May 21, 2014
You come to conclusions without looking at the evidence. Then you find reasons to justify your shoddy conclusions.
It’s like inventing a square wheel and trying to convince yourself you like your wagon to ride a little rough.
-James Lee Burke in “Rain Gods”
February 25, 2014
It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government take money by force through taxes to give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral, self-righteous, bullying laziness.
People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint. I’m a libertarian nut because I don’t want my government to do anything in my name that I wouldn’t do myself.
– Penn Jillette
December 27, 2013
Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions – Thomas Jefferson
December 18, 2013
Once a person accepts the premises upon which most religious identities are built, the withdrawal of his moral concern from those who do not share these premises follows quite naturally. – Sam Harris
December 1, 2013
Think before you believe, don’t believe before you think. – The Skepdick
November 27, 2013
It is the natural tendency of the ignorant to believe what is not true. In order to overcome that tendency it is not sufficient to exhibit the true; it is also necessary to expose and denounce the false. – H. L. Mencken
October 31, 2013
Blasphemy is an artistic effect, because blasphemy depends upon a philosophical conviction. Blasphemy depends upon belief and is fading with it. If any one doubts this, let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor. – G. K. Chesterton
October 22, 2013
Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.
And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.
All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
-JFK Inaugural Address January 20, 1961
October 19, 2013
When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion. – Robert Pirsig
September 17, 2013
I do not believe in a personal god and I have never denied this but 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
September 6, 2013
It is time we recognized that the only thing that permits human beings to collaborate with one another in a truly open-ended way is their willingness to have their beliefs modified by new facts. Only openness to evidence and argument will secure a common world for us. Nothing guarantees that reasonable people will agree about everything, of course, but the unreasonable are certain to be divided by their dogmas. This spirit of mutual inquiry is the very antithesis of religious faith. – Sam Harris
August 28, 2013
Those who have something to sell, those who wish to influence public opinion, those in power, a skeptic might suggest, have a vested interest in discouraging skepticism. – Carl Sagan
August 21, 2013
I’m smart enough not to let my personal experience interfere with my professional assessment. This isn’t always easy to do; but that’s one nuisance of maintaining a truly open mind. You have to be willing to accept what we can prove even when it contradicts your personal experience. – Brian Dunning
August 11, 2013
Who dares to set limits on human ingenuity? In fact, Nature does. In fact, a fairly comprehensive and very brief statement of the laws of Nature, of how the Universe works, is contained in just such a list of prohibited acts. Tellingly, pseudoscience and superstition tend to recognize no constraints in Nature. Instead, ‘all things are possible.’ They promise a limitless production budget, however often their adherents have been disappointed and betrayed. – Carl Sagan
August 3, 2013
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. – Martin Luther King Jr.
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