My neurologist once told me that people with temporal lobe epilepsy are very often intensely religious. Certainly just before I have a grand mal fit I have a 'vision' of such peace, joy and significance that I can only call it God. What does this say about the whole nature of religious vision? Certain episodes in the lives of the saints have acquired a new meaning for me. When Theresa of Avila had her three-day vision of hell, was she simply having a temporal lobe attack? The horrors she saw are similar to those I have experienced, but in her case informed by the religious imagery of her time. Like other saints who have 'seen' hell she describes an appalling stench, which is part of an epileptic aura. Is it possible that the feeling I have had all my life that something - God, perhaps? - is just over the horizon, something unimaginable but almost tangibly present, is simply the result of an electrical irregularity in my brain? It is a question that can't yet be answered, unless it be that God, if He exists, could have created us with that capacity for Him, glimpsed at only when the brain is convulsed. What I can say, however, is that if my 'visions' have sometimes let me into 'Hell' they have also given me possible intimations of a Heaven which I would not have been without.
It is usually when men are at their most religious that they behave with the least sense and the greatest cruelty.
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.
Cardinal Robert Bellarmine
Hast thou reason? I have. Why then dost not thou use it? For if this does its own work, what else dost thou wish?
“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.
H. L. Mencken
Suppose we've chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we're just making him madder and madder.
My mother was Southern Irish, and I was brought up as a devout Catholic. In fact, at one point I thought I'd become a priest, but I'd have made an appalling priest anyway... At 16, I asked all these monks some serious questions and they didn't come up with the answers, and I just decided I didn't believe in God.
ATHEISM = Liberation through Reason and Knowledge.