I - O
William Ralph Inge (June 1860 –
26 February 1954) ~ British Clergyman and Author
To become a popular religion, it is only necessary
for a superstition to enslave a philosophy.
Many people believe they are attracted by God, or by Nature, when they
are only repelled by man.
December 25th is the birthday, not of Christ,
but of Mithra, the Invincible Sun. Isis of many names has acquired a new
one as the Madonna.
Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899)
~ American politician and lecturer
This century will be called Darwin's century.
He was one of the greatest men who ever touched this globe. He has
explained more of the phenomena of life than all of the religious teachers.
Write the name of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the name of every
theologian who ever lived on the other, and from that name has come more
light to the world than from all of those. His doctrine of evolution, his
doctrine of the survival of the fittest, his doctrine of the origin of
species, has removed in every thinking mind the last vestige of orthodox
Christianity. He has not only stated, but he has demonstrated, that
the inspired writer knew nothing of this world, nothing of the origin of
man, nothing of geology, nothing of astronomy, nothing of nature;
that the Bible is a book written by ignorance -- at the instigation of
fear. Think of the men who replied to him. Only a few years ago there
was no person too ignorant to successfully answer Charles Darwin; and the
more ignorant he was the more cheerfully he undertook the task. He was
held up to the ridicule, the scorn and contempt of the Christian world,
and yet when he died, England was proud to put his dust with that of her
noblest and her grandest. Charles Darwin conquered the intellectual world,
and his doctrines are now accepted facts.
No man with any sense of humor ever founded a
I know of no crime that has not been defended
by the church, in one form or other. The church is not a pioneer; it accepts
a new truth, last of all, and only when denial has become useless.
An honest god is the noblest work of man.
... God has always resembled his creators. He hated and loved
what they hated and loved and he was invariably found on the side of those
in power. ... Most of the gods were pleased with sacrifice, and the smell
of innocent blood has ever been considered a divine perfume.
The Declaration of Independence announces the
sublime truth that all power comes from the people. This was a denial,
and the first denial of a nation, of the infamous dogma that God confers
the right upon one man to govern others.
To hate man and worship god seems to be the sum
of all the creeds.
We are not accountable for the sins of "Adam"
A believer is a bird in a cage. A freethinker
is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wing.
A man is not moral because he is obedient through
fear or ignorance. Morality lives in the realm of perceived obligation.
. . .
Ministers say that they teach charity. That is
natural. They live on alms. All beggars teach that others should give.
That church [Catholic] teaches us that we can
make God happy by being miserable ourselves.
If all the bones of all the victims of the Catholic
Church could be gathered together, a monument higher than all the pyramids
The Catholics have a pope. Protestants laugh at
them, and yet the pope is capable of intellectual advancement. In addition
to this, the pope is mortal, and the church cannot be afflicted with the
same idiot forever. The Protestants have a book for a pope. The book cannot
advance. Year after year, and century after century, the book remains as
ignorant as ever.
It is like most other ancient books - a mingling
of falsehood and truth, of philosophy and folly - all written by men, and
most of the men only partially civilized. Some of its laws are good - some
infinitely barbarous. None of the miracles related were performed. . .
. Take out the absurdities, the miracles, all that pertains to the supernatural
- all the cruel and barbaric laws - and to the remainder I have no objection.
Neither would I have for it any great admiration.
Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural,
the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable,
the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains.
God so loved the world that he made up his mind
to damn a large majority of the human race.
Nothing is so pleasing to these gods as the butchery
of unbelievers. Nothing so enrages them, even now, as to have someone
deny their existence.
Few nations have been so poor as to have but one
god. Gods were made so easily, and the raw material cost so little,
that generally the god market was fairly glutted, and heaven crammed with
Intelligence is the only moral guide.
I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame,
a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night -- blown
and flared by passion's storm -- and yet it is the only light. Extinguish
that, and nought remains.
All the professors in all the religious colleges
in this country rolled into one, would not equal Charles Darwin.
The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded
by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and
experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can
be believed only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance called
Human love is generous and noble. The love of
God is selfish, because man does not love God for God's sake, but
for his own.
Some president wishes to be re-elected, and thereupon
speaks about the Bible as "the corner-stone of American Liberty." This
sentence is a mouth large enough to swallow any church, and from that time
forward the religious people will be citing that remark of the politician
to substantiate the inspiration of the Scriptures.
It may be that ministers really think that their
prayers do good and it may be that frogs imagine that their croaking
The churches have no confidence in each other.
Why? Because they are acquainted with each other.
I will not attack your doctrines nor your creeds if they accord
liberty to me. If they hold thought to be dangerous - if they aver that
doubt is a crime, then I attack them one and all, because they enslave
the minds of men. I believe in the religion of reason -- the gospel of
this world; in the development of the mind, in the accumulation of
intellectual wealth, to the end that man may free himself from superstitious
fear, to the end that he may take advantage of the forces of nature
to feed and clothe the world.
When a professor in a college finds a fact, he should make it
known, even if it is inconsistent with something Moses said.
Happiness is the only good... the time to be happy is now, and the way
to be happy is to make others so.
Theology is not what we know about God, but what we do not know about
Every fact is an enemy of the church. Every fact is a heretic. Every
demonstration is an infidel. Everything that ever really happened testifies
against the supernatural.
Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who
had to drown His own?
As long as every question is answered by the word "God," scientific
inquiry is simply impossible.
Eugène Ionesco (1912-94)
~ Rumanian-born French playwright
In the name of religion, one tortures, persecutes, builds pyres. In
the guise of ideologies, one massacres, tortures and kills. In the name
of justice one punishes ... in the name of love of one's country or of
one's race one hates other countries, despises them, massacres them. In
the name of equality and brotherhood there is suppression and torture.
There is nothing in common between the means and the end, the means go
far beyond the end ... ideologies and religions ... are the alibis of the
Ito Hirobumi (1841-1909) ~ Japanese
prime minister in the 1890s
I regard religion itself as quite unnecessary for a nation's life;
science is far above superstition; and what is religion, Buddhism or Christianity,
but superstition, and therefore a possible source of weakness to a nation?
(1767-1845) ~ 7th President of the United States (1829-1837)
I could not do otherwise without transcending
the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without
feeling that I might in some degree disturb the security which religion
nowadays enjoys in this country in its complete separation from the political
concerns of the General Government.
Rev Samuel M Jackson, DD, LLD ~
of Church History, New York University
The Romans had, like other Pagan nations, a nature festival, called
by them Saturnalia, and the Northern peoples had Yule; both celebrated
the turn of the year from the death of winter to the life of spring --
the winter solstice. As this was an auspicious change the festival was
a very joyous one.... The giving of presents and the burning of candles
characterized it. Among the Northern people the lighting of a huge log
in the houses of the great and with appropriate ceremonies was a feature.
The Roman church finding this festival deeply intrenched in popular esteem,
wisely adopted it.
~ 3rd President of the United States (1801-1809)
Question with boldness even the existence of
a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of
reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
And the day will come when the mystical generation
of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a Virgin Mary,
will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain
of Jupiter…. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought
in these United States will do away [with] all this artificial scaffolding.
(Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 11 April 1823, as quoted by E.
S. Gaustad, “Religion,” in Merrill D. Peterson, ed., Thomas Jefferson:
A Reference Biography, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1986, p. 287
History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden
people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade
of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will
always avail themselves for their own purpose. (Thomas Jefferson, in
a letter to Baron von Humboldt, 1813; from George Seldes, ed., The Great
Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 370
In every country and every age, the priest has
been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting
his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire
wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect
this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into
mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer
for their purposes. (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Horatio Spofford,
1814; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey:
Citadel Press, 1983, p. 371).
I have examined all of the known superstitions
of the world and I do not find in our superstitions of Christianity one
redeeming feature. They are all founded on fables and mythology. Christianity
has made one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites.
A professorship of theology should have no place in our institution.
The priests of the different religious sects . . . dread the advance
of science as witches do the approach of daylight, and scowl on the fatal
harbinger announcing the subdivision of the duperies on which they live.
Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction
of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet
we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect
of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.
Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are
servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal
for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence
of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage
of reason than that of blindfolded fear.
We are afraid of the known and afraid of the unknown. That is our daily
life and in that there is no hope, and therefore every form of philosophy,
every form of theological concept, is merely an escape from the actual
reality of what is. All outward forms of change brought about by wars,
revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to
change the basic nature of man and therefore of society.
The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as
the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three
headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more
of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at
the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes:
fools and hypocrites. ~ 1813
The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme
Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the
fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no
God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies.
In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile
to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses
in return for protection to his own.
Some have made the love of God the foundation of morality. Whence, then,
arises the morality of the Atheist? . . . Diderot, D'Alembert, D'Holbach,
Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their
virtue then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.
~ 1814 letter to Thomas Law
The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerebus, with one body
and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and
thousands of martyrs. ~ Letter to James Smith in 1822
If we could believe that Jesus really countenanced the follies, the
falsehoods, and the charlatans which his biographers father on him and
admit the misconstructions, interpolations and theorizations of the fathers
of the early and the fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would
be irresistible be every sound mind, that he was an imposter. ~ Letter
to William Short in 1829
Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there
be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded
Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible
propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and
no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra
of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. ~ Letter to
Francis Adrian Van der Kemp July 30, 1816
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.
You are basically killing each other to see who has got the better imaginary
If God lived on earth, people would break his
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
Wei Jingsheng ~ Jailed-then-exiled
We want to be masters of our own destiny. We need no gods or emperors.
We do not believe in the existence of any saviour. We want to be masters
of the world and not instruments used by autocrats to carry out their wild
ambitions. We want a modern lifestyle and democracy for the people. Freedom
and happiness are our sole objectives in accomplishing modernisation.
Pope John Paul II ~
April 16, 1986
It can therefore be said that, from the viewpoint
of the doctrine of the faith, there are no difficulites in explaining
the origin of man, in regard to the body, by means of the theory
Ben C Johnson ~ Atheistic philosopher
The atheist, for his part, does not necessarily
offer an explanation; he simply does not accept the theist's explanation.
Therefore, the atheist need only demonstrate that the theist has failed
to justify his position.
What excellent fools religion makes of
Bob Jones, Sr. ~ Founder of Bob
I would rather see a saloon on every corner than
a Catholic in the White House. I would rather see a nigger
Sunand Tryambak Joshi (b. 1958)
~ India-born freelance writer
At a conservative estimate, ten million witches
were killed throughout Europe. . . . The decline of witch-belief was .
. . entirely the product of religious skepticism. . . . The Catholic Church
did not reform itself on this matter; it was forced by outside pressure
to reform. To be sure, the Protestant churches were no better in this regard;
it is simply that they had less time - only two or three centuries - to
engage in the torching of witches. After all, John Wesley, the founder
of Methodism, stated quite correctly that disbelief in witches meant a
disbelief in the Bible.
The atheist, agnostic, or secularist ... should guard against the encroachment
of religion in areas where it has no place, and in particular the control
of education by religious authority. The attempts to ban the teaching of
evolution or other scientific theories -- a feeble echo of medieval church
tyranny and hostility to learning, but an echo nonetheless are serious
threats to freedom of inquiry and should be vigorously combated.
The atheist, agnostic, or secularist ... should not be cowed by exaggerated
sensitivity to people's religious beliefs and fail to speak vigorously
and pointedly when the devout put forth arguments manifestly contrary to
all the acquired knowledge of the past two or three millennia. Those who
advocate a piece of folly like the theory of an "intelligent creator" should
be held accountable for their folly; they have no right to be offended
for being called fools until they establish that they are not in fact fools.
Religiously inclined writers like Stephen L Carter may plead that "respect"
should be accorded to religious views in public discourse, but he neglects
to demonstrate that those views are worthy of respect. All secularists
-- scientists, literary figures, even politicians (if there are any such
with the requisite courage) -- should speak out on the issue when the opportunity
James Joyce ~
Irish author (1882-1941)
He comes into the world God knows how, walks
on the water, gets out of his grave and goes up off the Hill of Howth.
What drivel is this?
And Jesus was a Jew too. Your god. He was a Jew
like me. And so was his father.
~ Iranian women's rights activist
To say we must repect people's culture and religion,
however despicable is absurd. If a culture allows women to b e mutilated
and killed to save the family's "honour," it cannot be excused.
Religious Philosophy is an oxymoron- a
philosopher of religion is ONLY a moron
NO proof. NO god. NO problem.
Wendy Kaminer ~ Law professor and
Americans have become fascinated by angels and "out of body" experiences
and seem to be discarding the habit of critical thinking. The dissemination
of pseudoscience, including such things as the fascination with near-death
experiences and the growing belief by Americans -- 34% of them -- in reincarnation
are dangerous. They help to break down the standards of reason.
If I were to mock religious belief as childish I'd be excoriated as
an example of the cynical, liberal elite responsible for American's moral
delcine. I'd receive hate mail. Atheists generate about as much sympathy
People who believe that God exists and heeds their prayers have probably
waived the right to mock people who talk to trees or claim to channel the
spirits of Native Americans.
Secularists are often wrongly accused of trying to purge religious ideals
from public discourse. We simply want to deny them public sponsorship.
I suspect that media elites offer virtually no analysis of the religious
impulse or majoritarian religious beliefs mainly because they fear appearing
impious or giving offense. ...What's striking about journalists and intellectuals
today, liberal and conservative alike, is not their mythic Voltairian skepticism
but their deference to belief and utter failure to criticize, much less
satirize, America's romance with God.
Margaret Fox Kane ~ First person
to contact the dead through spiritualism (seances) - later exposed the
I think that it is about time that the truth of this miserable subject
"Spiritualism" should be brought out. It is now widespread all over the
world, and unless it is put down soon it will do great evil. I was the
first in the field and I have the right to expose it.
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
~ German philosopher
He who has made great moral progress ceases to
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks
himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition
and religious folly.
Religion is too important a matter to its devotees
to be a subject of ridicule. If they indulge in absurdities, they are to
be pitied rather than ridiculed.
Reason can never prove the existence of God.
Sir Bernard Katz ~ Nobel winning
Organized religion: The world's largest pyramid
There is no opinion so abusrd that a preacher could not express it.
John Keats (1795-1821) ~ English
I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion -- I
have shuddered at it. I shudder no more -- I could be martyred for my religion
-- Love is my religion -- I could die for that.
Helen Keller (1880-1968)
~ Deaf and blind American activist
It is wonderful how much time good people spend
fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of
energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of
There is much in the Bible against which every instinct of my being
rebels, so much that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read
it through from beginning to end. I do not think that the knowledge which
I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant
details it has forced upon my attention.
Faith leads you anywhere you want to go, It can
lead to the Hale-Bopp space ship, Waco or Jonestown. ALL ABOARD.
Change in religion is a scandal. Change
in science is progress.
Christians pick on past errors and present mysteries to disprove all
of science and hope that automatically makes their system the default
Science does very well without a Holy Spirit to advise it and the creationists
do very poorly with it.
(1916-2000) ~ Civil rights acdtivist
It's interesting to speculate how it developed that in two of the most
anti-feminist instituions, the church and the law court, the men are wearing
Pres. John F. Kennedy
I believe in an America where religious intolerance
will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not
attend the church of his choice.
The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived,
and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is
absolute - where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he
be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners
for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public
funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office
merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint
him or the people who might elect him.
We do not want an official state church. If ninety-nine percent of the
population were Catholics, I would still be opposed to it. I do not want
civil power combined with religious power. I want to make it clear that
I am committed as a matter of deep personal conviction to separation.
Jomo Kenyatta ~ First President
of Kenya after independence
When the missionaries first came to our land, they had the Bibles and
we had the land. Fifty years later, we had the Bibles and they had
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) German
When miracles are admitted, every scientific explanation is out of
Dr. Jack Kevorkian
What are they trying to put me in jail for? You've lost common
sense in this society because of religious fanaticism and dogma.
You're basing your laws, and your whole outlook on natural life,
on mythology! It won't work! That's why you have all these
problems in the world. Name them -- India, Pakistan, Ireland.
Name them! All these problems -- they're all religious problems!
Despite the solace of hypocritical religiosity and its seductive promise
of an after-life of heavenly bliss, most of us will do anything to thwart
the inevitable victory of biological death.
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard
(1813-1855) ~ Danish philosopher and religious writer
Christianity demands the crucifixion of the intellect.
Margaret Knight (1903–1983) ~ BBC
commentator and writer
Ethical teaching is weakened if it is tied up with dogmas that will
not bear examination.
It is a mistake to try to impose [Christian beliefs] on children and
to make them the basis of moral training. The moral education of children
is much too important a matter to be built on such foundations.
There is no ground whatever for the claim, so often made by religious
apologists, that these ideals are specifically Christian and originated
with Jesus. What were specifically Christian were some of the less enlightened
teachings, which have done untold harm. Christians claim that organised
Christianity has been a great force for good, but this view can be maintained
on one assumption only: that everything good in the Christian era is a
result of Christianity and everything bad happened in spite of it.
During the ages of faith the Church argued, not illogically, that any
degree of cruelty towards sinners and heretics was justified, if there
was a chance that it could save them, or others, from the eternal torments
of hell. Thus, in the name of the religion of love, hundreds of thousands
of people were not merely killed but atrociously tortured in ways that
made the gas chambers of Beslen seem humane.
You think there is a magic pixie that came from nowhere, made the universe,
then tortures people eternally for not believing in it, because it loves
them? Does that sum it up?
How many men choose the belief system for which they are prepared to
die? Your credo is just as much a matter of the hazards of birth
as your citizenship. If you were in Jordan, you'd be a good Moslem.
Once the credo is imprinted, man's schizoid brain permits his faith to
coexist with his reason, even when they contradict on every point.
God seems to have left the receiver off the hook, and time is running
To an evolutionary psychologist, the universal extravagance of religious
rituals, with their costs in time, resources, pain and privation, should
suggest as vividly as a mandrill's bottom that religion may be adaptive.
The church lives on the fact that modern research about Jesus is not
known amongst the public.
Baron Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902)
We find that the sexual instinct, when disappointed and unappeased
frequently seeks and finds a substitute in religon.
The World is divided into armed camps ready to commit genocide just
because we can’t agree on whose fairy tales to believe.
Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in
The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.
Since this life here and now is all we can know,
our most reasonable option is to live it fully.
The beginning of wisdom is the awareness that there is insufficient
evidence that a god or gods have created us and the recognition that we
are responsible in part for our own destiny. Human beings can achieve this
good life, but it is by the cultivation of the virtues of intelligence
and courage, not faith and obedience, that we will most likely be able
to do so.
Religious belief is not a precondition either
of ethical conduct or of happiness.
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.
Precisely the very worst thing about Christianity is the doctrine that
the worst sin ever committed is the attempt to gain knowledge. Religious
belief is not a precondition either of ethical conduct or of happiness.
I think . . . that philosophy has the duty of pointing out the falsity
of outworn religious ideas, however estimable they may be as a form of
art. We cannot act as if all religion were poetry while the greater part
of it still functions in its ancient guise of illicit science and backward
morals. . . .
Supernatural entities simply do not exist. This nonreality of the supernatural
means, on the human level, that men do not possess supernatural and immortal
souls; and, on the level of the universe as a whole, that our cosmos does
not possess a supernatural and eternal God.
God, once imagined to be an omnipresent force throughout the whole world
of nature and man. has been increasingly tending to seem omniabsent. Everywhere,
intelligent and educated people rely more and more on purely secular and
scientific techniques for the solution of their problems. As science advances,
belief in divine miracles and the efficacy of prayer becomes fainter and
Anne Lamott ~
You can safely assume that you've created God
in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people
Dr. James Langer (b. 1934) ~ Theoretical
physicist at Physics Dept - University of Calif at Santa Barbara
It just absolutely boggles the mind. I wouldn't want my doctor thinking
that intelligent design was an equally plausible hypothesis to evolution
any more than I would want my airplane pilot believing in the flat Earth.
The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals
and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't
love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision.
~ British writer (1885-1930)
God is only a great imaginative experience.
Henry Charles Lea ~ History of
the Inquisition of Spain
One of the conditions (for escaping the stake)
was that of stating all they knew of other heretics and apostates, which
proved an exceedingly fruitful source of information as, under the general
terror, there was little hesitation in denouncing not only friends and
acquaintances, but the nearest and dearest kindred -- parents and children,
and brothers and sisters.
Richard Erskine Frere Leakey (b.
1944) ~ Kenyan conservationist and fossil hunter
The whole story is about change. We are very lucky that the earth's
history is recorded in fossilized remains. And we can see the changes.
Unfortunately, there will always be gaps in our knowledge, but there is
no doubt that we and everything living today has evolved.
I have been raised to believe in freedom of thought and speech. If a
minority wishes to accept that position it's their right. What I fear is
that this minority may seem to be larger than it truly is. What is strange
is that there are still people who believe the world is not a globe.
There once was a time when all people believed
in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.
What makes you think that a conscious, social
animal that can invent a God to explain the universe could not also develop
a code of ethics by which to live?
There is Auschwitz, and so there cannot be God.
Lewis (1889-1968) Freethinkers of America president
If I had the power that the New Testament narrative saiys that Jesus
had, I would not cure one person of blindness, I would make blindness impossible.
I would not cure one person of leprosy, I would abolish leprosy.
Of the ten crimes which Biblical Hebrew law punished by stoning, nine
have ceased to be offenses in modern society.
Imagine using as an authority in the matter of marriage the opinion
of a celibate priest!
As a young man Lincoln apparently wrote a
manuscript that he planned to publish, which vehemently argued against
the divine origin of the Bible and the Christian scheme of salvation. Samuel
Hill, a friend and mentor, convinced him to drop it, considering the disastrous
consequences it would have on his political career.
In great contests, each party claims to act in accordance with the
will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong.
My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian
scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become
clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking
I shall ever change them.
The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.
I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian
We, on our side, are praying to Him to give us victory, because we believe
we are right; but those on the other side pray to Him, too, for victory,
believing they are right. What must He think of us?
I see a very dark cloud on America's horizon, and that cloud is coming
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.
I am for liberty of conscience in its noblest, broadest, and highest
sense. But I cannot give liberty of conscience to the pope and his
followers, the papists, so long as they tell me, through all their councils,
theologians, and canon laws that their conscience orders them to burn my
wife, strangle my children, and cut my throat when they find their opportunity.
It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely,
as it is apt to lead to infidelity.
I am for . . . each individual doing just as he chooses in all matters
which concern nobody else.
The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns
The command of Jesus that you should desert your
family for his sake has led thousands and thousands of people to desert
their families and join crusades or monasteries or missions, and to feel
virtuous for what they have done.
It is possible to pay another man's debts on his
behalf, but it is not possible to make a guilty man innocent by suffering
in his place.
Jack London (1876-1916) ~ American
I am a hopeless materialist. I see the soul as nothing else than the
sum of activities of the organism plus personal habits -- plus inherited
habits, memories, experiences, of the organism. I believe that when I am
dead, I am dead. I believe that with my death I am just as much obliterated
as the last mosquito you and I squashed.
Science improves with time. Religion improves
by dying out.
Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants
Lucretius (94-49BC) Roman poet and
All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant,
useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.
Nature does all things spontaneously, by herself, without the meddling
of the gods.
The nature of the universe has by no means been made through divine
power, seeing how great are the faults that mar it.
Even if I knew nothing of the atoms, I would venture to assert . . .
that the universe was certainly not created for us by divine power.
All armed Prophets have been victorious, and
all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.
Religions have made men feeble and caused them to become an easy prey
to evil minded men, who can control them more securely, seeing that the
great body of men, for the sake of gaining Paradise, are more disposed
to endure injuries than to avenge them.
James Madison (1751-1836)
~ Fourth US president James Madison - "Father of the Constitution."
Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the
mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal
establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits?
More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance
and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties
of the people.
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.
The church says that the Earth is flat, but I
have seen the shadow on the moon and I have more faith in the shadow than
in the church.
Jews bow their heads, Christians get down on their knees, Muslims get
down on their knees with their asses in the air. Atheists hold their
heads up proudly and kneel to no one and no thing - non-existent deity,
threats of a non-existent hell or other humans.
(1859-1943) ~ Minister turned non-believer
THE BIBLE: A collection of writings of unknown date and authorship
rendered into English from supposed copies of supposed orignals unfortunately
Science strives to overcome ignorance. Religion perpetuates and exploits
Christopher Marlowe ~ English dramatist
and poet (1564-1593).
I count religion but a childish toy and hold there is no sin but innocence
Everything must be doubted.
The first requisite for the happiness of the people
is the abolition of religion.
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.
Apart from the (biblically-justified): murders, inquisitions, witch-burnings,
terrorism, bombings, prejudice, heretic-burnings, heretic-torture, wars,
self-flagellations, self-mutilations, hell-induced fear, hell-induced nightmares,
oppression of women and gays, black slavery, stonings, APART from all those,
Christianity ain't been so bad.
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.
I still say a church steeple with a lightning
rod on top shows a lack of confidence.
Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney
Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls
people, Deludes people.
The invisible and the non-existent look very
America’s favorite religion is scientifically unsupported, philosophically
suspect at best, disreputable at worst, and historically fraudulent.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that
It is an open question whether any behaviour based
on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded
as merely cowardly.
Better sleep with a sober cannibal that a drunken Christian.
Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead
doubts she gathers her most vital hope.
I'll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has turned
out to be hollow courtesy.
If you believe in the existence of fairies at
the bottom of the garden you are deemed fit for the bin. If you
believe in parthenogenesis, ascension, transubstantiation and all the rest
of it you are deemed fit to govern the country.
H. L. Mencken
The truth is that Christian theology, like every
other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also
opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does
Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent slimy, sneaking and abominable.
Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself
violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It
has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender
of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It
was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for
the divine right of kings.
Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything
I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and,
above all, love of the truth.
Sunday School is a prison in which children do penance for the evil
conscience of their parents.
Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief
in the occurrence of the improbable.... A man full of faith is simply one
who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear & realistic thought.
He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill.
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.
The Old Testament, as everyone who has looked
into it is aware, drips with blood; there is indeed, no more bloody chronicle
in all the literature of the world.
A man who is an agnostic by inheritance, so that
he doesn't remember any time that he wasn't, has almost no hatred for the
Say what you will about the Ten Commandments,
you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten
The greatest artists of this world are never puritans,
and seldom even ordinarily respectable.
Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at
once the world becomes explicable.
When encountering a new philosophy or religion,
do not convert, but rather assimilate.
John Stuart Mill
On religion in particular, the time appears to
me to have come, when it is a duty of all who, being qualified in point
of knowledge, have, on mature consideration, satisfied themselves that
the current opinions are not only false, but hurtful, to make their dissent
I am reluctant to use the word atheist to describe
my own unshakeable disbelief, and that's not because I'm ashamed, afraid,
or even embarrassed, but simply because it seems so self-evidently true
to me that there is no god, and giving that conviction a special title
somehow dignifies what it denies. After all, we don't have a special word
for people who don't believe in ghosts or witches.
Robert J. Miller
- Bible scholar
What one believes and what one can demonstrate
historically are usually two different things.
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.
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets
you an education.
Ashley Montagu (1905-1999)
Science has proof without any certaintly. Creationists have certainty
without any proof.
Michel E. de Montaigne (1533-1592)
How many things we held yesterday as articles of faith, today we tell
Man is certainly stark mad: he cannot make a worm, yet he will make
gods by the dozen.
A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path
If the Bible is telling the truth, then God is either untruthful or
incompetent. If God is truthful, then the Bible is either untruthful or
The biblical concepts of sin and salvation are an intrinsic part of
Christian doctrine. Christianity first creates a problem (sin) and then
offers a "solution" (salvation). This is not unlike the protection racket—you
either buy "protection"—or else!
Jesus’ last words on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken
me?" hardly seem to be the words of a man who planned it that way. It doesn’t
take Sherlock Holmes to figure there is something wrong here.
If God existed as an all-powerful being, He would not need the money
that faithful believers donate to their churches.
Desmond Morris (1928- ) Zoologist - author
(The Naked Ape)
A man's soul is located in his testicles; a woman's in her ovaries.
For it is here that we find the truly immortal elements of our constitution
-- our genes.
I viewed my fellow man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape.
There are no atheists in foxholes” isn't an argument against atheism,
it's an argument against foxholes.
Try not to think about it too much, that's how Atheists are made.
Dr. Taslima Nasreen
Koranic teaching still insists that the sun moves
around the earth. How can we advance when they teach things like that?
Nature says women are human beings, men have made religions to deny
it. Nature says women are human beings, men cry out no!
Those religions that are oppressive to women are also against democracy,
human rights, and freedom of expression.
Jawaharlal Nehru ~ Indian statesman (1889-1964)
The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised
religion, in India and elsewere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently
condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed
to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition,
exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.
We talk about a secular India . . . Some people think that it means
something opposed to religion. That is obviously not correct. What it means
is that it is a State which honours all faiths equally and gives them equal
opportunities; India has a long history of religious tolerance . . . In
a country like India, which has many faiths and religions, no real nationalism
can be built up except on the basis of secularity.
No country or people who are slaves to dogma and dogmatic mentality
can progress. [Key Ideas in Human Thought]
(1951 - )
Religiously justified violence is first and foremost
a problem of "sacred" texts and not a problem of misinterpretation of texts.
Johann Neumann - Professor: University
of Tubingen, Germany
During the whole Nazi period religious education in the schools was
never forbidden, but on the contrary was generously encouraged. .
. . one has to ask oneself if the religion classes before and during the
Nazi period didn't contribute substantially to Christian support for the
war as the "work of God," through their inculcation of the doctirine of
obedience to the authorities.
Rev. Michael Newdow
Clearly it's not treating atheists as equal with people who believe
in God when you sayi "in God We Trust" or we are a "nation under God."
. . . I couldn't care less what anyone believes. I just care that our government
treats everybody equally.
It would be a gain to the country [England] were
it vastly more superstitious, more bigoted, more gloomy, more fierce in
its religion than at present it shows itself to be.
~ June 29, 1987
By one count there are some 700 scientists with
respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000
U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science,
the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared
Tis the temper of the hot and superstitious part
of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries, and for
that reason to like best what they least understand.
Friedrich Nietzsche ~
and philosopher (1844-1900).
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.
Which is it, is man one of God's blunders
or is God one of man's?
The last Christian died on the cross.
I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised
all the time.
After coming into contact with a religious man
I always feel I must wash my hands
Faith means not wanting to know what is true.
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth
So long as the priest, that professional negator,
slanderer and poisoner of life, is regarded as a superior type of human
being, there cannot be any answer to the question: What is truth?
The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice:
the sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of spirit;
it is at the same time subjection, a self-derision, and self-mutilation.
All religions bear traces of the fact that they
arose during the intellectual immaturity of the human race – before it
had learned the obligations to speak the truth. Not one of them makes it
the duty of its God to be truthful and understandable in his communications.
The most serious parody I have ever heard was
this: In the beginning was nonsense, and the nonsense was with God, and
the nonsense was God.
There is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will be
dead even sooner than thy body: fear therefore nothing any more.
Christianity makes suffering contagious.
You who hate the Jews so, why did you adopt their religion?
The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the
world ugly and bad.
God is a gross answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers -- at bottom
merely a gross prohibition for us: you shall not think!
There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us
to give some of it away to imaginary beings.
( 1930 - ) ~ American surgeon, professor and author
The Hippocratic Oath . . . is an expression of
the separation of medicine from religion. That was the great contribution
of the Hippocratic physicians -- they were the first people to say sickness
has noting to do with god, or the gods, or whatever.
Madelyn Murray O'Hair
Religion has caused more misery to all men in
every state of human history than any other single idea.
No God ever gave any man anything, nor ever
answered any prayer at any time -- nor ever will.
YOUR PETITIONERS ARE ATHEISTS and they define
their life-style as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellowman
instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we
shouldwork now here on earth for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist
thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in
himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with
it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge
of himself and a knowledge of his fellowman can he find the understanding
that will help to a life of fulfillment.
Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellowman
rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be build
instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead
of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape
into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated.
He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life.
He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor
hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our
brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons,
that the job is here and the time is now." - Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair
), preamble to Murray v. Curlett, April 27, 1961
When asked, "Do you support religious freedon," she responded, "Oh,
absolutely! I feel that everyone has a right to be insane. And that they
can do this any place at all. If they want religious schools, build them!
My only problem with that is, do not ask for the land to be tax-free. Do
not ask for a government grant to build them. Do not ask for money for
teacher's salaries, or more books, or anything else. Just go ahead and
do your thing, and do it yourself. Just exactly the same as if you were
a nudist. Somebody doesn't get a tax break for being a Mason, or whatever
they're interested in. [Interview in Freedom Writer magazine, March 1989]
Atheists are now here to stay. We are ready to take over the culture
and move it ahead for the benefit of all mankind. Religion has ever
been anti- human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason, and anti-science.
The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth.
It is time now for reason, education, and science to take over.
An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church.
An Atheist believes that deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An
Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants
disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.
William A. Orton
If you keep your mind sufficiently open,
people will throw a lot of rubbish into it.
When I eat my dinner I don't do it to the greater
glory of God; I do it because I enjoy it. The world's full of amusing things
- books, wine, travel, friends - everything. I've never seen any meaning
in it all, and I don't want to see one. Why not take life as you find it?
Saints should always be judged guilty until they
are proven innocent.
As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism
is its adherents.