"I was told that the Chinese said they would bury me by the Western Lake and build a shrine to my memory.
I have some slight regret that this did not happen as I might have become a god, which would have been very chic for an atheist "
I have always appreciated this kind of lightly ironical humour, which I consider a proof of deep intelligence.
I wonder why, according to my personal, irrelevant and surely too limited experience, the best people, from every point of view, including positive human values, I have ever met were all atheists.
"With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will.