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Faith & Reason Home Portraits Perspectives Take Part Watch & Listen

Respond to statements from guests on BILL MOYERS ON FAITH & REASON below. Or talk back on the discussion boards.

Perspectives - What do you think?
"'Wherever something stands, something else will stand beside it' — Ibo Proverb — "It means there is no one way to anything...If there is one God, fine. There will be others as well. If there is one point of view, fine. There will be a second point of view."
-- Chinua Achebe

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"One of the awful things about long term mass censorship is that in the end people can lose a sense of what it's like to live in a free world. You know, because there's nothing automatic about it. It's a thing you have to fight for and preserve."
-- Salman Rushdie

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"I don't think the belief in God has very much to do with people's moral quality as people.""
-- Colin McGinn

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"And if God has made me or God has created the means to make me which involves consciousness, self-awareness, and personality, all those things, then God must have those attributes, too."
-- Sir John Houghton

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"The church perhaps is the only institution in the nation that can ask: "Okay, how are your policies squaring up, not only with the principles of the Bible, but with the principles found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?" Everybody else is scared to do it. The Church had better be afraid not to do it."
-- Rev. James Forbes

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"The opposite of religious belief is not secularism or atheism. It's the independence of mind where you do your thinking alone."
-- Martin Amis

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"It's such a very dangerous thing when patriotism and religion become equated...becomes nationalism and militarism and a complete intolerance for any other point of view. I think it's dangerous too...'The God is on our side thing is extremely dangerous."
-- Susan Jacoby

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"If a god showed up every time you put a quarter in the prayer slot it wouldn't be God, it would be a puppet that you could control by doing that...that would make the deity subservient to you. So it wouldn't be a deity would it?"
-- Margaret Atwood

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"Whenever you have a proclamation of being chosen, it's always a self-defining process. It's always the people who are chosen who say they are chosen. They never say that about the other. If you're going to say, "I'm chosen," it loads you with a very heavy burden."
-- Anne Provoost

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"The Bible, thank God...is not politically correct."
-- David Grossman

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"More than sex. More than money. You know, life is not endless is it? Cash, cars, cocaine, and girls. It's more than that. And there is a spiritual dimension to people...we are driven to want something more."
-- Jeanette Winterson

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"[Stories of mythology] are the edge, the interface between what can be known and what is never to be discovered, because it's a mystery transcendent of all human research. The source of life. What is it? No one knows."
-- Joseph Campbell

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"Faith is believing things by definition, which are not justified by reason. If it were justified by reason, it wouldn't be faith. It would just be ordinary belief. It's something you can't prove. That's what faith is, believing something you can't prove."
-- Colin McGinn

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"I wouldn't like to be in a world where everybody was a believer...when we all sort of fell back into this comfort zone of agreeing with each other all the time."
-- Mary Gordon

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"Because I, too, feel there's something deep and incomprehensible, and so far, uncomprehended at least. But what Einstein was not, and what I am not, is a believer in anything supernatural. Because I think that actually brings it down to a lower level."
-- Richard Dawkins

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"You learn in America to speak two ways. You learn in public discourse not to be very specific about your religious life. Or, if we talk about it, we'll find a secular way of doing it that will not be offensive to people of non-belief. So, that you go through life with these alternate voices."
-- Richard Rodriguez

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"It's the question of, 'Do we, as individuals; do we, as a community; and do we, as a nation, really and as a world, do we have the power to make changes? Do we have the power to rule our own destiny?'"
---Will Power

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"This woman's question is a dangerous question... What is the role of women in the church? Is there such a thing as a woman being called to priesthood? Those are questions...I'm in good company calling for that discussion. I have never insisted that I know the answer. I do know that it's a question."
-- Sister Joan Chittister

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"Augustine recognized that [the Bible] wasn't a scientific textbook. John Calvin said, 'If you want to learn about astronomy, go to the astronomers. Don't go to the Bible.' It's not a scientific textbook. They understood that."
-- Sir John Houghton

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"What the myths say, is that you have to be the hero of your own life. You're the one who has to take charge of who you are, you're the one who has to take control. And also, you're the one who can bring something to the community."
-- Jeanette Winterson

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"It isn't the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it's how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer."
-- Pema Chödrön

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"We have to start with the little babies who are born now, socialize them in freedom and critical thinking. We don't have to throw away their faith. People confuse the two, thinking if you are enlightened that means apostasy. It doesn't."
-- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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"I do think that (9/11) was a hinge moment. And if only because it showed us that we're now inescapably involved with each other. That we can't disengage."
-- Salman Rushdie

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"Tolerating somebody else's beliefs is not failing to criticize them. It's not persecuting them for having those beliefs. That is absolutely important. You should not persecute people for their beliefs. It doesn't mean you can't criticize their beliefs."
-- Colin McGinn

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"I think this is our duty, and our pleasure to go and to decode [the Bible] and to find the nuances and the silences between these words. And to write our stories into the story of the Bible."
-- David Grossman

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"There have been systems of religion where the mother is the prime parent, the source, and she's really a more immediate parent than the father, because one is born from the mother...so that the image of the woman is the image of the world."
-- Joseph Campbell

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"I think that 'faith' is used all too casually. It is used as a shorthand for monotheistic religion...What of other religions and spiritual beliefs? Many other religions exist, such as Buddhism and Neo-Paganism, that see no conflict between spirituality and science. It is because we do not disdain the material world as 'sinful' or 'fallen,' we embrace and celebrate it as beautiful and sacred!"
-- Viewer email

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"I began to read about evolution and realized it, biological evolution as opposed to philosophical evolution. Biological evolution was just the way things seemed to have happened at least to some degree. And I thought, "Well, if God makes it that way, that's fine...I want to find out about that."
-- Sir John Houghton

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