New Jersey granted women the right to vote two days after the Declaration of Independence (151) […] In America, no state followed New Jersey’s lead and gave women the vote. Indeed, during the postrevolutionary period most states passed their first explicit prohibitions on women’s political rights, and New Jersey soon followed suit. (152-3)
Stephanie Coontz. Marriage, a History. From Obedience to Intimacy or How Love Conquered Marriage.
As Mary A. Dodge put it, “there is nothing in life but to go on perfectly self-poised, satisfied that you are doing what is best under the circumstances … and that while we should pay proper deference to man’s opinion the real dignity of life is to be independent of it.”
Lee Virginia Chambers-Schiller. Liberty: A Better Husband. Single Women in America: The Generations of 1780 – 1840.
Religion is poison because it asks us to give up our most precious faculty, which is that of reason, and to believe things without evidence. It then asks us to respect this, which it calls faith.
Christopher Hitchens, author of God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
As Epictetus said, “The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.”
Jennifer Hecht: The Happiness Myth: The Historical Antidote to What Isn’t Working Today. 2008.
What’s needed isn’t change, it is transformation. Transformation doesn’t just move the pieces around, it changed the game board. Transformation doesn’t just try a new set of solutions to intractable problems, it asks a new set of questions that allows us to see the problems themselves in a new light.
Joe Bominguez and Vicki Robin: Your Money or Your Life. Penguin Books. 1992.
When thinking changes your mind, that’s philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that’s faith.
When facts change your mind, that’s science.
Life’s too short to be taken seriously.
Be Yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just Be.
Thich Nhat Hanh
It is no sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.
J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986)
I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
Stephen F. Roberts
If the religious experience were as deeply significant as the monotheistic religions have taught, then data would exist that even the most die-hard skeptic could not ignore.
Victor J. Stenger. God: The Failed Hypothesis. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books. 2007.
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive:
You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil—you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself.
Dan Barker: Losing Faith in Faith
A human being is part of the whole, called by us “universe,” limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons close to us.Our task must be to free ourselves from our prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Although our circumstances may limit our individual choices, human circumstances are often collective human constructs and thereby subject to collective choice. The excuse that “it’s human nature” carries no more moral weight than the young child’s claim that “everybody does it.” It is our nature to be creatures of choice. We humans are ultimately the architects or our own nature.
David Korten. The Great Turning. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 2006. P. 39