The Plain Truth: and Quotables from a Free Thinker.
Religion ..."Many people will deride a man's tendency to wishful thinking until they reach the 'private matter' of his religion."
"Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right. The most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong."
"What we have to face as an enemy is not any particular religion but the slavish, credulous mentality upon which all religious and superstitious movements feed."
"If only religion were an opiate no known narcotic rots the brains so fast."
"Religion of every kind involves the promise that the misery and futility of existence can be overcome or even transfigured. One might suppose that the possession of such a magnificent formula, combined with the tremendous assurance of a benevolent God, would make a person happy. But such appears not to be the case: unease and insecurity and rage seem to keep up with blissful certainty, and even to outpace it."
"Religious Faith is, precisely because we are still evolving creatures, ineradicable. It will never die out, or at least not until we get over our fear of death, and of the dark, and of the unknown, and of each other. For this reason, I would not prohibit it even if I thought I could. But will the religious grant me the same indulgence?"
"Religion is, after all, more than a belief in a supreme being. It is the cult of that supreme being and the belief that his or her wishes have been made known or can be determined."
"But the original problem with religion is that it is our first and our worst attempt at explanation. It is how we came up with answers before we had any evidence. It belongs to the terrified childhood of our species, before we knew what germs or could account for earthquakes. It belongs to our childhood, too, in the less charming sense of demanding a tyrannical authority: a protective parent who demands compulsory love even as he exacts a tithe of fear."
"We are pattern-seeking primates, and religion was our first attempt to make sense of nature and the cosmos. This does not give us permission, however, to go on pretending that religion is other than man-made."
"Religion forces nice people to do unkind things and also makes intelligent people say stupid things. If we think of the evils that afflict humanity today and that are man-made and not inflicted by nature, we would be morally numb if we did not feel strongly about genocide, slavery, rape, child abuse, sexual repression, white-collar crime, and the wantonest function of the natural world."
Joseph L. Koperna, Tamaqua