Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.
Wherever there is a settled society, religion is necessary; the laws cover manifest crimes, and religion covers secret crimes.
While religion, contrary to the common notion, implies, in certain cases, a spirit of slow reserve as to assent, infidelity, which claims to despise credulity, is sometimes swift to it.
Where questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanour.[Wenn es sich um Fragen der Religion handelt, machen sich die Menschen aller möglichen Unaufrichtigkeiten und intellektuellen Unarten schuldig.]
Watch out for people who call themselves religious; make sure you know what they mean—make sure they know what they mean!
Such is the weakness, such the perversity, of the human race that it is better, no doubt, for it to be subject to all conceivable superstitions, provided they be not murderous, than to live without religion.
Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world. So none of this is happening. Such things could not occur. Never a word of it is literally true.
If the truth of religious doctrines is dependent on an inner experience which bears witness to that truth, what is one to do about the many people who do not have this rare experience?[Wenn die Wahrheit der religiösen Lehren abhängig ist von einem inneren Erlebnis, das diese Wahrheit bezeugt, was macht man mit den vielen Menschen, die solch ein seltenes Erlebnis nicht haben?]