Quotes about religion

A collection of quotes on the topic of religion.

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Мустафа Кемаль Ататюрк photo

„Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable.“

—  Мустафа Кемаль Ататюрк Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and the first President of Turkey 1881 - 1938
Context: Religion is an important institution. A nation without religion cannot survive. Yet it is also very important to note that religion is a link between Allah and the individual believer. The brokerage of the pious cannot be permitted. Those who use religion for their own benefit are detestable. We are against such a situation and will not allow it. Those who use religion in such a manner have fooled our people; it is against just such people that we have fought and will continue to fight. Know that whatever conforms to reason, logic, and the advantages and needs of our people conforms equally to Islam. If our religion did not conform to reason and logic, it would not be the perfect religion, the final religion. As quoted in Kemalizm, Laiklik ve Demokrasi [Kemalism, Laicism and Democracy] (1994) by Ahmet Taner Kışlalı

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„The world is divided into men who have wit and no religion and men who have religion and no wit.“

—  Avicenna medieval Persian polymath, physician, and philosopher 980 - 1037
This was declared without citation to have been attributed to Avicenna in A Rationalist Encyclopaedia : A Book of Reference on Religion, Philosophy, Ethics, and Science (1950), by Joseph McCabe, p. 43;<!-- probably because of a misreading of that article by McCabe --> it was also later wrongly attributed to Averroes in The Atheist World‎ (1991) by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, p. 46. It actually originates as a statement by the atheist Al-Maʿarri, earlier translated into English in A Short History of Freethought Ancient and Modern (1906) by John Mackinnon Robertson, Vol. I, Ch. VIII : Freethought under Islam, p. 269, in the form: "The world holds two classes of men ; intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."

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„If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination.“

—  Paul Dirac theoretical physicist 1902 - 1984
Context: If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards — in heaven if not on earth — all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins. Remarks made during the Fifth Solvay International Conference (October 1927), as quoted in Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations (1971) by Werner Heisenberg, pp. 85-86; these comments prompted the famous remark later in the day by Wolfgang Pauli: "Well, our friend Dirac, too, has a religion, and its guiding principle is "God does not exist and Dirac is His prophet." Variant translations and paraphrases of that comment are listed in the "Quotes about Dirac" section below.

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„Music is the only religion that delivers the goods.“

—  Frank Zappa American musician, songwriter, composer, and record and film producer 1940 - 1993

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„We are fighting against Islamism, not Islam. Islamism is the will to impose Shariah for all as civil, political and religious law. … In reality, it's asking French people to increasingly submit themselves to the Muslim religion. That goes totally against the secular principles of the French republic.“

—  Marine Le Pen French lawyer and politician 1968
Interview with The Daily Telegraph (26 December 2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/8225697/National-Fronts-Marine-Le-Pen-to-prove-formidable-rival-to-Nicolas-Sarkozy.html

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