“I acknowledge that history is full of religious wars: but we must distinguish; it is not the…”

“I acknowledge that history is full of religious wars: but we must distinguish; it is not the multiplicity of religions which has produced wars; it is the intolerant spirit animating that which believed itself in the ascendant.”

Montesquieu, Persian Letters

“Philosophy, unlike religion, which is rooted in the cult of religious communities, must fulfill the…”

“Philosophy, unlike religion, which is rooted in the cult of religious communities, must fulfill the task of rationally improving the self-understanding of mankind through arguments alone that, according to their form, are permitted to lay fallible claim to universal acceptance.”

Jürgen Habermas, “Critique and Communication: Philosophy’s Missions”, Eurozine, 16 October 2015

“I believe that, if a triangle could speak, it would say, in like manner, that God is eminently…”

“I believe that, if a triangle could speak, it would say, in like manner, that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular. Thus each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped.”

Baruch Spinoza, “Letter to Hugo Boxel” (1674)

“A jealous lover of human liberty, deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and…”

“A jealous lover of human liberty, deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity, I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that, if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.”

Mikhail Bakunin, God and the State

“Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown…”

“Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing – fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death.”

Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian

“What of immortality, that last refuge of those who have known too few pleasures and too many…”

“What of immortality, that last refuge of those who have known too few pleasures and too many sufferings, and who dream of finding some compensation in another world? It is easy to understand how people who have grown up in prejudice and with but little confidence in science, which has so often deceived them, people who are led by feeling rather than thought, reject an explanation which takes from them their last hope.”

Peter Kropotkin, Anarchist Morality

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