The nature of mankind can be judged by the nature of the gods that mankind invents. Similarly, the nature of a god that a person accepts is a clue to the nature of that person.
Every theist defines (or accepts a definition of) a god that is satisfactory to himself or herself, one that suits his or her own character and needs.
How arrogant it is to insist that one’s god is inscrutable, working in mysterious ways, yet claim to know what that god wants!
You can know what your god wants only if that god is your own invention.
The biggest difference between humans and chimps is the human intellect. What kind of behavior is expected of us by the anti-intellectualism of religion?
Supernatural explanations of phenomena can be amazing, but natural explanations are more amazing, more satisfying, and demonstrably true.
Every feeling of “spirituality” or “transcendence” is a personal experience that occurs entirely within the person; it is not an external phenomenon. It is evidence only that humans can have such an experience.
Any kind of “spiritual” experience can be stimulated by some combination of drugs, fasting, sleeplessness, isolation, trauma, or electrical stimulation of the brain. All “spiritual” experiences have physical causes.
While science’s discoveries correct the misconceptions of religion, religion contributes nothing to science. Science expands knowledge, while religion restricts knowledge.
Any truly moral or ethical behavior can be expressed or acted out without the stimulus of, or reference to, religion.
There is no evil whatsoever that has not been done in the name of religion.
There is no Atheist Bible suggesting that it is permissible to slaughter multitudes, keep slaves, take several wives, commit incest, kill homosexuals, stone apostates, kill witches or kill disobedient children. These suggestions are all from the Christian and Jewish scriptures.
To be very religious is to be burdened with a collection of mental and emotional tools and techniques that are inappropriate for recognizing reality and one’s place in it.
A belief that Jesus can “save” you does not in fact “save” you. Rather, it condemns you to a life of worry and doubt about your worthiness to be “saved”.
If a Muslim is stoned to death because his or her god demands it and is not satisfied until it is done, that death is a human sacrifice.
Islam is backward because it is conservative. Orthodox Christianity kept Western Culture in the dark for 1,000 years because Christianity is conservative. All dogma is conservative (and all conservatism is dogmatic)
No polytheism is, or has ever been, as “poly” as Catholicism.
No religion has the courage of its convictions; all religions try to suppress dissent.
No religion has the courage of its convictions–unless it is “convicting” others to hell.
Some of the grandest achievements of mankind were done in the name of religion: grand cathedrals and glorious works of art and music. Many more were not: roads, modes of transportation, the sciences, medicine, agriculture, domestic architecture, sewage systems, utilities, communications, and thousands of other practical inventions.
While Christianity was stimulating some to create grand cathedrals and glorious works of art and music, it was stimulating others to torture and kill “witches”, apostates, Jews, and dissident fellow Christians.
Religious people appear to derive inspiration, consolation, and other satisfactions from their scriptures. Secularists must resort to everything else–a potential resource at least ten million times as large.
If a Christian hopes to maintain his or her faith, there are two things that he or she should never do: read the Bible through, and study the history of Christianity.
Reality, in its details, is many times more interesting and amazing than the purported actions of any god.
Evolution, in its details, is many times more amazing and interesting than creationism; creationism has no details!
The emptiness of supernatural “explanations”, such as creationism, makes them easy to accept by the ignorant and the intellectually lazy.
Lionel Trilling’s frequent reminder that “it’s more complicated than that” should be the response to every invocation of supernaturalism.