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    margaret e. knight Quotes

    One of the most persistent fallacies about the Christian Church is that it kept learning alive during the Dark and Middle Ages. What the Church did was to keep learning alive in the monasteries, while preventing the spread of knowledge outside them... Even as late as the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, nine-tenths of Christian Europe was illiterate.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    tags: dark  age  christian  church  learning 
     
    Jesus, in fact, was typical of a certain kind of fanatical young idealist: at one moment holding forth, with tears in his eyes, about the need for universal love; at the next, furiously denouncing the morons, crooks and bigots who did not see eye to eye with him. It is very natural and very human behaviour. But it is not superhuman.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    tags: young  human  moment  eyes  tears  facts  jesus 
     
    My chief aim was to combat the view that there can be no true morality without supernatural sanctions. So I argued at length that the social, or altruistic, impulses are the real source of morality, and that an ethic based on these impulses has far more claim on our allegiance than an ethic based on obedience to the commands of a God who created tapeworms and cancer-cells.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    During the ages of faith the Church argued, not illogically, that any degree of cruelty towards sinners and heretics was justified, if there was a chance that it could save them, or others, from the eternal torments of hell. Thus, in the name of the religion of love, hundreds of thousands of people were not merely killed but atrociously tortured in ways that made the gas chambers of Beslen seem humane.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    tags: chance  people  hell  age  cruelty  faith  church  sinner 
     
    There is no justification for the common claim that Christianity was responsible for the abolition of slavery. The Negro slave trade - a far more infamous practice than slavery in the ancient world - was initiated, carried on and defended by Christian men in Christian countries.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    I was convinced that, besides millions of frank unbelievers, there are today large numbers of half-believers to whom religion is a source of intellectual and moral discomfort.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    tags: morals 
     
    This hideous doctrine of eternal torment after death has probably caused more terror and misery, more cruelty and more violation of natural human sympathy, than any belief in the history of mankind. Yet this doctrine was taught unambiguously by Jesus.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    It is a mistake to try to impose Christian beliefs on children and to make them the basis of moral training. The moral education of children is much too important a matter to be built on such foundations.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    One of the best ways to improve men's behaviour is to enlighten their minds: and today, against the strong opposition of the Church and the Establishment, Scientific Humanism is attempting to do just that.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    tags: strong  church 
     
    Ethical teaching is weakened if it is tied up with dogmas that will not bear examination.
    — Margaret E. Knight
    tags: teaching 
     
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