The following is a collection of the 50 best atheist quotes I have come across. I post them here for you to read, enjoy, and pass along. Admittedly not everyone below is an atheist; some are agnostic, deist or religious in other ways. All 50 quotes should inspire your thoughtful reflection.
1. "If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call in question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it -- the life of that man is one long sin against mankind."
2. "The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action."
3. "I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls."
4. "The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."
5. "I came-- though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents -- to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve."
6. "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."
7. "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored 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."
8. "To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer."
9. "Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven."
10. "And thus I clothe my naked villany
11. "Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think."
|Joseph Heller, Catch22|
12. "'And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways,' Yossarian continued. 'There's nothing mysterious about it, He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatalogical mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?'"
13. "Satan hasn't a single salaried helper; the Opposition employ a million."
14. "A man is accepted into church for what he believes--and turned out for what he knows."
|Bernard J. Bamberger|
15. "The Bible as we have it contains elements that are scientifically incorrect or even morally repugnant. No amount of 'explaining away' can convince us that such passages are the product of Divine Wisdom."
16. "Since it is no longer permissible to disparage any single faith or creed, let us start disparaging all of them. A religion is a belief system with no basis in reality whatever. Religious belief is without reason and without dignity, and its record is near-universally dreadful."
|Stephen J. Gould|
17. "The fundamentalists, by 'knowing' the answers before they start, and then forcing nature into the straitjacket of their discredited preconceptions, lie outside the domain of science --or any honest intellectual inquiry."
18. "The Vision of Christ that thou dost see,
|Reverend Robert Cromey|
19. "You can safely say that you have made God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."
|H. L. Mencken|
20. "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."
21. "Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable."
|John S. Spong|
22. "The God understood as a father figure, who guided ultimate personal decisions, answered our prayers, and promised rewards and punishment based upon our behavior was not designed to call anyone into maturity."
23. "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
24. "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church."
25. "It should not, and need not, be the purpose of a science teacher to preach atheism or even skepticism about any religious doctrine, but if such should be the result of his teaching in one, two or even a half-dozen of his students, that has nothing to do with his purposes. His purpose is to teach the science as it is currently understood. A semester of study of the weather and meteorology may result in a student's new realization that the god Thor does not cause thunder and lightning. We might even say, so much the better! But the science teacher's purpose is not to rid the student of such belief; his or her purpose is to teach the science about the weather."
|C. S. Lewis|
26. "Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant, a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations."
27. "I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time."
28. "God is dead: but considering the state Man is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which his shadow will be shown."
29. "The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad."
30. "Religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few."
31. "I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology."
32. "The clergy believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyrrany known to the mind of man."
33. "This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."
34. "All religions are ancient monuments to superstition, ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies."
35. "Religion is based ... mainly upon fear ... fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand . . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race."
|George Bernard Shaw|
36. "The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
37. "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."
|Susan B. Anthony|
38. "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."
39. "I suggest that the anthropomorphic god-idea is not a harmless infirmity of human thought, but a very noxious fallacy, which is largely responsible for the calamities the world is at present enduring."
40. "A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider godfearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side."
41. "Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition."
42. "Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism."
|Mikhail A. Bakunin|
43. "All religions, with their gods, demigods, prophets, messiahs and saints, are the product of the fancy and credulity of men who have not yet reached the full development and complete personality of their intellectual powers."
44. "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."
45. "Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel."
46. "Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based."
47. "Physics isn't a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money."
|Anaxagorus, ca. 475 BC|
48. "Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god but a great rock and the sun a hot rock."
|Michel de Montaigne|
49. "Man is certainly stark mad: he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen."
50. "The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers."