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Most popular passages from – The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins

Rather than argue the case for or against this popular book, i’d refer to this:

Let [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter. Milton, “Areopagitica,” 1644

The word ‘truth’ has it’s origins in the word Tree; the notion of “steadfast as an oak, from same root ‘drutas’ “firm,” Welsh drud, or “strong,” Welsh derw “true,” old Irish derb “sure.”
‘When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.’
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one of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.
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The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
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I have found it an amusing strategy, when asked whether I am an atheist, to point out that the questioner is also an atheist when considering Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I just go one god further.
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Seneca the Younger: ‘Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.’
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‘We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.’
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‘The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.’
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Deists differ from theists in that their God does not answer prayers, is not interested in sins or confessions, does not read our thoughts and does not intervene with capricious miracles. Deists differ from pantheists in that the deist God is some kind of cosmic intelligence, rather than the pantheist’s metaphoric or poetic synonym for the laws of the universe. Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism.
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Remember Ambrose Bierce’s witty definition of the verb ‘to pray’: ‘to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy’.
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Carl Sagan put it well:’… if by “God” one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying … it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.’
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10 most Meaningful Passages from ‘Doing What Must Be Done’ by Chad Hymas

Chad Hymas tells about his experience and accident. More than that, he gives us nitty-gritty, real-world details on how to live life when bad things happen to good people. This is more than a book that is just inspirational. It is a book that will give you the power — and the how-to — to get things done in your own life. Watch this video as I walk through the book with you citing specific incidents from the book that Chad shared with you. You will be a better person because you read this book. Enjoy the video as we take a walk through “Doing What Must Be Done” by Chad Hymas.

So here are 10 of the most commonly highlighted, referenced or shared quotations from Chad’ book…

The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own

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are never destroyed by circumstance. They live or die in your heart. My dreams come true not in spite of my circumstance but because of
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give in to your deprivations. Live up to your expectations.
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Freedom isn’t free. We believe freedom is our right, but it comes with a price. We may have to deal with despair, and
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The miracles of our lives do not come about by grand events, but by the little things we have chosen to do… The biggest problems come about, because I avoid the little things too long… The difficult takes time; the impossible just takes a little longer.”
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my life is not determined by what happens to me, but by how I respond to what happens. It is not about what life brings to me, but rather what I bring to life.
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Thoughts are powerful. A change in our thinking changes our lives. Whether mystical or natural, one new thought can cause a chain reaction, creating new events and new outcomes. New thinking creates new assumptions. New assumptions create different feelings and attitudes. New attitudes create a new approach to old challenges. A new approach creates newcircumstances.
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man is but the product of his thoughts… what he thinks, he becomes.
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To regret the experience is to regret the lesson –
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But spending too much time in regret denies us the opportunity of getting the most out of our experience – devastating though the experience may seem.

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48 Laws of Power – 10 most Meaningfull Passages

Well here it is; some might say, the most important book ever written…Hmmm perhaps not. Is Greene’ book merely a collection of cautionary reminders, where every relationship is founded on mistrust and one upmanship, more likely? That aside, Greene’ 48 laws have their spiritual counterparts, some may say they are a rehash of many world philosophies, excised from the womb of histories greatest minds.
Here are the 10 most meaningful (kindle) passages for the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene:
Never take your position for granted and never let any favors you receive go to your head.
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Half of your mastery of power comes from what you do not do, what you do not allow yourself to get dragged into.
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The most important of these skills, and power’s crucial foundation, is the ability to master your emotions. An emotional response to a situation is the single greatest barrier to power, a mistake that will cost you a lot more than any temporary satisfaction you might gain by expressing your feelings. Emotions cloud reason, and if you cannot see the situation clearly, you cannot prepare for and respond to it with any degree of control.
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All working situations require a kind of distance between people. You are trying to work, not make friends; friendliness (real or false) only obscures that fact. The key to power, then, is the ability to judge who is best able to further your interests in all situations. Keep friends for friendship, but work with the skilled and competent.
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Learn the lesson: Once the words are out, you cannot take them back. Keep them under control. Be particularly careful with sarcasm: The momentary satisfaction you gain with your biting words will be outweighed by the price you pay.
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In most areas of life, the less you say, the more profound and mysterious you appear.
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If deception is the most potent weapon in your arsenal, then patience in all things is your crucial shield.
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Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others—that is too high a price to pay.
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By saying less than necessary you create the appearance of meaning and power. Also, the less you say, the less risk you run of saying something foolish, even dangerous.
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Seem to want something in which you are actually not at all interested and your enemies will be thrown off the scent, making all kinds of errors in their calculations.
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10 Most Meaningful Passages – Mans Search For Meaning

“Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud.”
Frankl, who survived the concentration camps, writes that suffering is inevitable and that avoiding suffering is futile. Rather, one should be worthy of one’s suffering and make meaning of it instead of surrendering to nihilism, bitterness and despair. He uses poetic, moving anecdotes from the concentration camps to illustrate those souls who find a deeper humanity from their suffering or who become animals relegated to nothing more than teeth-clenched self-preservation. Though not specifically religious, this masterpiece has a religious purpose–to help us find meaning. This book succeeds immeasurably.
…everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
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Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
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Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
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Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
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“Don’t aim at success-the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
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“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”
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Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.
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When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
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Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it.
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Frankl approvingly quotes the words of Nietzsche: “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.”

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10 Most Meaningful Passages – The Alchemist

I love this book! As a practicing ‘alchemist’, even more so! Because perhaps the greatest riddles are hidden in plain sight, and this work by Paulo Coelho is no exception, showing a breadth of understanding quite rare in modern short stories, and a lively prose peppered with four dimensional characters.

Here are the 10 most meaningful passages from The Alchemist as chosen by literally thousands of reader from around the world. Enjoy!

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”
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“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
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There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
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It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting,
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Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
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when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.
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“We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it’s our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.”
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‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.’”
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“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”
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“That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

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If this has wet your appetite, you can find a full digital edition here.

10 Most Meaningful passages – Atlas Shrugged

You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions. This is a mystery story, not about the murder—and rebirth—of man’s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events, a ruthlessly brilliant plot structure and an irresistible suspense. Do you say this is impossible? Well, that is the first of your premises to check. Here are 10 of the most highlighted sections from Amazons Xray feature.
An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.
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“if you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders—what would you tell him to do?” “I . . . don’t know. What . . . could he do? What would you tell him?” “To shrug.”
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“Francisco, what’s the most depraved type of human being?” “The man without a purpose.”
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“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
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“Dagny, there’s nothing of any importance in life—except how well you do your work. Nothing. Only that. Whatever else you are, will come from that. It’s the only measure of human value. All the codes of ethics they’ll try to ram down your throat are just so much paper money put out by swindlers to fleece people of their virtues. The code of competence is the only system of morality that’s on a gold standard.
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“It is not advisable, James, to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener.”
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“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
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They professed to love him for some unknown reason and they ignored all the things for which he could wish to be loved.
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The adversary she found herself forced to fight was not worth matching or beating; it was not a superior ability which she would have found honor in challenging; it was ineptitude—a gray spread of cotton that seemed soft and shapeless, that could offer no resistance to anything or anybody, yet managed to be a barrier in her way.

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10 Most Meaningful passages – Walden – H.D. Thoreau

“Walden” brings together a rather prescriptive series of reflections, covering society, human nature, self-reliance and mankind’s relationship to each other and to nature. Widely considered a countercultural manifesto, Walden, nonetheless offers a glimpse into the thickset, austere and escapist attitude, prevalent at the time. I hope these 10 passages save you from the “Quiet desperation” inherent in reading this overly morose text.
Confucius said, “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”
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The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.
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Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.
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For the improvements of ages have had but little influence on the essential laws of man’s existence; as our skeletons, probably, are not to be distinguished from those of our ancestors.
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One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living.
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Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
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Perhaps we should never procure a new suit, however ragged or dirty the old, until we have so conducted, so enterprised or sailed in some way, that we feel like new men in the old, and that to retain it would be like keeping new wine in old bottles.
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Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
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This spending of the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it reminds me of the Englishman who went to India to make a fortune first, in order that he might return to England and live the life of a poet.
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In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.
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