Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Atheist scripture

The Friendly Atheist blog today asked whether, like certain bible verses, there are any passages that atheists should have memorized. Personally, I'm against memorizing anything, but there are some lovely words quoted in the comments. Here are some of my favorites.
“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it, too?” –Douglas Adams

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” –Christopher Hitchens

“Once we overcome our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome universe that utterly dwarfs — in time, in space, in potential — the tiny anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors.” –Carl Sagan

“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.” –Neil deGrasse Tyson

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. –Buddha

“I was born not knowing, and have had only a little time to change that here and there.” –Richard Feynman

“My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.” –Elaine Maxwell

That last one-- I don't know who Elaine Maxwell is and I couldn't find anything on her from Google or Wikipedia. I'd like to know the context of the quote. I have a feeling it's intended to be more motivational than freethinking.

Here's what immediately came to my mind, which nobody posted:
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. –Charles Darwin

1 comment:

  1. These are great quotes. I really like Hitchens and Tyson, and wish I could be more like Feynman. Geniuses all. I tried to find some information about Elaine Maxwell, and she seems to exist only in the form of that quote. There's an author by that name, but I don't think it's the same person.