Heresy Quotes

Quotes tagged as "heresy" (showing 1-30 of 92)
Voltaire
“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”
Voltaire, The Age of Louis XIV

Baruch Spinoza
“Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.”
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Progress is born of doubt and inquiry. The Church never doubts, never inquires. To doubt is heresy, to inquire is to admit that you do not know—the Church does neither.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Thomas Paine From 'The Gods and Other Lectures'

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Since man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own making. He will believe in witchcraft and sorcery, even though he may otherwise be a heretic, an atheist, and a rebel.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

James Joyce
“There is no heresy or no philosophy which is so abhorrent to the church as a human being.”
James Joyce

Giordano Bruno
“Maybe you who condemn me are in greater fear than I who am condemned.”
Giordano Bruno

Albert Einstein
“The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.”
Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions

Yevgeny Zamyatin
“The world is kept alive only by heretics: the heretic Christ, the heretic Copernicus, the heretic Tolstoy. Our symbol of faith is heresy. (“Tomorrow”)”
Yevgeny Zamyatin

Yevgeny Zamyatin
“If we have no heretics we must invent them, for heresy is essential to health and growth.”
Yevgeny Zamyatin

Aaron Dembski-Bowden
“Everything is darkest," Xaphen mused, "before the dawn."

"That, my brother, is an axiom that sounds immensely profound until you realize it's a lie.”
Aaron Dembski-Bowden, The First Heretic

Walter M. Miller Jr.
“You heard him say it? 'Pain's the only evil I know about.' You heard that?"
The monk nodded solemnly.
"And that society is the only thing that determines whether an act is wrong or not? That too?"
"Yes."
"Dearest God, how did those two heresies get back into the world after all this time? Hell has limited imaginations down there. 'The serpent deceived me, and I did eat.”
Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Heresy is the eternal dawn, the morning star, the glittering herald of the day. Heresy is the last and best thought. It is the perpetual New World, the unknown sea, toward which the brave all sail. It is the eternal horizon of progress.
Heresy extends the hospitalities of the brain to a new thought.
Heresy is a cradle; orthodoxy, a coffin.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Heretics and Heresies: From 'The Gods and Other Lectures'

William Blake
“The Devil answer'd: bray a fool in a morter with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbaths God? murder those who were murder'd because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defense before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments; Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Robert M. Price
“Heresy," by the way, simply means "choice." It came to mean "thoughtcrime," implying it was blasphemy to presume to choose your own belief instead of swallowing what the bishops spoonfed you.”
Robert M. Price

Giordano Bruno
“I await your sentence with less fear than you pass it. The time will come when all will see what I see.”
Giordano Bruno

Umberto Eco
“But why do some people support [the heretics]?"
"Because it serves their purposes, which concern the faith rarely, and more often the conquest of power."
"Is that why the church of Rome accuses all its adversaries of heresy?"
"That is why, and that is also why it recognizes as orthodoxy any heresy it can bring back under its own control or must accept because the heresy has become too strong.”
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Albert Einstein
“there is found a third level of religious experience, even if it is seldom found in a pure form. I will call it the cosmic religious sense. This is hard to make clear to those who do not experience it, since it does not involve an anthropomorphic idea of God; the individual feels the vanity of human desires and aims, and the nobility and marvelous order which are revealed in nature and in the world of thought. He feels the individual destiny as an imprisonment and seeks to experience the totality of existence as a unity full of significance. Indications of this cosmic religious sense can be found even on earlier levels of development—for example, in the Psalms of David and in the Prophets. The cosmic element is much stronger in Buddhism, as, in particular, Schopenhauer's magnificent essays have shown us. The religious geniuses of all times have been distinguished by this cosmic religious sense, which recognizes neither dogmas nor God made in man's image. Consequently there cannot be a church whose chief doctrines are based on the cosmic religious experience. It comes about, therefore, that we find precisely among the heretics of all ages men who were inspired by this highest religious experience; often they appeared to their contemporaries as atheists, but sometimes also as saints.”
Albert Einstein, Religion and Science

S.J. Parris
“I do not believe that any book should be denied to the man who possesses the wisdom to understand it, Bruno, but that does not mean I am confused about where truth lies.”
S.J. Parris, Heresy

Ellis Peters
“One century's saint is the next century's heretic ... and one century's heretic is the next century's saint. It is as well to think long and calmly before affixing either name to any man.”
Ellis Peters, The Heretic's Apprentice

S.J. Parris
“It is strange the way that someone who wants to find you guilty can start to make you believe in your own guilt, even when you know you are innocent. I was afraid I would condemn myself my mistake.”
S.J. Parris, Heresy

William Blake
“The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the end of six thousand years is true, as I have heard from Hell.

For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard at tree of life, and when he does, the whole creation will be consumed, and appear infinite, and holy whereas it now appears finite & corrupt.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Giordano Bruno
“Perchance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.”
Giordano Bruno

Meister Eckhart
“I may err but I am not a heretic, for the first has to do with the mind and the second with the will!”
Meister Eckhart

Umberto Eco
“The faith a movement proclaims doesn't count: what counts is the hope it offers. All heresies are the banner of a reality, an exclusion. Scratch the heresy and you will find the leper. Every battle against heresy wants only this: to keep the leper as he is.”
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Galileo Galilei
“After an injunction had been judicially intimated to me by this Holy Office, to the effect that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center of the world, and moves, and that I must not hold, defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the said false doctrine, and after it had been notified to me that the said doctrine was contrary to Holy Scripture — I wrote and printed a book in which I discuss this new doctrine already condemned, and adduce arguments of great cogency in its favor, without presenting any solution of these, and for this reason I have been pronounced by the Holy Office to be vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center and moves:

Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Christians, this vehement suspicion, justly conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and heresies, and generally every other error, heresy, and sect whatsoever contrary to the said Holy Church, and I swear that in the future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything that might furnish occasion for a similar suspicion regarding me; but that should I know any heretic, or person suspected of heresy, I will denounce him to this Holy Office, or to the Inquisitor or Ordinary of the place where I may be. Further, I swear and promise to fulfill and observe in their integrity all penances that have been, or that shall be, imposed upon me by this Holy Office. And, in the event of my contravening, any of these my promises and oaths, I submit myself to all the pains and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents.”
Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

Gore Vidal
“The malice of a true Christian attempting to destroy an opponent is something unique in the world. No other religion ever considered it necessary to destroy others because they did not share the same beliefs. At worst, another man's belief might inspire amusement or contempt—the Egyptians and their animal gods, for instance. Yet those who worshipped the Bull did not try to murder those who worshipped the Snake, or to convert them by force from Snake to Bull. No evil ever entered the world quite so vividly or on such a vast scale as Christianity did.”
Gore Vidal, Julian

Thomas Pynchon
“Nobody wanted to hear about all the Preterite, the many God passes over when he chooses a few for salvation. William argued holiness for these "second Sheep," without whom there'd be no elect. You can bet the Elect in Boston were pissed off about that. And it got worse. William felt that what Jesus was for the elect, Judas Iscariot was for the Preterite. Everything in the Creation has its equal and opposite counterpart. How can Jesus be an exception? could we feel for him anything but horror in the face of the unnatural, the extracreational? Well, if he is the son of man, and if what we feel is not horror but love, then we have to love Judas too. Right? How William avoided being burned for heresy, nobody knows.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Charles M. Schulz
“All right, so you believe in Santa Claus, and I'll believe in the 'Great Pumpkin.' The way I see it, it doesn't matter what you believe just so you're sincere! (Linus)”
Charles M. Schulz

S.J. Parris
“The Catholic chruch as threatened your life - do you not want revenge? Have you not sold your hatred to the Pretestant cause to work against the church that has hunted you?"
"No," I said simply. "I hate no one. I want only to be left in peace to understand the mysteries of the universe in my own way."
"God has already laid out for us the mysteries of the universe, or as much as He permits us to understand. You think your way is better?"
"Better than these wars of dogma that have led men to burn and fillet one another across Europe for fifty years? Yes, I do."
"Then what is it you believe?"
I looked at him. "I believe that, in the end, even the devils will be pardoned.”
S.J. Parris, Heresy

“Christ is not God, not the saviour of the world, but a mere man, a sinful man and an abominable idol. All who worship him are abominable idolaters and Christ did not rise again from death to life nor did he ascend into heaven.”
Matthew Hammond

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