Lichfield Walsall & South Staffordshire Humanist Group - LWASS

Personal approval by a mythical being is not required to be a good person.

Quotes On Religion (and some jokes)

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly. ... To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. (Isaac Asimov) 

A poem - spoken word poetry - Why don't you believe in God? -
spoken word poetry about the similarity between God and Santa Claus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_c80-mUWPk

“Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RT6rL2UroE ~George Carlin

Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense. Voltaire 

The problem with religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en mass what only idiots or                                          lunatics could believe in isolation. — Sam Harris

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.  Christopher Hitchens 

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” ~Richard Dawkins

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca the Youger 3 BCE -65 CE

"As an atheist you’re part of a minority whose beliefs are constantly ignored and marginalised, while religious prejudice is pandered to and encouraged, and you have every right to be offended by that." -Pat Condell  

By all means pray to God but keep baling - Anon

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours - Stephen Roberts

Two hands working can do more than a billion clasped in prayer  - Anon

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses. (Sigmund Freud)

George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd. - Anon

“The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born.” –Mark Twain  

“The Christian Mythologists tell us, that Christ died for the sins of the world, and that he came on purpose to die. Would it not then have been the same if he had died of a fever or of the small-pox, of old age, or of anything else?” –Thomas Paine  

The day of Science dawned, and the luxuries of a century ago are the necessities of to-day. Men in the middle ranks of life have more of the conveniences and elegancies than the princes and kings of the theological times. But above and over all this, is the development of mind. There is more of value in the brain of an average man of today - of a master-mechanic, of a chemist, of a naturalist, of an inventor, than there was in the brain of the world four hundred years ago. These blessings did not fall from the skies. These benefits did not drop from the outstretched hands of priests. They were not found in cathedrals or behind altars - neither were they searched for with holy candles. They were not discovered by the closed eyes of prayer, nor did they come in answer to superstitious supplication. They are the children of freedom, the gifts of reason, observation and experience - and for them all, human is indebted to human. (Robert Ingersoll) 

The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight -- that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything [that] a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether.   Daniel Dennett

 

Live a good life. If there are gods & they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.  Marcus Aurelius

 

“One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh.” - Robert A. Heinlein

The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously. (Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946)

In my Future of an Illusion (1927) I was concerned much less with the deepest sources of religious feeling than with what the common man understands by his religion- with the system of doctrines and promises which on the one hand explains to him the riddles of the world with enviable completeness, and, on the other, assures him that a careful Providence will watch over his life and will compensate him in a future existence for any frustrations he suffers here. The common man cannot imagine this Providence otherwise than in the figure of an enormously exalted father. Only such a being can understand the needs of the children of men and be softened by their prayers and placated by the signs of their remorse. The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life. It is still more humiliating to discover how large a number of people living today, who cannot but see that this religion is not tenable, nevertheless try to defend it piece by piece in a series of pitiful rearguard actions. (Sigmund Freud, Society and its Discontents 1930)

For such is man: a Theological Dogma might be refuted to him a thousand times - provided however, that he had need of it, he would again and again accept it as true.
Belief is always most desired, most pressingly needed where there is a lack of will.
Fanaticism is the sole "volitional strength" to which the weak and irresolute can be excited, as a sort of hypnotising of the entire sensory-intellectual system. (Nietzsche, 1890)

During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for 800 years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry.

 

Mark Twain - Bible Teaching and Religious Practice

...it is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the other available religions.

Richard Dawkins

 

Secularists are often wrongly accused of trying to purge religious ideals from public discourse. We simply want to deny them public sponsorship.  Wendy Kaminer  

 

People believe because that way they do not have to face their own mortality.  However from observation most don't seem to be with the program that their particular belief specifies. None the less all seem convinced that everyone goes to heaven.  So what is the point of any of it?  Have you ever met any believer who has a loved one in hell.  Bill Green

 

I'm not a religious person.  I am not going to pretend a faith I don't feel. And for people of faith the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine. I think it's not the right thing. I never thought it was the right thing for me to go through religious rituals for the sake of appearance. I am what I am. And people will judge that. I grew up in a Christian Church.  I won prizes for catechism for being able to remember Bible verses. I am steeped in that tradition but I've made decisions in my adult life about my own views. What I can say to Australians broadly of course is that I believe you can be a person of strong principle and values from a variety of perspectives.  Julia Gillard Prime Minister of Australia.