"Baptism, n. A sacred rite of such efficacy that he who finds himself in heaven without having undergone it will be unhappy forever. It is performed with water in two ways -- by immersion, or plunging, and by aspersion, or sprinkling."
(Ambrose Gwinett Bierce / 1842-1914 / The Devil's Dictionary)
"Therefore, philosophy does not give sense in mind happiness. It keeps in mind the only truth. However, it is very possible that the truth may be painful, may be distressing, may be destructive of happiness or makes it impossible. Religion, unlike philosophy, is under the category of the useful one. It promises happiness and says what it is necessary to do and what it is necessary to be to deserve or to obtain it. Consequently, illusion is more important than truth if it gets happiness."
(Marcel Conche, French philosopher / born in 1922 / Sense of Philosophy)
"The happiness of the elect will consist in part of witnessing the torments of the damned in hell, among whom may be their own children, parents, husbands, wives and friends; ... but instead of taking the part of their miserable being, they will say "Amen!", "Hallelujah!", "Praise the Lord!"."
(Rev. Nathaniel Emmons / 1745-1840)
"Christianity, above all, comforts; but there are souls which are naturally happy and which do not need to be comforted. Then, those, Christianity starts by making them unhappy, having otherwise none action on them."
(André Gide / 1869-1951 / Journal 1889-1939)
"The Giver of life gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness."
(Thomas Jefferson / 1743-1826)
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."
(Karl Marx / 1818-1883 / A Criticism of the Hegelian Philosophy of Law / 1844)
"The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion."
(Karl Marx / 1818-1883)
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality."
(George Bernard Shaw / 1856-1950 / The Preface to Androcles and the Lion / 1912)
"Man is the 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. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven."
(Mark Twain / 1835 - 1910)
"Did science promise happiness? I do not believe it. It promised truth, and the question is to know if we will ever make happiness with truth."
(Emile Zola / 1840-1902)
"The believer is happy; the doubter is wise."