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Penn Jillette

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I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less.

 
Penn Jillette

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I have not lost faith. I'm not in despair, because I know that there is a moral order. I haven't lost faith, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. I can still sing "We Shall Overcome" because Carlyle was right: "No lie can live forever." We shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant was right: "Truth pressed to earth will rise again." We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell was right: "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne." Yet, that scaffold sways the future. We shall overcome because the bible is right: "You shall reap what you sow." With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when justice will roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when the lion and the lamb will lie down together, and every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid because the words of the Lord have spoken it. With this faith we will be able to speed up the day when all over the world we will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we're free at last!" With this faith, we'll sing it as we're getting ready to sing it now. Men will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. And nations will not rise up against nations, neither shall they study war anymore. And I don't know about you, I ain't gonna study war no more.

 
Martin Luther King
 

Carter's openness to religious truth makes talks of religious categories rather superfluous, which was indeed a major irritation for the early critics of the open-minded, non-credal statements of his songs. That two of his most popular lyrics, "One More Step" and "Travel On", should invoke the concept of journey was indeed no coincidence. In this voyaging faith of interrogatives, the creed lay in the question mark, often of a Zen-like paradox.

 
Sydney Carter
 

It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, "Why should ANYTHING go right; even observation and deduction? Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic? They are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?" The young sceptic says, "I have a right to think for myself." But the old sceptic, the complete sceptic, says, "I have no right to think for myself. I have no right to think at all."

 
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
 

What does anyone think or believe any more? Belief itself is treated with disgust. Belief is now regarded as a kind of fat marbling the brain. Who here believes in organized religion? (NO!) Who doesn't? (AUDIENCE CHEERING LOUDLY) You see? People in the West don't believe in anything! And we're proud of it! "What you believe in?" "Nothing! Nothing!" "What did you have for lunch? I don't f**king believe you!" We don't believe in anything. We treat religion with contempt. Faith. All that rubbish. What are you, a child? Believing in this, you do good and then you know, you die and then you get a biscuite! What are you, a f**king idiot? What's wrong with you? We don't believe in anything! Because we know about science! Believe in science! That's the only thing we know about! The atoms and quarks and things. We don't understand it! Any of it! But... But that's the case. So, that's totally different to having a faith! Isn't it?

 
Dylan Moran
 

When doctors differ who decides amid the milliard-headed throng?
Who save the madman dares to cry: "'Tis I am right, you all are wrong"?
"You all are right, you all are wrong," we hear the careless Soofi say,
"For each believes his glimm'ering lamp to be the gorgeous light of day."
"Thy faith why false, my faith why true? 'tis all the work of Thine and Mine,
"The fond and foolish love of self that makes the Mine excel the Thine."
Cease then to mumble rotten bones; and strive to clothe with flesh and blood
The skel'eton; and to shape a Form that all shall hail as fair and good.

 
Sir Richard Francis Burton
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