Aphorisms about religion and morality

Once there was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time is called the Dark Ages.
I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't.
(Jules Renard, franz. Schriftsteller, 1864-1910)

Only the fool says in his heart: There is no god -- The wise says it to the world

It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
(Mark Twain)

A theologian is like a blind man in a dark room searching for a black cat which isn't there - and finding it!
Jesus' last words on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" hardly seem like the words of a man who planned it that way. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure there is something wrong here.
(Donald Morgan)

This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it
(John Adams)

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.
(Henry Louis Mencken)

The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail
(Gustaf Lindborg)

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.
(Laurence J. Peter)

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

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.
(Delos B. McKown)

The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.
Maybe this world is another planet's hell.
(Aldous Huxley,1894-1963)

The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.
(Abu'l-Ala-Al-Ma'arri, 973-1057)

To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.
(David Brooks)

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
(George Bernard Shaw)

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.
( Cardinal Bellarmine, 1615, during the trial of Galileo Galilei)

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.
(Galileo Galilei)

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.
(Napoleon Bonaparte)

The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.
(Mark Twain)

If all the historic books of the Bible were blotted from the memory of mankind, nothing of value would be lost..
(Robert Ingersoll)

Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.
(William James, 1842-1910)

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered.
Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we're going?
(Justin Brown)

When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.
(Bishop Desmond Tutu)

The Christian lives in a nightmare and thinks it is a pleasant dream.
If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little Electric Chairs around their necks instead of crosses
(Lenny Bruce)

The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.
(Karl Marx)

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the impossible.
(H.L. Mencken)

Religion is the opiate of the masses.
(Karl Marx)

The only thing that stops God from sending another flood is that the first one was useless.

Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.
(Thomas Paine)

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.
(Bertrand Russell)

Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows.
(Robert G. Ingersoll)

The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.
(Thomas Jefferson)

History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion -- i.e., none to speak of.
(Lazarus Long)

I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty -- I call it the one mortal blemish of mankind.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion; rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science.
(Gary Zukav)

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.
(Bertrand Russell)

A Christian is a man who feels repentance on Sunday for what he did on Saturday and is going to do on Monday.
(Thomas Ybarra)

The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma.
(Abraham Lincoln)

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
(Bertrand Russell)

A religion which requires persecution to sustain it is of the devil's propagation.
(Hosea Ballou)

Nothing shocks me more in the men of religion and their flocks than their pretensions to be the only religious people.
(Jean Guehenno)

Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a flea, yet he makes gods by the dozens.
(Michel De Montaigne)

Faith is believing in something you know ain't true.
(Samuel Clemens alias Mark Twain)

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)

There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice....
(Thomas Paine)
To hate man and worship god seems to be the sum of all the creeds.
(Robert G. Ingersoll)

People fashion their God after their own understanding. They make their God first and worship him afterwards.
(Oscar Wilde)

If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced.
(Percy Bysshe Shelley, English poet,1792-1822)

Threw a wooden image of a god into a fire, remarking that the deity should perform another miracle and save itself
(Diagoras of Melos, Greek poet, 5th cent. BC)

...if I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul."
(Isaac Asimov)

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider godfearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
(Aristotle, 384-322 BC)

'Theocracy' has always been the synonym for a bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood-stained tyranny.
(William Archer, 1667-1735)

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles.
(John Adams)

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight.
(Mark Twain)

Almost everyone who has read history in a more than casual manner knows that when the great figure of God appears in a controversy, the shooting cannot be far off.
(Stewart H. Holbrook)