Einstein on Religion

“As the first way out there was religion, which is implanted into every child by way of the traditional education-machine. Thus I came — though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents — to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment-an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections. It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the ‘merely personal,’ from an existence dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned as a liberation, and I soon noticed that many a man whom I had learned to esteem and to admire had found inner freedom and security in its pursuit. The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our capabilities presented itself to my mind, half consciously, half unconsciously, as a supreme goal. Similarly motivated men of the present and of the past, as well as the insights they had achieved, were the friends who could not be lost. The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it.”

– Albert Einstein

See Also: More on the Dawkins / Hitchens / Dennett / Harris discussion (part 2): the immaturity of religious arguments, Resist the Temptation, The New Atheist Crusaders and their Unholy Grail, Atheism Doesn’t Always Strengthen Their Faith, Forced Faith, Honesty in Youth, and Science, Christianity, and The Bible.

[tags]albert einstein, western religion, god, atheism, agnostic, judaism, christianity[/tags]

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Triumph of the Lack of Will

“Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.”

– HL Mencken

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[tags]h.l. mencken, quotation, quotes, government, voting, vote, freedom, democracy, american politics[/tags]

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The Holocaust Ironing is Delicious

“The more Qassam fire intensifies, and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.”

– Israeli Deputy Defence Minister, Matan Vilnai

See Also: The Mask Comes Off: Israeli minister threatens “Holocaust” in Gaza, Israel’s Battle for Peace, Hamas’s Iranian Rockets and Their Enablers, BBC: Israel warns of Gaza ‘holocaust’, Inaccurate Qassams and Inaccurate Reporting in the Guardian, Israel: Ashkelon is ‘on the map’, Israel and IDF Prepare For Gaza Incursion and A Letter to Our Beloved Palestine: Drop the Gun, Lift the Olive Tree, Speak to the World’s Heart.

[tags]holocaust, israel, gaza, idf, wassam rockets, hamas, quote, defense minister, matan vilnai[/tags]

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Our Fucking Idiot in Chief

“I mean, people have access to health care in America. They can just go to the emergency room.”

– President Bush in a 2007 White House Briefing

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See Also: Hillary Clinton, Meet Joey Tempest, Ohio Democratic Debate On MSNBC: Highlights, Video, Bush goes all delusional again at Republican Governors Association Gala, Defeat?, Clinton & Obama Skirt Health Costs, Debate Mandates, and Fix PEPFAR for Women and Girls.

[tags]president bush, george bush, health care, access to health care, americans, united states, emergency room, fucking stupid, quote, quotation, idiot, moron[/tags]

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On American Minds

“I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.”

Alexis de Tocqueville, in Democracy in America

In Democracy in America, published in 1835, Tocqueville wrote of the New World and its burgeoning democratic order. Observing from the perspective of a detached social scientist, Tocqueville wrote of his travels through America (both in the United States and Canada) in the early 19th century when the market revolution, Western expansion, and Jacksonian democracy were radically transforming the fabric of American life. He saw democracy as an equation that balanced liberty and equality, concern for the individual as well as the community. A critic of individualism, Tocqueville thought that association, the coming together of people for common purpose, would bind Americans to an idea of nation larger than selfish desires, thus making a civil society which wasn’t exclusively dependent on the state.

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[tags]alexis de tocqueville, intellectual, reflections on america, quotation, quote, independence of mind, freedom of discussion, freedom of speech, democracy in america, civil society[/tags]

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