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Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

"I refuse to prove that I exist" says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing." "Oh," says man, "but the Babel Fish is a dead give-away, isn't it? It proves You exist, and so therefore You don't. Q.E.D." "Oh, I hadn't thought of that," says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?

This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religions in it.

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.

No actual tyrant known to history has ever been guilty of one-hundredth of the crimes, massacres, and other atrocities attributed to the Deity in the Bible.

I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.

The idea of an incarnation of God is absurd: why should the human race think itself so superior to bees, ants, and elephants as to be put in this unique relation to its maker?... Christians are like a council of frogs in a marsh or a synod of worms on a dung-hill croaking and squeaking "for our sakes was the world created."

Julian the Apostate
To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.

I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.

Creationists make it sound as though a theory is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night.

The Bible contains legendary, historical and ethical contents. It is quite possible to consider them separately, and one doesn’t have to accept the legends in order to get the ethics. Fundamentalists make a grave mistake to insist on the letter of the writings, because they drive away many who can’t swallow the Adam-and-Eve bit.

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

My spell-checker lacks the word 'creationism' in its dictionary, so each time that word is encountered, an alternative pops up at the bottom of my screen, 'cretinism'.

E.T. Babinski
People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern: to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy.

Mikhail Bakunin
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?

Religion seems to have a way of making people abandon logic.

Amanda Baxter
If you love God, burn the church.
Jello Biafra
Bible, n.: A divinely inspired book, admirably suited for the needs of one’s neighbors.

Christian, n.: one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Impiety, n.: Your irreverence toward my deity.

Infidel: In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.

Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

Religion: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

Scriptures: the sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.

We have fossils... We win!

Lewis Black
on creationism

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.

Napoleon Bonaparte
I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever.

To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.

David Brooks
If the bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it.

William Jennings Bryan
An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.

John Buchan
Believing in gods always causes confusion.

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings. Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels.

For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.

Science has done more for the development of Western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred years.

Jeff Burroughs
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.

Richard Francis Burton
I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.

I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.

Our scientists can see stars that have been dead for a billion years; they can document microscopic bacteria that concluded their brief lives on earth eons ago. But of God we have no trace, except for the testimony of scribes writing of events neither they nor those around them ever witnessed--and the faith of millions of people who have managed to convince themselves that he lives and reigns somewhere in the sky.

Steven Chapman
Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that -- it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.

Noam Chomsky
Religion is the human response to being alive and having to die.

F. Forester Church
The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history my be the hijacking of morality by religion. However valuable - even necessary - that may have been in enforcing good behavior on primitive peoples, their association is now counterproductive. Yet at the very moment when they should be decoupled, sanctimonious nitwits are calling for a return to morals based on superstition.

Arthur C. Clarke
Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

Chapman Cohen
It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

William K. Clifford
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.

In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality.

I do not believe in God because I do not believe in Mother Goose.

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.

For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey, who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper; or from that old baboon, who, descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade from a crowd of astonished dogs -- as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.

Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.

It is fashionable to wax apocalyptic about the threat to humanity posed by the AIDS virus, "mad cow" disease, and many others, but I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.

We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.

We are built as gene machines and cultured as meme machines, but we have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators.

I do think the Roman Catholic religion is a disease of the mind which has a particular epidemiology similar to that of a virus... Religion is a terrific meme. That's right. But that doesn't make it true and I care about what's true. Smallpox virus is a terrific virus. It does its job magnificently well. That doesn't mean that it's a good thing. It doesn't mean that I don't want to see it stamped out.

Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants.

In laying hands upon the sacred ark of absolute permanency, in treating the forms that had been regarded as types of fixity and perfection as originating and passing away, the Origin of Species introduced a mode of thinking that in the end was bound to transform the logic of knowledge, and hence the treatment of morals, politics, and religion.

A deist is someone who has not lived long enough to become an atheist.

An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" "No," said the priest, "not if you did not know." "Then why," asked the Inuit earnestly, "did you tell me?"

Annie Dillard
Religion is a disease. It is born of fear; it compensates through hate in the guise of authority, revelation. Religion, enthroned in a powerful social organization, can become incredibly sadistic. No religion has been more cruel than the Christian.

Dr. George A. Dorsey
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
Frederick Douglass,
escaped slave
If I were personally to define religion I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstance.

Religion is all bunk.

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.

True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.

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.

Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.

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.

My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God.

The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.

The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.

I am a deeply religious nonbeliever... This is a somewhat new kind of religion.

Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.

Man makes himself, and he only makes himself completely in proportion as he desacrilizes himself and the world. The sacred is the prime obstacle to his freedom. He will become himself only when he is totally demysticized. He will not be truly free until he has killed the last god.

Mircea Eliade
In an early class, one of the students asked me if I believed in God. I replied, 'I don't think so.' And then proceeded to wail on the theme, using material from this column of some weeks ago, in which I observed the perpetuation of insanity on this planet through the mediums of Arabs-vs-Jews, Catholics-vs-Protestants, Southern Baptists-vs-Everyone. I said I felt if 'God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he them,' (Genesis 2:27, King James's italics, not mine) then we were God. And when Man (my capitalization, not King James's) in his most creative, his most loving, his most gentle and most human, then he is most God-like. The student said he would pray for my immortal soul. He also asked for my address, so he could send me some literature on the subject of God. I thanked him politely and told him I'd gotten all the literature I could handle on the subject from a certain Thomas Aquinas.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.

James Feibleman
Science is of value because it can produce something.

Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.

Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one.

Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founders' than any other agency in the world.

Richard Le Gallienne
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty.

Mohandas K. Gandhi
The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.

Mohandas K. Gandhi
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.

On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.

Barry Goldwater
In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

Stephen J. Gould
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.

Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.

It is the position of some theists that their right to freedom OF religion is abridged when they are not allowed to violate the rationalists' right to freedom FROM religion.

James T. Green
I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do.

D. Dale Gulledge
The god who is reputed to have created fleas to keep dogs from moping over their situation must also have created fundamentalists to keep rationalists from getting flabby. Let us be duly thankful for out blessings.

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
One man's religion is another man's belly laugh.

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

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.

One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word.

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.

Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.

Don Hirschberg
One is presuming ... that this is the same god who actually created the audience he was addressing. This leaves us with the insoluble mystery of why he would have molded ("in his own image," yet) a covetous, murderous, disrespectful, lying, and adulterous species. Create them sick, and then command them to be well? What a mad despot this is, and how fortunate we are that he exists only in the minds of his worshippers."

Christopher Hitchins
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.

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.

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

Aldous Huxley
You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.

Aldous Huxley
Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable ... and its abandonment often brings a deep sense of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.

Sir Julian Huxley
I don't care if it rains or freezes,
long as I got my plastic Jesus,
sittin' on the dashboard of my car;
It makes no difference if we hit a bump,
he's held on by a suction cup,
sittin' on the dashboard of my car.
I can even go a hund'rd miles-an-hour,
as long as I've got that dee-vine power,
sittin' on the dashboard of my car.

Don Imis
Many people think they have religion when they are troubled with dyspepsia.

Few nations have been so poor as to have but one god. Gods were made so easily, and the raw material cost so little, that generally the god market was fairly glutted and heaven crammed with these phantoms.

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.

With soap baptism is a good thing.

Religion supports nobody. It has to be supported. It produces no wheat, no corn; it ploughs no land; it fells no forests. It is a perpetual mendicant. It lives on the labors of others, and then has the arrogance to pretend that it supports the giver.

An infinite God ought to be able to protect Himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures.

Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending the justice of his own imprisonment.

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.

Suppose, however, that God did give this law to the Jews, and did tell them that whenever a man preached a heresy, or proposed to worship any other God that they should kill him; and suppose that afterward this same God took upon himself flesh, and came to this very chosen people and taught a different religion, and that thereupon the Jews crucified him; I ask you, did he not reap exactly what he had sown? What right would this god have to complain of a crucifixion suffered in accordance with his own command?

Give the church a place in the Constitution, let her touch once more the sword of power, and the priceless fruit of all ages will turn to ashes on the lips of men.

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!"

Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.

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 blind-folded fear.

Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.

Shake off all the 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.

What has been the effect of religious coercion? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.

Thomas Jefferson
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.

One of my favorite fantasies is that next Sunday not one single woman, in any country of the world, will go to church. If women simply stop giving our time and energy to the institutions that oppress, they could cease to be.

Sonia Johnson
"Bullshit is Bullshit, regardless of the Testament it comes from, and you can take that to the bank."

Michael W. Jones
People of faith are kinder to people of different faith than they are to people of no faith.

Michael W. Jones
Reality is that set of circumstances which feels most concrete at the moment.
Michael W. Jones
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama
You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

Anne Lamott
Businesses may come and go, but religion will last forever, for in no other endeavor does the consumer blame himself for product failure.

Harvard Lamphoon
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
There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.

Richard Lederer
One reason why I recommend the abandonment of religious beliefs is because I think those beliefs are wrong. There is no evidence that our world was created by divine intention, that a god intercedes in human affairs, or that there is life after death. Religion is a hangover from humankind's timorous infancy; it's time for us to walk upright and unafraid, and to take charge of our own lives.

Simon LeVay
Christian fundamentalism: the doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.

Andrew Lias
The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.

Abraham Lincoln
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.

Abraham Lincoln
Friends, I agree with you in Providence; but I believe in the Providence of the most men, the largest purse, and the longest cannon.

Abraham Lincoln
It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity.

Abraham Lincoln
What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.

James Madison
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have 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
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.

Jim Bakker spells his name with two k's because three would be too obvious.

Bill Maher
The world holds two classes of men -- intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.

Abu'l-Ala-Al-Ma'arri
Religious suffering is at one and the same time the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

On the other hand, the Bible contains much that is relevant today, like Noah taking 40 days to find a place to park.

Curtis McDougall
If God kills, lies, cheats, discriminates, and otherwise behaves in a manner that puts the Mafia to shame, that's okay, he's God. He can do whatever he wants. Anyone who adheres to this philosophy has had his sense of morality, decency, justice and humaneness warped beyond recognition by the very book that is supposedly preaching the opposite.

Dennis McKinsey
The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.

Delos B. McKown
Most sermons sound to me like commercials - but I can't make out whether God is the Sponsor or the Product.

Mignon McLaughlin
I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence.

Doug McLeod
You can never tell the sinner from the Christian. They drink the same drinks and smoke the same cigars.

Aimee Semple McPherson
That is the whole trouble with being a heretic. One usually must think out everything for oneself.

Aubrey Menan
Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

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.

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.

The time appears to me to have come when it is the duty of all to make their dissent from religion known.

Moral: a peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord.

Donald Morgan
A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism.

Donald Morgan
Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.

An Atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now - here on earth - for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment. Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist knows 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 vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here and the time is now.

Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair)
Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains.... But it can put mountains where there are none.

Friedrich Nietzche
The last Christian died on the cross.

Friedrich Nietzche
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.

Anais Nin
The whole point of Christianity is that everyone in the world, from Charles Manson to Mother Teresa, deserves to go to hell.

Sean Ningen
He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.
When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.

Peter O’Toole
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. My mind is my own church. All national 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.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

Blaise Pascal
Geology shows that fossils are of different ages. Paleontology shows a fossil sequence, the list of species represented changes through time. Taxonomy shows biological relationships among species. Evolution is the explanation that threads it all together. Creationism is the practice of squeezing one's eyes shut and wailing "Does not!"

Dr.Pepper@f241.n103.z1.fidonet
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said 'Stop! don't do it!' 'Why shouldn't I?' he said. I said, 'Well, there's so much to live for!' He said, 'Like what?' I said, 'Well...are you religious or atheist?' He said, 'Religious.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?' He said, 'Christian.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?' He said, 'Protestant.' I said, 'Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?' He said, 'Baptist!' I said, 'Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?' He said, 'Baptist church of god!' I said, 'Me too! Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?' He said, 'Reformed Baptist church of god!' I said, 'Me too! Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?' He said, 'Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!' I said, 'Die, heretic scum,' and pushed him off.

Emo Phillips
All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.

Edgar Allen Poe
Since the masses of the people are inconstant, full of unruly desires, passionate, and reckless of consequences, they must be filled with fears to keep them in order. The ancients did well, therefore, to invent gods, and the belief in punishment after death.

The act of bellringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.

The wages of sin are death, but after they take the taxes out, it's more like a tired feeling, really.

Paula Poundstone
As to the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or do not exist.

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
It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.

Ernestine Rose
In conclusion, there is a marvelous anecdote from the occasion of Russell's ninetieth birthday that best serves to summarize his attitude toward God and religion. A London lady sat next to him at this party, and over the soup she suggested to him that he was not only the world's most famous atheist but, by this time, very probably the world's oldest atheist. "What will you do, Bertie, if it turns out you're wrong?" she asked. "I mean, what if -- uh -- when the time comes, you should meet Him? What will you say?" Russell was delighted with the question. His bright, birdlike eyes grew even brighter as he contemplated this possible future dialogue, and then he pointed a finger upward and cried, "Why, I should say, 'God, you gave us insufficient evidence.'"

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.

No man treats a motor car as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behavior to sin, he does not say, "You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go." He attempts to find out what is wrong and set it right.

I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.

We may define "faith" as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.

I wish to propose for the reader's favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.

A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.

If you accept the literal truth of every word of the Bible, then the Earth must be flat. The same is true for the Qu'ran. Pronouncing the Earth round then means you're an atheist. In 1993, the supreme religious authority of Saudi Arabia, Sheik Abdel-Aziz Ibn Baaz, issued an edict, or fatwa, declaring that the world is flat. Anyone of the round persuasion does not believe in God and should be punished

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

... consider the mainstream religions. We are enjoined in Micah to do justly and love mercy; in Exodus we are forbidden to commit murder; in Leviticus we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves; and in the Gospels we are urged to love our enemies. Yet think of the rivers of blood spilled by fervent followers of the books in which these well-meaning exhortations are embedded.

The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying...it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.

I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.

Nature wants us to enjoy life to the full and die without giving it a second thought; Christianity wants the opposite.

Sainte-Beuve
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.

The Bible is literature, not dogma.

Belief is an obsolete Aristotelian category.

Dr. Jack Sarfatti
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.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't!

When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.

Frank Sinatra
The third major characteristic of God - "infinitude" - is the catchall, the universal modifier of Christian theology. God is not merely a being; he is infinite being. God is not merely good; he is infinite goodness. God is not merely wise; he is infinite wisdom. And so on down the list. God is exaggeration run amuck.

The bible teaches that women brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period [of] suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire... Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless.

There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa. They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land. They said "Let us pray," and we dutifully shut our eyes. When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible.

Desmond M. Tutu
Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion –- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.

There are many scapegoats for our sins, but the most popular one is Providence.

Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

Instead of being born again, why not just grow up?

Unknown
Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish.

Unknown
In general, the churches, visited by me often on weekdays... bore for me the same relation to God that billboards did to Coca-Cola; they promoted thirst without quenching it.

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

Inspiration: a peculiar effect of divine flatulence emitted by the Holy Spirit which hisses into the ears of a few chosen of God.

One thing I have no worry about is whether God exists. But it has occurred to me that God has Alzheimer's and has forgotten we exist.

Jane Wagner
I refuse to be labeled immoral merely because I am godless.

Peter Walker
There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.

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.

Did St. Francis really preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.

Rebecca West
Among politicians the esteem of religion is profitable; the principles of it are troublesome.

Benjamin Whichcote
Religion is what an individual does with his solitariness.

Science is the record of dead religions.

Our gods are dead. Ancient Klingon warriors slew them a millennia ago. They were...more trouble than they were worth.

Worf
A Christian is a man who feels
Repentance on a Sunday
For what he did on Saturday
And is going to do on Monday.

Thomas Russell Ybarra
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 kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions."

Frank Zappa
Among mammals, a virgin birth (parthenogenesis) can only produce female offspring, for chromosomal reasons. Messiahs are mammals. Therefore, Jesus was... On the other hand, among turkeys, the chromosomal situation is such that all products of virgin birth are males. So if Jesus was a male, he might also have been...

Frank Zindler
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
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