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Jim to Sir Humphrey: It’s envy you know. Dudley is consumed with envy.
Bernard: It’s one of the seven Dudley sins. Yes, Prime Minister s2e1: Man Overboard, BBC 1986
There art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness. Franz Kafka
If I am the chief of sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also. Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
The real attitude of sin in the heart towards God is that of being without God; it is pride, the worship of myself, that is the great atheistic fact in human life. Oswald Chambers
If I were to construct a God I would furnish Him with some way and qualities and characteristics which the Present lacks. He would not stoop to ask for any man’s compliments, praises, flatteries; and He would be far above exacting them. I would have Him as self-respecting as the better sort of man in these regards.
He would not be a merchant, a trader. He would not buy these things. He would not sell, or offer to sell, temporary benefits of the joys of eternity for the product called worship. I would have Him as dignified as the better sort of man in this regard.
He would value no love but the love born of kindnesses conferred; not that born of benevolences contracted for. Repentance in a man’s heart for a wrong done would cancel and annul that sin; and no verbal prayers for forgiveness be required or desired or expected of that man.
In His Bible there would be no Unforgivable Sin. He would recognize in Himself the Author and Inventor of Sin and Author and Inventor of the Vehicle and Appliances for its commission; and would place the whole responsibility where it would of right belong: upon Himself, the only Sinner.
He would not be a jealous God – a trait so small that even men despise it in each other.
He would not boast.
He would keep private His admirations of Himself; He would regard self-praise as unbecoming the dignity of his position.
He would not have the spirit of vengeance in His heart. Then it would not issue from His lips.
There would not be any hell – except the one we live in from the cradle to the grave.
There would not be any heaven – the kind described in the world's Bibles.
He would spend some of His eternities in trying to forgive Himself for making man unhappy when he could have made him happy with the same effort and he would spend the rest of them in studying astronomy. Mark Twain, notebook
God: the most popular scapegoat for our sins. Mark Twain
There are many scapegoats for our sins, but the most popular one is Providence. Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898
If God wanted to forgive our sins, why not just forgive them? Who is God trying to impress? Richard Dawkins, The Root of All Evil? The Virus of Faith, Channel 4 2006
Not only does religion fail to stop people sinning, it also forces them to live a lie. Richard Dawkins, Sex, Death and The Meaning of Life I: Sin, Channel 4 2012
Why didn’t he just forgive them? Why was it necessary to have a human sacrifice? To have His son tortured and executed in order that the sins of mankind should be absolved? Is that not the most disgusting idea you ever heard? Richard Dawkins, interview Nicky Campbell, Big Questions: Is the Bible Still Relevant Today? BBC 2011
What kind of ethical philosophy is it that condemns every child, even before it is born, to inherit the sin of a remote ancestor? Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion p251
Christian focus is overwhelmingly on sin sin sin sin sin sin sin. What a nasty little preoccupation to have dominating your life. ibid. p252
I have described atonement, the central doctrine of Christianity, as vicious, sadomasochistic and repellent. We should also dismiss it as barking mad, but for its ubiquitous familiarity which has dulled our objectivity. ibid. p253
If God wanted to forgive our sins, why not just forgive them, without having himself tortured and executed in payment? ibid. 253
The idea that we are born in sin and the only way we can be redeemed from sin is through the death of Jesus – it’s a horrible idea … Richard Dawkins vs Cardinal George Pell, Q&A ABC TV 2012
I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance. Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta
I remember, on this matter, the wish made once by an ignorant, uneducated man … He said he wished … that all the great men in the world and all the nobility could be hanged, and strangled with the guts of the last priest … I wish I could have the strength of Hercules to purge the world of all vice and sin, and to have the pleasure of destroying all those monsters of error and sin [priests] who make all the peoples of the world groan so pitiably. Jean Meslier
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Thomas Huxley
Songs: Can’t Win With Original Sin & Nothing Fails Like Prayer. Dan Barker, lecture 2001, ‘Losing Faith in Faith’
The physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose. J Robert Oppenheimer, MIT lecture 25th November 1947
To err is human, but it feels divine. Mae West
Humanity is the sin of God. Theodore Parker
The oldest sins the newest kind of ways. William Shakespeare, II Henry IV IV v 124
I’ll read enough
When I do see the very book indeed
Where all my sins are writ, and that’s myself. William Shakespeare, Richard II IV i 263-265, Richard to Northumberland
The time shall not be many hours of age
More than it is ere foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption. ibid. II V i 57-59, Richard to Northumberland
The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children ... Therefore be of good cheer, for truly I think you are damned. William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice III v 1-2 & 4-5, Lancelot to Jessica
O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal. William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing IV i 35-36, Claudio to Don Pedro