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Noam Chomsky

(born in 1928)

professor of linguistics,
political activist and writer

Quotations of Noam Chomsky

"Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that -- it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population."
(Noam Chomsky / born in 1928 / Interview 1994)

"Prophet just means intellectual. They were people giving geopolitical analysis, moral lessons, that sort of thing. We call them intellectuals today. There were the people we honor as prophets, there were the people we condemn as false prophets. But if you look at the biblical record, at the time, it was the other way around. The flatterers of the Court of King Ahab were the ones who were honored. The ones we call prophets were driven into the desert and imprisoned."
(Noam Chomsky / born in 1928 / Interview by Harry Kreisler March 22, 2002)

"Take any country that has laws against hate crimes, inspiring hatred and genocide and so on. The first thing they would do is ban the Old Testament. There's nothing like it in the literary canon that exalts genocide, to that extent. And it's not a joke either. Like where I live, New England, the people who liberated it from the native scourge were religious fundamentalist lunatics, who came waving the holy book, declaring themselves to be the children of Israel who are killing the Amalekites, like God told them."
(Noam Chomsky / born in 1928 / Talk at the University of Houston, October 18, 2002)

"You can find things in the traditional religions which are very benign and decent and wonderful and so on, but I mean, the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon. The God of the Bible - not only did He order His chosen people to carry out literal genocide - I mean, wipe out every Amalekite to the last man, woman, child, and, you know, donkey and so on, because hundreds of years ago they got in your way when you were trying to cross the desert - not only did He do things like that, but, after all, the God of the Bible was ready to destroy every living creature on earth because some humans irritated Him. That's the story of Noah. I mean, that's beyond genocide - you don't know how to describe this creature. Somebody offended Him, and He was going to destroy every living being on earth? And then He was talked into allowing two of each species to stay alive - that's supposed to be gentle and wonderful."
(Noam Chomsky / born in 1928 / Interview by Wallace Shawn, October 19, 2004)

"The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history"
(Noam Chomsky / born in 1928)

"It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies."
(Noam Chomsky / born in 1928)

"There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change -- and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future."
(Noam Chomsky / born in 1928)

"How do I define God? I don't.... People who find such conceptions important for themselves have every right to frame them as they like. Personally, I don't. That's why you haven't found my "thoughts on this [for you] criticaI question." I have none, because I see no need for them (apart from the - often extremely interesting and revealing -inquiry into human culture an history)."
(Noam Chomsky / born in 1928)

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