A wonderful , mellifuous passage by Bertrand Russell setting humanity, imho, firmly in its rightful place.

That Man is the product of causes which had no preview of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; but all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins - all these things, if not quite beyond dispute are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built.

Mysticism and logic

Bertrand Russell 1872-1970

 Civilisation will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest

 Emile Zola

Religion to me has always been the wound, not the bandage.

Dennis Potter: Seeing the Blossom (1994)

and a tiny, but most memorable, section from his interview with Melvyn Bragg just a few weeks before he died

………. instead of saying ‘Oh that’s nice blossom’ – last week looking at it through the window when I’m writing, I see it is the whitest, frothiest, blossommest blossom that there ever could be, and I can see it. Things are more trivial than they ever were and more important than they ever were and the difference doesn’t seem to matter. But the nowness of everything is wondrous……….

Dennis Potter 1935-94

Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.

Jean-Paul Sartre 1905-80

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. ... A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men

Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

With or without religion, 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.

Steven Weinberg,   US physicist (1933 - ), quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999

and a little less seriously........

....and yet her chief renown is for a readiness that keeps her in a state of such tropical humidity as would grow orchids in her drawers in January

Septimus, of Mrs Chater, in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia

That's the puddle where the poodle did the piddle

A favourite song lyric from Stephen Sondheim's 'Sunday in the Park with George'

Girls who don't want to go all the way on a first date shouldn't toy with truffled brie. It is a taste and texture that creeps up behind you in riding boots and undoes your buttons with a violinist's fingers in cream kid gloves, then slides a velvet cushion under your hips.

A A Gill, restaurant critic, in the Sunday Times

.....seafood salad - a dish I avoid like a plague of fishes in Italian restaurants. It always
looks like someone has Black & Deckered an Ann Summers rep's samples

A A Gill, again