Many memories ago...I was Pa-ra. (parathalyn) wrote in tx_atheists,
Many memories ago...I was Pa-ra.

Atheism Quotes

I've been collecting Atheism-related quotes for awhile now, and figured I would share with everyone. Feel free to comment with any I've missed or saying which is your favorite. Also, feel free to use these quotes anytime some chritian claims that our founding fathers were all christians, all Atheists are fools, or some other BS. I've tried to list that dates for each person and the source of each quote, but there are still a lot of holes that could be patched up if anyone knows that off hand or wants to help with some web searching.

"If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!"
-Clark Adams

"But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed."
-John Adams (1735-1826) from letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity."
-John Adams (1735-1826)

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
-John Adams (1735-1826) from Treaty of Tripoly, article 11

"What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era? Where are fifty gospels condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope Gelasius? Where are forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope, because of suspected heresy? Remember the Index Expurgato-rius, the Inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter, and the guillotine; and, oh! horrible, the rack! This is as bad, if not worse, than a slow fire. Nor should the Lion's Mouth be forgotten. Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1,500 years."
-John Adams (1735-1826) letter to John Taylor, 1814, quoted in In God We Trust and 2000 Years of Disbelief

"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, d. 1057, poet of Ma`arra, quoted in Amin Maalouf's book The Crusades Through Arab Eyes.

"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."
-Woody Allen

"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 (1820-1906)

"What you should say to outsiders is that a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our Association than an atheist. When our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself shall not stand upon it."
-Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) from Susan B. Anthony: A Biography, by Kathleen Barry, 1988, p.310

"Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches."
-Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) from Summa Theologica

"'Theocracy' has always been the synonym for a bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood-stained tyranny."
-William Archer (1667-1735)

"All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science."
-Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) from "Literature and Dogma"

"Miracles do not happen."
-Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) from "Literature and Dogma"

"Creationists make it sound like a "theory" is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night."
-Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

"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."
-Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

"I don't believe in an afterlife, so I don't have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse."
-Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

"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 (1920-1992)

"If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them."
-Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

"If I am right, then will not go to Heaven, because there is no Heaven. If they are right, then they will not go to Heaven, because they are hypocrites."
-Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

"Science does not promise absolute truth, nor does it consider that such a thing necessarily exists. Science does not even promise that everything in the Universe is amenable to the scientific process."
-Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
-Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death."
-Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

"Atheism leads a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation: all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue..."
-Francis Bacon, Sir (1561-1626)

"Theology created the fiction of Satan which represents the revolt if an infinite being against the existence of an absolute infinity, against God."
-Mikhaïl A. Bakunine (1814-1876)

"The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him."
-Robert Benchley

"[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 from "Supposing... there were fun illnesses", The Guardian, December 18 2005

"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support."
-John Buchan (1875-1940)

"I am an atheist still, thank God."
-Luis Buñuel (1900-1983)

"The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself."
-Sir Richard Francis Burton

"My studies in Speculative philosophy, metaphysics, and science are all summed up in the image of a mouse called man running in and out of every hole in the Cosmos hunting for the Absolute Cheese."
-Benjamin De Casseres (1873-1945)

"By simple common sense I don't believe in God, in none."
-Charlie Chaplin (1889–1977) quoted from "Manual of a Perfect Atheist" by Rius

"The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history"
-Noam Chomsky (Born in 1928)

"You can find things in the traditional religions which are very benign and decent and wonderful and so on, but I mean, the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon. The God of the Bible - not only did He order His chosen people to carry out literal genocide - I mean, wipe out every Amalekite to the last man, woman, child, and, you know, donkey and so on, because hundreds of years ago they got in your way when you were trying to cross the desert - not only did He do things like that, but, after all, the God of the Bible was ready to destroy every living creature on earth because some humans irritated Him. That's the story of Noah. I mean, that's beyond genocide - you don't know how to describe this creature. Somebody offended Him, and He was going to destroy every living being on earth? And then He was talked into allowing two of each species to stay alive - that's supposed to be gentle and wonderful."
-Noam Chomsky (Born in 1928) from an Interview by Wallace Shawn, October 19, 2004

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
-Arthur C. Clarke (Born in 1917)

"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 (Born in 1917)

"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 (Born in 1917)

"Atheism is a way of humility. It's to think oneself to be an animal, as we are actually and to allow oneself to become human."
-André Comte-Sponville (Born in 1952) from "Presentation of Philosophy"

"To a child who dies, and to the parents of this child, will you speak, if religion consoles them, in praise of atheism? That one does not mistake: that, to my mind, does not prove anything against atheism and much against religion. "The heart of a heartless world, said Marx, the soul of soulless conditions." It is misery that makes religion, and it is why this one is miserable. Who would prohibit opium to a dying man? And what are we, out of oblivion or entertainment, anything else but dying?"
-André Comte-Sponville (Born in 1952) from "A Philosophical Education"

"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"
-Quentin Crisp (1908-1999)

"All children are atheists - They have no idea of God."
-Paul-Henri, baron d'Holbach (1723-1789)

"The problem is not that Christians are conservative or liberal, but that some are so confident that their position is God's position that they become dismissive and intolerant toward others and divisive forces in our national life."
-John Danforth

"I do not believe in God because I do not believe in Mother Goose."
-Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)

"I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure - that is all that agnosticism means."
-Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) Scopes trial - 1925

"False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutory pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path toward errors is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened."
-Charles Darwin (1809-1882) from The Descent of Man - 1871

"I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations."
-Charles Darwin (1809-1882) from The Descent of Man - 1871

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
-Charles Darwin (1809-1882) from The Descent of Man - 1871

"It is impossible to conceive of this immense and wonderful universe as the result of blind chance or necessity."
-Charles Darwin (1809-1882) from The Origin of Species - 1859

"Probably all organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. There is grandeur in this view of life that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."
-Charles Darwin (1809-1882) from The Origin of Species - 1859

"The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic."
-Charles Darwin (1809-1882) quoted from James A. Haught, "Breaking the Last Taboo"

"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 (1809-1882) from The Origin of Species - 1859

"When it was first said that the sun stood still and world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei [the voice of the people is the voice of God], as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science."
-Charles Darwin (1809-1882) quoted from Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, 2002

"Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakeable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time."
-Richard Dawkins

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

"If there is a God, Atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion."
-Edmond & Jules de Goncourt (1822-1896 & 1830-1870)

"All Bibles are man-made."
-Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

"I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States."
-Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

"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 (1847-1931)

"My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it."
-Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

"So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk."
-Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution, human fantasy created gods in man's own image who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate influence, the phenomenal world... The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes... In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vase power in the hands of priests."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern without any superhuman authority behind it."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"I have never talked to a Jesuit prest in my life. I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"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 (1879-1955)

"Science with religion is lame ; religion without science is blind. Science without religion is useful, religion with science is useless."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"Thus I 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 attitude which has never left me."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"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?"
-Epicurus (341–270 B.C.)

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

"A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes."
-James Feibleman

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-Malcolm Forbes

"He (the Rev. Mr. Whitefield) used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard."
-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) from Franklin's Autobiography

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“Some volumes against Deism fell into my hands. They were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle’s Lecture. It happened that they produced on me an effect precisely the reverse of what was intended by the writers; for the arguments of the Deists, which were cited in order to be refuted, appealed to me much more forcibly than the refutation itself. In a word, I soon became a thorough Deist.”
-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."
-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) from Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758

"I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reasons, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
-Galileo Galilei

"The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation."
-Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separated."
-Ulysses S. Grant (1822 – 1885)

"I do not believe in a personal God."
-Stephen Hawking

"I think that it's important for scientists to explain their work, particularly in cosmology. This now answers many questions once asked of religion."
-Stephen Hawking

"If we are going to teach 'creation science' as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction."
-Judith Hayes

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

"All thinking men are atheists."
-Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

"Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color."
-Don Hirschberg

"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."
-Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)

"Freedom is for honest people.
No man who is not himself honest can be free – he is his own trap."
- L. Ron Hubbard

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
-Aldous Huxley

"All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the Bible is simply and purely of human invention of barbarian invention is to read it. Read it as you would any other book; think of it as you would of any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push from the throne of your brain the coiled form of superstition then read the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such ignorance and of such atrocity."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"As long as man believes the Bible to be infallible, that book is his master. The civilization of this century is not the child of faith, but of unbelief the result of free thought."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"As long as woman regards the Bible as the charter of her rights, she will be the slave of man. The bible was not written by a woman. Within its leaves there is nothing but humiliation and shame for her."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child", 1877

"Confronted with the universe, with fields of space sown thick with stars, with all there is of life, the wise man, being asked the origin and destiny of all, replies: "I do not know. These questions are beyond the powers of my mind." The wise man is thoughtful and modest. He clings to facts. Beyond his intellectual horizon he does not pretend to see. He does not mistake hope for evidence or desire for demonstration. He is honest. He neither deceives himself nor others."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Foundations of Faith", 1895

"For ages, a deadly conflict has been waged between a few brave men and women of thought and genius upon the one side, and the great ignorant religious mass on the other. This is the war between Science and Faith. The few have appealed to reason, to honor, to law, to freedom, to the known, and to happiness here in this world. The many have appealed to prejudice, to fear, to miracle, to slavery, to the unknown, and to misery hereafter. The few have said, "Think!" The many have said, "Believe!"
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"Honest investigation is utterly impossible within the pale of any church, for the reason, that if you think the church is right you will not investigate, and if you think it wrong, the church will investigate you."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Individuality", 1873

"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from Third Interview on Rev. Talmadge, 1882

"If all the historic books of the Bible were blotted from the memory of mankind, nothing of value would be lost...I do not see how it is possible for an intelligent human being to conclude that the Song of Solomon is the work of God, and that the tragedy of Lear was the work of an uninspired man."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Why Am I An Agnostic?", 1889

"If the account given in Genesis is really true, ought we not, after all, to thank this serpent? He was the first schoolmaster, the first advocate of learning, the first enemy of ignorance, the first to whisper in human ears the sacred word liberty, the creator of ambition, the author of modesty, of inquiry, of doubt, of investigation, of progress and of civilization."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"If the book the Bible and my brain are both the work of the same Infinite God, whose fault is it that the book and my brain do not agree?"
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Some Reasons Why", 1881

"It has been contended for many years that the Ten Commandments are the foundations of all ideas of justice and law. ...Nothing can be more stupidly false than such assertions. Thousands of years before Moses was born, the Egyptians had a code of laws. ...far better than the Mosaic."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Some Mistakes of Moses"

"Our ignorance is God; what we know is science."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"Reason, Observation and Experience the Holy Trinity of Science have taught us that happiness is the only good; that the time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. This is enough for us. In this belief we are content to live and die. If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will then be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"Science built the Academy, superstition the inquisition."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

"Science has nothing in common with religion. Facts and miracles never did, and never will agree. They are not in the least related. They are deadly foes. What has religion to do with facts? Nothing. Can there be Methodist mathematics, Catholic astronomy, Presbyterian geology, Baptist biology, or Episcopal botany? Why, then, should a sectarian college exist? Only that which somebody knows should be taught in our schools. We should not collect taxes to pay people for guessing. The common school is the bread of life for the people, and it should not be touched by the withering hand of superstition."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Some Mistakes of Moses", 1879

"Science is the enemy of fear and credulity. It invites investigation, challenges the reason, stimulates inquiry, and welcomes the unbeliever. It seeks to give food and shelter, and raiment, education and liberty to the human race. It welcomes every fact and every truth. It has furnished a foundation of morals, a philosophy for the guidance of man. From all books it selects the good, and from all theories, the true. It seeks to civilize the human race by the cultivation of the intellect and heart. It refines, through art, music and the drama giving voice and expression to every noble thought. The mysterious does not excite the feeling of worship, but the ambition to understand. It does not pray it works. It does not answer inquiry with the malicious cry of "blasphemy." Its feelings are not hurt by contradiction, neither does it ask to be protected by law from the laughter of heretics. It has taught man that he cannot walk beyond the horizon that the questions of origin and destiny cannot be answered they an infinite personality cannot be comprehended by a finite being, and that the truth of any system of religion based on the supernatural cannot by any possibility be established such a religion not being within the domain of evidence. And, above all, it teaches that all our duties are here that all our obligations are to sentient beings; that intelligence, guided by kindness, is the highest possible wisdom; and that "man believes not what he would, but what he can."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from his response to Wm. E. Gladstone

"The agnostic does not simply say, "l do not know." He goes another step, and he says, with great emphasis, that you do not know. He insists that you are trading on the ignorance of others, and on the fear of others. He is not satisfied with saying that you do not know, he demonstrates that you do not know, and he drives you from the field of fact he drives you from the realm of reason he drives you from the light, into the darkness of conjecture into the world of dreams and shadows, and he compels you to say, at last, that your faith has no foundation in fact."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

"The book, called the Bible, is filled with passages equally horrible, unjust and atrocious. This is the book to be read in schools in order to make our children loving, kind and gentle! This is the book they wish to be recognized in our Constitution as the source of all authority and justice!"
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"The real oppressor, enslaver, and corrupter of the people is the Bible."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from Some Mistakes of Moses, Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 2 p. 43

"Theology is not what we know about God, but what we do not know about Nature. In order to increase our respect for the Bible, it became necessary for the priests to exalt and extol that book, and at the same time to decry and belittle the reasoning powers of man. The whole power of the pulpit has been used for hundreds of years to destroy the confidence of man in himself to induce him to distrust his own powers of thought, to believe that he was wholly unable to decide any question for himself, and that all human virtue consists in faith and obedience. The church has said 'Believe and obey!' If you reason you will become an unbeliever, and unbelievers will be lost. If you disobey, you will do so through vain pride and curiosity, and will, like Adam and Eve, be thrust from Paradise forver! For my part, I care nothing for what the church says, except in so far as it accords with my reason; and the Bible is nothing to me, only in so far as it agrees with what I think or know."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from Some Mistakes of Moses, Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 2 p. 53

"There are some truths, however, that we should never forget: Superstition has always been the relentless enemy of science; faith has been a hater of demonstration; hypocrisy has been sincere only in its dread of truth, and all religions are inconsistent with mental freedom."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Humboldt", 1869

"This century will be called Darwin's century. He was one of the greatest men who ever touched this globe. He has explained more of the phenomena of life than all of the religious teachers. Write the name of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the name of every theologian who ever lived on the other, and from that name has come more light to the world than from all of those. His doctrine of evolution, his doctrine of the survival of the fittest, his doctrine of the origin of species, has removed in every thinking mind the last vestige of orthodox Christianity. He has not only stated, but he has demonstrated, that the inspired writer knew nothing of this world, nothing of the origin of man, nothing of geology, nothing of astronomy, nothing of nature; that the Bible is a book written by ignorance at the instigation of fear. Think of the men who replied to him. Only a few years ago there was no person too ignorant to successfully answer Charles Darwin; and the more ignorant he was the more cheerfully he undertook the task. He was held up to the ridicule, the scorn and contempt of the Christian world, and yet when he died, England was proud to put his dust with that of her noblest and her grandest. Charles Darwin conquered the intellectual world, and his doctrines are now accepted facts."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Orthodoxy", 1884

"To know that the Bible is the literature of a barbarous people, to know that it is uninspired, to be certain that the supernatural does not and cannot exist all this is but the beginning of wisdom."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "How to Edit a Liberal Paper", Secular Thought, Toronto, January 8, 1887

"We are asked to justify these frightful passages, these infamous laws of war, because the Bible is the word of God. As a matter of fact, there never was, and there never can be, an argument even tending to prove the inspiration of any book whatever. In the absence of positive evidence, analogy and experience, argument is simply impossible, and at the very best, can amount only to a useless agitation of the air. The instant we admit that a book is too sacred to be doubted, or even reasoned about, we are mental serfs. It is infinitely absurd to suppose that a god would Address a communication to intelligent beings, and yet make it a crime, to be punished in eternal flames, for them to use their intelligence for the purpose of understanding his communication. If we have the right to use our reason, we certainly have the right to act in accordance with it, and no god can have the right to punish us for such action."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"We are continually told that the Bible is the very foundation of modesty and morality; while many of its pages are so immodest and immoral that a minister, for reading them in the pulpit, would be instantly denounced as an unclean wretch. Every woman would leave the church, and if the men stayed, it would be for the purpose of chastising the minister."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "Some Mistakes of Moses", 1879

"We have already compared the benefits of theology and science. When the theologian governed the world, it was covered with huts and hovels for the many, palaces and cathedrals for the few. To nearly all the children of men, reading and writing were unknown arts. The poor were clad in rags and skins they devoured crusts, and gnawed bones. The day of Science dawned, and the luxuries of a century ago are the necessities of today. Men in the middle ranks of life have more of the conveniences and elegancies than the princes and kings of the theological times. But above and over all this, is the development of mind. There is more of value in the brain of an average man of today of a mastermechanic, of a chemist, of a naturalist, of an inventor, than there was in the brain of the world four hundred years ago. These blessings did not fall from the skies. These benefits did not drop from the outstretched hands of priests. They were not found in cathedrals or behind altars neither were they searched for with holy candles. They were not discovered by the closed eyes of prayer, nor did they come in answer to superstitious supplication. They are the children of freedom, the gifts of reason, observation and experience and for them all, man is indebted to man."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) from "The Gods", 1872

"When I became convinced that the Universe is natural that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world, not even in infinite space. I was free.
free to think, to express my thoughts
free to live to my own ideal
free to live for myself and those I loved
free to use all my faculties, all my senses
free to spread imagination's wings
free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope
free to judge and determine for myself
free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past
free from popes and priests
free from all the "called" and "set apart"
free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies
free from the fear of eternal pain
free from the winged monsters of night
free from devils, ghosts, and gods
For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of my thought, no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings
no chains for my limbs
no lashes for my back
no fires for my flesh
no master's frown or threat
no following another's steps
no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words.
I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds. And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain for the freedom of labor and thought
to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains
to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs
to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred and torn
to those by fire consumed
to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men.
And I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still."
-Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

"Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man."
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes"
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) from Letter to von Humboldt, 1813

"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites."
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) from "Notes on Virginia"

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) from 1787 letter to his nephew

"Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies."
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"The authors of the gospels were unlettered and ignorant men and the teachings of Jesus have come to us mutilated, misstated and unintelligible."
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.”
-Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"America's pluralistic ideal does not protect atheism; public support for different belief systems is matched by intolerance of disbelief. According to surveys published in the early 1980s, before today's pre-millennial religious revivalism, nearly 70 percent of all Americans agreed that the freedom to worship "applies to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme their beliefs are"; but only 26 percent agreed that the freedom of atheists to make fun of God and religion "should be legally protected no matter who might be offended." Seventy-one percent held that atheists "who preach against God and religion" should not be permitted to use civic auditoriums. Intolerance for atheism was stronger even than intolerance of homosexuality."
-Wendy Kaminer

"An op-ed piece on popular spirituality that I wrote for The New York Times this past summer was carefully cleansed by my editors of any irreverence toward established religion (although I was invited to mock New Age). I was not allowed to observe that, while Hillary Clinton was criticized for conversing with Eleanor Roosevelt, millions of Americans regularly talk to Jesus, long deceased.... Nor was I permitted to point out that, to an atheist, the sacraments are as silly as a seance. These remarks and others were excised because they were deemed "offensive"."
-Wendy Kaminer

"I don't spend much time thinking about whether God exists. I don't consider that a relevant question. It's unanswerable and irrelevant to my life, so I put it in the category of things I can't worry about."
-Wendy Kaminer

"If I were to mock religious belief as childish, if I were to suggest that worshiping a supernatural deity, convinced that it cares about your welfare, is like worrying about monsters in the closet who find you tasty enough to eat, if I were to describe God as our creation, likening him to a mechanical gorilla, I'd violate the norms of civility and religious correctness. I'd be excoriated as an example of the cynical, liberal elite responsible for America's moral decline. I'd be pitied for my spiritual blindness; some people would try to enlighten and convert me. I'd receive hate mail. Atheists generate about as much sympathy as pedophiles. But, while pedophilia may at least be characterized as a disease, atheism is a choice, a willful rejection of beliefs to which vast majorities of people cling."
-Wendy Kaminer

"In this climate -- with belief in guardian angels and creationism becoming commonplace -- making fun of religion is as risky as burning a flag in an American Legion hall."
-Wendy Kaminer

"Like heterosexuality, faith in immaterial realities is popularly considered essential to individual morality."
-Wendy Kaminer

"Secularists are often wrongly accused of trying to purge religious ideals from public discourse. We simply want to deny them public sponsorship."
-Wendy Kaminer

"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."
-Stephen King

"Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis."
-Pierre Laplace (1749-1827) to Napoleon on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God

"It is a fine thing to establish one's own religion in one's heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing."
-D. H. Lawrence

"My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them."
-Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) from letter to Judge J.S. Wakefield, after the death of Willie Lincoln

"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 (1809-1865) from a 1924 speech in New York

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."
-Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

"Such evil deeds could religion prompt."

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."
-James Madison (1751-1836)

"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"
-James Madison (1751-1836) Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

"In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."
-James Madison (1751-1836)

"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
-James Madison (1751-1836) April 1, 1774

"I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Birds of the air will tell of murders past.
I am asham'd to hear such fooleries!"
-Christopher Marlowe

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people."
-Karl Marx

"A man who is an agnostic by inheritance, so that he doesn't remember any time that he wasn't, has almost no hatred for the religious."
-Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

"The scientist who yields anything to theology, however slight, is yielding to ignorance and false pretenses, and as certainly as if he granted that a horse-hair put into a bottle of water will turn into a snake."
-Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

"Well, I tell you, if I have been wrong in my agnosticism, when I die I'll walk up to God in a manly way and say, Sir, I made an honest mistake."
-Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

"All natural institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
-Thomas Paine (1737-1809) from The Age of Reason

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of....Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve them all."
-Thomas Paine (1737-1809) from The Age of Reason, pp. 89

"Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity."
-Thomas Paine (1737-1809) from The Age of Reason

"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."
-Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) from "Views of Religion"

"The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind."
-Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) from "What Great Men Think of Religion"

"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."
-Terry Pratchett

"As to the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or do not exist."
-Protagoras (485-410 BC) from Plato's Theaetetus

"Religion is a primitive form of philosophy, [the] attempt to offer a comprehensive view of reality."
-Ayn Rand (1905–1982) from The Objectivist Feb 1966 WMail Issue #5

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

"I 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."
-Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991)

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."
-Gene Roddenberry (1921-1991)

“I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools.”
-Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) from Carnegie Hall address, 12 October 1915

“To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.”
-Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) from letter to J. C. Martin, 9 November 1908

"Few people are worthy to believe in nothing."
-Jean Rostand (1894-1977) from Thoughts of a Biologist - 1939

"An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. At the same time, an Agnostic may hold that the existence of God, though not impossible, is very improbable; he may even hold it so improbable that it is not worth considering in practice. In that case, he is not far removed from atheism."
-Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

"It is evident that a man with a scientific outlook on life cannot let himself be intimidated by texts of Scripture or by the teaching of the church. He will not be content to say "such -and-such an act is sinful, and that ends the matter." He will inquire whether it does any harm or whether, on the contrary, the belief that it is sinful does harm. And he will find that, especially in what concerns sex, our current morality contains a very great deal of which the origin is surely superstitious. He will find also, that this superstition, like that of the Aztecs, involves needless cruelty and would be swept away if people were actuated by kindly feelings toward their neighbors. But the defenders of traditional morality are seldom people with warm hearts, as may be seen from the love of militarism displayed by church dignitaries. One is tempted to think that they value morals as affording a legitimate outlet for their desire to inflict pain; the sinner is fair game, and therefore away with tolerance!"
-Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

"An agnostic is somebody who doesn't believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I'm agnostic."
-Carl Sagan (1934-1997)

"I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students."
-Carl Sagan (1934-1997)

"It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese."
-Carl Sagan (1934-1997)

"It is said that men may not be the dreams of the Gods, but rather that the Gods are the dreams of men."
-Carl Sagan (1934-1997)

"Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense."
-Carl Sagan (1934-1997)

"The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, it has no place in the endeavour of science."
-Carl Sagan (1934-1997)

"Your question presupposes the existence of a genuine mystical experience and I'm not sure what that is. People have vivid hallucinations. How do you distinguish between altered states of consciousness?"
-Carl Sagan (1934-1997) When asked how he would explain a "genuine mystical experience"

"My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests."
-George Santayana (1863-1952)

"There is a kind of courtesy in skepticism. It would be an offense against polite conventions to press our doubts too far."
-George Santayana (1863-1952) from The Life of Reason - 1905

"Existentialism isn't so atheistic that it wears itself out showing that God doesn't exist. Rather, it declares that even if God did exist, that would change nothing."
-Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) from Existentialism and Humanism - 1945

"The existentialist... thinks it very distressing that God does not exist, because all possibility of finding values in a heaven of ideas disappears along with Him; there can no longer be an a priori Good, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. Nowhere is it written that the Good exists, that we must be honest, that we must not lie; because the fact is we are on a plane where there are only men. Dostoievsky said, "If God didn’t exist, everything would be possible." That is the very starting point of existentialism. Indeed, everything is permissible if God does not exist, and as a result man is forlorn, because neither within him nor without does he find anything to cling to. He can’t start making excuses for himself."
-Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) from Existentialism and Humanism - 1945

"There are two kinds of existentialist; first, those who are Christian...and on the other hand the atheistic existentialists, among whom...I class myself. What they have in common is that they think that existence precedes essence, or, if you prefer, that subjectivity must be the turning point."
-Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality."
-George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) from The Preface to Androcles and the Lion - 1912

"He was an avowed and open infidel, and sometimes bordered on Atheism...He went further against Christian beliefs and doctrines and principles than any man I ever heard."
-John T. Stuart, speaking of Abraham Lincoln (Stuart was Lincoln's first law partner)

"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love, one another."
-Jonathan Swift

"Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic."
-Thomas Szasz

"Faith is believing something you know ain't true."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"If there is a God, he is a malign thug."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"'In God We Trust.' I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"Man is a marvelous curiosity ... he thinks he is the Creator's pet ... he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to him and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"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"
-Mark Twain (1835-1910) Reflections on Religion - 1906

"[The Bible is] a mass of fables and traditions, mere mythology."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910) "Mark Twain and the Bible"

"[The Bible] has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"There is no other life; life itself is only a vision and a dream for nothing exists but space and you. If there was an all-powerful God, he would have made all good, and no bad."
-Mark Twain (1835-1910) from "Eruption"

"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

"I'm a born-again atheist."
-Gore Vidal (Born 1925)

"Atheism is the voice of a few intelligent people."
-Voltaire (1694-1778)

"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world."
-Voltaire (1694-1778) from "Honest Minds, Past and Present"

"Men who believe absurdities will commit atrocities."
-Voltaire (1694-1778)

"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."
-Voltaire (1694-1778) from "An Intellectual and Cultural History of the Western World" (1937) p. 766

"There are no sects in geometry."
-Voltaire (1694-1778) from Philosophical Dictionary, 1764

“I have never been a communicant.”
-George Washington

“Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their [not our?] religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society.”
-George Washington from Letter to Sir Edward Newenham, June 22, 1792

“There is nothing to show that he was ever a member of the church.”
-of George Washington, St. Louis Globe

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
-Steven Weinberg

"When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it."
-Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

"A cult is a religion with no political power."
-Tom Wolfe

"What's another word for Thesaurus?"
-Steven Wright

"What was it that Adam ate that he wasn't supposed to eat? It wasn't just an apple. It was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The subtle message? 'Get smart and I'll fuck you over' sayeth the Lord. God is the smartest, and he doesn't want any Competition. Is this not an absolutely anti-intellectual religion?"
-Frank Zappa

"Did science promise happiness? I do not believe it. It promised truth, and the question is to know if we will ever make happiness with truth."
-Emile Zola (1840-1902)

"Has science ever retreated? No! It is Catholicism which has always retreated before her, and will always be forced to retreat."
-Emile Zola (1840-1902) from "Views of Religion"

I'm going to leave this post public for a little while to let a few people snatch from quotes, but will make it F-locked within a few days if you want to comment, but don't want it public.
Tags: atheism, christians, evolution, quotes, religion, science
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