— James Frazer, book The Golden Bough
The Golden Bough (1890), Chapter 4, Magic and Religion
„What is it that passes for religion? In some countries magic passes for religion, and that is one thing I wish, in view particularly of the ethnic faiths, could be made very prominent— that religion is not magic.“
— James Frazer, book The Golden Bough
„If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.“
— Sam Harris American author, philosopher and neuroscientist 1967
2000s, Context: If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion. I think more people are dying as a result of our religious myths than as a result of any other ideology. I would not say that all human conflict is born of religion or religious differences, but for the human community to be fractured on the basis of religious doctrines that are fundamentally incompatible, in an age when nuclear weapons are proliferating, is a terrifying scenario. Sam Harris, in
„Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.“
— Thomas Szasz Hungarian psychiatrist 1920 - 2012
The Second Sin (1973), "Science and Scientism", p. 115.
„The difference between religion and magic is the same as what we were talking about earlier – I think you could map that over those two poles of fascism and anarchism. Magic is closer to anarchism.“
— Alan Moore English writer primarily known for his work in comic books 1953
De Abaitua interview (1998), Context: Organised religion has corrupted one of the purest, most powerful and sustaining things in the human condition. It has imposed a middle management, not only in our politics and in our finances, but in our spirituality as well. The difference between religion and magic is the same as what we were talking about earlier – I think you could map that over those two poles of fascism and anarchism. Magic is closer to anarchism.
„For there are strong grounds for thinking that, in the evolution of thought, magic has preceded religion.“
— James Frazer, book The Golden Bough
The Golden Bough (1890), Chapter 3, Sympathetic Magic.
„There is no example of a country that is successful if its people are divided based on religion or ethnicity.“
— Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
2014, Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Town Hall Speech (November 2014), Context: There is no example of a country that is successful if its people are divided based on religion or ethnicity. If you look at the Middle East right now and the chaos that’s taking place in a place like Syria, so much of that is based on religious differences. Even though they’re all Muslim, Shia and Sunni are fighting each other. If you look in Northern Ireland, then Catholics and Protestants fought for decades and only now have arrived at peace. So in this globalized world where people of different faiths and cultures and races are going to meet each other inevitably -- because nobody just lives in a village anymore; people are constantly getting information from different places and new ideas and meeting people who are different from them –- it is critical for any country to abide by the basic principle that all people are equal, all people are deserving of respect, all people are equal under the law, all people can participate in the life of their country, all people should be able to express their views without fear of being repressed. And those attitudes start with each of us individually. It’s important that government play a role in making sure that it applies laws fairly, not arbitrarily, not on the basis of preferring one group over another.
„How can a doctrine be essential in a religion if the founder of the religion never mentions it, or teaches his apostles to pass it on?“
— Leslie Weatherhead English theologian 1893 - 1976
The Christian Agnostic (1965), 99
„Religion is one thing, and science another. What if they conflict? Religion is a matter of faith. Faith always gives satisfaction, whereas the truth does not always do so. As for me, I follow Anatole France who enjoins us to keep religion in one compartment of our head and skepticism in another.“
— Epifanio de los Santos Filipino politician 1871 - 1928
ULOL, As quoted in “Don Pañong – Genius" by A.V.H. Hartendorp in Philippine Magazine (September 1929), p. 211.
— Reza Aslan, No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam
„I realised what the Hindu religion meant. We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatan Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatan Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived.“
— Sri Aurobindo Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru and poet 1872 - 1950
The Uttarpara Address (1909), Context: I waited day and night for the voice of God within me, to know what He had to say to me, to learn what I had to do. In this seclusion the earliest realisation, the first lesson came to me. I remembered then that a month or more before my arrest, a call had come to me to put aside all activity, to go in seclusion and to look into myself, so that I might enter into closer communion with Him. I was weak and could not accept the call. My work was very dear to me and in the pride of my heart I thought that unless I was there, it would suffer or even fail and cease; therefore I would not leave it. It seemed to me that He spoke to me again and said, "The bonds you had not the strength to break, I have broken for you, because it is not my will nor was it ever my intention that that should continue. I have had another thing for you to do and it is for that I have brought you here, to teach you what you could not learn for yourself and to train you for my work." Then He placed the Gita in my hands. His strength entered into me and I was able to do the sadhana of the Gita. I was not only to understand intellectually but to realise what Sri Krishna demanded of Arjuna and what He demands of those who aspire to do His work, to be free from repulsion and desire, to do work for Him without the demand for fruit, to renounce self-will and become a passive and faithful instrument in His hands, to have an equal heart for high and low, friend and opponent, success and failure, yet not to do His work negligently. I realised what the Hindu religion meant. We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatan Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatan Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. This is the Dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old. It is to give this religion that India is rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great.
„You understand, Pryn, I don’t believe in any of it: magic, miracles, religion, the calling of the gods, named or unnamed.“
— Samuel R. Delany American author, professor and literary critic 1942
Flight from Nevèrÿon (1985), Section 9.21 (p. 248)
— Мустафа Кемаль Ататюрк Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and the first President of Turkey 1881 - 1938
He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men. Quoted in Atatürk: The Biography of the founder of Modern Turkey, by Andrew Mango; "In a book published in 1928, Grace Ellison quotes [Atatürk], presumably in 1926-27", Grace Ellison Turkey Today (London: Hutchinson, 1928)
„Philosophy and religion are enemies, and because they are enemies they have need of one another. There is no religion without some philosophical basis, no philosophy without roots in religion. … the attacks which are directed against religion from a presumed scientific or philosophical point of view are merely attacks from another but opposing religious point of view.“
— Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936
The Tragic Sense of Life (1913), VI : In the Depths of the Abyss
„One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it.“
— Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970
1920s, Why I Am Not a Christian (1927), Context: I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion has anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it. "The Emotional Factor"
„The reason for the existence of a religion, from one point of view at least, is to be found precisely in those things wherein it differs from other religions.“
— Frithjof Schuon, book The Transcendent Unity of Religions
The Transcendent Unity of Religions (1953; revised edition 1984)
„No human society is too primitive to have some kind of literature. The only thing is that primitive literature hasn't yet become distinguished from other aspects of life: it's still embedded in religion, magic and social ceremonies.“
— Northrop Frye Canadian literary critic and literary theorist 1912 - 1991
"Quotes", The Educated Imagination (1963), Talk 2: The Singing School