Atheist Quotes: Famous Atheism
The following is meant to be a complete repository of the finest and most poignant quotes about atheism (though not necessarily all are by solid atheists). Some of these famous atheist quotes are certainly harsher and more deriding than others, covering the damage caused by religion, the implausibility of religion and God, the separation of church and state, and many more aspects of the non-religious viewpoint. Please let me know if I’m missing any important words from any famous atheists, and do please contact me if I have misquoted or made an error in attribution.
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- Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
- Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.
- Religions are like pills, which must be swallowed whole without chewing.
- Atheists will celebrate life, while you’re in church celebrating death.
- The Bible – A Fairytale book of rules brainwashing millions. Obliviously used to help create war, kill, hate, judge and discriminate.
- Most religions prophecy the end of the world and then consistently work together to ensure that these prophecies come true.
- Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea.
- Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power but absolute power is corrupt only in the hands of the absolutely faithful.
- Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going?
- Blind faith is an ironic gift to return to the Creator of human intelligence.
- If all the Christians who have called other Christians “not really a Christian” were to vanish, there’d be no Christians left.
- Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
- I have no need for religion, I have a conscience.
- The finality of death is the coldest truth one must face. Religion makes the perfect distraction.
- Jesus hardly made the greatest sacrifice. He knew he would be resurrected anyway.
- On the first day, man created God.
- A believer states everything must have a creator but fail to say how he was created.
Abu’l‐Ala al Ma’arri
- The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.
- What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of “humility.” This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
- 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.
- If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
- Thus I came…to a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true….Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience…an attitude which has never left me.
- To really be free, You need to be free in the mind.
- If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself.
- Why am I an atheist? I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist? Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated. I resent anyone pushing their religion on me. I don’t push my atheism on anybody else. Live and let live. Not many people practice that when it comes to religion.
Annie Wood Besant
- No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism.
- Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form, but with regard to their mode of life.
Arthur C. Clarke
- One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion.
- It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him.
- I wonder who got the shit job of scouring the planet for the 15000 species of butterfly or the 8800 species of ant they eventually took on board Noah’s Ark. But at least we got that magical rainbow for all their trouble.
- The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.
- Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.
- And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.
- So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
- People ask me what I think about that woman priest thing. What, a woman priest? Women priests. Great, great. Now there’s priests of both sexes I don’t listen to.
- If I thought the Jews killed God, I’d worship the Jews.
- I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder.
- Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Bryan Emmanuel Gutierrez
- God should be executed for crimes against humanity.
- Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney
- Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people.
- Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.
- 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 my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
- By simple common sense I don’t believe in God, in none.
- What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.
- I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose
- I’m a polyatheist – there are many gods I don’t believe in.
- I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever.
- If there really is a God who created the entire universe with all of its glories, and He decides to deliver a message to humanity, He will not use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle.
David J. Constable
- Fundamentalism, of any type, due to its prerequisite lack of intelligent thought, could prove to be the worst weapon of mass destruction, of all.
- A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.
- Gods dont kill people. People with Gods kill people.
Delos B. McKown
- The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.
- Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.
- I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence.
- 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?
- 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.)
- I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.
Edgar Allan Poe
- No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter … than you and I; and all religion … is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry.
- Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.
- 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 he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
- The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
- All thinking men are atheists.
- Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
Frank Lloyd Wright
- I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
- Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.
- Faith means not wanting to know what is true.
- Which is it, is man one of God’s blunders or is God one of man’s?
- In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
- Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
- I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough – I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race.
- I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.
- I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them.
- 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.
- I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will–and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. 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.
- To say that atheism requires faith is as dim-witted as saying that disbelief in pixies or leprechauns takes faith. Even if Einstein himself told me there was an elf on my shoulder, I would still ask for proof and I wouldn’t be wrong to ask.
George Bernard Shaw
- The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.
- Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
- Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. 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 burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.
George W. Foote
- It will yet be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible.
- History teaches us that no other cause has brought more death than the word of god.
- The foolish reject what they see and not what they think; the wise reject what they think and not what they see.
- To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
- 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.
- Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.
- Religion is like a virus that affects the behaviour of its host in such a way as to propagate itself further.
- The characters and events depicted in the damn bible are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
- Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together
- “There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.
- Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.
- Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.
- Man has always required an explanation for all of those things in the world he did not understand. If an explanation was not available, he created one.
- An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.
- A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God who interfered with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If God is seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought, a cause separate from its effect. he becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all‐knowing tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything and everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that rejects such a God is amply justified.
- Religion is the opiate of the masses.
- The first requisite of the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.
- It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image.
- 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.
- All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science.
- I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.
- It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
- A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. (Samuel Clemens)
- “In God We Trust.” I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true.
- Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of.
- Our Bible reveals to us the character of our god with minute and remorseless exactness… It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light and leading by contrast.
- I refuse to believe in a god who is the primary cause of conflict in the world, preaches racism, sexism, homophobia, and ignorance, and then sends me to hell if I’m ‘bad’.
- When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything equal to it.
Penn and Teller
- What has been Christianity’s fruits? Superstition, Bigotry and Persecution. -
- Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.
- I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
- We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
- Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.
- 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.
- If you have a faith, it is statistically overwhelmingly likely that it is the same faith as your parents and grandparents had. No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring music, moving stories and parables, help a bit. But by far the most important variable determining your religion is the accident of birth. The convictions that you so passionately believe would have been a completely different, and largely contradictory, set of convictions, if only you had happened to be born in a different place.
Richard A. Weatherwax
- You do not need the Bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate.
- 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.
Robert A Heinlein
- 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 G. Ingersoll
- The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it.
- Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains.
- Our ignorance is God; what we know is science.
- When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.
- Animals do not have gods, they are smarter than that.
- If God created the world, then who created god? and who created whoever created god? So somewhere along the line something had to just be there. So why can’t we just skip the idea of god and go straight to earth?
- 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.
- Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma.
- There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.
Seneca the Younger
- Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
- When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life.
- Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.
- In the long run, nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction religion offers to both is palpable.
- It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be.
- The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.
- Black holes would seem to suggest that God not only plays dice, but also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.
- We could call order by the name of God, but it would be an impersonal God. There’s not much personal about the laws of physics.
- All that my work has shown is that you don’t have to say that the way the universe began was the personal whim of God.
- 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.
- 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.
Steve Buscemi (in “The Island”)
- What’s “God”? Well, you know, when you want something really bad and you close your eyes and you wish for it? God’s the guy that ignores you.
- Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family.
- Today’s religion will be the future’s mythology. Both believed at one time by many; but proved wrong by the clever.
- 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.
- 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.
Susan B. Anthony
- I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
- I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake… Religion is all bunk.
- 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.
- We are afraid of the known and afraid of the unknown. That is our daily life and in that there is no hope, and therefore every form of philosophy, every form of theological concept, is merely an escape from the actual reality of what is. All outward forms of change brought about by wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore of society.
- I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.
- Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.
- If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor.
- Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.
- If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
- The first clergyman was the first rascal who met the first fool
- He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave.
- If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.
- Not only is there no god, but try getting a plumber on weekends.
- If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank.