Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quote of the Week- H.L. Menken

H.L. Melkin was a scholar and a journalist.  He was a fierce skeptic and is considered to have been one of the most infuential writers of the first half of the 20th century. 

He was also very well known for his satirical coverage of the Snopes Trial, which he called the "Monkey Trial". 

Mr Melkin was many things, but today, he is the author of one of my favourite quotes...

"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."
-- H. L. Mencken

Well said Henry! 

Religion is NOT deserving of respect

People are, and while we should strive not to purposefully hurt their feelings, we should never shy from critical thinking.

No matter WHAT we are criticizing.



  1. I've had a few questions about this. It is not that we should pretend to respect unsupported beliefs. It is that beliefs are not automatically due respect. It is only the evidence for that belief that should be respected.

  2. I find it interesting that you quote Einstein on the main page of your blog to support your view that engaging in free thought naturally leads to Atheism, when Einstein also said many things about the importance of religion and the need for spirituality:

  3. Einstein was not a believer in any sense of the word. He used the word god many times of course, but always in a poetic way. He had released many statements about his actual literal beliefs and they are always that he has NEVER believed in a personal god. That his "God" was rationality and nature.

    Not that it is relevant in any case. There are many scientific minds who have believed in god. That doesn't add any validity to one side of the debate or the other.

    And yes, true free thinking does lead to unbelief. If you aren't willing to admit that your belief might be wrong, and agressively pursue that possibility, then to call yourself a true free thinker or skeptic might be an error.