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Holier Than My Friend Count, Atheist Quotes

An atheist believes deeds must be done instead of prayers said. [He] strives for involvement in life and not escape into death…He believes we cannot rely on god or channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter. He believes we are our brother’s keepers and keepers of our own lives; we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now. ~Murray v. Curlett, 1963

George Bernard Shaw

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

Albert Einstein

“Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

“The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.” Letter to Eric Gutkind, 1954

Jiddu Krishnamurti

“So 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.” Freedom from the Known

Karl Marx

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, 1844

Mark Twain

“A man is accepted into church for what he believes—and turned out for what he knows.” Letters from Earth

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

Benjamin Franklin

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.”

Arthur C. Clarke

“One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion.” ~ Arthur C. Clark, God, Science, and Delusion: A Chat With Arthur C. Clarke, 1999

Christopher Hitchens

“The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.” God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, 2007

Eric Hoffer

“The fanatic is not really a stickler to principle. He embraces a cause not primarily because of its justness or holiness but because of his desperate need for something to hold onto.”

Sigmund Freud

“Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.” New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis,1933

Thomas Jefferson

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” Letter Peter Carr, Aug 10, 1787

Ricky Gervais

“Science seeks the truth and it does not discriminate. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence – evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn’t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition.”

“No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.” You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.”

Ayn Rand

“Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves – or whether it should be ours here and now and on this Earth.” From Atlas Shrugged (1957)

Frank Herbert

“Every judgment teeters on the brink of error. To claim absolute knowledge is to become monstrous. Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.” Dune

Douglas Adams, from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”

“But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED”

“Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

Douglas Adams, Interview

If you describe yourself as atheist, some will say, “Don’t you mean ‘agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean atheist, I really do not believe there is a god; in fact, I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference)…It’s easier to say I am a radical atheist, just to signal I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and it’s an opinion I hold seriously.

Robert Heinlein

“Men rarely (if ever) managed to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.” Time Enough For Love

“Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there.” Job: A Comedy Of Justice

Leonardo Da Vinci

“Anyone who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but his memory.” Notebooks, c. 1500

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“Dogmas of every kind put assertion in the place of reason and give rise to more contention, bitterness, and want of charity than any other influence in human affairs.”

Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

“It is not God that is worshipped but the group or authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority not violation of integrity.”

Susan Brownell Anthony

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” 1896, addressing the National American Woman Suffrage Association meeting

James Watson

I don’t think we’re here for anything, we’re just products of evolution. You can say, “Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don’t think there’s a purpose,” but I’m anticipating a good lunch.

Ferdinand Magellan

“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.”

Robert Green Ingersoll

“Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending the justice of his own imprisonment.” Individuality (1873)

William Howard Taft

“There is nothing so despicable as a secret society that is based upon religious prejudice and that will attempt to defeat a man because of his religious beliefs. Such a society is like a cockroach – it thrives in the dark. So do those who combine for such an end.”  Address, December 20, 1914