Quotes About Agnosticism

Quotes tagged as "agnosticism" (showing 1-30 of 158)
Friedrich Nietzsche
“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

David Foster Wallace
“Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?"

"I give."

"You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there's a dog.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Carl Sagan
“Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?”
Carl Sagan

Mark Twain
“The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.”
Mark Twain

Thomas Aquinas
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
Thomas Aquinas

Sam Harris
“We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That's it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.”
Sam Harris

Carl Sagan
“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”
Carl Sagan

Bertrand Russell
“As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God. On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think that I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because, when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.”
Bertrand Russell

Sam Harris
“It is taboo in our society to criticize a persons religious faith... these taboos are offensive, deeply unreasonable, but worse than that, they are getting people killed. This is really my concern. My concern is that our religions, the diversity of our religious doctrines, is going to get us killed. I'm worried that our religious discourse- our religious beliefs are ultimately incompatible with civilization.”
Sam Harris

Bill Gates
“In terms of doing things I take a fairly scientific approach to why things happen and how they happen. I don't know if there's a god or not...”
Bill Gates

Clarence Darrow
“I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure — that is all that agnosticism means.”
Clarence Darrow

Sam Harris
“What I'm asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.”
Sam Harris

Bill Gates
“Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There`s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”
Bill Gates

Ann Druyan
“Interviewer: Didn't Sagan want to believe?
Druyan: he didn't want to believe. he wanted to know.”
Ann Druyan

Robert A. Heinlein
“If God existed (a question concerning which Jubal maintained a meticulous intellectual neutrality) and if He desired to be worshiped (a proposition which Jubal found inherently improbable but conceivably possible in the dim light of his own ignorance), then (stipulating affirmatively both the above) it nevertheless seemed wildly unlikely to Jubal to the point of reductio ad absurdum that a God potent to shape galaxies would be titillated and swayed by the whoop-te-do nonsense the Fosterites offered Him as "worship.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Objection, evasion, joyous distrust, and love of irony are signs of health; everything absolute belongs to pathology.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Roger Zelazny
“A totally nondenominational prayer: Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that I be forgiven for anything I may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness.  Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which I may be eligible after the destruction of my body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.”
Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness

Richard Dawkins
“It is often said, mainly by the 'no-contests', that although there is no positive evidence for the existence of God, nor is there evidence against his existence. So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?”
Richard Dawkins

Sam Harris
“If faith is what you have to go on, if faith is the link between your beliefs and the world at large, your beliefs are very likely to be wrong. Beliefs can be right or wrong. If you believe you can fly, that belief is only true if indeed you can fly. Somebody who thinks he can fly, and is wrong about it, will eventually discover there's a problem with his view of the world.”
Sam Harris

Criss Jami
“Doubt is a question mark; faith is an exclamation point. The most compelling, believable, realistic stories have included them both.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Sam Harris
“What we do in every other area of our lives (other than religion), is, rather than respect somebody's beliefs, we evaluate their reasons.”
Sam Harris

John  Adams
“...The Presidential election has given me less anxiety than I myself could have imagined. The next administration will be a troublesome one, to whomsoever it falls, and our John has been too much worn to contend much longer with conflicting factions. I call him our John, because, when you were at the Cul de sac at Paris, he appeared to me to be almost as much your boy as mine.

...As to the decision of your author, though I wish to see the book {Flourens’s Experiments on the functions of the nervous system in vertebrated animals}, I look upon it as a mere game at push-pin. Incision-knives will never discover the distinction between matter and spirit, or whether there is any or not. That there is an active principle of power in the universe, is apparent; but in what substance that active principle resides, is past our investigation. The faculties of our understanding are not adequate to penetrate the universe. Let us do our duty, which is to do as we would be done by; and that, one would think, could not be difficult, if we honestly aim at it.

Your university is a noble employment in your old age, and your ardor for its success does you honor; but I do not approve of your sending to Europe for tutors and professors. I do believe there are sufficient scholars in America, to fill your professorships and tutorships with more active ingenuity and independent minds than you can bring from Europe. The Europeans are all deeply tainted with prejudices, both ecclesiastical and temporal, which they can never get rid of. They are all infected with episcopal and presbyterian creeds, and confessions of faith. They all believe that great Principle which has produced this boundless universe, Newton’s universe and Herschel’s universe, came down to this little ball, to be spit upon by Jews. And until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.

I salute your fireside with best wishes and best affections for their health, wealth and prosperity.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 22 January, 1825}”
John Adams, Adams-Jefferson Letters

Ann Hood
“Even now, there are still days so beautiful, I almost believe in God.”
Ann Hood, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief

Meggie Royer
“My lack of faith in God is not a dilapidated house.
It does not need to be razed to the ground or burned down to cinders.
I refuse to be the wounded woman on a cross
that you crucify with your disapproval like nails;
I will only be the woman who believes in thunderstorms
the same way lightning loves the tops of trees it strikes
every time it gets tired of being pent up in an unforgiving sky,
the only difference is that I believe these are natural weather phenomenons,
not God’s belly rumbling or synapses firing.
When my doorway is filled with groups of people
wielding religious conversion pamphlets like crossbows,
I will be the martyr who steps aside to let the arrows
crack through the plaster in my wall instead of piercing my chest.
This is not a eulogy to the believer I could have been.
This is a battle cry to the believer I always have been,
believer in sunsets like splashes of paint, handholding
like willow branches brushing one another, new mornings
after old nights spent drowning in despair, believer
in love as an entire language instead of a single word.
Just because my beliefs align themselves on a different spectrum
does not mean they are the wrong wavelength or color.
And even though I think the universe was created by the Big Bang
instead of a God with magic dust shooting from his fingertips,
my universe does not contain fewer stars.”
Meggie Royer

Criss Jami
“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Friedrich Engels
“Thus, as far as he is a scientific man, as far as he knows anything, he is a materialist; outside his science, in spheres about which he knows nothing, he translates his ignorance into Greek and calls it agnosticism.”
Friedrich Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Criss Jami
“God's relationship with man does not work in a way in which man stumbles and then God has to drop what he is doing in order to lift him up; rather, man stumbles so that God can lift him up. Hence it is utterly impossible to truly diminish his glory.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Alexander Graham Bell
“I have always considered myself as an Agnostic...”
Alexander Graham Bell, Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude

Criss Jami
“For God to prove himself on demand, physically, would be a grave disappointment, and the strongest Christians should be considerably grateful that he chooses not to do so. The skeptic endlessly demands proof, yet God refuses to insult the true intelligence of man, the '6th sense', the chief quality, the acumen which distinguishes man from the rest of creation, faith.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

David Foster Wallace
“...when he kneels at other times and prays or meditates or tries to achieve a Big-Picture spiritual understanding of God as he can understand Him, he feels Nothing — not nothing, but Nothing, an edgeless blankness that somehow feels worse than the sort of unconsidered atheism he Came In with.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

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