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I find quotes in red questionable.
If you know where they come from, please tell me.


Cary's contribution to the Torah

This contains stuff that I find wise, cool, or relevant.  (But admittedly, I made it primarily to grandstand my own material.)  If you want to contribute, email me your wisdom.  I'll probably think it's crap, but you never know.

Below it is another table for quotes I find significant because of their absurdity.

  year name profound wisdom
c.470bc Aeschylus God loves to help him who strives to help himself.  (fragment #223)
c.467bc Aeschylus The worst enemy is one that fears the gods.  (Seven Against Thebes)
  Alfred Adler It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
  Howard Aiken Don't worry about people stealing an idea.  If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats.
2009 Fred Allen There are many things in life that are more important than money.  And they all cost money.
400? Augustine Augustine is asked: "How do I know I exist?" -- Replies: "Who's asking?"
400? Augustine Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.
400? Augustine In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?
400? Augustine

The Church is a whore, but she is my mother.
Cary's response to the above:
Yeah, but that doesn't obligate me to defend her when her enemies call her one.  Much less does it obligate me to follow in her footsteps.
c. 170 Marcus Aurelius Live a good life.  If there are gods and 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.
1985 Greg Bahnsen Transcendental Argument for God (TAG): Without the existence of God it's impossible to prove anything, because in the atheistic world, you cannot justify (account for) laws in general, laws of thought in particular, laws of nature, the human mind, and the fact that it's more than electrochemical complexes; and you can't have moral absolutes.  (Bahnsen vs. Stein debate)
2007 John Banville Given the world that he created, it would be an impiety against God to believe in him.  (Max Morden, The Sea)
1775 Pierre de Beaumarchais Nowadays what isn't worth saying is sung.  (Le Barbier de Seville, act II, scene I.)   (often attributed to Voltaire)
? William Blake I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's.
1984 Daniel J. Boorstin The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge.  (Washington Post” in Jan. 1984)

Misattributed to Steven Hawking as, The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance;  it is the illusion of knowledge.
1996 Brihaspati That man who regards all creatures as his own self, and behaves towards them as towards his own self, laying aside the rod of chastisement and completely subjugating his wrath, succeeds in attaining to happiness.
(Mahabharata Book 13 (Anusasana Parva) Section CXIII)
1996 George L. Bryson CALVINISM: You will be saved or damned for eternity because you were saved or damned from eternity.
? Sir Richard Francis Burton The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
199? George Carlin I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State.  My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.
1997 George Carlin I have as much authority as the Pope.  I just don't have as many people who believe it.
1997 George Carlin 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!
1836 Thomas Carlyle Truth! though the heavens crush me for following her.
(Sartor Resartus, bk. II, ch. 7)
175 Celsus It is clear to me that the writings of the christians are a lie, and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction:  I have even heard that some of your interpreters, as if they had just come out of a tavern, are onto the inconsistencies and, pen in hand, alter the originals writings, three, four and several more times over in order to be able to deny the contradictions in the face of criticism.
2015 Steven Colbert For too long we have blindly accepted the idea of not blindly accepting ideas.
479-221 Confucius? Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.  (Analects 15:23)
? Cyril Connolly Better to write for yourself, and have no public-than to write for the public, and have no self.
to now
Cary Cook I have so many of these that I put them on a separate page.
? Norman Cousins So long as we in the United States are prepared to provide unlimited hospitality, and give status and tax benefits, to those claiming to speak for God, who call themselves religious, then we must be prepared to deal with all the horrors that are the natural progeny.
? Davy Crockett A government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have.
? Richard Dawkins I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
? Richard Dawkins How thoughtful of God to arrange matters so that, wherever you happen to be born, the local religion always turns out to be the true one.
? Rene Descartes Everything is self-evident.
? Rene Descartes I am indeed amazed when I consider how weak my mind is and how prone to error.
1637 Rene Descartes Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has.  (Discourse on Method)
? Dolhenty, Jonathan Error is the result of the influence of the will on the intellect.  (The Problem of Knowledge)
1880 Dostoyevsky if God does not exist, then everything is permissible.  (The Brothers Karamazov)
?? Durant, Will A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean.
1969 Graeme Edge I think, I think I am, therefore I am, I think.  (Moody Blues, In the Beginning)
? Albert Einstein ? Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
? Albert Einstein Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
? Albert Einstein No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
1950? Albert Einstein At any rate, I am convinced that He [God] does not play dice.
c.100 Epictetus What you would avoid suffering yourself, seek not to impose on others.
? Epicurus Something obviously exists now.  And something never sprang from nothing.
? Euripides Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.
? James Feibleman A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
c.200 Minucius Felix For in that you attribute to our religion the worship of a criminal and his cross, you wander far from the neighborhood of the truth, in thinking either that a criminal deserved, or that an earthly being was able, to be believed God...
? Richard Feynman God was invented to explain mystery.  God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand.
1974 Richard Feynman The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.  (Caltech commencement address)
? Henry Ford Miracles are fine, but you can't depend on them.
2009 Lonnie Ray Fowler You can lead a horse to water--but you can't make him drink.
You can lead a man to knowledge--but you can't make him think.
1758 Benjamin Franklin The way to see by Faith, is to shut the eyes of Reason.   (Poor Richard)
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
1759 Benjamin Franklin Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
? Robert Frost Education is the ability to listen to anything without losing your temper or self confidence.  (Collected Works V. 2)
? J. K. Galbraith The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
1620? Galileo I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use, and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.
(Letter to grand duchess Christina of Tuscany)
1980? Norman Geisler God determines the fact of freedom, but not the acts of freedom.
2018 Ricky Gervais People don't look at the argument any more;  they look at who is saying it.  (Humanity tour)
1776 Edward Gibbon The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.  (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch 2)
But Gibbon may have plagiarized it from
Seneca the younger, c.4BC - AD65:  Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
Lucretius, 94 - 49 BC:  All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.
? Andre Gide It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.
? Andre Gide A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.
? Andre Gide Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
? Andre Gide Most quarrels amplify a misunderstanding.
? Andre Gide One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
1897 Andre Gide What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it;  what another would have written as well, do not write it.  Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself-and thus make yourself indispensable.  (Fruits of the Earth)
? Andre Gide Work and struggle and never accept an evil that you can change.
1931 Kurt Gödel All consistent axiomatic formulations of number theory include undecidable propositions.
? Anthony Gregory The real triumph of civilization is the extent to which coercion is banished from human relations.
1927 John Haldane If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.  (Possible Worlds)
2009 Michael Ham When we teach our children what to think rather than how to think...we have made them stupid and we have made them victims of their own irrationality.
? Alexander Hamilton Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
Mar 19
Sam Harris Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.
(The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
May 15
Sam Harris On the subject of religious belief, we relax standards of reasonableness and evidence that we rely on in every other area of our lives.  We relax so totally that people believe the most ludicrous propositions, and are willing to organize their lives around them.
(interview:  Why Religion Must End)
2006 Sam Harris The problem with religion, because it's been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation.
(Letter to a Christian Nation p.6-7)
2006 Sam Harris Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma.
(Letter to a Christian Nation)
2006 Sam Harris Faith is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail.
(Letter to a Christian Nation)
2006 Sam Harris While religious tolerance is surely better than religious war, tolerance is not without its liabilities.  Our fear of provoking religious hatred has rendered us incapable of criticizing ideas that are now patently absurd and increasingly maladaptive.
(Letter to a Christian Nation)
Apr. 25
Sam Harris Tolerance, openness to argument, openness to self-doubt, willingness to see other people's points of view - these are very liberal and enlightened values that people are right to hold, but we can't allow them to delude us to the point where we can't recognise people who are needlessly perpetrating human misery.
(interview with Jonathan Derbyshire)
Dec. 14
Sam Harris Science does not limit itself merely to what is currently verifiable.  But it is interested in questions that are potentially verifiable (or, rather, falsifiable).
(Science Quotes)
700BC Hesiod First of all things was chaos made, and then broad-bosomed Earth ... and Eros, the foremost of immortal beings.   (Theogony)
700BC Hesiod Before success, the immortal gods have placed the sweat of our brows.
Work is the only legitimate way to prosperity.   (Works and Days)
700BC Hesiod Justice in the end is better than violence, and the fool learns it by suffering.
This law has the son of Kronos appointed, that fishes and wild beasts and the fowls of the air should devour one another, since there is no justice among them.  But to man he has given justice, which is far the best.   (Works and Days)
1986 Brian Hitchcock No man is totally useless.  You can always use him as a bad example.
1998 Brian Hitchcock & Mark Smith Christian apologetics:  unreasonable answers to questions reasonable people never think of asking.
1998 Brian Hitchcock How much doctrinal error will damn a soul to hell?
1922 Apr. 12 Adolf Hitler My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.   (Speech in Munich)
1928 Oct 27 Adolf Hitler We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity. ... Our movement is Christian.   (Speech in Passau)
1933 Feb. 1 Adolf Hitler The National Government ... regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality.   (Speech at Berlin)
1933 Mar. 23 Adolf Hitler The Government of the Reich, which regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attaches the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See, and is endeavouring to develop them.   (Speech at Reichstag)
1933 July 22 Adolf Hitler National Socialism has always affirmed that it is determined to take the Christian Churches under the protection of the State.   (Radio address)
1934 Aug. 26 Adolf Hitler I know that here and there the objection has been raised: Yes, but you have deserted Christianity.  No, it is not that we have deserted Christianity; it is those who came before us who deserted Christianity.   (Speech at Koblenz)
? Oliver Wendell Holmes Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
? Sherlock Holmes After all alternatives but one have been eliminated as impossible, that which remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
1739 David Hume Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.   (Treatise of Human Nature Book 1)
? Robert Ingersol Hands that work are better than lips that pray.
? Robert Ingersol I will not attack your doctrines nor your creeds if they accord liberty to me.  If they hold thought to be dangerous - if they aver that doubt is a crime, then I attack them one and all, because they enslave the minds of men.
? Robert Ingersol If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal.  If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane.
? Robert Ingersol If I owe Smith ten dollars and God forgives me, that doesn't pay Smith.
? Robert Ingersol The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.   (The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child)
? Robert Ingersol The moment you introduce a despotism in the world of thought, you succeed in making hypocrites -- and you get in such a position that you never know what your neighbor thinks.   (The Limitations of Toleration)
1870 Robert Ingersol If there be an infinite Being, he does not need our help -- we need not waste our energies in his defense.   (God in the Constitution)
1872 Robert Ingersol There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.   (The Gods)
1877 Robert Ingersol If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant.   (The Liberty Of All)
? Robert Ingersol In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous.
1787 Thomas Jefferson Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.   (to his nephew Peter Carr)
? Thomas Jefferson Say nothing of my religion.  It is known to God and myself alone.  Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life:  if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.
2000? Angelina Jolie I had everything you're supposed to have to be happy, and I wasn't happy.
[So why do we never hear that from Heff?]
90? Flavius Josephus Everyone ought to worship God according to his own inclinations, and not to be constrained by force.  (Life)
1979 Ayatollah Khomeini Allah did not create man so that he could have fun.  The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer.  An Islamic regime must be serious in every field.  There are no jokes in Islam.  There is no humor in Islam.  There is no fun in Islam.  There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.  Islam does not allow swimming in the sea and is opposed to radio and television serials.
Taheri, Amir, The Spirit of Allah, p.259.   Source:  Meeting in Qom broadcast by radio Iran from Qom, 20 August 1979
1950? Nikita Khruschev When Stalin says dance, the wise man dances.  [Example: argumentum ad bacculum]
c.350BC Lao Tse The more laws that are written, the more criminals are produced.
1670 Gottfried Leibniz There are also two kinds of truths:  truth of reasoning and truths of fact.  Truths of reasoning are necessary and their opposite is impossible; those of fact are contingent and their opposite is possible.  (Introduction to Philosophical Investigations)
1675 Gottfried Leibniz Whatever is incompatible with something necessary is impossible.
1952 C. S. Lewis A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.  (Mere Christianity)
1967 C. S. Lewis We may not be able to get certainty, but we can get probability, and half a loaf is better than no bread.  (Christian Reflections p111)
? Sinclair Lewis When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.
? John Locke It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth.
60bce? Lucretius Such evil deeds could religion prompt.  (De Rerum Natura)
1530? Martin Luther When the fathers depart from scripture, we depart from the fathers.
2013 Bill Maher If there's even one turd in the pool, do you jump in?  [referring to errors in scripture]

Cary's answer:  That depends on how many turds there are in the other possible directions.
2015 Bill Maher To a coward, courage always looks like stupidity.   (Real Time, Jan. 9).
1997 smart guy who prefers to remain anonymous Evidence is putty in the hands of a world view.
1998 anonymous guy God's revelation is the necessary and sufficient precondition for all intelligibility.
1998 anonymous guy Probability presupposes certainty.
1998 anonymous guy A chance universe is infinitely improbable.
1998 anonymous guy All necessary preconditions to reason exist.
2014 anonymous guy There is no purely rational case for theism, but there is only a theistic account of rationality.
2014 anonymous guy The world is the product of an Intention whose nature is logical, because the only alternative is to conceive the world, logic, and everything in the world as accidents.  But concepts such as "accidental logic" and "accidental knowledge" are meaningless, cannot actually be conceived, and preclude the possibility of knowledge.
1965? Walter Martin Whatever chance creates, it immediately annihilates.  (source: Gretchen Passantino)
? Cotton Mather Ignorance is the author, not of devotion, but of heresy.
1944? Mauthausen concentration camp
If there is a God, he will have to beg my forgiveness.
The earliest reported source for this is a 2011 book - title not given.
1998 John McCready Trying to organize freethinkers is like trying to herd cats.
1924 H. L. Mencken One horselaugh is worth a thousand syllogisms.  (The Human Mind, Prejudices: 4th)
1927 H. L. Mencken There is no record in human history of a happy philosopher; they exist only in romantic legend.  Many of them have committed suicide; many others have turned their children out of doors and beaten their wives.  (The Philosopher: The Human Mind, Prejudices:)
? H. L. Mencken A metaphysician is one who, when you remark that twice two makes four, demands to know what you mean by twice, what by two, what by makes, and what by four.  (The Metaphysician: A Mencken Chrestomathy)
? H. L. Mencken Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.
? H. L. Mencken To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble.  But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!
? H. L. Mencken The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true.  It is the chief occupation of mankind.
? H. L. Mencken Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
? H. L. Mencken Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
? H. L. Mencken Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
? H. L. Mencken Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
? H. L. Mencken All men are frauds.  The only difference between them is that some admit it.  I myself deny it.
? H. L. Mencken For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
1949 H. L. Mencken Creator - A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.
(A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30)   (often attributed to Voltaire)
c.1860 Lucretia Mott It is time that Christians were judged more by their likeness to Christ than their notions of Christ.  Were this sentiment generally admitted we should not see such tenacious adherence to what men deem the opinions and doctrines of Christ while at the same time in every day practice is exhibited anything but a likeness to Christ.
? Rev. Donald Morgan Faith is an absolutely marvelous tool.  With faith there is no question too big for even the smallest mind.
1994 Daniel Patrick Moynihan You are entitled to your opinion.  But you are not entitled to your own facts.
(to electoral opponent on WNBC in New York)
632 Muhammad Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.
1452 Pope Nicholas V "...invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all moveable and immoveable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them, and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate to himself and his successors the kingdoms, dukedoms, counties, principalities, dominions, possessions, and goods, and to convert them to his and their use and profit."   (Papal bull: Doctrine of Discovery)
1882 Friedrich Nietzsche Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual.  (The Gay Science)
1888 Friedrich Nietzsche Faith:  not wanting to know what is true.  (The Antichrist)
? Friedrich Nietzsche In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
? Friedrich Nietzsche I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.
? Friedrich Nietzsche He that humbleth himself wishes to be exalted.
? Friedrich Nietzsche Fear is the mother of morality.
1949 George Oewell Football, beer, and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds.  To keep them in control was not difficult.   (1984)
? Friedrich Nietzsche All things are subject to interpretation.  Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
1776 Thomas Paine He who dares not offend cannot be honest.  (Pennsylvania Journal, 24 April, 1776)
1957 C. Northcote Parkinson PARKINSON'S LAW:  Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
1990? Bob Passantino I'm skeptical of skepticism.
1990? Bob Passantino GOLDEN RULE OF APOLOGETICS: Don't require anything of the person you're talking to that you don't want him to require of you.
1990? Bob Passantino Whatever you do to one side of the equation, you have to do to the other.
1990? Bob Passantino You either philosophize or fossilize.
1995 Bob Passantino UNDENIABILITY PRINCIPLE:  You can't deny the value of logic without asserting it.
1997 Bob Passantino Do you have a reason for believing in reason, or is it just blind faith?
1998 Bob Passantino I can give you the truth, but I can't give you understanding.
1998 Bob Passantino If you think you can, you might.  If you think you can't, you won't.
1998 Bob Passantino Logical possibilities don't necessarily equal ontological possibilities.
1998 Bob Passantino Atheist to Christian: "You believe in God without a validating reason."  Christian to Atheist: "You believe in reason without a validating God ."
1989 Gretchen Passantino Arguments are not relationships.
1995 Gretchen Passantino Historical context is the best interpreter of any given text.
1670 Blaise Pascal Bogus quote:   Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.   (Penses p.271)
The words translated "religious conviction" should read "false principle of conscience."
1668 William Penn Those people name themselves Christians, despite that they are very exterior, pompous, and superstitious in their worship.  These people are not only spiritually unprepared, in the way of their performing worship to God Almighty, who is an Eternal Spirit; but their worship itself is utterly inconsistent with the very form and practice of Christ's doctrine, as well as differing from the example of the apostles.
c.60BC L. Calpurnius Piso Let justice be done though the heavens fall.
c.375BC Plato Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses.  (Republic: Allegory of the Cave)
c.370BC Plato None of the gods love wisdom or desire to become wise, for they are wise already - nor if someone else is wise, do they love wisdom.  Neither do the ignorant love wisdom or desire to become wise; for this is the grievous thing about ignorance, that those who are neither good nor beautiful nor sensible think they are good enough, and do not desire that which they do not think they are lacking.  (Symposium 203E-204A)
c.2011 Sarah Polley Life has a gap in it; it just does.  You don't go trying to fill it like some lunatic.
(Sarah Silverman character in movie "Take This Waltz")
c.300 Porphyry The gods have proclaimed Christ to have been most pious, but the Christians are a confused and vicious sect.  (Adversus Christianos)
2012 name witheld One can never find truth asking wrong questions.  More truth is hidden behind wrong questions than and other place.
[Though the above statements are right in principle, the man himself proved to be a deliberate avoider of truth.  His "wrong questions" included any question that challenged him.]
2005 Dennis Praeger We should prefer clarity over agreement.
2005 Robert M. Price To recreate an America that shuns the mention of Christianity as hate speech is not to honor diversity but rather to deny it and to "terraform" the society in the image of one particular minority group: atheists and secularists.  (Secularism and Seleucidism)
2005 Robert M. Price To require the Pledge of Allegiance with "under God" attached is saying, "C'mon kids, it's time to pledge our loyalty to Church and State."  (Exorcizing the Pledge)
2007 Robert M. Price Praise means nothing unless it comes from a source that would be just as ready to dole out condemnation if you deserved it.  (Twilight of American Idol)
1946 Ellery Queen I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or heredity faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, and which receives new truth as an angel from heaven.
2012 David Redmond Whether someone is gnostic, or agnostic, has no bearing on whether they're a theist or an atheist.  "Do you believe?" and "Do you know?" are different questions and their answers are independent of one another.
2015 Perry Robinson You can't give a scientific answer to a pre-scientific question.
2015 Perry Robinson Do you have any evidence for your belief that all beliefs require evidence?
2015 Perry Robinson Principle of Inferential Justification:
To be justified in believing P on the basis of E, one must not only be (1) justified in believing E, but also (2) justified in believing that E makes probable P.
With PIJ one can present a relatively straightforward epistemic regress argument for foundationalism.  If all justification were inferential then for someone S to be justified in believing some proposition P, S must be in a position to legitimately infer it from some other proposition E1.  But E1 could justify S in believing P only if S were justified in believing E1, and if all justification were inferential the only way for S to do that would be to infer it from some other proposition justifiably believed, E1, a proposition which in turn would have to be inferred from some other proposition E1 which is justifiably believed, and so on, ad infinitum.
(Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Foundationalist theories of Epistemic Justification)
Richard Rorty Truth is whatever my colleagues will let me get away with.
1989 Richard Rorty Truth cannot be out there—cannot exist independently of the human mind—because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there.  The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not.  Only descriptions of the world can be true or false.  The world on its own unaided by the describing activities of humans cannot.   (Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity)
1927 Bertrand Russell Supposing you got a crate of oranges that you opened, and you found all the top layer of oranges bad, you would not argue: "The underneath ones must be good, so as to redress the balance."  You would say: "Probably the whole lot is a bad consignment;" and that is really what a scientific person would argue about the universe.  He would say: "Here we find in this world a great deal of injustice, and so far as that goes that is a reason for supposing that justice does not rule in the world; and therefore so far as it goes it affords a moral argument against deity and not in favor of one."   (Why I am Not a Christian)
1928 Bertrand Russell What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.  (Skeptical Essays)
? Bertrand Russell The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
? Bertrand Russell A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
? Bertrand Russell What is Mind?  It does not matter.  What is Matter?  Never mind.
(Bert attributed this to his grandmother in his autobiography.)
? Bertrand Russell Suppose there's a barber in the village who shaves every man who does not shave himself.  Does the barber shave himself?
Cary's answer:  No.  The barber shaves herself.
? Bertrand Russell People's opinions are mainly designed to make them feel comfortable;  truth, for most people is a secondary consideration.
? Bertrand Russell Russell's paradox:  Let R be the set of all sets that are not members of themselves.  If R is not a member of itself, then its definition dictates that it must contain itself, and if it contains itself, then it contradicts its own definition as the set of all sets that are not members of themselves.
? Bertrand Russell Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.   (Letter to Ottoline Morrell)
Cary:  If he's right, I hope for termination of existence.
1959 Bertrand Russell Science is at no moment quite right, but it is seldom quite wrong, and has, as a rule, a better chance of being right than the theories of the unscientific.  It is, therefore, rational to accept it hypothetically.
(My Philosophical Development (1959), Ch. II: My Present View of the World, p. 17)
? Bertrand Russell ? Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless.
1980? Carl Sagan Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Cook's response:  If you haven't found evidence for or against the existence of something, then that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  But if you look in a place where evidence would be if there were any, and don't find it, that's evidence of absence.
1990 Carl Sagan Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.   (Encyclopedia Galactica – episode 12)
? Arthur Schopenhauer All truth passes through three stages.  First, it is ridiculed.  Second, it is violently opposed.  Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
? Seneca Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
? George Bernard Shaw The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
? George Bernard Shaw No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.
? George Bernard Shaw Man is not only a speaking and a writing animal:  he is unique in being a lying animal as well.
? George Bernard Shaw The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
? George Bernard Shaw We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
? George Bernard Shaw Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else.
? George Bernard Shaw If you go to heaven without being naturally qualified for it, you will not enjoy it there.
1520? Mother Shipton When the Cow doth ride the Bull, then, Priest, beware thy Skull.
1975? Chuck Smith Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken.
1998 Mark Smith If it's too much bother, people won't bother.
420BC Socrates The unexamined life is not worth living.  (Apology 38)
420BC Socrates By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy.  If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
420BC Socrates As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.  ( Republic 354c, (conclusion of book I))
420BC Socrates Children today are tyrants.  They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.
420BC Socrates I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.
420BC Socrates False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.  (Phædo 91)
420BC Socrates God only is wise; and in this oracle he means to say that the wisdom of men is little or nothing.   (Apology 23 a-c)
420BC Socrates Whether God or man, is evil and dishonorable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil.  (Apology 29)
2006 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy There is no comprehensive theory of sound induction, no set of agreed upon rules that license good or sound inductive inference, nor is there a serious prospect of such a theory.
1830 Henri B. Stendhal The tyrant's most useful idea is that of God.  (Le Rouge et le Noir)
? Henri B. Stendhal All religions are founded on the fear of the of the many and the cleverness of the few.
2014 Jon Stewart Religion.  It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
2015 Jon Stewart Bullshit is everywhere.   (Final Daily Show Aug. 6, 2015)
2022 Don Stoner Quantities of space and momentum behave mathematically as if they were "real" quantities, but time and energy behave like "imaginary" (i) quantities.  Mathematically, the "rate" of "time" turns out to be "c" (the speed of light, but moving in the "root(-1) direction")
? Margaret Thatcher It used to be about trying to do something.  Now it's about trying to be someone.
2016 Donald Trump You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.
Read by Trump at several campaign rallies, ostensibly against immigrants.
? Mark Twain Supposing is good, but finding out is better.
? Mark Twain Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.
? Mark Twain Truth is the most valuable thing we have.  Let us economize it.
? Mark Twain If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
Feb 3
Mark Twain There is nothing.  There is no God and no universe;  there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought.  And I am that thought.  And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that insane Thought.
2012 Neil deGrasse Tyson Politicians lie not because they're evil, but because they say what voters want to hear.  So it's we who are the problem.
???? unknown In the first century in Israel, Christianity was a community.  Then Christianity moved to Greece and became a philosophy.  Then it moved to Rome and became an institution.  Then it moved to Europe and became a culture.  Then it moved to America and became a business.   unknown
1765 Voltaire Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
(Questions sur le miracles)
1767 Voltaire It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
(Le dîner du comte de Boulainvilliers)
1768 Voltaire If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
(Epistle to the author of the book, The Three Impostors)
? Voltaire? Anything too stupid to be said is sung.  (See Beaumarchais 1775)
? Voltaire God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.  (See H L Menchen, 1949)
? Voltaire??? If a watch proves the existence of a watchmaker, but the universe does not prove the existence of a great Architect, then I consent to be called a fool.
1999 Horace Walpole The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
1999 Steven Weinberg With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.  But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.   (N. Y. Times)
? Oscar Wilde Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
? ? Life is like dancing with a gorilla.  You're not done till the gorilla's done.
before 1680 unknown A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

Below are some quotes I find absurd by virtue of either their source or content.

year name profound wisdom
? William Blake I myself do nothing.  The Holy Spirit accomplishes all through me.
1994 William Jefferson Clinton The Bible is the authoritative Word of God, and contains all truth.  (at a prayer breakfast)
1994 Wm. Lane Craig Thus although arguments and evidence may be used to support the believer's faith, they are never properly the basis of faith.  (Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics p34)
1994 Wm. Lane Craig ...it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the ultimate assurance of Christian truth.  Therefore, the only role left for argument and evidence to play is a subsidiary role.  Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa.  (ibid. p 36)
1994 Wm. Lane Craig The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason submits to and serves the gospel.  Only the ministerial use of reason can be allowed... Reason is a tool to help us better understand and defend our faith.  (ibid. p 36)
1994 Wm. Lane Craig ...as long as reason is a minister of the Christian faith, Christians should employ it.  (ibid. p 37)
? Saddam Hussein The law is anything I write on a piece of paper.
(Dr. Khidhir Hamza's book, Saddam's Bomb Maker)
1890 April Robert Ingersol The agnostic does not simply say, "l do not know." He goes another step, and he says, with great emphasis, that you do not know.  (Reply To Dr. Lyman Abbott in North American Review.)
1990? anonymous guy Either historic Christianity is true, or nihilism is true.
Cary's response:  Wrong.  Either the Supreme Being is righteous, or nihilism is true.
? anonymous guy All hypothetical world-views are invalidated by virtue of the fact that they are hypothetical.
Cary's response:  Wrong.  Any rational hypothetical may be true.
1882 Friedrich Nietzsche God is dead!  God remains dead!  And we have killed him.  (The Gay Science)
1887 Friedrich Nietzsche There are no facts, only interpretations.  (Notebooks)
1888 Friedrich Nietzsche That which does not kill us makes us stronger.  (Ecce Homo)
? Friedrich Nietzsche There cannot be a God, because if there were one, I could not believe that I was not He.
? Friedrich Nietzsche There are various eyes.  Even the Sphinx has eyes: and as a result there are various truths, and as a result there is no truth.
? Friedrich Nietzsche The world itself is the will to power - and nothing else!  And you yourself are the will to power - and nothing else!
? Friedrich Nietzsche The lie is a condition of life.
? Friedrich Nietzsche Since there is no God to will what is good, we must will our own good.  And since there is no eternal value, we must will the eternal recurrence of the same state of affairs.
? Friedrich Nietzsche All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses.
? Dennis Praeger We should prefer clarity over agreement.
2016 Dennis Praeger Place a Koran in a jar of urine, you're an Islamophobe;  a Torah in urine, you're an anti-Semite;  a crucifix in urine, you're an artist.
? Richard Rorty Truth is whatever my colleagues will let me get away with.
1902 Bertrand Russell That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins--all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.  Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built.   (A Freeman's Worship)
1970? Chuck Smith I would rather have the right spirit and the wrong facts than vice versa.
[That shows exactly how much your words can be trusted, Chuck.]
1840? Joseph Smith As man is, God once was.  As God is, man may become.
1842 Joseph Smith We believe the Bible to be the word of God in so far as it is translated correctly.   (8th Article of Faith)
1842 Joseph Smith Every man has a natural, and in our country a constitutional, right to be a false prophet as well as a true prophet.   (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith)
c.450BC Sophocles There is a point beyond which even justice becomes unjust.   (Electra)
[No there's not, asshole.]
190? Tertullian And the Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd.  And He was buried, and rose again; the fact is certain, because it is impossible.   (On The Flesh Of Christ: V.  written during his Montanist period)
1969 Cornelius Van Til We cannot be too careful about asking what the starting point of any one's argument is.  It is of the utmost importance that we find our way through the maze of confusion that prevails on this subject.  As a help to clarification of this subject we may perhaps suggest a distinction between an immediate and an ultimate starting point.  By an immediate starting point is meant the place where the knowledge of facts must begin.  It is ... consistent with a theistic position to say that we must start with the "facts" as that term is understood ordinarily.  Neither Augustine nor Calvin would have objected to saying that knowledge of self was their immediate and temporary starting point.  But when the question of an ultimate starting point is raised the matter is different.  In that case Augustine and Calvin would both have to say that their ultimate starting point is God.
(A Survey of Christian Epistemology, 1969, pp. 119-21)
Cornelius Van Til The only proof for the existence of God is that without God you couldn't prove anything.
(Why I Believe in God)
Cornelius Van Til I hold that belief in God is not merely as reasonable as other belief, or even a little or infinitely more probably true than other belief;  I hold rather that unless you believe in God you can logically believe in nothing else.
1764 Voltaire Faith consists in believing what reason cannot.
(The Flood)
1765 Voltaire Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
(Questions sur le miracles)
1768 Voltaire If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
(Epistle to the author of the book, The Three Impostors)
Horace Walpole The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
Oscar Wilde Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.
1999 Steven Weinberg With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.  But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.   (N. Y. Times)
2015? Scott D. Weitzenhoffer Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon;  it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.
(From an Amazon.com book review)