Quotes from Isaac Asimov



From Isaac Asimov's Guide to the Bible

"As it happens, Josephus, who mentions John the Baptist, does not mention Jesus. There is, to be sure, a paragraph in his history of the Jews which is devoted to Jesus, but it interrupts the flow of the discourse and seems suspiciously like an afterthought.  Scholars generally believe this to have been an insertion by some early Christian editor who, scandalized
 that Joesphus should talk of the period without mentioning the Messiah, felt the insertion to be a pious act."

From The Canadian Atheists Newsletter

"Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written.  And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes.  I personally resent it bitterly and warn the people of Canada..."

From The Tyrannosaurus Prescription

"...anger is the common substitute for logic among those who have no evidence for what they desperately want to believe."

"Naturally since the Sumerians didn't know what caused the flood any more than we do, they blamed the gods. (That's the advantage of religion. You're never short an explanation for anything.)"

From I. Asimov: A Memoir

"...if I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words.  I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul."

From Free Inquiry

"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."

"I am not responsible for what other people think.  I am responsible only for what I myself think, and I know what that is.  No idea I've ever come up with has ever struck me as a divine revelation. Nothing I have ever observed leads me to think there is a God watching over me."

"Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven.  I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism."

From 2000 Years of Disbelief, Famous People with the Courage to Doubt

"The fundamentalists deny that evolution has taken place; they deny that the earth and the universe as a whole are more than a few thousand years old, and so on. There is ample scientific evidence that the fundamentalists are wrong in these matters, and that their notions of cosmogony have about as much basis in fact as the Tooth Fairy has."

"I certainly don't believe in the mythologies of our society, in heaven and hell, in God and angels, in Satan and demons. I've thought of myself as an ´atheist,´ but that simply described what I didn't believe in, not what I did. Gradually, though, I became aware there was a movement called ´humanism,´ which used that name because, to put it most simply, humanists believe that human beings produced the progressive advance of human society and also the ills that plague it. They believe that if the ills are to be alleviated, it is humanity that will have to do the job. They disbelieve in the influence of the supernatural on either the good or the bad of society."

From Nightfall

"So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You'd better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can't rearrange the universe."

Some Random Quotes

"Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."

"I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more.  For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse."

"The bible must be seen in a cultural context. It didn't just happen. These stories are retreads. But, tell a Christian that
 -- No, No! What makes it doubly sad is that they hardly know the book, much less its origins."

"Creationists make it sound as though a ´theory´ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night."

"To rebel against a powerful political, economic, religious, or social establishment is very dangerous and very few people do it, except, perhaps, as part of a mob. To rebel against the "scientific" establishment, however, is the easiest thing in the world, and anyone can do it and feel enormously brave, without risking as much as a hangnail. Thus, the vast majority, who believe in astrology and think that the planets have nothing better to do than form a code that will tell them whether tomorrow is a good day to close a business deal or not, become all the more excited and enthusiastic about the bilge when a group of astronomers denounces it."

"Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition."

"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today."

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