After sleeping through a hundred million centuries [dead/unborn] we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -- as I am surprisingly often -- why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?I'm not sure you'll see as many overlaps as I did if you follow the above link and compare the scientific atheist world view with that of the Taoist sage.
~ Richard Dawkins from Positive Atheism ~
"Nature is neither kind nor cruel but indifferent."
What I do find a little lacking occasionally in these writings (although certainly it is often present, as with the first quote) is a sense of awe and wonder. That science can often come over as dull though is not so much the fault of the message commonly, but the fact that great poets don't often write equations. I'm certainly drawn to science and am 100% atheist and nonreligious, yet I'll often sound spiritual and, thereby, come over as verging on the mumbo jumbo magical side than the rational. This position is, I think, because I'm more for the "wow" than the "how?" in life.
And two more quotes for Trey:
"To fill a world with ... religions of the Abrahamic kind, is like littering the streets with loaded guns. Do not be surprised if they are used."Even more quotes from the same website:
"We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in [Thor, tooth fairy, hanuman]. Some of us just go one god further."
He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.And here's a final quote Ta-Wan thought up on his own!
~ Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy ~
To illustrate the vain conceit that the universe must be somehow pre-ordained for us, because we are so well-suited to live in it, he [Adams] mimed a wonderfully funny imitation of a puddle of water, fitting itself snugly into a depression in the ground, the depression uncannily being exactly the same shape as the puddle.
~ Richard Dawkins, in "Lament for Douglas" (14 May 2001) ~
Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.
~ Bertrand Russell (attributed: source unknown) ~
"It is the fear of the religious person that God may visit them and they must admit disbelief.You can check out Ta-Wan's other musings here.
It is the fear of the thinking person that a higher intelligence may visit and for them to have not clearly stated their disbelief in any of the religious teachings. (and, though unlikely, in a universe of zillions of stars finding some aliens there is far more likely than finding a God in a solar system)."