Non-LDS Quotations

The following is a collection of quotations from ex-mormons, scholars, philosophers, and others. If you have a favourite quotation that you think I should have here, leave a comment! (Also, if I have a quotation that isn’t cited, or cited properly, please let me know.)

“If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.”
J. Reuben Clark, D. Michael Quinn (1983). The Church Years, p 24. Provo (UT): Brigham Young University Press

“It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.”
Thomas Paine

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”
Noam Chomsky

“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”
Christopher Hitchens (2009). God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,

“If you call someone a man of faith it seems, for the moment, like a compliment. I’d like that to change.”
Christopher Hitchens

‎”Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.”
Jon Stewart (Rally to Restore Sanity, 2010.10.30)

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”
Winston Churchill

“Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all.”
Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991), television writer and producer, creator of ‘Star Trek’

“If this is your God, he’s not very impressive. He has so many psychological problems; he’s so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He’s a pretty poor excuse for a Supreme Being.”
Gene Roddenberry

“If we want to uproot the causes of religious violence we must uproot the false certainties of religion.”
Sam Harris (2005),  An Atheist Manifesto

“Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.”
Frater Ravus

‎”Faith is the suspension of all critical thinking. It’s gullibility dressed up like a virtue. To believe in god takes faith. To believe in science, you have “trust” which is different. Trust is based on evidence and repeatable observation. We “trust” the sun to rise everyday because we know it has for billions of years. Some have ‘faith’ in god to answer prayers… yet there is zero proof he/she/it ever has.”
Adam Brown (

‎”With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably … The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on we’re all damaged.”

“We think we’ve come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches, it’s all ancient history. And then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly it threatens to start all over again …villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged …[and] will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish. Spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance…is the price we have to continually pay.”
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: TNG, 4×21: “The Drumhead”

Picard: “Dr. Barron, I cannot, I will not impose a set of commandments on these people. To do so violates the very essence of the Prime Directive.” 
Barron: “Like it or not, we have rekindled the Mintakans’ belief in the Overseer.”
Riker: “And are you saying that this belief will eventually become a a religion?”
Barron: “It’s inevitable. And without guidance, that religion could degenerate into inquisitions, holy wars, chaos.”
Picard: “Horrifying.” (pause) “Dr. Barron, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the Dark Ages of superstition and ignorance and fear. No! We will find some way to undo the damage we’ve caused.”
Star Trek: TNG, 3×04: “Who Watches The Watchers?”

“If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men. It has been a constant pain, a perpetual terror to every good man and woman and child. It has filled the good with horror and with fear; but it has had no effect upon the infamous and base. It has wrung the hearts of the tender, it has furrowed the cheeks of the good. This doctrine never should be preached again. What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena.”
Robert G. Ingersol

“God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time goes on.”
Neil DeGrasse Tyson

“The day that you stop looking — because you’re content God did it — I don’t need you in the lab. You’re useless on the frontier of understanding the nature of the world.”
Neil Degrasse Tyson

“If a fact exists which cannot be proved, of what use it? If it can only be proved to those who do not look for anything to oppose it with, of what good is it? … until a religion can be proved with mathematical exactness we should never close our eyes to the opposite, we should never cease to ask ourselves: ‘Is it not possible that I might be wrong?’ … Shall I … refuse to consider the claims of others? No! I will not. I will be free. I will investigate everything. And if God gets ‘mad’ about it, I cannot help that. He had no business to give me a mind if He did not want me to use it.”
Lamoni Call, “2000 Changes in the Book of Mormon” (1898), pp 101-103

  1. I really love these quotes, but you misquoted Neil degrasse Tyson. He was speaking specifically of the God of the Gaps mentality, not speaking of the idea of God generally. That context changes the breadth of this quote.

    Great collection though. I love these critiques.

  2. To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

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