Randolf Richardson (Zhang Wen Dao)

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As an advocate for freedom and critical thinking, many of my quotations are a reflection of this.  If you would like to quote me, you do not need my permission (so consider it granted if you think it's required), and I take an impartial view to context (although I'd love to know where I've been quoted, so please feel free to contact me with those details after the fact at randolf+quotes@richardson.tw).

The following quotations were either spoken by me, or I wrote them or typed them electronically (e.g., in an online forum, IRC, etc.).  Most of these quotations are listed in chronological order.  Dates and additional context information is included with each quotation as per availability and need.

"The future of life on Earth depends on the well-being of our environment and an education for our children that includes critical thinking skills as a core subject."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 19, 2015)

"The notion that everyone is equal is a defective one.  Each individual has strong and weak points, with the strong points being what they can use when helping others, and the weak points being what others can use when helping them.  Kidding ourselves by ignoring our differences, instead of celebrating diversity, is not an optimal approach because it doesn't encourage each individual to refine their specialties.  Together, as a society, we can all contribute with our own strengths while relying on the strengths of others, with the ultimate result being that everyone wins."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 15, 2015)

"The greatest gift that we can give to future generations is progress."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 7, 2012)

"The younger the child, the greater the imagination."
-- Randolf Richardson (December 8, 2011)

"I feel honoured when people trust me.  I feel respected when people try to understand me.  I feel "treated with regard" when people express appreciation for my efforts."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 20, 2013; in response to a question about feeling honoured and respected, and being treated with regard)

"Oppression anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 8, 2015)

"Freedom does not depend on reciprocation -- society does. And a society that values freedom and aims to protect it as an inalienable right is a society that is ultimately facilitating openness and honesty, and therefore indirectly nurturing progress as an important byproduct.
      "Freedom is not something that should be constrained, rather it is something that should be cherished, protected, and encouraged."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 17, 2015)

"Stand-up comedians are among the world's most effective communicators."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 3, 2012)

"What other people think of us is part of life, but what's most important is our own attitude toward it."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 13, 2016)

"Hypothetically, if there were, let's assume, less than 1,000 atheists throughout the entire world, that wouldn't effect my choice to be one -- my reasons are based in fact and logic, not peer pressure.  (If atheists were in the majority, such as 98% around the world, that also wouldn't effect my choice to be one.)"
-- Randolf Richardson (November 20, 2010, regarding peer-pressure)

"Atheism.  There's nothing to it.  Literally."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 27, 2012)

"If your brain explodes, please consult a scientist."
-- Randolf Richardson (December 9, 2011)

"The problem with anarchists is that they refuse to agree on a standard definition of anarchy."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 18, 2012)

"The internet is just a newer version of the Gutenberg Press -- now it's easy for anyone to read anything published by anyone."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 24, 2013)

"I am an advocate for freedom (of thought, expression, etc.) and critical thinking, and so from my perspective you are free to imagine, to believe, to have opinions, and to share your ideas, and so is everyone else.  One common practice among free thinkers is critical thinking (the mental application of skepticism), and the reason I advocate for it is that it's a very helpful tool in gaining a better understanding of how things work and of what others hold as important perspectives.
      "I want to believe what's real, and dismiss what isn't.  The fun part is differentiating what is real from what isn't, and it's freedom of expression practiced by others that offer these sorts of opportunities, sometimes in abundance."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 28, 2013)

"One person's criticism may be another person's opportunity."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 1, 2013; regarding critical thinking)

"The objection I have to theism is when it is being imposed on me -- my preference is freedom, and I advocate for freedom for everyone ... to believe (or not believe) anything, to hold opinions of their choosing, to express themselves freely, to change their minds, etc."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 8, 2013)

"It [Asperger's Syndrome] should be renamed to 'The Force.'"
-- Randolf Richardson (June 8, 2013)

"The use of labels by people outside of the [psychiatric] profession is where the problems come into play ... labels are, overall, more helpful in developing a clearer understanding of others.  In the absence of labels for use as derogatory instruments: children, etc., will just find something else to use -- it's a part of growing up, and I think it's better for children to learn how to deal with confrontation than to avoid it as it's [also] an important part of coping with reality."
-- Randolf Richardson (mid-June 2013)

"Feelings are there to be hurt sometimes, otherwise what's the point of having them?"
-- Randolf Richardson (May 6, 2016)

"A peculiarity of racism is that its source is not exclusive to just one race."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 21, 2016)

"Television is mostly the continuous celebration of stupidity."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 25, 2013)

"The assumption that there exists one or more deities has yet to be proven, and any additional assumptions that people were made in a deity's image are extraneous at best."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 27, 2013)

"As soon as we, as a society, can throw off the highly restrictive and deeply oppressive chains of political correctness and toss them into the trash where they belong, I expect that social progress will improve most profoundly because people will no longer be prevented from openly and honestly understanding one another."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 10, 2013)

"Anyone can be a freethinker.  Conformity, such as by way of willful enslavement to something that is not compatible with skepticism (e.g., accepting popular opinion without questioning its veracity), would likely interfere with being a freethinker."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 12, 2013)

"The internet has more 'type' than 'talk.'"
-- Randolf Richardson (July 15, 2013)

"Can the Flying Spaghetti Monster be your Phở?"
-- Randolf Richardson (August 18, 2013)

"To assert that there was "nothing" before the universe came to be is a flawed premise because it's an assumption.  One of the challenges is that "nothing" hasn't been available for scientific examination.  Without having "nothing" to examine, it's not possible to test whether "nothing" can manifest into, or generate, something else, for its properties and characteristics are unknown."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 31, 2013; refuting an assumption that the universe came from nothing)

"The cure for fear of the unknown is curiosity and free inquiry."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 13, 2013)

"The "atheism vilification community" condemns the enlightened for their skepticism, and rewards the ignorant for their faith."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 9, 2013)

"Mocking is a style of communication. Some styles are more useful than others, some are more insightful, some are more entertaining, etc. The style of communication doesn't necessarily make the message any more or less valid regardless of how comforting or discomforting it may be."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 12, 2013)

"You know, every time I see the news on television, I keep hoping that it will be interrupted by an Anonymous message."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 30, 2014)

"If money is to be seriously regarded as a god, then that means we are living in a polytheistic world because multiple gods will be represented by multiple currencies."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 25, 2014)

"When any ideas are exempted from scrutiny, opportunities for developing wisdom diminish."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 27, 2015)

"The future is real."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 1, 2016)

"Ideas should be challenged, even from within the ranks of their supporters."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 20, 2016)

"An authority that cannot be questioned is an authority that lacks accountability and transparency."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 15, 2016)

"I prefer to doubt the facts than to have faith in a fantasy."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 19, 2016)

"If God is omnipotent, then he can create matter. If matter cannot be created, then God is not omnipotent."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 19, 2016)

"Should censorship be censored?"
-- Randolf Richardson (August 19, 2016)

"To me, marriage is about more than a promise between people to remain true to each other -- it's also about love, and care, and [usually] the start of a family.  I've never thought that marriage should be limited based on sex or a quantity of 2 people, and I find such limits to be in contravention to the love that people have for each other."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 23, 2016)

"George Carlin was a philosopher, cleverly disguised as a comedian."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 27, 2016)

"As long as there's money and power and religion, there won't be peace."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 1, 2016)

"A serious problem with any Democracy that lacks a Constitution protecting freedom and liberty as inalienable fundamentals is that 100 people can arbitrarily tell 1 person what to do."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 4, 2016)

"Superstition is a waste of tax revenues."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 4, 2016)

"The internet can be dangerous, for it's full of ideas."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 15, 2016)

"The freedom of every individual to decide for themselves who they are, and what personal characteristics to aspire to, is a fundamental freedom.  Those who are forbidden from free thinking are [being] oppressed."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 21, 2016)

"High quality leaders don't seek out scapegoats -- they seek out solutions to problems and keep the focus on improving the future."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 27, 2016)

"I don't accept Political Correctness.  I welcome conflict in these discussions because it ultimately encourages more progress."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 28, 2016)

"If you're telling everyone that you're a spy, then you're probably just a decoy at best."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 7, 2016)

"While I agree that one's sexual orientation can be a choice, I believe that for the overwhelmingly vast majority of people it's merely a natural character trait.  What I think is most important is that people have meaningful, high quality relationships that enrich their lives in a manner that's honestly consistent with their various personal preferences."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 10, 2016)

"The concept of 'tolerance' is wicked.  How would you feel about being 'tolerated' (which may ultimately breed intolerance)?  Wouldn't you prefer that people be truthful with you so that you can at least have a reasonable opportunity to try to find a solution instead?"
-- Randolf Richardson (October 14, 2016)

"My children know that there is a lot about life, the universe, and everything that I don't know -- this contributes greatly to their senses of self-confidence and personal intellectual security, especially when they teach me what they've learned from school, from the library books they borrow, from the science magazines my Dad gives to them, and from elsewhere."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 21, 2016; in a discussion about a deity as an all-knowing parent)

"Love is pretty easy to find, but long-lasting love generally requires reciprocity and clear intentions from the get-go."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 26, 2016)

"Whatever peace one finds through delusion is always under stress because its cognitive dissonance attracts exposure."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 4, 2016)

"'Infinite Regress' is an infintely burdensome hobby."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 4, 2016)

"Government needs to be run like a government that works for its citizens. Run a government like a business and its citizens will be exploited, one service fee at a time."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 10, 2016)

"When the free exchange of ideas is escalated to acts of violence, everyone loses."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 11, 2016)

"If you have to ask for help to access the dark web, then it's probably not for you."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 11, 2016)

"Anonymous works in methodical ways."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 14, 2016)

"The media are desperate to identify a single leader or a governing body for Anonymous because it's good for their ratings and it's easier for them to understand.  In essence, they've become so complacent with the hierarchial structure of organizations and governments that they've forgotten about the true meaning of freedom."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 18, 2016)

"Doubt is my ally, for I am a skeptic."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 23, 2016)

"Life isn't just one big backfire, but a series of smaller backfires."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 16, 2017)

"Prevention is for the lazy."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 17, 2017; concerning vaccines)

"Struggle is a normal part of life, for life itself is a struggle in a universe that is overwhelmingly hostile to life in its various forms.  Surviving and overcoming a struggle enhances life experience, and given what I've managed to achieve with two types of Dyslexia and Asperger Syndrome I would not want to re-live my life again without these as I consider them to be invaluable personal character traits.  By recognizing only the disadvantages inherent in Dyslexia, you are likely failing to objectively consider Dyslexia in its entirety."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 31, 2017; in response to a mischaracterization that Dyslexia is a horrible cruelty that should not be perpetuated)

"Fame is overrated."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 4, 2017)

"Skepticism is a shortcut to wisdom."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 28, 2017)

"Those who oppress women out of fear lack confidence in themselves.  There is so much to be gained by embracing everyone without discriminating based on sex, race, creed, belief, handicap, education level, family background, etc."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 5, 2017)

"I feel dumber already, although I'm hoping that's just a side-effect of the medication."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 19, 2017; after all four wisdom teeth were removed)

"Now that my wisdom teeth have been removed, I can finally brush them properly."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 20, 2017)

"The highest quality morality often comes from those who choose it freely."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 28, 2017)

"Asperger's Syndrome is not something you have, but rather it's a characteristic of who you are."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 1, 2017)

"Where would the internet be today without cats?"
-- Randolf Richardson (July 7, 2017)

"If Donald Trump knew how to use Regular Expressions, he'd be using IRC instead of Twitter."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 24, 2017)

"Spammers are less credible than black market merchants in dark alleys."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 25, 2017)

"Bitcoin checksums help to prevent BADBEEF from 'hexing' our transactions."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 22, 2017)

"I don't trust the internet.  That's why I run my own servers."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 25, 2017; as part of an internet privacy conversation in irc.freenode.net#bitcoin)

"The ones who claim to be the hackers are usually ... remote controlled."
-- Randolf Richardson (December 16, 2017; in response to someone claiming to be a hacker)

"Objective assessments can be made when one or more subjective points upon which they are based are agreed on."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 2, 2018)

"There are many things I don't know.  The problem is that I'm fairly certain that I have no idea how to put most of them into a list."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 10, 2018)

"I never seek forgiveness for my mistakes -- those belong to me; without them, my life experience would not be what it is today."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 12, 2018)

"If 4chan doesn't know what's going on, then all of the internet's cats have failed."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 7, 2018; in response to an observation that "4chan apparently knows what's going on")

"I wish comedians would tell more jokes about dyslexia ... in any order of their choosing."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 24, 2018)

"Familiarity breeds contempt for non-conformists."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 25, 2018)

"A common problem with history is that many of its victors have been known to re-write it."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 2, 2018)

"Luck is an illusion."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 4, 2018)

"... some people change after gaining power, and do so in ways that they never thought they could, or originally intended to.  Once someone has a lot of power, other ways of getting work done often become available which can require new ways of thinking, and with high demands to satisfy a larger audience it can be easy to lose sight of the needed risk assessments and other aspects of philosophical consideration that are normally important in decision-making."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 14, 2018)

"Give children a high quality education and the future will be better for everyone."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 19, 2018)

"Any attempt to oppress freedom is an attack on society's potential to affect progress."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 28, 2018)

"The stupid actions of others can often bring us insight."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 16, 2018)

"If someone in your dream tells you that you're not dreaming, be skeptical.  (Feel free to quote me on that when you wake up.)"
-- Randolf Richardson (June 20, 2018)

Freedom, war, ethics, and philosophy quote

"It's concerning how 'survival in war' is so often used as justification to usurp freedoms, rights, and civil liberties.  I posit that it is during such pressing times that we must be particularly vigilant about protecting everyone's freedoms, rights, and civil liberties, because if we fail to do so under pressure then what does that truly say about the quality of our society's shared character and our ability to be reliable both ethically and philosophically?"
-- Randolf Richardson (July 10, 2018)

"Human rights abuses anywhere are a threat to human rights everywhere."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 10, 2018; paraphrasing Martin Luther King Jr.)

"People are more important than ideas.  Religions are collections of ideas, and whether those ideas are good or bad (or otherwise), people are more important, and freedom is necessary for the best 'people' experiences that life can offer."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 14, 2018; on a petition to free activists in Saudi Arabia)

"I think it would be horrible and probably very scary at times to live in a society ruled by a government that violently kills its citizens in public for minor transgressions."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 14, 2018)

"While I appreciate the intent behind such sentiments, I don't regard diversity as a strength -- it can, however, be advantageous and disadvantageous, and with charter-protected rights and freedoms, every nation sets itself up to enjoy many more advantages with greater diversity."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 15, 2018; in response to diversity being a strength)

"Perhaps shifting blame is easier in the short-term, but taking responsibility is invariably easier for everyone in the long-run because responsibility, similar to the Grim Reaper, seems to catch up with most people eventually."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 16, 2018; in response to responsibility vs. shifing blame)

"Those who rule with fear are operating from a source of insecurity."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 20, 2018; in response to believing out of fear)

"Bigotry toward any group is disappointing because it's a destructive attitude that divides people instead of encouraging everyone to focus more on diversity in positive ways."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 29, 2018; in response to concerns about bigotry)

"Chicken bones probably cost more than a divining rod."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 1, 2018; in a discussion about superstition)

"Real optimists use Kevlins."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 8, 2018; in a discussion about temperature)

"As it is with life, in general, there are many pros and cons.  Freedom is an essential right, and I'd much rather take the chance of listening to or reading something that offends me than to be robbed by censorship of the opportunity to decide for myself whether to feel offended."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 12, 2018; in a discussion about temperature)

"I advocate for the freedom of every person to be an atheist.  This means that I'm necessarily also in effect advocating for the freedom of every person to be a theist.  The important thing is that everyone have the freedom to choose without any pressure from anyone."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 21, 2018; in a discussion about advocacy for atheism)

"I wouldn't eradicate religion even if I had the power to do so.  My reason is that doing so would eliminate a free choice for people, which is contrary to my advocacy for freedom.  I think it's better to challenge ideas and progress by engaging in meaningful conversations."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 21, 2018; in a discussion about advocacy and eradication)

"Some people have told me that I take life too seriously.  I'm okay with that, because as far as I'm aware this is the only life I've got to live."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 15, 2019; Twitter posting)

"I welcome new information as I strive to be 'doxastically open.'  I feel it's an honest way to live my life to not categorically reject being proven wrong about something, and I also want this attitude to infect my children as I believe it will be good for their intellectual acuity."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 19, 2019; Twitter posting)

"I wholeheartedly agree that the classification of atheism ("absence of belief in deities") does not serve as a moral guide by any stretch of the imagination.  However, being an atheist does not exclude one from making moral determinations."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 1, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Rules from those old times were barbaric, and lacked the contemporary wisdom of insightful people like John Rawls who are known for creating important and progressive law-making concepts like the 'veil of ignorance.'  As time goes on we gradually improve while religion stagnates."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 3, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Also, atheism is not a religion because there is no accompanying doctrine for it (which, by the way, is typical of classifications), so calling it a religion is non-factual and not consistent with reality."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 27, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Whenever anyone wants to impose any restrictions on freedom of expression, it must be confronted as a serious human rights violation."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 10, 2019; Twitter posting)

"When we are young, being wild comes more naturally.  When we are mature, being violent comes more naturally.  When we are old, being greedy comes more naturally.  When we are ancient, being apathetic comes more naturally."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 11, 2019; Twitter posting)

"I think that Bruce Lee would have been pleased by anyone who took his lessons and surpassed his own abilities, and every Kung Fu teacher I've ever posed this topic to has indicated that they want this for their students.  I firmly believe that a mark of successful teachers is when they've helped their students become better than themselves."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 28, 2019; YouTube video comment)

"Humans are a species.  Races are arbitrarily discerned by comparisons in small groups, but when one considers the entire spectrum of skin pigmentations across the entire population of the world it becomes impossible to rationally draw a clear line in the gradient that emerges."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 30, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Religious supremacy is comparable to race-based supremacy in that it is divisive, discriminatory, and arbitrary.  I object to religious supremacy for the same reasons I object to race-based supremacy, and I regard them both as equally wicked, dangerous, corrupt, and immoral."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 6, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Doubt is not a thought crime."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 6, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Solidarity is less valuable and interesting to me than diversity."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 6, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Advocating for freedom of expression generally means for everyone, not just a particular demographic."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 8, 2019; Twitter posting)

"I don't want a perfect existence, for that would mean there'd be no mysteries to ponder, no new places to explore, no questions that need answering, and, no freedoms to think, to share ideas, or to make independent choices -- a perfect existence would be a wicked cruelty imposed."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 26, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Faith is valuable, as long as it's not misplaced.  Having faith in a conman is rife with problems, but having faith in one's own children on Sports Day at their elementary school seems quite reasonable to me -- this is generally where I think faith has some practical utility."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 4, 2019; Twitter posting)

"A monotheist is always at a disadvantage in a debate with a polytheist because the number of deities is not balanced in their favour.
-- Randolf Richardson (May 4, 2019)

"I value free will so that I can make mistakes, and hopefully also learn from them."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 9, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Awareness of a proposition isn't sufficient justification to apply a burden of proof for not believing.  My justification for this is the capability of free thought."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 27, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Beliefs that have to be respected to prevent violence are not worthy of respect."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 19, 2019; Twitter posting)

"The way in which you cope with adversity can reveal a lot about the quality of your true character, so take care to choose wisely because regrets are preventable."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 25, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Apathy among the populace is a subtle victory to oppressive politicians."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 7, 2019; Twitter posting)

"I don't believe in non-alcoholic spirits."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 20, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Christopher Hitchens is a high bar to strive for, and I do mean for both types of bars."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 24, 2019; Twitter posting)

"One of my understandings of philosophy is it depends on dissension and benefits from debate, and without these two traits it would be at grave risk of descending into the depths of dogmatism."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 26, 2019; Twitter posting)

"People tend to resist change, especially when it's change for the better."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 10, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Atheism is in the eye of the non-beholder."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 16, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Mostly, I guide my conscience.  I have to, because I know gut feelings can be misleading, but I also regard this relationship as symbiotic with the additional role of arbiter fulfilled by critical thinking."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 17, 2019; Twitter posting)

"In my experience, the vast majority of theists are nice people.  The problem I have is with those who discriminate against others because they think their religious ideas are more important than people."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 20, 2019; Twitter posting)

"... atheism doesn't require maintenance as it's a natural characteristic of life.  Religion, on the other hand, is a high-maintenance endeavour that requires constant attention."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 22, 2019)

"Aesthetics are in the eye of the appraiser."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 23, 2019; Twitter posting)

"The hateful reactions from large religious demographics toward people who are #LGBTQ+ are the problem, not the fact that someone just happens to be LGBTQ+ which seems to me to be a normal part of being human for many people (I'm heterosexual, by the way, which is equally normal)."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 30, 2019; Twitter posting)

"That others can and do join in is one of the greatest things about public discussion.  This is why I call it 'the free exchange of ideas,' for if others can't participate then it wouldn't be a 'free exchange.'  You also have the freedom to choose who to respond to."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 30, 2019; responding to concerns about others joining public discourse)

"The past cannot be changed, however, we are continuously our own masters with regard to this present moment which influences where we are likely to find ourselves in the future."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 30, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Science is a comprehensive toolset of reliable learning that enhances our effectiveness as a species to progress and adapt in so many different ways."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 20, 2019; Twitter posting)

"I consider Carl Sagan one of my teachers after having watched his wonderful Cosmos series when I was a young child.  I never attended any of his classes in person, or received any class assignments, homework, etc., from him, so the lessons were easy ... and also highly inspiring."
-- Randolf Richardson (October 20, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Religion should be classified as a hobby."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 8, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Over the years I've learned there are nice people and mean people in every demographic.  I recommend not 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater' so-to-speak, because there are plenty of nice religious people who will be nice regardless of which religion they're in."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 20, 2019; Twitter posting)

"The two fundamentally largest problems with authoritarianism are oppression and those wielding power."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 21, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Your choices now can't change the past, but you get to decide what you're going to focus on and put effort into in the future.  The fact that you can do this is such a wonderful opportunity to be better than you were."
-- Randolf Richardson (November 27, 2019)

"When doubt is your ally, self-confidence can be truly genuine."
-- Randolf Richardson (December 4, 2019; Twitter posting)

"For something to have 'intrinsic value,' one must first establish that an 'objective value' is cosmologically ubiquitous.  If that can't be established, then I posit that any claim of 'intrinsic value' cannot be validated therefore, and could only maximally be subjective at best."
-- Randolf Richardson (December 13, 2019; Twitter posting)

"I believe that as long as we act compassionately toward everyone equally, whilst addressing a person's bad actions separately, more people (and other animals) can enjoy better qualities of life overall, which is good for society."
-- Randolf Richardson (December 20, 2019; Twitter posting)

"Happy New Year in 2020, the year of perfect visions."
-- Randolf Richardson (December 21, 2019)

"... Hatred, on its own, can be more easily addressed and corrected than hatred coupled with a religious foundation."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 6, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Religion is the ultimate mockery of a truly free humanity."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 8, 2020; Twitter posting)

"I don't have to explore the entire cosmos to determine that all cats are not grey."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 12, 2020; YouTube debate)

"Regarding people we generally don't agree with -- as long as we can judge their ideas independently of judging them, we can continue to constantly betray our own Cognitive Dissonance in the most psychologically-healthy ways."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 12, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Death is the final goal, after all other goals have been satisfied."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 14, 2020; irc.freenode.net##philosophy)

"If someone made beer popsicles, could that qualify as food since it would be in a solid state?"
-- Randolf Richardson (January 22, 2020; in the text comments approximately 50 minutes in on a YouTube video chat)

"Philosophy attempts to ask the questions and develop the thinking, and science attempts to answer the questions and develop the theory."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 22, 2020; in the text comments approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes in on a YouTube video chat)

"Pascal's Wager:  Helping religious people feel lucky for over 300 years."
-- Randolf Richardson (January 23, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Conscientiously and incessantly rampant stupidity can be quite trying.  Although I strive to view it as partly-intended and partly-unintended forms of entertainment, I've also found its multitude of seemingly perpetual supply-lines to be a source of frustration at times."
-- Randolf Richardson (February 17, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Educating the general public on important matters tends to be an uphill battle."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 3, 2020; irc.freenode.net##philosophy)

"Violence, when justified by the government, unfortunately fosters a mindset of acceptance among much of the populace."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 18, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Racist oppression is arrogance in one of its most destructive forms."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 22, 2020; Twitter posting)

"I'm not under your god's jurisdiction, so his laws don't apply to me.
"If you're certain that I'm wrong, then your god can visit me any time (daytime is preferred) and educate me on his laws and jurisdiction."
-- Randolf Richardson (March 31, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Religions are collections of ideas.  Some of the ideas are good, but many of the ideas are bad, and problems arise in every society where people mistake religion for wisdom and philosophy, and oppression and injustice arise when religion becomes intertwined with politics and law."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 2, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Death is always there for everyone, more dependable than life itself.  Life is worthwhile though because it takes effort."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 2, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Death is, generally at least, highly undesirable.  It's not always bad though, and in one important respect the prospect of death gives peoples' lives meaning due to the non-eternal nature of our lifespans.  Without death, how much less value might our lives have?"
-- Randolf Richardson (April 3, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Literacy is a form of intellectual excellence."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 5, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Recommending non-therapeutic circumcision is the same as giving defective medical advice.  Are all those people recommending genital amputation professionally qualified to give medical advice?"
-- Randolf Richardson (April 16, 2020; Twitter posting)

"The reason some humans don't seem to have self-preservation instincts - unlike most non-human animals - is probably due to them ignoring their brain stems.  This is facilitated by scientific luxuries that make it easier for dummies and lazy people to cheat natural selection."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 19, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Whether an argument is useful is irrelevant to it being correct."
-- Randolf Richardson (April 22, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Don't ever fear an impasse; treat it as a rest stop."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 2, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Saying 'I don't know' is liberating when it's honest."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 9, 2020; Twitter posting)

"All you solipsists are alike ... which is not surprising."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 16, 2020; Twitter posting)

"I find it interesting that those who misrepresent atheism as a solution are very often also the same people who expect that every person should adhere to an ideology that proffers itself as the only solution."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 21, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Why rely on axioms?  Think for yourself!"
-- Randolf Richardson (May 21, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Many people, it seems, have a natural desire for certainty.  It's comforting, and ideologies do tend to cater to this and include a component of dismissing or rejecting doubt.
     "Scientific inquiry embraces doubt as a necessity for the advancement of scientific understanding."
-- Randolf Richardson (May 22, 2020; Twitter posting)

The Golden Preference

"Intend to treat others as they prefer to be treated."
     "Scientific inquiry embraces doubt as a necessity for the advancement of scientific understanding."
-- "The Golden Preference" (the better alternative to the Golden Rule) by Randolf Richardson (May 27, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Being proven wrong is an exciting thrill because it means one gets to evolve intellectually with less effort."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 5, 2020; YouTube side-chat at approximately 88 minutes)

"Vengeance is not an optimal characteristic for forming peaceful societies."
-- Randolf Richardson (June 30, 2020; as part of an internet conversation in irc.freenode.net##philosophy)

"Slavery is a horrific mark on human history.  It was wrong in the past, and it's still wrong today, yet it still persists in some societies, and it doesn't help that some people still try to justify it as being okay in the past (it never was okay)."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 21, 2020; Twitter posting)

"If big trucks had colons ( : ) would they be called semi-colons ( ; )?"
-- Randolf Richardson (July 22, 2020; Twitter posting)

"There is no minimum (or maximum) intelligence requirement in atheism, which has no ties to deity concepts.  Theism, on the other hand, has an implicit minimum intelligence requirement because a minimum amount of thinking is required to conceptualize a deity, even if only partly."
-- Randolf Richardson (July 27, 2020; Twitter posting)

"I'm not interested in reading the words of an angry celestial dictator who advocates for the ethnic cleansing of atheists.  It's high time to find a new role model."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 23, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Please tell your god to communicate his judgments to me directly himself instead of using idle gossip to reach me through you."
-- Randolf Richardson (August 29, 2020; Twitter posting; response to a claim that "a living god is judging" me)

"Cognitive Dissonance seems like a pandemic sometimes."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 8, 2020; Twitter posting)

"You can bring a unicorn to religion, but you can't make her believe."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 14, 2020; Twitter posting)

"Book banishing is an outdated fad with throwbacks to medieval times.
"Anyone who banishes books in this comparatively modern era is being ridiculous beyond reasonable and rational measure, and is probably doing so to mask their own personal insecurities."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 15, 2020; Twitter posting)

"No stick nor carrot? There goes the Trinity -- the Bunny, the Rabbit, and the Hare."
-- Randolf Richardson (September 26, 2020; YouTube video livechat comment, approximately 14 minutes in)
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