Tag Archives: Daily Thought

Marshaling Thoughts

I can not seem to marshall my thoughts like I use to. My postings have been more rambling then I would like.

It is frustrating. I do not know if I am writing with too much background noise. I always have been very good at ignoring it when I am focused, when I go deep into something, I totally tunnel vision….I do not see or hear anything around me. But I am wondering if it has been so long that I can not seem to get to that level.

I am also wondering if I am so tired and distracted with the things that I need to do, that it dissipates my emotions on the matter I wish to address.

I have always written more focused when I am really riled up. And before I thought about writing again, I would be getting riled up and my thoughts together when I was driving home…..which is why I was thinking of dictating to my notes on my iphone. When I get home after work, I would be forced to change my focus and get busy either showering, getting ready for the next day or trying to chill, that I am not able to get that focus back.

Then I was wondering today if it is because I get most of my thoughts out to my co-workers…..but then I use to write a lot when I was out and about.

Then when I have the perfect days to focus and have no distractions, I have to struggle with my thoughts. It is disappointing. =(

Maybe I should start writing on more mundane everyday things…..

I am hoping with these posts that I will finally get them out more clearly. It will take practice, time, and (I guess) patience.

Thoughts of the Day

“In Philadelphia, I inadvertently came upon an edition of Robert Ingersoll’s Essays and Lectures. This was an exciting discovery; his atheism confirmed my own belief that the horrific cruelty of the Old Testament was degrading to the human spirit.”
— Charlie Chaplain, My Autobiography (1964), cited in Who’s Who in Hell by Warren Allen Smith

“The thoughts of the gods are not more unchangeable than those of the men who interpret them. They advance—but they always lag behind the thoughts of men. . . . The Christian God was once a Jew. Now he is an anti-Semite.”
— Anatole France, letter to the Freethought Congress at Paris (1905), cited by Joseph McCabe, Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists


“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. . . . Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find inducements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you.”
— Thomas Jefferson’s letter to nephew Peter Carr, written from Paris, Aug. 10, 1787
“Free thought means fearless thought. It is not deterred by legal penalties, nor by spiritual consequences. Dissent from the Bible does not alarm the true investigator, who takes truth for authority not authority for truth. The thinker who is really free, is independent; he is under no dread; he yields to no menace; he is not dismayed by law, nor custom, nor pulpits, nor society—whose opinion appals so many. He who has the manly passion of free thought, has no fear of anything, save the fear of error.”
— George Jacob Holyoake, The Origin and Nature of Secularism, Ch. 3 (1896)

“Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life—except religion . . . Why are we praised by godly men for surrendering our ‘godly gift’ of reason when we cross their mental thresholds? . . . Atheism strikes me as morally superior, as well as intellectually superior, to religion. Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”
— Christopher Hitchens, “The Lord and the Intellectuals,” Harper’s (July 1982), cited by James A. Haught in 2,000 Years of Disbelief (1996)


“When one guy sees an invisible man he’s a nut case. Ten people see him it’s a cult. Ten million people see him it’s a respected religion.”
— Richard Jeni, from richardjeni.com

“That’s all religion is — some principle you believe in . . . man has accomplished far more miracles than the God he invented. What a tragedy it is to invent a God and then suffer to keep him King.”
— Rod Steiger, in Playboy magazine (July interview, 1969)


Thoughts of the Day

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.

— Yip Harburg, Rhymes for the Irreverent (1965). His two rhymebooks are available for sale from FFRF at our bookstore.

“I look forward to receiving 20 emails saying, ‘Hey, I noticed you’re not religious. Look at your fingerprint. Doesn’t that prove that there is a creator, because your fingerprint is completely unique.’ Um, no. Doesn’t.”

— “The Atheist’s Puzzle,” Oct. 19, 2010, youtube.com/alexday


“Universalists 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.”

— 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

“Another 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.”

— Elihu Palmer, Principles of Nature; or, A Development of the Moral Causes of Happiness and Misery among the Human Species, 1801


“Every 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.”

— Dr. James Watson, London Telegraph, March 22, 2003

“How 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 — 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.

“I 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.”

— Harry Houdini, “Tricks of Fake Mediums,” Liberty magazine, April 25, 1925


“I’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.”

— Arthur Hailey, in Walden Book Report, July 1998

“Seeing 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. . .”

“Fear of power invisible, feigned by the mind or imagined from tales publicly allowed, RELIGION; not allowed, SUPERSTITION.”

“They that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that mislike it, heresy; and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.”

— Sir Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651


Thoughts of the Day

“I brought the case because I wanted to encourage toleration among my children. I certainly did not want teachers who have control over my children for at least eight hours over the day to . . . program them into any religious philosophy.”

— Ishmael Jaffree, acceptance speech for “Freethinker of the Year 1985,” awarded by the Freedom From Religion Foundation

“The greatest difference between the Humanist ethic and that of Christianity and the traditional religions is that it is entirely based on happiness in this one and only life and not concerned with a realm of supernatural immortality and the glory of God. Humanism denies the philosophical and psychological dualism of soul and body and contends that a human being is a oneness of mind, personality, and physical organism. Christian insistence on the resurrection of the body and personal immortality has often cut the nerve of effective action here and now, and has led to the neglect of present human welfare and happiness.”

— Corliss Lamont, “The Affirmative Ethics of Humanism,” The Humanist, March/April 1980

“I’m a nonbeliever. I don’t believe in the existence of a God. I don’t believe in the Christian dogma. I find it horrifyingly silly.The intolerance that flows from organized religion is the most dangerous thing on the planet.”

— Jane Rule, Brave Souls: Writers and Artists Wrestle with God, Love, Death and the Things that Matter by Douglas Todd (1996), cited by Celebrity Atheists website.


“Being an atheist is a matter not of moral choice, but of human obligation.”
— John Fowles, quoted in The New York Times Book Review (May 31, 1998)


Alan Grayson Email

Some Observations from a fund raising email of his :

A month ago, I wrote a note called “The Myths That Are Killing Us” – the hard myths that no Republicans, and very few Democrats, ever challenge. Here was my list:

The Government can’t create jobs. (Tell that to FDR, who created four million jobs in three months.)

Tax cuts reduce the deficit. (Doesn’t it bother them that a man named “Laffer” came up with this one?)

A fetus is a baby.

The poor have too much money.

Cutting the federal deficit will end the recession.

The rich are incentivized by tax cuts, while the poor are incentivized by lower wages, no benefits, an end to the minimum wage, and unemployment.

An unwanted child is God’s will.

Everyone who wants health insurance has it.

The problem with education is the teachers.

The “free market” satisfies every human need.

There is no discrimination in America anymore.

The distribution of wealth and income are irrelevant.


Well, this list seems to have provoked a lot of thought among us. Since I regard what we do as a collective endeavor, I want to share with you some of the best of this crowdsourcing by our audience – 20 more destructive myths:


One gender is better than the other, one race is superior to all others, and there is only one true religion.

You can get any medical treatment that you need, for free, in any hospital emergency room.

Ronald Reagan won the Cold War.

The environment can protect itself.

It is better for America to be feared than loved.

Only the wealthy create jobs.

America is a Christian nation.

Human beings are not the cause of climate change.

Minority women have children in order to qualify for welfare.

President Obama wants to take away our guns.

The more we spend on the military, the safer we are.

Corporations use tax cuts to hire people.

The unemployed are lazy and stupid.

Rich people are smarter than everyone else.

We will never run out of oil.

Invading foreign countries wins hearts and minds.

Science is a matter of opinion.

Instigating unnecessary wars shows your support for the troops.

Corporations are people.

Money is speech.

Every one of these myths is fascinating in its own right. You could write a whole book about each of them. So to the supporters who contributed to this list, thank you. I’m listening and learning.


And if we could just get past all of these myths, then think about what a great place this would be.




Alan Grayson