Quotable quotes


I rarely quote from the American founding fathers. I am going to do that today because these are too good not be shared. They are from speeches by Jefferson and quoted by Joseph Lewis.

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must approve the homage of reason rather than of blindfolded fear. Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others it will procure for you

and elsewhere

I consider the Government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from meddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, disciplines, or exercises. But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting and praying. That is, I should indirectly assume to the United States an authority over religious exercise, which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. Every one must act according to the dictates of his reason and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents

on Jesus he said

The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

33 thoughts on “Quotable quotes

  1. Jefferson was a brilliant guy.

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  2. Tish Farrell says:

    Phew! He said it all, didn’t he. Why do we not have leaders who can think so cogently and express themselves to clearly and spur us on to grow more WISE, instead of encouraging us to be bigotted, narrow minded, paranoid, and indeed, very stupid.

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  3. He was clearly going for the atheist vote. πŸ˜›

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  4. Great quotes. πŸ™‚

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  5. ratamacue0 says:

    I had to read the second one a few times, and I’m still not quite sure I get it. Is he saying, “here’s why I’m not even going to go so far as to recommend a day of prayer and fasting”?

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  6. makagutu says:

    From what I understand, he saying the president has no business recommending a day of prayer or of fasting. His office is established by the constitution and it is a secular office

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  7. exrelayman says:

    Good stuff, although of course the last sentence of the first quote is simply an unsupported assertion. We must not blindly accept everything said even by our wisest guiding lights. They, however wise, were fallible humans, even as you and I.

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    • makagutu says:

      Hi friend. I read about your loss on one of the blogs. So sorry.
      I am not sure I see an unsupported assertion.

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      • exrelayman says:

        That non belief in a god or gods will result in virtue from the feeling of comfort being virtuous gives you, that love for others will result from non belief. I don’t see how not to read these claims in that sentence. I think what different individuals feel depends on the individual, and that no blanket statement like that pertains to all. I don’t see any support for the statement, just the statement.

        Not a big deal if you don’t concur with my thinking on this!

        Your kind sympathy about my loss is appreciated.

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        • makagutu says:

          My understanding is a little bit different. Isn’t he saying reason is a sufficient guide that if in the pursuit of god, you find none, reason would still lead you to virtue?

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          • exrelayman says:

            Yes, that is what he is saying, and that is what I am saying is an unsupported assertion. Reason led Stalin to discard theistic belief. Did it lead him to virtue? I agree that reason plus compassion should lead to humanistic virtues, but there you see I had to add something to reason, reason alone did not suffice.

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          • makagutu says:

            I agree with you it is not a guarantee that reason will lead to virtue

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  8. shelldigger says:

    I do wish our country still had men like this at the helm. What we get now is too often a blindfolded dart toss at a lineup of morons who all crawled out of the clown car.

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