Bertrand Russell (b. 1872, d. 1970) was a British logician, philosopher, essayist, social critic, and one of them thar non-believers. In atheist circles, he is known for his criticism and disdain of the religious concept of faith via his china teapot “hypothesis”. His writings played an important role in my rejection of religion.
Tulsa, Oklahoma native Marilyn Frye (b. 1941) is a notable philosopher and feminist theorist, known for her work on sexism, racism, and oppression. In her 1983 book, The Politics of Reality, she speaks about the nature of oppression:
In the wake of the horrific attack at Charlie Hebdo, award-winning author Salman Rushdie has offered up the Quote of the Day:
Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.
Thanks to my friend Iris Vander Pluym for highlighting this great quote by Annie Laurie Gaylor that perfectly sums up the problem with religion (the quote is part of a longer post by Gaylor, which can be found here):
Religion’s greatest “sin” lies in displacing human endeavor, thought, time, resources and efforts from this world, our only world, in order to exalt a highly unlikely, unknowable, unseeable, unprovable and unbelievable pretend afterworld. The only afterlife that ought to concern us is leaving our descendants (along with the other animals and life we share our planet with) a secure and pleasant future.
“Slave power crushes freedom of speech and of opinion. Slave power degrades labor. Slave power is arrogant, is jealous and intrusive, is cruel, is despotic, not only over the slave but over the community, the state.”
“There are many women who have the ability to become great scientists. I would like to see the day when women can contribute to science and technology on an equal footing with men.”