Forgive me for posting two quotes in one post, but they are kind of related. To me, faith itself represents an important factor in hindering humanity from flourishing as a whole, as different religions ultimately separate us.
You can’t convince a believer of anything, for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe. – Carl Sagan
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence. – Richard Dawkins
There are so many great quotes out there it’s hard to pick one or even a few to post as favorites.
The one in my signature made me think for a second, and when I ‘got’ it I loved it. It also sounds great in my head when I say it to myself. It’s not poetry but it’s poetic.
I stumbled on it when I went to RDC (Red Deer College in Red Deer, Alberta) way back in the early 90’s. The library was by far the largest I had ever seen, and while wandering along the magazine aisles (can you believe there are AISLES of magazines!!!) I stumbled upon Skeptical Inquirer. I had never heard of it and wasn’t an atheist at the time, but it sounded like a neat topic for a magazine. The first page I flipped to had the quote you see in my signature sitting there. After reading and digesting the quote, I basically sat there on the floor and read the entire magazine. What a rush!
The rest is history, but the quote has never left me.
If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it—the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.
“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.”