibly to feel and to succor their distresses. (Thomas Jefferson)

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple. The philosophy is kindness. (Dalai Lama)

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend . . .

When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that you can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding you; and you are torn by the thought of the unhappiness and night you cast, by the mere fact of living, in the hearts you encounter . . .

In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer (Albert Camus)

Ex umbriset imaginibus in veritatem. [Out of the shadows and images, into truth.] (J. N. Findlay)

If you bring forth what is in you, it will heal you. And if you do not bring forth what is within you, it will destroy you. (Gospel of St. Thomas)

Like every great religion of the past we seek to find the divinity within and to express this revelation in a life of glorification and the worship of God. These ancient goals we define in the metaphor of the present—turn on, tune in, drop out . . .

If you take the game of life seriously, if you take your nervous system seriously, if you take your sense organs seriously, if you take the energy process seriously, you must turn on, tune in, drop out . . . (Timothy Leary)

Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives. (Braveheart)

It is not death that you should fear, but you should fear never beginning to live. (Marcus Aurelius)

Argue for your limitations and they're yours. (Richard Bach, Illusions)

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. (Erma Bombeck)

If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality. (Norman Cousins)

Come, come, whoever you are, Wanderer, worshipper, lover of learning? It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a hundred times Come, come again, come . . .

There is a community of the spirit . . .
Open your hands if you want to be held . . .
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking . . .
Flow down and down in always widening rings of being. (Rumi)

Most of the cats that you meet on the streets speak of true love,
Most of the time they’re sittin’ and cryin’ at home.
One of these days they know they gotta get goin’
Out of the door and down on the street all alone.
Truckin’, like the Do-Dah man.
Once told me you’ve got to play your hand.
Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a dime,
If you don’t lay ’em down. (The Grateful Dead)
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I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game before all the cards have been played. The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning. To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world. (Howard Zinn)

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                      Well ... Whaddaya gonna do? (Homer Simpson)

Or as John Lennon sang:
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Really. These last few are the big questions.

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And if it is all too confusing, whatever you do, Don't Panic!
Take a deep breath, sit back and remember the wise words of Gandalf the Grey.

More Great Quotations (by Yoan Saints) for Inspiration, Wonder, and/or Meditation.

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The Approach

Remember that if a job is becoming difficult to do it is being approached and handled in the wrong way. The right way works easily and smoothly, with little wasted effort. It is the learning and remembering of this that is difficult.