“The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”

― Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel

 

“There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.”

― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

 

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”

― Isaac Asimov

 

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

― Napoleon Bonaparte

 

“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”

― Aleister Crowley, Magick: Book 4, Liber ABA

 

“The Bible has noble poetry in it… and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.”

― Mark Twain

 

“Just keep asking yourself: What would Jesus not do?”

― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

 

“Agnostics are just atheists without balls.”

― Stephen Colbert, I am America

 

“A cult is a religion with no political power.”

― Tom Wolfe

 

“I did not marry the first girl that I fell in love with, because there was a tremendous religious conflict, at the time.

― Woody Allen

 

“To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.”

― Carl Sagan, Billions and Billions

 

“After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

“A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.”

― C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

 

“Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing “Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!” If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.”

― Dan Barker, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists

 

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”

― Carl Sagan

 

“We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.”

― Gene Roddenberry

 

“Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would’ve been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say “this guy”, because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man.

No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he’s at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn’t give a shit. Doesn’t give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.”

― George Carlin

 

“Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.”

― Isaac Asimov

 

“So. You get handed a holy sword by an archangel, told to go fight the forces of evil, and you somehow remain an atheist. Is that what you’re saying?”

― Jim Butcher, Death Masks

 

“I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fucked up.”

― George Carlin

 

“Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I’m sure we’ll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn’t withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn’t seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That’s an idea we’re so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it’s kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is ‘Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything bad about; you’re just not. Why not? – because you’re not!”

― Douglas Adams

 

“If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.”

― Edmond De Goncourt

 

“Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“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

 

“The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

“Eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions god’s infinite love.”

― Bill Hicks

 

“A preoccupation with the next world clearly shows an inability to cope credibly with this one.”

― Richard K. Morgan, Broken Angels

 

“Who knew that the devil had a factory where he made millions of fossils, which his minions distributed throughout the earth, in order to confuse my tiny brain?”

― Lewis Black, Me of Little Faith

 

“If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”

― Napoleon Bonaparte

 

“I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same fifty percent rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don’t…Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe…same as the voodoo lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat’s testicles. It’s all the same…so just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself…”

― George Carlin

 

“Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshit, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in people’s minds.”

― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

 

“Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.”

― Émile Zola

 

 “Be sure to lie to your kids about the benevolent, all-seeing Santa Claus. It will prepare them for an adulthood of believing in God.”

― Scott Dikkers, You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day

 

“A true friend is a gift from God. Since God doesn’t exist, guess what? Neither do true friends.”

― Scott Dikkers, You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day

 

“What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“She believed in nothing. Only her scepticism kept her from being an atheist.”

― Jean-Paul Sartre

 

“The more I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there’s any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

“About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enough—and even miraculous enough if you insist—I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about?

 

Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don’t believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart’s content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of others—while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocity—so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called ‘meaningless’ except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one’s everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with ‘you’ in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.”

― Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

 

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.”

― Richard Pryor

 

“If you think God’s there, He is. If you don’t, He isn’t. And if that’s what God’s like, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

 

“It’s been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home — only the millions of last moments . . . nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.”

― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

 

“All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with ‘winning or losing this game of chess.”

― Marcel Duchamp

 

“When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, ‘Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?”

― Quentin Crisp, The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp

 

“As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God. On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think that I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because, when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.”

― Bertrand Russell

 

“To ‘choose’ dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltaire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?”

― Woody Allen

 

“Theology is ignorance with wings.”

― Sam Harris

 

“Chance favors the prepared mind.”

― Louis Pasteur

 

“I don’t try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.”

― Albert Einstein

 

“So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal’s wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any, so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies?”

― Richard Dawkins

 

“Epicurus’s old questions are still unanswered: Is he (God) willing to prevent evil, but not able? then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? then whence evil?”

― David Hume

 

“I die, as I have lived, a free spirit, an Anarchist, owing no allegiance to rulers, heavenly or earthly.”

― Voltairine de Cleyre

 

“The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.”

― Abraham Lincoln, Speeches and Writings, 1832-1858

 

“If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.”

― Thomas Carlyle

 

“I could not believe in a God that would challenge faith like this.”

― Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated

 

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

― Stephen Roberts

 

“I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim—so modestly and so humbly—to possess. It is time to withdraw our ‘respect’ from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world.”

― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

 

“I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world.”

― Georges Duhamel

 

“To hate man and love god seems to be the sum of all creeds.”

― Robert G. Ingersoll

 

“I have a great mind to believe in Christianity for the mere pleasure of fancying I may be damned.”

― George Gordon Byron

 

“How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

“We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That’s it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.”

― Sam Harris

 

“I want an avowed atheist in the White House. When time comes to push that button, I want whoever’s making the decision to understand that once it’s pushed, it’s over. Finito. They’re not gonna have lunch with Jesus. Won’t be deflowering 72 virgins on the great shag carpet of eternity, or reincarnated as a cow. I want someone making that decision who believes life on this Earth isn’t just a dress rehearsal for something better — but the only shot we get.”

― Quentin R. Bufogle

 

“There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.”

― Ruth Hurmence Green

 

“An atheist believes that a hospital

should be built instead of a church.

An atheist believes that deed must

be done instead of prayer said.

An atheist strives for involvement in life

and not escape into death.

He wants disease conquered,

poverty vanished, war eliminated.”

― Madalyn Murray O’Hair

 

“It is time we admitted, from kings and presidents on down, that there is no evidence that any of our books was authored by the Creator of the universe. The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand-strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breathtaking example of emerging technology. To rely on such a document as the basis for our worldview-however heroic the efforts of redactors- is to repudiate two thousand years of civilizing insights that the human mind has only just begun to inscribe upon itself through secular politics and scientific culture. We will see that the greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism: rather, it is the larger set of cultural and intellectual accommodations we have made to faith itself.”

― Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

 

“To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase ‘terrible beauty.’ Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it’s a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else’s body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

“Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man … living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”

― George Carlin

 

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

― Charles Bukowski

 

“Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”

― C.S. Lewis

 

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”

― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

 

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

“To you, I’m an atheist. To God, I’m the loyal opposition.”

― Woody Allen

 

“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“All thinking men are atheists.”

― Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

 

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

― Thomas Jefferson

 

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”

― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

 

“Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature.”

― Carl Sagan

 

“I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.”

― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

 

“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.”

― Kurt Vonnegut

 

“Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man?”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

― Voltaire, Questions sur les Miracles à M. Claparede, Professeur de Théologie à Genève, par un Proposant: Ou Extrait de Diverses Lettres de M. de Voltaire

 

“If it turns out that there is a God…the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.”

― Woody Allen

 

“I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist.”

― Albert Camus, Notebooks 1951-1959

 

“Atheism is a non-prophet organization.”

― George Carlin

 

“Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night.

 

Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else.

 

Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world.

― Was Rorschach

 

“Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament—the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana—is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modeled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated. No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied. It’s not a coincidence that Omar Khayyam, rebuking and ridiculing the stone-faced Iranian mullahs of his time, pointed to the value of the grape as a mockery of their joyless and sterile regime. Visiting today’s Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn’t particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity. These small revolutions affirm the human.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.”

(Notebooks)”

― Voltaire

 

“Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” Priest: “No, not if you did not know.” Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”

― Annie Dillard

 

“It is taboo in our society to criticize a persons religious faith… these taboos are offensive, deeply unreasonable, but worse than that, they are getting people killed. This is really my concern. My concern is that our religions, the diversity of our religious doctrines, is going to get us killed. I’m worried that our religious discourse- our religious beliefs are ultimately incompatible with civilization.”

― Sam Harris

 

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

― St. Thomas Aquinas

 

 

“Therefore It Is A Religious Position,” said Dorfl. “Indeed, A True Atheist Thinks Of The Gods Constantly, Albeit In Terms of Denial. Therefore, Atheism Is A Form Of Belief. If The Atheist Truly Did Not Believe, He Or She Would Not Bother To Deny.”

― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

 

“We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth-centered or man-centered (let alone God-centered) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“Why would an all-powerful creator decide to plant his carefully crafted species on islands and continents in exactly the appropriate pattern to suggest, irresistibly, that they had evolved and dispersed from the site of their evolution?”

― Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

 

“Everything about Christianity is contained in the pathetic image of ‘the flock.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.”

― Charles Darwin

 

“Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“Religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.”

― Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

 

“Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”

― Thomas Jefferson

 

“The danger is that in reaction to abuses and distortions of an idea, we’ll reject it completely. And in the process miss out on the good of it, the worth of it, the truth of it.”

― Rob Bell, Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality

 

“To a born-again atheist like myself, it is clear that each of us has multiple selves, talents, perceptions. But to the Roman Catholic, unity is all.”

― Gore Vidal, At Home: Essays 1982-1988

 

“It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil – which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.”

― Richard P. Feynman

 

“And then he’d tried to become an official Atheist and hadn’t got the rock-hard self-satisfied strength of belief even for that.”

― Neil Gaiman, Good Omens

 

“And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“Because, you see, God—whatever anyone chooses to call God—is one’s highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It’s a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it.”

― Ayn Rand, We the Living

 

“Without the gods, how would I sing?’ I asked.

With your own voice,’ he said.”

― Erica Jong, Sappho’s Leap: A Novel

 

“If atheism solved all human woe, then the Soviet Union would have been an empire of joy and dancing bunnies, instead of the land of corpses.”

― John C. Wright

 

“If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”

― Penn Jillette, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

 

“If you’re an atheist, you know, you believe, this is the only life you’re going to get. It’s a precious life. It’s a beautiful life. Its something we should live to the full, to the end of our days. Where if you’re religious and you believe in another life somehow, that means you don’t live this life to the full because you think you’re going to get another one. That’s an awfully negative way to live a life. Being a atheist frees you up to live this life properly, happily and fully”

― Richard Dawkins

 

“I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.”

― Stephen Hawking

 

“The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. . . Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. . . Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.”

― Pema Chödrön

 

“What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives.”

― Sam Harris

 

“I have never, in all my life, not for one moment, been tempted toward religion of any kind. The fact is that I feel no spiritual void. I have my philosophy of life, which does not include any aspect of the supernatural and which I find totally satisfying. I am, in short, a rationalist and believe only that which reason tells me is so.”

― Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov: A Memoir

 

“But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.”

― Mikhail Bakunin

 

“Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There`s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”

― Bill Gates

 

“Your heart’s desire is to be told some mystery. The mystery is that there is no mystery.”

― Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West

 

“Your least favorite virtue, or nominee for the most overrated one? Faith. Closely followed—in view of the overall shortage of time—by patience.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“I studied every page of this book, and I didn’t find enough love to fill a salt shaker. God is not love in the Bible; God is vengeance, from Alpha to Omega.”

― Ruth Hurmence Green

 

“Those of us who write and study history are accustomed to its approximations and ambiguities. This is why we do not take literally the tenth-hand reports of frightened and illiterate peasants who claim to have seen miracles or to have had encounters with messiahs and prophets and redeemers who were, like them, mere humans. And this is also why we will never submit to dictation from those who display a fanatical belief in certainty and revelation.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

― Frederick Douglass

 

“When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine’s Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn’t known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“What I have a problem with is not so much religion or god, but faith. When you say you believe something in your heart and therefore you can act on it, you have completely justified the 9/11 bombers. You have justified Charlie Manson. If it’s true for you, why isn’t it true for them? Why are you different? If you say “I believe there’s an all-powerful force of love in the universe that connects us all, and I have no evidence of that but I believe it in my heart,” then it’s perfectly okay to believe in your heart that Sharon Tate deserves to die. It’s perfectly okay to believe in your heart that you need to fly planes into buildings for Allah.”

― Penn Jillette

 

“You don’t get to advertise all the good that your religion does without first scrupulously subtracting all the harm it does and considering seriously the question of whether some other religion, or no religion at all, does better.”

― Daniel C. Dennett

 

“When the late Pope John Paul II decided to place the woman so strangely known as “Mother” Teresa on the fast track for beatification, and thus to qualify her for eventual sainthood, the Vatican felt obliged to solicit my testimony and I thus spent several hours in a closed hearing room with a priest, a deacon, and a monsignor, no doubt making their day as I told off, as from a rosary, the frightful faults and crimes of the departed fanatic. In the course of this, I discovered that the pope during his tenure had surreptitiously abolished the famous office of “Devil’s Advocate,” in order to fast‐track still more of his many candidates for canonization. I can thus claim to be the only living person to have represented the Devil pro bono.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“But if the gods do not exist at all – then we are lost,’ I said.

On the contrary – we are found!’ said Aesop.

But when we are afraid, who can we turn to, if not the gods?’

Ourselves. We turn to ourselves anyway. We only pretend there are gods and that they care about us. It is a comforting falsehood.”

― Erica Jong, Sappho’s Leap: A Novel

 

“So this is where all the vapid talk about the ‘soul’ of the universe is actually headed. Once the hard-won principles of reason and science have been discredited, the world will not pass into the hands of credulous herbivores who keep crystals by their sides and swoon over the poems of Khalil Gibran. The ‘vacuum’ will be invaded instead by determined fundamentalists of every stripe who already know the truth by means of revelation and who actually seek real and serious power in the here and now. One thinks of the painstaking, cloud-dispelling labor of British scientists from Isaac Newton to Joseph Priestley to Charles Darwin to Ernest Rutherford to Alan Turing and Francis Crick, much of it built upon the shoulders of Galileo and Copernicus, only to see it casually slandered by a moral and intellectual weakling from the usurping House of Hanover. An awful embarrassment awaits the British if they do not declare for a republic based on verifiable laws and principles, both political and scientific.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion […]. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?”

― Ruth Hurmence Green, The Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible

 

“Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries — Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands — all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious. These associations say nothing about whether atheism leads to positive social indicators or the other way around. But the idea that atheists are somehow less moral, honest, or trustworthy have been disproven by study after study.”

― Greg Graffin

 

“I feel that we should stop wasting our time trying to please the supernatural and concentrate on improving the welfare of human beings. I think that, uh, we should use our energy and our initiative to solve our problems, and stop relying on prayer and wishful thinking. If we have faith in ourselves, we won’t have to have faith in gods.”

― Ruth Hurmence Green

 

“If faith is what you have to go on, if faith is the link between your beliefs and the world at large, your beliefs are very likely to be wrong. Beliefs can be right or wrong. If you believe you can fly, that belief is only true if indeed you can fly. Somebody who thinks he can fly, and is wrong about it, will eventually discover there’s a problem with his view of the world.”

― Sam Harris

 

 “People wrap themselves in their beliefs. And they do it in such a way that you can’t set them free. Not even the truth will set them free.”

― Michael Specter

 

“We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes—one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way.”

― Stephen Jay Gould

 

“When I see the blind and wretched state of men, when I survey the whole universe in its deadness, and man left to himself with no light, as though lost in this corner of the universe without knowing who put him there, what he has to do, or what will become of him when he dies, incapable of knowing anything, I am moved to terror, like a man transported in his sleep to some terrifying desert island, who wakes up quite lost, with no means of escape. Then I marvel that so wretched a state does not drive people to despair.”

― Blaise Pascal

 

“He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him), and took a sort of pleasure in thinking that human affairs would never improve.”

― George Orwell

 

“In the beginning Man created God; and in the image of Man created he him.”

― Jethro Tull

 

“It is my firm conviction that man has nothing to gain, emotionally or otherwise, by adhering to a falsehood, regardless of how comfortable or sacred that falsehood may appear. Anyone who claims, on the one hand, that he is concerned with human welfare, and who demands, on the other hand, that man must suspend or renounce the use of his reason, is contradicting himself.

 

There can be no knowledge of what is good for man apart from knowledge of reality and human nature, and there is no manner in which this knowledge can be acquired except through reason. To advocate irrationality is to advocate that which is destructive to human life.”

― George H. Smith, Atheism: The Case Against God

 

“How do you know when you’re God?” “When I pray to him I find I am talking to myself.”

― Peter Barnes, The Ruling Class: A Baroque Comedy

 

“God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

“What is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked?”

― Rowan Atkinson

 

“If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish Him.”

― Mikhail Bakunin

 

“The bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling block in the way of women’s emancipation.”

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

“Interviewer: “Didn’t [Sagan] want to believe?”

Druyan: “He didn’t want to believe. He wanted to know.”

― Ann Druyan

 

“It is also worth noting that one can obtain a Ph.D. in any branch of science for no other purpose than to make cynical use of scientific language in an effort to rationalize the glaring inadequacies of tbe Bible. A handful of Christians appear to have done this; some have even obtained their degrees from reputable universities. No doubt, others will follow in their footsteps. While such people are technically “scientists,” they are not behaving like scientists. They simply are not engaged in an honest inquiry into the nature of the universe. And their proclamations about God and the failures of Darwinism do not in the least signify that there is a legitimate scientific controversy about evolution.”

― Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

 

“Nobody that has seen a baby born can believe in god for a second. When you see your child born, and the panic, and the amount of technology that is saving the life of the two people you love most in the world, when you see how much stainless steel and money it takes to fight off the fact that god wants both those people dead, no one, no one can look into the eyes of a newborn baby and say there’s a god, because I’ll tell ya, if we were squatting in the woods, the two people I love most would be dead. There’s just no way around that. If I were in charge, no way. We need technology to fight against nature; nature so wants us dead. Nature is trying to kill us.”

― Penn Jillette

 

“While believing strongly, without evidence, is considered a mark of madness or stupidity in any other area of our lives, faith in God still holds immense prestige in our society. Religion is the one area of our discourse where it is considered noble to pretend to be certain about things no human being could possibly be certain about. It is telling that this aura of nobility extends only to those faiths that still have many subscribers. Anyone caught worshipping Poseidon, even at sea, will be thought insane.”

― Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

 

“I’m probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there, until then there’s no point thinking about it.”

― Brad Pitt

 

“There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call “atheists,” and those who think they are facts are “religious.” Which group really gets the message?”

― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor

 

“Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.”

― Noam Chomsky

 

“Different authors have different points of view. You can’t just say, ‘I believe in the Bible.”

― Bart D. Ehrman

 

“By Hays’ reasoning, penetrating a rectum with a penis is a violation of how God meant humans to function. However, penetrating a human body with a sword, a common way to kill people in biblical times, is acceptable. Apparently human bodies were designed to be penetrated by metal implements, but not by flesh.”

― Hector Avalos

 

“I am not even an atheist so much as an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful. Reviewing the false claims of religion I do not wish, as some sentimental materialists affect to wish, that they were true. I do not envy believers their faith. I am relieved to think that the whole story is a sinister fairy tale; life would be miserable if what the faithful affirmed was actually true…. There may be people who wish to live their lives under cradle-to-grave divine supervision, a permanent surveillance and monitoring. But I cannot imagine anything more horrible or grotesque.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“The clear awareness of having been born into a losing struggle need not lead one into despair. I do not especially like the idea that one day I shall be tapped on the shoulder and informed, not that the party is over but that it is most assuredly going on—only henceforth in my absence. (It’s the second of those thoughts: the edition of the newspaper that will come out on the day after I have gone, that is the more distressing.) Much more horrible, though, would be the announcement that the party was continuing forever, and that I was forbidden to leave. Whether it was a hellishly bad party or a party that was perfectly heavenly in every respect, the moment that it became eternal and compulsory would be the precise moment that it began to pall.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”

― Werner Heisenberg

 

“I think I have a very good idea why it is that anti-Semitism is so tenacious and so protean and so enduring. Christianity and Islam, theistic though they may claim to be, are both based on the fetishizing of human primates: Jesus in one case and Mohammed in the other. Neither of these figures can be called exactly historical but both have one thing in common even in their quasi-mythical dimension. Both of them were first encountered by the Jews. And the Jews, ravenous as they were for any sign of the long-sought Messiah, were not taken in by either of these two pretenders, or not in large numbers or not for long.

 

If you meet a devout Christian or a believing Muslim, you are meeting someone who would give everything he owned for a personal, face-to-face meeting with the blessed founder or prophet. But in the visage of the Jew, such ardent believers encounter the very figure who did have such a precious moment, and who spurned the opportunity and turned shrugging aside. Do you imagine for a microsecond that such a vile, churlish transgression will ever be forgiven? I myself certainly hope that it will not. The Jews have seen through Jesus and Mohammed. In retrospect, many of them have also seen through the mythical, primitive, and cruel figures of Abraham and Moses. Nearer to our own time, in the bitter combats over the work of Marx and Freud and Einstein, Jewish participants and protagonists have not been the least noticeable. May this always be the case, whenever any human primate sets up, or is set up by others, as a Messiah.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“There are days when I miss my old convictions as if they were an amputated limb. But in general I feel better, and no less radical, and you will feel better too, I guarantee, once you leave hold of the doctrinaire and allow your chainless mind to do its own thinking.”

― Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

 

“Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought.”

― Mark Twain

 

“The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.”

― Abu’l-Ala-Al-Ma’arri

 

“Sex has become more and more attractive because of its condemnation by priests”

― Osho

 

“There’s a lot of pride involved in my refusal to believe in god.”

― Orhan Pamuk, Snow

 

“It’s not arrogant to say that you can’t figure out the answers to the universe with your internal faith. It’s not arrogant to know that there’s no omniscient, omnipotent prime mover in the universe who loves you personally. It’s not sad to feel that life and the love of your real friends and family is more than enough to make life worth living. Isn’t it much sadder to feel that there is a more important love required than the love of the people who have chosen to spend their limited time with you?”

― Penn Jillette, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

 

“Those who cannot see Christ in the poor are atheists indeed. ”

― Dorothy Day

 

“How much more of the mosque, of prayer and fasting?

Better go drunk and begging round the taverns.

Khayyam, drink wine, for soon this clay of yours

Will make a cup, bowl, one day a jar.

 

When once you hear the roses are in bloom,

Then is the time, my love, to pour the wine;

Houris and palaces and Heaven and Hell-

These are but fairy-tales, forget them all.”

― Omar Khayyám

 

“Religion… has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever… If someone votes for a party that you don’t agree with, you’re free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it. But on the other hand if somebody says ‘I must [not] move a light switch on a Saturday’, you say, ‘I respect that’… Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn’t be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn’t be.”

― Douglas Adams

 

“Now he haunts me seldom: some fierce umbilical is broken,

I live with my own fragile hopes and sudden rising despair.

Now I do not weep for my sins; I have learned to love them

And to know that they are the wounds that make love real.

His face illudes me; his voice, with its pity, does not ring in my ear.

His maxims memorized in boyhood do not make fruitless and pointless my experience.

I walk alone, but not so terrified as when he held my hand.

I do not splash in the blood of his son

nor hear the crunch of nails or thorns piercing protesting flesh.

I am a boy again–I whose boyhood was turned to manhood in a brutal myth.

Now wine is only wine with drops that do not taste of blood.

The bread I eat has too much pride for transubstantiation,

I, too–and together the bread and I embrace,

Each grateful to be what we are, each loving from our own reality.”

― James Kavanaugh, There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

 

“Indeed, it’s futile to try and use Holy Scripture to support any political position. I deeply distrust anyone who does. Just look at what an Islamic Republic is like.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“Man had created God in his own image, not the other way around. He had done it through sheer terror, and who could blame him? Unfortunately he had made too good a job. The god he had invented was just as cruel and careless as man himself. Not a deity to whom one should seriously address a prayer.”

― Richard Herley

 

“I’m a Skeptic. And I’m a Journalist. I look up things in the library—a lot! I believe in the motto of Missouri, the ‘Show-me, don’t just blow me’ state. I need evidence. I need demonstrations. I need show-and-tell. Even though I pray to God every once in a while, especially when I’m in trouble—which for most guys my age is every 28 days—I still think deeply about the issues and don’t automatically jump to a religious or mystical answer to questions. I am, by nature, doubtful about the existence of God, and even whether He is a He or a Her. I don’t believe in New Age stuff. For me, ‘Past Life Regression’ means not calling a girl after she gives me her phone number. Sure I own a lucky rabbit’s foot, a lucky penny, a lucky 4-leaf clover and a lucky horeshoe [sic], and a pair of lucky underwear and several pairs of lucky socks that I only wash every seven days. But under it all I am a died–in-the-wool skeptic.”

― Earl Lee, Raptured: The Final Daze of the Late, Great Planet Earth

 

“To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge”

― Ravi Zacharias

 

“Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.”

― Sigmund Freud

 

“You don’t have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is “I don’t know”.”

― Penn Jillette, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

 

“The faith of religion is belief on insufficient evidence.”

― Sam Harris

 

“As more people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers.”

― Robert G. Ingersoll

 

“Do not all theists insist that there can be no morality, no justice, honesty or fidelity without the belief in a Divine Power? Based upon fear and hope, such morality has always been a vile product, imbued partly with self-righteousness, partly with hypocrisy. As to truth, justice, and fidelity, who have been their brave exponents and daring proclaimers? Nearly always the godless ones: the Atheists; they lived, fought, and died for them. They knew that justice, truth, and fidelity are not conditioned in heaven, but that they are related to and interwoven with the tremendous changes going on in the social and material life of the human race; not fixed and eternal, but fluctuating, even as life itself.”

― Emma Goldman, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

 

“I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”

― Albert Einstein

 

“The three monotheism share a series of identical forms of aversion: hatred of reason and intelligence; hatred of freedom; hatred of all books in the name of one book alone; hatred of sexuality, women,and pleasure; hatred of feminine; hatred of body, of desires, of drives. Instead Judaism, Christianity, and Islam extol faith and belief, obedience and submission, taste for death and longing for the beyond, the asexual angel and chastity, virginity and monogamous love, wife and mother, soul and spirit. In other words, life crucified and nothingness exalted.”

― Michel Onfray, Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

 

“What we do in every other area of our lives (other than religion), is, rather than respect somebody’s beliefs, we evaluate their reasons.”

― Sam Harris

 

“I believe in God the way I believe in quarks. People whose business it is to know about quantum physics or religion tell me they have good reason to believe that quarks and God exist. And they tell me that if I wanted to devote my life to learning what they’ve learned, I’d find quarks and God just like they did.”

― Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow

 

“There is no indisputable proof for the big bang,” said Hollus. “And there is none for evolution. And yet you accept those. Why hold the question of whether there is a creator to a higher standard?”

― Robert J. Sawyer, Calculating God

 

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight, I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

― Theodore Parker, The present aspect of slavery in America and the immediate duty of the North: a speech delivered in the hall of the State house, before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Convention, on Friday night, January 29, 1858

 

“The only thing that guarantees an open-ended collaboration among human beings, the only thing that guarantees that this project is truly open-ended, is a willingness to have our beliefs and behaviors modified by the power of conversation.”

― Sam Harris

 

“Today evolution of human intelligence has advanced us to the stage where most of us are too smart to invent new gods but are reluctant to give up the old ones.”

― Ruth Hurmence Green

 

“It is straightforward—and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion.”

― Martin Amis, The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11

 

“We stay busy so we don’t have to admit we don’t have all the answers. After long enough with our constant distractions, we end our search for them. And God. Soon enough, we’ll all come to realize we can’t be God. We’ll settle for telling ourselves we can. Or we’ll just make one up.”

― Brian Krans, A Constant Suicide

 

“A god who is capable of sending intelligible signals to millions of people simultaneously, and of receiving messages from all of them simultaneously, cannot be, whatever else he might be, simple. Such Bandwidth!”

― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

 

“Even now, there are still days so beautiful, I almost believe in God. (132)”

― Ann Hood, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief

 

“Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“How alone everyone is in the vast tomb of the universe!”

― Jean Paul

 

“So much enthusiasm about the non-existence of God is somewhat bewildering, as no one appears to be nearly as excited about a similar absence of belief in unicorns, vampires, werewolves, astrology, nation-building, or the Labor Theory of Value. Nor is anyone dedicating much of their time to writing books and giving speeches at universities and conferences with the avowed goal of convincing others not to believe in them either.”

― Vox Day

 

“Once you’ve condoned faith in general, you’ve condoned any crazy shit done because of faith.”

― Penn Jillette, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

 

“When the stakes are this high- when calling God by the right name can make the difference between eternal happiness and eternal suffering, it is impossible to respect the beliefs of others who don’t believe as you do.”

― Sam Harris

 

“We rely on faith only in the context of claims for which there is no sufficient sensory or logical evidence.”

― Sam Harris

 

“It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity.”

― Abraham Lincoln

 

“How do you know it’s not true if you don’t believe in it?”

― Pete Hautman

 

“En ningún momento de la historia, en ningún lugar del planeta, las religiones han servido para que los seres humanos se acerquen unos a los otros. Por el contrario, sólo han servido para separar, para quemar, para torturar. No creo en dios, no lo necesito y además soy buena persona.”

― José Saramago

 

“‎”If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose.”

― William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith

 

“The problem I want to talk to you about tonight is the problem of belief. What does it mean to believe? We use this word all the time, and I think behind it lurk some really extraordinary taboos and confusions. What I want to argue tonight is that how we talk about belief- how we fail to criticize or criticize the beliefs of others, has more importance to us personally, more consequence to us personally and to civilization than perhaps anything else that is in our power to influence. ”

― Sam Harris

 

“It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan.”

― Calvin Coolidge

 

“We all ought to understand we’re on our own. Believing in Santa Claus doesn’t do kids any harm for a few years but it isn’t smart for them to continue waiting all their lives for him to come down the chimney with something wonderful. Santa Claus and God are cousins.”

― Andy Rooney, Sincerely, Andy Rooney

 

“I have always considered “Pascal’s Wager” a questionable bet to place, since any God worth believing in would prefer an honest agnostic to a calculating hypocrite.”

― Alan M. Dershowitz, Letters to a Young Lawyer

 

“You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend.”

― Richard Jeni

 

“We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher answer’– but none exists”

― Stephen Jay Gould

 

“Virtue is under certain circumstances merely an honorable form of stupidity: who could be ill-disposed toward it on that account? And this kind of virtue has not been outlived even today. A kind of sturdy peasant simplicity, which, however, is possible in all classes and can be encountered only with respect and a smile, believes even today that everything is in good hands, namely in the “hands of God”; and when it maintains this proportion with the same modest certainty as it would that two and two make four, we others certainly refrain from contradicting. Why disturb THIS pure foolishness? Why darken it with our worries about man, people, goal, future? And even if we wanted to do it, we could not. They project their own honorable stupidity and goodness into the heart of things (the old God, deus myops, still lives among them!); we others – we read something else into the heart of things: our own enigmatic nature, our contradictions, our deeper, more painful, more mistrustful wisdom.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

 

“You’ll be pleased to hear, Christopher, that I am no longer a Muslim liberal but an atheist [….] I find that it obviates the necessity for any cognitive dissonance.”

― Ayaan Hirsi Ali

 

“So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend’s child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky’s front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and ‘normality’ are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: ‘Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.’ I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that ‘security’ and ‘normality,’ rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“All men are Prophets or else God does not exist.”

― Jean-Paul Sartre

 

“Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.”

― Pierre-Simon Laplace

 

“Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.”

― H.L. Mencken

 

“I have seem even those who have long since abjured God die in grace. . . . Atheists don’t use their drying to bargain for a better seat at the table; indeed they may not even believe supper is being served. They are not storing up ‘merit.'; They just smile because their heart is ripe. They are kind for no particular reason; they just love.”

― Stephen Levine, A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last

 

“What is it that makes a person insist passionately on the existence of metaphysical realities that can be neither demonstrated nor refuted? (176)”

― Stephen Batchelor, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

 

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.’ ~C.S. Lewis”

― C.S. Lewis

 

“Every argument for God and every attribute ascribed to Him rests on a false metaphysical premise. None can survive for a moment on a correct metaphysics….

 

Objectivism advocates reason as man’s sole means of knowledge, and therefore, for the reasons I have already given, it is atheist. It denies any supernatural dimension presented as a contradiction of nature, of existence. This applies not only to God, but also to every variant of the supernatural ever advocated or to be advocated. In other words, we accept reality, and that’s all.”

― Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

 

“I have been called arrogant myself in my time, and hope to earn the title again, but to claim that I am privy to the secrets of the universe and its creator – that’s beyond my conceit.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“Faith does not offer a strong link between our beliefs and actual states of the world.”

― Sam Harris

 

“If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!”

― Clark Adams

 

“Personally, I think the ‘Christian family’ should be called a Christian fantasy.”

― Ruth Hurmence Green

 

“The prince’s official job description as king will be ‘defender of the faith,’ which currently means the state-financed absurdity of the Anglican Church, but he has more than once said publicly that he wants to be anointed as defender of all faiths—another indication of the amazing conceit he has developed in six decades of performing the only job allowed him by the hereditary principle: that of waiting for his mother to expire.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“If god created man in his own image, how come I’m not invisible?”

― David Powers

 

“Religion doesn’t just cloud our minds. It asks us to deliberately deceive ourselves– to replace reason with its opposite, faith. And when men operate on faith, they can no longer be reasoned with, which makes them more dangerous than any sane man, good or evil.”

― James L. Sutter, Death’s Heretic

 

“You know, it’s a sad and unfortunate state of affairs that you have to live in a world where eight-year-olds refuse to believe in anything that they cannot touch or measure, and anyone who happens to see a thing that is invisible to most people is immediately branded a lunatic.”

― Caitlín R. Kiernan, Daughter Of Hounds

 

“It is notorious that the news of the Emancipation Proclamation was kept from the people of Texas and not celebrated until ‘Juneteenth’. There may be those in Texas now who believe they can insulate their state—a state that had its own courageous revolution—from the news of evolution and from the writing in 1786 of a Constitution that refuses to mention religion except when demarcating and limiting its role in the public square. But we promise them today that they will join their fore-runners in the flat-earth community, and in the mad clerical clique of those who believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Yes, they will be in schoolbooks—as a joke on the epic scale of William Jennings Bryan. We shall be fair, and take care to ensure that their tale is told.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

 “John Hodgson can describe Richard Dawkins’s atheism as vacuous only because ‘atheist’ is a term which non-believers use purely as a polemical convenience when we have to define concisely what we don’t believe […]. No atheist is principally that. What we’d want to call ourselves is humanist or materialist, or biologist or linguist, or for that matter socialist, because one or more of these, or something else again, is what we do and think and are. We have ‘purely and simply finished with God’, to adapt a phrase of Engels’s.”

― David Craig

 

“First the priests arrive. Then the conquistadores.”

― James Clavell, Shōgun

 

“I don’t believe in angels and I have trouble with the whole God thing. I don’t want to say I don’t believe in God but I don’t think I do. But I believe in people who do.”

― Billy Connolly

 

“Although the far territory of the extreme can exert an intoxicating pull on susceptible individuals of all bents, extremism seems to be especially prevalent among those inclined by temperament or upbringing toward religious pursuits. Faith is the very antithesis of reason, injudiciousness a crucial component of spiritual devotion. And when religious fanaticism supplants ratiocination, all bets are suddenly off.”

― Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

 

“A long time ago someone became disillusioned with theism, so he tacked a definite article onto it and created a new religion. People have been referring to it a lot since then, but it hasn’t become any more familiar.”

― Benson Bruno, Evergreens Are Prudish

 

“Yevgeny Yevtushenko: ‘You atheist?’

“Kingsley Amis: ‘Well, yes, but it’s more that I hate him.”

― Kingsley Amis

 

“Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place.

 

Nothing outside you can give you any place,” he said. “You needn’t look at the sky because it’s not going to open up and show no place behind it. You needn’t to search for any hole in the ground to look through into somewhere else. You can’t go neither forwards nor backwards into your daddy’s time nor your children’s if you have them. In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got. If there was any Fall, look there, if there was any Redemption, look there, and if you expect any Judgment, look there, because they all three will have to be in your time and your body and where in your time and your body can they be?”

― Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

 

“For when we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing, we worship anything.”

― G.K. Chesterton

 

“Atheism and agnosticism signify the rejection of certain images and concepts of God or of truth, which are historically conditioned and therefore inadequate. Atheism is a challenge to religion to purifiy its images and concepts and come nearer to the truth of divine mystery.”

― Bede Griffiths

 

“When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise. We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no god. No one created our universe,and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.”

― Stephen Hawking

 

“The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.”

― William Harwood, Dictionary of Contemporary Mythology

 

“Atheists’ anger doesn’t prove that we’re selfish, or joyless, or miserable. It shows that we have compassion, and a sense of justice. We’re angry because we see terrible harm all around us, and we feel desperately motivated to stop it.”

― Greta Christina, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless

 

“The position of the Atheist is a clear and reasonable one. I know nothing about ‘God’ and therefore I do not believe in Him or in it; what you tell me about your God is self‐contradictory, and therefore incredible. I do not deny ‘God,’ which is an unknown tongue to me; I do deny your God, who is an impossibility. I am without God.”

― Annie Wood Besant, Annie Besant

 

“As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name—the Haskalah—for itself. The term derives from the word for ‘mind’ or ‘intellect,’ and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over ‘exile’ or ‘return.’ It’s everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. (The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the ‘messianic’ Lubavitcher rebbe.) However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“Faith is the surrender of the mind, it’s the surrender of reason, it’s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other animals. It’s our need to believe and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. … Out of all the virtues, all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“One need not believe in Pallas Athena, the virgin goddess, to be overwhelmed by the Parthenon. Similarly, a man who rejects all dogmas, all theologies and all religious formulations of beliefs may still find Genesis the sublime book par excellence. Experiences and aspirations of which intimations may be found in Plato, Nietzsche, and Spinoza have found their most evocative expression in some sacred books. Since the Renaissance, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Mozart, and a host of others have shown that this religious dimension can be experienced and communicated apart from any religious context. But that is no reason for closing my heart to Job’s cry, or to Jeremiah’s, or to the Second Isaiah. I do not read them as mere literature; rather, I read Sophocles and Shakespeare with all my being, too.”

― Walter Kaufmann

 

“The natural is so awesome that we need not go beyond it.”

― Ruth Hurmence Green, The Born Again Skeptic’s Guide to the Bible

 

“I dared, for the first and last time in my life, to express a theological conclusion: “But how can a necessary being exist totally polluted with the possible? What difference is there, then, between God and primigenial chaos? Isn’t affirming God’s absolute omnipotence and His absolute freedom with regard to His own choices tantamount to demonstrating that God does not exist?”

― Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

 

“A man without reason is no better than a mad dog, and mad dogs must be put down for the good of everyone.”

― James L. Sutter, Death’s Heretic

 

“Believe those who are seeking the truth; and doubt those who find it.”

― Andre Gide

 

“An atheist is a man who believes himself an accident.”

― Francis G. Thompson

 

 

“It’s a curious thing in American life that the most abject nonsense will be excused if the utterer can claim the sanction of religion. A country which forbids an established church by law is prey to any denomination. The best that can be said is that this is pluralism of a kind.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Prepared for the Worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports

 

“At least two important conservative thinkers, Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss, were unbelievers or nonbelievers and in any case contemptuous of Christianity. I have my own differences with both of these savants, but is the Republican Party really prepared to disown such modern intellectuals as it can claim, in favor of a shallow, demagogic and above all sectarian religiosity?

 

Perhaps one could phrase the same question in two further ways. At the last election, the GOP succeeded in increasing its vote among American Jews by an estimated five percentage points. Does it propose to welcome these new adherents or sympathizers by yelling in the tones of that great Democrat bigmouth William Jennings Bryan? By insisting that evolution is ‘only a theory’? By demanding biblical literalism and by proclaiming that the Messiah has already shown himself? If so, it will deserve the punishment for hubris that is already coming its way. (The punishment, in other words, that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson believed had struck America on Sept. 11, 2001. How can it be that such grotesque characters, calling down divine revenge on the workers in the World Trade Center, are allowed a respectful hearing, or a hearing at all, among patriotic Republicans?)”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“I’d be more willing to accept religion, even if I didn’t believe it, if I thought it made people nicer to each other but I don’t think it does.”

― Andy Rooney, Sincerely, Andy Rooney

 

“As I work in the afternoon on committing to paper some of my morning’s thoughts, I find myself just about to close on the knotty question of whether or not I believe in God. In fact I am about to type, ‘I do not believe in God’, when the sky goes black as ink, there is a thunderclap and a huge crash of thunder and a downpour of epic proportions. I never do complete the sentence.”

― Michael Palin, Diaries: The Python Years, 1969-1979

 

“And fragile is thy tenure of this world

Still haunted by the monstrous ghost of God.

(“To Science”)”

― George Sterling, The Thirst of Satan: Poems of Fantasy and Terror

 

“One notorious apikoros named Hiwa al-Balkhi, writing in ninth-century Persia, offered two hundred awkward questions to the faithful. He drew upon himself the usual thunderous curses—’may his name be forgotten, may his bones be worn to nothing’—along with detailed refutations and denunciations by Abraham ibn Ezra and others. These exciting anathemas, of course, ensured that his worrying ‘questions’ would remain current for as long as the Orthodox commentaries would be read. In this way, rather as when Maimonides says that the Messiah will come but that ‘he may tarry,’ Jewishness contrives irony at its own expense. If there is one characteristic of Jews that I admire, it is that irony is seldom if ever wasted on them.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“The devil divides the world between atheism and superstition.”

― George Herbert

 

“The atheism and nihilism of my earlier years now seems shallow, and even a bit cocky.”

― Anne Rice, Memnoch the Devil

 

“To an even moderately sophisticated and well-read person it should come as no surprise that any religion at all has its hidden as well as its obvious beauties and is capable of profound and impressive interpretations. What is deeply objectionable about most of these interpretations is that they allow the believer to say Yes while evading any No.”

― Walter Kaufmann

 

“If Jesus had been an actual historical figure we have a thorny paradox. Either this Jesus was a remarkable individual who said and did a host of amazing, revolutionary things – but no one outside his fringe cult noticed for over a century. Or he didn’t – and yet shortly after his death, tiny communities of worshipers that cannot agree about the most basic facts of his life spring up, scattered all across the empire. The truth is inescapable: there simply could never have been a historical Jesus.”

― David Fitzgerald

 

“Leaving your religion and having to invent your own system of values is a big deal, after all.”

― Therese Doucet

 

“God is a book I can no longer read.”

― Floriano Martins

 

“Go ahead, God, you fat, filthy motherfucker, lightning-bolt my ass into oblivion if you’re so tough!”

― Jeri Smith-Ready, Requiem for the Devil

 

“As is well known, the priests are the most evil enemies—but why? Because they are the most impotent. It is because of their impotence that in them hatred grows to monstrous and uncanny proportions, to the most spiritual and poisonous kind of hatred. The truly great haters in world history have always been priests; likewise the most ingenious haters: other kinds of spirit hardly come into consideration when compared with the spirit of priestly vengefulness.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo

 

“If we cannot find our way to a time when most of us are willing to admit that, at the very least, we are not sure whether or not God wrote some of our books, then we need only count the days to Armageddon—because God has given us far many more reasons to kill one another than to turn the other cheek.”

― Sam Harris

 

“I don’t want to believe. I want to know.”

― Carl Sagan

 

“I don’t know [why we’re here]. People sometimes say to me, ‘Why don’t you admit that the humming bird, the butterfly, the Bird of Paradise are proof of the wonderful things produced by Creation?’ And I always say, well, when you say that, you’ve also got to think of a little boy sitting on a river bank, like here, in West Africa, that’s got a little worm, a living organism, in his eye and boring through the eyeball and is slowly turning him blind. The Creator God that you believe in, presumably, also made that little worm. Now I personally find that difficult to accommodate…”

― David Attenborough

 

“Jesus was not the man he was as a result of making Jesus Christ his personal savior.”

― Alan Wilson Watts

 

“A belief is not true because it is useful”

― Henri-Frédéric Amiel

 

“When women understand that governments and religions are human inventions; that Bibles, prayer-books, catechisms, and encyclical letters are all emanations from the brains of man, they will no longer be oppressed by the injunctions that come to them with the divine authority of *Thus sayeth the Lord.*”

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

“You may go over the world and you will find that every form of religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded woman… I have been traveling over the old world during the last few years and have found new food for thought. What power is it that makes the Hindoo woman burn herself upon the funeral pyre of her husband? Her religion. What holds the Turkish woman in the harem? Her religion. By what power do the Mormons perpetuate their system of polygamy? By their religion/ Man, of himself, could not do this; but when he declares, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ of course he can do it. So long as ministers stand up and tell us Christ is the head of the church, so is man the head of woman, how are we to break the chains which have held women down through the ages? You Christian women look at the Hindoo, the Turkish, the Mormon women, and wonder how they can be held in such bondage…

 

Now I ask you if our religion teaches the dignity of woman? It teaches us the abominable idea of the sixth century–Augustine’s idea–that motherhood is a curse; that woman is the author of sin, and is most corrupt. Can we ever cultivate any proper sense of self-respect as long as women take such sentiments from the mouths of the priesthood?”

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

“It is said that men may not be the dreams of the god, but rather that the gods are the dreams of men.”

― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

 

“Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.”

― Thomas Jefferson

 

“If you ask the religious person “What do you believe in?” he will tell you about one thing. But if you ask him “What do you not believe in?” he will tell you about many, many things! And if you ask an atheist “What do you believe in?” he will say “Nothing.” The only difference between an atheist and a religious person, is one thing. If one thing isn’t there, there would be no difference at all! When I say I am losing my religion, I am not saying that I’m losing my belief; but I am saying that I’m losing my disbeliefs.”

― C. JoyBell C.

 

“I regard anti-Semitism as ineradicable and as one element of the toxin with which religion has infected us. Perhaps partly for this reason, I have never been able to see Zionism as a cure for it. American and British and French Jews have told me with perfect sincerity that they are always prepared for the day when ‘it happens again’ and the Jew-baiters take over. (And I don’t pretend not to know what they are talking about: I have actually seen the rabid phenomenon at work in modern and sunny Argentina and am unable to forget it.) So then, they seem to think, they will take refuge in the Law of Return, and in Haifa, or for all I know in Hebron. Never mind for now that if all of world Jewry did settle in Palestine, this would actually necessitate further Israeli expansion, expulsion, and colonization, and that their departure under these apocalyptic conditions would leave the new brownshirts and blackshirts in possession of the French and British and American nuclear arsenals. This is ghetto thinking, hardly even fractionally updated to take into account what has changed. The important but delayed realization will have to come: Israeli Jews are a part of the diaspora, not a group that has escaped from it. Why else does Israel daily beseech the often-flourishing Jews of other lands, urging them to help the most endangered Jews of all: the ones who rule Palestine by force of arms? Why else, having supposedly escaped from the need to rely on Gentile goodwill, has Israel come to depend more and more upon it? On this reckoning, Zionism must constitute one of the greatest potential non sequiturs in human history.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“There is no great religion without a great schism. All of them have it. And that’s because you’re dealing with something called faith. And faith is not something you can prove; faith is personal opinion. Uh, when you’re dealing with something with certainty, like, y’know, science or logic, you don’t have the–there’s no wiggle room; that’s why history is not filled with warring math cults, y’know, because you can settle the issue; you can prove something to be right or wrong, and that’s the end of the argument: next case. Whereas, when you’re dealing with faith, you can forever argue your point, or another point, because you’re dealing with intangibles. Personally, I think, faith is what you ask of somebody when you don’t have the goods to prove your point.”

― Tom Quinn

 

“In a public dialogue with Salman in London he [Edward Said] had once described the Palestinian plight as one where his people, expelled and dispossessed by Jewish victors, were in the unique historical position of being ‘the victims of the victims': there was something quasi-Christian, I thought, in the apparent humility of that statement.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“Almost all religions provide opportunities for human beings to convince themselves of their own righteousness, to speak in the name of God, and even to go to war on God’s behalf. This ‘blasphemy of certainty’ is also rife among secularists who in their case have not God but science or the proletariat on their side.”

― Stephen R. Prothero, God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter

 

“Nothing draws people more quickly away from religion than an open mind.”

― Hemant Mehta

 

“On the Disc the gods dealt severely with atheists.”

― Terry Pratchett, The Color of Magic

 

“Atheists don’t hate fairies, leprechauns, or unicorns because they don’t exist. It is impossible to hate something that doesn’t exist. Atheists — like the painting experts hated the painter — hate God because He does exist.”

― Ray Comfort, You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Cant Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics

 

“However modest one may be in one’s demand for intellectual cleanliness, one cannot help feeling, when coming into contact with the New Testament, a kind of inexpressible discomfiture: for the unchecked impudence with which the least qualified want to raise their voice on the greatest problems, and even claim to be judges of things, surpasses all measure. The shameless levity with which the most intractable problems (life, world, God, purpose of life) are spoken of, as if they were not problems at all but simply things that these little bigots KNEW!”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

 

“You might think that, by now, people would have become accustomed to the idea of natural catastrophes. We live on a planet that is still cooling and which has fissures and faults in its crust; this much is accepted even by those who think that the globe is only six thousand years old, as well as by those who believe that the earth was “designed” to be this way. Even in such a case, it is to be expected that earthquakes will occur and that, if they occur under the seabed, tidal waves will occur also. Yet two sorts of error are still absolutely commonplace. The first of these is the idiotic belief that seismic events are somehow “timed” to express the will of God. Thus, reasoning back from the effect, people will seriously attempt to guess what sin or which profanity led to the verdict of the tectonic plates. The second error, common even among humanists, is to borrow the same fallacy for satirical purposes and to employ it to disprove a benign deity.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“We inherited these principles and these freedoms and we here highly resolve that we shall pass them on, as we will pass on an undivided Republic purged of racism and slavery, to our descendants. The popgun discharges of a few pathetic sectarians and crackpot revisionists are negligible, and will be drowned by the mounting chorus that demands: ‘Mr Jefferson! BUILD UP THAT WALL’.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“There are two atheisms of which one is a purification of the notion of God.”

― Simone Weil

 

“I tried to convince myself once, when I was a teenager, that I felt God. Alone in the sanctuary, accompanying my mom on an evening errand to the church. I stared at the ceiling and drew deep breath as quickly as I could. I told our youth minister in his ball cap that I had felt Him. That I was blessed.

 

But in the end, it was only the wind and the rain, making noise in the darkness.”

― Darin Bradley, Noise

 

“It is easier for a Russian to become an Atheist, than for any other nationality in the world. And not only does a Russian ‘become an Atheist,’ but he actually BELIEVES IN Atheism, just as though he had found a new faith, not perceiving that he has pinned his faith to a negation. Such is our anguish of thirst!”

― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot

 

“Nonetheless, it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs, religious doctrines constitute a speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.”

― Sidney Hook, Quest for Being

 

“A wide and vague impression exists that so-called Eastern religion is more contemplative, innocuous, and humane than the proselytizing monotheisms of the West. Don’t believe a word of this: try asking the children of Indochina who were dumped by their parents for inherited deformities that were attributed to sins in a previous ‘life.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“In ridiculing a pathetic human fallacy, which seeks explanation where none need be sought and which multiplies unnecessary assumptions, one should not mimic primitive ontology in order to challenge it. Better to dispose of the needless assumption altogether. This holds true for everything from Noah’s flood to the Holocaust.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“It means that your birth, with all your particulars, is a wildly improbable event, and hence precious. You won the sweepstakes by being born at all. Think of all the wallflower sperm and egg cells. You made it, buddy. Whew! What a staggering wonder! What a thing to rejoice in! The lottery wasn’t fixed! God didn’t rig it! You won fair and square! What a miracle!”

― Robert M. Price

 

“Was it not part of the secret black art of truly grand politics of revenge, of a farseeing, subterranean, slowly advancing, and premeditated revenge, that Israel must itself deny the real instrument of its revenge before all the world as a mortal enemy and nail it to the cross, so that ‘all the world,’ namely all the opponents of Israel, could unhesitatingly swallow just this bait? And could spiritual subtlety imagine any more dangerous bait than this? Anything to equal the enticing, intoxicating, overwhelming, and undermining power of that symbol of the ‘holy cross,’ that ghastly paradox of a ‘God on the cross,’ that mystery of an unimaginable ultimate cruelty and self-crucifixion of God for the salvation of man?”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo

 

“They had…finished their lives before their death – which is not always the end of life and often comes long before the end.”

― Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Les Diaboliques

 

“A degree of culture, and assuredly a very high one, is attained when man rises above superstitions and religious notions and fears, and, for instance, no longer believes in guardian angels or in original sin, and has also ceased to talk of the salvation of his soul.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human

 

“Imagine a puddle waking up and saying: ‘This is an interesting hole I find myself in. Fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!”

― Douglas Adams

 

“I don’t know what I believe anymore. If God does exist, then He’s just an asshole, creating this world full of human suffering and letting all these terrible things happen to good people, and sitting there and doing nothing about it. At June’s memorial service, a few people came up to me and said some really stupid things, like how everything happens for a reason, and God never gives us more than we can handle. All I could think was, does that mean if I was a weaker person, this never would’ve happened? Am I seriously supposed to buy that June’s death was part of some stupid divine plan? I don’t believe that. I can’t. It just doesn’t make sense.”

― Hannah Harrington, Saving June

 

“Saying that you are moral because you believe in a god is like saying you are an economist because you play monopoly.”

― Robert W. Cox

 

“god always behave like the people who created them.”

― Zora Houston

 

 

“Materialism sets us free from sin-by proving that there is no such thing as sin. There’s just antisocial behavior, which we can control with measures like laws and educational programs.”

― Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds

 

“There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary things.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human

 

“To act morally is not to act out of fear of punishment; it is not to act as one is commanded to act. Rather, it is to act as one ought to act. And how one ought to act is not dependent upon anyone’s power, even if the power be Divine.”

― Steven M. Cahn

 

“But for you to make this move would reveal the two fundamental tenets of true atheism. One: There is no God. Two: I hate Him.”

― Douglas Wilson, Is Christianity Good for the World?

 

“For God to prove himself on demand, physically, would be a grave disappointment, and the strongest Christians should be considerably grateful that he chooses not to do so. The skeptic endlessly demands proof, yet God refuses to insult the true intelligence of man, the ‘6th sense’, the chief quality, the acumen which distinguishes man from the rest of creation, faith.”

― Criss Jami

 

“Not only is this not love; I think it is the most diabolical unfairness that was ever taught or devised.”

― Ruth Hurmence Green

 

“I am, indeed, an absolute materialist so far as actual belief goes; with not a shred of credence in any form of supernaturalism—religion, spiritualism, transcendentalism, metempsychosis, or immortality.”

― H.P. Lovecraft

 

“ATHEIST is really a thoroughly honest, unambiguous term, it admits of no paltering and no evasion, and the need of the world, now as ever, is for clear-cut issues and unambiguous speech.”

― Chapman Cohen

 

“It seems to me there is less meanness in atheism, by a good measure. It seems that the spirit of religious self-righteousness this article deplores is precisely the spirit in which it is written. Of course he’s right about many things, one of them being the destructive potency of religious self-righteousness. (p. 146)”

― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

 

“Under these conditions it is no wonder, that the movement of atheists, which declares religion to be just a deliberate illusion, invented by power-seeking priests, and which has for the pious belief in a higher Power nothing but words of mockery, eagerly makes use of progressive scientific knowledge and in a presumed unity with it, expands in an ever faster pace its disintegrating action on all nations of the earth and on all social levels. I do not need to explain in any more detail that after its victory not only all the most precious treasures of our culture would vanish, but – which is even worse – also any prospects at a better future.”

― Max Planck

 

“Why do more than 40 percent of Americans think that the Universe began after the domestication of the dog?”

― Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward

 

“One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it’s one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endlösung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for ‘exile,’ or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the ‘proof,’ so for a time the professional interpreters of god’s will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

 

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein’s ‘offer’ of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“…for my master, bad as I have thought him, is not half so bad as this woman.–To be sure she must be an atheist!”

― Samuel Richardson, Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded

 

“When the course of experience made me see that there is no saviour and no special grace, no remission beyond the human, that pain is to be endured and fades, if it fades, only with time, then God became nothing to me but a dyslexic dog, with neither bark nor bite.”

― Yann Martel, Self

 

“There either is a god or there is not; there is a ‘design’ or not.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.”

― Bakunin, Mikhail Aleksandrovich

 

“In the pragmatist, streetwise climate of advanced postmodern capitalism, with its scepticism of big pictures and grand narratives, its hard-nosed disenchantment with the metaphysical, ‘life’ is one among a whole series of discredited totalities. We are invited to think small rather than big – ironically, at just the point when some of those out to destroy Western civilization are doing exactly the opposite. In the conflict between Western capitalism and radical Islam, a paucity of belief squares up to an excess of it. The West finds itself faced with a full-blooded metaphysical onslaught at just the historical point that it has, so to speak, philosophically disarmed. As far as belief goes, postmodernism prefers to travel light: it has beliefs, to be sure, but it does not have faith.”

― Terry Eagleton, The Meaning of Life

 

“What used to be ‘demonic posession’ is now known to be neuro-psychological disorders.

What used to be ‘divine wrath’ is now known to be the Earth’s geological and meteorological processes.

What used to be ‘curse’ is now known to be microbial infections.

What used to be a ‘miracle’ is now known to be a hoax.

What used to be ‘god’ is now known to be an excuse to solicit money from ignorant people.”

― Joshua Rey

“Though he never actually joined it, he was close to some civilian elements of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was the most Communist (and in the rather orthodox sense) of the Palestinian formations. I remember Edward once surprising me by saying, and apropos of nothing: ‘Do you know something I have never done in my political career? I have never publicly criticized the Soviet Union. It’s not that I terribly sympathize with them or anything—it’s just that the Soviets have never done anything to harm me, or us.’ At the time I thought this a rather naïve statement, even perhaps a slightly contemptible one, but by then I had been in parts of the Middle East where it could come as a blessed relief to meet a consecrated Moscow-line atheist-dogmatist, if only for the comparatively rational humanism that he evinced amid so much religious barking and mania. It was only later to occur to me that Edward’s pronounced dislike of George Orwell was something to which I ought to have paid more attention.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“Why do many believers insist on repeatedly pointing to the crimes of 20th century dictators who led officially atheistic societies as some sort of evidence of their god’s existence? It makes no sense.

 

If the rivers of blood on Stalin’s hands and Mao’s hands, for example, are supposed to prove there is a god, then what do the oceans of blood on the hands of several thousand years’ worth of religious kings, queens, presidents, popes, priests, generals, Crusadersm jihadists and tribal chiefs prove? It’s not, of course, but if bodycount is somehow the measure of a god’s likelihood of existence, then believers lose.

 

It is clear that humans are quite capable of killing with or without images of gods bouncing around in their heads. If anything, however, history suggests that the concept of gods makes the idea of massacring your fellow man (and women and children, too, of course) a lot easier to act upon.”

― Guy P. Harrison

 

“Renouncing false beliefs will not usher in the millennium. Few things about the strategy of contemporary apologists are more repellent than their frequent recourse to spurious alternatives. The lesser lights inform us that the alternative to Christianity is materialism, thus showing how little they have read, while the greater lights talk as if the alternative were bound to be a shallow and inane optimism. I don’t believe that man will turn this earth into a bed of roses either with the aid of God or without it. Nor does life among the roses strike me as a dream from which one would not care to wake up after a very short time.”

― Walter Kaufmann

 

“There’s a certain amount of ambiguity in my background, what with intermarriages and conversions, but under various readings of three codes which I don’t much respect (Mosaic Law, the Nuremberg Laws, and the Israeli Law of Return) I do qualify as a member of the tribe, and any denial of that in my family has ceased with me. But I would not remove myself to Israel if it meant the continuing expropriation of another people, and if anti-Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world—or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world—I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction. Leo Strauss was right. The Jews will not be ‘saved’ or ‘redeemed.’ (Cheer up: neither will anyone else.) They/we will always be in exile whether they are in the greater Jerusalem area or not, and this in some ways is as it should be. They are, or we are, as a friend of Victor Klemperer’s once put it to him in a very dark time, condemned and privileged to be ‘a seismic people.’ A critical register of the general health of civilization is the status of ‘the Jewish question.’ No insurance policy has ever been devised that can or will cover this risk.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

 

“The notion that evil is non-rational is a more significant claim for Eagleton than at first appears, because he is (in this book [On Evil] as in others of his recent ‘late period’ prolific burst) anxious to rewrite theology: God (whom he elsewhere tells us is nonexistent, but this is no barrier to his being lots of other things for Eagleton too, among them Important) is not to be regarded as rational: with reference to the Book of Job Eagleton says, ‘To ask after God’s reasons for allowing evil, so [some theologians] claim, is to imagine him as some kind of rational or moral being, which is the last thing he is.’ This is priceless: with one bound God is free of responsibility for ‘natural evil’—childhood cancers, tsunamis that kill tens of thousands—and for moral evil also even though ‘he’ is CEO of the company that purposely manufactured its perpetrators; and ‘he’ is incidentally exculpated from blame for the hideous treatment meted out to Job.”

― A.C. Grayling

 

“In the early days of the December that my father was to die, my younger brother brought me the news that I was a Jew. I was then a transplanted Englishman in America, married, with one son and, though unconsoled by any religion, a nonbelieving member of two Christian churches. On hearing the tidings, I was pleased to find that I was pleased.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Prepared for the Worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports

 

“Of all the major religions, or lack thereof, the atheist’s is one of the best pretenders: his foundation for all existences, as well as moral behaviors for the permanent good of mankind, begins at science but ends at himself, the Napoleon complex of both intelligence and imagination. On the other hand the anti-theist wouldn’t survive without a deity beyond himself to hunt. He doesn’t pretend, he simply nullifies his own position.”

― Criss Jami

 

“Scepticism is never certain of itself, being less a firm intellectual position than a pose to justify bad behavior.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ

 

“The wicked fear the good, because the good are a constant reproach to their consciences. The ungodly like religion in the same way that they like lions, either dead or behind bars; they fear religion when it breaks loose and begins to challenge their consciences.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ

 

“Dwarfs were not a naturally religious species, but in a world where pit props could crack without warning and pockets of fire damp could suddenly explode they’d seen the need for gods as the sort of supernatural equivalent of a hard hat. Besides, when you hit your thumb with an eight-pound hammer it’s nice to be able to blaspheme. It takes a very special and strong-minded kind of atheist to jump up and down with their hand clasped under their other armpit and shout, “Oh, random-fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum!” or “Aaargh, primitive-and-outmoded-concept on a crutch!”

― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

 

“I don’t differentiate much, except in degree, between people who believe in religion from those who believe in astrology, magic or the supernatural.”

― Andy Rooney, Sincerely, Andy Rooney

 

“There is yet another class that, having found that their own religion not only prevents free thinking but that some of its philosophies are also against some basic social, economic and scientific concepts of life as required by the progressive society, comes to the illogical conclusion that all religions similarly thwart the growth of progressive societies… Such people fall easy prey to materialism and denounce all religions without having any definite idea of any religion at all.”

― Mohammed Ali Muhiyaddin, A Comparative Study of the Religions of Today

 

“What good is all this free-thinking, modernity, and turncoat flexibility if at some gut level you are still a Christian, a Catholic, and even a priest!”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols & Other Writings

 

“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade…”

― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

 

“Atheism is the opium of the mathematicians. Atheism is the religion of Mathematics.”

― Bill Gaede

 

“Religions and states and classes and tribes and nations do not have to work or argue for their adherents and subjects. They more or less inherit them. Against this unearned patrimony there have always been speakers and writers who embody Einstein’s injunction to ‘remember your humanity and forget the rest.’ It would be immodest to claim membership in this fraternity/sorority, but I hope not to have done anything to outrage it. Despite the idiotic sneer that such principles are ‘fashionable,’ it is always the ideas of secularism, libertarianism, internationalism, and solidarity that stand in need of reaffirmation.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Prepared for the Worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports

 

“The fervor and single-mindedness of this deification probably have no precedent in history. It’s not like Duvalier or Assad passing the torch to the son and heir. It surpasses anything I have read about the Roman or Babylonian or even Pharaonic excesses. An estimated $2.68 billion was spent on ceremonies and monuments in the aftermath of Kim Il Sung’s death. The concept is not that his son is his successor, but that his son is his reincarnation. North Korea has an equivalent of Mount Fuji—a mountain sacred to all Koreans. It’s called Mount Paekdu, a beautiful peak with a deep blue lake, on the Chinese border. Here, according to the new mythology, Kim Jong Il was born on February 16, 1942. His birth was attended by a double rainbow and by songs of praise (in human voice) uttered by the local birds. In fact, in February 1942 his father and mother were hiding under Stalin’s protection in the dank Russian city of Khabarovsk, but as with all miraculous births it’s considered best not to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

 

“Hundreds of hysterical persons must confuse these phenomena with messages from the beyond and take their glory to the bishop rather than the eye doctor.”

― James Thurber

 

“When Alex left for Alaska,” Franz remembers, “I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special. But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when I learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn’t believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex.”

― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

 

“Because we are no different from any animal, any insect or germule. We are not special, Cal. You, me, we all came from nothing, and that’s exactly where we’re all going one day, maybe soon, whether we like it or not.”

― Brian Williams, Deeper

 

“Don’t creationists ever wonder about the fact that the paleontologists found ape-like skulls with the ‘human leg and foot bones,’ rather than the other way around, i.e., human skulls with ‘ape leg and foot bones?’ . . . Come on, creationists, think about it! Did God hide the human skulls, only leaving behind leg and foot bones belonging to human midgets with misshapen feet, and mix such bones only with the skulls of ape-like creatures with larger cranial capacities than living apes? What a ‘kidder’ the creationists’ God must be.”

― Edward Babinski

 

“His friends told him that nobody was interested in his goddam soul unless it was the priest and he managed to answer that no priest taking orders from no pope was going to tamper with his soul. They told him he didn’t have any soul and left for the brothel.

 

He took a long time to believe them because he wanted to believe them. All he wanted was to believe them and get rid of it once and for all, and he saw opportunity here to get rid of it without corruption, to be converted to nothing instead of to evil. The army sent him halfway around the world and forgot him. He was wounded and they remembered him long enough to take the shrapnel out of his chest – they said they took it out but they never showed it to him and he felt it still in there, rusted, and poisoning him – and then they sent him to another desert and forgot him again. He had all the time he could want to study his soul in and assure himself that it was not there. When he was thoroughly convinced, he saw that this was something that he had always known.”

― Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood

 

“Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.”

― Karl Marx

 

“With the first jolt he was in daylight; they had left the gateways of King’s Cross, and were under blue sky. Tunnels followed, and after each the sky grew bluer, and from the embankment at Finsbury Park he had his first sight of the sun. It rolled along behind the eastern smokes — a wheel, whose fellow was the descending moon — and as yet it seemed the servant of the blue sky, not its lord. He dozed again. Over Tewin Water it was day. To the left fell the shadow of the embankment and its arches; to the right Leonard saw up into the Tewin Woods and towards the church, with its wild legend of immortality. Six forest trees — that is a fact — grow out of one of the graves in Tewin churchyard. The grave’s occupant — that is the legend — is an atheist, who declared that if God existed, six forest trees would grow out of her grave. These things in Hertfordshire; and farther afield lay the house of a hermit — Mrs. Wilcox had known him — who barred himself up, and wrote prophecies, and gave all he had to the poor. While, powdered in between, were the villas of business men, who saw life more steadily, though with the steadiness of the half-closed eye. Over all the sun was streaming, to all the birds were singing, to all the primroses were yellow, and the speedwell blue, and the country, however they interpreted her, was uttering her cry of “now. ” She did not free Leonard yet, and the knife plunged deeper into his heart as the train drew up at Hilton. But remorse had become beautiful.”

― E.M. Forster, Howards End

 

“Human beings are not inevitable, and our brief existence is not preordained to be extended into the distant future. If Homo sapiens is to have a continued presence on earth, humankind will reevaluate its sense of place in the world and modify its strong species-centric stewardship of the planet. Our collective concepts of morality and ethics have a direct impact on our species’ ultimate fate.”

― Jeff Schweitzer, Beyond Cosmic Dice: Moral Life in a Random World

 

“At one time,’ Golenishchev continued, either not observing or not willing to observe that both Anna and Vronsky wanted to speak, ‘at one time a freethinker was a man who had been brought up in the conception of religion, law, and morality, who reached freethought only after conflict and difficulty. But now a new type of born freethinkers has appeared, who grow up without so much as hearing that there used to be laws of morality, or religion, that authorities existed. They grow up in ideas of negation in everything — in other words, utter savages.”

― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

 

“After Hiram Bingham built the first church on Oahu the student recalls, “When it was completed some of the natives said among themselves, ‘That house of worship built by the haoles is a place in which they will pray us all to death. It is meant to kill us.”

― Sarah Vowell, Unfamiliar Fishes

 

“The sight of her made him understand why he’d lost his faith in God.”

― Sarah Langan, The Keeper

 

“I just wish this social institution [religion] wasn’t based on what appears to me to be a monumental hoax built on an accumulation of customs and myths directed toward proving something that isn’t true.”

― Andy Rooney, Sincerely, Andy Rooney

 

“The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination.”

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

 

“[…] intelligent people only have a certain amount of time (measured in subjective time spent thinking about religion) to become atheists. After a certain point, if you’re smart, have spent time thinking about and defending your religion, and still haven’t escaped the grip of Dark Side Epistemology, the inside of your mind ends up as an Escher painting.”

― Eliezer Yudkowsky

 

“It is thus religion infatuates man from his infancy, fills him with vanity and fanaticism: if he has a heated imagination it drives him on to fury; if he has activity, it makes him a madman, who is frequently as cruel to himself, as he is dangerous and incommodious to others: if, on the contrary, he be phlegmatic or of a slothful habit, he becomes melancholy and is useless to society.”

― Paul Henri Thiry d’Holbach

 

“Naturalism is the view that the physical world is a self-contained system that works by blind, unbroken natural laws. Naturalism doesn’t come right out and say there’s nothing beyond nature. Rather, it says that nothing beyond nature could have any conceivable relevance to what happens in nature. Naturalism’s answer to theism is not atheism but benign neglect. People are welcome to believe in God, though not a God who makes a difference in the natural order.”

― William A. Dembski, The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design

 

“For those in love with an illusion often refuse to accept reality”

― Sanal Edamaruku

 

“The finger of the atheists’ own divinity, Reason, wrote on the wall the appalling judgments that there is no God; that the universe is only matter in spontaneous motion; and, most grievous word of all, that what men call their souls die with the death of the body, as music dies when the strings are broken.”

― John Lothrop Motley, Diderot and the Encyclopaedists

 

“Father was an atheist; he had even joined the Skeleton Army – a club of men who went about in masks or black faces, with ribald placards and a brass band, to make war upon the Salvation Army.”

― A.E. Coppard, Dusky Ruth: And Other Stories

 

“Je puis nier une chose sans me croire obligé de la salir ou de retirer aux autres le droit d’y croire.”

― Albert Camus, Caligula

 

“I shall quite briefly mention here the notorious atheism of science. The theists reproach it for this again and again. Unjustly. A personal God can not be encountered in a world picture that becomes accessible only at the price that everything personal is excluded from it.

 

We know that whenever God is experienced, it is an experience exactly as real as a direct sense impression, as real as one’s own personality. As such He must be missing from the space-time picture. ‘I do not meet with God in space and time’, so says the honest scientific thinker, and for that reason he is reproached by those in whose catechism it is nevertheless stated: ‘God is Spirit’.”

― Erwin Schrödinger

 

“The entire Jesus concept, that human sacrifice should be the substratum of a moral religion of love, strikes me as incongruous. God condemned us and Jesus saved us, and they are actually the same being? Christianity is the idea that you are so abhorrent that God had to kill himself. He had to embody the human form and send himself on a bizarre suicide mission just to revoke the disgustingness of the humans he created. I balk at suggestions that these ideas dictate to the concepts of morality and love.”

― Trevor Treharne, How to Prove God Does Not Exist: The Complete Guide to Validating Atheism

 

“Essentially, almost all humans are born with a fear of the unknown. It casts a pall of anxiety which pushes us into the arms of religions and soothsayers and their made-up answers.”

― Mario Stinger

 

“For a God that created everything, it is mystifying why he created so much competition.”

― Trevor Treharne, How to Prove God Does Not Exist: The Complete Guide to Validating Atheism

 

“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words “compelle intrare,” compel them to come in, have been so abused be wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.”

― C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

 

“For more than a year, he’d felt destined to marry Isabel Arundell; now, suddenly, he wasn’t so sure. He loved her, that was certain, but he also resented her. He loved her strength and practicality but resented her overbearing personality and tendency to do things on his behalf without consulting him first; loved that she tolerated his interest in all things exotic and erotic but hated her blinkered Catholicism. Charles Darwin had killed God but she and her family, like so many others, still clung to the delusion.”

― Mark Hodder

 

“I am not one of those who believes—as Obama is said to believe—that a solution to the Palestinian statehood question would bring an end to Muslim resentment against the United States. (Incidentally, if he really does believe this, his lethargy and impotence in the face of Netanyahu’s consistent double-dealing is even more culpable.) The Islamist fanatics have their own agenda, and, as in the case of Hamas and its Iranian backers, they have already demonstrated that nothing but the destruction of Israel and the removal of American influence from the region will possibly satisfy them. No, it is more the case that justice—and a homeland for the Palestinians—is a good and necessary cause in its own right. It is also a special legal and moral responsibility of the United States, which has several times declared a dual-statehood outcome to be its objective.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“In Gilead, the narrator’s friend’s son describes himself not as an atheist but in “state of categorical unbelief.” He says, “I don’t even believe God doesn’t exist, if you see what I mean.” I pointed this passage out to Mom and said it closely matched my own views–I just didn’t think about religion.”

― Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club

 

“Every morning I wake up and thank God that I don’t believe in him.”

― Mike Malloy

 

 

“In the aftermath of the recent wave action in the Indian Ocean, even the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williamson [sic], proved himself a latter-day Voltairean by whimpering that he could see how this might shake belief in a friendly creator. Williamson is of course a notorious fool, who does an almost perfect imitation of a bleating and frightened sheep, but even so, one is forced to rub one’s eyes in astonishment. Is it possible that a grown man could live so long and still have his personal composure, not to mention his lifetime job description, upset by a large ripple of seawater?”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“It’s an insidious idea, this notion that there is life after death. The promise of a reward in the afterlife has been used as an excuse to deny help to the poor, helpless and oppressed; to explain away human misery rather than deal with it. It is an idea that is used to encourage young men and women to kill themselves, and others, so that they can become martyrs. It allows victims of injustice to be told not to worry because justice will be done in the afterlife. It depresses me to think that so many people on the planet live their lives with this notion. Can we truly fulfill our potential as a species as long as we hold on to, and encourage, the perpetuation of the lie of life after death?”

― Alom Shaha, The Young Atheists Handbook

 

“Education levels are highly and negatively correlated to religious belief. In other words, ignorance is bliss.”

― Cesar Nascimento

 

“You couldn’t say ‘I had orders.’ You couldn’t say ‘It’s not fair.’ No one was listening. There were no Words. You owned yourself. […] Not ‘Thou Shalt Not’. Say ‘I Will Not’.”

― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

 

“Denial of our pattern of failure seems to be a kind of practical atheism or chosen ignorance among many believers and clergy.”

― Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

 

“When gods die, self-respect buds’, murmured Orland Fank. ‘Gods and their examples are not needed by those who respect themselves and, consequently, respect others. Gods are for children, for little, fearful people, for those who would have no responsibility to themselves or their fellows.”

― Michael Moorcock, The Quest for Tanelorn

 

“What struck me, in reading the reports from Sri Lanka, was the mild disgrace of belonging to our imperfectly evolved species in the first place. People who had just seen their neighbors swept away would tell the reporters that they knew a judgment had been coming, because the Christians had used alcohol and meat at Christmas or because … well, yet again you can fill in the blanks for yourself. It was interesting, though, to notice that the Buddhists were often the worst. Contentedly patting an image of the chubby lord on her fencepost, a woman told the New York Times that those who were not similarly protected had been erased, while her house was still standing. There were enough such comments, almost identically phrased, to make it seem certain that the Buddhist authorities had been promulgating this consoling and insane and nasty view. That would not surprise me.”

― Christopher Hitchens

 

“Billions of years ago God was creating universes and life; thousands of years ago he was creating angry floods, sin-saving human sacrifices and audible burning bushes. Today he occasionally appears on a piece of toast. To state that God has become reclusive over the years would be an overwhelming understatement.”

― Trevor Treharne, How to Prove God Does Not Exist: The Complete Guide to Validating Atheism

 

 “But no sooner had morning broken than he took hold of his whip and ceremoniously stepped out to address his slaves. Each blow was liberating, it was like unshaking proof of the great lie of God’s existence.”

― Juhani Peltonen

 

“As Peter Berger has noted, the strategy of apologizing for Christian faith by trying to demonstrate its social utility is always eventually self-liquidating. Sooner of later people realize that a great many of the supposedly practical and secular benefits of the Christian religion can be had more easily without religion…The logic of practical atheism may well be more deeply ingrained in the evangelical tradition than conservatives perhaps have realized.”

― Craig M. Gay, Way of the (Modern) World

 

“You may only get this one life – but lived free of submissive reverence – that is still a thing of rampant beauty.”

― Trevor Treharne, How to Prove God Does Not Exist: The Complete Guide to Validating Atheism

 

“At what point, 2,000 years on from the life of Jesus, do we need a refresher course? Another 2,000 years? Imagine 100,000 years’ time – would the story of Moses’ burning bush amaze a generation laden with unimaginable scientific and technological wonders? Here lies religion’s biggest quandary. While science is squeezing the life out of God, how is religion going to muster a counterattack from here?”

― Trevor Treharne, How to Prove God Does Not Exist: The Complete Guide to Validating Atheism

 

“Since science is essentially objective, involving the study of how things actually are, “materialism” would therefore seem to be its antithesis, since its starting point is the desire to impose upon the natural world a particular and limited way of looking at it.”

― Melanie Phillips, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power

 

“Pride is yet again in the way of our mind’s ability to accept that we may not be the most intelligent and advanced people in the universe or on Earth since it was formed along with the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.”

― Mario Stinger, Destined for Oblivion: As Nature Intended

 

“Given the level of understanding and the fact that they believed already in a set of myths and superstitions, it was the easiest and fastest way to proceed.”

― Mario Stinger, Destined for Oblivion: As Nature Intended

 

“On the church vaulting above was the clock-face of eternity, void of number and serving as its own hand, only one black finger was pointing and the dead wanted to tell the time by it.”

― Jean Paul

 

“We continue to need exhortations to be sympathetic and just, even if we do not believe that there is a God who has a hand in wishing to make us so. We no longer have to be brought into line by the threat of hell or the promise of paradise; we merely have to be reminded that it is we ourselves — that is, the most mature and reasonable parts of us (seldom present in the midst of our crises and obsessions) — who want to lead the sort of life which we once imagined supernatural beings demanded of us. An adequate evolution of morality from superstition to reason should mean recognizing ourselves as the authors of our own moral commandments.”

― Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion

 

“Differ though we might with Christianity’s view of what precisely our souls need, it is hard to discredit the provocative underlying thesis, which seems no less relevant in the secular realm than in the religious one–that we have within us a precious, childlike, vulnerable core which we should nourish and nurture on its turbulent journey through life.”

― Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion

 

“He didn’t like religion, hadn’t liked it for years, but he adored churches, loved them like old scientific instruments whose time is long past but are nevertheless fascinating and strange.”

― Bruce Robinson, The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman

 

“It is the most ambitious and driven among us who are the most sorely in need of having our reckless hopes dampened through immersive dousings in the darkness which religions have explored. This is a particular priority for secular Americans, perhaps the most anxious and disappointed people on earth, for their nation infuses them with the most extreme hopes about what they may be able to achieve in their working lives and relationships.”

― Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion

 

“If I convert it’s because it’s better that a believer dies than that an atheist does.”

― Christopher Hitchens, Mortality

 

“You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.”

― Ricky Gervais

 

“I see Atheists are fighting and killing each other again, over who doesn’t believe in any God the most. Oh, no..wait.. that never happens.”

― Ricky Gervais

 

“In fact, the truth cannot be communicated until it is perceived.”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism, and Other Essays

 

“But you haven’t never loved God nor even nair person. You hard and tough as cowhide. But just the same I knows you. This afternoon you going to roam all over the place without never being satisfied. You going to traipse all around like you haves to find something lost. You going to work yourself up with excitement. Your heart going to beat hard enough to kill you because you don’t love and don’t have peace. And then some day you going to bust loose and be ruined.”

― Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

 

“Human vanity is so constituted that it stiffens before difficulties. The more an object conceals itself from our eyes, the greater the effort we make to seize it, because it pricks our pride, it excites our curiosity and it appears interesting. In fighting for his God everyone, in fact, fights only for the interest of his own vanity, which, of all the passions produced bye the mal-organization of society, is the quickest to take offense, and the most capable of committing the greatest follies.”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism, and Other Essays

 

“I’m sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don’t think there’s any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock.”

― Howard Stern

 

“The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesn’t. It’s not a matter of opinion. You can have your own opinions. But you can’t have your own facts.”

― Ricky Gervais

 

“In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis argues that human beings cannot be truly good or moral without faith in God and without submis- sion to the will of Christ. Unfortunately, Lewis does not provide any actual data for his assertions. They are nothing more than the mild musings of a wealthy British man, pondering the state of humanity’s soul between his sips of tea. Had Lewis actually famil- iarized himself with real human beings of the secular sort, per- haps sat and talked with them, he would have had to reconsider this notion. As so many apostates explained to me, morality is most certainly possible beyond the confines of faith. Can people be good without God? Can a moral orientation be sustained and developed outside of a religious context? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes.”

― Phil Zuckerman, Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion

 

“Religion has always been an irrelevant aspect if my life. The people here are either pissed of atheists, or religious freaks waiting for God to save them.”

― Alina Baker

 

“As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy. No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite. Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God. The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.”

― Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century’s Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop

 

“our moral reasoning is plagued by two illusions. The first illusion can be called the wag-the-dog illusion: We believe that our own moral judgment (the dog) is driven by our own moral reasoning (the tail). The second illusion can be called the wag-theother-dog’s-tail illusion: In a moral argument, we expect the successful rebuttal of an opponent’s arguments to change the opponent’s mind. Such a belief is like thinking that forcing a dog’s tail to wag by moving it with your hand will make the dog happy.”

― Sam Harris, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values

 

“Religion used to be the opium of the people. To those suffering humiliation, pain, illness, and serfdom, religion promised the reward of an after life. But now, we are witnessing a transformation, a true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, we are not going to be judged.”

― Czesław Miłosz

 

“A God made by man undoubtedly has need of man to make himself known to man.”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism, and Other Essays

 

“I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least,

Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself.”

― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

 

 

“Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence -­- evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn’t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition.”

― Ricky Gervais

 

“Is any man skillful enough to have fashioned himself?”

― Saint Augustine of Hippo

 

“If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? IF HE HAS SPOKEN, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE NOT CONVINCED?”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism, and Other Essays

 

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

― Albert Einstein

 

“Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God.”

― Tom Stoppard

 

“I do not feel any contempt for an atheist, who is often a man limited and constrained by his own logic to a very sad simplification.”

― G.K. Chesterton, The Well and the Shallows

 

“Catholicism – all the perversions of Christianity – is not a faith of love. It is a faith of fear. Obey, be good, toe the line, and heaven is yours, the first prize in the lottery of eternity. Disobey, react, cut the lifeline, and never-ceasing damnation is the booby prize. The dogma is, love the only god and you shall be safe. Fail in that love and he will not rescue you, not until you crawl and apologize and fawn before the altar. What kind of a religion demands such indignity?”

― Martin Booth, A Very Private Gentleman

 

“But the lack of faith could just as well be a crutch for non-believers, allowing them to live their lives without any concept of accountability and giving them some sort of false confidence. The different is that while Catholicism has an abundance of intellectual underpinnings to support its arguments, anti-Catholicism and atheist have few if any.”

― Michael Coren, Why Catholics are Right

 

“At the very time that philosophers of the most enterprising benevolence were founding in Greece those institutions which have rendered it the wonder and luminary of the world, am I required to believe that the weak and wicked king of an obscure and barbarous nation, a murderer, a traitor and a tyrant, was the man after God’s own heart?”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism, and Other Essays

 

“When I finally applied logic to Religion that was when I quit paying after life insurance and quit going”

― Stanley Victor Paskavich

 

“Atheism is a religion the same way abstinence is a sexual position.”

― Bill Maher

 

“Every fanatic or enemy of virtue is not at liberty to misrepresent the greatest geniuses and most heroic defenders of all that is valuable in this mortal world.”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism, and Other Essays

 

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

 

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”

― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

 

“Religion is like drugs, it destroys the thinking mind.”

― George Carlin

 

“Ultimately, totalitarianism is the only sort of politics that can truly serve the sky-god’s purpose. Any movement of a liberal nature endangers his authority and that of his delegates on earth. One God, one King, one Pope, one master in the factory, one father-leader in the family at home.”

― Gore Vidal

 

“There are, after all, atheists who say they wish the fable were true but are unable to suspend the requisite disbelief, or who have relinquished belief only with regret. To this I reply: who wishes that there was a permanent, unalterable celestial despotism that subjected us to continual surveillance and could convict us of thought-crime, and who regarded us as its private property even after we died? How happy we ought to be, at the reflection that there exists not a shred of respectable evidence to support such a horrible hypothesis.”

― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

 

“The rationalist imagines an imbecile-free society; the empiricist and imbecile-proof one, or even better, a rationalist-proof one.”

― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

 

“Faith, to my mind, is a stiffening process, a sort of mental starch, which ought to be applied as sparingly as possible. I dislike the stuff. I do not believe in it, for its own sake, at all… My lawgivers are Erasmus and Montaigne, not Moses and St Paul. My temple stands not upon Mount Moriah but in the Elysian Field where even the immoral are admitted. My motto is ‘Lord, I disbelieve — help thou my unbelief.”

― E.M. Forster

 

“…the Genesis story is just one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants.”

 

― Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker

 

“To be charitable, one may admit that the religious often seem unaware of how insulting their main proposition actually is. Exchange views with a believer even for a short time, and let us make the assumption that this is a mild and decent believer who does not open the bidding by telling you that your unbelief will endanger your soul and condemn you to hell. It will not be long until you are politely asked how you can possibly know right from wrong. Without holy awe, what is to prevent you form resorting to theft, murder, rape, and perjury? It will sometimes be conceded that non-believers have led ethical lives, and it will also be conceded (as it had better be) that many believers have been responsible for terrible crimes. Nonetheless, the working assumption is that we should have no moral compass if we were not somehow in thrall to an unalterable and unchallengeable celestial dictatorship. What a repulsive idea!”

― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

 

“If by some bizarre chance there turns out to be a god […], I’m willing to bet he’s an atheist too.”

― Salman Rushdie

 

“I never wavered in my certainty that God did not exist. I was simply liberated by the thought that there might be a way to engage with religion without having to subscribe to its supernatural content – a way, to put it in more abstract terms, to think about Fathers without upsetting my respectful memory of my own father. I recognized that my continuing resistance to theories of an afterlife or of heavenly residents was no justification for giving up on the music, buildings, prayers, rituals, feasts, shrines, pilgrimages, communal meals and illustrated manuscripts of the faiths.”

― Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion

 

“Unbelief is as much of a choice as belief is. What makes it in many ways more appealing is that whereas to believe in something requires some measure of understanding and effort, not to believe doesn’t require much of anything at all.”

― Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter’s Dictionary

 

“Or why should one refrain from burning hatred, whatever its basis–race, class, or ideology? Such hatred is in fact corroding many hearts today. Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hatred of their own society. Amid all the vituperation we forget that the defects of capitalism represent the basic flaws of human nature, allowed unlimited freedom together with the various human rights; we forget that under Communism (and Communism is breathing down the neck of all moderate forms of socialism, which are unstable) the identical flaws run riot in any person with the least degree of authority; while everyone else under that system does indeed attain ‘equality’–the equality of destitute slaves. This eager fanning of the flames of hatred is becoming the mark of today’s free world. Indeed, the broader the personal freedoms are, the higher the level of prosperity or even of abundance–the more vehement, paradoxically, does this blind hatred become. The contemporary developed West thus demonstrates by its own example that human salvation can be found neither in the profusion of material goods nor in merely making money.”

― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

 

“No one knows loneliness like an atheist. When an average person feels isolated, he can call through the depths of his soul to One who knows him and sense an answer. An atheist cannot allow himself that luxury, for he has to crush the urge and remind himself of its absurdity.”

― Jeffrey Lang, Struggling to Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam

 

“If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of man serve its own interests.”

― Baron D. Holbach

 

“The belief that rational and quantifiable disciplines such as science can be used to perfect human society is no less absurd than a belief in magic, angels, and divine intervention.”

― Chris Hedges, I Don’t Believe in Atheists

 

“When he sacrifices himself man for a moment is greater than God, for how can God, infinite and omnipotent, sacrifice himself?”

― W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge

 

“HEAVEN: The big apartheid in the sky.”

― Philip Appleman

 

“The vulgar modern argument used against religion, and lately against common decency, would be absolutely fatal to any idea of liberty. It is perpetually said that because there are a hundred religions claiming to be true, it is therefore impossible that one of them should really be true. The argument would appear on the face of it to be illogical, if anyone nowadays troubled about logic. It would be as reasonable to say that because some people thought the earth was flat, and others (rather less incorrectly) imagined it was round, and because anybody is free to say that it is triangular or hexagonal, or a rhomboid, therefore it has no shape at all; or its shape can never be discovered; and, anyhow, modern science must be wrong in saying it is an oblate spheroid. The world must be some shape, and it must be that shape and no other; and it is not self-evident that nobody can possibly hit on the right one. What so obviously applies to the material shape of the world equally applies to the moral shape of the universe. The man who describes it may not be right, but it is no argument against his rightness that a number of other people must be wrong.”

― G.K. Chesterton

 

“You do not have to worhip god to be good and you certainly do not have to be good to worship god.”

― Chris Decker

 

“It seems to me that my lack of faith is not, as I once thought, a triumph of the rational mind, but rather a failure of the imagination – an inability to tolerate mistery.”

― Zoë Heller, Everything You Know

 

 

“It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that “revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.” That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.”

― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

 

“Atheism is partly the result of bad theology, an unpaid bill resulting from failures in depicting God. It is not surprising that many have rejected God when there has been so little to attract them to him. Perhaps they would not reject as readily the God disclosed in Jesus Christ, who is an event of loving relationally and relates readily to the temporal world.”

― Clark H. Pinnock, Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit

 

“When Jesus said “Whoever eats my flesh & drinks my blood has eternal life” John 6:54 He was CLEARLY talking to Zombies & Vampires”

― Pablo

 

“Atheism certainly promotes a low view of humanity- how much lower can you get than thinking yourself an accidental by-product of a series of even larger accidents!”

― John Dickson, Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership

 

“The typical atheist rebels against God as a teenager rebels against his parents. When his own desires or standards are not fulfilled in the way that he sees fit, he, in revolt, storms out of the house in denial of the Word of God and in scrutiny of a great deal of those who stand by the Word of God. The epithet ‘Heavenly Father’ is a grand reflection, a relation to that of human nature.”

― Criss Jami

 

“Atheist’s denial of God’s existence needs just as much substantiation as does the theist’s claim; the atheist must give plausible reasons for rejecting God’s existence.”

― Paul Copan

 

“Man has been evolved and created the gods. Evolved more and decided to destroy all of them.”

― Emil A. Zafirov

 

“Christianity also stands in opposition to intellectual, as well as physical, health. To doubt becomes sin. ‘Faith means not wanting to know what it true’ a description that strikes me as stunning and quite exact.”

― Robert Sheaffer, Making of the Messiah

 

“Almighty God, I am sorry I am now an atheist, but have You read Nietzsche?”

― John Fante, Ask the Dust

 

“Of course his dust would be absorbed in other living things and to that degree at least he would exist again, though it was plain enough that the specific combination which was he would never exist again.”

― Gore Vidal, The City and the Pillar

 

“I do not believe in God, because I believe in man. Whatever his mistakes, man has for thousands of years been working to undo the botched job your god has made.”

― Emma Goldman

 

“No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism.”

― Annie Wood Besant

 

“On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility. We have placed too much hope in political and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. In the East, it is destroyed by the dealings and machinations of the ruling party. In the West, commercial interests tend to suffocate it. This is the real crisis.”

― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

 

“Every time the sky cries, it is because an angel has died… Lucifer started a war in Heaven, and it persists even now. So if God cannot keep his angels under control, what makes you believe that he can keep humanity under control?”

― Lionel Suggs

 

“I want to be a woman who lives totally abandoned to the first commandment: to love my Lord, my God, with all my heart. I don’t want the reputation that I love God, I don’t want to write songs about loving God, I don’t want to talk about loving God. I want to actually love God. When I close my eyes, I want my heart to move. When I close my eyes and I look at Him, I want to feel alive on the inside. I want to look at Him with a fire in my heart and it’s real.”

― Misty Edwards

 

 “One day when I was praying, it suddenly occurred to me thatI was talking to myself.”

― Peter O’ Toole

 

“The more I think about myself, the more I’m persuaded that, as a person, I really don’t exist. That is one of the reasons why I can’t believe in any orthodox religion: I cannot believe in my own soul. No, I am a chemical compound, conditioned by environment and education. My “character” is simply a repertoire of acquired tricks, my conversation a repertoire of adaptations and echoes, my “feelings” are dictated by purely physical, external stimuli.”

― Christopher Isherwood, Christopher and His Kind

 

“Evil…doesn’t mean doing things that have bad consequences for people. It means private thoughts and actions that are not to “the Christian majority’s” private liking.”

― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

 

“God must have a weird sense of values, and if there’s a Judgment Day, as some folks think, He’s going to have a lot to answer for.”

― Philip Appleman

 

“An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed.”

― Carl Sagan, Conversations with Carl Sagan

 

“Revelation is God’s way of telling humanity that he is afraid of their possibility; the possibility of one day being able to surpass even him.”

― Lionel Suggs

 

“Science is agnostic when it comes to God – not atheistic, as some people prefer to read that laden word wrongly – just agnostic.”

― Eric Chaisson, Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos

 

“No man will say, “There is no God” ’till he is so hardened in sin that it has become his interest that there should be none to call him to account.”

― Matthew Henry

 

 “Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have – and that, in its profound simplicity, is the meaning of life.”

― Philip Appleman

 

“There may be some truth (atheists) do not need to believe in a god to be good, but then if they do not believe in a god, who do they believe gives the Universal Law of following good and shunning evil? Obviously, mankind. But then that is a dangerous thing, for if a man does not believe in a god capable of giving perfect laws, he is in the position of declaring all laws come from man, and as man is imperfect, he can declare that as fallible men make imperfect laws, he can pick and choose what he wishes to follow, that which, in his own mind seems good. He does not believe in divine retribution, therefore he can also declare his own morality contrary to what the divine may decree simply because he believes there is no divine decree. He may follow his every whim and passion, declaring it to be good when it may be very evil, for he like all men is imperfect, so how can he tell what is verily good? The atheist is in danger of mistaking vice for good and consequently follow another slave master and tyrant, his own physical and mental weakness. Evil would be wittingly or unwittingly perpetrated, therefore, to recognise the existence of a perfect divine being that gives perfect Universal Laws is much better than not to believe in a god, for if there is a perfect god, they will not allow their laws to be broken with impunity as in the case with many corrupt judges on earth, but will punish accordingly in due time. Therefore, to be pious and reverent is the surest path to true freedom as a perfect god will give perfect laws to prevent all manner of slavery, tyranny and moral wantonness, even if we do not understand why they are good laws at times.”

― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

 

“An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid.”

― Carl Sagan

 

“Remember, faith is the harbinger of chaos.”

― Lionel Suggs

 

“Have you ever wondered why there are so many Gods and so many religions? It is because in the Land of the Gods, there is not a single hand to guide the Gods on a proper path.”

― Lionel Suggs

 

“It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so,it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that gaurds the door,and this dragon is religion”

― Bertrand Russell

 

“The reason why God doesn’t show his face is because he stands behind a wall that can be broken.”

― Lionel Suggs

 

“Is apathy not the nature of God?”

― Lionel Suggs

 

“God endlessly fails to extend his blessings. That is because he no longer sits on the throne.”

― Lionel Suggs

 

“If after all my Atheology turns out wrong and your Theology right I feel I shall always be able to pass into Heaven (if I want to) as a friend of G.K.C.’s. Bless you.”

― H.G. Wells

 

“This is the only real revelation — that God is only a trick with mirrors, our dark reflection in a glass.”

― Philip Appleman

 

“People thank God when God no longer sits on the throne. The angels descend down to deliver miracles because they are trying to maintain the face of God. In the end, you must place your hopes and prayers with the angels. It has become quite sad in Heaven without its puppet master.”

― Lionel Suggs

 

“Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise, it’d stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.”

― Dara Ó Briain

 

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”

― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

 

“Even though I don’t personally believe in the Lord, I try to behave as though He was watching.”

― Christopher Reeve

 

“I was not an atheist. Few people really are, for that means blind faith in the strange proposition that this universe originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere.”

― Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous – Big Book

 

“But my lazy lack of faith, my in-vogue atheism, has taken away the safety net hanging beneath our children’s lives.”

― Rosamund Lupton, Afterwards

 

“Speaking to a ‘non-theist’, ‘How do you what you don’t believe in if you have never read the Bible?'”.”

― Belle from Kentucky

 

“Those who refuse His mercy satisfy His justice in another way. Without His mercy, they cannot love Him. Without love for Him they cannot be ‘justified’ or ‘made just’. That is to say: they cannot conform to Him Who is love. Those who have not received His mercy are in a state of injustice with regard to Him. It is their own injustice that is condemned by His justice. And in what does their injustice consist? In the refusal of His mercy. We come, in the end, to this basic paradox: that we owe it to God to receive from Him the mercy that is offered to us in Christ, and that to refuse this mercy is the summation of our ‘injustice’. Clearly, then, only the mercy of God can make us just, in this supernatural sense, since the primary demand of God’s justice upon us is that we receive His mercy.”

― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

 

“In time, Mr Hall, one gets to recognize that sneer, that hardness, for fornication extends far beyond the actual deed. Were it a deed only, I for one would not hold it anathema. But when the nations went a whoring they invariably ended by denying God, I think, and until all sexual irregularities and not some of them are penal the Church will never reconquer England.”

― E.M. Forster, Maurice

 

Why is it often that, when someone points out the lies of another person, the person who lied gets angry, rather than abashed. Never is this more apparent than when the lie pointed out is a lie to oneself, and the anger never more fierce than when the lie is one of religion.

-        G. Scott Wells

 

Atheism is a requirement for a complete human being. Religion is a crutch that is shackled to you, one you never really needed in the first place, but were convinced by others that you couldn’t live without. Once you discover it’s only an illusion, that it’s not even a real crutch, you discard it gladly.

-        Brent Yaciw

 

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

-        Thomas Jefferson

 

If God objected to [people with various handicaps], he ought not have created such people.

-        Robert G Ingersoll (paraphrase)

 

Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.

-        Gene Roddenberry

 

“Hence today I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator”

-        Adolph Hitler

 

“I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.”

-        George W. Bush

 

“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.

-        James Morrow

 

A country dominated by televangelism would be unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers, who envisioned religion as personal and spiritua, not social and political. No particular variety of religion was intended to control the political agenda, to set the community’s moral tone or to judge who are the true believers and members of our society. But this is precisely the objective of the electric church

-        Razelle Frankel

 

A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.

-        David Stevens

 

A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.

-        Samuel Clemens

 

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes

-        James K. Feibleman

 

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

-        Thomas Paine

 

All religions have been made by men.

-        Napoleon Bonaparte

 

All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science.

-        Matthew Arnold

 

All thinking men are atheists.

-        Ernest Hemingway

 

And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.

-        Thomas Jefferson

 

As far as I can tell from studying the scriptures, all you do in heaven is pretty much just sit around all day and praise the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I think that after the first, oh, I don’t know, 50,000,000 years of that I’d start to get a little bored.

-        Rick Reynolds

 

As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.

-        William Blake

 

Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, ‘atheist’ is a term that should not ever exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a ‘non astrologer’ or a ‘non-alchemist’. We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. An atheist is simply a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (87 percent of the population) claiming to ‘never doubt the existence of God’ should be obliged to present evidence for his existence-and, indeed, for his BENEVOLENCE, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day.

-        Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

 

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

-        Thomas Jefferson

 

Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

-        Albert Einstein

 

Born again?! No, I’m not. Excuse me for getting it right the first time.

-        Dennis Miller

 

But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?

-        Mark Twain

 

Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.

-        Voltaire

 

Chritianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.

-        Thomas Jefferson

 

Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night

-        Isaac Asimov

 

Cults and prophets proclaiming the imminent end of the world have been with us for several millenia, and it has been another sour sort of fun to ridicule them the morning after, when they discover that their calculations were a little off. But, just as with Marxists, there are some among them who are working hard to ‘hasten the inevitable,’ not merely anticipating the End Days with joy in their hearts, but taking political action to bring about the conditions they think are the prerequisites for that occasion.

-        Dennett, Breaking the Spell, pg 338

 

I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.

-        Jules Renard

 

England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.

-        Voltaire

 

If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell? Priest: No, not if you did not know. Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?

-        Eskimo

 

Everything is what it is because it got that way.

-        D’arcy Thompson

 

Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.

-        Frater Ravus

 

Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.

-        Dan Barker, former evangelist

 

Faith is believing in that which I know ain’t so.

-        Mark Twain

 

Faith is the fatigue resulting from the attempt to preserve God’s integrity instead of one’s own.

-        Matt Berry

 

Faith means not wanting to know what is true.

-        Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Fear paints pictures of ghosts and hangs them in the gallery of ignorance.

-        Robert Green Ingersoll

 

Few intelligent Christians can still hold to the idea that the Bible is an infallible Book, that it contains no linguistic errors, no historical discrepancies, no antiquated scientific assumptions, not even bad ethical standards. Historical investigation and literary criticism have taken the magic out of the Bible and have made it a composite human book, written by many hands in different ages. The existence of thousands of variations of texts makes it impossible to hold the doctrine of a book verbally infallible. Some might claim for the original copies of the Bible an infallible character, but this view only begs the question and makes such Christian apologetics more ridiculous in the eyes of the sincere man.

-        Elmer Homrighausen, Christianity in America

 

For there is nothing either good or bad, thinking makes it so.

-        William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet, II.ii

 

From the point of view of a tapeworm, man was created by God to serve the appetite of the tapeworm.

-        Edward Abbey

 

God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it.

-        Carl Sagan (1934-1996), Contact

 

God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?

-        Samuel Johnson

 

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

-        Voltaire

 

God is a concept by which we measure our pain.

-        John Lennon

 

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God

-        Unknown

 

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.

-        Laurence J. Peter

 

He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave.

-        William Drummond

 

Heaven will be a great place as long as you keep the christians out.

-        G. Janus

 

History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.

-        Robert Heinlein

 

How come when it’s us is an abortion and when it’s a chicken is an omelet?

-        George Carlin

 

How do I know the Bible isn’t the word of God? Well if it was the word of God it would be clear and easy to understand…considering God was the creator of LANGUAGE!

-        Bill Hicks.

 

I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out.

-        Bertrand Russell

 

I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do.

-        D. Dale Gulledge

 

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.

-        Albert Einstein

 

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

-        Susan B. Anthony

 

I do not believe any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.

-        Thomas Alva Edison

 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect, had intended for us to forgo their use.

-        Galileo Galilei

 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

-        Galileo

 

I don’t know anyone less Jesus like than Christians.

-        Bill Maher

 

I don’t see any god up here first man in space, while in space.

-        Yuri Gagarin

 

I have as much authority as the pope, I just don’t have as many people that believe it.

-        George Carlin

 

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘Oh, Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ and God granted it.

-        Voltaire

 

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

-        Mohandas Gandhi

 

I recall the story of the philosopher and the theologian. The two were engaged in disputation and the theologian used the old quip about a philosopher resembling a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat—which wasn’t there. That may be, said the philosopher: but a theologian would have found it.

-        Julian Huxley, The Creed of a Scientific Humanist

 

I refuse to prove that I exist says God, for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing.  Oh, says man, but the Babel Fish is a dead give-away, isn’t it?  It proves You exist, and so therefore You don’t.  Q.E.D.  Oh, I hadn’t thought of that, says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

-        Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

I think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.

-        Oscar Wilde

 

I would never want to be the member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.

-        George Carlin

 

I’d rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.

-        Gerry Spencer

 

If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?

-        Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

If god is the alpha and the omega. The begining and the end, knows what has passed and what is to come, like it states in the bible, why do people pray and think it will make any difference.

-        Mark Fairclough

 

If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words.  I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.

-        Isaac Asimov, I.  Asimov:  A Memoir

 

If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circustance.

-        Theodore Dreiser

 

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

-        Albert Einstein

 

If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another.

-        Epicurus

 

If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.”

-        Edmond De Goncourt

 

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex?

-        Art Hoppe

 

If we are to believe the Bible, god created a flood that nearly wiped out all of mankind, taking genocide to epic proportions. Why then is god worshiped and Hitler, who committed genocide on a smaller scale, labeled evil for similar acts?

-        Scott Williams

 

If we expect God to subscribe to one religion at the exclusion of all the others, then we should expect damnation as a matter of chance. This should give Christians pause when expounding their religious beliefs, but it does not.

-        Sam Harris

 

If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve its own interests.

-        Baron d’Holbach, The System of Nature

 

If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people

-        Gregory House

 

I’m proud to be an atheist – it helps me stand for so much more and fall for so much less.

-        Dan Barker

 

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find my self in – an interesting hole I find my self in – fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

-        Douglass Adams

 

In a dangerous world, there will always be more people around whose prayers for their own safety have been answered than those whose prayers have not.

-        Nicholas Humphrey’s Law of the Efficacy of Prayer

 

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.

-        Friederich Nietzsche

 

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beutiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

-        Douglas Adams

 

It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it.

-        Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

-        Carl Sagan

 

It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere… Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

-        Albert Einstein

 

It’s fair to say that the Bible contains equal amounts of fact, history, and pizza.

-        Penn Jillette

 

Just because you believe in something does not mean that it is true.

-        Albert Einstein

 

Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.

-        Bill Gates

 

Let’s face a historical truth: we have never had a free market, we have always had government intervention in the economy, and indeed that intervention has been welcomed by the captains of finance and industry. They had no quarrel with big government when it served their needs.

-        Howard Zinn

 

Let’s face it; God has an ego problem, why do we always have to worship him?

-        Bill Maher

 

Lighthouses are more helpful then churches.

-        Benjamin Franklin

 

Lighthouses are more useful than Churches.

-        Benjamin Franklin

 

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfullly as when they do it from a religious conviction

-        Blaise Pascale

 

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a God superior to themselves. Most Gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

-        Robert A Heinlein

 

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest

-        Denis Diderot.

 

Moral:  a peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord.

-        Donald Morgan

 

My faith is that the only soul a man must save is his own.

-        William Orville Douglas

 

Nature, you say, is totally inexplicable without a God. That is to say, to explain what you understand very little, you have need of a cause which you understand not at all.

-        Baron d’Holbach, Good Sense

 

Nothing could be more idiotic and absurd than the doctrine of the trinity.

-        Robert Green Ingersoll

 

Nothing could be more idiotic and absurd than the doctrine of the trinity

-        Robert Green Ingersoll

 

One cannot really be a Catholic and grown up.

-        George Orwell

 

One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh.

-        Robert Heinlein

 

People who don’t like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn’t have such funny beliefs.

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

-        Anonymous

 

Pray: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.

-        Ambroce Bierce

 

Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.

-        Isaac Asimov

 

Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be.

-        Frank Zappa

 

Religion can never reform mankind, because Religion is slavery.

-        Robert G. Ingersoll

 

Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people.

-        Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney

 

Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man — living in the sky — who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! ..But He loves you.

-         George Carlin

 

Religion is a group of scam artists that sell the calming idea that your body is a temple of God, while your mind belongs to them.

-        Jose Carrillo

 

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet”

-        Napoleon Bonaparte

 

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration–courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.

-        H. L. Mencken

 

Religion is not fate, religion is fake, spirituality comes from the heart not from the pages of some out dated book written by mere men

-        Madd Maxxx

 

Religion is so absurd that it comes close to imbecility.

-        H. L. Mencken

 

Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.

-        Arthur C. Clarke

 

Religion is the opium of the masses.

-        Karl Marx

 

Religion is the opium of the masses.

-        Karl Marx

 

Religion:  A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

-        Ambrose Bierce

 

Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies.

-        Thomas Jefferson

 

Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.

-        Kurt Vonnegut

 

Since no one really knows anything about God, those who think they do are just troublemakers.

-        Rabia Al-Basri

 

So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake. Religion is all bunk.

-        Thomas Alva Edison

 

Sunday school:  a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

-        H.L. Mencken

 

Surely the ass who invented the first religion ought to be the first ass damned

-        Mark Twain

 

Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are leaves in all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over. Tell me these men are in Hell; that these men are in torment; that these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of lies.

-        Robert G. Ingersoll

 

The being we call god is merely a pawn working for a powerful and rational force in some far-off galaxy. This force is trying to weed out people who are irrational by seeing who would be stupid enough to believe in his god illusion so easily. Those that believe in this illusion, he will send to eternal damnation and he will deliver the rational beings, those who stoically refused to believe in a god, to heaven.

-        Nicholas Yee

 

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness

-        Joseph Conrad

 

The Bible is a book that has been read more, and examined less, than any book that ever existed.

-        Thomas Paine

 

The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.

-         Thomas Jefferson

 

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.

-        Friederich Nietzsche

 

The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.

-        Ferdinand Magellan

 

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

-        George Bernard Shaw

 

The family that prays together…is brainwashing their children.

-        Albert Einstein

 

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

-        Richard Dawkins

 

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

-        Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, ch. 2.

 

The god who is reputed to have created fleas to keep dogs from moping over their situation must also have created fundamentalists to keep rationalists from getting flabby.  Let us be duly thankful for out blessings.

-        Garrett Hardin

 

The hands that help are better far than lips that pray.

-        Robert Green Ingersoll

 

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.

-        Huang Po

 

The moment we admit that our beliefs are attempts to represent states of the world, we see that they must stand in right relation to the world to be valid.

-        Sam Harris, The End Of Faith

 

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.

-        Socrates.

 

The study of theology,  as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on nothing; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing.

-        Thomas Paine, in The Age Of Reason, quoted with approval by David Mills in Atheist Universe, ch. 6.

 

The word Christianity is already a misunderstanding – in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross.

-        Friederich Nietzsche

 

The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can change this.

-        Albert Einstein

 

The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.

-        Abu Ala Al-Maari

 

The world is not a prison house but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks.

-        Edwin Arlington Robinson

 

There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa.  They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land.  They said Let us pray, and we dutifully shut our eyes.  When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible.

-        Desmond M. Tutu, Religious Human Rights and the Bible

 

There is not enough love and kindness in the world to give any of it away to imaginary beings.

-        Friederich Nietzsche

 

There’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.

-        Frank Zappa

 

This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.

-        John Adams

 

Those to whom his word was revealed were always alone in some remote place, like Moses. There wasn’t anyone else around when Mohammed got the word either. Mormon Joseph Smith and Christian Scientist, Mary Baker Eddy, had exclusive audiences with God. We have to trust them as reporters—and you know how reporters are. They’ll do anything for a story.

-        Andy Rooney

 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

-        Voltaire

 

To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.

-         Marquis De Sade

 

To know a person’s religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.

-        Eric Hoffer

 

To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me.

-        Charles William Stubbs

 

To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is.

-        Thomas Jefferson

 

Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, Yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.

-        Dan Barker

 

Urging humans to be superhumans, on pain of death and torture, is the urging of terrible self-abasement at their repeated and inevitable failure to keep the rules.-

-        Christopher Hitchens, god is not great, ch. 15.

 

We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

-        Richard Dawkins

 

We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us.

-        Samuel Johnson

 

We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice and good-will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us.

-        Hume, TNHR

 

We may conclude, therefore, that, in all nations, which have embraced polytheism, the first ideas of religion arose not from a contemplation of the works of nature, but from a concern with regard to the events of life, and from the incessant hopes and fears, which actuate the human mind.

-        Hume, The Natural History of Religion

 

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

-        Joseph Campbell

 

We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing/ all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

-        Gene Roddenberry

 

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the same sense to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

-        H.L. Mencken

 

We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn’t been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake.

-        Catherine Fahringer

 

When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.

-        Isaac Asimov

 

When you understand why you don’t believe in other people’s gods, you will understand why I don’t believe in yours.

-        Albert Einstein

 

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope?  If he knows anything about it, he shouldn’t.

-        George Bernard Shaw

 

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

 

Without religion, we’d have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

-        Stephen Weinburg

 

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

-        Abraham Lincoln