Inquisition Quotes

Quotes tagged as "inquisition" (showing 1-30 of 39)
Bertrand Russell
“That is the idea -- that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called ages of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion.

You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so. I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, 'This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children.' Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue.

That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. 'What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.”
Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

Philip Pullman
“It comes from history. It comes from the record of the Inquisition, persecuting heretics and torturing Jews and all that sort of stuff; and it comes from the other side, too, from the Protestants burning the Catholics. It comes from the insensate pursuit of innocent and crazy old women, and from the Puritans in America burning and hanging the witches — and it comes not only from the Christian church but also from the Taliban. Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them because they don't accept him. Wherever you look in history, you find that. It’s still going on.”
Philip Pullman

Wilhelm Reich
“It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

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

Umberto Eco
“Under torture you are as if under the dominion of those grasses that produce visions. Everything you have heard told, everything you have read returns to your mind, as if you were being transported, not toward heaven, but toward hell. Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond (this, truly, diabolical) is established between you and him ... These things I know, Ubertino; I also have belonged to those groups of men who believe they can produce the truth with white-hot iron. Well, let me tell you, the white heat of truth comes from another flame.”
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Robert G. Ingersoll
“The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave.
All laws for the purpose of making man worship God, are born of the same spirit that kindled the fires of the auto da fe, and lovingly built the dungeons of the Inquisition. All laws defining and punishing blasphemy -- making it a crime to give your honest ideas about the Bible, or to laugh at the ignorance of the ancient Jews, or to enjoy yourself on the Sabbath, or to give your opinion of Jehovah, were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men. An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at. No one thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule, by the threat of fine and imprisonment. It strikes me that God might write a book that would not necessarily excite the laughter of his children. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that a real God could produce a work that would excite the admiration of mankind.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

“Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.”
Alfred Whitney Griswold, Essays on Education

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

Geoffrey Miller
“Imagine a young Isaac Newton time-travelling from 1670s England to teach Harvard undergrads in 2017. After the time-jump, Newton still has an obsessive, paranoid personality, with Asperger’s syndrome, a bad stutter, unstable moods, and episodes of psychotic mania and depression. But now he’s subject to Harvard’s speech codes that prohibit any “disrespect for the dignity of others”; any violations will get him in trouble with Harvard’s Inquisition (the ‘Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’). Newton also wants to publish Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, to explain the laws of motion governing the universe. But his literary agent explains that he can’t get a decent book deal until Newton builds his ‘author platform’ to include at least 20k Twitter followers – without provoking any backlash for airing his eccentric views on ancient Greek alchemy, Biblical cryptography, fiat currency, Jewish mysticism, or how to predict the exact date of the Apocalypse.

Newton wouldn’t last long as a ‘public intellectual’ in modern American culture. Sooner or later, he would say ‘offensive’ things that get reported to Harvard and that get picked up by mainstream media as moral-outrage clickbait. His eccentric, ornery awkwardness would lead to swift expulsion from academia, social media, and publishing. Result? On the upside, he’d drive some traffic through Huffpost, Buzzfeed, and Jezebel, and people would have a fresh controversy to virtue-signal about on Facebook. On the downside, we wouldn’t have Newton’s Laws of Motion.”
Geoffrey Miller

Voltaire
“My dear young lady, when you are in love, and jealous, and have been flogged by the Inquisition, there's no knowing what you may do.”
Voltaire, Candide

Umberto Eco
“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

“To Judaism Christians ascribe the glory of having been the first religion to teach a pure monotheism. But monotheism existed long before the Jews attained to it. Zoroaster and his earliest followers were monotheists, dualism being a later development of the Persian theology. The adoption of monotheism by the Jews, which occurred only at a very late period in their history, was not, however, the result of a divine revelation, or even of an intellectual superiority, for the Jews were immeasurably inferior intellectually to the Greeks and Romans, to the Hindus and Egyptians, and to the Assyrians and Babylonians, who are supposed to have retained a belief in polytheism. This monotheism of the Jews has chiefly the result of a religious intolerance never before equaled and never since surpassed, except in the history of Christianity and Mohammedanism, the daughters of Judaism. Jehovistic priests and kings tolerated no rivals of their god and made death the penalty for disloyalty to him. The Jewish nation became monotheistic for the same reason that Spain, in the clutches of the Inquisition, became entirely Christian.”
John E. Remsburg, The Christ

Amaka Imani Nkosazana
“In order to be a success, you must think like success. Get up and move! You got to make things happen.”
Amaka Imani Nkosazana, Heart Crush

Michela Wrong
“Spirituality can go hand-in-hand with ruthless single-mindedness when the individual is convinced his cause is just”
Michela Wrong, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo

Robert G. Ingersoll
“If the Pentateuch be true, religious persecution is a duty. The dungeons of the Inquisition were temples, and the clank of every chain upon the limbs of heresy was music in the ear of God. If the Pentateuch was inspired, every heretic should be destroyed; and every man who advocates a fact inconsistent with the sacred book, should be consumed by sword and flame.

In the Old Testament no one is told to reason with a heretic, and not one word is said about relying upon argument, upon education, nor upon intellectual development—nothing except simple brute force. Is there to-day a christian who will say that four thousand years ago, it was the duty of a husband to kill his wife if she differed with him upon the subject of religion? Is there one who will now say that, under such circumstances, the wife ought to have been killed? Why should God be so jealous of the wooden idols of the heathen? Could he not compete with Baal? Was he envious of the success of the Egyptian magicians? Was it not possible for him to make such a convincing display of his power as to silence forever the voice of unbelief? Did this God have to resort to force to make converts? Was he so ignorant of the structure of the human mind as to believe all honest doubt a crime? If he wished to do away with the idolatry of the Canaanites, why did he not appear to them? Why did he not give them the tables of the law? Why did he only make known his will to a few wandering savages in the desert of Sinai? Will some theologian have the kindness to answer these questions? Will some minister, who now believes in religious liberty, and eloquently denounces the intolerance of Catholicism, explain these things; will he tell us why he worships an intolerant God? Is a god who will burn a soul forever in another world, better than a christian who burns the body for a few hours in this? Is there no intellectual liberty in heaven? Do the angels all discuss questions on the same side? Are all the investigators in perdition? Will the penitent thief, winged and crowned, laugh at the honest folks in hell? Will the agony of the damned increase or decrease the happiness of God? Will there be, in the universe, an eternal auto da fe?”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

Iain Pears
“Considering he was neither priest nor scholar, the young man gave sensible, thoughtful replies -- the more so, perhaps, for being untrained, for he had not learned what he should believe or should not believe. Present a statement to him in flagrant contradiction to all Christian doctrine and he could be persuaded to agree on its good sense, unless he remembered it was the sort of thing of which pyres are made for the incautious.”
Iain Pears, The Dream of Scipio

Michael Coren
“...more men and women were slaughtered in a couple of weeks of the terror of the atheistic French Revolution than in a century of the Inquisition.”
Michael Coren, Why Catholics are Right

Raheel Farooq
“Good questions are to be appreciated, not answered.”
Raheel Farooq

Philip Ball
“No matter who you were in sixteenth-century Europe, you could be sure of two things: you would be lucky to reach fifty years of age, and you could expect a life of discomfort and pain. Old age tires the body by thirty-five, Erasmus lamented, but half the population did not live beyond the age of twenty. There were doctors and there was medicine, but there does not seem to have been a great deal of healing. Anyone who could afford to seek a doctor's aid did so eagerly, but the doctor was as likely to maim or kill as to cure. His potions were usually noxious and sometimes fatal—but they could not have been as terrible and traumatic as the contemporary surgical methods. The surgeon and the Inquisitor differed only in their motivation: otherwise, their batteries of knives, saws, and tongs for slicing, piercing, burning, and amputating were barely distinguishable. Without any anesthetic other than strong liquor, an operation was as bad as the torments of hell.”
Philip Ball, The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science

Nikos Kazantzakis
“You know all about love, but that is not enough. You must also learn that hate comes from God as well, that it too is in the Lord's service. And in times like these, with the world fallen to the state it has, hate serves God more than love.”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis

Dennis Prager
“The number of innocents killed by Leftist movements dwarfs the numbers killed by any other movement in a comparable period of time at any time in history, and certainly in the modern world. The Church, a favorite target of the Left, hardly competes. For example, in its nearly five hundred years of existence the Inquisition killed approximately five thousand people. And that ended more than five hundred years ago, when barbarity was the norm.”
Dennis Prager, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph

“This was the end of the Renaissance. Culture, once beloved and fostered by the papacy, opened the way to dangerous freedom. Then - as now - knowledge, culture, intellectual curiosity became suspect, even dangerous to oppressive regimes: knowledge leading to engaging the mind into reasoning, culture into wanting to know more, intellectual curiosity sharpening the appetite for information, fact. Ignorance was considered safe and political oppression went hand in hand with the congregation of the Inquisition.”
Gaia Servadio, Renaissance Woman

Paul Watzlawick
“Karl Popper, in The Open Society and Its Enemies, made a comment that sounds almost prophetic now: that the happy, primitive society (which, by the way, never existed) is lost for all those who have eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The more we try to return to the heroic age of tribalism, Popper warns, the more certainly we will reach the Inquisition, the secret police, and a romanticized gangsterism. But once the existential problems of the individual, who is good by nature, can be blamed on the "evil" society, nothing stands in the way of sheer imagination. The definition of the benevolent society free of all power is only a question of fantasy.”
Paul Watzlawick

Jack McDevitt
“Contemporaries only know the authority figures and the loudmouths. And the people born into power. But it takes perspective to know who's carrying the load. Nobody here has a clue who Johannes Kepler is. All they know about Galileo is that he's a teacher who got in trouble with the Inquisition. I doubt anyone's heard of Francis Bacon. Even in Britain, nobody really knows him. He's just a guy with a funny name.”
Jack McDevitt, Time Travelers Never Die

René Girard
“We condemn the Inquisition in the name of Christian values. After all, we can't condemn it in the name of the Mahabharata, which is comprised of a series of alternating murders, rather like the Iliad!”
René Girard, The One by Whom Scandal Comes

Harriet Ann Jacobs
“Die Geheimnisse der Sklaverei werden genauso totgeschwiegen wie die der Inquisition.”
Harriet Ann Jacobs, Erlebnisse aus dem Leben eines Sklavenmädchens

Henry Kamen
“Both defenders and opponents of the Inquisition have often accepted without question the image of an omniscient, omnipotent tribunal whose fingers reached into every corner of the land. The extravagant rhetoric on both sides has been one of the major obstacles to understanding. For the Inquisition to have been as powerful as suggested, the fifty or so inquisitors in Spain would need to have had an extensive bureaucracy, a reliable system of informers, regular income and the cooperation of the secular and ecclesiastical authorities. Seldom if ever did they have any of these.”
Henry Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision

Henry Kamen
“By its vigilance and by coordinating its efforts throughout the peninsula, it may be argued that the Inquisition checked the seeds of heresy before they could be sown. This view, however, is both naïve and optimistic. At no time in history have governments been able to identify and eliminate security threats before they happen.”
Henry Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision

Julian Jaynes
“We sometimes think, and even like to think, that the two greatest exertions that have influenced mankind, religion and science, have always been historical enemies, intriguing us in opposite directions. But this effort at special identity is loudly false. It is not religion but the church and science that were hostile to each other. And it was rivalry, not contravention. Both were religious. They were two giants fuming at each other over the same ground. Both proclaimed to be the only way to divine revelation.”
Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

“Частенько я завидую трем знаменитым фигуркам-обезьянкам. Тем самым... "Не вижу зла, не слышу зла, не говорю о зле". Я так не могу. Видя зло - я не могу закрыть глаза. Не могу назвать предательство - доблестью, а убийство - благом, даже если отчетливо сознаю необходимость этого. Таков тяжелый дар Посвящения, сделавшего меня Высоким Инквизитором. Моя броня, защищающая от лживых посул и соблазнов проникающих в наш мир демонов. Просто иногда эта броня слишком уж тяжело давит на плечи.
Другие Ордена Церкви Столпов Света требуют от своих членов постов, целибата, ночных молений... да и много чего еще. Наш - всегда снисходительно относится к слабостям своих адептов. Мы едим мясо, пьем хмельное, путаемся с девушками нетяжелого поведения, почти не делая различий между бордельными девками, и высокородными девицами в поисках приключений... И все потому, что мы знаем - когда мы увидим зло, то не сможем отвернуться. Не сможем ему не противостоять. Не сможем закрыть глаза. Но иногда... и даже - почти всегда, зло приходится сокрушать злом. Демоны редко внемлют проповедям... а люди... люди бывают страшнее любых демонов. И тогда в ход идет не тихое увещевение, но Тяжкое слово и остро отточенный меч. И вот, чтобы лекарство не стало страшнее болезни - мы не можем закрыть глаза и на зло в себе.”
Сергей Георгиевич Юрченко, Шиповник и ландыши

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