- Published on Monday, 18 May 2009 14:49
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 14594
A selection of famous atheists and quotes from them.
"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."
Abraham Lincoln, American president (1809-1865).
"You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, intelligent enough."
Aldous Huxley, author "Brave new World"
"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 religion than it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
"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 egotism."
"I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."
"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."
Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist
Another collection of Einsten quotes on this separate page.
Note that not everyone would describe Einstein as an Atheist - he could be better described as a deist - The Uncertainist describes deists as follows: Deists typically do not rely on revelation, do not think that God intervenes in human affairs, but do believe in a creator distinct from the creation, with a mind or intelligence even if not necessarily a “person.” More here.
"I don't believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life."
Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-born American industrialist and philanthropist
"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 that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."
"Creationists make it sound like a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night"
Isaac Asimov, Russian-born - American author
"All thinking men are atheists."
On page 144 of Paul Johnson's book Intellectuals, it states that despite being raised in a strict Congregationalist household, Ernest "did not only not believe in God but regarded organized religion as a menace to human happiness", "seems to have been devoid of the religious spirit", and "ceased to practise religion at the earliest possible moment."
Other's have pointed out that Hemingway used the non-existence of God as a theme in his books.
Ernest Hemingway, American author (1899-1961).
"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him."
"Religion is a byproduct of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn't killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?"
Arthur C. Clarke, author
From the age of forty he was, to use his own words, a complete dis-believer in Christianity. He professed himself an Agnostic, regarding the problem of the universe as beyond our solution, "For myself," he wrote, "I do not believe in any revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities."
"The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic."
"It appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds which follows from the advance of science." [Quoted in How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science by Michael Shermer.
Charles Robert Darwin, English naturalist (1809-1882).
"Faith is the commitment of one's consciousness to beliefs for which one has no sensory evidence or rational proof. A mystic is a man who treats his feelings as tools of cognition. Faith is the equation of feeling with knowledge. "
Ayn Rand, Russian-born author (1905-1982).
"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absented myself from Christian assemblies."
"Lighthouses are more helpful then churches."
Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father, author, and inventor
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true."
"So long as the priest, that professional negator, slanderer and poisoner of life, is regarded as a superior type of human being, there cannot be any answer to the question: What is truth?"
"The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice: the sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of spirit; it is at the same time subjection, a self-derision, and self-mutilation."
"All religions bear traces of the fact that they arose during the intellectual immaturity of the human race - before it had learned the obligations to speak the truth. Not one of them makes it the duty of its God to be truthful and understandable in his communications."
"The most serious parody I have ever heard was this: In the beginning was nonsense, and the nonsense was with God, and the nonsense was God."
"There is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear therefore nothing any more."
Friedrich Nietzsche, German philologist and philosopher (1844-1900).
"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile."
Kurt Vonnegut, American author
"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."
All religions have been made by men."
Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor
"No Gods, No Masters."
"Religion is all bunk."
"I cannot believe in the immortality of the soul.... No, all this talk of an existence for us, as individuals, beyond the grave is wrong. It is born of our tenacity of life - our desire to go on living … our dread of coming to an end."
Thomas Edison, American inventor (1847-1931).
"When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it."
Oscar Wilde - Author
Shepherds don't look after sheep because they love them - although I do think some shepherds like their sheep too much. They look after their sheep so they can, first, fleece them and second, turn them into meat. That's much more like the priesthood as I know it.
Christopher Hitchens - Author