Atheism & Agnosticism

Quotes from Famous Atheist / Agnostic Philosophers on Religion & God

A little philosophy inclineth men's minds to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds to religion. (Francis Bacon)

The essence of any religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me? It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion (i.e. without any kind of relationship to the world) as it is for there to be a person without a heart. He may not know that he has a religion, just as a person may not know that he has a heart, but it is no more possible for a person to exist without a religion than without a heart. (Leo Tolstoy, 1879)


Introduction - Atheism / Atheist Quotes - Agnostic / Agnosticism Quotes - Sigmund Freud - Albert Einstein - Charles Darwin - Nietzsche - Leo Tolstoy - David Hume - Sudhakar S.D - Fritjof Capra - Top of Page

Introductory Quotes:Buddha, David Hume, Albert Einstein, Leo Tolstoy, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Fritjof Capra

Charles Darwin - On Religion, God, AtheismFriedrich Nietzsche - Quotes on God, Religion, Truth, SkepticismDavid Hume - Atheist, Atheism, Agnostic, Agnosticism: The idea of God, as meaning an infinitely intelligent, wise and good Being, arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mindReligions Atheist Atheism Agnostic Agnosticism - Leo Tolstoy - And the cause of everything is that which we call God. Religions Atheist Atheism Agnostic Agnosticism - Sigmund Freud - It is still more humiliating to discover how large a number of people living today, who cannot but see that this religion is not tenable, nevertheless try to defend it piece by piece in a series of pitiful rearguard actions.Religions Atheist Atheism Agnostic Agnosticism - Albert Einstein -The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. Religions Atheist Atheism Agnostic Agnosticism - Fritjof Capra - The most important characteristic of the Eastern world view- one could almost say the essence of it- is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality.

Sabbadanam dhammadanam jinati
The gift of truth excels all other gifts
The world is continuous flux and is impermanent. (Buddha)

Our most holy religion is founded on Faith, not on reason.
... superstitions, which, being unable to defend themselves on fair ground, raise these intangling brambles to cover and protect their weakness. ... The idea of God, as meaning an infinitely intelligent, wise and good Being, arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mind .. this theory of the universal energy and operation of the Supreme Being is too bold ever to carry conviction with it to a man .. We are ignorant, it is true, of the manner in which bodies operate on each other: Their force or energy is entirely incomprehensible: But are we not equally ignorant of the manner or force by which a mind, even the supreme mind, operates either on itself or on body? .. We have no idea of the Supreme Being but we learn from reflection on our own faculties. (David Hume, 1737)

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)

And the cause of everything is that which we call God. (Leo Tolstoy, 1879)

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses. (Sigmund Freud)

Deep Ecology is rooted in a perception of reality that goes beyond the scientific framework to an intuitive awareness of the oneness of all life, the interdependence of its multiple manifestations and its cycles of change and transformation. When the concept of the human spirit is understood in this sense, its mode of consciousness in which the individual feels connected to the cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is truly spiritual. Indeed the idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in the Latin root of the word religion, religare (to bind strongly), as well as the Sanskrit yoga, which means union. (Fritjof Capra, 1982)


Introduction

For many years I was an Atheist Evolutionist. Only after much study of Philosophy, Physics, Metaphysics and Theology (particularly Tolstoy) did I realise that it is illogical to be an Atheist as Religion simply means our Connection to the Universe (What Exists and Causes all things, i.e. God). As Tolstoy writes;

It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion (i.e. without any kind of relationship to the world) as it is for there to be a person without a heart. He may not know that he has a religion, just as a person may not know that he has a heart, but it is no more possible for a person to exist without a religion than without a heart. (Leo Tolstoy, 1879)

Tolstoy is correct that our connection to the Infinite must be founded on Reason and Knowledge (not faith, intuition). This is similar to Spinoza.

"The fundamental atheism of Spinoza," said David Hume, "is the doctrine of the simplicity of the universe and the unity of that substance in which he supposes both thought and matter to inhere."

This website is founded on the the Metaphysics of Space and the Wave Structure of Matter as the most simple science theory. The aim is to show that we can understand Reality and the interconnection of all things.

One Thing, (Space) has Properties (Wave-Medium) that give rise to the many things (Matter as the Spherical Wave Motion of Space). This then allows us to form the necessary connections for language and logic (as logic requires a relationship between two things). The Metaphysic of Space and Motion and the Wave Structure of Matter allows humans to understand how they exist in Space and are interconnected (sharing waves) with other Matter in the Space around them. Thus Matter and the Universe are One, humans exist as structures of the universe.

Below you will find interesting and wise quotes from philosophers and scientists on Atheism, Agnosticism, God and Religion. At the top of this page you will find links to the main pages that explain and solve many of the problems of modern physics, philosophy, metaphysics and theology from the foundations of the Metaphysics of Space and Motion and the Wave Structure of Matter. Enjoy!

Sincerely,
Geoff Haselhurst & Karene Howie


Introduction - Atheism / Atheist Quotes - Agnostic / Agnosticism Quotes - Sigmund Freud - Albert Einstein - Charles Darwin - Nietzsche - Leo Tolstoy - David Hume - Sudhakar S.D - Fritjof Capra - Top of Page

Atheism / Atheist Quotes

Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses. (Sigmund Freud)

In my Future of an Illusion (1927) I was concerned much less with the deepest sources of religious feeling than with what the common man understands by his religion- with the system of doctrines and promises which on the one hand explains to him the riddles of the world with enviable completeness, and, on the other, assures him that a careful Providence will watch over his life and will compensate him in a future existence for any frustrations he suffers here. The common man cannot imagine this Providence otherwise than in the figure of an enormously exalted father. Only such a being can understand the needs of the children of men and be softened by their prayers and placated by the signs of their remorse. The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life. It is still more humiliating to discover how large a number of people living today, who cannot but see that this religion is not tenable, nevertheless try to defend it piece by piece in a series of pitiful rearguard actions. (Sigmund Freud, Society and its Discontents 1930)

The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously. (Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946)

I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. (Albert Einstein)

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars. (Charles Darwin)

We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act. (Charles Darwin)

I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds, which follow[s] from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, and I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biassed by the pain which it would give some members of my family, if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion. (Charles Darwin)

When it was first said that the sun stood still and world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei [the voice of the people is the voice of God], as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. (Charles Darwin)

How so many absurd rules of conduct, as well as so many absurd religious beliefs, have originated, we do not know; nor how it is that they have become, in all quarters of the world, so deeply impressed on the minds of men; but it is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, while the brain is impressionable, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason. (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man)

I am aware that the assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for his existence. The idea of a universal and beneficent Creator does not seem to arise in the mind of man, until he has been elevated by long-continued culture. (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man)

But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created that a cat should play with mice. (Charles Darwin, source unknown)

... The idea of God, as meaning an infinitely intelligent, wise and good Being, arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mind, and augmenting, without limit, those qualities of goodness and wisdom. (David Hume, 1737)

You find certain phenomena in nature. You seek a cause or author. You imagine that you have found him. You afterwards become so enamoured of this offspring of your brain, that you imagine it impossible, but he must produce something greater and more perfect than the present scene of things, which is so full of ill and disorder. You forget, that this superlative intelligence and benevolence are entirely imaginary, or, at least, without any foundation in reason; and that you have no ground to ascribe to him any qualities, but what you see he has actually exerted and displayed in his productions. Let your gods, therefore, O philosophers, be suited to the present appearances of nature: and presume not to alter these appearances by arbitrary suppositions, in order to suit them to the attributes, which you so fondly ascribe to your deities. (David Hume, 1737)

To have recourse to the veracity of the supreme Being, in order to prove the veracity of our senses, is surely making a very unexpected circuit. (David Hume, 1737)

What if God were not exactly truth, and if this could be proved? And if he were instead the vanity, the desire for power, the ambitions, the fear, and the enraptured and terrified folly of mankind? (Nietzsche, 1890)

Do not allow yourselves to be deceived: Great Minds are Skeptical. (Nietzsche, 1890)


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Agnostic / Agnosticism Quotations

Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Aldous Huxley, Leo Tolstoy, Sudhakar S.D, Fritjof Capra

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954)

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. (Albert Einstein, The World as I See It)

I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. (Albert Einstein)

With pantheism, ... the deity is associated with the order of nature or the universe itself .... When modern scientists such as Einstein and Stephen Hawking mention 'God' in their writings, this is what they seem to mean: that God is Nature. (Victor J. Stenger, Has Science Found God? 2001)

What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. (Albert Einstein)

A celebrated author and divine has written to me that he has gradually learned to see that it is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that he created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that he required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of his laws. (Charles Darwin, Origin of Species)

I am aware that the conclusions arrived at in this work will be denounced by some as highly irreligious; but he who denounces them is bound to show why it is more irreligious to explain the origin of man as a distinct species by descent from some lower from, through the laws of variation and natural selection, than to explain the birth of the individual through the laws of ordinary reproduction. The birth both of the species and of the individual are equally parts of that grand sequence of events, which our minds refuse to accept as the result of blind chance. (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man)

And the cause of everything is that which we call God. To know God and to live is the same thing. God is Life. .. What am I? A part of the infinite. It is indeed in these words that the whole problem lies. The essence of any religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me? .. It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion (i.e. without any kind of relationship to the world) as it is for there to be a person without a heart. He may not know that he has a religion, just as a person may not know that he has a heart, but it is no more possible for a person to exist without a religion than without a heart. (Leo Tolstoy, 1879)

For the first time in the history of the world, Buddhism proclaimed a salvation which each individual could gain from him or herself, in this world, during this life, without any least reference to God, or to gods either great or small. (Aldous Huxley)

But man does need God. Vedanta defines God as Brahman, which is beyond all duality, plurality and beyond all categories of thought; yet including these. But the Vedantic concept of God is difficult for the common man to understand. It is beyond those who are incapable of abstract thinking, for it is impossible for them to establish an effective living relationship with what is formless, infinite, transcendent, that Brahman is. Such people need a personal God with whom they establish a personal relationship- a father, mother, master, goddess, beloved, friend. Lord Krishna, a human incarnation of God, is closer to the heart of common man than Brahman could be. For unless the infinite is conceived in the finite form of a personal God, devotion will be lacking in depth and intensity. The senses need a form, a concrete something that can be held, touched and adored. (Sudhakar S.D, 1988. I Am All)

..The real God is not to be sought in idols and symbols, in temples or churches.
The truth of the matter is that the purified man is God himself, for he has become one with universal life. The purified man is the self-realised man. He has not to await answers from God, for he has no questions to ask. He himself is the answer to all questions; his life itself is a benediction. (Sudhakar S.D, 1988. I Am All)

Deep Ecology is rooted in a perception of reality that goes beyond the scientific framework to an intuitive awareness of the oneness of all life, the interdependence of its multiple manifestations and its cycles of change and transformation. When the concept of the human spirit is understood in this sense, its mode of consciousness in which the individual feels connected to the cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is truly spiritual. Indeed the idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in the Latin root of the word religion, religare (to bind strongly), as well as the Sanskrit yoga, which means union. (Fritjof Capra)

We are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us. We can never have enough of nature. (Henry David Thoreau)

A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty - it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. (Albert Einstein)

A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge. (Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot)

I believe in the cosmos. All of us are linked to the cosmos. So nature is my god. To me, nature is sacred. Trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals. Being at one with nature. (Mikhail Gorbachev)


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Sigmund Freud Quotes

Quotations on Atheism and Religion from Psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses. (Sigmund Freud)

Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. (Sigmund Freud)

One feels inclined to say that the intention that man should be 'happy' is not included in the plan of 'Creation.' (Sigmund Freud)

The impression forces itself upon one that men measure by false standards, that everyone seeks power, success, riches for himself, and admires others who attain them, while undervaluing the truly precious thing in life. (Sigmund Freud)

I do not think our successes can compete with those of Lourdes. There are so many more people who believe in the miracles of the Blessed Virgin than in the existence of the unconscious. (Sigmund Freud)

I have found little that is 'good' about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think. (Sigmund Freud)

In my Future of an Illusion (1927) I was concerned much less with the deepest sources of religious feeling than with what the common man understands by his religion- with the system of doctrines and promises which on the one hand explains to him the riddles of the world with enviable completeness, and, on the other, assures him that a careful Providence will watch over his life and will compensate him in a future existence for any frustrations he suffers here. The common man cannot imagine this Providence otherwise than in the figure of an enormously exalted father. Only such a being can understand the needs of the children of men and be softened by their prayers and placated by the signs of their remorse. The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life. It is still more humiliating to discover how large a number of people living today, who cannot but see that this religion is not tenable, nevertheless try to defend it piece by piece in a series of pitiful rearguard actions. (Sigmund Freud, Society and its Discontents 1930)


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Albert Einstein Quotations

Quotes on Religion, God, Faith, Reason, Science, Pantheism & Morality from the Scientist / Philosopher Albert Einstein

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954) From Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of Nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being. (Albert Einstein, 1936) Responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray. Source: Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. (Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. (Albert Einstein, The World as I See It)

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 egotisms. (Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955)

I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. (Albert Einstein) Following his wife's advice in responding to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the International Synagogue in New York, who had sent Einstein a cablegram bluntly demanding "Do you believe in God?" Quoted from and citation notes derived from Victor J. Stenger, Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001), chapter 3.

One strength of the Communist system ... is that it has some of the characteristics of a religion and inspires the emotions of a religion. (Albert Einstein, Out Of My Later Years, 1950)

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/quote-e.htm


I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiratation of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance -- but for us, not for God. (Albert Einstein) Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. (Albert Einstein)

The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously." (Albert Einstein) Letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946

The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action. (Albert Einstein)

I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.(Albert Einstein) Albert Einstein: The Human Side

I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. (Albert Einstein)

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. (Albert Einstein) "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. (Albert Einstein)

The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.(Albert Einstein)

http://www.mega.nu:8080/atheist_quotes_1.html


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Charles Darwin

God, Religion, Science, Knowledge, Atheism Quotes / Quotations by Charles Darwin

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars. (Charles Darwin)

As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities. (Charles Darwin)

Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. (Charles Darwin)

We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act. (Charles Darwin)

I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds, which follow[s] from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, and I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biassed by the pain which it would give some members of my family, if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion. (Charles Darwin)

http://www.darwin-literature.com/l_quotes.html

When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, quoted from John Stear, No Answers in Genesis)

When it was first said that the sun stood still and world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei [the voice of the people is the voice of God], as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science.
(Charles Darwin, reminding his readers that they should always treat "obvious" truths with skepticism, in the context of the apparent absurdity of evolving a complex eye through a long series of gradual steps, in the famous passage added to later editions of the Origin of Species (1872, p. 134), quoted from Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002), chapter 1, "Defining and Revising the Structure of Evolutionary Theory," p. 1 (the bracketed translation is Gould's)

False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutory pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path toward errors is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened. (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man)

A celebrated author and divine has written to me that he has gradually learned to see that it is just as noble a conception of the Deity to believe that he created a few original forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that he required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of his laws. (Charles Darwin, Origin of Species p. 422)

About thirty years ago there was much talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorize; and I well remember someone saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a gravel-pit and count the pebbles and describe the colours. How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!
(Charles Darwin, letter to Henry Fawcett, who had defended Darwin before the British Association for the Advancement of Science against a critic who said Darwin's book was too theoretical and that he should have just "'put his facts before us and let them rest," quoted from Michael Shermer, "Colorful Pebbles and Darwin's Dictum: Science is an exquisite blend of data and theory," Scientific American, May, 2001)

How so many absurd rules of conduct, as well as so many absurd religious beliefs, have originated, we do not know; nor how it is that they have become, in all quarters of the world, so deeply impressed on the minds of men; but it is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, while the brain is impressionable, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason. (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man p. 122)

I am aware that the assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for his existence. The idea of a universal and beneficent Creator does not seem to arise in the mind of man, until he has been elevated by long-continued culture. (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man p. 612)

I am aware that the conclusions arrived at in this work will be denounced by some as highly irreligious; but he who denounces them is bound to show why it is more irreligious to explain the origin of man as a distinct species by descent from some lower from, through the laws of variation and natural selection, than to explain the birth of the individual through the laws of ordinary reproduction. The birth both of the species and of the individual are equally parts of that grand sequence of events, which our minds refuse to accept as the result of blind chance. (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man p. 613)

But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created that a cat should play with mice. (Charles Darwin, source unknown)

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/darwin.htm


Introduction - Atheism / Atheist Quotes - Agnostic / Agnosticism Quotes - Sigmund Freud - Albert Einstein - Charles Darwin - Nietzsche - Leo Tolstoy - David Hume - Sudhakar S.D - Fritjof Capra - Top of Page

Friedrich Nietzsche

God, Truth, Skepticism, and Religion Quotes / Quotations

There is nothing more necessary than truth, and in comparison with it everything else has only secondary value.
This absolute will to truth: what is it? Is it the will to not allow ourselves to be deceived? Is it the will not to deceive?
One does not want to be deceived, under the supposition that it is injurious, dangerous, or fatal to be deceived. (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1890)

With the strength of his spiritual sight and insight the distance, and as it were the space, around man continually expands: his world grows deeper, ever new stars, ever new images and enigmas come into view. (Nietzsche, 1890)

The transition from Religion to Scientific contemplation is a violent, dangerous leap, which is not to be recommended.
In order to make this transition, art is far rather to be employed to relieve the mind overburdened with emotions.
Out of the illogical comes much good. It is so firmly rooted in the passions, in language, in art, in religion, and generally in everything which gives value to life.
It is only the naive people who can believe that the nature of man can be changed into a purely logical one.
We have yet to learn that others can suffer, and this can never be completely learned. (Nietzsche, 1890)

The complete irresponsibility of man for his actions and his nature is the bitterest drop which he who understands must swallow. (Nietzsche, 1890)

For such is man: a Theological Dogma might be refuted to him a thousand times - provided however, that he had need of it, he would again and again accept it as true.
Belief is always most desired, most pressingly needed where there is a lack of will.
Fanaticism is the sole "volitional strength" to which the weak and irresolute can be excited, as a sort of hypnotising of the entire sensory-intellectual system. (Nietzsche, 1890)

What if God were not exactly truth, and if this could be proved? And if he were instead the vanity, the desire for power, the ambitions, the fear, and the enraptured and terrified folly of mankind? (Nietzsche, 1890)


Introduction - Atheism / Atheist Quotes - Agnostic / Agnosticism Quotes - Sigmund Freud - Albert Einstein - Charles Darwin - Nietzsche - Leo Tolstoy - David Hume - Sudhakar S.D - Fritjof Capra - Top of Page

Leo Tolstoy Quotes

Quotations on True Religion
The Relationship (in accordance with Reason & Knowledge) that Man establishes with the Infinite.

And the cause of everything is that which we call God. To know God and to live is the same thing. God is Life. (Leo Tolstoy, 1879)

What am I? A part of the infinite. It is indeed in these words that the whole problem lies. The essence of any religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me?
It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion (i.e. without any kind of relationship to the world) as it is for there to be a person without a heart. He may not know that he has a religion, just as a person may not know that he has a heart, but it is no more possible for a person to exist without a religion than without a heart.
True religion is that relationship, in accordance with reason and knowledge, which man establishes with the infinite world around him, and which binds his life to that infinity and guides his actions. The principles of this true religion are so appropriate to man that as soon as people discover them they accept them as something they have known for a long time and which stand to reason. The principles are very simple, comprehensible and uncomplicated. They are as follows:
that there is a God who is the origin of everything;
that there is an element of this divine origin in every person, which he can diminish or increase through his way of living;
that in order for someone to increase this source he must suppress his passions and increase the love within himself;
that the practical means of achieving this consist in doing to others as you would wish to do to you.
All these principles are common to Brahmanism, Hebraism, Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Mohammedanism.
(If Buddhism does not provide a definition of God, it nevertheless recognises that with which man unites and merges as he reaches Nirvana. And that something is the same origin which the other religions recognise as God.) (Leo Tolstoy, 1879)

Reason is the power man possesses to define his relationship to the universe. Since the relationship is the same for everyone, thus religion unites men.
Union among men gives them the highest attainable well-being, on both the physical and the spiritual level.
Humanity can only be saved from disaster when it frees itself from the hypnotic influence the priests hold over it, and from that into which the learned are leading it. In order to pour something into a full vessel one must first empty it of its contents. Likewise, it is essential to free people from the deception they are held in, in order for them to adopt the true religion: a relationship with God, the source of all things, which is correct and in accord with the development of humanity, together with the guidance for conduct that results from this relationship.
Religion is the definition of man s relationship to the origin of everything, and of the purpose acquired as a result of this relationship, and of the rules of conduct that follow from this purpose.
And the religion common to all, the basic principles of which are alike in all practices, fully satisfies these demands. It defines man s relationship to God as of a part to a whole. From this relationship follows man s purpose, which lies in increasing his spiritual qualities, and man's purpose leads to the practical rules of the law: do to others as you would have them do unto you. (Leo Tolstoy, 1879)


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David Hume

Quotations on Faith, Reason, God, Religion & Philosophy

... superstitions, which, being unable to defend themselves on fair ground, raise these intangling brambles to cover and protect their weakness. Chased from the open country, these robbers fly into the forest, and lie in wait to break in upon every unguarded avenue of the mind, and overwhelm it with religious fears and prejudices.
... The idea of God, as meaning an infinitely intelligent, wise and good Being, arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mind, and augmenting, without limit, those qualities of goodness and wisdom. (David Hume, 1737)

.. it seems to me that this theory of the universal energy and operation of the Supreme Being is too bold ever to carry conviction with it to a man, sufficiently apprized of the weakness of human reason, and the narrow limits to which it is confined in all its operations. Though the chain of arguments which conduct to it were ever so logical, there must arise a strong suspicion, if not an absolute assurance, that it has carried us quite beyond the reach of our faculties, when it leads to conclusions so extraordinary, and so remote from common life and experience. We are got into fairy land, long ere we have reached the last steps of our theory.. (David Hume, 1737)

.. I cannot perceive any force in the arguments on which this theory is founded. We are ignorant, it is true, of the manner in which bodies operate on each other: Their force or energy is entirely incomprehensible: But are we not equally ignorant of the manner or force by which a mind, even the supreme mind, operates either on itself or on body? Whence, I beseech you, do we acquire any idea of it? We have no sentiment or consciousness of this power in ourselves. We have no idea of the Supreme Being but we learn from reflection on our own faculties. Were our ignorance, therefore, a good reason for rejecting any thing, we should be led into that principle of denying all energy in the Supreme Being as much as in the grossest matter. We surely comprehend as little the operations of one as of the other. It is more difficult to conceive that motion may arise from volition? All we know is our profound ignorance of both causes. (David Hume, 1737)

Our most holy religion is founded on Faith, not on reason; and it is a sure method of exposing it to put it to such a trial as it is, by no means, fitted to endure. To make this more evident, let us examine those miracles, related in scripture; and not to lose ourselves in too wide a field, let us confine ourselves to such as we find in the Pentateuch, which we shall examine, according to the principles of these pretended Christians, not as the word or testimony of God himself, but as the production of a mere human writer and historian.
Here then we are first to consider a book, presented to us by a barbarous and ignorant people, written in an age when they were still more barbarous, and in all probability long after the facts which it relates, corroborated by no concurring testimony, and resembling those fabulous accounts, which every nation gives of its origin. Upon reading this book, we find it full of prodigies and miracles. It gives an account of a state of the world and of human nature entirely different from the present: Of our fall from that state: Of the age of man, extended to near a thousand years: Of the destruction of the world by a deluge: Of the arbitrary choice of one people, as the favorites of heaven; and that people the countrymen of the author: Of their deliverance from bondage by prodigies the most astonishing imaginable.. (David Hume, 1737)

And whoever is moved by Faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding, and gives him a determination to believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. (David Hume, 1737)

The religious philosophers, not satisfied with the tradition of your forefathers, and doctrine of your priests (in which I willingly acquiesce), indulge a rash curiosity, in trying how far they can establish religion upon the principles of reason; and they thereby excite, instead of satisfying, the doubts, which naturally arise from a diligent and scrutinous enquiry. They paint, in the most magnificent colors, the order, beauty, and wise arrangement of the universe; and then ask, if such a glorious display of intelligence could proceed from the fortuitous concourse of atoms, or if chance could produce what the greatest genius can never sufficiently admire. (David Hume, 1737)

..when, in my philosophical disquisitions, I deny a providence and a future state, I undermine not the foundations of society, but advance principles, which they themselves, upon their own topics, if they argue consistently, must allow to be solid and satisfactory. (David Hume, 1737)

You find certain phenomena in nature. You seek a cause or author. You imagine that you have found him. You afterwards become so enamoured of this offspring of your brain, that you imagine it impossible, but he must produce something greater and more perfect than the present scene of things, which is so full of ill and disorder. You forget, that this superlative intelligence and benevolence are entirely imaginary, or, at least, without any foundation in reason; and that you have no ground to ascribe to him any qualities, but what you see he has actually exerted and displayed in his productions. Let your gods, therefore, O philosophers, be suited to the present appearances of nature: and presume not to alter these appearances by arbitrary suppositions, in order to suit them to the attributes, which you so fondly ascribe to your deities. (David Hume, 1737)

The religious hypothesis, therefore, must be considered only as a particular method of accounting for the visible phenomena of the universe: but no just reasoner will ever presume to infer from it any single fact, and alter or add to the phenomena, in any single particular. (David Hume, 1737)

I deny a providence, you say, and supreme governor of the world, who guides the course of events, and punishes the vicious with infamy and disappointment, and rewards the virtuous with honour and success, in all their undertakings. But surely, I deny not the course itself of events, which lies open to every one's inquiry and examination. I acknowledge, that, in the present order of things, virtue is attended with more peace of mind than vice, and meets with a more favorable reception from the world. I am sensible, that, according to the past experience of mankind, friendship is the chief joy of human life, and moderation the only source of tranquility and happiness. I never balance between the virtuous and the vicious course of life; but am sensible, that, to a well-disposed mind, every advantage is on the side of the former. And what can you say more, allowing all your suppositions and reasonings? (David Hume, 1737)

To have recourse to the veracity of the supreme Being, in order to prove the veracity of our senses, is surely making a very unexpected circuit. (David Hume, 1737)


Introduction - Atheism / Atheist Quotes - Agnostic / Agnosticism Quotes - Sigmund Freud - Albert Einstein - Charles Darwin - Nietzsche - Leo Tolstoy - David Hume - Sudhakar S.D - Fritjof Capra - Top of Page

Sudhakar S.D. Quotes

On Vedanta Religion
God is Brahman - 'Self-realised' is to realise our true Nature - Self as Universe

The word God is a sort of pivotal symbol in human affairs. Perhaps no other word is so vastly used all over the world. Yet for a vast majority of people God is just a word only, and nothing more, as for them it does not evoke any memory; it does not stand for any cognised and experienced reality. The images of God are conceived and portrayed in various religions are mere fancies of an ego-building mind. They are all man-made. Almost all concepts of God are anthropomorphic, based on man’s socio-religious life. All these concepts are unreal, absurd and misleading. Why should God have a figure resembling the human being? Only because God’s image is a projection of the human mind. (Sudhakar S.D, 1988)

In day to day mundane affairs men also cite the name of God as a proof of their worthiness. They swear by him in courts of law and the judges believe that whatever they say under the sacred oath is truth and nothing but truth. Even certain holy books are ascribed to the authorship of God.
..Maybe man’s concept of God is anthropomorphic because man’s thinking is anthropomorphic. (Sudhakar S.D, 1988)

But man does need God. Vedanta defines God as Brahman, which is beyond all duality, plurality and beyond all categories of thought; yet including these. But the Vedantic concept of God is difficult for the common man to understand. It is beyond those who are incapable of abstract thinking, for it is impossible for them to establish an effective living relationship with what is formless, infinite, transcendent, that Brahman is. Such people need a personal God with whom they establish a personal relationship- a father, mother, master, goddess, beloved, friend. Lord Krishna, a human incarnation of God, is closer to the heart of common man than Brahman could be. For unless the infinite is conceived in the finite form of a personal God, devotion will be lacking in depth and intensity. The senses need a form, a concrete something that can be held, touched and adored. (Sudhakar S.D, 1988)

..The real God is not to be sought in idols and symbols, in temples or churches.
The truth of the matter is that the purified man is God himself, for he has become one with universal life. The purified man is the self-realised man. He has not to await answers from God, for he has no questions to ask. He himself is the answer to all questions; his life itself is a benediction. (Sudhakar S.D, 1988)


Introduction - Atheism / Atheist Quotes - Agnostic / Agnosticism Quotes - Sigmund Freud - Albert Einstein - Charles Darwin - Nietzsche - Leo Tolstoy - David Hume - Sudhakar S.D - Fritjof Capra - Top of Page

Fritjof Capra Quotes

Quotations on Religion, Deep Ecology & Eastern Mysticism - Scientist / Philosopher, Fritjof Capra

Deep Ecology is rooted in a perception of reality that goes beyond the scientific framework to an intuitive awareness of the oneness of all life, the interdependence of its multiple manifestations and its cycles of change and transformation. When the concept of the human spirit is understood in this sense, its mode of consciousness in which the individual feels connected to the cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is truly spiritual. Indeed the idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in the Latin root of the word religion, religare (to bind strongly), as well as the Sanskrit yoga, which means union. (Fritjof Capra)(Fox. 1995)

The most important characteristic of the Eastern world view- one could almost say the essence of it- is the awareness of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things and events, the experience of all phenomena in the world as manifestations of a basic oneness. All things are seen as interdependent and inseparable parts of this cosmic whole; as different manifestations of the same ultimate reality. (Capra, The Tao of Physics)

In Indian philosophy, the main terms used by Hindus and Buddhists have dynamic connotations. The word Brahman is derived from the Sanskrit root brih – to grow- and thus suggests a reality which is dynamic and alive. The Upanishads refer to Brahman as ‘this unformed, immortal, moving’, thus associating it with motion even though it transcends all forms.’ The Rig Veda uses another term to express the dynamic character of the universe, the term Rita. This word comes from the root ri- to move. In its phenomenal aspect, the cosmic One is thus intrinsically dynamic, and the apprehension of its dynamic nature is basic to all schools of Eastern mysticism.
They all emphasize that the universe has to be grasped dynamically, as it moves, vibrates and dances. (Fritjof Capra, 1972.)

The Eastern mystics see the universe as an inseparable web, whose interconnections are dynamic and not static. The cosmic web is alive; it moves and grows and changes continually. Modern physics, too, has come to conceive of the universe as such a web of relations and, like Eastern mysticism, has recognised that this web is intrinsically dynamic. The dynamic aspect of matter arises in quantum theory as a consequence of the wave-nature of subatomic particles, and is even more essential in relativity theory, where the unification of space and time implies that the being of matter cannot be separated from its activity. The properties of subatomic particles can therefore only be understood in a dynamic context; in terms of movement, interaction and transformation. (Capra, The Tao of Physics, p213)


References

Capra, Fritjof “The Tao of Physics” Wildwood House 1975
Capra, Fritjof "The Turning Point" 1982
Darwin, Charles "The Origin of Species" (1859) Penguin 1968
Einstein, Albert “Ideas and Opinions” (1919-1954) Crown Trade Paperbacks 1954
Freud, Sigmund "Civilization and Its Discontents" W.W. Norton & Company 1961
Hume, D. "Enquiries Concerning The Human Understanding & Concerning The Principles of Morals" (1737) Oxford U. Press 2nd Ed. 1957
Nietzsche, Friedrich "The Philosophy of Nietzsche" (1844-1900) Meridian 1996
Tolstoy, Leo. A Confession and other Religious Writings. (1879) Penguin Group 1987
Sudhakar S.D. I Am All. A Cosmic View of Man. Chhaya Arya for Chetana Pvt. Ltd. 1988

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/quote-e.htm
http://www.mega.nu:8080/atheist_quotes_1.html
http://www.darwin-literature.com/l_quotes.html



Theology
Summary & History of World Religions. On Morality, Free Will & God

'The essence of any world religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me?' (Leo Tolstoy)
Theology Major
World Religions
'The ultimate reason of things must lie in a necessary substance, in which the differentiation of the changes only exists eminently as in their source; and this is what we call God. ... God alone is the primary Unity, or original simple substance.' (Gottfried Leibniz, 1670)
God: One Infinite
Substance
'What we need for understanding rational human behaviour - and indeed, animal behaviour - is something intermediate in character between perfect chance and perfect determinism - something intermediate between perfect clouds and perfects clocks.' (Karl Popper, 1975)
Free Will
Determinism
'There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. ... If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed'. (Albert Einstein, on Morality and Ethics)
Morality Ethics
Religion Virtue
'True religion is that relationship, in accordance with reason and knowledge, which man establishes with the infinite world around him, and which binds his life to that infinity and guides his actions.' (Leo Tolstoy, 1882)
Leo Tolstoy
True Religion
'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.' (Albert Einstein)
Albert Einstein
God Religion
'Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses'. (Sigmund Freud, famous Atheist)
Atheism Agnostic
Beliefs Quotes
'The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead'. (Albert Einstein)
Mysticism
Mystical Mystics
'The word pantheism derives from the Greek words pan (='all') and theos (='God'). Thus pantheism means 'All is God'. In essence, pantheism holds that there is no divinity other than the universe and nature.' (Harrison, 1999)
Pantheism Beliefs
Pantheist Religion
In Hinduism, Shiva the Cosmic Dancer, is perhaps the most perfect personification of the dynamic universe. Through his dance, Shiva sustains the manifold phenomena in the world, unifying all things by immersing them in his rhythm and making them participate in the dance. (Capra, 1975)
Hinduism Beliefs
Hindu Gods
'The gift of truth excels all other gifts. ... The world is continuous flux and is impermanent. ... Transient are conditioned things. Try to accomplish your aim with diligence.' (Buddha)
Buddhism Religion
Beliefs History
'To learn and from time to time to apply what one has learned, isn't that a pleasure? ... When anger rises, think of the consequences. ... Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.' (Confucius, Analects)
Confucianism
Confucius Beliefs
'The Tao that can be expressed is not the Eternal Tao. ... There is a thing, formless yet complete. Before heaven and earth it existed. We do not know its name, but we call it Tao. It is the Mystery of Mysteries.' (Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching)
Tao Taoism
Religion Beliefs
Aphrodite (Roman name: Venus) was the Greek Goddess of love, beauty, and the protector of sailors. The poet Hesiod said that Aphrodite was born from sea-foam which inspired Botticelli's painting of the greek goddess on a scallop shell.
Greek Gods
Myths
Who is the bravest hero? He who turns his enemy into a friend. ... Judge not thy neighbor until thou art come into his place. (Jewish Proverbs)
Judaism History
Jewish Jews
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Christianity Jesus
Christ Christian
The word Catholic means 'throughout the whole, universal.' 'The Catholic Church is called Catholic because it is throughout the world, from one end of the earth to the other.' (St Cyril of Jerusalem, 347AD)
Catholicism
Catholic Church
'There is no god but God; Muhammad (Mohammed) is the messenger of God.' 'Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers.' (Final Sermon of Muhammad)
Islam Muslim
Religion Quran




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Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

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