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"Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our god alone.
I enquire after no man's and trouble none with mine; nor is it given to us in this life to know whether yours or mine, our friend's or our foe's, are exactly the right."

(Thomas Jefferson / 1743-1826 / letter to Miles King, September 26, 1814)

"The Giver of life gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness."
(Thomas Jefferson / 1743-1826)

"I never told my own religion nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another's creed. I am satisfied that yours must be an excellent religion to have produced a life of such exemplary virtue and correctness. For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be judged."
(Thomas Jefferson / 1743-1826 / in a letter to Mrs. H. Harrison Smith, 1816)

"I don't spend much time thinking about whether God exists. I don't consider that a relevant question. It's unanswerable and irrelevant to my life, so I put it in the category of things I can't worry about."
(Wendy Kaminer / quoted in Natalie Angier, "Confessions of a Lonely Atheist," New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2001)

"He who lets the world or his portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan form himself, employs his faculties"
(John Stuart Mill / 1806-1873 / On Liberty / 1859)

"Christian morality (so called) has all the characters of a reaction.... In its horror of sensuality, it made an idol of asceticism, which has been gradually compromised away into one of legality. It holds out the hope of heaven and the threat of hell, as the appointed and appropriate motives to a virtuous life -- in this falling far below the best of the ancients, and doing what lies in it to give to human morality an essentially selfish character.... It is essentially a doctrine of passive obedience; it inculcates submission to all authorities found established."
(John Stuart Mill / 1806-1873 / On Liberty / 1859)

"What little recognition the idea of obligation to the public obtains in modern morality is derived from Greek and Roman sources, not from Christian; as, even in the morality of private life, whatever exists of magnanimity, high-mindeness, personal dignity, even the sense of honor, is derived from the purely human, not the religious part of our education, and never could have grown out of a standard of ethics in which the only worth, professedly recognized, is that of obedience."
(John Stuart Mill / 1806-1873 / On Liberty / 1859)

"So long as the priest, that professional negator, slanderer and poisoner of life, is regarded as a superior type of human being, there cannot be any answer to the question: What is Truth?"
(Friedrich Nietzsche / 1844-1900 / The Antichrist / 1888)

"The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the...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 / 1872-1970 / Marriage and Morals)

"Death is a continuation of my life without me..."
(Jean-Paul Sartre / 1905-1980 / The Condemned of Altona / 1959)

"Each religion, so dear to those whose life it sanctifies, and fulfilling so necessary a function in the society that has adopted it, necessarily contradicts every other religion, and probably contradicts itself."
(George Santayana / 1863-1952)

"The brute necessity of believing something so long as life lasts does not justify any belief in particular."
(George Santayana / 1863-1952)

"Life has no meaning the moment you loose the illusion of being eternal."
(Jean-Paul Sartre / 1905-1980)

"The argument from design stands or falls on whether it can be demonstrated that some aspect of the universe such as its origin or biological life could not have come about naturally. The burden of proof is ... on the supernaturalist to demonstrate that something from outside nature must be introduced to explain the data."
(Vic Stenger, Particle physicist / Has Science Found God? / 2001)

"There is no other life; life itself is only a vision and a dream for nothing exists but space and you. If there was an all-powerful God, he would have made all good, and no bad."
(Mark Twain / 1835-1910)


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