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Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists

Dan Barker

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing "Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.”

“People are invariably surprised to hear me say I am both an atheist and an agnostic, as if this somehow weakens my certainty. I usually reply with a question like, 'Well, are you a Republican or an American?' The two words serve different concepts and are not mutually exclusive. Agnosticism addresses knowledge; atheism addresses belief. The agnostic says, 'I don't have a knowledge that God exists.' The atheist says, 'I don't have a belief that God exists.' You can say both things at the same time. Some agnostics are atheistic and some are theistic.”

“There is no “universal moral urge” and not all ethical systems agree. Polygamy, human sacrifice, infanticide, cannibalism (Eucharist), wife beating, self-mutilation, foot binding, preemptive war, torture of prisoners, circumcision, female genital mutilation, racism, sexism, punitive amputation, castration and incest are perfectly “moral” in certain cultures. Is god confused?”

“Isn't atheism just another religion?' No, it isn't. Atheism has no creeds, rituals, holy book, absolute moral code, origin myth, sacred spaces or shrines. It has no sin, divine judgment, forbidden words, prayer, worship, prophecy, group privileges, or anointed 'holy' leaders. Atheists don't believe in a transcendent world or supernatural afterlife. Most important, there is no orthodoxy in atheism.”

“Perhaps the funniest example is that of the Rev. Milton Barfoot, who said to Dan’s brother, in apparently honest bafflement, “But, isn’t Dan afraid of hell?” No, Reverend, Dan doesn’t believe in hell anymore, that’s one of the things about being an atheist, you see.”

“The short life of Jesus can hardly compare with the suffering of brave heretics who have been persecuted for criticizing Christianity, or with the agony of the “witches” who were burned, drowned and hanged by bible believers (quoting Exodus 22:18: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”). Nor”

“Nor can the one day of suffering Jesus supposedly endured compare with the Holocaust, the genocide of Native Americans or the pain of those who were tortured during the Inquisition. His supposed contribution to the world hardly compares with the hard work, sacrifice and discipline of intelligent individuals who have dedicated their lives to science and medicine. Just because Jesus was considered a Higher Power does not make his alleged suffering any higher than yours or mine.”

“In any event, how can the temporal sufferings of Jesus compare to the sufferings of the entire human race? Did Jesus ever experience the pain of childbirth? The billions of women going through labor are much more life giving, much more nurturing of value than a few hours of self-imposed bleeding on a cross. The”

“Mithra’s birth was witnessed by shepherds and by Magi who brought gifts to his sacred birth-cave of the Rock. Mithra performed the usual assortment of miracles: raising the dead, healing the sick, making the blind see and the lame walk, casting out devils.”

“Why is there no governmental oversight of how public money is spent by these organizations and churches? Probably because there is an assumption that if it is religious, it must be good.”

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Book Keywords:

definition, atheism, american, knowledge, surprise, dan-barker, agnosticism, republican, agnostic-atheism, science, godless, belief, skepticism

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