"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history."
(John Adams, Second President of the United States / 1735-1826 / A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" / 1787-1788)
"Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable."
(Ambrose Gwinett Bierce / 1842-1914 / The Devil's Dictionary)
"How so many absurd rules of conduct, as well as so many absurd religious beliefs, have originated, we do not know; nor how it is that they have become, in all quarters of the world, so deeply impressed on the minds of men; but it is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, while the brain is impressionable, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason."
(Charles Darwin / 1809-1882 / The Descent of Man / 1871)
"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments - there are consequences."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899 / Lectures and Essays)
"The only thing that makes life endurable in this world is human love, and yet, according to Christianity, that is the very thing that we are not to have in the other world. We are to be so taken up with Jesus and angels, that we shall care nothing about our brothers and sisters that have been damned. We shall be so carried away with the music of the harp that we shall not even hear the wail of father and mother. Such a religion is a disgrace to human nature."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)
"In sober truth, nearly all the things which men are hanged or imprisoned for doing to one another are nature's everyday performances. Killing, the most criminal act recognized by human laws, nature does once to every being that lives, and in a large proportion of cases after protracted tortures such as only the greatest monsters whom we read of ever purposely inflicted on their living fellow creatures."
(John Stuart Mill / 1806-1873 / Nature and Utility of Religion)
"God or nature"
(Baruch Spinoza / 1632-1677 / Ethics)
"Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd, and, ipso facto, to be rejected."
(Baruch Spinoza / 1632-1677 / Theological-Political Treatise / 1670)
"I believe that a triangle, if it could speak, would say that God is eminently triangular, and a circle that the divine nature is eminently circular; and thus would every one ascribe his own attributes to God."
(Baruch Spinoza / 1632-1677 / Epistles)
"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)
"I believe in God, only I spell it Nature."
(Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect / 1869-1959)
"However, it is certain that this soul, being of same nature in all the animal kingdom, is dissipated with the man's death, as with the animals' death.
From where it follows that what Poets and Theologians tell us about the next world is a chimera that they have made up and recited for reasons it is easy to guess."
(unknown / The Tree Impostors / chapter 5, paragraph 7 / 1721)