Why include a quotations section?  Firstly, I like quotations – they are pleasing to the mind’s palate.  Secondly, I believe it in some indefinable way enhances the website.

  • The single most amazing phenomenon is the discrediting of idealism.  –  Susan Sontag
  • We have it in our power to begin the world over again. – Thomas Paine
  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. – Margaret Mead
  • One of the main weaknesses of mankind is the average man’s familiarity with the word “impossible.” – Napoleon Hill
  • I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. – Thomas Jefferson
  • We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. – Albert Einstein
  • Today’s problems cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
  • We must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle of civilization. – Al Gore
  • We are the bullies of the earth:  strong, foul, coarse, greedy, careless, indifferent to others, laying waste as we proceed, leaving wounds, welts, lesions, suppurations on the earth body, increasingly engulfed by our own ordure and, finally, abysmally ignorant of the way the world works, crowing our superiority over all life.” – Ian McHarg (A Quest For Life:  An Autobiography)
  • Part of the irony of environmentalism is questing for solutions when you know you’re part of the problem. – Diane Ackerman (The Rarest of the Rare:  Vanishing Animals, Timeless Worlds)
  • The multiple threats to the Earth are so complex that in most cases they seem beyond the reach of an average citizen’s influence.  Yet we can all launch a personal campaign to reduce consumption – though perhaps only after a change of mind-set, to overcome the fear of seeming poor, parsimonious or eccentric.  This does not mean being deprived or uncomfortable.  It simply means stopping to think, before each purchase, ‘Do I really need this?’  For years a small minority has been living and thinking thus.  If a large majority did likewise – if frugality and shabbiness could become trendy – then the Earth, though not saved, would be measurably less endangered. – Dervla Murphy, Irish author
  • The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.  –  James Oppenheim
  • That’s the way it is in life.  You let go of what is beautiful and unique.  You pursue something new and don’t even know that the wind of your own running is a thief.  –  Sena Jeter Naslund
  • It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.  –  Seneca
  • Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it.  There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness.  The more a man has, the more he wants.  Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one.  If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way.  –  Benjamin Franklin
  • Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.  They are but improved means to an unimproved end.  –  Henry David Thoreau
  • A good mind possesses a kingdom. – Seneca
  • Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is being happy with what you have. – Author Unknown
  • Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life. – Author Unknown
  • There are two way to get enough – one way is to accumulate more, and the other way is to desire less. – G. K. Chesterton
  • We make ourselves rich by making our wants few. – Henry David Thoreau
  • The greatest wealth is to live content with little.  – Plato
  • He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.  –  Socrates
  • He is richest, who is content with the least. –  Socrates
  • The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.  –  Author Unknown
  • Remember this – that very little is needed to make a happy life.  –  Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
  • If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.  –  Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
  • The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods.  –  Socrates
  • Give up the drop, and gain the whole ocean. –  Swami Satchidananda
  • It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.  –  Bertrand Russell
  • Possession of material riches, without inner peace, is like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake.  …  For it is spiritual poverty, not material lack, that lies at the core of all human suffering.  –  Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.  –  Dr. Seuss
  • Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.  –  Aristotle
  • We are what we repeatedly do;  excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.  –  Aristotle
  • I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.  –  Aristotle
  • Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life:  the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. – Bertrand Russell
  • The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes.  –  Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.  –  Author Unknown
  • If we love our children, we must love our earth with tender care and pass it on, diverse and beautiful, so that on a warm spring day 10,000 years hence they can feel peace in a sea of grass, can watch a bee visit a flower, can hear a sandpiper call in the sky, and can find joy in being alive.  – Hugh H. Iltis
  • We stand now where two roads diverge.  But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair.  The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster.  The other fork of the road – the one less traveled by – offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.  – Rachel Carson
  • If you believe that human beings should dominate and control the earth and that plants, animals, and minerals are resources for human use, you have an anthropocentric world view.  If you believe that humans are but one component of an incredibly complex earth and that humans must learn to live within a stable, sustainable, self-renewing ecosphere, you have an ecocentric world view.   –   This is from a now-defunct website, whose creator has constructed another website:  www.ecoshift.net  (Note:  I include this here for the insightful way it defines these two terms.  I believe our survival on this planet depends upon which of these two paths we take.)
  • Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  –  Edward O.Wilson
  • Most, it would seem to me, do not care for nature and would sell their share.  – Henry David Thoreau
  • There are never victories in conservation.  If you want to save a species or a habitat, it’s a fight forevermore.  You can never turn your back.  – George Schaller, American naturalist [from following magazine article:  Michael Ryan, “We Have To Protect What We Have,” Parade Magazine 2 Feb. 1997]
  • In wilderness is the preservation of the world.  – Henry David Thoreau
  • I feel that nothing can befall me in life – no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes) – that nature cannot repair.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Regardless of how overcivilized (man) becomes, he still needs the tonic of the wilderness.  – Robert Cushman Murphy  [Source:  Cynthia Blair, “Robert Cushman Murphy / Naturalist and Bird Expert Becomes Early Advocate of Conservation,” Newsday 6 Nov. 2000:  A15]
  • Nature’s peace will flow into you as the sunshine into the trees.  The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.  –  John Muir
  • Don’t ever let the opposition portray you as “radical.”  Preservationists are not radical.  We are conservative.  “Radicals” are those who do radical things like bulldoze mountains away, strip mine the earth, destroy forests by clearcutting and conversion, pump poisons into the air and water.  Radicals are responsible for extinction, cancer, and misery -–and the destruction of wilderness.  –  Lamar Marshall
  • A sharp distinction between human beings and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them -–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret.  With untroubled consciences, we can render whole species extinct – as we do today to the tune of 100 species a day.  Their loss is of little import:  Those beings, we tell ourselves, are not like us.  (…)  Remember those macaques who would rather go hungry than profit from harming their fellows;  might we have a more optimistic view of the human future if we were sure our ethics were up to their standards?  –  Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, from Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
  • It does the things we’re also most concerned about.  It tries very hard to stay alive.  It’s motivated to reproduce.  It gets hungry and goes to look for food.  It gets frightened.  Compared to other things in the universe, we and the albatrosses are almost identical. – Carl Safina, conservationist [Source:  Joe Haberstroh, “An Advocate for the Oceans:  Amagansett conservationist Carl Safina travels the world to help protect it,” Newsday 19 Jun. 2002]
  • When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.  –  Ingrid Newkirk, animal rights activist
  • We’re the only species on the planet that can’t walk around the way we were created.  –  John Moyer
  • It is so basic.  A human being is an innocent part of nature.  Our civilization has distorted this universal quality that allows us to feel at home in our skin.  Other animals have coats that they accept, but the human race has yet to come to terms with being nude.  –  Ruth Bernhard
  • Be a loner.  That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth.  Have holy curiosity.  Make your life worth living.  —  Albert Einstein
  • I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good.  Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission.  We would stand a better chance for survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially.  – E.B.White
  • The more civilization progresses, the greater the violence of nature’s wrath.  –  physicist Torahiko Terada, wrote this in 1934
  • The scandal isn’t what’s illegal;  it’s what’s legal.  –  Michael Kinsley
  • A child’s education should begin at least one hundred years before he was born.  – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
  • Reading is to the Mind, what Exercise is to the Body.  –  Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
  • Iron rusts from disuse  …  even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.  – Leonardo da Vinci
  • Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.  –  William Butler Yeats
  • The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.  –  Daniel J. Boorstin
  • Clothe an idea in words and it loses its freedom of movement.  –  Egon Friedell
  • The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.  –  Marcel Proust
  • Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.  –  Albert Einstein
  • It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.  –  Albert Einstein
  • Talent is what you possess;  genius is what possesses you.  –  Malcolm Cowley
  • A dream is not what you see in sleep;  a dream is what does not let you sleep.  –  Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India
  • The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, familiar things new.  –  William Makepeace Thackeray
  • It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.  –  Aristotle
  • When permitted to listen to alternative opinions and engage in substantive debate, people have been known to change their minds.  It can happen. –  Carl Sagan
  • Historians will not fail to note that a people who could spend $300 billion on defense refused to spend a tiny fraction of that total to keep their libraries open in the evening.  – Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin  [Note:  I have misplaced the original source for this (it might even be my own rewording of it).  An Internet search reveals that he might have stated it differently:  “Historians will not fail to note that a people who could spend $300 billion on their defense would not spend $18 million on their knowledge – and could not even keep their libraries open in the evening.”]
  • I hate those movies where hundreds of people get blown up and there are jokes afterward.  They poison the soul.  – Rob Reiner, director
  • The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.  – Bertrand Russell
  • We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry. – William Butler Yeats
  • The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.  – Bertrand Russell
  • Only the wise possess ideas;  the greater part of mankind are possessed by them. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. – Jonathan Swift
  • Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. – Albert Einstein
  • Here’s to the crazy ones.  The misfits.  The rebels.  The troublemakers.  The round pegs in the square holes.  The ones who see things differently.  They’re not fond of rules.  And they have no respect for the status quo.  You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.  About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.  Because they change things.  They push the human race forward.  And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.  Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”  –  from Apple computer’s 1997 “Think Different” television ad
  • All truth passes through three stages.  First, it is ridiculed.  Second, it is violently opposed.  Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.  –  Arthur Schopenhauer
  • We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;  the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.  –  Plato
  • Great minds discuss ideas;  average minds discuss events;  small minds discuss people.  –  Eleanor Roosevelt
  • No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  –  Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. –  Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Success in almost any field depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence.  This explains why we have so many stupid leaders. –  Sloan Wilson
  • If one were loyal to one’s nation only because it was good and true … one would not be loyal to any nation but to truth and goodness.  The idea of patriotism would have no place either in our dictionaries or our lives.  – Max Eastman, 1906
  • Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on his own dunghill.  –  Richard Aldington
  • I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. –  Socrates
  • Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper. –  Sir Francis Bacon
  • I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.  –  Booker T. Washington
  • We are a feelingless people.  If we could really feel, the pain would be so great that we would stop all the suffering.  If we could feel that one person every six seconds dies of starvation … we would stop it.  …  If we could really feel it in the bowels, the groin, in the throat, in the breast, we would go into the streets and stop the war, stop slavery, stop the prisons, stop the killing, stop destruction.  – Julian Beck
  • The difference between what we are doing and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.  – Mahatma Gandhi
  • The world is a dangerous place to live;  not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.  –  Albert Einstein
  • Every generation is confronted anew with the task not to look the other way when injustice occurs.  …  Everyone is responsible for what he does and co-responsible for what he lets happen.  – Richard von Weizsacker, president of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1984 to 1994
  • If you’re getting married today, it’s the equivalent of joining a country club that doesn’t allow blacks or Jews. – Sarah Silverman, on the issue of gay marriage (March, 2010)
  • The reward for a thing well done is to have done it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • No tree has branches, so foolish, as to fight among themselves. –  Ojibwa Indian saying
  • War hath no fury like a non-combatant.  –  C. E. Montague
  • When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.  When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.  –  Dom Helder Camara
  • At his best, man is the noblest of all animals;  separated from law and justice he is the worst.  –  Aristotle
  • In spite of everything, I still believe that people are basically good at heart.  –  Anne Frank
  • I have always a slight feeling of pity for the man who has no knowledge of chess, just as I would pity the man who has remained ignorant of love.  Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make man happy.  –  Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch
  • To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has achieved, but what he aspires to.  –  Kahil Gibran
  • It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out – it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.  –  Robert W. Service
  • So often times it happens, that we spend our lives in chains, and never even know we have the key!  –  Jack Tempchin
  • There are three things extremely hard:  steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.  –  Benjamin Franklin
  • To fear is one thing.  To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.  –  Katherine Paterson
  • The only death you die is the death you die every day by not living.  Dream big and dare to fail.  –  Norman Vaughan
  • If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying.  –  Woody Allen (I’ve seen this attributed to Allen, but with a word or two added at the end.)
  • Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.  –  Anais Nin
  • What a folly to dread the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet have no regard for throwing it away … piecemeal.  –  John Howe
  • Nothing that grieves us can be called little:  by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.  –  Mark Twain
  • Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life.  Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.  –  Cullen Hightower
  • Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.  –  Mark Twain
  • Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it.  –  Ellen Goodman
  • All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.  –  Aristotle
  • It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.  –  Upton Sinclair
  • Men make counterfeit money;  but in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men.  –  Sidney J. Harris
  • None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.  –  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

  • Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?  Then he is not omnipotent.  Is he able, but not willing?  Then he is malevolent.  Is he both able and willing?  Then whence cometh evil?  Is he neither able nor willing?  Then why call him God? – Epicurus
  • It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated.  I do not believe in a personal god and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly.  If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.  –  Albert Einstein
  • I am an atheist, out and out.  It took me a long time to say it.  I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have.  Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic.  I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.  – Issac Asimov
  • As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God.  On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think that I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because, when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods. – Bertrand Russell

A friend, an intelligent lapsed Jew who observes the Sabbath for reasons of cultural solidarity, describes himself as a Tooth Fairy Agnostic.  He will not call himself an atheist because it is in principle impossible to prove a negative.  But “agnostic” on its own might suggest that he thought God’s existence or non-existence equally likely.  In fact, though strictly agnostic about God, he considers God’s existence no more probable than the Tooth Fairy’s.

Bertrand Russell used a hypothetical teapot in orbit about Mars for the same didactic purpose.  You have to be agnostic about the teapot, but that doesn’t mean you treat the likelihood of its existence as being on all fours with its non-existence.

  • The list of things about which we strictly have to be agnostic doesn’t stop at tooth fairies and celestial teapots.  It is infinite.  If you want to believe in a particular one of them – teapots, unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh – the onus is on you to say why you believe in it.  The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not.  We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don’t have to bother saying so.  –  Richard Dawkins  [This paragraph and the two above it, go together.]

 Perhaps the best of the available euphemisms for atheist is nontheist.  It lacks the connotation of positive conviction that there is definitely no god, and it could therefore easily be embraced by Teapot or Tooth Fairy Agnostics.  It is less familiar than atheist and lacks its phobic connotations.  Yet, unlike a completely new coining, its meaning is clear.  If we want a euphemism at all, nontheist is probably best.

The alternative which I favor is to renounce all euphemisms and grasp the nettle of the word atheism itself, precisely because it is a taboo word carrying frissons of hysterical phobia.  Critical mass may be harder to achieve than with some non-confrontational euphemism, but if we did achieve it with the dread word atheist, the political impact would be all the greater.  —  Richard Dawkins  [This paragraph and the one above it go together, but as separate Dawkins quotations.]

  • 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
  • If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?  –  Percy B. Shelly
  • The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence.  Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.  – Carl Sagan
  • I’d rather live with a good question than a bad answer.  –  Aryeh Frimer
  • Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.  – Carl Sagan
  • It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.  – Carl Sagan
  • I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive.  I am not young, and I love life.  But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation.  Happiness is none the less true because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.  – Bertrand Russell
  • We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.  Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.  The potential people who could have been here in our place but will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.  – Richard Dawkins
  • 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
  • One of my favorite fantasies is that next Sunday not one single woman, in any country of the world, will go to church.  If women simply stop giving our time and energy to the institutions that oppress, they could cease to be.  – Sonia Johnson
  • The fact is that far more crime and child abuse has been committed by zealots in the name of God, Jesus and Mohammed than has ever been committed in the name of Satan.  Many people don’t like that statement, but few can argue with it.  – Carl Sagan
  • The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.  – Arthur Clarke
  • Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith.  I consider the capacity for it terrifying.  – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • Society bends over backward to be accommodating to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities.  If I say something offensive to religious people, I’ll be universally censured, including by many atheists.  But if I say something insulting about Democrats or Republicans or the Green Party, one is allowed to get away with that.  Hiding behind the smoke screen of untouchability is something religions have been allowed to get away with for too long.  –  Richard Dawkins
  • [Stephen Jay] Gould carried the art of bending over backward to positively supine lengths.  Why shouldn’t we comment on God, as scientists?  …  A universe with a creative superintendent would be a very different kind of universe from one without.  Why is that not a scientific matter?  –  Richard Dawkins (offering his thoughts concerning Gould’s “nonoverlapping magisteria” concept)
  • One of the most frightening things in the Western world, and in this country in particular, is the number of people who believe in things that are scientifically false.  – Francis Crick
  • If you believe in the existence of fairies at the bottom of the garden you are deemed fit for the bin.  If you believe in parthenogenesis, ascension, transubstantiation and all the rest of it you are deemed fit to govern the country.  – Jonathan Meades
  • Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out. – Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)
  • You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place.  –  Jonathan Swift
  • I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. – Umberto Eco
  • Man is certainly stark mad:  he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen.  –  Michel de Montaigne
  • Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.  –  Blaise Pascal
  • Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he feels he has to solve. – Erich Fromm
  • Man is a plant which bears thoughts, just as a rose-tree bears roses and an apple-tree bears apples.  –  Antoine Fabre D’Olivet
  • Each week The X-Files [a television show] poses a mystery and offers two rival kinds of explanation, the rational theory and the paranormal theory.  And, week after week, the rational explanation loses.  But it is only fiction, a bit of fun, why get so hot under the collar?  [The continuation below should not have a separate bullet point.]
  • Imagine a crime series in which, every week, there is a white suspect and a black suspect.  And every week, lo and behold, the black one turns out to have done it.  Unpardonable, of course.  And my point is that you could not defend it by saying:  “But it’s only fiction, only entertainment.”  –  Richard Dawkins
  • I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue. – Bertrand Russell
  • Christianity may be okay between consenting adults in private, but should not be taught to young children.  –  Francis Crick
  • The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly, teaches me to suspect that my own is also.  –  Mark Twain
  • Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. –  Carl Sagan
  • I’ve gone into hundreds of  (fortune-teller’s parlors), and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her.  –  New York  City detective
  • We should be open-minded, but not so open that our brains fall out.  – Richard Dawkins
  • There are all sorts of things that would be comforting.  I expect an injection of morphine would be comforting – it might even be more comforting, for all I know.  But to say that something is comforting is not to say that it’s true. – Richard Dawkins
  • Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.  – Seneca
  • Philosophy is questions that may never be answered.  Religion is answers that may never be questioned.  –  Author Unknown
  • If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.  –  Albert Einstein
  • There is no logical impossibility in the hypothesis that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it then was, with a population that “remembered” a wholly unreal past.  …  Nothing that is happening now or will happen in the future can disprove the hypothesis.  –  Bertrand Russell
  • [I do not] believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.  – Albert Einstein
  • Such is the breathtaking speciesism of our Christian-inspired attitudes, the abortion of a single human zygote (most of them are destined to be spontaneously aborted anyway) can arouse more moral solicitude and righteous indignation than the vivasection of any number of intelligent adult chimpanzees!  (…)  The only reason we can be comfortable with such a double standard is that the intermediates between humans and chimps are all dead.  –  Richard Dawkins
  • We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realize that we are apes.  …  There is no natural category that includes chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans but excludes humans.  – Richard Dawkins
  • It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience.  There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.  – Carl Sagan

[Note:  I am more inclined to point out that there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of our saeculumcentric myopia than the distant image of our infinitesimally tiny epoch.]

And a few that deserve special recognition:

  • The American Petroleum Institute filed suit against the EPA and charged that the agency was suppressing a scientific study for fear it might be misinterpreted  …  The suppressed study reveals that 80 percent of air pollution comes not from chimneys and auto exhaust pipes, but from plants and trees.  – presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, in 1979
  • It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment.  It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.  – former Vice President Dan Quayle
  • We don’t have to protect the environment – the Second Coming is at hand.  – James Watt, U. S. Secretary of the Interior 1981-1983
  • After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.  – James Watt, U. S. Secretary of the Interior 1981-1983
  • In August of 1987, Robert Sherman, of the American Atheist Press, asked then-presidential candidate George H. W. Bush:  “Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of atheists?”  Bush’s reply:  “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots.  This is one nation under God.”