Do Unto Others?
‘Love thy neighbor as thyself?’
Hide that motto on the shelf!
Let it lie there, keep it idle
Especially if you’re suicidal.
‘For what we are about to receive,
Oh Lord, ’tis Thee we thank,’
Said the Cannibal as he cut a slice
Of the missionary’s shank.
â€” Yip Harburg, Rhymes for the Irreverent (1965). His two rhymebooks are available for sale from FFRF at our bookstore.
â€œI look forward to receiving 20 emails saying, â€˜Hey, I noticed youâ€™re not religious. Look at your fingerprint. Doesnâ€™t that prove that there is a creator, because your fingerprint is completely unique.â€™ Um, no. Doesnâ€™t.â€
â€” â€œThe Atheistâ€™s Puzzle,â€ Oct. 19, 2010, youtube.com/alexday
â€œUniversalists believe in a god which I do not; but believe that their god, with all his moral attributes, (aside from nature itself,) is nothing more than a chimera of their own imagination.â€
â€” Letter by Abner Kneeland to Universalist editor Thomas Whittemore, Dec. 20, 1833, published by Abner Kneeland in the Investigator, for which he was tried and convicted of blasphemy
â€œAnother important doctrine of the Christian religion, is the atonement supposed to have been made by the death and sufferings of the pretended Saviour of the world; and this is grounded upon principles as regardless of justice as the doctrine of original sin. It exhibits a spectacle truly distressing to the feelings of the benevolent mind, it calls innocence and virtue into a scene of suffering, and reputed guilt, in order to destroy the injurious effects of real vice. It pretends to free the world from the fatal effects of a primary apostacy, by the sacrifice of an innocent being. Evil has already been introduced into the world, and in order to remove it, a fresh accumulation of crimes becomes necessary. In plain terms, to destroy one evil, another must be committed.â€
â€” Elihu Palmer, Principles of Nature; or, A Development of the Moral Causes of Happiness and Misery among the Human Species, 1801
â€œEvery time you understand something, religion becomes less likely. Only with the discovery of the double helix and the ensuing genetic revolution have we had grounds for thinking that the powers held traditionally to be the exclusive property of the gods might one day be ours. . . .
[As a young man ] I came to the conclusion that the church was just a bunch of fascists that supported Franco. I stopped going on Sunday mornings and watched the birds with my father instead.â€
â€” Dr. James Watson, London Telegraph, March 22, 2003
â€œHow have so-called psychics been able to mystify representative scientists such as Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge, William James, and the French physiologist, Charles Richet â€” men of supposedly straight-thinking, analytical minds? To say nothing of such eminent writers as the sincere, though deluded, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.
â€œI believe the kernel of the matter is that scientists, philosophers, and psychologists live in circles where honesty is taken for granted. It is inconceivable to them that such gross deception could be practiced. They fail to realize that they’re working hand in glove with members of one of the most unclean professions in the world.â€
â€” Harry Houdini, â€œTricks of Fake Mediums,â€ Liberty magazine, April 25, 1925
â€œI’d been on patrol, and I went to church that evening. It was an Anglican church, quite high church (I always liked the ceremony) and I was standing up, reciting the Apostles’ Creed (which to this day I could recite word for word) and suddenly I realized I didn’t believe a word of it, and probably never had. And I never went back to church after that, except for the occasional funeral.â€
â€” Arthur Hailey, in Walden Book Report, July 1998
â€œSeeing there are no signs nor fruit of religion but in man only, there is no cause to doubt but that the seed of religion is also only in man. . .â€
â€œFear of power invisible, feigned by the mind or imagined from tales publicly allowed, RELIGION; not allowed, SUPERSTITION.â€
â€œThey that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that mislike it, heresy; and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.â€
â€” Sir Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651