I keep seeing lines like this in my daily surfing & reading, even when I’m not seeking freethinker perspectives or looking for debates. As I find them I’m going to post lines, quotes, paragraphs from thinkers, writers, philosophers (or whoever) which I find particularly interesting. To kick it off:
Forget it, scorn it, the concept of this vain and ludicrous God. His existence is a shadow instantly to be dissipated by the least mental effort, and you shall never know any peace so long as this odious chimera preserves any of its prize on your soul which error would give to it in bondage.
-The Marquis de Sade, Juliette
Whatever else you may think about the original sadist, this bit is the bomb: “His existence is a show instantly to be dissipated by the least mental effort…” Nice.
Would that it were so easy and simple for most people, my dear Marquis. However, it more often than not seems to take believers many years of effort & questioning & deep contemplation to realise freedom from theism is possible, logical and a positive thing. They either face rejection and bigotry from their alleged beloved brethen or their own families or the pressure is internal, based on years of religious indoctrination. The effort simply to think objectively about their religion and reach inescapable, objective conclusions can be painful and alienating and even lead to a deep, agonising grief for some people. Thankfully, my journey to atheism, while long, was anything but arduous. More a gentle, decade or so-long coast down a gentle slope with few if any noticeable speed humps. I only wish it could be so for the many millions of thinkers in the world, currently struggling not just with their doubts about & allegiance to their gods and scriptures but with their cultures & traditions but very often their entire families & all their friends.
Peace be upon anyone currently at the task of dissipating shadows.