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The quotepool is a non-formatted list of quotes which can be moved onto a selected day's quote template. Once all of the templates have been created, the quotepool can be used to change a day's template for the next year.

How it works

The nontheism "selected quote" box on the main page pulls dynamically from a template for each day of the year. Thus, every day of the year has its own "page" where one quote is listed. On each date, the wiki automatically displays that day's page.

Creating page templates

While the portal is still young, many of the day templates for quotes are not filled in. Thus, we need assistance getting quotes onto day templates. The process is easy, as long as you follow these instructions:

  • Open the following page (preferably in a new window or tab): Portal:Nontheism/Quotes
  • Click on the month you want to work on.
  • You will now see a bunch of quotes, a bunch of red links, or a little of both. Select one of the red links. (If there are no red links on this page, click "back" on your browser and choose a new month. Repeat process until you find a month with a red link.)
  • You'll now be brought to an empty page. Now choose a quote from the quotepool below. Make sure you have the full quote, and the author of the quote. You must remove the quote from this quotepool page so that it is not used again!
  • Now it's time to fill in the template. It should look like this:
===== [[January 1]] =====

''"This is my quote."''

::::— [[Author's name]]
  • Please be exact in filling this in exactly as it appears. There should be one blank line between each line with text.
  • In the "Edit summary:" box, but "Creation" and click "Show preview". Make sure it looks right! Then click "Publish changes".
  • You'll now be brought to this quote's template page. Near the top of the page, you will see some links that look like this:
< Portal:Nontheism | Quotes
  • You can click on the "quotes" link to go and choose another day to create.

Editing page templates

If you'd like to fix, update, or change a specific day's quote, start with these directions:

  • To edit today's template, click the "edit" button in the quote box on the main portal page.
    • If you want to edit a different day's quote than the one that appears on today's page, you will need to enter the exact URL into your browser. So, for example, if you wanted to edit the quote for January 1, you would use the following URL:
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Nontheism/Quotes/January_1
    • You cannot click on the title of the day from the "Selected quotes in..." monthly page. The title of each quote links to that actual day's Wikipedia article, and not to the quote's template page.
  • Once you are on the quote's template page, click the edit button.
  • From here, you can update or fix the quote.

Rotating quotes

If you'd like to move out one quote and replace it with another, we ask that you please use the quotepool properly. For example, suppose you wish to remove the quote for January 1, and then replace it with another quote. First, choose the quote you wish to use from the quotepool below. Then, be sure to take the current January 1 quote and place it in the quotepool. We want to make sure we always keep all of our quotes on file.

Editing the quotepool

Feel free to edit the quotepool by removing duplicates or inappropriate quotes, and adding appropriate quotes.

The Quotepool

  • "'There are no atheists in foxholes' isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes."— James Morrow
  • "Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby." — Anon.
  • "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)
  • "If we look back at 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 their own interest. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to Gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them." — Baron d'Holbach, France 18'th century.
  • "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." — Katharine Hepburn Ladies' Home Journal (October 1991)
  • "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." — Albert Einstein
  • "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." — Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science," New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930, pp. 1–4. Note well that by "religion", Einstein means faith in the rational.
  • "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, Religion and Science, New York Times Magazine (9 November 1930); also used in the obituary in New York Times (19 April 1955)
  • "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 (Calaprice, ibid., 214 / Said to German anti-Nazi diplomat and author Hubertus zu Lowenstein around 1941. Quoted in his book, Towards the Further Shore, London, 1968, 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, in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press, 1981. See also positiveatheism.org's Einstein quotations.
  • "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." — Isaac Asimov
  • "Time spent arguing with the faithful is, oddly enough, almost never wasted."
  • "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!"
  • "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." — Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001)
  • "What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof." — Christopher Hitchens, "Less than Miraculous," Free Inquiry magazine, February-March 2004, Volume 24.
  • "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)
  • "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." — David Attenborough
  • "God was 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." — Richard Feynman, quoted by P.C.W. Davies and J. Brown in Superstrings: A Theory of Everything, p. 208.
  • "The universe could have evolved from absolutely nothing in a manner consistent with all known conservation laws." - Alan Guth, The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins
  • "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." — Alan Guth, The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins
  • "Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." — Richard Dawkins (1986), The Blind Watchmaker. See also the entry on evolution and atheism at the talk.origins archive.
  • "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." From a lecture by Richard Dawkins extracted from The Nullifidian (Dec 94)
  • "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?" — Richard Dawkins, from www.world-of-dawkins.com
  • "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless."
  • "Premature as the question may be, it is hardly possible not to wonder whether we will find any answer to our deepest questions, any signs of the workings of an interested God, in a final theory. I think that we will not." — Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory, pp. 257-258. See also positiveatheism.org's Weinberg quotations.
  • "It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it is true." — Bertrand Russell
  • "This is one of the great social functions of science -- to free people from superstition."
  • "Science should be taught not in order to support religion and not in order to destroy religion. Science should be taught simply ignoring religion."
  • "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, Freethought Today, April, 2000
  • "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."
  • "It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."
  • "'In God We Trust.' I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true." — Mark Twain
  • "Every one admits how praiseworthy it is in a prince to keep faith, and to live with integrity and not with craft. Nevertheless our experience has been that those princes who have done great things have held good faith of little account ... It is necessary to know well how to disguise this characteristic, and to be a great pretender and dissembler; and men are so simple, and so subject to present necessities, that he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived." — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter 18
  • "Religions are all alike—founded upon fables and mythologies."
  • "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government." — Thomas Jefferson
  • "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." — Thomas Jefferson, Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson, p. 254
  • "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
  • "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." — Benjamin Franklin
  • "It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to Infidelity." — Abraham Lincoln, Manford's Magazine, quoted from The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents by Franklin Steiner, p. 144.
  • "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.
  • "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 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." — Atatürk, quoted in Andrew Mango's Biography of Atatürk
  • "In that management [ruling] religion or its like is an indispensable instrument. Religion makes men faithful to the gods, and hence to the men the gods recommend. ... Only when rulers see or sense that men obey themselves in obeying necessity can human necessity appear as the foundation of human freedom." — Harvey C. Mansfield, Machiavelli's Virtue
  • "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
  • "If there is one indisputable fact about the human condition it is that no community can survive if it is persuaded—or even if it suspects—that its members are leading meaningless lives in a meaningless universe."
  • "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." — Irving Kristol, quoted by Ronald Bailey in Reason magazine
  • "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." — Isaac Asimov, Free Inquiry, Vol. 2, Spring 1982, p.9.
  • "To YOU I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition." — Woody Allen
  • "If I thought the Jews killed God, I'd worship the Jews." — Bill Hicks
  • "Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!" — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • "If you do not believe in a personal God the question: ‘What is the purpose of life?’ is unaskable and unanswerable." — J.R.R. Tolkien
  • "Thank God I'm an atheist." — Luis Buñuel
  • "I'm an atheist and I thank God for it." — George Bernard Shaw
  • "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." — Richard Branson - in his autobiography, Losing My Virginity (p.239)
  • "... [Penn & Teller] are pro-science, and when you're pro-science, that means you're an atheist, by definition, ..." — Penn Jillette
  • "Here's what happens when you die--you sit in a box and get eaten by worms. I guarantee you that when you die, nothing cool happens." — Howard Stern
  • "We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." — Carl Sagan in Cosmos (1980)
  • "By night an atheist half believes in God" — Edward Young in Night Thoughts, (Night Two, p.292.)
  • "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion" — Sir Francis Bacon in Essays, (16, Of Atheism)
  • "An atheist is a person with no invisible means of support" — John Buchan (1875 - 1940)
  • "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, alt.atheism tagline
  • "And God Said: Let there be Satan, so people don't blame everything on me, and let there be lawyers, so people don't blame everything on Satan" — John Wing
  • "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." — Ludwig Feuerbach
  • "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." — Sir Francis Bacon
  • "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."
  • "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."
  • "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." — Emma Goldman
  • "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." — Madalyn Murray O'Hair
  • "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." — George Santayana
  • "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." — Barbara Smoker
  • "Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people." — Voltaire in Philosophical Dictionary
  • "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." — Voltaire
  • "If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color." — Mark Schnitzius, on Usenet (1993)
  • "Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color." — Don Hirschberg, in a letter to Ann Landers
  • "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, Down and Out in Paris And London
  • "You show me a communist and I will show you someone who will be upset if I eat his sandwich. You show me an anarchist and I will show you someone who calls the cops when he finds me rooting through his fridge at 3am. You show me an atheist and I will show you someone begging for Gods forgiveness when they taste their own mortality." — J. P. Chilensky
  • "I really don't think this is the time to be making new enemies." — Voltaire on his deathbed, after being asked by a priest to renounce Satan
  • "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." — John McCarthy
  • "I'm a born-again atheist." — Gore Vidal (1925 - )
  • "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 moths & atheists are doubly divine" - Jim Morrison, An American Prayer
  • "[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." — Charlie Brooker, "Supposing... there were fun illnesses", The Guardian, December 18 2005
  • "Atheism is a non-prophet organization." - George Carlin
  • "A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it." — Sigmund Freud, Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego (1921)
  • "All religions, with their gods, demigods, prophets, messiahs and saints, are the product of the fancy and credulity of men who have not yet reached the full development and complete possession of their intellectual powers." — Mikhail Bakunin, God and the State (1871)
  • "Be comforted that we have each other to depend on! When waters rise and swallow crops, we count on one another to plant those crops again, to rebuild homes, to care for our sick! Some blame God and demand we make sacrifice to Him. If your village was being flooded would you, Erasmus, butcher your daughters like Abraham tried with Isaac, because some priest told you God demanded it? Or would you try to build canals to divert the water, understanding that there is a mechanism to why floods happen and no God has anything to do with it?" — Brian Trent, Remembering Hypatia
  • "History does not record anywhere a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help." — Lazarus Long, in Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
  • "I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion is anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it." — Bertrand Russell, "Why I Am Not a Christian"
  • "I don't care what the priests say. I think we should do as we feel." — Bernadette "Benny" Hogan, in Circle of Friends (1995)
  • "I see little divinity about them or you. You talk to me of Christianity when you are in the act of hanging your enemies. Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!" — George Bernard Shaw, The Devil's Disciple
  • "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." — Dave Barry, 25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years
  • "Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe." — Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
  • "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." — Lazarus Long, in Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
  • "It is in the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held and not in the dogma, or want of dogma, that the danger lies." — Samuel Butler, The Way Of All Flesh (1903)
  • "It's a big question. Getting rid of religion would be a good start, wouldn't it? It seems to be causing a lot of havoc." — Björk when asked "Given the chance, how would you change the world?"; quoted in Independent, 18 March 2005
  • "Religion claims to be in possession of an absolute truth; but its history is a history of errors and heresies. It gives us the promise and prospect of a transcendent world — far beyond the limits of our human experience — and it remains human, all too human." — Ernest Cassirer, "An Essay on Man"
  • "Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities. [...] If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man's evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity." — Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism (1939)
  • "Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires." — Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
  • "Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses." — Arthur C. Clarke, Onion AV Club interview, 18 February 2004
  • "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." — Lazarus Long, in Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
  • "The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning." — Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique (1764)
  • Quark: There's a Bajoran convention on the station I didn't know about? Thanks, Odo. I need to call in more dabo girls.
    Odo: It's not a convention. They're from an orthodox spiritual order coming to support Vedek Winn's efforts to keep the Bajoran children out of school.
    Quark: Orthodox? In that case I'll need twice as many dabo girls. — "In the Hands of the Prophets", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • "There was a time when no-one questioned the Christian church in Europe. The clergy were as good as the governors of the continent with the Pope as their King. And that time is called the Dark Age." — Star Trek discussion forum
  • "When I came here, I put my hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. I didn't put my hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." — U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., voting against a House resolution supporting a judge displaying the Ten Commandments in court
  • "You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?" — Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, in Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (1992; ISBN 1877733075)
  • "A Christian is one who follows the teachings of Christ so long as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin." — Ambrose Bierce
  • "A clergyman can hardly ever allow himself to look facts fairly in the face. It is his profession to support one side; it is impossible, therefore, for him to make an unbiased examination of the other." — Samuel Butler
  • "All religions are ancient monuments to superstition, ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies." — Paul Henri Thiry
  • "All religions are auld wives' fables, but an honest man has nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come." — Robert Burns
  • "All religions are cruel, all founded on blood; for all rest principally on the idea of sacrifice — that is, on the perpetual immolation of humanity to the insatiable vengeance of divinity." — Mikhail Bakunin
  • "As to the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or do not exist." — Protagoras
  • "At all times, in every century, every age, there has been such a connection between despotism and religion that it is infinitely apparent and demonstrated a thousand times over, that in destroying one, the other must be undermined, for the simple reason that the first will always put the law into the service of the second." — Marquis de Sade
  • "Belief, like any other moving body, follows the path of least resistance." — Samuel Butler
  • "Children are taught that it is a virtue to accept statements without adequate evidence, which leaves them a prey to quacks of every kind in later life, and makes it very difficult for them to accept the methods of thought which are successful in science." — J.B.S. Haldane
  • "Children are naïve — they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you're asking for trouble." — Frank Zappa
  • "Christianity has a built-in defense system; anything that questions a belief, no matter how logical the argument, is the work of Satan by the very fact that it makes you question a belief. It is a very interesting defense mechanism and the only way to get by it, and believe me I was raised Southern Baptist, is to take heroic doses of mushrooms, sit in a field, and just go, 'Show me.'" — Bill Hicks
  • "Christianity persecuted, tortured, and burned. Like a hound it tracked the very scent of heresy. It kindled wars, and nursed furious hatreds and ambitions .... Man, far from being freed from his natural passions, was plunged into artificial ones quite as violent and much more disappointing." — George Santayana
  • "Christians always write to me threatening me with Hell. Strange how they think this vindicates them and their religion. Threats are the hallmark of a wicked creed." — Richard C. Carrier, Jr.
  • "Creator: A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh." — H. L. Mencken
  • "Fundamentalism means never having to say 'I'm wrong.'" — Anonymous
  • Going to Church doesn't make a man Christian any more than going to a garage makes him an automobile. ~ Billy Sunday
  • Good represents the reality of which God is the dream. ~ Iris Murdoch
  • Heaven: The Coney Island of the Christian imagination. ~ Elbert Hubbard
  • How should I know anything about another world when I know so little of this? ~ Confucius
  • Here's another question I've been pondering — what is all this shit about angels? Have you heard this? Three out of four people believe in angels. Are you fucking stupid? Has everybody lost their mind? You know what I think it is? I think it's a massive, collective, psychotic chemical flashback for all the drugs smoked, swallowed, shot, and absorbed rectally by all Americans from 1960 to 1990. Thirty years of street drugs will get you some fucking angels, my friend! ~ George Carlin
  • How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger near another who is sick from overeating, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares It is God's will. Religion is excellent stuff for keeping people quiet. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
  • I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • I am deeply frightened by ritual, because it implies mind-numbing repetition, obedience and the mysticism of action without thought. ~ Jonathan Wallace
  • I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind — that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • I believe the spreading of Catholicism to be the most horrible means of political and social degradation left in the world. ~ Charles Dickens
  • I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, and 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 on the human race. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • I can 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. ~ Charles Darwin
  • I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. ~ Albert Einstein
  • I cherish the fantasy, even the hope, of adventures in other realms to come. But how can we choke out that most precious of all gifts, life, with the rope of religion around our necks? It chokes out freedom with dogma. It pinions us to the stake of superstition. ~ Gerry Spence
  • 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 in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. ~ Albert Einstein
  • I do not pray... I do not expect God to single me out and grant me advantages over my fellow men... Prayer seems to me a cry of weakness, and an attempt to avoid, by trickery, the rules of the game as laid down. I do not choose to admit weakness. I accept the challenge of responsibility. ~ Zora Neale Hurston
  • I do not support religion because it demands that we give up our most important human asset, the ability to question. It demands that we simply believe. Isn't that true of any dictator, of any totalitarian society? Insofar as social development is concerned, nothing is of greater importance than the human function of questioning... Questioning led to the development of civilization. ~ Vladimir Pozner
  • I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. ~ Thomas Edison
  • I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies. ~ Thomas Jefferson
  • I keep a conscience uncorrupted by religion, a judgment undimmed by politics and patriotism, a heart untainted by friendships and sentiments unsoured by animosities. ~ Ambrose Bierce
  • I know I feel this way and I know a lot of educators feel this way, and a lot of parents feel this way, that religion is a “gateway psychosis.” ~ Dave Foley
  • I know of no crime that has not been defended by the church, in one form or other. The church is not a pioneer; it accepts a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless. ~ Robert Ingersoll
  • I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research....A contemporary has said not unjustly that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people. ~ Albert Einstein
  • I pray every single second of my life; not on my knees but with my work. My prayer is to lift women to equality with men. Work and worship are one with me. I know there is no God of the universe made happy by my getting down on my knees and calling him "great". ~ Susan B. Anthony
  • I prayed for freedom twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. ~ Frederick Douglass
  • I say if you're going to go for the Angel bullshit, you might as well go for the Zombie package as well. ~ George Carlin
  • If a man really believes that God once upheld slavery; that he commanded soldiers to kill women and babes; that he believed in polygamy; that he persecuted for opinion's sake; that he will punish forever, and that he hates an unbeliever, the effect in my judgment will be bad. It always has been bad. This belief built the dungeons of the Inquisition. This belief made the Puritan murder the Quaker. ~ Robert Ingersoll
  • If Christ was executed today, I bet Christians would wear little electric chairs around their necks. ~ Dick Gregory
  • If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom. ~ Lord Byron
  • If thou trusteth to the book called the Scriptures, thou trusteth to the rotten staff of fables and falsehood. ~ Thomas Paine
  • If two things don't fit, but you believe both of them, thinking that somewhere, hidden, there must be a third thing that connects them, that's credulity. ~ Umberto Eco
  • If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall. If you pray for floodwaters to abate, they eventually do. The same happens in the absence of prayers. ~ Steve Allen
  • Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • Impiety, n. Your irreverence toward my deity. ~ Ambrose Bierce
  • In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • In the long run, nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction religion offers to both is palpable. ~ Sigmund Freud
  • Isn't it ironic that Christians keep repeating, "Civilization will fail without Christianity" on computers built by Buddhists in Japan? ~ Anonymous
  • It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists, it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • It is no defense of superstition and pseudoscience to say that it brings solace and comfort to people... If solace and comfort are how we judge the worth of something, then consider that tobacco brings solace and comfort to smokers; alcohol brings it to drinkers; drugs of all kinds bring it to addicts; the fall of cards and the run of horses bring it to gamblers; cruelty and violence bring it to sociopaths. Judge by solace and comfort only and there is no behavior we ought to interfere with. ~ Isaac Asimov
  • It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • It is usually argued that we need religion in order to get humanity to behave and work together. All evidence is to the contrary. Religion has not notably improved human behavior. The pagan Romans were far kinder than the Inquisition Christians. Nor has religion united Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or Jews. It has divided them. In fact, religion will never unite them, because religion requires that they share the same beliefs, without offering any reliable evidence that their ideas are correct. Reason, on the other hand, is the only thing that can unite people of diverse opinions. Reason bases its decisions on evidence available to everyone, and allows people to disagree when evidence is lacking. Religion will never do that. ~ Richard C. Carrier, Jr.
  • Many a sober Christian would rather admit that a wafer is God than that God is a cruel and capricious tyrant. ~ Edward Gibbon
  • Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • Men have never fully used the powers they possess to advance the good in life, because they have waited upon some power external to themselves and to nature to do the work they are responsible for doing. ~ John Dewey
  • Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. ~ Blaise Pascal
  • More wars have been waged, more people killed, and more evil perpetrated in the name of religion than by any other institutional force in human history. The sad truth continues in our present day. ~ Charles Kimball
  • Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion. ~ John Adams, 2nd President of the United States
  • Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid or produces only atheists or fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism, and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests, but so far as respects the good of man in general it leads to nothing here or hereafter. ~ Thomas Paine
  • Once there was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time is called the Dark Ages. ~ Richard Lederer
  • One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it ... You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • One seldom discovers a true believer that is worth knowing. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business. ~ Jesse Ventura
  • Organized religion: The world's largest pyramid scheme. ~ Bernard Katz
  • Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works. ~ Carl Sagan
  • Prayer is of no avail. The lightning falls on the just and the unjust in accordance with natural laws. ~ Robert Ingersoll
  • Prayers are to men as dolls are to children. They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to take them seriously. ~ Samuel Butler
  • Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • Religion... comprises a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find in an isolated form nowhere else but in amentia, in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. ~ Sigmund Freud
  • Religion deserves no more respect than a pile of garbage. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • 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 Carlin
  • Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. ... A good world needs knowledge, kindness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • 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 the brainchild of fear, and fear is the parent of cruelty. The greatest evils inflicted on humankind are perpetrated not by pleasure-seekers, self-seeking opportunists, or those who are merely amoral, but by fervent devotees of religion. ~ Emmanuel Kofi Mensah
  • Religion is a neurological disorder. ~ Bill Maher
  • Religion is poison. ~ Mao Zedong
  • Religion is the last frontier of men beaten in life. ~ Anonymous
  • Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis. ~ Sigmund Freud
  • Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • [Religions are] ...conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises. ~ Ambrose Bierce
  • Religion, like poetry, is simply a concerted effort to deny the most obvious realities. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • Religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few. ~ Stendhal
  • Religious believers of the world, you are free to continue to debate the simple, narrow question that divides you from atheists, but you have no right, in so doing, to treat the Humanists of the world with contempt. You owe them a deep debt of gratitude, for not only have they shed much light on a naturally dark world but they have very probably helped civilize your own specific religion. ~ Steve Allen
  • Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor — but they have few followers now. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
  • So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk. ~ Thomas Edison
  • Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. ~ Clarence Darrow
  • Sunday School: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • That fear created the gods is perhaps as true as anything so brief could be on so great a subject. ~ George Santayana
  • The atheist realizes that every selfish or cruel act and its consequences would remain uncomfortably remembered by himself, believing that no divine forgiveness is available to assuage the pangs of a guilty conscience. ~ Frank Swancara
  • The basis of your religion is injustice. The Son of God the pure, the immaculate, the innocent, is sacrificed for the guilty. This proves his heroism, but no more does away with man's sin than a school boy's volunteering to be flogged for another would exculpate a dunce from negligence. ~ Lord Byron
  • The believing mind is externally impervious to evidence. The most that can be accomplished with it is to induce it to substitute one delusion for another. It rejects all overt evidence as wicked... ~ H. L. Mencken
  • The careful student of history will discover that Christianity has been of very little value in advancing civilization, but has done a great deal toward retarding it. ~ Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • The Christian religion has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Christians say, that among the ancient Jews, if you committed a crime you had to kill a sheep. Now they say "charge it." "Put it on the slate." The Savior will pay it. In this way, rascality is sold on credit, and the credit system in morals, as in business, breeds extravagance. ~ Robert Ingersoll
  • 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 deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. ~ Thomas H. Huxley
  • The endeavor to change universal power by selfish supplication I do not believe in. ~ Thomas Edison
  • The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is: all the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions. ~ Frank Zappa
  • The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable. To be sure, theology is always yielding a little to the progress of knowledge, and only a Holy Roller in the mountains of Tennessee would dare to preach today what the popes preached in the thirteenth century. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • The great religious ages were notable for their indifference to human rights ... not only for acquiescence in poverty, inequality, exploitation and oppression, but also for enthusiastic justifications for slavery, persecution, abandonment of small children, torture, and genocide.... Moreover, religion enshrined hierarchy, authority, and inequality.... It was the age of equality that brought about the disappearance of such religious appurtenances as the auto-da-fe and burning at the stake. ~ Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
  • The harm that theology has done is not to create cruel impulses, but to give them the sanction of what professes to be lofty ethic, and to confer an apparently sacred character upon practices which have come down from more ignorant and barbarous times. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • The liberation of the human mind has never been furthered by dunderheads; it has been furthered by gay fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and then went roistering down the highways of the world, proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe — that the god in the sanctuary was finite in his power and hence a fraud. One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • The man who is always worrying about whether or not his soul would be damned generally has a soul that isn’t worth a damn. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • The more I study religions, the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself. ~ Sir Richard Burton
  • The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music. ~ George Carlin
  • The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers. ~ Denis Diderot
  • The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.... Every influx of atheism, of skepticism, is thus made useful as a mercury pill assaulting and removing a diseased religion, and making way for truth. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The scientist yearns to find and eventually know the truth; The religious man wants the truth to fit his preconceived mold. So, as a result...The scientist alters his perception to conform to the facts; The religious man tries to change the facts to conform to his beliefs. ~ Anonymous
  • The theory seems to be that so long as a man is a failure he is one of God's chillun, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum. ~ Havelock Ellis
  • ...the universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind and pitiless indifference. ~ Richard Dawkins
  • Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • There was a time when I believed in the story and the scheme of salvation, so far as I could understand it, just as I believed there was a Devil.... Suddenly the light broke through to me and I knew this God was a lie.... For indeed it is a silly story, and each generation nowadays swallows it with greater difficulty.... Why do people go on pretending about this Christianity? ~ H.G. Wells
  • Under any religion, the preestablished impersonal code transcends the right of the individual to explore, experience, and marvel at the mysteries of his own life and death. Religions introduce us not to God but to slavery. They deprive us of our freedom to explore our own souls and to discover the endless and wondrous possibilities presented to us by an infinite universe. And most often the method of religions is fear, not love. They demand blind obedience and often obedience to dreadful dogma. ~ Gerry Spence
  • Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience. ~ Adam Smith
  • 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
  • We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. ~ H. L. Mencken
  • When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. ~ Charles Darwin
  • When the churches literally ruled society, the human drama encompassed: (a) slavery; (b) the cruel subjection of women; (c) the most savage forms of legal punishment; (d) the absurd belief that kings ruled by divine right; (e) the daily imposition of physical abuse; (f) cold heartlessness for the sufferings of the poor; as well as (g) assorted pogroms ("ethnic cleansing" wars) between rival religions, capital punishment for literally hundreds of offenses, and countless other daily imposed moral outrages.... It was the free-thinking, challenging work by people of conscience, who almost invariably had to defy the religious and political status quo of their times, that brought us out of such darkness. ~ Steve Allen
  • When two men of science disagree, they do not invoke the secular arm; they wait for further evidence to decide the issue, because, as men of science, they know that neither is infallible. But when two theologians differ, since there are no criteria to which either can appeal, there is nothing for it but mutual hatred and an open or covert appeal to force. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • 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. ~ Ludwig Feuerbach
  • Where is the soul? ... I refuse to believe anything of that kind without proof. The idea that, as soon as a man's breath leaves his body, the soul flops out like a chicken's head and flies off into space to find a lodgment where there [are] harps and haloes. Too much for me. ~ Robert Ingersoll
  • Why assume so glibly that the God who presumably created the universe is still running it? It is certainly perfectly conceivable that He may have finished it and then turned it over to lesser gods to operate. In the same way many human institutions are turned over to grossly inferior men. This is true, for example, of most universities, and of all great newspapers. ~ H. L. Mencken

Multi-line quotes

  • "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

  • "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

  • Weyoun: Pagh wraiths, prophets — all this talk of gods strikes me as nothing more than superstitious nonsense.
    Damar: You believe the Founders are gods, don't you?
    Weyoun: That's different.
    Damar: In what way?
    Weyoun: The Founders are gods.
    — "Tears of the Prophets", Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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