Atheism

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Atheists In Foxholes Monument, Lake Hypatia Alabama, USA. Image from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Atheism is the state of being without theistic beliefs.

Sourced

  • People will then often say, 'But surely it's better to remain an Agnostic just in case?' This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I've been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would choose not to worship him anyway.)
    • Douglas Adams, interview with The American Atheist (in The Salmon of Doubt)
  • The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts:
    Those with brains, but no religion,
    And those with religion, but no brains.
    • Abu'l-`Ala' al-Ma`arri (Arabic: أبو العلاء المعري), poet of Ma`arra, quoted in Maalouf, Amin (1989). Crusades Through Arab Eyes.
  • I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men.
  • I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. 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.
  • A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philsophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.
  • The Scripture saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it; for none deny there is a God, but those for whom it maketh that there were no God. It appeareth in nothing more that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man by this, that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted in it within themselves, and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others; nay more, you shall have atheists strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects; and, which is most of all, you shall have of them that will suffer for atheism, and not recant; whereas, if they did truly think that there were no such thing as God, why should they trouble themselves?
  • Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not; but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy, in the minds of men.
  • [Worshipping God] is like fellating someone who intermittently stubs fags out on your head for no good reason. And we all know how unsatisfying that can be.
  • ATHEISM: A godless religion that retains all the dogmatic posturing of the faiths it so confidently denies, with few of the consolations.
    • Rick Bayan, The Cynic's Dictionary, unidentified ISBN/edition, unidentified chapter/page
  • I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
    • former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, August 27 1987; quoted in Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988, Volume 8, Number 4, page 16
  • I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person. . . . I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is.
— President George W. Bush, Washington Times, 12 January 2005
  • I will have nothing to do with your immortality; we are miserable enough in this life, without the absurdity of speculating upon another.
    • Lord Byron letter to Francis Hodgson, 3 September 1811
  • And so to those of you who may be vitalists I would make this prophecy: what everyone believed yesterday, and you believe today, only cranks will believe tomorrow.
    • Francis Crick (1967). Quoted in Of Molecules and Men, Great Minds Series (Prometheus Books, 2004)[1].
  • Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.
  • It is often said, mainly by the 'no-contests', that although there is no positive evidence for the existence of God, nor is there evidence against his existence. 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?
  • The trouble is that God in this sophisticated, physicist's sense bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible or any other religion. If a physicist says God is another name for Planck's constant, or God is a superstring, we should take it as a picturesque metaphorical way of saying that the nature of superstrings or the value of Planck's constant is a profound mystery. It has obviously not the smallest connection with a being capable of forgiving sins, a being who might listen to prayers, who cares about whether or not the Sabbath begins at 5pm or 6pm, whether you wear a veil or have a bit of arm showing; and no connection whatever with a being capable of imposing a death penalty on His son to expiate the sins of the world before and after he was born.
  • I would, like any other scientist, willingly change my mind if the evidence led me to do so. So I care about what's true, I care about evidence, I care about evidence as the reason for knowing what is true. It is true that I come across rather passionate sometimes—and that's because I am passionate about the truth. … I do get very impatient with humbug, with cant, with fakery, with charlatans.
  • We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
  • If we go back to the beginning, we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned 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 their own interests. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.
  • Science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
    • Einstein, Albert. "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930, pp. 1–4.
  • 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.
    • Einstein, Albert. "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930, pp. 1–4.
  • In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.
    • Albert Einstein, quoted in Prince Hubertus Zu (1968). Towards the Further Shore, 156.
  • It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
    • Albert Einstein, quoted in Dukas, Helen (ed.) and Banesh Hoffman (ed.) (1981). Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Princeton University Press.
  • God was always invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don't believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time — life and death — stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out.
  • Whatever an atheist, who denies the God and the prophet is, one who murders a human is equivalent to that.
  • The question of the origin of the matter in the universe is no longer thought to be beyond the range of science -- everything can be created from nothing…it is fair to say that the universe is the ultimate free lunch.
    • Guth, Alan (March 1998). The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins, Perseus Books Group. ISBN 0201328402.
  • Now let it be written in history and on Mr. Lincoln's tombstone: `He died an unbeliever.'
    • William H. Herndon, Abraham Lincoln's law partner in Springfield since 1844, Abraham Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, 1896. Quoted in Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby, 2004.
  • The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.
  • Only a humorless tyrant could want a perpetual chanting of praises that, one has no choice but to assume, would be the innate virtues and splendors furnished him by his creator, infinite regression, drowned in praise!
  • Time spent arguing with the faithful is, oddly enough, almost never wasted.
  • Along with Islam and Christianity, Judaism does insist that some turgid and contradictory and sometimes evil and mad texts, obviously written by fairly unexceptional humans, are in fact the word of god. I think that the indispensable condition of any intellectual liberty is the realisation that there is no such thing.
  • "I am not even an atheist so much as I am 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 the case."
  • The universe, the whole mass of all things that are, is corporeal, that is to say body, and hath dimensions of magnitude, length breadth and depth. Every part of the universe is body and that which is not body is no part of the universe. And because the universe is all, that which is no part of it is nothing. Consequently, nowhere.
  • The legitimate powers of government extend to only such acts as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say that there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.
  • The Koran! well, come put me to the test—
    Lovely old book in hideous error drest—
     Believe me, I can quote the Koran too,
    The unbeliever knows his Koran best.

    And do you think that unto such as you,
    A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew,
     God gave the secret, and denied it me?—
    Well, well, what matters it! believe that too.
  • There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work.
  • There is no need for that hypothesis.
    • Laplace, in response to Napoleon's objection that Laplace had omitted God from Celestial Mechanics (Boyer 1968, p. 538)
  • It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to Infidelity.
    • Abraham Lincoln, in an unidentified, undated interview in Manfred's Magazine
    • Quoted in Morgan, Robin (2006). Fighting Words: A Toolkit for Combating The Religious Right, p. 34, Nation Books. ISBN 1560259485.
    • Quoted in Steiner, Franklin. The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, unidentified edition. unidentified ISBN.
  • Where is my faith? Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness … If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul … How painful is this unknown pain—I have no Faith. Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal, … What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.
  • Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowells) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two fore leggs or two wings or two arms on the sholders & two leggs on the hipps one on either side & no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel & contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eys of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to believe that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.
  • Atheism is an old idea, probably as old as humanity, and it has always justified its case by its superior understanding of nature. Unfortunately, as scientific knowledge has become more sophisticated over the past three centuries, all the scientific ideas which support atheism have evaporated into murky puddles of water, when they have not actually dried up entirely. It is now clear that the Universe has not always been here, it has a beginning. Everything is not made of indestructible atoms. Life is not caused by sunlight on dungheaps, and so on.
  • Atheists in foxholes, some say they are myths,
    Creations of the mind who just don't exist.
    Yet, they answered the call to defend, with great pride.
    With reason their watchword, they bled and they died.
    • Alice Shiver, "Atheists-in-Foxholes" monument, dedicated on July 4, 1999
  • Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic uninterestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity (in the Harvard sense) of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?
    • John Updike, Self-Consciousness: Memoirs (1989), ch. 4
  • [Christianity] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. … My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out.
  • Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
  • If we don't play God, who will?
    • James Watson (1996), in The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities, [3] New York;Simon and Schuster
  • Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
    • Steven Weinberg, unidentified article/page, Freethought Today, April 2000
  • [T]he aim of this conference is to have a constructive dialogue between science and religion. I am all in favor of a dialogue between science and religion, but not a constructive dialogue. One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.
    • Steven Weinberg, Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural Adversaries (2001), p. 242.
  • All your Western theologies, the whole mythologies of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent…
  • By night an atheist half believes in God.

Inadequately sourced

  • A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
  • I do not believe in God, but as I sat there in the damaged [balloon] capsule, hopelessly vulnerable to the slightest shift in weather or mechanical fault, I could not believe my eyes.
  • In this subject of the nature of the gods, the first question is, do the gods exist or do they not? It is difficult, you will say, to deny that they exist. I would agree if we were arguing the matter in a public assembly. But in a private discussion of this kind, it is perfectly easy to do so.
  • Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is God both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?
  • Morals — all correct moral laws — derive from the instinct to survive. Moral behavior is survival behavior above the individual level.
  • God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent — it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.
  • 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.
  • History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion — i.e., none to speak of.
  • It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.
  • Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.
  • The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.
    The second most preposterous notion is that copulation is inherently sinful.
  • The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man.
    But it's lovely work if you can stomach it.
  • The very basis of the Judeo-Christian code is injustice, the scapegoat system. The scapegoat sacrifice runs all through the Old Testament, then it reaches its height in the New Testament with the notion of the Martyred Redeemer. How can justice possibly be served by loading your sins on another? Whether it be a lamb having its throat cut ritually, or a Messiah nailed to a cross and "dying for your sins". Somebody should tell all of Yahweh's followers, Jews and Christians, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Religion is a solace to many and it is even conceivable that some religion, somewhere, is Ultimate Truth. But being religious is often a form of conceit. The faith in which I was brought up assured me that I was better than other people; I was 'saved,' they were 'damned' — we were in a state of grace and the rest were 'heathens.' By 'heathen' they meant such as our brother Mahmoud. Ignorant louts who seldom bathed and planted corn by the Moon claimed to know the final answers of the Universe. That entitled them to look down on outsiders. Our hymns was loaded with arrogance — self-congratulation on how cozy we were with the Almighty and what a high opinion he had of us, and what hell everybody else would catch come Judgment Day. (FE)
  • I'm an atheist, and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people.
  • I know that I am, in spite of myself, exactly what the Christian would call, and, so far as I can see, is justified in calling, atheist and infidel.
    • Thomas Henry Huxley, Essays on Controversial Questions, unidentified essay, unidentified edition
  • I can well imagine an atheist’s last words: “White, white! L-L-Love! My God!” — and the deathbed leap of faith. Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, “Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain,” and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story.
  • Some people say God died during the Partition in 1947. He may have died in 1971 during the war. Or he may have died yesterday here in Pondicherry in an orphanage. That’s what some people say, Pi. When I was your age, I lived in bed, racked with polio. I asked myself every day, ‘Where is God? Where is God? Where is God?’ God never came. It wasn’t God who saved me—it was medicine. Reason is my prophet and it tells me that as a watch stops, so we die. It’s the end. If the watch doesn’t work properly, it must be fixed here and now by us. One day we will take hold of the means of production and there will be justice on earth.
  • In the unlikely event of losing Pascal's Wager, I intend to saunter in to Judgement Day with a bookshelf full of grievances, a flaming sword of my own devising, and a serious attitude problem.
    • Rick Moen, unidentified Usenet post to rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan, unidentified 1997 date
  • The moths & atheists are doubly divine.
    • Jim Morrison, An American Prayer, unidentified ISBN/edition, unidentified chapter/page
  • We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.
  • Crush the infamy! (Écrasez l'infâme!)
    • Common signature of Voltaire in his letters and pamphlets
  • Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people.
    • Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary, unidentified edition, unidentified page
  • The sermon was based on what he claimed was a well-known fact, that there were no Atheists in foxholes. I asked Jack what he thought of the sermon afterwards, and he said, "There's a Chaplain who never visited the front."
  • They felt that science would be corrosive to religious belief and they were worried about it. Damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive to religious belief and it's a good thing.
  • This is one of the great social functions of science—to free people from superstition.
    • Steven Weinberg, unidentified article/page, Freethought Today, April 2000
  • Science should be taught not in order to support religion and not in order to destroy religion. Science should be taught simply ignoring religion.
    • Steven Weinberg, unidentified article/page, Freethought Today, April 2000

Unsourced

  • The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
  • To YOU I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.
  • I prefer rationalism to atheism. The question of God and other objects-of-faith are outside reason and play no part in rationalism, thus you don't have to waste your time in either attacking or defending.
  • I often get letters, quite frequently, from people who say how they like the programs a lot, but I never give credit to the almighty power that created nature, to which I reply and say, "Well, it's funny that the people, when they say that this is evidence of the almighty, always quote beautiful things, they always quote orchids and hummingbirds and butterflies and roses." But I always have to think, too, of a little boy sitting on the banks of a river in west Africa who has a worm boring through his eyeball, turning him blind before he's five years old, and I reply and say, "Well, presumably the god you speak about created the worm as well," and now, I find that baffling to credit a merciful god with that action.
  • Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
  • Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism.
  • A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition.
  • An atheist is a person with no invisible means of support.
  • 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 or 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.
  • One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion.
  • Gods are fragile things, they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.
  • If we look back at the begining 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 their own interest. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to Gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.
  • Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
  • I cannot conceive of a god who rewards and punishes his creatures or has a will of the kind we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egotism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in Nature.
  • Whenever morality is based on theology, whenever the right is made dependent on divine authority, the most immoral, unjust, infamous things can be justified and established. … Morality is then surrendered to the groundless arbitrariness of religion.
  • 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.
  • Atheism . . . in its philosophic aspect refuses allegiance not merely to a definite concept of God, but it refuses all servitude to the God idea, and opposes the theistic principle as such. Gods in their individual function are not half as pernicious as the principle of theism which represents the belief in a supernatural, or even omnipotent, power to rule the earth and man upon it. It is the absolutism of theism, its pernicious influence upon humanity, its paralyzing effect upon thought and action, which Atheism is fighting with all its power.
  • I do not believe in God, because I believe in man. Whatever his mistakes, man has for thousands of years past been working to undo the botched job your God has made.
  • If I thought the Jews killed God, I'd worship the Jews.
  • Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.
  • Religions are all alike -- founded upon fables and mythologies.
  • When I became convinced that the universe is natural, that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell. The dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world, not even in infinite space. I was free--free to think, to express my thoughts--free to live my own ideal, free to live for myself and those I loved, free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination's wings, free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope, free to judge and determine for myself . . . I was free! I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously faced all worlds.
  • 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.
  • [Penn & Teller] are pro-science, and when you're pro-science, that means you're an atheist, by definition. . . .
  • The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance…logic can be happily tossed out the window.
  • In no instance have…the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.
  • The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
  • An atheist doesn't have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can't be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the god question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question.
  • "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.
  • Atheism may be defined as the mental attitude which unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason and aims at establishing a lifestyle and ethical outlook verifiable by experience and the scientific method, independent of all arbitrary assumptions of authority and creeds.
  • An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.
  • But people ... don't even know what atheism is. It's not a negation of anything. You don't have to negate what no one can prove exists. No, atheism is a very positive affirmation of man's ability to think for himself, to do for himself, to find answers to his own problems. I'm thrilled to feel that I can rely on myself totally and absolutely; that my children are being brought up so that when they meet a problem they can't cop out by foisting it off on God. Madalyn Murray's going to solve her own problems, and nobody's going to intervene. It's about time the world got up off its knees and looked at itself in the mirror and said: "Well, we are men. Let's start acting like it."
  • The saddest thing about religion is what is lost. Religion, or more accurately, I suppose, the appropriators and exploiters of religion, have taken our purest impulses of solidarity, compassion, celebration of the wonder and mystery of our lives, and turned them against us. This, most of all, is why I reject religion: so that I can reclaim these impulses for the causes they deserve... love and justice.
    • Propagandhi, Canadian Punk Band
  • God...a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive."
  • Religions vary on their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all
  • It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it is true.
  • My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety toward the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.
  • Why am I an atheist? The short answer is that I cannot accept any of the alternatives. I simply don't find them believable. As for the accusation of intellectual pride, surely the boot is on the other foot. Atheists don't claim to know anything with certainty—it's the believers who know it all.
  • Dude! You don't even believe God exists. How can he offend you?! Atheism really just creeps me out. I mean who is more illogical, the guy who believes in a God he can't see or a guy who's offended by a God he doesn't believe in!
  • The believer in God has to account for the existence of unjust suffering; the atheist has to account for the existence of everything else.
  • If you do not believe in a personal God the question: "What is the purpose of life?" is unaskable and unanswerable.
  • Faith is believing what you know ain't so.
  • "In God We Trust." I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true.
  • Which is more dangerous: fanaticism or atheism? Fanaticism is certainly a thousand times more deadly; for atheism inspires no bloody passion whereas fanaticism does; atheism is opposed to crime and fanaticism causes crimes to be committed.
  • The fool says in his heart: 'There is no God.' The Wise Man says it to the world.
  • I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up -- they have no holidays.
  • One third of British soldiers in World War One felt the war had weakened their religious faith.
    • A postwar survey
  • Atheism is natural, but so is lying.
    • unknown
  • Thank God I'm an Atheist
    • Unknown

See also

External links

Wikipedia
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