Words of wisdom: pt.2

Carl Sagan Ph.D

(1934 – 1996),

was an American physicist, astronomer, cosmologist, astrobiologist, astrophysicist, author and TV presenter. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s some repertoire. He was critical of nuclear weapons, and extremely sceptical of religion, and became a public spokesperson in support of science and astronomy. During the ’70s and ’80s he became a household name, and was a science consultant in several NASA projects. He was also confident in extraterrestrial life, but he went to his grave without ever discovering if his theories were true.


“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

“Nothing disturbs me more than the glorification of stupidity.”

“I don’t want to believe. I want to know.”

Woody Allen

Heywood Allen is an American actor, author, comedian, playwright and director. He was born in a Brooklyn surrounded by a Jewish culture. He’s stared in, and directed many movies throughout his sixty year career, but it’s his thinking and his opinions that I find fascinating.


“If Jesus came back and saw what was being done in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.”

“Photons have mass? I didn’t even know they were Catholic.”

“I’d call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse.”

George Carlin

(1937 – 2008),

was a standup comedian, actor, author and philosopher, and was one of the greatest minds of the comedy circuit, and of social criticism. He wasn’t afraid to rock the boat, and this gained him much admiration. He was critical of politics and religion, and other subjects considered taboo. He was raised as a Roman Catholic, and was an altar boy, so it’s understandable that he despised religion. Sadly he left us too soon, but he will be remembered for many generations.


“I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fucked up.”

“Think of how it all started: America was founded by slave owners who informed us, “All men are created equal.” All “men,” except Indians, niggers, and women. Remember, the founders were a small group of unelected, white, male, land-holding slave owners who also, by the way, suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. To my mind, that is what’s known as being stunningly–and embarrassingly–full of shit.”

“Swearing on the Bible, you understand that shit? They tell you to raise your right hand and put your left hand on the Bible. Does this stuff really matter, which hand? Does God really give a fuck about details like this? Suppose you put your right hand on the Bible and you raise your left hand. Would that count? Or would God say, ‘Sorry, wrong hand, try again’? And why does one hand have to be raised? […] But let’s get back to the Bible, America’s favorite national theatrical prop. Suppose the Bible they hand you to swear on is upside down, or backward, or both, and you swear to tell the truth on an upside-down backward Bible. Would that count? Suppose the Bible they hand you is an old Bible and half the pages are missing. Suppose all they have is a Chinese Bible. In an American court. Or a Braille Bible, and you’re not blind. Suppose they hand you an upside-down, backward, Chinese, Braille Bible with half the pages missing. At what point does all of this stuff just break down and become just a lot of stupid shit that somebody made up? They fuckin’ made it up, folks, it’s make-believe! It’s make-believe […] Bible or no Bible, God or no God, if it suits their purposes, people are going to lie in court.”

Christopher Hitchens

(1949 – 2011),

was an author, a social critic, philosopher, columnist, and journalist. He was an anti-theist who was confident that religion was toxic, authoritarian, and extremely harmful. There’s not much else to say about him that most atheists don’t know.


“To terrify children with the image of hell… to consider women an inferior creation. Is that good for the world?

“I learned that very often the most intolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.

“We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.”

Bill Hicks

(1961 – 1994),

was a stand up comedian, that like George Carlin, was extremely critical of religion and politics. He was raised as a southern Baptist, so like Carlin, this is probably where his contempt for religion came from. He often liked to discuss conspiracy theories, talk about drugs, and go on occasional rants. Sadly he died on pancreatic cancer at aged just 32


“Any organization created out of fear must create fear to survive.”

“I love the Pope, I love seeing him in his Pope-Mobile, his three feet of bullet proof plexi-glass. That’s faith in action folks! You know he’s got God on his side.

“Eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions god’s infinite love.

Words of wisdom: Pt.1

Words put into the correct context can have a profound effect, as they can influence you, guide you, change an opinion, give advice, motivate you and offer wisdom. A good quote can leave a lasting impact on the world, long after the person has left us. So I’ve decided to compile some of what I consider words of wisdom.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens

(1835 – 1910),

or more commonly known to the world as Mark Twain was an American author, a humorist, journalist and inventor. His most famous works are the novels ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)’, which amused both children and adults alike, and they were heavily influenced by his early life beside the Mississippi, and his brief career as a riverboat pilot. His legacy lives on 110 years after his death, and he remains one of America’s most loved authors and thinkers.


“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

Bertrand Arthur William Russell 3rd Earl Russell

(1872 – 1970),

was born into British aristocracy, and became a social and political commentator, mathematician, philosopher, historian and a sceptical liberal. He was honoured as a Nobel Laureate in 1950 for literature, and is regarded as one of the most important and influential philosophers of the twentieth century. He’s credited with the mathematical ‘Russell’s paradox.’

“Russell’s paradox is based on examples like this: Consider a group of barbers who shave only those men who do not shave themselves. Suppose there is a barber in this collection who does not shave himself; then by the definition of the collection, he must shave himself. But no barber in the collection can shave himself. (If so, he would be a man who does shave men who shave themselves.)” – Source


“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

“Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.”

“A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

Isaac Asimov Ph.D

(1920 – 1992),

was an author and a professor of biochemistry who worked at the university of Boston. He wrote a great deal of science fiction stories, as well as non-fiction science educational books. In his science fiction novels he created the ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ which heavily influenced future writers and movie makers, and he received multiple Hugo awards throughout his career, and a number of his books appeared as movies on the big screen.


“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

“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.”

“Science is uncertain. Theories are subject to revision; observations are open to a variety of interpretations, and scientists quarrel amongst themselves. This is disillusioning for those untrained in the scientific method, who thus turn to the rigid certainty of the Bible instead. There is something comfortable about a view that allows for no deviation and that spares you the painful necessity of having to think.”

Albert Einstein Ph.D

(1879 – 1955),

was a German born theoretical physicist who’s most famous for his pioneering theory of relativity, and like Bertrand Russell, he too was a Nobel Laureate in 1921, for his input towards the development of the theory of quantum physics. E = mc^2 remains one of the most famous equations even for people who have no idea what it means. Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared in case you’re wondering. Both he and Bertrand Russell, and 11 other scientists signed the ‘Russell–Einstein Manifesto‘, during the Cold War, warning and highlighting the dangers of nuclear weaponry and that alternative measures must be used in the case of conflict.

“Harvey’s 1985 study authors reported that Einstein’s brain had a higher number of  glial cells (those that support and insulate the nervous system) per neurons (nerve cells) than other brains they examined. They concluded that it might indicate the neurons had a higher metabolic need — in other words, Einstein’s brain cells needed and used more energy, which could have been why he had such advanced thinking abilities and conceptual skills.” – Source


“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”

‪Any fool can know. The point is to understand‬.”

François-Marie Arouet

(1694 – 1778),

was best known as ‘Voltaire‘. He was alive during the ‘Age of Enlightenment‘, and he was a French National. He was renowned for being extremely critical of Christianity, and was a strong advocate for secularism. He was a writer, a philosopher and a historian. He was strongly against brutality and oppression which he used his literary wit to criticise. He studied at a Jesuit school, and this is where his scepticism of organised religion was born.


“Common sense is not so common.”

“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”

“Many are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others, to persecute those who do reason.”