To believe something in the face of evidence and against reason - to believe something by faith - is ignoble, irresponsible and ignorant, and merits the opposite of respect.— A.C. Grayling
The most unbelievable A.C. Grayling quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.
I do not believe that there are any such things as gods and goddesses, for exactly the same reasons as I do not believe there are fairies, goblins or sprites, and these reasons should be obvious to anyone over the age of ten.
Humanism is the philosophy that you should be a good guest at the dinner table of life.
Religions survive mainly because they brainwash the young.
And I say, the meaning of life is what you make it.
There will be as many different meaningful lives as there are people to live them.
I despise people who depend on these things [heroin and cocaine].
If you really want a mind-altering experience, look at a tree.
It takes a certain ingenuous faith - but I have it - to believe that people who read and reflect more likely than not come to judge things with liberality and truth.
Middle age has been defined as what happens when a person's broad mind and narrow waist change places.
Nothing is truly unnatural, because everything that exists, including human intelligence, is a product of nature. If human intelligence can devise ways for the genes from two men to result in a child, their doing so is an entirely natural event.
Inculcating the various competing - competing, note - falsehoods of the major faiths into small children is a form of child abuse, and a scandal.
Misuse of reason might yet return the world to pre-technological night;
plenty of religious zealots hunger for just such a result, and are happy to use the latest technology to effect it.
I am putting together a secular bible. My Genesis is when the apple falls on Newton's head.
Future generations may or may not judge Wittgenstein to be one of the great philosophers. Even if they do not, however, he is sure always to count as one of the great personalities of philosophy. From our perspective it is easy to mistake one for the other; which he is time will tell.
Just as modern motorways have no room for ox-carts or wandering pedestrians, so modern society has little place for lives and ways that are too eccentric.
I believe that decisions about the timing and manner of death belong to the individual as a human right. I believe it is wrong to withhold medical methods of terminating life painlessly and swiftly when an individual has a rational and clear-minded sustained wish to end his or her life.
It doesn't have to be the Grand Canyon, it could be a city street, it could be the face of another human being - Everything is full of wonder.
...mastery of the emotions is fundamental to a virtuous life.
The media no longer hesitate to whip up lurid anxieties in order to increase sales, in the process undermining social confidence and multiplying fears.
Science is the outcome of being prepared to live without certainty and therefore a mark of maturity. It embraces doubt and loose ends.
People should be left to believe what they like, so long as they harm no one else. Apart from normal expectations of politeness, it is not however clear why people should require their personal beliefs to be treated with special sensitivity by others, to the point that if others fail to tip-toe respectfully around them they will start throwing bombs.
Behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you? Do not stop it. Is it not yet come? Do not stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a spouse, to public post, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy guest at the feast of life.
If there is anything worth fearing in the world, it is living in such a way that gives one cause for regret in the end.
Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn't argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we're doing is, we're presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain.
Sensible Catholics have for generations been ignoring the views on contraception held by reactionary old men in the Vatican, but alas, since it is the business of all religious doctrines to keep their votaries in a state of intellectual infancy (how else do they keep absurdities seeming credible?), insufficient numbers of Catholics have been able to be sensible.
Look at the blogosphere - the biggest lavatory wall in the universe, a palimpsest of graffiti and execration.
There is a beautiful and life-enhancing alternative outlook that offers insight, consolation, inspiration and meaning, which has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the best, most generous, most sympathetic understanding of human reality.
Perhaps worse still is what liberal societies might do to themselves in the face of this new and different threat [of terrorism]. They begin, by small but dangerous increments, to cease to be as liberal as they once were. They begin to restrict their own hard-won rights and freedoms as a protection against the crminial minority who attempt (and as we thus see, by forcing liberty to commit suidcide, succed in doing) to terrorise society.
The wise say that our failure is to form habits: for habit is the mark of a stereotyped world.
Religion and science have a common ancestor - ignorance.
When I was 14 a chaplain at school gave me a reading list.
I read everything and I went back to him with a question: how can you really believe in this stuff?
Try lighting your house by prayer instead of electricity and see which one works.
Christian churches and Muslim groups have no more right to have their say than women's institutes or trades unions. The government has actively encouraged faith-based education, and therefore given a megaphone to religious voices and fundamentalists.
A human lifespan is less than a thousand months long.
You need to make some time to think how to live it.
Everybody is entitled to believe. Churches have exactly the same right to exist as a football club, a trade union or a political party. But if you and I set up the Church of the Fairies of the Garden, then I don't think we should automatically be meeting the queen, be entitled to seats in the House of Lords or get public money for our fairy schools.