All the greats saw the folly of organised religion, why can't you?

The Christian God can be easily pictured as virtually the same as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, evil and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed, beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of the people who say they serve him. There are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites... Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man

Thomas Jefferson American President (1801–1809)

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

James Madison American president and political theorist (1751-1836)

The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.

Abraham Lincoln, American president (1809-1865).

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies... Lighthouses are more helpful then churches

Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father, author, and inventor

At present there is not a single credible established religion in the world.

George Bernard Shaw Irish-born English playwright (1856-1950).

Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.

Sigmund Freud, Austrian physician and pioneer psychoanalyst (1856-1939).

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.

I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."
"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist

4 Responses to “All the greats saw the folly of organised religion, why can't you?”

  1. # Blogger lone star

    I love spinoza!!
    here is a great link to his study...

    him and thomas moore give great tools for understandin "religion"
    I would like to add to the modern greats from my own list ...
    Martian Luther, and Dietrich Bonhoffer.  

  2. # Anonymous anonymouse

    Thomas Jefferson . No 1 on your list who makes the most salient point.

    o He attended religious services in the Capitol Building (and such services were also held in the Supreme Court building).

    o He favoured using the word "God" in the national motto.

    o Supported the use of the Bible as reading materials in such schools.

    o He personally prayed at public events.

    o Exempted churches from taxation.

    o In 1801, he wrote that "the Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which [the clergy] have enveloped it, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and freest expansion of the human mind."

    I think that best sums up what i was trying to say. I also believe that other religions have essentially good qualities.

    “It [the Bible] is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus." [Jan 9, 1816 Letter from Jefferson to Charles Thomson]  

  3. # Blogger lone star

    if you were gonna argue about anyone on his list it would be why he chooses Sigmund Freud over Jung?  

  4. # Anonymous Mac

    Hey anonymous fuckface, here's the full Jefferson quote. I'm calling you a fuckface not because your religious, but because you do what religious people ALWAYS FUCKING DO, which is cherry pick your goddamn quotes to misrepresent what the original author explicitly meant. You and your young-earth-i'm-a-douchebag-creationist buddies do this all the fucking time. If you have any, uh, "critical reading skills," (which you obviously don't, since you probably believe in the bible), you'd realize that Jefferson is not saying anything kind to traditional Christians of his day:

    "I, too, have made a wee-little book from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy of Jesus; it is a paradigma of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature."

    Letter to Charles Thomson (9 January 1816), on his The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (the "Jefferson Bible"), which omits all Biblical passages asserting Jesus' virgin birth, miracles, divinity, and resurrection. Published in The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes, Federal Edition, Paul Leicester Ford, ed., New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904, Vol. 11, pp. 498–499.
    (accessed at

    If someone has a longer quote than this, I would like to see a reference to it as well.

    Because some people need this spelled out for them: Jefferson liked the golden rule, he liked the ethics of Jesus, but he was pretty sure (like any rational person should be) that Mr. Jesus was just another crazy, natural, human being in an era full of other, crazy, would-be prophets.

    Yes it is 4+ years later that I stumble upon this old post. But goddamn do I feel better now.  

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