„Religion is heavily laden with the kind of confirmation bias that makes people see their own faiths as true and all others as false. In other words, religion is replete with features to help people fool themselves.“

Source: Faith vs. Fact (2015), p. 29

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update Jan. 20, 2022. History
Jerry Coyne photo
Jerry Coyne153
American biologist 1949

Related quotes

Pope Francis photo

„You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. … There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others. They are provocateurs.“

—  Pope Francis 266th Pope of the Catholic Church 1936

Statements on his official plane traveling from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, reported in "Pope Francis: 'You cannot make fun of the faith of others (15 January 2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSV-GD9gA-U
2010s, 2015
Context: Not only does each person have the freedom and the right to say what they think for the common good, they have a duty to do so. Because while it is true that is wrong to react with violence, If my good friend Mr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch in the nose. … It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. … There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others. They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Mr Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit. … One cannot make war… kill in the name of one’s own religion, that is, in the name of God.

Rabindranath Tagore photo
Jerry Coyne photo
Sri Aurobindo photo

„There are no true and false religions, but rather all religions are true in their own way and degree. Each is one of the thousand paths to the One Eternal.“

—  Sri Aurobindo Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru and poet 1872 - 1950

Indian Spirituality and Life (1919)
Context: To the Indian mind the least important part of religion is its dogma; the religious spirit matters, not the theological credo. On the contrary to the Western mind a fixed intellectual belief is the most important part of a cult; it is its core of meaning, it is the thing that distinguishes it from others. For it is its formulated beliefs that make it either a true or a false religion, according as it agrees or does not agree with the credo of its critic. This notion, however foolish and shallow, is a necessary consequence of the Western idea which falsely supposes that intellectual truth is the highest verity and, even, that there is no other. The Indian religious thinker knows that all the highest eternal verities are truths of the spirit. The supreme truths are neither the rigid conclusions of logical reasoning nor the affirmations of credal statement, but fruits of the soul's inner experience. Intellectual truth is only one of the doors to the outer precincts of the temple. And since intellectual truth turned towards the Infinite must be in its very nature many-sided and not narrowly one, the most varying intellectual beliefs can be equally true because they mirror different facets of the Infinite. However separated by intellectual distance, they still form so many side-entrances which admit the mind to some faint ray from a supreme Light. There are no true and false religions, but rather all religions are true in their own way and degree. Each is one of the thousand paths to the One Eternal.

Seneca the Younger photo

„Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.“

—  Seneca the Younger Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, and dramatist -4 - 65 BC

As quoted in What Great Men Think About Religion (1945) by Ira D. Cardiff, p. 342. No original source for this has been found in the works of Seneca, or published translations. It is likely that the quote originates with Edward Gibbon who wrote:<blockquote>The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful. — Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/890, Ch. II</blockquote> Elbert Hubbard would claim in 1904 ( Little Journeys: To the homes of great philosophers: Seneca http://www.online-literature.com/elbert-hubbard/journeys-vol-eight/2/) that Gibbon was "making a free translation from Seneca".
Disputed

„If the United States and other religious fundamentalist countries of any religion see themselves as God's people, all I can say is bring on the Antichrist and End of Days.“

—  Patricia MacCormack Australian Scholar

Occulture: Secular Spirituality, pp. 111-112
The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene (2020)

Ambrose Bierce photo

„Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.“

—  Ambrose Bierce American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist 1842 - 1914

The Devil's Dictionary (1911)
Source: The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary

Ben Croshaw photo

„Religion should be something you keep within the confines of your own head, and we should all recognize how pointless it is to try and make other people see the fairies that live in your brain.“

—  Ben Croshaw English video game journalist 1983

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/extra-punctuation/7473-Extra-Punctuation-Videogames-as-Art.2
Other Articles

Rabindranath Tagore photo
Hazrat Inayat Khan photo

„If people but knew their own religion, how tolerant they would become, and how free from any grudge against the religion of others.“

—  Hazrat Inayat Khan Indian Sufi 1882 - 1927

Source: The Bowl of Saki: Thoughts for Daily Contemplation from the Sayings and Teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan

Alex Salmond photo

„I’m naturally suspicious of people who wear religion heavily on their sleeves“

—  Alex Salmond Scottish National Party politician and former First Minister of Scotland 1954

Context: I do have a strong faith and always have had, I’m not a regular churchgoer now but I’m in church a lot – to do readings, to attend events and so on. I had a strong church upbringing which I think has been invaluable to me in terms of a moral compass – of some idea of what’s acceptable and what is not acceptable. I have a Presbyterian nature in that I like its ideas of individual responsibility and democracy. I’m naturally suspicious of people who wear religion heavily on their sleeves – that’s just not me and my style.

Max Müller photo

„He must be a man of little faith, who would fear to subject his own religion to the same critical tests to which the historian subjects all other religions. We need not surely crave a tender or merciful treatment for that faith which we hold to be the only true one.“

—  Max Müller German-born philologist and orientalist 1823 - 1900

Preface (Scribner edition, 1872) <!-- New York, Scribner p xx -->
Chips from a German Workshop (1866)
Context: He must be a man of little faith, who would fear to subject his own religion to the same critical tests to which the historian subjects all other religions. We need not surely crave a tender or merciful treatment for that faith which we hold to be the only true one. We should rather challenge it for the severest tests and trials, as the sailor would for the good ship to which he trusts his own life, and the lives of those who are dear to him. In the Science of Religion, we can decline no comparisons, nor claim any immunities for Christianity, as little as the missionary can, when wrestling with the subtle Brahmin, or the fanatical Mussulman, or the plain speaking Zulu.

„Knowing how to combat your own confirmation bias helps remove that huge handicap that we all share—the tendency for our beliefs to drift toward what we want to be true.“

—  Greg Craven American teacher and writer

Source: What's the Worst That Could Happen?: A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate (2009), Chapter 3 "Our Glitchy Brains" (p. 66)

David Levithan photo
Muammar Gaddafi photo
Josh Billings photo
Ramakrishna photo

„One should not think, "My religion alone is the right path and other religions are false." God can be realized by means of all paths.“

—  Ramakrishna Indian mystic and religious preacher 1836 - 1886

Source: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (1942), p. 158
Context: One should not think, "My religion alone is the right path and other religions are false." God can be realized by means of all paths. It is enough to have sincere yearning for God. Infinite are the paths and infinite the opinions.

Paul Kurtz photo
Swami Vivekananda photo

„The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!“

—  Swami Vivekananda Indian Hindu monk and phylosopher 1863 - 1902

Pearls of Wisdom

Mahatma Gandhi photo

„I intend to make a careful study of my own religion and, as far as I can, of other religions as well.“

—  Mahatma Gandhi pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism during British-ruled India 1869 - 1948

Part II: First Day in Pretoria
1920s, An Autobiography (1927)
Context: I am a Hindu by birth. And yet I do not know much of Hinduism, and I know less of other religions. In fact I do not know where I am, and what is and what should be my belief. I intend to make a careful study of my own religion and, as far as I can, of other religions as well.

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