I think that physics is the most important-indeed the only-means we have of finding out the origins and fundamentals of our universe, and this is what interests me most about it. I believe that as science advances religion necessarily recedes, and this is a process I wish to encourage, because I consider that, on the whole, the influence of religion is malign.
William B. Bonnor
There was another silence. I felt, above all, tired. Tiredness: if there was a constant symptom of the disease in our lives at this time, it was tiredness. At work we were unflagging; at home the smallest gesture of liveliness was beyond us. Mornings we awoke into a malign weariness that seemed only to have refreshed itself overnight.
What interests me, personally, is work which in some way, speaks the truth to power... I don't think we speak the truth to power for power's ear, but for the ear and the imagination of future generations, who would seek to live in a world free from the malign and self-serving influence of those who wield it.
Today, Aaron decided, he would begin to grieve in earnest. He would walk the lonely beach, mocked by gulls, uncaring, his every step a stately rebuke to the malign forces that had blighted his fate. His was the tragedy of a man who couldn't have his own way, and he intended to make known his anguish in the solemn solitude that only a stretch of sand, a suspiring sea, and a beetling cliff could provide.
The term blowback, which officials of the Central Intelligent Agency first invented for their own internal use, . . . refers to the unintended consequences of policies that were kept secret from the American people. What the daily press reports as the malign act of terrorists or drug lords or rogue states or illegal arms merchants often turn out to be blowback from earlier American operations.
When I think of New York I have a very different feeling. New York makes even a rich man feel his unimportance. New York is cold, glittering, malign. The buildings dominate. There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit. A constant ferment, but it might just as well be going on in a test tube. Nobody knows what it's all about. Nobody directs the energy. Stupendous. Bizarre, Baffling. A tremendous reactive urge, but absolutely uncoordinated.
"What is honor?" "Honor is what no man can give ya. And none can take away. Honor is man's gift to himself." "Do women have it?" "Women have a heart of honor, and we cherish and protect it in 'em. We must never mistreat a woman or malign a man, or standby and see another do so." "How do you know you have it?" "Never worry on the gift of it. It grows in ya' and speaks to ya'. All ya' need do is listen"....
Rob Roy MacGregor
Oh little Cody Pomeray if there had been some way to send a cry to you even when you were too little to know what utterances and cries are for in this dark sad earth, with your terrors in a world so malign and inhospitable, and all the insults from heaven ramming down to crowd your head with anger, pain, disgrace, worst of all the crapulous poverty in and out of every splintered door of days, if someone could have said to you then, and made you perceive, "Fear life, but don't die; you're alone, everybody's alone. Oh Cody Pomeray, you can't win, you can't lose, all is ephemeral, all is hurt."
There are many lay people and scholars alike, both with and without the Muslim community, who feel that the pure orthodox Islam of the fundamentalists could never survive outside the context of its seventh-century Arabian origins. Apply twenty-first-century science, logic, or humanistic reasoning to it and it falls apart. They believe this is why Islam has always relied so heavily on the threat of death. Question Islam, malign Islam, or leave Islam and you will be killed. It is a totalitarian modus operandi that silences all dissent and examination, thereby protecting the faith from ever having to defend itself.
As a rule, theologians know nothing of this world, and far less of the next; but they have the power of stating the most absurd propositions with faces solemn as stupidity touched by fear. It is a part of their business to malign and vilify the Voltaires, Humes, Paines, Humboldts, Tyndalls, Haeckels, Darwins, Spencers, and Drapers, and to bow with uncovered heads before the murderers, adulterers, and persecutors of the world. They are, for the most part, engaged in poisoning the minds of the young, prejudicing children against science, teaching the astronomy and geology of the bible, and inducing all to desert the sublime standard of reason.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Almost by definition, secularism cannot be a future: it's a present-tense culture that over time disconnects a society from cross-generational purpose. Which is why there are no examples of sustained atheist civilizations. "Atheistic humanism" became inhumanism in the hands of the Fascists and Communists and, in its less malign form in today's European Union, a kind of dehumamism in which a present-tense culture amuses itself to extinction. Post-Christian European culture is already post-cultural and, with its surging Muslim populations, will soon be post-European.
Pick a man, any man. That man there. See him. That man hatless. You know his opinion of the world. You can read it in his face, in his stance. Yet his complaint that a man's life is no bargain masks the actual case with him. Which is that men will not do as he wishes them to. Have never done, never will do. That's the way of things with him and his life is so balked about by difficulty and become so altered of its intended architecture that he is little more than a walking hovel hardly fit to house the human spirit at all. Can he say, such a man, that there is no malign thing set against him? That there is no power and no force and no cause? What manner of heretic could doubt agency and claimant alike? Can he believe that the wreckage of his existence is unentailed? No liens, no creditors? That gods of vengeance and of compassion alike lie sleeping in their crypt and whether our cries are for an accounting or for the destruction of the ledgers altogether they must evoke only the same silence and that it is this silence which will prevail?
A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain - a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space... Therefore we must judge a weird tale not by the author's intent, or by the mere mechanics of the plot; but by the emotional level which it attains at its least mundane point... The one test of the really weird is simply this - whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers; a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe's utmost rim.
Margaux looks around the table; this is not working. All of a sudden she's thinking about a safe room, something she's only heard of but suddenly wants: water, oxygen, bulletproof door, dead bolts, a thousand books. Utterly quiet. Completely silent. No girls she barely knows in saggy leather pants, no girls in mesh strippers' gloves and jeans sanded thin as a bee's wing, and no girls who can't stay home one night a year because they are always and forever out. On their way to. Coming from. And then her heart open. Just a little, but it does. Because she remembers all that. How she felt then: the self-reproach, the utter confusion... That's why her heart opens. For those girls at the table who always feel baffled and sad, tender and malign, repulsive and desirable, innocent and contemptuous of innocence. So she cries. For them, mostly. For herself a little... everything hesitates. So that for a second there's no sound in the enormous room but that of Margaux sobbing.
Christians must show that misery fits the good for heaven, while happiness prepares the bad for hell; that the wicked get all their good things in this life, and the good all their evil; that in this world God punishes the people he loves, and in the next, the ones he hates; that happiness makes us bad here, but not in heaven; that pain makes us good here, but not in hell. No matter how absurd these things may appear to the carnal mind, they must be preached and they must be believed. If they were reasonable, there would be no virtue in believing. Even the publicans and sinners believe reasonable things. To believe without evidence, or in spite of it, is accounted as righteousness to the sincere and humble christian. In short, Christians are expected to denounce all pleasant paths and rustling trees, to curse the grass and flowers, and glorify the dust and weeds. They are expected to malign the wicked people in the green and happy fields, who sit and laugh beside the gurgling springs or climb the hills and wander as they will. They are expected to point out the dangers of freedom, the safety of implicit obedience, and to show the wickedness of philosophy, the goodness of faith, the immorality of science and the purity of ignorance.
Robert G. Ingersoll
In Woolrich's crime fiction there is a gradual development from pulp to noir. The earlier a story, the more likely it stresses pulp elements: one-dimensional macho protagonists, preposterous methods of murder, hordes of cardboard gangsters, dialogue full of whiny insults, blistering fast action. But even in some of his earliest crime stories one finds aspects of noir, and over time the stream works itself pure. In mature Woolrich the world is an incomprehensible place where beams happen to fall, and are predestined to fall, and are toppled over by malevolent powers; a world ruled by chance, fate and God the malign thug. But the everyday life he portrays is just as terrifying and treacherous. The dominant economic reality is the Depression, which for Woolrich usually means a frightened little guy in a rundown apartment with a hungry wife and children, no money, no job, and desperation eating him like a cancer. The dominant political reality is a police force made up of a few decent cops and a horde of sociopaths licensed to torture and kill, whose outrages are casually accepted by all concerned, not least by the victims. The prevailing emotional states are loneliness and fear. Events take place in darkness, menace breathes out of every corner of the night, the bleak cityscape comes alive on the page and in our hearts. ("Introduction")
Francis M. Nevins Jr.
I compared what was really known about the stars with the account of creation as told in Genesis. I found that the writer of the inspired book had no knowledge of astronomy - that he was as ignorant as a Choctaw chief - as an Eskimo driver of dogs. Does any one imagine that the author of Genesis knew anything about the sun - its size? that he was acquainted with Sirius, the North Star, with Capella, or that he knew anything of the clusters of stars so far away that their light, now visiting our eyes, has been traveling for two million years? If he had known these facts would he have said that Jehovah worked nearly six days to make this world, and only a part of the afternoon of the fourth day to make the sun and moon and all the stars? Yet millions of people insist that the writer of Genesis was inspired by the Creator of all worlds. Now, intelligent men, who are not frightened, whose brains have not been paralyzed by fear, know that the sacred story of creation was written by an ignorant savage. The story is inconsistent with all known facts, and every star shining in the heavens testifies that its author was an uninspired barbarian. I admit that this unknown writer was sincere, that he wrote what he believed to be true - that he did the best he could. He did not claim to be inspired - did not pretend that the story had been told to him by Jehovah. He simply stated the "facts" as he understood them. After I had learned a little about the stars I concluded that this writer, this "inspired" scribe, had been misled by myth and legend, and that he knew no more about creation than the average theologian of my day. In other words, that he knew absolutely nothing. And here, allow me to say that the ministers who are answering me are turning their guns in the wrong direction. These reverend gentlemen should attack the astronomers. They should malign and vilify Kepler, Copernicus, Newton, Herschel and Laplace. These men were the real destroyers of the sacred story. Then, after having disposed of them, they can wage a war against the stars, and against Jehovah himself for having furnished evidence against the truthfulness of his book.
Robert G. Ingersoll