With the Republican primaries devolving into crazy, foaming-at-the-mouth shenanigans, it’s a good time to balance the scales with some examples of integrity and honor.
But since I feel your pain, people who are tired of hearing the truth over-and-over from the same person, with this installment I am going to bequeath the limelight to those whom share my principals. I’ve questioned some of the most distinguished intellectuals and forward-thinkers of any time, and so, I am anxious to get to their replies.
Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. 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.
The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.
Sticking with the American intellectual, let’s move from the politician to the writer, though Jefferson was quite the writer as well.
[The Bible] has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
All thinking men are atheists.
Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshit, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in people’s minds.
Next we have the preeminent intellectual of our age.
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.
Followed by the preeminent intellectual of the ancient age.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
I’ll close with perhaps the most outspoken atheist thinker of our time. He’s right up there with Richard Dawkins, and since his recent passing this is thrice relevant.
The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.
To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?
We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.