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Skeptic » Lectures » Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

“Since we (atheists) don’t believe that morality is based upon obediently following the obscure and often contradictory orders of a magical invisible deity, our moral and ethical compasses rely on natural, rational, self-evident foundations. In that vein, a key principle we rely upon is treating others the same way we ourselves would like to be treated. It is as sound and solid and universal a practical ethic as we’ve ever created. And it directly relates to speech: if we want the freedom to express our opinions, our ideas, our views—however unpopular or scandalous they may be—then we must grant that right to others.”

― Phil Zuckerman

A rabbi was asked by one of his students “Why did God create atheists?” After a long pause, the rabbi finally responded with a soft but sincere voice. “God created atheists” he said, “to teach us the most important lesson of them all – the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his actions are based on his sense of morality. Look at the kindness he bestows on others simply because he feels it to be right. When someone reaches out to you for help. You should never say ‘I’ll pray that God will help you.’ Instead, for that moment, you should become an atheist – imagine there is no God who could help, and say ‘I will help you’.”

- Martin Buber


“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

― Bertrand Russell


Every great truth begins as a blasphemy.

- George Bernard Shaw


Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.

- George Orwell


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