Dark Ages Quotes

Quotes tagged as "dark-ages" Showing 1-30 of 35
Ruth Hurmence Green
“There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.”
Ruth Hurmence Green

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Some Christian lawyers—some eminent and stupid judges—have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law.

Nothing could be more absurd. Long before these commandments were given there were codes of laws in India and Egypt—laws against murder, perjury, larceny, adultery and fraud. Such laws are as old as human society; as old as the love of life; as old as industry; as the idea of prosperity; as old as human love.

All of the Ten Commandments that are good were old; all that were new are foolish. If Jehovah had been civilized he would have left out the commandment about keeping the Sabbath, and in its place would have said: 'Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow-men.' He would have omitted the one about swearing, and said: 'The man shall have but one wife, and the woman but one husband.' He would have left out the one about graven images, and in its stead would have said: 'Thou shalt not wage wars of extermination, and thou shalt not unsheathe the sword except in self-defence.'

If Jehovah had been civilized, how much grander the Ten Commandments would have been.

All that we call progress—the enfranchisement of man, of labor, the substitution of imprisonment for death, of fine for imprisonment, the destruction of polygamy, the establishing of free speech, of the rights of conscience; in short, all that has tended to the development and civilization of man; all the results of investigation, observation, experience and free thought; all that man has accomplished for the benefit of man since the close of the Dark Ages—has been done in spite of the Old Testament.”
Robert G Ingersoll, About The Holy Bible

Mary  Stewart
“To expect and dread a thing for a lifetime; does not prepare you for the thing itself.”
Mary Stewart, Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy

“Discover how to visit the past and bring yesterday's stories into our lives today”
Gillian Hovell, 'Visiting the Past'

Jeffrey Tayler
“Killing, raping and looting have been common practices in religious societies, and often carried out with clerical sanction. The catalogue of notorious barbarities – wars and massacres, acts of terrorism, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the chopping off of thieves’ hands, the slicing off of clitorises and labia majora, the use of gang rape as punishment, and manifold other savageries committed in the name of one faith or another — attests to religion’s longstanding propensity to induce barbarity, or at the very least to give it free rein. The Bible and the Quran have served to justify these atrocities and more, with women and gay people suffering disproportionately. There is a reason the Middle Ages in Europe were long referred to as the Dark Ages; the millennium of theocratic rule that ended only with the Renaissance (that is, with Europe’s turn away from God toward humankind) was a violent time.

Morality arises out of our innate desire for safety, stability and order, without which no society can function; basic moral precepts (that murder and theft are wrong, for example) antedated religion. Those who abstain from crime solely because they fear divine wrath, and not because they recognize the difference between right and wrong, are not to be lauded, much less trusted. Just which practices are moral at a given time must be a matter of rational debate. The 'master-slave' ethos – obligatory obeisance to a deity — pervading the revealed religions is inimical to such debate. We need to chart our moral course as equals, or there can be no justice.”
Jeffrey Tayler

David Berlinski
“Commentators who today talk of 'The Dark Ages' when faith instead of reason was said to ruthlessly rule, have for their animadversions only the excuse of perfect ignorance. Both Aquinas' intellectual gifts and his religious nature were of a kind that is no longer commonly seen in the Western world.”
David Berlinski, The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions

Edward St. Aubyn
“We are entering the Dark Ages, my friend, but this time there will be lots of neon, and screen savers, and street lighting.”
Edward St. Aubyn, Lost for Words

Oliver Gaspirtz
“Democracy's fatal flaw: There are more dumb people than smart people. Welcome to the new Dark Ages!”
Oliver Gaspirtz

Thomas Paine
“Later times have laid all the blame upon the Goths and Vandals, but, however unwilling the partizans of the Christian system may be to believe or to acknowledge it, it is nevertheless true, that the age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system.There was more knowledge in the world before that period, than for many centuries afterwards; and as to religious knowledge, the Christian system, as already said, was only another species of mythology; and the mythology to which it succeeded, was a corruption of an ancient system of theism.

It is owing to this long interregnum of science, and to no other cause, that we have now to look back through a vast chasm of many hundred years to the respectable characters we call the Ancients. Had the progression of knowledge gone on proportionably with the stock that before existed, that chasm would have been filled up with characters rising superior in knowledge to each other; and those Ancients we now so much admire would have appeared respectably in the background of the scene. But the christian system laid all waste; and if we take our stand about the beginning of the sixteenth century, we look back through that long chasm, to the times of the Ancients, as over a vast sandy desert, in which not a shrub appears to intercept the vision to the fertile hills beyond.”
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

“{From Lindsey's address at the funeral of renowned scientist Luther Burbank. Burbank was one of the most beloved people in the early 20th century due to his countless contributions to humanity, but when, in an interview, he revealed that he was an atheist, the public quickly turned on him, sending him hundreds of death threats. Upset and grief stricken, the kind-hearted Burbank tried to respond to every letter amiably, a task that ultimately led to his death}

. . . Luther Burbank had a philosophy that actually works for human betterment, that dares to challenge the superstition, hypocrisy, and sham, which so often have worked for cruelties, inquisitions, wars and massacres. Superstition that stood across the road of Progress, commanded, not by a god or gods, but the meanest devils that we know--Ignorance, Intolerance, Bigotry, Fanaticism, and Hate. The prejudiced beneficiaries of organized theology refused to see what Burbank, the gifted child of Nature, saw with a vision as crystal as theirs is dense and dark. And so they assailed him.

One of the saddest spectacles of our times is the effort of hidebound theologians, still desperately trying to chain us to the past--in other forms that would still invoke the inquisitions, the fears, and the bigotries of the dark ages, and keep the world in chains. The chains of lies, hypocrisies, taboos, and the superstitions, fostered by the dying, but still the organized, relentless outworn theology of another age. They refuse to see that in their stupid lust for power they are endangering all that is good.”
Ben Lindsey

“With all the fucked up things going on in the world, just the fact that we can wake up in the morning is kind of a miracle.”
John Zorn

Kenneth  Clark
“In the early twelfth century century the Virgin had been the supreme protectress of civilisation. She had taught a race of tough and ruthless barbarians the virtues of tenderness and compassion. The great cathedrals of the Middle Ages were her dwelling places upon earth. In the Renaissance, while remaining the Queen of Heaven, she became also the human mother in whom everyone could recognise qualities of warmth and love and approachability...
The stabilising, comprehensive religions of the world, the religions which penetrate to every part of a man's being--in Egypt, India or China--gave the female principle of creation at least as much importance as the male, and wouldn't have taken seriously a philosophy that failed to include them both...It's a curious fact that the
all-male religions have produced no religious imagery--in most cases have positively forbidden it. The great religious art of the world is deeply involved with the female principle.”
Kenneth Clark, Civilisation

Sinclair Lewis
“We can go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin! It would just take a few thousand big shells and gas bombs to wipe out all the eager young men, and all the libraries and historical archives and patent offices, all the laboratories and art galleries, all the castles and Periclean temples and Gothic cathedrals, all the cooperative stores and motor factories—every storehouse of learning. No inherent reason why Sissy's grandchildren—if anybody's grandchildren will survive at all—shouldn't be living in caves and heaving rocks at catamounts.”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Jacob Lund Fisker
“The Dark Ages gradually ended six centuries ago with the Renaissance, which seeded new ideas for a different world. The Renaissance ideal dominated our culture until three centuries ago, from the 14th to the 18th century, when it was superseded by modernism. Not surprisingly, this human ideal has almost been forgotten in our culture. The Renaissance, literally "re-birth", was a revival and rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman culture following the decline of culture, trade, and technology during the Dark Ages.”
Jacob Lund Fisker

Kristin McTiernan
“Coming from where we do, it’s a rough adjustment—living here.” He put a hesitant hand on her shoulder, his calluses scratching against the fabric of her dress. “It’s true what they say about life in the dark ages, you know: nasty, brutish, and short. You and I once took it for granted we would die as old people in our beds, but we have no such assurance now. I’ll help you how I can, Isabella; but I can’t guarantee that either of us will live even to see tomorrow. Life is worth fighting for, young lady. But don’t feel it is something you’re owed.”
Kristin McTiernan, Sunder of Time

Christine Feehan
“Raven paced restlessly across the floor of the cabin, sending Jacques a little self-mocking smile. “I’m very good at waiting.”
“I can see that,” Jacques agreed dryly.
“Come on, Jacques”— Raven made the length of the room again, turned to face him—“ don’t you find this even a little bit nerve-racking?” He leaned lazily back in his chair, flashing a cocky grin.
“Being caged up with a beautiful lunatic, you mean?”
“Ha, ha, ha. Do all Carpathian males think they’re stand-up comedians?”
“Just those of us with sisters-in-law who bounce off walls. I feel like I am watching a Ping-Pong ball. Settle down.”
“Well, how long does something like this take? I thought he implied he’d be in and out of the hospital in two minutes, Jacques. What could have gone wrong? Mikhail was very upset.”
“Mikhail did not actually say anything went wrong, did he?” Jacques asked, blankly innocent.
Raven’s large blue-violet eyes settled on Jacques’s face thoughtfully. Jacques squirmed under her suspicious, steady gaze. There was far too much intelligence in her enormous eyes to suit him. He held up a placating hand. “Now, Raven.”
“Don’t you now-Raven me. That brother of yours, worm that he is, male chauvinist unequaled in modern times, told you something he didn’t tell me, didn’t he?”
Leaning back with studied casualness, Jacques tipped his chair to a precarious angle and raised an eyebrow. “Women have vivid imaginations. I think you have a suspicious nature due to your American upbringing.”
“Intellect, Jacques, not imagination,” she corrected sweetly. “My American upbringing made me incredibly intelligent, and believe me, I can spot one of your pathetic Carpathian plots to protect the helpless woman from information you consider would make her fragile little delicate self unnecessarily fearful.”
He grinned at her. “Carpathian males understand the fragile nature of women’s nerves. Women— especially American women— just cannot take the adversity that we men can.”
“I think I should have enjoyed meeting your mother. How a woman could manage to raise two domineering tyrants like you and Mikhail is beyond me.”
His dark eyes laughed at her. “But we are charismatic, sexy, handsome, and always right.”
Raven hooked her foot around his chair and sent him crashing to the floor. Hands on hips, she regarded him with a superior glint. “Carpathian men are vain, dear brother-in-law,” she proclaimed, “but not too bright.”
Jacques glared up at her with mock ferocity. “You have a mean streak in you, woman. Whatever happened to a soft, sweet, Yes, my lord, you’re always right?
“Try the Dark Ages.”
Christine Feehan, Dark Prince

“There were men in those dark ages who could commune with God, and who, by the power of faith, could draw aside the curtain of eternity and gaze upon the face of God, have the ministering of angels, and unfold the future destinies of the world. If those were dark ages, I pray God to give me a little darkness.”
John Taylor

Gillian Dance
“There it was again, that word, obedient. Dredged up out of the dark ages by a man scarcely older than me”
Gillian Dance, The Ultimate Religion

T.H. White
“The Dark and Middle Ages! The Nineteenth Century had an impudent way with its labels. For there, under the window in Arthur's Gramarye, the sun's rays flamed from a hundred jewels of stained glass in monasteries and convents, or danced from the pinnacle of cathedrals and castles, which their builders had actually loved. Architecture, in those dark ages of theirs, was such a light-giving passion of the heart that men gave love-names to their fortresses.”
T.H. White, The Candle in the Wind

“An intellectual golden age produces sages. An intellectual dark age produces fools. An intellectual dark age that fancies itself golden produces intellectuals.”
Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski

Carl Sagan
“Demon” means “knowledge” in Greek. “Science” means “knowledge” in Latin. A jurisdictional dispute is exposed, even if we look no further.”
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Richard Denham
“The problem with Gildas is that he was a moaner, obsessed with a golden past that never existed and whingeing about the current state of affairs at the time of his writing. He is not, of course, an historian in the modern sense but he is one of a long line of chroniclers who is over-pessimistic about their own times and bewails the loss of a better past.”
Richard Denham, Arthur: Shadow of a God

Catherine Nixey
“Out of all the froth and fury that was being issued from the government at the time, one law would become infamous for the next 1,500 years. Read this law and, in comparison to some of Justinian’s other edicts, it sounds almost underwhelming. Filed under the usual dull bureaucratic subheading, it is now known as ‘Law’. ‘Moreover,’ it reads, ‘we forbid the teaching of any doctrine by those who labour under the insanity of paganism’ so that they might not ‘corrupt the souls of their disciples.’ The law goes on, adding a finicky detail or two about pay, but largely that is it. Its consequences were formidable. This was this law that forced Damascius and his followers to leave Athens. It was this law that caused the Academy to close. It was this law that led the English scholar Edward Gibbon to declare that the entirety of the barbarian invasions had been less damaging to Athenian philosophy than Christianity was. This law’s consequences were described more simply by later historians. It was from this moment, they said, that a Dark Age began to descend upon Europe.”
Catherine Nixey, The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

Jean Baudrillard
“The radical illusion of the world cannot be dispelled. The illusion of dispelling it is the secondary illusion of the disavowal and transformation of the world. But perhaps, in going to its extreme, that movement gets caught up in its own game and ends up wiping out its own traces, leaving the field free for misappropriation, imperfection, the original crime? Perhaps there is a ruse of the world, just as there is a ruse of history, and rationality and perfection in general might merely be implementing its irrational decree? Sciences and technologies would then merely be an immense, ironic diversion on the horizon of its disappearance.

What within truth is merely truth falls foul of illusion. What within truth exceeds truth is of the order of a higher illusion. Only what exceeds reality can go beyond the illusion of reality.”
Jean Baudrillard, The Perfect Crime

Jules Michelet
“El domingo, después del oficio, había bastantes enfermos; pedían socorros y se les daba sólo palabras: -Has pecado y Dios te aflige. Da gracias, menos tendrás que sufrir en la otra vida. Resígnate, sufre, muere. La Iglesia tiene plegarias para sus difuntos.- Débiles, desmadejados, sin esperanza, ni ganas de vivir, seguían bien este consejo y dejaban escapar la vida.”
Jules Michelet, Satanism and Witchcraft: The Classic Study of Medieval Superstition

Thomas Howard
“The myth sovereign in the old age was that everything means everything. The myth sovereign in the new is that nothing means anything.”
Thomas Howard, Chance or the Dance? A Critique of Modern Secularism

Steve  Madison
“Why did the Roman Empire - the greatest civilizing force there has ever been - fall? It was because it became infected at every level by the negative liberty of Christianity. The Roman people started thinking of their personal salvation rather than their collective strength. Once the poison of individualism has spread among the people, Rome's fate was sealed. The collective collapsed. The Dark Ages came upon the West. Once the cohesion of the people has gone, everything fails.”
Steve Madison, The Quality Agenda: The Search for Excellence

Hilaire Belloc
“Four hundred years more were to pass before Europe was to reawaken from this sort of sleep into which her spirit had retreated, and the passage from the full civilization of Rome through this period of simple and sometimes barbarous things, is properly called the Dark Ages.
It is of great importance for anyone who would comprehend the general story of Europe, to grasp the nature of those half-hidden centuries. They may be compared to a lake into which the activities of the old world flowed and stirred and then were still, and from which in good time the activities of the Middle Ages, properly so called, were again to flow.”
Hilaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith Sine auctoritate nulla vita

Hilaire Belloc
“The contemplation of the Dark Ages affords a powerful criticism of that superficial theory of social evolution which is among the intellectual plagues of our own generation. Much more is the story of Europe like the waking and the sleeping of a mature man, than like any indefinite increase in the aptitudes and powers of a growing body.”
Hilaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith Sine auctoritate nulla vita

Julia Gfrörer
“Agnes! Do you hear me? I was wrong. The world isn't ending. There are things that matter. We matter.”
Julia Gfrörer, Laid Waste

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