Comments by Clemens Vonnegut (Kurt Vonnegut's great- grandfather), written by him and read at his funeral in 1874:
"I departed from life with loving, affectionate feelings for all mankind; and I admonish you: Be aware of this truth that the people on this earth could be joyous, if only they would live rationally and if they would contribute mutually to each others' welfare.
"This world is not a vale of sorrows if you will recognize discriminatingly what is truly excellent in it; and if you will avail yourself of it for mutual happiness and well-being. Therefore, let us explain as often as possible, and particularly at the departure from life, that we base our faith on firm foundations, on Truth for putting into action our ideas which do not depend on falbles and ideas which Science has long ago proven to be false.
"We also wish Knowledge, Goodness, Sympathy, Mercy, Wisdom, Justice, and Truthfulness. We also strive for and venerate all of those attributes from which the fantasy of man has created a God. We also strive for the virtues of Temperance, Industriousness, Friendship, and Peace. We believe in pure ideas based on Truth and Justice.
"Therefore, however, we do not believe, cannot believe, that a Thinking Being existed for millions and millions of years, and eventually and finally out of nothing--through a Word--created this world, or rather this earth with its Firmament, its Sun and Moon and the Stars.
"We cannot believe that this Being formed a human being from clay and breathed into it an Immortal Soul, and then allowed this human being to procreate millions, and then delivered them all into unspeakable misery, wretchedness and pain for all eternity. Nor can we believe that the descendents of one or two human beings will inevitably become sinners; nor do we believe that through the criminal executions of an Innocent One may we be redeemed."
FROM KURT VONNEGUT'S PALM SUNDAY
MY FAVORITE QUOTES ON THE SUBJECT OF RELIGION
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.” - Buddha
The "Law of Attraction" is a spiritual law that states that what a person thinks about and focuses on both consciously AND subconsciously, they will attract into their life from the power of the "Universe" (and/or God or the Divine).
H.L. Mencken is often quoted as saying, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." -- George Bernard Shaw
"A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." --- Bertrand Russell
Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
George Santayana:My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests.
The President of the United States summons the nation to church on Thanksgiving Day to give thanks to "Almighty God" for the abundant harvest and all other blessings. But what has Almighty God -- I have no desire to appear irreverent -- what has Almighty God as a personal being to do with the harvests? If it is he who produces our crops, then being Almighty there should never be a failure of crops. But since crops frequently fail, it follows that there is no Almighty person in charge of them -- unless he brings failure purposely. Therefore, if God is to be thanked for large crops, he must be blamed when the crops are a failure. . . . If God sends the rain and the sunshine which develops and ripens our wheat, who sends the storms and the insects which destroy much of it? And if he sends both, then why not thank him for one and blame him for the other?
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
John Lovejoy Elliott:I have known many good people who did not believe in God. But I have never known a human being who was good who did not believe in people. [language slightly modified]
Return to goatskin's PHILOSOPHY
Politics Poetry Paranormal Reading List