Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Herbert J. Muller

American Historian, Academic, Government Official and Author

"When the anonymous masses enter history, it is chiefly to be slaughtered in battle, to die of famine or privation – to illustrate the failures of their betters… We have the mighty pyramids, but no firsthand account of the feelings of the wretches who built them."

"To say that a man is made up of certain chemical elements is a satisfactory description only for those who intend to use him as a fertilizer."

"Organized religion is too respectable, too much at home in America, and so too much inclined to abdicate its responsibility as a judge of society."

"It has become too easy to see that the luckless men of the past lived by mistakes, even absurd beliefs, so we may well fail in a decent respect for them, and forget that historians of the future will point out that we too lived by myths."

"Religion can no longer rest its claims on a dogmatic supernaturalism, because any dogma that is irreconcilable with tested knowledge must be rejected. [..] a sentence [..] sums up the dark and deadly pages of Chistian history: 'If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.'"

"The doctrine of the material efficacy of prayer reduces the Creator to a cosmic bellhop of a not very bright or reliable kind."