„Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.“

—  Sigmund Freud, A Philosophy of Life (Lecture 35)
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Sigmund Freud142
Austrian neurologist known as the founding father of psycho… 1856 - 1939
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Miguel de Unamuno photo

„The world desires illusion (mundus vult decipi) — either the illusion antecedent to reason, which is poetry, or the illusion subsequent to reason, which is religion. And Machiavelli has said that whosoever wishes to delude will always find someone willing to be deluded.“

—  Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936
Context: The philosophy of Bergson, which is a spiritualist restoration, essentially mystical, medieval, Quixotesque, has been called a demi-mondaine philosophy. Leave out the demi; call it mondaine, mundane. Mundane — yes, a philosophy for the world and not for philosophers, just as chemistry ought to be not for chemists alone. The world desires illusion (mundus vult decipi) — either the illusion antecedent to reason, which is poetry, or the illusion subsequent to reason, which is religion. And Machiavelli has said that whosoever wishes to delude will always find someone willing to be deluded. Blessed are they who are easily befooled!

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„I think the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief; and anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization.“

—  Steven Weinberg American theoretical physicist 1933
Context: There are those whose views about religion are not very different from my own, but who nevertheless feel that we should try to damp down the conflict, that we should compromise it. … I respect their views and I understand their motives, and I don't condemn them, but I'm not having it. To me, the conflict between science and religion is more important than these issues of science education or even environmentalism. I think the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief; and anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization. Closing statements of presentation at Beyond Belief : Science, Religion, Reason and Survival (5 November 2006)

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Alan Watts photo

„Religion is always falling apart.“

—  Alan Watts British philosopher, writer and speaker 1915 - 1973
Buddhism, the Religion of No-Religion

Bruno Bauer photo

„There is no longer any religion when there is no longer any privileged religion. Take from religion its exclusive power and it will no longer exist.“

—  Bruno Bauer German philosopher and historian 1809 - 1882
As quoted in Karl Marx's "The Jewish Question" by ; as translated in Karl Marx, Frederick Engels : Collected Works (1975) edited by International Publishers

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Lin Yutang photo

„That is a final fact of my inner consciousness, and for no religion could I deny its truth.“

—  Lin Yutang Chinese writer 1895 - 1976
Context: I feel, like all modern Americans, no consciousness of sin and simply do not believe in it. All I know is that if God loves me only half as much as my mother does, he will not send me to Hell. That is a final fact of my inner consciousness, and for no religion could I deny its truth. p. 407

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„It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Context: It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read. By the same test the world must judge me. But this does not satisfy the priesthood. They must have a positive, a declared assent to all their interested absurdities. My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. Letter to Mrs. Harrison Smith (6 August 1816)

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„To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god.“

—  Jorge Luis Borges Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish language literature 1899 - 1986
"The Meeting in a Dream"

Jacques Ellul photo

„This is the very heart of modern religion, the religion of the established fact, the religion on which depend the lesser religions of the dollar, race, or the proletariat, which are only expressions of the great modern divinity, the Moloch of fact.“

—  Jacques Ellul French sociologist, technology critic, and Christian anarchist 1912 - 1994
Context: People think that they have no right to judge a fact — all they have to do is to accept it. Thus from the moment that technics, the State, or production, are facts, we must worship them as facts, and we must try to adapt ourselves to them. This is the very heart of modern religion, the religion of the established fact, the religion on which depend the lesser religions of the dollar, race, or the proletariat, which are only expressions of the great modern divinity, the Moloch of fact. p. 37

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„The facts of our soul-life must be investigated and stated with scientific accuracy, and our clergy should be taught to purify religion with the criticism of scientific methods.“

—  Paul Carus American philosopher 1852 - 1919
Context: Some imagine that science is limited to the lower sorts of natural facts only. Religious and moral facts have been too little heeded by our scientists. Thus people came to think that science and religion move in two different spheres. That is not so. The facts of our soul-life must be investigated and stated with scientific accuracy, and our clergy should be taught to purify religion with the criticism of scientific methods. They need not fear for their religious ideals. So far as they are true, and their moral kernel is true, they will not suffer in the crucible of science. Religion will not lose one iota of its grandeur, if it is based upon a scientific foundation; all that it will lose is the errors that are connected with religion and the sooner they are lost the better for us. Homilies of Science p. 15