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Thomas Jefferson

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Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no god, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, and that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a god, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love.

 
Thomas Jefferson

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You will next read the new testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions I. of those who say he was begotten by god, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven: and 2. of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, & was Punished capitally for sedition by being gibbeted according to the Roman law which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile or death in furc‚. ... Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of it's consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no god, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort & pleasantness you feel in it's exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a god, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, & that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a god, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love. In fine, I repeat that you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, & neither believe nor reject anything because any other persons, or description of persons have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness but uprightness of the decision. I forgot to observe when speaking of the new testament that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, & not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost. There are some however still extant, collected by Fabricius which I will endeavor to get & send you.

 
Jesus Christ
 

"I feel like sometimes that I was born, that I'm not meant for this society because everyone here is a f**king hypocrite. Everybody says they believe in God but they don't do God's work. Everybody counteracts what God is really about. If Jesus was here, do you think Jesus would show me any love? Do you think Jesus would love me? I'm a Muslim, but do you think Jesus would love me ... I think Jesus would have a drink with me and discuss ... why you acting like that? Now, he would be cool. He would talk to me. No Christian ever did that and said in the name of Jesus even ... They'd throw me in jail and write bad articles about me and then go to church on Sunday and say Jesus is a wonderful man and he's coming back to save us. But they don't understand that when he comes back, that these crazy greedy capitalistic men are gonna kill him again."

 
Mike Tyson
 

Before he can know Who he is, man has to unlearn the mass of illusory knowledge hehas burdened himself with on the interminable journey from unconsciousness to consciousness. It is only through love that you can begin to unlearn, and, eventually, put an end to all that you do not know. God-love penetrates all illusion, while no amount of illusion can dim God-love. Start by learning to love God by beginning to love those whom you cannot. You will find that in serving others you are serving yourself. The more you remember others with kindness and generosity, the less you remember yourself; and when you completely forget yourself, you find me as the Source of all Love.

 
Meher Baba
 

As there are many to whom the beauty and harmony of economic laws are hidden, and to whom the inspiring thought of a social order in which there should be work for all, leisure for all, and abundance for all ó in which all might be at least as true, as generous and as manful as they wish to be ó is shut out by the deference paid to economic authorities who have as it were given bonds not to find that for which they profess to seek, so there are many to-day to whom any belief in the spiritual element, in the existence of God and in a future life, is darkened or destroyed, not so much by difficulties they themselves find, but by what they take to be the teachings of science.

 
Henry George
 

In the dominant Western religious system, the love of God is essentially the same as the belief in God, in Godís existence, Godís justice, Godís love. The love of God is essentially a thought experience. In the Eastern religions and in mysticism, the love of God is an intense feeling experience of oneness, inseparably linked with the expression of this love in every act of living.

 
Erich Fromm
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