Memorable Quotes


There’s a small “Quote to Remember …” widget in the lower right sidebar wherein a quote is randomly selected to appear each time the page loads. Below is the list of all of these quotes. They are a collection of the most eloquent, thought-provoking, inspiring or plain humorous quotes I’ve either come across. I update this page sporadically, with the latest quotes at the top.

Last updated: 04/20/13 4:29 PM ET

“[Anti-gay Christians] are not the Jews in Nazi Germany; they are the Neanderthals looking around in bewilderment as more evolved humans take over their territory, beating their chests and screaming ineffectually in the face of inexorable progress.”
Kyell Gold

“Pragmatism and idealism go hand-in-hand, the inspirational leader to the blue-collar worker. Pragmatism without idealism to guide it is hopeless; idealism without pragmatism to work for it is useless. Any party that rejects either one is doomed to impotence.”
Joé McKen

“Your right to religious freedom ends when it affects people outside of your sect. Your right to worship as you see fit does not include the right to be kowtowed to, the right to make other people live by your rules, or even the right not to be offended. Put on your big-boy pants and deal with it.”

“There is a fundamental difference between being discriminated against because of who you are and how you choose to live your life, and being ‘discriminated against’ because of how you believe other people should choose to live their lives. The first case has been shown time and time again to be generally not the way we choose to do things here in America (with some exceptions). The second case is a pathetic whining of people who are perfectly free to live their lives the way they want, but will not be happy unless they can stop other people from being happy. They are co-opting the language of civil rights in an effort to make themselves appear like victims. Don’t buy it, not for a second.”
Kyell Gold

“Beyond the universe there is nothing and within the universe the supernatural does not and cannot exist. Of all deceivers who have plagued mankind, none are so deeply ruinous to human happiness as those impostors who pretend to lead by a light above nature. Science has never killed or persecuted a single person for doubting or denying its teachings, and most of these teachings have been true; but religion has murdered millions for doubting or denying her dogmas, and most of these dogmas have been false.”
George P. Spencer (epitaph)

“I have a problem with religion or anything that says, ‘We have all the answers,’ because there’s no such thing as ‘the answers’. We’re complex. We change our minds on issues all the time. Religion leaves no room for human complexity.”
Daniel Radcliffe

“Two theologians debating the nature of a deity are like two Star Wars fanboys debating the nature of The Force.”

“If you have a bible on your bookshelf, you may be a Christian. If you have a Koran on your bookshelf, you may be a Muslim. If you have a Torah on your bookshelf, you may be Jewish. If you have all three, you are probably an atheist.”
Blonde Nonbeliever

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
Stephen Hawking

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
Marcus Aurelius

“Homosexuality is found in over 450 species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?”
Chad Aldridge

““New Atheism”/“New Atheist” refers to atheists speaking their minds, writing books and blog posts, wearing T-shirts and putting stickers on their cars and generally being exactly as open and vocal as Christians are in the US. So, of course, we're “rude”, “shrill”, “angry”, “bitter” awful people who need to shut the fuck up and leave the talking to the Christians. Cuz, you know, privilege.”

“It's a strange situation where the political party with more ex-wives than candidates […] is regarded as the protector of the sanctity of the family.”
PZ Myers

“A Christian has to be Adolf Hitler to be called militant. All an atheist has to do is write a book.”
Tommy Holland, Tommy Holland’s Vision

“Reality is a harsh mistress. She demands our honesty. She demands our work. She demands that we give up comforts, that we let ourselves feel pain, that we accept how small we are and how little control we have over our lives. And she demands that we make her our top priority.

But she is more beautiful, and more powerful, and more surprising, and more fascinating, and more endlessly rewarding, than anything we could ever make up about her.”
Greta Christina, Greta Christina's Blog

“Harry Potter is all about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity …. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
— Robin Browne (via Andrew Futral, Just Having Fun)

“The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.”
George Bernard Shaw

“Let’s drop the whole ‘atheist evangelism’ thing and call out bullshit questions like ‘what does atheism have to offer?’ for just what they are: Bullshit. I mean, what does knowing that the Earth goes around the Sun have to offer? Who cares? It just is.”
Rebecca Watson, Skepchick

“‘Straight news’? Fox News is so crooked that if they died, you would need to screw them into the ground.”
— Bad News at Media Matters

“Sure, science arose out of Catholicism…in the same sense that plumbing, sanitation systems, and public health policies arose out of sewage.”
— PZ Myers, Pharyngula

“One cliche that always irritates me is when people say something to the effect that ‘those who use profanity just show the limitations of their own vocabulary.’ The proper response to such drivel is, obviously, ‘Oh, fuck you.’ I have an excellent vocabulary, thank you very much, and I doubt anyone would deny that. But sometimes profanity expresses an idea with a clarity and emphasis that other words do not.

The use of profanity in writing is much like the use of spices during cooking. Used appropriately and with control, they add much to the dish; used in excess and without finesse, they can make the final result inedible (or unreadable).”
— Ed Brayton, Dispatches From the Culture Wars

“If the world dies of climate change, then written shall it be on our epitaph, that we argued ourselves to death.”
— [unknown]

“If the soul is an imaginary fantasy, then Mozart's music, Michaelangelo's sculptures, Picasso's paintings, the Wright brothers' plane, every work of art and technology produced by people whose names have been lost to us, every child, every dream, has been created by us, mere mortal flesh unled by a magic puppeteer in the sky, unaided by angels or spirits. I find that wonderful.”
— PZ Myers, Pharyngula

“Bragging about your IQ in a debate is the intellectual equivalent to bragging about your penis size in a bar fight.”
— Myself

“In life, when you ask a question, you don’t get to choose the answer you receive.”
— Myself

“Let's get something straight: there is no such thing as objective journalism. Every single journalist brings his or her own preconceptions to everything they do, including me. There is no point in pretending otherwise. Just own up to your biases and wear them on your sleeve for all to see and readers and viewers can take that into account. All that really matters is accuracy. If bias leads to inaccuracies in the reporting, then point out the inaccuracies. If it doesn't, then accusations of bias are meaningless.”
— Ed Brayton, Dispatches From the Culture Wars

“You know what’s the best way to turn someone into a monster? Treat ’em like one.”
— Myself

“Liberty is the possibility of doubting, of making a mistake,… of searching and experimenting,… of saying No to any authority - literary, artistic, philosophical, religious, social, and even political.”
— Ignazio Silone, The God That Failed (1950)

“Here is my advice as we begin the century that will lead to 2081. First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs. Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify. And don’t regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression.”
— Gerard K. O’Neill, 2081

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
— Abraham Lincoln

“My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.”
— Adlai Stevenson, from a speech in Detroit, 1952

“There are two freedoms: the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.”
— Charles Kingsley

“Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.”
— [unknown]

“Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves.”
— [unknown]

“Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires – Necessity, and Free Will.”
— Thomas Carlyle, Essays, ‘The Opera’

“Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.”
— Thomas Macaulay

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
— Soren Kierkegaard

“God made so many different kinds of people. Why would he allow only one way to serve him?”
— Martin Buber

“It is the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”
— Marlene Dietrich

“The only way for mankind to survive is for religion to die.”
— Bill Maher, Religulous

“No, there is not a fine line between love and hate. There’s actually a Great Wall of China, with sentinels posted every 20 feet, between love and hate.”
— Dr. Gregory House, House

“The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.”
— Tommy Smothers

“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 weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.”
— Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, February 24, 1959

“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”
— John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
— Voltaire

“The trouble about man is twofold. He cannot learn truths which are too complicated; he forgets truths which are too simple.”
— Rebecca West

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
— Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

“You talk to God, you’re religious. God talks to you, you’re psychotic.”
— Dr. Gregory House, House

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”
— Seneca the Younger

“No man treats a motor car as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behavior to sin, he does not say, ‘You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go’. He attempts to find out what is wrong and set it right.”
— Bertrand Russell, Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?

“Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.”
— Mark Twain

“I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it.”
— Joe Mullally

“The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye: the more light you pour on it, the more it contracts.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

“Religion is the opiate of the people.”
— Karl Marx

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Lord Acton

“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”
— Alexander Pope

“If anything can go wrong, it probably will, and likely in the worst possible manner.”
— Murphy’s Law

“Never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake.”
— Napoleon Bonaparte

“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
— Thomas Edison

“It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.”
— Stewart’s Law of Retroaction

“Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.”
— Socrates. (About 2,400 years ago.)

“Idealism is what precedes experience.”
— David T. Wolf

“Being busy doesn’t always mean you’re actually accomplishing anything.”
— [unknown]

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”
— Winston Churchill

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”
— Abraham Lincoln

“The quality of an individual is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”
— Ray Kroc

“As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”
— Andrew Carnegie

“There is no use whatsoever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb himself.”
— Andrew Carnegie

“Love your neighbor – but don’t pull down your hedge.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“The best way to see Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”
— Benjamin Franklin (paraphrasing from John Lyly: “After three days, fish and guests stink.”)

“There are no gains without pains.”
— Benjamin Franklin

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Benjamin Franklin

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”
— George Washington

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
— Margaret Thatcher

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”
— John F. Kennedy

“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”
— George Carlin

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”
— Will Rogers

“Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back in.”
— Will Rogers

“If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.”
— Will Rogers

“If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.”
— Will Rogers

“After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.”
— Will Rogers

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”
— Will Rogers

“Never appeal to a man’s better nature - he might not have one. Invoking his self interest gives you more leverage.”
— Lazarus Long

“Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo Sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself.”
— Lazarus Long

“A skunk is better company than a person who prides himself on being ‘frank’.”
— Lazarus Long

“Don’t try to have the last word. You might get it.”
— Lazarus Long

“The price for having rights is the responsibility of exercising them with consideration for others.”
— Wayne M. Schmidt

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
— Douglas Adams

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
— Epicurus

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
— Steven Weinberg

“If anybody had that cure out there like so many people swear to me they do, you’d be two things: you’d be very rich and you’d be very famous. Otherwise, shut up.”
— Patrick Swayze

“When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the Flag, and carrying a cross.”
— [unknown]