I notice on Google today that it's Mark Twain's 176th birthday; coincidentally I'm reading his autobiography at the moment and interesting it is too. Twain is famous for books like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn but also his satirical quotes, many poking fun at religion, I don't know if he was an Atheist but one of my favourites is "Faith is believing what you know ain't so", from what I have read so far he was certainly a free thinker.
Here are a few more quotes that caught my eye.
- A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
- All generalizations are false, including this one.
- But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?
- In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
- Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
- The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
- Truth is more of a stranger than fiction.
- I cannot call to mind a single instance where I have ever been irreverent, except toward the things which were sacred to other people.
- The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.
- The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession, what there is of it.
- Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion--several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbour as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven....The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste.
- Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes, and wishes he was certain.
- So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: "Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbour's religion is." Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code.