"Transference of fear and self-loathing to an authoritarian vessel - it’s catharsis. He absorbs their dread with his narrative. Because of this, he’s effective in proportion to the amount of certainty he can project.
Certain linguistic anthropologists think that religion is a language virus that rewrites pathways in the brain, dulls critical thinking…The ontological fallacy of expecting a light at the end of the tunnel, well, that’s what the preacher sells, same as a shrink.”
"If the only thing keeping a person decent is the expectation of divine reward then brother, that person is a piece of sh*t."
"Some folks enjoy community…the common good."
"If the common good’s got to make up fairy tales, then it’s not good for anybody."
"Can you imagine…if people didn’t believe, the things they’d get up to?"
"The exact same things they do now, just out in the open."
"You’re a pragmatist and a thinker. Atheism, from the Greek ‘atheos’ or ‘without God’, is the intellectual rejection of belief in God or deities. Atheists emphasize the lack of empirical evidence that God or an afterlife exists, and rely on scientific explanations for human existence. It should be noted that although atheists often reject all organized religion, there are some religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, that have traditions of atheist philosophies. So there could be a spiritual side to you after all."
1. The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity and love. Respect these above all.
2. Do not put things or even ideas above other human beings. (Let’s scream at each other about Kindle versus iPad, solar versus nuclear, Republican versus Libertarian, Garth Brooks versus Sun Ra— but when your house is on fire, I’ll be there to help.)
3. Say what you mean, even when talking to yourself. (What used to be an oath to (G)od is now quite simply respecting yourself.)
4. Put aside some time to rest and think. (If you’re religious, that might be the Sabbath; if you’re a Vegas magician, that’ll be the day with the lowest grosses.)
5. Be there for your family. Love your parents, your partner, and your children. (Love is deeper than honor, and parents matter, but so do spouse and children.)
6. Respect and protect all human life. (Many believe that “Thou shalt not kill” only refers to people in the same tribe. I say it’s all human life.)
7. Keep your promises. (If you can’t be sexually exclusive to your spouse, don’t make that deal.)
8. Don’t steal. (This includes magic tricks and jokes — you know who you are!)
9. Don’t lie. (You know, unless you’re doing magic tricks and it’s part of your job. Does that make it OK for politicians, too?)
10. Don’t waste too much time wishing, hoping, and being envious; it’ll make you bugnutty.