Thursday, January 20, 2011

A great reason for being an atheist

This comes from the english critic Edmund Gosse writing in 1907 (as quoted in the January/February 2010 issue of "The National Interest"):
It [religion] divides heart from heart. It sets up a vain, chimerical ideal, in the barren pursuit of which all the tender, indulgent affections, all the genial play of life, all the exquisite pleasures and soft resignations of the body, all that enlarges and calms the soul, are exchanged for what is harsh and void and negative. It encourages a stern and ignorant spirit of condemnation. . . . There is something horrible, if we will bring ourselves to face it, in the fanatacism that can do nothing with this pathetic and fugitive existence of ours but treat it as if it were the uncomfortable antechamber to a palace which no one has explored and of the plan of which we know absolutely nothing.

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