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The Atheist's BibleAn Illustrious Collection of Irreverent Thoughts
By Joan Konner
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2007 Joan Konner
All right reserved.
Perhaps our role on this planet is not to worship God—but to create Him.
—Arthur C. Clarke
Epicurus' old questions are yet unanswered. Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?
Men . . . have had the vanity to pretend that the whole creation was made for them, whilst in reality the whole creation does not suspect their existence.
Fear was the gods' begetter in this world.
We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a "higher" answer—but none exists.
—Stephen Jay Gould
As for me, I've long resolved not to think whether man created God or God man.
Geology shows that fossils are of different ages. Paleontology shows a fossil sequence, the list of species representing changes throughtime. Taxonomy shows biological relationships among species. Evolution is the explanation that threads it all together. Creationism is the practice of squeezing one's eyes shut and wailing "Does not!"
If you believe that there is a God, a God that made your body, and yet you think that you can do anything with that body that's dirty, then the fault lies with the manufacturer.
From the point of view of a tapeworm, man was created by God to serve the appetite of the tapeworm.
The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind.
—Marquis de Sade
Men create the gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life.
We shall tell ourselves that it would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent Providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be.
Brute force crushes many plants. Yet the plants rise again. The Pyramids will not last a moment compared with the daisy. And before Buddha or Jesus spoke the nightingale sang, and long after the words of Jesus and Buddha are gone into oblivion the nightingale still will sing. Because it is neither preaching nor teaching nor commanding nor urging. It is just singing. And in the beginning was not a Word, but a chirrup.
—D. H. Lawrence
At the beginning there was the Word—at the end just the Cliché.
—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
Excerpted from The Atheist's Bible by Joan Konner Copyright © 2007 by Joan Konner. Excerpted by permission.
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