“The greatest contribution nonbelievers have made to the world has been the Constitution of the United States. Consider how very heretical to a religious world was the idea of a Constitution predicated on ‘We, the People.’ ”
—Queen Silver, philosopher and freethinker, “Humanity’s Gain from Unbelief,” a speech delivered in her 80s.
Is this the kind of economy we want? Do we really want the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer? Our Congress appears to want this. How long can we sustain this kind of inequity?
Change appears to be in the wind…
“Christianity persecuted, tortured, and burned. Like a hound it tracked the very scent of heresy. It kindled wars, and nursed furious hatreds and ambitions. It sanctified, quite like Mohammedanism, extermination and tyranny . . . ”
—-George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952), Little Essays, No. 107, “Christian Morality”
“I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind–that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious. . .
I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.
I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech . . .
I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.
I believe in the reality of progress.
But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.”
—HL Mencken, journalist and freethinker, Mencken’s Creed
“The Constitution is not like your bible; you cannot just invent interpretations for your theocratic urges.” -Seidel
“…removing Christian privilege so that our government complies with the Constitution is not persecution. Eliminating religious privilege is not the same as eliminating religious freedom. If ‘ministers of the gospel’ get a tax break that is not available to anyone else, the government is correct to end that break. This is simply ending unconstitutional favoritism the government is showing towards religion, as FFRF’s successful lawsuit against the parsonage housing allowance has shown. This is not hostility, it is equality.” -Andrew Seidel
I am amused and somewhat confounded that when one contests a point-of-view and takes it to its end, the person who finds themselves cornered and apparently without the wherewithal to respond to questions and comments speaks out with a vengeance and declares the other person to lack civility and is a fool to boot.
My opinion about such things is that our educational system has not fulfilled its rightful role. Those who would call out another in a not-too-subtle manner as a “fool” etc., in most cases, have not been given a stage to present their thoughts for peer review. It is as if you can believe what you want as long as you are passionate enough about it to remain convinced. I find that approach to education wrong headed. Everyone should be given the opportunity to defend their position before their peers while having a person of authority, an instructor, also chime in with their years of experience and maturity. Are we too weak to call out defective thinking because it might hurt the little ones in their social interactions? Well, welcome to the real world.
Higher education is a place for trying out new ideas and getting the kind of feedback that benefits the presenter, shapes the message, even gives reason to re-think one’s position. I find that most of those who do not allow themselves to be challenged in a place of advanced education are unable to handle the emotional baggage that comes with being “outed” for poor style, as in name-calling.