Secular Quotes


Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.

I was once reproved by a minister who was driving a poor beast to some meeting-house horse-sheds among the hills of New Hampshire, because I was bending my steps to a mountain-top on the Sabbath, instead of a church, when I would have gone farther than he to hear a true word spoken on that or any day. He declared that I was 'breaking the Lord's fourth commandment,' and proceeded to enumerate, in a sepulchral tone, the disasters which had befallen him whenever he had done any ordinary work on the Sabbath. He really thought that a god was on the watch to trip up those men who followed any secular work on this day, and did not see that it was the evil conscience of the workers that did it.
The country is full of this superstition, so that when one enters a village, the church, not only really but from association, is the ugliest looking building in it, because it is the one in which human nature stoops the lowest and is most disgraced. Certainly, such temples as these shall erelong cease to deform the landscape
. There are few things more disheartening and disgusting than when you are walking the streets of a strange village on the Sabbath, to hear a preacher shouting like a boatswain in a gale of wind, and thus harshly profaning the quiet atmosphere of the day.

A god    America    Church    Country    Fourth commandment    Humor    Minister    New hampshire    Profane    Profanity    Sabbath    Secular    Superstition    The lord    Truth

I was once reproved by a minister who was driving a poor beast to some meeting-house horse-sheds among the hills of New Hampshire, because I was bending my steps to a mountain-top on the Sabbath, instead of a church, when I would have gone farther than he to hear a true word spoken on that or any day. He declared that I was 'breaking the Lord's fourth commandment,' and proceeded to enumerate, in a sepulchral tone, the disasters which had befallen him whenever he had done any ordinary work on the Sabbath. He really thought that a god was on the watch to trip up those men who followed any secular work on this day, and did not see that it was the evil conscience of the workers that did it. The country is full of this superstition, so that when one enters a village, the church, not only really but from association, is the ugliest looking building in it, because it is the one in which human nature stoops the lowest and is most disgraced. Certainly, such temples as these shall erelong cease to deform the landscape. There are few things more disheartening and disgusting than when you are walking the streets of a strange village on the Sabbath, to hear a preacher shouting like a boatswain in a gale of wind, and thus harshly profaning the quiet atmosphere of the day.

A god    America    Church    Country    Fourth commandment    Humor    Minister    New hampshire    Profane    Profanity    Sabbath    Secular    Superstition    The lord    Truth

Self-righteousness is much like a spiritual egocentricity. It constitutes a secular type of love that thrives under conditionality, one in which is only existent after an individual meets the adopted standards of the condemner; oppositely, unconditional love is a holy love.

It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and
Franklin
electricity; as
Paine
exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and
Jefferson
those of
Buffon
, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind.
[
Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787
]

Do not all theists insist that there can be no morality, no justice, honesty or fidelity without the belief in a Divine Power? Based upon fear and hope, such morality has always been a vile product, imbued partly with self-righteousness, partly with hypocrisy. As to truth, justice, and fidelity, who have been their brave exponents and daring proclaimers? Nearly always the godless ones: the Atheists; they lived, fought, and died for them. They knew that justice, truth, and fidelity are not conditioned in heaven, but that they are related to and interwoven with the tremendous changes going on in the social and material life of the human race; not fixed and eternal, but fluctuating, even as life itself.

My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.

At present, the successful office-seeker is a good deal like the center of the earth; he weighs nothing himself, but draws everything else to him. There are so many societies, so many churches, so many isms, that it is almost impossible for an independent man to succeed in a political career. Candidates are forced to pretend that they are catholics with protestant proclivities, or christians with liberal tendencies, or temperance men who now and then take a glass of wine, or, that although not members of any church their wives are, and that they subscribe liberally to all. The result of all this is that we reward hypocrisy and elect men entirely destitute of real principle; and this will never change until the people become grand enough to allow each other to do their own thinking.
Our government should be entirely and purely secular. The religious views of a candidate should be kept entirely out of sight. He should not be compelled to give his opinion as to the inspiration of the bible, the propriety of infant baptism, or the immaculate conception. All these things are private and personal. The people ought to be wise enough to select as their officers men who know something of political affairs, who comprehend the present greatness, and clearly perceive the future grandeur of our country. If we were in a storm at sea, with deck wave-washed and masts strained and bent with storm, and it was necessary to reef the top sail, we certainly would not ask the brave sailor who volunteered to go aloft, what his opinion was on the five points of Calvinism. Our government has nothing to do with religion. It is neither christian nor pagan; it is secular. But as long as the people persist in voting for or against men on account of their religious views, just so long will hypocrisy hold place and power. Just so long will the candidates crawl in the dust—hide their opinions, flatter those with whom they differ, pretend to agree with those whom they despise; and just so long will honest men be trampled under foot.

Some Mistakes of Moses

Robert G. Ingersoll

Some Mistakes of Moses
Analogy    Baptism    Calvinism    Career    Country    Despise    Earth    Flatter    Future    Government    Grand    Grandeur    Gravity    Greatness    Honesty    Hypocrisy    Immaculate conception    Inspiration    Liberal    Lies    Opinion    Pagan    Personal    Politics    Principle    Private    Sea    Secular    Society    Storm    Successful    Thinking    Views    Virgin birth    Voting    Weight    Wife    Wine    Wisdom    Wise

—Then, said Cranly, you do not intend to become a protestant?
—I said that I had lost the faith, Stephen answered, but not that I had lost self-respect. What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?

Sometimes I think Earth has got to be the insane asylum of the universe. . . and I'm here by computer error. At sixty-eight, I hope I've gained some wisdom in the past fourteen lustrums and it’s obligatory to speak plain and true about the conclusions I've come to; now that I have been educated to believe by such mentors as Wells, Stapledon, Heinlein, van Vogt, Clarke, Pohl, (S. Fowler) Wright, Orwell, Taine, Temple, Gernsback, Campbell and other seminal influences in scientifiction, I regret the lack of any female writers but only Radclyffe Hall opened my eyes outside sci-fi.
I was a secular humanist before I knew the term. I have not believed in God since childhood's end. I believe a belief in any deity is adolescent, shameful and dangerous. How would you feel, surrounded by billions of human beings taking Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and the stork seriously, and capable of shaming, maiming or murdering in their name? I am embarrassed to live in a world retaining any faith in church, prayer or a celestial creator. I do not believe in Heaven, Hell or a Hereafter; in angels, demons, ghosts, goblins, the Devil, vampires, ghouls, zombies, witches, warlocks, UFOs or other delusions; and in very few mundane individuals--politicians, lawyers, judges, priests, militarists, censors and just plain people. I respect the individual's right to abortion, suicide and euthanasia. I support birth control. I wish to Good that society were rid of smoking, drinking and drugs.
My hope for humanity - and I think sensible science fiction has a beneficial influence in this direction - is that one day everyone born will be whole in body and brain, will live a long life free from physical and emotional pain, will participate in a fulfilling way in their contribution to existence, will enjoy true love and friendship, will pity us 20th century barbarians who lived and died in an atrocious, anachronistic atmosphere of arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping, child abuse, insanity, murder, terrorism, war, smog, pollution, starvation and the other negative norms of our current civilization. I have devoted my life to amassing over a quarter million pieces of sf and fantasy as a present to posterity and I hope to be remembered as an altruist who would have been an accepted citizen of Utopia.

Atheism    Atheist    Belief    Danger    Fairy tales    Hope    Humanist    Morality    Respect    Sci fi    Science    Science fiction    Secular    Utopia

There is a massive, irreconcilable conflict between science and religion. Religion was humanity's original cosmology, biology and anthropology. It provided explanations for the origin of the world, life and humans. Science now gives us increasingly complete explanations for those big three. We know the origins of the universe, the physics of the big bang and how the basic chemical elements formed in supernovas. We know that life on this planet originated about 4 billion years ago, and we are all descendants of that original replicating molecule. Thanks to
Darwin
we know that natural selection is the only workable explanation for the design and variety of all life on this planet. Paleoanthropologists and geneticists have reconstructed much of the human tree of life. We are risen apes, not fallen angels. We are the most successful and last surviving African hominid. Every single person on this Earth, all 7 billion of us, arose 50,000 years ago from small bands of African hunter-gatherers, a total population of somewhere between 600 and 2,000 individuals.

Believing this country to be a political and not a religious organisation ... the editor of the NATIONAL CITIZEN will use all her influence of voice and pen against 'Sabbath Laws', the uses of the 'Bible in School', and pre-eminently against an amendment which shall introduce 'God in the Constitution.


Washington
, like most scholarly Virginians of his time, was a Deist
... Contemporary evidence shows that in mature life
Washington
was a Deist, and did not commune, which is quite consistent with his being a vestryman. In England, where vestries have secular functions, it is not unusual for Unitarians to vestrymen, there being no doctrinal subscription required for that office.
Washington
's letters during the Revolution occasionally indicate his recognition of the hand of Providence in notable public events, but in the thousands of his letters I have never been able to find the name of Christ or any reference to him.
{
Conway was employed to edit
Washington
's letters
}

...The existence or non-existence of an undefined 'god' are quite pointless.
[
From 'Why I am a Secular Humanist'
]

The atheist, agnostic, or secularist ... should insist on the need to engage in a meaningful debate on the entire issue of the truth or falsity (or probability or improbability) of religious tenets, without being subject to accusations of impiety, immorality, impoliteness, or any of the other smokescreens used by the pious to deflect attention from the central issues at hand.

Agnostic    Atheist    Debate    Fallacy    Libel    Red herring    Secular    Truth

Looking at Great-Great Grandpa Baldwin's photograph, I think to myself: You've finally done it. It took four generations, but you've finally goddamned done it. Gotten that war against reason and uppity secularists you always wanted. Gotten even for the Scopes trial, which they say was one of many burrs under your saddle until your last breath. Well, rejoice, old man, because your tribes have gathered around America's oldest magical hairball of ignorance and superstition, Christian fundamentalism, and their numbers have enabled them to suck so much oxygen out of the political atmosphere that they are now acknowledged as a mainstream force in politics. Episcopalians, Jews, and affluent suburban Methodists and Catholics, they are all now scratching their heads, sweating, and swearing loudly that this pack of lower-class zealots cannot possibly represent the mainstream--not the mainstream they learned about in their fancy sociology classes or were so comfortably reassured about by media commentators who were people like themselves. Goodnight, Grandpa Baldwin. I'll toast you from hell.


Lyell
and
Poulett Scrope
, in this country, resumed the work of the Italians and of
Hutton
; and the former, aided by a marvellous power of clear exposition, placed upon an irrefragable basis the truth that natural causes are competent to account for all events, which can be proved to have occurred, in the course of the secular changes which have taken place during the deposition of the stratified rocks. The publication of 'The Principles of Geology,' in 1830, constituted an epoch in geological science. But it also constituted an epoch in the modern history of the doctrines of evolution, by raising in the mind of every intelligent reader this question:
If natural causation is competent to account for the not-living part of our globe, why should it not account for the living part
?

I don't believe for a minute that the proof of God's existence is achieved. My faith prohibits me from believing that the proof of God's existence can ever be adduced. My God is not an object for verification, He is a subject for love. My faith is not knowledge, it is acceptance. It is a matter not of calculation but of trust.

God    Religion    Sacred    Secular

Jefferson also founded the first intentionally secularized university in America. His vision for the University of Virginia was for education finally free from traditional Christian dogma. He had a disdain for the influence that institutional Christianity had on education. At the University of Virginia there was no Christian curriculum and the school had no chaplain.

There are two ways of life, one leading to righteousness, which brings happiness, and the other to unrighteousness, which produces misery. One leads to kindness, mercy and sympathy, the other to hatred and cruelty; one to tolerance and the other to intolerance; one to justice and the other to injustice; one to truth and the other to error; one to peace and concord and the other to quarrelling and war; one to mental development and the other to mental contraction.
One is the Secular way and the other is the Theological; one is the Democratic and the other the Despotic; one is the sane and the other the insane
.

Cruelty    Democratic    Despotic    Happiness    Hatred    Insane    Intolerance    Justice    Life    Mercy    Misery kindness    Peace    Righteousness    Sane    Secular    Sympathy    Theological    Tolerance    War

[Cornell University will be] an asylum for Science—where truth shall be sought for truth's sake, not stretched or cut exactly to fit Revealed Religion.

Cornell    Education    Evidence    Facts    Learning    Science    Secular    Truth

पटेल और नेहरू के बिच हुए पत्र व्यव्हार से भी यह बात स्पष्ट होती है. इस मामले में संघ कि लिप्तता कि जांच का अनुरोध करते हुए प्रधानमंत्री द्वारा लिखे गई पत्र के निस्चययात्मक जवाब में पटेल ने गांधीजी कि हत्या के एक महीने के भीतर २७ फरवरी १९४८ को भेजे पत्र में लिखा- "में लगभग दैनिक आधार पर बापू कि हत्या के मामले में चल रही जांच कि प्रगति पर नज़र रखे हुए हूँ. सभी मुख्य आरोपी अपनी गतिविधियो के बारे में लम्बे और ब्योरेवार विवरण दे चुके थे. इन विवरणों से यह साफ़तोंर पर उभरकर आ जाता है कि संघ का इस मामले में कोई हाथ नहीं था.

इसके बावजूद १३ नवंबर १९४८ कि रात को कुख्यात बंगाल स्टेट प्रिजनरस एक्ट के अधीन श्रीगुरुजी को फिर गिरफ्तार कर लिया गया. यह वही एक्ट था, जिसे आज़ादी से पहले नेहरू ने एक "काला कानून" बताया था......... सत्याग्रहियों का मुख्य नारा नेहरू सरकार क्को दी गयी इस चुनौती के रूप में था- 'संघ के खिलाफ आरोप सिद्ध करो या प्रतिबन्ध हटाओ।

In the monotheistic age, God was viewed as the one who causes and does everything, and hence humans were not entitled to make something, let alone a great deal, of themselves. In humanistic epochs, by contrast, man is considered the being responsible for causing and doing everything - but consequently no longer has the right to make little or nothing of himself. Whether people now make nothing or much of themselves, they commit - according to traditional forms of logic - an inexplicable and unpardonable error. There is always a surplus of differences that cannot be integrated into any of the prescribed systems of life-interpretation. In a world that belongs to God, human beings make too much of themselves as soon as they raise their heads; in a world that belongs to humans, they repeatedly make too little of themselves. The possibility that the inequality between humans might be due to their asceticisms, their different stances towards the challenges of the practising life - this idea has never been formulated in the history of investigations into the ultimate causes of difference between humans. If one follows this trail, it opens up perspectives that, being unthought-of, are literally unheard-of.

As the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

RELATED TOPICS

TOP COLLECTIONS

Get Free Bookmarks Set With Popular Quotes

Or Use

Successfully Saved