Atheism (quotes)


Atheists argue that God does not exist


Atheism is disbelief in God


Atheists argue that God was created by man in his own image

  • All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours. Aldous Huxley
  • If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated. Voltaire
  • If God has created us in His image, we have more than returned the compliment. Voltaire
  • If triangles had a God, He’d have three sides.
  • In the beginning Man created God; and in the image of Man created he him. Jethro Tull
  • Is man one of God’s blunders, or is God one of man’s blunders? Friedrich Nietzsche
  • It is said that God has created man in his own image. But it may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him. Arthur C. Clarke
  • Man creates both his god and his devil in his own image. His god is himself at his best, and his devil himself at his worst. Elbert Hubbard
  • On the sixth day God created man. On the seventh day, man returned the favor.
  • There is a very good saying that if triangles invented a god, they would make him three- sided. Charles De Montesquieu
  • On the first day, man created God.
  • You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. Anne Lamott
  • Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form, but with regard to their mode of life. Aristotle

Atheists argue that God is a projection of the human mind … 

  • The traditional God is a patriarchal, controlling authority figure, an often angry man who you should live in fear of, as the Old Testament suggests. This God is a projection of the human mind. Eckhart Tolle
  • That’s the problem with religion: you beat your way past the clerics, fight your way through the demons, stand before the holy of holies, and when you rip away the veil, there’s nothing there but a mirror. Owen Rowley
  • The mindProjection

… a projection of human frailty

  • We have made up a God in our image. Because we are angry and judgmental, we have projected those characteristics onto Him. Marianne Williamson
  • I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Albert Einstein
  • Everything flows from God, but we are limited by imposing our human perceptions upon him. Man designs God according to his own image and the image man has of himself is flawed. Tobsha Learner
  • Our notions of God are tinged by our own characters and ignorance. Austin O’Malley
  • Gods always behave like the people who created them. Zora Neale Hurston
  • It’s almost as if The Bible was written by racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, sexually frustrated men, instead of a loving God. Weird. Ricky Gervais
  • Man created God in his image: intolerant, sexist, homophobic and violent. Marie de France
  • Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. Robert Heinlein
  • The word ‘God’ is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses. Albert Einstein
  • All religions, with their gods, their demi-gods, and their prophets, their messiahs and their saints, were created by the prejudiced fancy of men who had not attained the full development and full possession of their faculties. Mikhail Bakunin
  • Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a God superior to themselves. Most Gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. Robert A. Heinlein
  • Weakness

Atheists argue that God’s invisibility is evidence of his non-existence …

  • The invisible and the nonexistent look very much alike. Delos B. McKown
  • The invisible is what nobody cares about, but the non-existent is what everyone believes in. Lauren Fisher

… that God is, in effect, nothing but an imaginary friend

  • When I was a kid I had an imaginary friend and I used to think that he went everywhere with me, and that I could talk to him and that he could hear me, and that he could grant me wishes and stuff. And then I grew up, and I stopped going to church. Jimmy Carr
  • You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend. Richard Jeni

Atheists argue that a belief in God is not necessary for a society to be ethical, moral or virtuous

  • Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. Christopher Hitchens
  • We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instils morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid. Christopher Hitchens
  • What I’m asking you to entertain is that there is nothing we need to believe on insufficient evidence in order to have deeply ethical and spiritual lives. Sam Harris
  • 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
  • Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men. Francis Bacon
  • Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. Kurt Vonnegut
  • I have no need for religion, I have a conscience.
  • Since ancient times, the philosophers’ secret has always been this: we know that God does not exist, or, at least, if he does, he’s utterly indifferent to our individual affairs–but we can’t let the rabble know that; it’s the fear of God, the threat of divine punishment and the promise of divine reward, that keeps in line those too unsophisticated to work out questions of morality on their own. Robert J. Sawyer
  • Nothing shall warp me from the belief that every man is a lover of truth. There is no pure lie, no pure malignity in nature. The entertainment of the proposition of depravity is the last profligacy and profanation. There is no scepticism, no atheism but that. Could it be received into common belief, suicide would unpeople the planet. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • If you are right to believe that religious faith offers the only real basis for morality, then atheists should be less moral than believers. In fact, they should be utterly immoral. Are they? Do members of atheist organizations in the United States commit more than their fair share of violent crimes? Do the members of the National Academy of Sciences, 93 percent of whom do not accept the idea of God, lie and cheat and steal with abandon? We can be reasonably confident that these groups are at least as well behaved as the general population. And yet, athiests are the most reviled minority in the United States. Sam Harris
  • Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best- educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human- development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest- ranked countries — Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands — all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious. These associations say nothing about whether atheism leads to positive social indicators or the other way around. But the idea that atheists are somehow less moral, honest, or trustworthy have been disproven by study after study. Greg Graffin
  • It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. … Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. Albert Einstein
  • If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. Albert Einstein
  • VirtueMorality and ethicsGoodness

Atheists argue that scientists and intellectuals have done more for the world than any priest

  • Let us be honest. Did all the priests of Rome increase the mental wealth of man as much as Bruno? Did all the priests of France do as great a work for the civilization of the world as Diderot and Volataire? Did all the ministers of Scotland add as much to the sum of human knowledge as David Hume? Have all the clergymen, monks, friars, ministers, priests, bishops, cardinals and popes, from the day of Pentecost to the last election, done as much for human liberty as Thomas Paine? — as much for science as Charles Darwin? Robert G. Ingersoll
  • Science

Atheists point out they believe in just one fewer God than religious people do

  • 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’m a polyatheist. There are many gods I don’t believe in.  Dan Fouts
  • When you   understand why   you   dismiss   all   the   other   possible   gods,   you  will understand why I dismiss yours. Stephen  Roberts
  • 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

Some atheists argue that even if God exists, he is unknowable …

  • A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce
  • You’ve got your phenomenon on one hand. Concrete and knowable. On the other hand you’ve got the incomprehensible. You call it God, but to me, God or no, it remains just that, the unknowable. Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess
  • Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains. Robert G. Ingerstoll
  • If atheism is to be used to express the state of mind in which God is identified with the unknowable, and theology is pronounced to be a collection of meaningless words about unintelligible chimeras, then I have no doubt, and I think few people doubt. Leslie Stephen

… an entity beyond the comprehension of the limited human mind

  • I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand, I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can. Certainly I agree with you that my views are not at all necessarily atheistical. Charles Darwin

Atheists argue that religion has much to answer for


Atheists argue that religion can bring out the very worst in people

  • Fundamentalism, of any type, due to its prerequisite lack of intelligent thought, could prove to be the worst weapon of mass destruction, of all. David J. Constable
  • Gods dont kill people. People with Gods kill people. David Viaene
  • History teaches us that no other cause has brought more death than the word of god. Giulian Buzila
  • Humanity without religion is like a serial killer without a chainsaw.
  • You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend. Richard Jeni
  • You do not need the Bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate. Richard A. Weatherwax
  • 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
  • Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire
  • Religion is the last refuge of human savagery. Alfred North Whitehead
  • Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire
  • The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers. Denis Diderot
  • Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people. Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney
  • Gods don’t kill people. People with Gods kill people. Delos B. Mckown
  • 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
  • Most religions prophecy the end of the world and then consistently work together to ensure that these prophecies come true.
  • Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions. Blaise Pascal
  • It is taboo in our society to criticize a person’s religious faith… these taboos are offensive, deeply unreasonable, but worse than that, they are getting people killed. This is really my concern. My concern is that our religions, the diversity of our religious doctrines, is going to get us killed. I’m worried that our religious discourse- our religious beliefs are ultimately incompatible with civilization. Sam Harris
  • Religion

Atheists argue that religion does little but divide people and create conflict

  • I know of no wars started by anyone to impose lack of religion on someone else. We have lethal Sunni v Shia, Catholic against Protestant, but no agnostic suicide bombers attack crowded atheist pubs. Simon Hoggart
  • When the stakes are this high – when calling God by the right name can make the difference between eternal happiness and eternal suffering, it is impossible to respect the beliefs of others who don’t believe as you do. Sam Harris
  • All ideologies are idiotic, whether religious or political, for it is conceptual thinking, the conceptual word, which has so unfortunately divided man. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • I’m sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don’t think there’s any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock. Howard Stern
  • It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion. Jon Stewart
  • Religion, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. Instead of bringing about an ending of violence and hatred through a realization of the fundamental oneness of all life, they brought more violence and hatred, more divisions between people as well as between different religions and even within the same religion. They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them, they could make themselves “right” and others “wrong” and thus define their identity through their enemies, the “others,” the “nonbelievers” or “wrong believers” who not infrequently they saw themselves justified in killing. Eckhart Tolle

Atheists argue that history is full of the harm that religion has done

  • Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse. Christopher Hitchens
  • Consider the long history of the activities inspired by moral fervour: human sacrifices, persecutions of heretics, witch-hunts, pogroms leading up to wholesale extermination by poison gases … Are these abominations, and the ethical doctrines by which they are prompted, really evidence of an intelligent Creator? And can we really wish that the men who practised them should live for ever? The world in which we live can be understood as a result of muddle and accident; but if it is the outcome of a deliberate purpose, the purpose must have been that of a fiend. For my part, I find accident a less painful and more plausible hypothesis. Bertrand Russell
  • I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not sceptics 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. Daniel Boorstin
  • There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages. Ruth Hurmence Green
  • Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea. Madalyn Murray O’Hair
  • The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, is true perversion! Harvey Milk
  • On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarrelling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Thomas Jefferson
  • History

Atheists argue that religion is a form of mind control and coercion that imposes its will on others

  • Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse. Christopher Hitchens
  • The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world. Georgia Harkness
  • Man is a 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 neighbour 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. Mark Twain
  • Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. Napoleon Bonaparte
  • All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few. Stendhal
  • Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
  • Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think. Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Religion is the opium of the masses. Karl Marx
  • Religion is the opium of the poor. Ernest Hemingway
  • 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
  • Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches. Thomas Aquinas
  • 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
  • If god doesn’t like the way I live, Let him tell me, not you. Sadegh Hedayat
  • Conformity

Atheists argue that religious doctrine can have deeply harmful effects …

  • Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” The adage is true as long as you don’t really believe the words. But if your whole upbringing, and everything you have ever been told by parents, teachers and priests, has led you to believe, really believe, utterly and completely, that sinners burn in hell (or some other obnoxious article of doctrine such as that a woman is the property of her husband), it is entirely plausible that words could have a more long- lasting and damaging effect than deeds. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
  • What has been Christianity’s fruits? Superstition, Bigotry and Persecution. James Madison
  • To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds. Robert G. Ingersoll
  • I am not even an atheist so much as an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful. Reviewing the false claims of religion, I do not wish, as some sentimental materialists affect to wish, that they were true. I do not envy believers their faith. I am relieved to think that the whole story is a sinister fairy tale; life would be miserable if what the faithful affirmed was actually true…. There may be people who wish to live their lives under cradle- to- grave divine supervision, a permanent surveillance and monitoring. But I cannot imagine anything more horrible or grotesque. Christopher Hitchens

… especially the doctrine of fear based religions …

  • Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. Thomas Paine
  • If, it was natural to reason, God punishes men with eternal torment, it is surely lawful for men
  • It is of course evident that everything in one’s religious life depends upon the sort of God one worships. The character of the worshiper must necessarily be moulded by the character of the object worshipped.  If it is a cruel and revengeful God, or a selfish and unjust God, the worshiper will be cruel, and revengeful, and selfish, and unjust, also. Hannah Whitall Smith
  • It makes a great deal of difference what sort of God men believe in. Henry Ward Beecher
  • So long as you believe in a Two-Faced God, you will create ecstasy and terror side by side. You have imagined a God who is the epitome of both, and by telling yourself that you are created in the Image and Likeness of God, you have given yourself the moral authority to demonstrate both. You love and hate in the name of God. Neale Donald Walsch
  • Studies show that people who perceive God as distant and punitive are more likely to be distressed and ill. Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • The Bible tells us to be like God, and then on page after page it describes God as a mass murderer. This may be the single most important key to the political behaviour of Western Civilization. Robert Anton Wilson
  • There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven. Robert G. Ingersoll
  • These studies support our argument that fear-based religions can be hazardous to your health. It’s too bad that the Surgeon General can’t place a warning sign on certain passages from the Bible or Koran, especially those that encourage violence toward people who hold different beliefs. Andrew Newberg
  • If, it was natural to reason, God punishes men with eternal torment, it is surely lawful for men to use doses of it in a good cause. Joseph McCabe (on the history of torture)
  • Fear

Nothing is more damaging than the concept of hell …

  • To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world? Christopher Hitchens
  • It should be illegal to threaten a 7-year-old child with eternal torture. Roger Phillips
  • I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine. Charles Darwin
  • Consider, children … the pain of touching the tip of your finger to your mother’s stove, even for a fraction of a second. That is an experience which most of you have suffered. Now try to imagine that pain, not simply on a fingertip but spread over the whole surface of your body, and not for a mere second, but everlastingly. That, children, is hellfire. Louis Auchincloss
  • Hell

… a sick, cruel concept that is clearly man-made

  • Nothing proves the man-made character of religion as obviously as the sick mind that designed hell, unless it is the sorely limited mind that has failed to describe heaven. Christopher Hitchens
  • Hell is the carrot and the stick in the chain letter that is the Christian religion
  • The extreme horribleness of hell, as portrayed by priests and nuns, is inflated to compensate for its implausibility. If hell were plausible, it would only have to be moderately unpleasant in order to deter. Given that it is so unlikely to be true, it has to be advertised as very very scary indeed. Richard Dawkins

Some atheists argue that even the concept of heaven is somewhat hellish

  • As far as I can tell from studying the scriptures, all you do in heaven is pretty much just sit around all day and praise the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I think that after the first, oh, I don’t know, 50,000,000 years of that I’d start to get a little bored. Rick Reynolds
  • Most people cannot bear sitting in church for an hour on a Sunday. How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for an eternity? Mark Twain
  • Heaven

Atheists argue that religion can be harmful to children

  • I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behaviour can be presented to them as reprehensible? Ruth Hurmence Green
  • I would defend the liberty of consenting adult creationists to practice whatever intellectual perversions they like in the privacy of their own homes; but it is also necessary to protect the young and innocent. Arthur C. Clarke
  • To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world? Christopher Hitchens
  • It should be illegal to threaten a 7-year-old child with eternal torture. Roger Phillips

Atheists argue that religion is often abusive of human rights

  • I’ll stop being a militant atheist when religion stops trying to legislate the civil rights of gays, the reproductive rights of women, and the wanton indoctrination of children.
  • The bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling block in the way of women’s emancipation. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • What is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked. Rowan Atkinson

Atheists argue that religion tends to be sexist

  • It will yet be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible. George W. Foote
  • People ask me what I think about that woman priest thing. What, a woman priest? Women priests. Great, great. Now there’s priests of both sexes I don’t listen to. Bill Hicks

Atheists argue that religion tends to be homophobic

  • By Hays’ reasoning, penetrating a rectum with a penis is a violation of how God meant humans to function. However, penetrating a human body with a sword, a common way to kill people in biblical times, is acceptable. Apparently human bodies were designed to be penetrated by metal implements, but not by flesh. Hector Avalos
  • Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family. Steven Colbert

Atheists argue we’d be better off with no religion at all

  • God save us from religion. David Eddings
  • I’m religiously opposed to religion. Victor Hugo
  • Religion is not merely the opium of the masses, it’s the cyanide. Tom Robbins
  • A man without religion is like a horse without a bridle. Latin Proverb
  • This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it. John Adams
  • Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest. Émile Zola
  • You don’t get to advertise all the good that your religion does without first scrupulously subtracting all the harm it does and considering seriously the question of whether some other religion, or no religion at all, does better. Daniel C. Dennett
  • Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Volataire was simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with. Christopher Hitchens
  • If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish Him. Mikhail Bakunin
  • The first requisite of the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion. Karl Marx

Atheists argue that religion is full of superstitions and absurdities


Atheists argue that the bible contains much that is absurd and damaging …

  • …it is not to be understood that I am with him [Jesus] in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist, he takes the side of spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentance toward forgiveness of sin. I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it… Among the sayings & discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence: and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. Thomas Jefferson
  • The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief — call it what you will – than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counterattractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course. A.A. Milne
  • Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived. Isaac Asimov
  • 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
  • When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything equal to it. Oscar Wilde
  • Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake. Jon Stewart
  • The biblical account of Noah’s Ark and the Flood is perhaps the most implausible story for fundamentalists to defend. Where, for example, while loading his ark, did Noah find penguins and polar bears in Palestine? Judith Hayes
  • I wonder who got the shit job of scouring the planet for the 15000 species of butterfly or the 8800 species of ant they eventually took on board Noah’s Ark. But at least we got that magical rainbow for all their trouble. Azura Skye
  • You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help? Dan Barker

… and is clearly written by man, not God

  • The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride- price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals. Christopher Hitchens
  • It’s almost as if The Bible was written by racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, sexually frustrated men, instead of a loving God. Weird. Ricky Gervais
  • It is time we admitted, from kings and presidents on down, that there is no evidence that any of our books was authored by the Creator of the universe. The Bible, it seems certain, was the work of sand- strewn men and women who thought the earth was flat and for whom a wheelbarrow would have been a breath-taking example of emerging technology. To rely on such a document as the basis for our worldview- however heroic the efforts of redactors- is to repudiate two thousand years of civilizing insights that the human mind has only just begun to inscribe upon itself through secular politics and scientific culture. We will see that the greatest problem confronting civilization is not merely religious extremism: rather, it is the larger set of cultural and intellectual accommodations we have made to faith itself.   Sam Harris

Many atheists dismiss religion as nothing but superstition …

  • 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? Douglas Adams
  • An atheist doesn’t have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can’t be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question. John McCarthy
  • Goblins, hobbits… truly everlasting gobstoppers… God is just one of the things that atheists don’t believe in, it just happens to be the thing that, for historical reasons, gave them their name. Julian Baggini
  • I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose Clarence Darrow
  • I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same fifty percent rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don’t…Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe…same as the voodoo lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat’s testicles. It’s all the same…so just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself… George Carlin

… based on only mythology, legends and metaphors

  • The word ‘God’ is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, and religious scripture a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change this. Albert Einstein
  • Religions are all alike — founded upon fables and mythologies. Thomas Jefferson
  • The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes. James Feibleman
  • Myth is what we call other people’s religion. Joseph Campbell
  • Today’s religion will be the future’s mythology. Both believed at one time by many; but proved wrong by the clever. Steven Crocker
  • There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call “atheists,” and those who think they are facts are “religious.” Which group really gets the message? Joseph Campbell

Atheists argue that religion is testament to mankind’s egotism

  • The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself. Richard Burton
  • Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism. William James
  • I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with ‘you’ in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me. Christopher Hitchens
  • I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim—so modestly and so humbly—to possess. It is time to withdraw our ‘respect’ from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world. Christopher Hitchens
  • The trouble with theocracy is that everyone wants to be Theo. James Dunn
  • Transcending the egoVanity

Atheists argue that religions promote ignorance, based on blind faith and dogma


Atheists argue that religion promotes ignorance …

  • I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. Richard Dawkins
  • God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance. Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. Douglas Adams
  • To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. Isaac Asimov
  • Theology is ignorance with wings. Sam Harris
  • The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it. Robert G. Ingersoll
  • Ignorance

… by encouraging people to believe with blind and unquestioning faith …

  • Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power but absolute power is corrupt only in the hands of the absolutely faithful.
  • Blind faith is an ironic gift to return to the Creator of human intelligence.
  • I had to set limits to reason in order to make room for faith. Kant
  • The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. Benjamin Franklin
  • I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing. Douglas Adams
  • Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. David Stevens
  • Your least favourite virtue, or nominee for the most overrated one? Faith. Closely followed—in view of the overall shortage of time—by patience. Christopher Hitchens
  • Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
  • Religions are like pills, which must be swallowed whole without chewing.
  • Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. Frater Ravus
  • Faith means not wanting to know what is true. Friedrich Nietzsche
  • 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. Richard Dawkins
  • Faith

… blind faith that can be harmful and dangerous

  • What I have a problem with is not so much religion or god, but faith. When you say you believe something in your heart and therefore you can act on it, you have completely justified the 9/11 bombers. You have justified Charlie Manson. If it’s true for you, why isn’t it true for them? Why are you different? If you say, “I believe there’s an all- powerful force of love in the universe that connects us all, and I have no evidence of that but I believe it in my heart,” then it’s perfectly okay to believe in your heart that Sharon Tate deserves to die. It’s perfectly okay to believe in your heart that you need to fly planes into buildings for Allah.” Penn Jillette
  • We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That’s it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper. Sam Harris
  • There are few things more dangerous than inbred religious certainty. Bart D. Ehrman

Blind faith traps the mind in untested beliefs and dogma …

  • A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
  • Religion is about turning untested belief into unshakeable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time. Richard Dawkins
  • To ‘choose’ dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid. Christopher Hitchens
  • People wrap themselves in their beliefs. And they do it in such a way that you can’t set them free. Not even the truth will set them free. Michael Specter
  • Ninety-nine percent of people will die having not examined their conditioning and beliefs in a meaningful way. Brent Kessel
  • BeliefIdeology and dogmaFaith

… shutting us off from personal growth and evolution

  • You keep believing, I’ll keep evolving.
  • When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. Anaïs Nin
  • Belief is the death of intelligence. Robert Anton
  • Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay. Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • GrowthEvolution

Atheists argue religion is devoid of logic and evidence, unlike Science


Atheists argue that religion is largely devoid of logic, reason and scientific fact …

  • Finding that no religion is based on facts and cannot be true, I began to reflect what must be the condition of mankind trained from infancy to believe in error. Robert Owen
  • What has religion to do with facts? Nothing. Robert Green Ingersoll
  • What I conclude is that religion has nothing to do with experience or reason but with deep and irrational needs. Richard Taylor
  • By religion I mean a set of beliefs held as dogmas, dominating the conduct of life, going beyond or contrary to evidence, and inculcated by methods which are emotional or authoritarian, not intellectual. Bertrand Russell
  • Religion is a pill best swallowed without chewing.
  • I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously. Douglas Adams
  • Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be religious people. Doris Egan
  • Being unable to reason is not a positive character trait outside religion. Dewey Henize
  • It is time that we admitted that faith is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail. Sam Harris
  • Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence. Christopher Hitchen
  • Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Aldous Huxley
  • He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave. William Drummond
  • In the long run, nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction religion offers to both is palpable. Sigmund Freud
  • The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life. Sigmund Freud
  • 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
  • LogicReasonFactsReality

… based on a complete lack of evidence

  • While believing strongly, without evidence, is considered a mark of madness or stupidity in any other area of our lives, faith in God still holds immense prestige in our society. Religion is the one area of our discourse where it is considered noble to pretend to be certain about things no human being could possibly be certain about. It is telling that this aura of nobility extends only to those faiths that still have many subscribers. Anyone caught worshipping Poseidon, even at sea, will be thought insane. Sam Harris
  • The faith of religion is belief on insufficient evidence. Sam Harris
  • That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. Christopher Hitchens
  • What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. Christopher Hitchens
  • I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake… Religion is all bunk. Thomas Edison

If atheists have a faith in anything, it is a deep faith in science to reveal the truth …

  • Science can teach us, and I think our hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supporters, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make the world a fit place to live. Bertrand Russell
  • God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance. Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again. Penn Jillette
  • The major obstacle to a religious renewal is the intellectual classes, who are highly influential and tend to view religion as primitive superstition. They believe that science has left atheism as the only respectable intellectual stance. Robert Bork
  • Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing “Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!” If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept. Dan Barker
  • Science and reason liberate us from the shackles of superstition by offering us a framework for understanding our shared humanity. Ultimately, we all have the capacity to treasure life and enrich the world in incalculable ways. Gad Saad
  • We owe a huge debt to Galileo for emancipating us all from the stupid belief in an Earth-centred or man-centred (let alone God-centred) system. He quite literally taught us our place and allowed us to go on to make extraordinary advances in knowledge. Christopher Hitchens
  • The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church. Ferdinand Magellan
  • Our ignorance is God; what we know is science. Robert G. Ingersoll
  • Thus, I came…to a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true….Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience…an attitude which has never left me. Albert Einstein
  • Science

… and kill the belief in God once and for all

  • All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science. Matthew Arnold
  • Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense. Chapman Cohen
  • They felt that science would be corrosive to religious belief and they were worried about it. Damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive to religious belief and it’s a good thing. Steven Weinberg
  • All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science. Matthew Arnold

Atheists argue that science opens its mind while religion closes it

  • Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I’m sure we’ll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn’t withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn’t seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That’s an idea we’re so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it’s kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is ‘Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything bad about; you’re just not. Why not? – because you’re not! Douglas Adams

Atheists argue religion is born of fear, wishful thinking and lack of intelligence


Atheists argue that religion is born out of fear and guilt

  • All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. Edgar Allan Poe
  • All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays. Cathy Ladman
  • All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few. Stendhal
  • The finality of death is the coldest truth one must face. Religion makes the perfect distraction.
  • In the absence of fear there is little faith. Michael Pain
  • If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods, that fancy enthusiasm or deceit adorned them, that weakness worships them, that credulity preserves them, and that custom respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests. Baron d’Holbach
  • If only I wasn’t an atheist, I could get away with anything. You’d just ask for forgiveness and then you’d be forgiven. It sounds much better than having to live with guilt. Keira Knightley
  • They say religion is about love, but you wonder how much of it really is about fear. Deb Caletti
  • 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. Edward Abbey
  • FearGuilt

Atheists argue that religion is born of out of wishful thinking

  • Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires. Sigmund Freud
  • It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after- life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be. Sigmund Freud
  • Our hope of immortality does not come from any religions, but nearly all religions come from that hope. Robert Green Ingersoll
  • 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. Carl Sagan
  • Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of. Mark Twain

Atheists argue that religion is born of out of flawed and fictitious scriptures

  • A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism. Donald Morgan
  • Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived. Isaac Asimov
  • To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled- together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and ‘improved’ by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries. Richard Dawkins
  • I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. Ian McKellen
  • One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad. Aleister Crowley
  • The characters and events depicted in the damn bible are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Penn and Teller
  • The Bible has noble poetry in it… and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies. Mark Twain
  • I believe the fast track to atheism is reading the Bible. I’ve read it three times all the way through. It’s a big part of our culture, a big part of our history. I don’t just read things I agree with. Penn Jillette

Atheists argue that religion is born out of mankind’s impotence and weakness

  • A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce
  • Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand. Karl Marx
  • Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. Jesse Ventura
  • Weakness

Atheists argue that religion is born out of mankind’s need to believe and know

  • Man has always required an explanation for all of those things in the world he did not understand. If an explanation was not available, he created one. Jim Crawford
  • You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep- seated need to believe. Carl Sagan

Atheists argue religion is born out of a lack of intelligence

  • Animals do not have gods, they are smarter than that. Ronnie Snow
  • As more people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers. Robert G. Ingersoll
  • Belief is the death of intelligence. Robert Anton
  • You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion…. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. 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
  • The world holds two classes of men: intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence. Abu’l Ala al Ma’arri
  • The problem with religion, because it’s been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation. Sam Harris
  • The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains. Al-Maʿarri
  • So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence. Bertrand Russell
  • The foolish reject what they see and not what they think; the wise reject what they think and not what they see. Huang Po
  • 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
  • Intelligence

Atheists argue that believers are fixated on death and life after death at the price of living now

  • A preoccupation with the next world clearly shows an inability to cope credibly with this one. Richard K. Morgan
  • Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. Richard Dawkins
  • Atheists will celebrate life, while you’re in church celebrating death.

Atheists argue we’re better off with unhappy truths than fantastical illusions


Atheists argue we are better off knowing the truth even if that truth makes us unhappy

  • The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. George Bernard Shaw
  • It is my firm conviction that man has nothing to gain, emotionally or otherwise, by adhering to a falsehood, regardless of how comfortable or sacred that falsehood may appear. Anyone who claims, on the one hand, that he is concerned with human welfare, and who demands, on the other hand, that man must suspend or renounce the use of his reason, is contradicting himself. There can be no knowledge of what is good for man apart from knowledge of reality and human nature, and there is no manner in which this knowledge can be acquired except through reason. To advocate irrationality is to advocate that which is destructive to human life. George H. Smith
  • Truth

Atheists argue that just because millions believe something does not make it true

  • A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. David Stevens
  • When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion. Robert Pirsig
  • The problem with religion, because it’s been sheltered from criticism, is that it allows people to believe en masse what only idiots or lunatics could believe in isolation. Sam Harris
  • The truth, of course, is that a billion falsehoods told a billion times by a billion people are still false. Travis Walton
  • Truth has nothing to do with the number of people it convinces. Paul Claudel
  • The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth. Somerset Maugham
  • The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd. Utterly Russell
  • It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people. Giordano Bruno
  • The truth is not always the same as the majority decision. Pope Jean Paul

Atheists have a complete disdain for the judgemental God of the old testament


Many atheists have a disdain and even hatred of the God presented in theology …

  • I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t. Jules Renard
  • If I thought the Jews killed God, I’d worship the Jews. Bill Maher
  • God should be executed for crimes against humanity. Carl Sagan
  • He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him. George Orwell
  • I refuse to believe in a god who is the primary cause of conflict in the world, preaches racism, sexism, homophobia, and ignorance, and then sends me to hell if I’m ‘bad’. Mike Fuhrman
  • Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man … living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money. George Carlin
  • 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
  • I think that God that we have created and allowed to shape our culture through, essentially Christian theology is a pretty villainous creature. I think that one of the things that male patriarchal figure has done is, allowed under it’s, his church, his wing, all kinds of corruptions and villainies to grow and fester. In the name of that God terrible wars have been waged, in the name of that God terrible sexism has been allowed to spread. There are children being born all across this world that don’t have enough food to eat because that God, at least his church, tells the mothers and fathers that they must procreate at all costs, and to prevent procreation with a condom is in contravention with his laws. Now, I don’t believe that God exists. I think that God is creation of men, by men, and for men. What has happened over the many centuries now, the better part of two thousand in fact, is that that God has been slowly and steadily accruing power. His church has been accruing power, and the men who run that church, and they are all men, are not about to give it up. If they give it up, they give up luxury, they give up comfort. Clive Barker

…a God sitting in constant judgement of his own creation …

  • 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
  • The existence of the world without God seems to me less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell. Armand Salacrou
  • I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. Albert Einstein
  • To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell. Marquis de Sade
  • I do not believe in a God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. Albert Einstein

… a God that is a vengeful tyrant

  • A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God who interfered with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If God is seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought, a cause separate from its effect, he becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all knowing tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything and everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that rejects such a God is amply justified. Karen Armstrong
  • I studied every page of this book, and I didn’t find enough love to fill a salt shaker. God is not love in the Bible; God is vengeance, from Alpha to Omega. Ruth Hurmence Green
  • Eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s infinite love. Bill Hicks
  • The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control- freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Richard Dawkins
  • God should be executed for crimes against humanity. Bryan Emmanuel Gutierrez

Atheists also question the logic of the God presented in theology

  • If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all- powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? If he has spoken, why is the universe not convinced? If the knowledge of a God is the most necessary, why is it not the most evident and the clearest? Percy Bysshe Shelley

Surely our wondrous universe is more than a battleground for the contest between good and evil?

  • It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvellous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil – which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama. Richard P. Feynman
  • Wonder

Surely God wouldn’t make knowing him an accident of birth?

  • If you have a faith, it is statistically overwhelmingly likely that it is the same faith as your parents and grandparents had. No doubt soaring cathedrals, stirring music, moving stories and parables, help a bit. But by far the most important variable determining your religion is the accident of birth. The convictions that you so passionately believe would have been a completely different, and largely contradictory, set of convictions, if only you had happened to be born in a different place. Richard Dawkins
  • Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” Priest: “No, not if you did not know.” Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?” Annie Dillard

If God is omnipotent, then how could evil be possible to start with?

  • 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
  • Epicurus’s old questions are still unanswered: Is he (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? then whence evil? David Hume

If God is omnipotent, how could the world be in the state it is in?

  • Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would’ve been out on his all- powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say “this guy”, because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man. No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he’s at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn’t give a shit. Doesn’t give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results. George Carlin
  • 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
  • If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself. Alexandre Dumas
  • I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fucked up. George Carlin
  • I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world. Georges Duhamel

How could an omnipotent God ever require the sacrifice of a son?

  • Not scorning the three delightful children who are everything to me and who are my only chance of even a glimpse of a second life, let alone an immortal one, and I’ll tell you something: If I was told to sacrifice them to prove my devotion to God, if I was told to do what all monotheists are told to do and admire the man who said, “Yes, I gut my kid to show my love of god.” I’d say “No, fuck you.” Christopher Hitchens
  • I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion … If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible? Ruth Hurmence Green

The benefits of atheism, as argued by atheists


Atheists argue that their message is a profoundly positive one and brings strong rewards

  • No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism. Annie Wood Besant
  • I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting. Many a man has borne himself proudly on the scaffold; surely the same pride should teach us to think truly about man’s place in the world. Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cosy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigour, and the great spaces have a splendour of their own. Bertrand Russell

Atheists argue that atheism encourages us to appreciate and embrace life more, for it’s the only one we have

  • The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren- song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • If you’re an atheist, you know, you believe, this is the only life you’re going to get. It’s a precious life. It’s a beautiful life. It’s something we should live to the full, to the end of our days. Where if you’re religious and you believe in another life somehow, that means you don’t live this life to the full because you think you’re going to get another one. That’s an awfully negative way to live a life. Being an atheist frees you up to live this life properly, happily and fully.” Richard Dawkins
  • An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. Madalyn Murray O’Hair
  • Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one. Richard Dawkins
  • Atheists will celebrate life, while you’re in church celebrating death.
  • Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves – –    or whether it should be ours here and now and on this Earth.  Ayn Rand
  • I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.” Stephen Hawking
  • AppreciationEmbrace life

Atheists argue that atheism cuts through dogma and superstition

  • Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma. Sam Harris
  • Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men. Francis Bacon
  • Ideology and dogma

Atheists argue that atheism provides a frame of mind that understands things in terms of nature

  • Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature. Emmett F. Fields
  • I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Nature

Atheists argue that atheism encourages free enquiry and open mindedness

  • And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. Christopher Hitchens
  • Atheism … that bugbear of women and fools … is the very top and perfection of free-thinking. It is the grand arcanum to which a true genius naturally riseth, by a certain climax or gradation of thought, and without which he can never possess his soul in absolute liberty and repose. George Berkeley
  • Open-mindedness

Atheists argue that atheism encourages us to use reason and common sense rather than blind faith

  • We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good. Carl Sagan
  • 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. Thomas Jefferson
  • Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. Christopher Hitchens
  • Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. Buddha
  • By simple common sense I don’t believe in God, in none. Charlie Chaplin
  • Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense. Chapman Cohen
  • There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable. Sam Harris
  • ReasonCommon sense

Atheists argue that atheism encourages us to stop relying on an external power and to take our lives into our own hands

  • Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
  • I feel that we should stop wasting our time trying to please the supernatural and concentrate on improving the welfare of human beings. I think that, uh, we should use our energy and our initiative to solve our problems, and stop relying on prayer and wishful thinking. If we have faith in ourselves, we won’t have to have faith in gods. Ruth Hurmence Green
  • I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. Frederick Douglass
  • Without the gods, how would I sing?’ I asked. With your own voice,’ he said.” Erica Jong
  • Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.
  • An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.  Madalyn Murray O’Hair
  • Being an atheist is choosing “I can do it.” over ” God will do it.” Bhat

Atheists argue that atheism encourages us to turn to ourselves when afraid

  • But if the gods do not exist at all – then we are lost,’ I said. “On the contrary – we are found!’ said Aesop. “But when we are afraid, who can we turn to, if not the gods?” “Ourselves. We turn to ourselves anyway. We only pretend there are gods and that they care about us. It is a comforting falsehood.”  Erica Jong

Atheists argue that atheism provides more space for embracing and loving what is real

  • Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have. Penn Jillette
  • 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

Atheists argue that atheism frees the mind

  • 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. Robert Green Ingersoll
  • When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life. Sigmund Freud
  • To really be free, You need to be free in the mind. Alexander Loutsis
  • I die, as I have lived, a free spirit, an Anarchist, owing no allegiance to rulers, heavenly or earthly. Voltairine de Cleyre
  • FreedomThe mind

Atheists argue that atheism encourages us to appreciate and take care of ourselves

  • The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. . . Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. . . Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves. Pema Chodron

Atheists argue that atheism encourages us to revere our own lives as it is rather than compare it to an impossible ideal

  • Because, you see, God—whatever anyone chooses to call God—is one’s highest conception of the highest possible. And whoever places his highest conception above his own possibility thinks very little of himself and his life. It’s a rare gift, you know, to feel reverence for your own life and to want the best, the greatest, the highest possible, here, now, for your very own. To imagine a heaven and then not to dream of it, but to demand it. Ayn Rand

Atheists argue that atheism encourages us to provide life with our own meaning

  • There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
  • The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal. Carl Sagan
  • Meaning

Atheists argue that atheism makes us into our own Gods, free of commands and stone written answers to life’s meaning

  • 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 nor 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. Charles Bukowski
  • When men stop believing in God, it isn’t that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything. Umberto Eco

Atheists warn against those who believe in just one absolute truth that makes all non-believers wrong

  • The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it. Terry Pratchett
  • Run from those who say they possess the only truth
  • Walk with those seeking truth… run from those who think they’ve found it. Deepak Chopra
  • Discussion is impossible with someone who claims not to seek the truth, but already to possess it. Romain Rolland
  • The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world. Max Born
  • Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. Andre Gide
  • Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows.  Octavio Paz
  • The person who thinks he has found the ultimate truth is wrong. Joseph Campbell
  • Say not, ‘I have found the truth,’ but rather, ‘I have found a truth.’ Kahlil Gibran
  • Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods. Albert Einstein
  • Truth

Atheists argue that religion and politics should never mix

  • 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
  • ReligionPolitics

Atheism can be said to be a kind of divisive religion in itself


Some argue that atheism is itself a kind of religion …

  • Atheism is a religion itself complete with fanatics and bigots. Vanna Bonta
  • “Atheism is a denial of a god.” “Therefore, it is a religious position,” said Dorfl. “Indeed, a true atheist thinks of the gods constantly, albeit in terms of denial. Therefore, atheism is a form of belief. if the atheist truly did not believe, he or she would not bother to deny.”  Terry Pratchett

… while others disagree

  • Calling atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour. Don Hirschberg
  • Religion cannot and should not be replaced by atheism. Religion needs to go away and not be replaced by anything. Atheism is not a religion. It’s the absence of religion, and that’s a wonderful thing. Penn Jillette

The fact is that atheism tends to be a fervent belief in disbelief

  • All theory of modernity in sociology suggests that the more modernity there is, the less religion. In my theory, we can realize that this is wrong: atheism is only one belief system among many. Ulrich Beck
  • And then he’d tried to become an official Atheist and hadn’t got the rock-hard self- satisfied strength of belief even for that. Neil Gaiman

Some argue atheism is as unyielding and dogmatic about religious belief as true believers are about heathens

  • Agnosticism is a perfectly respectable and tenable philosophical position; it is not dogmatic and makes no pronouncements about the ultimate truths of the universe. It remains open to evidence and persuasion; lacking faith, it nevertheless does not deride faith. Atheism, on the other hand, is as unyielding and dogmatic about religious belief as true believers are about heathens. It tries to use reason to demolish a structure that is not built upon reason. Sydney J. Harris
  • Ideology and dogma

Atheists tend to have an intense dislike of religion and religious people that borders on deep intolerance

  • What is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked. Rowan Atkinson
  • If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion. Edmond De Goncourt
  • After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands. Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest. Émile Zola
  • Unhappy, let alone angry, religious people provide more persuasive arguments for atheism and secularism than do all the arguments of atheists. Dennis Prager
  • Religion is like a virus that affects the behaviour of its host in such a way as to propagate itself further. Jack Pritchard
  • Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. Denis Diderot
  • I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough – I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race. David Stevens
  • Tolerance

Atheists are often as disrespectful of other people’s beliefs as any fervid believer

  • Everything about Christianity is contained in the pathetic image of ‘the flock.” Christopher Hitchens
  • Only Sheep need a shepherd!
  • People who don’t like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn’t have such funny beliefs.
  • We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. L. Mencken
  • BeliefRespect

Atheists tend to be fixated on winning their argument and being right

  • All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with ‘winning or losing this game of chess. Marcel Duchamp
  • There’s a lot of pride involved in my refusal to believe in god. Orhan Pamuk

Atheists are preoccupied with converting others to their point of view

  • I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. Christopher Hitchens

Some would argue that atheists are more fixated on the topic of God than many theists

  • Fervid atheism is usually a screen for repressed religion. Wilhelm Stekel
  • Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God. Heywood Broun

Atheism fancies itself as being in a battle against religion

  • It is the absolutism of theism, its pernicious influence upon humanity, its paralyzing effect upon thought and action, which Atheism is fighting with all its power. Emma Goldman

Atheists tend to be condescending even of agnostics

  • I have a great love and respect for religion, great love and respect for atheism. What I hate is agnosticism, people who do not choose. Orson Welles
  • I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “Atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘Agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean Atheist. I really do not believe that there is a god – in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously. It’s funny how many people are genuinely surprised to hear a view expressed so strongly. In England, we seem to have drifted from vague, wishy- washy Anglicanism to vague, wishy- washy Agnosticism – both of which I think betoken a desire not to have to think about things too much. People will then often say, “But surely it’s better to remain an Agnostic just in case?” This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I’ve been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your- fingers- behind-your- back, Clintonian hair- splitting impressed him, then I would choose not to worship him anyway.) Douglas Adams
  • You happen to be talking to an agnostic. You know what an agnostic is? A cowardly atheist. Studs Terkel
  • So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal’s wager. But on second thoughts it seems a cop- out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can’t prove that there aren’t any, so shouldn’t we be agnostic with respect to fairies? Richard Dawkins

Many would argue that religion is better replaced by gentle cynicism rather than fanatical atheism

  • 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

Arguments against atheism


Theists argue that atheism is scant when it comes to describing the meaning of life

  • Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning… S. Lewis
  • Everyone – pantheist, atheist, sceptic, polytheist – has to answer these questions: ‘Where did I come from? What is life’s meaning? How do I define right from wrong and what happens to me when I die?’ Those are the fulcrum points of our existence. Ravi Zacharias
  • Meaning

Theists argue that atheism doesn’t have the spirit to set the mind and heart on fire

  • There is no being eloquent for atheism. In that exhausted receiver, the mind cannot use its wings, – the clearest proof that it is out of its element. Augustus Hare

Theists argue that atheism gives you no-one to thank for what is good in your life

  • The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank. Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Theists argue we all worship something in life and worshipping anything other than God will eat you alive

  • In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship–be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother- goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles–is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. David Foster Wallace

Theists argue atheism is caused by underdone philosophy and insufficient thinking …

  • A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. Francis Bacon
  • Small amounts of philosophy lead to atheism, but larger amounts bring us back to God. Francis Bacon
  • Atheism is a disease of the mind caused by eating underdone philosophy. Austin O’Malley

… while atheists strongly disagree


Theists point out even the most fervent atheist half believes in God at times

  • Some are Atheists by Neglect; others are so by Affectation; they, that think there is no God at some times; do not think so at all times. Benjamin Whichcote
  • Even now, there are still days so beautiful, I almost believe in God. Ann Hood
  • By night an atheist half believes in God. Edward Young

Theists argue God doesn’t need to do miracles to prove his presence

  • God never wrought miracle, to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. Francis Bacon
  • It is the final proof of God’s omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us. Peter De Vries

Theists argue you can’t love without admitting God into your heart

  • Would the atheist continue such, let him beware how he admits Love into his breast: for God will surely come along with him. Richard Garnett

Some theists argue we are ignoble and base unless we admit God

  • They that deny a God destroy man’s nobility, for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. Francis Bacon

Theists argue we can’t truly have faith in ourselves without a faith in God

  • It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; sceptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan. Calvin Coolidge
  • Faith

Theists argue that atheism requires as much faith as religion …

  • I always admired atheists. I think it takes a lot of faith. Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider
  • I am an atheist, myself. A simple faith, but a great comfort to me, in these last days. Lois McMaster Bujold
  • To be an atheist requires an indefinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny. Joseph Addison
  • I could not believe in a God that would challenge faith like this. Jonathan Safran Foer

… while atheists disagree

  • To say that atheism requires faith is as dim-witted as saying that disbelief in pixies or leprechauns takes faith. Even if Einstein himself told me there was an elf on my shoulder, I would still ask for proof and I wouldn’t be wrong to ask. Geoff Mather

Theists argue that there must be a creator …

  • Sometimes when I’m faced with an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we have finished eating that magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there’s a cook. Ronald Reagan

… while atheists say that if this is the case, then who created God?

  • If God created the world, then who created god? and who created whoever created god? So somewhere along the line something had to just be there. So why can’t we just skip the idea of god and go straight to earth? Ryan Hanson
  • A believer states everything must have a creator but fail to say how he was created.

Atheists argue that the big bang and evolution replaces the need to believe in a creator

  • Atheism has been on the rise for years now, and the Bible of the atheists is ‘The Origin of Species.’ Kirk Cameron
  • So you really think that God would plant a bunch of bones in the earth to test your faith? Either you’re in denial or God has some serious self- esteem issues. Coral Yoshi
  • If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we’re going? Justin Brown
  • My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism. Richard Dawkins
  • All that my work has shown is that you don’t have to say that the way the universe began was the personal whim of God. Stephen Hawking

Theists warn about separation from God

  • I don’t think even the blackest atheist has an idea of what real separation [from God] will be. Outer darkness. What we live in you might call … “inner darkness.” John Updike

The bottom line


At the end of the day, are theists and atheists really so different in their beliefs?

  • Theist and atheist: the fight between them is as to whether God shall be called God or shall have some other name. Samuel Butler
  • The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a ‘what’ created the universe; the theist believes a ‘who’ created the universe. Criss Jami
  • An atheist may be simply one whose faith and love are concentrated on the impersonal aspects of God. Simone Weil

We need a language to talk about God beyond the sterile categories of theism and atheism

  • Our English language really says if you’re not a theist, the only alternative is to be an atheist. What I’m trying to do is develop a language that will enable us to talk about God beyond the, what I think, are sterile categories of theism and atheism. John Shelby Spong
  • Possibilionism

In rejecting religion for its abuses and distortions, we run the risk of missing out on the gifts of our innate spiritual nature

  • The danger is that in reaction to abuses and distortions of an idea, we’ll reject it completely. And in the process, miss out on the good of it, the worth of it, the truth of it. Rob Bell

Not believing in established religion doesn’t mean we can’t be spiritual

  • I don’t think atheism means one does not believe in a spiritual life. I think it means one does not follow the tenets of the established religions. Amanda Donohoe
  • Spirituality

Not believing in a personal God doesn’t mean we can’t be in awe of the universe

  • 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
  • I don’t try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it. Albert Einstein
  • I am a deeply religious nonbeliever — this is a somewhat new kind of religion. Albert Einstein
  • We could call order by the name of God, but it would be an impersonal God. There’s not much personal about the laws of physics. Stephen Hawking
  • What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of “humility.” This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. Albert Einstein
  • AweWonder

Science and spirituality are by no means incompatible

  • Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light- years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both. Carl Sagan

Believing in God in some form doesn’t mean we need to define him …

  • The atheist does not say ‘there is no God,’ but he says, ‘I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God’; the word ‘God’ is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. … The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me. Charles Bradlaugh

… for it is healthy to leave some room for mystery in our lives

  • I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. Richard P. Feynman
  • Mystery

No matter what we believe, we must make sure our beliefs stand up to questioning and experimentation

  • We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don’t stand up to experimentation, Buddha’s own words must be rejected. Tenzin Gyatso
  • QuestionsExperimentation

No matter what we believe, we should live and let live

  • Why am I an atheist? I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist? Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated. I resent anyone pushing their religion on me. I don’t push my atheism on anybody else. Live and let live. Not many people practice that when it comes to religion. Annie Wood Besant
  • Live and let live

On a lighter note

  • To you, I’m an atheist. To God, I’m the loyal opposition. Woody Allen
  • If it turns out that there is a God…the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever. Woody Allen
  • Agnostics are just atheists without balls. Stephen Colbert
  • Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk. Tom Waits
  • How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? Woody Allen
  • Not only is there no god, but try getting a plumber on weekends. Woody Allen
  • To you I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition. Woody Allen
  • I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence. Doug McLeod
  • Humanity without religion is like a serial killer without a chainsaw.
  • I’m an atheist and I thank God for it. George Bernard Shaw
  • You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway. Ricky Gervais
  • If there really is a God who created the entire universe with all of its glories, and He decides to deliver a message to humanity, He will not use, as His messenger, a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle. Dave Barry
  • I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.
  • People ask me what I think about that woman priest thing. What, a woman priest? Women priests. Great, great. Now there’s priests of both sexes I don’t listen to. Bill Hicks
  • I did not marry the first girl that I fell in love with, because there was a tremendous religious conflict, at the time. She was an atheist, and I was an agnostic. Woody Allen
  • Be sure to lie to your kids about the benevolent, all-seeing Santa Claus. It will prepare them for an adulthood of believing in God. Scott Dikkers
  • The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit. Richard Pryor
  • I’m still an atheist, thank God. Luis Bunuel
  • I’m a born-again atheist. Gore Vida
  • We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. L. Mencken
  • 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
  • Sometimes when I’m faced with an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we have finished eating that magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there’s a cook. Ronald Reagan
  • Atheism is a non-prophet organization. George Carlin
  • If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank. Woody Allen
  • Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
  • I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays. Henny Youngman
  • Isn’t an agnostic just an atheist without balls? Stephen Colbert
  • An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support. James Buchan
  • God is not dead. He is alive and working on a much less ambitious project. Graffito (1975)
  • I give money for church organs in the hope the organ music will distract the congregation’s attention from the rest of the service. Andrew Carnegie
  • You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend. Richard Jeni
  • What’s “God”? Well, you know, when you want something really bad and you close your eyes and you wish for it? God’s the guy that ignores you. Steve Buscemi