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 religion.
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
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
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
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 would rise.
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 these phantoms.
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 "faith."
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 brings spring.
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 Nature.
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.
(1743-1826) ~ 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,
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.
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
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
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
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 fear.
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 friend.
If God lived on earth, people would
break his windows.
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.
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
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 of evolution.
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 men!
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 as president.
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
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 presents itself.
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
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 as pedophiles.
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
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
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 pray.
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
Sir Bernard Katz ~ Nobel winning
Organized religion: The world's
largest pyramid scheme.
There is no opinion so abusrd that a preacher could not
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.
(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 ennui.
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
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 one.
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 the dresses.
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
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 the land.
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) German
When miracles are admitted, every scientific explanation
is out of the question.
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
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
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
God seems to have left the receiver off the hook, and
time is running out.
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 decay.
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
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 fainter.
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 you do.
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
Lawrence ~ British writer (1885-1930)
God is only a great imaginative
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
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
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 dogma.
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 from Rome.
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 to sail.
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 to die.
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
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
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 lost.
Science strives to overcome ignorance. Religion perpetuates
and exploits it.
Christopher Marlowe ~ English dramatist
and poet (1564-1593).
I count religion but a childish toy and hold there is
no sin but innocence (ignorance).
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 have a personal faith in something
good, but it doesn't really go much further than that".
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 much alike.
America’s favorite religion is scientifically unsupported,
philosophically suspect at best, disreputable at worst, and historically
Never doubt that a small group
of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the
only thing that ever has.
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 religious.
Say what you will about the Ten
Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there
are only ten of them.
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
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.
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 as fables?
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 to atheism
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 erroneous.
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
If God existed as an all-powerful being, He would not
need the money that faithful believers donate to their churches.
Where it is a duty to worship the sun, it is pretty sure
to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.
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
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
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
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 than lies.
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
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
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.
There are two different types of people in the world,
those who want to know, and those who want to believe.
Nuland ( 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.