Sunday, September 30, 2007

"We honestly believe Christianity is the greatest sham in the world,
without truth in its history,
without loveliness in its doctrines,
without benefit to the human race,
and without anything to sustain it in the hold it has on the world."

-D.M. Bennett 1818-1882- freethinker

Saturday, September 29, 2007

"The lowest standards of ethics of which a right-thinking man can possibly conceive is taught to the common soldier whose trade is to shoot his fellow men. In youth he may have learned the command, 'Thou shalt not kill,' but the ruler takes the boy just as he enters manhood and teaches him that his highest duty is to shoot a bullet through his neighbor's heart - and this, unmoved by passion or feeling or hatred, and without the least regard to right or wrong, but simply because his ruler gives the word."
-Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

Thursday, September 27, 2007

For what purpose humanity is there should not even concern us: why you are there, that you should ask yourself: and if you have no ready answer, then set for yourself goals, high and noble goals, and perish in pursuit of them! I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible...
- Nietzsche, unpublished note from 1873

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important. "
-Quotations from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The demand to abandon illusions about our condition is a demand to abandon the conditions that require delusions.
-Karl Marx

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I am a man, and alive.... For this reason I am a novelist. And being a novelist, I consider myself superior to the saint, the scientist, the philosopher, and the poet, who are all great masters of different bits of man alive, but never get the whole hog.-- D.H. Lawrence

Saturday, September 22, 2007

“If some good evidence for life after death were announced, I'd be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere anecdote. As with the face on Mars and alien abductions, better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy. And in the final tolling it often turns out that the facts are more comforting than the fantasy.”
-- Carl Sagan, "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," from The Demon-Haunted World: Science As A Candle In The Dark, 1996

Monday, September 17, 2007

"The unexamined life may not be worth living,
but the overexamined life is nothing to write home about either."
-Daniel Dennett

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Melvin Warren Thompson
THOMPSON Melvin Warren Thompson, 82, of Glen St. Mary, FL, passed away Sunday, September 16, 2007. He was born on April 14, 1925 in Middlesex, N.C. Warren is survived by his wife of 58 years, Cleo Haddock Thompson; sons Warren Otis (Carole) Thompson, Ocala, FL; Neil Thompson, Atlanta, GA; and Kenneth (Debra) Thompson, Glen St. Mary, FL; granddaughters Brooke and Brianna Thompson, Ocala FL. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 19, at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Glen St. Mary. Interment will follow at Riverside Memorial Park, Jacksonville. Family will receive friends on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gideons International. Arrangements by Ferreria Funeral Service. Please Sign the Guestbook @ Jacksonville.com

In Memory of Melvin Warren Thompson

My father died today at Shands in Jacksonville, Fl.
cared for by family , friends, the staff of Shands
& briefly admitted to hospice care.

He showed his love more by his life than his words, &
more by his time than by things.
Love was spelled T-I-M-E.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

All truly wise thoughts have been thoughts already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, Aug. 15, 1820

"The test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms.
If a system injures the intelligence it is bad.
If it injures the character it is vicious.
If it injures the conscience it is criminal."
-- Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881) Swiss philosopher, critic &writer

Confessions of a Lonely Atheist
At a time when religion pervades every aspect of public life, there's something to be said for a revival of pagan peevishness.



Monday, September 10, 2007

"We must respect the other fellow's religion,
but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect
his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

- H. L. Mencken

" The religions of one age is the
literary entertainment of the next."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"To resist the sheeplife our supposed masters plan for us, we must enter the wilderness, both inner and outer, and search for knowledge. Unless we have a hankering for desolate places, this need not be literal. We do not quest for an actual wilderness, but the spirit the wilderness represents: we must seek the margins, both of society and of our minds. We must reject comfort, and seek out a wild, free, unfettered life. We must get out into the world away from that which is familiar, and fall into chance meetings with bikers and businessmen, with soldiers and protesters and hobo-saints. We must be open to them and the tales of their days, for in doing so we explore the outer reaches of our very selves. Of course, this is not without risk. Dragons have always lurked in the blank parts of the map. But even aside from the dangers out on the road, we face the fear of those we leave behind, those grown fat and dull on their ruminant lives. The common slur is of insanity, but what do we care for such pettiness? Hemingway had it right: we will `face eternity, or the lack of it, each day'. Madness, in the sense of an apartness from society bringing a lack of regard for its petty rules, has always been entwined with the search for enlightenment. What do such trials matter compared to what we will gain? In shedding the certainties that bind us, we will be free to embrace the truth that we are transitory. Existence is fleeting. There was nothing before, and there will be nothing after. There is this, and this alone. Can we afford to squander our scant time here in deadening ourselves with the dark light of television, with intoxicants, with the corrosions of faith? Unthinkable. We must fling ourselves out, and glory in the wonders beyond our sight. This world will arc on, but for each of us the twilight comes, and it comes harder than we could ever imagine. We must not be unknowing. We must not go to the bolt-gun as the lamb bred for butchery. We must truly experience existence. At least then, when it comes, we'll take the shot knowing that we stood and screamed that for a while, we too were here."

From "Unquiet Desperation"www.myspace.com/unquietdesperation

Monday, September 03, 2007

From the Rev. Jane Rzepka-This is the column from the current issue of Quest. In it the Rev. Rzepka responds to the question frequently asked by newcomers.http://clf.uua.org/quest/2007/09/#rzepka

"The most important word in our language is yes. It matters what we say yes to. It matters what we say no to.Ever no gets its value from the yes it also affirms.To say no to what denies and destroys is also to say yes to what affirms, builds, creates....."

-Jacob Trapp, from Dawn to Dusk Meditations

Saturday, September 01, 2007

ON Rhetoric
Socrates: The fact is, as we said at the beginning of our discussion, that the aspiring speaker needs no knowledge of the truth about what is right or good... In courts of justice no attention is paid whatever to the truth about such topics; all that matters is plausibility... There are even some occasions when both prosecution and defence should positively suppress the facts in favor of probability, if the facts are improbable. Never mind the truth -- pursue probability through thick and thin in every kind of speech; the whole secret of the art of speaking lies in consistent adherence to this principle.
Phaedrus: That is what those who claim to be professional teachers of rhetoric actually say, Socrates.
--Plato, Phaedrus 272

Princess Diana said, "Life is mostly froth and bubble, but two things stand like stone, kindness in another's trouble and courage in your own."
- originally quoted by Adam Lindsay Gordon

Michael Shermer is an Enthusiastic Bright who self-identifies as a skeptic. He writes a column for Scientific American, and in its August 21 issue, he addressed an open letter to Messrs. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens. (Dawkins and Dennett are also Enthusiastic Brights.) For Brights, this opinion article offers much food for thought/conversation. You can read it at:http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&colID=13&articleID=423C1809-E7F2-99DF-384721C9252B924A

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