I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudo-science and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us-then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls. The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
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?
In a child's power to master the multiplication table, there is more sanctity than in all your shouted "amens" and "holy holies" and "hosannas." An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is a greater miracle than all the sticks turned to snakes or the parting of the waters.
-Inherit the Wind
Titus Lucretius Carus
tantum religio potuit suadere malorum
The Handbook reading list.
American Fascists, by Chris Hedges
Bertrand Russel on God and Religion, edited by Al Seckel
Cosmos, by Carl Sagan
God is not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalsim, by Michelle Goldberg
Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris
On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin
Scientific Method, by Barry Gower
The Bible and the Koran
The Blind Watchmaker, by Richard Dawkins
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan
Ignorance more frequently begats confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity.
-Bertrand Russell, Is there a God?
"The enlightenment is under threat. So is reason. So is truth. So is science, especially in the schools of America. I am one of those scientists who feels that it is no longer enough just to get on and do science. We have to devote a significant proportion of our time and resources to defending it from deliberate attack from organized ignorance. We even have to go out on the attack ourselves, for the sake of reason and sanity. But it must be a positive attack, for science and reason have so much to give. They are not just useful, they enrich our lives in the same kind of way as the arts do. Promoting science as poetry was one of the things that Carl Sagan did so well, and I aspire to continue his tradition." - Richard Dawkins
I suggest that we might want to depose this incumbent God and start dealing with The Real World. He's proven — time and again — to be cruel, capricious, and vindictive. He drowns, crushes, burns, and starves millions of us every day. He created cancer, viruses, and germs to invade and destroy our bodies as He sees fit, and uses them very effectively. In His wisdom, He directed those in charge to impede stem cell research so that such a powerful approach would not be available to us and He wouldn't have to strain the Divine Intellect to disarm that defense. We amuse Him as we flail about vainly trying to appease Him. I vote that we dump Him. -James Randi
On the subject of the nature of the gods, the first question is ‘Do the gods exist or do the not?’ It is difficult you may say to deny that they exist. I would agree if we were arguing the matter in a public assembly, but in a private discussion of this kind, it is perfectly easy to do so.
Cicero 106 – 43 BCE
I am reluctant to use the word atheist to describe my own unshakeable disbelief, and that's not because I'm ashamed, afraid, or even embarrassed, but simply because it seems so self-evidently true to me that there is no god, and giving that conviction a special title somehow dignifies what it denies. After all, we don't have a special word for people who don't believe in ghosts or witches.