Saturday, November 03, 2007

atheist quotes

From Godless Wonder:

  • I'm an atheist, and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people. [Katharine Hepburn, actress]
  • I do not believe in religion, but if I had to choose one, it would be Buddhism... But Buddhists say we come back as animals, and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren't lesser beings; they're just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists... I've got my own religion... If I get into trouble, there is no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself. [Bjork, musician]
  • New: [If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?] My son, I saw what you did in the garage, and you're still welcomed here. [laughter] See, you were wrong. I do exist. [Ray Romano, actor]
  • At present there is not a single credible established religion in the world... 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. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. [George Bernard Shaw, playwright]
  • If there was a god, I’d still have both nuts...I don't have anything against organized religion, per se. We all need something in our lives. I personally just have not accepted that belief. But I'm one of the few… At the end of the day, if there is indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hope I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there is indeed a God at the end of my days, I hope he doesn't say, "But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven." If so, I am going to reply, "You know what? You're right. Fine.” [Lance Armstrong, athlete]
  • New: A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this [Emmy] award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Can you believe this shit? Hell has frozen over. Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now. [Kathy Griffin, comedian]
  • [Pointing at priest with his hand on a boy's shoulder.] That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen. Run, little boy! Run for your life! [Alfred Hitchcock, director]
  • New: Yes, I can make your cat talk. [God, Judeo-Christian deity]
  • Updated: [What religion are you?] You know, the one with all the well-meaning rules that don't work out in real life. Uhhh, Christianity... And what if we picked the wrong religion?! Every week, we're just making God madder and madder!... The lesson is: Our God is vengeful! O spiteful one, show me who to smite and they shall be smoten!... [God's] my favorite fictional character... [Homer, that's not God! That's just a waffle that Bart tossed up there!] Lord, I know I shouldn't eat Thee, but...mmmmmmmm... sacrelicious... I've always wondered if there was a god. And now I know there is - and it's me. [Homer Simpson, nuclear engineer]
  • 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... Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies... It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. [possibly Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President]
  • What I believe most religious tenets to be are man-made after the fact. The Bible, I've said it before, is a beautifully written work of fiction. [applause] No, no! Don't clap, don't clap! That's what gets me killed! [Janeane Garofalo, comedian]
  • Maybe I would believe in God if he believed in me. [Arthur Miller, playwright]
  • I don't believe in Heaven and Hell. I don't know if I believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won't allow this life - the only thing I know to exist - to be wasted. [George Clooney, actor]
  • No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter... than you and I; and all religion... is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. [Edgar Allen Poe, author]
  • New: I hate religion. I think it's a neurological disorder...I think that the people who think God wrote a book called The Bible are just childish. Religion is so childish. What they're fighting about in the Middle East, it's so childish. These myths, these silly little stories that they believe in fundamentally, that they take over this little space in Jerusalem where one guy flew up to heaven—no, no, this guy performed a sacrifice here a thousand million years ago. It's like, "Who cares?"...This whole gay issue wouldn't even be an issue except it says it in the Bible. The Bible, that book that has people lived to be 900 years old and says the world is 6,000 years old, and that there are people who lived in a whale. That infallible work of genius and slavery is OK. You should stone a guy to death if he works on Sunday. That's the book that says, sorry no queers. So I'm sorry, I don't respect people who believe in religion.I was religious when I was a kid. We all had dumb stuff drilled into our head. It doesn't mean when you get to be an adult you can't drill it out. I tell you something else they drilled into my head when I was a kid, mercury in my cavities. We found out later mercury is so bad we shouldn't even eat it when there is a trace of it in fish. But it was drilled into my teeth. So when I got older, I had it drilled out. You can do the same thing with religion. [Bill Maher, political humorist]
  • Climbed over mountains, traveled the sea, cast out all Heaven, cast down on my knees; I've lain with the Devil, cursed God above, forsaken Heaven, to bring you my love. ["To Bring You My Love" by P.J. Harey, musician]
  • To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition. [Woody Allen, writer-director]
  • I'm completely atheist... I do like [going to church] but I have the sort of conscience that says if you go you are supporting the myth. And it makes me angry. [Alan Cumming, actor]
  • Religion is the idol of the mob: It adores everything it does not understand. [Frederick the Great, King of Prussia]
  • New: Let there be light! Wait, what if I make it a sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filtered half-light, so that everything else I design will look younger? [God, Judeo-Christian deity]
  • I live for now, not for what happens after I die. If I die and there's something afterwards, I'm going to Hell, not Heaven. I mean, the Devil's got all the good gear. What's God got? The Inspiral Carpets and nuns. Fuck that. [Liam Gallagher of Oasis, musician]
  • Theology is never any help. It is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything. [Robert A. Heinlein, author]
  • I will not swear on God. I will not swear on God because I don't believe in the conventional God, but will swear on my children and my grandchildren. [Marlon Brando, actor]
  • I go on record by stating that I do not believe in God. [Todd McFarlane, comic book creator]
  • New: Please do not offer my god a peanut... I have come to make amends, sir. At first, I blamed you for squealing, but then I realized, it was I who wronged you. So I have come to work off my debt. I am at your service. [Homer: You're...selling what, now?] I am selling only the concept of karmic realignment. [You can't sell that! Karma can only be portioned out by the cosmos! (slams door)] He's got me there. [Apu, Hindu]
  • By maintaining the separation of church and state, the United States has avoided the intolerance which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars... To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic. [Barry Goldwater, Republican icon]
  • [Do you have religious beliefs?] None whatsoever. To be perfectly frank, I really do not…I believe in sleeping. [Bruce Lee, martial artist]
  • The secret to getting donations is to depict everyone who disagrees with you as the enemy. Then you explain how they’re systematically working to destroy everything you hold dear. It’s a war of values! Rational discussion is hopeless! Compromise is unthinkable! Our only hope is well-funded antagonism, so we need your money to keep up the fight! [Calvin, boy]
  • New: [I'm] almost positive there is no God. [Sarah Silverman, comic]
  • What the mind doesn't understand it worships or fears. [Alice Walker, author]
  • The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The morning daylight appears plainer when you put out your candle... I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies... Lighthouses are more helpful than churches. [Benjamin Franklin, statesman]
  • Hate to break it to you, but there is no God... I'm sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don't think there's any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock... Here's what happens when you die - you sit in a box and get eaten by worms. I promise you that when you die, nothing cool happens. [Howard Stern, radio personality]
  • I turned to speak to God, About the world's despair; But to make bad matters worse, I found God wasn't there. [Robert Frost, poet]
  • The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives. [Gandhi, philosopher]
  • I don't believe in the afterlife. I believe this is it, and I believe it's the best way to live. [Natalie Portman, actress]
  • That's all religion is - some principle you believe in... Man has accomplished far more miracles than the God he invented. What a tragedy it is to invent a God and then suffer to keep him King. [Rod Steiger, actor]
  • New: Whenever I go to arrest somebody, they say, 'Oh, God, give me another chance. Oh, God, let me go. I'll turn myself in tomorrow.' [God, bounty hunter]
  • I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond Atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy - you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do... 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... We were asked to do autographs for Donny and Marie. I wrote, "There is no god," and Teller wrote, "He's right." [Penn Jillette, magician]
  • Incurably religious, that is the best way to describe the mental condition of so many people... Religion is all bunk. [Thomas Edison, inventor]
  • I'm an atheist, for Chrissake!... How unfortunate it is to assign responsibility to the higher up for justice amongst people. [Ani DiFranco, musician]
  • Along with Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, the invention of God is probably the greatest creation of human thought. [Neil Jordan, writer-director]
  • [Asked about religion] I don't like stories, things I can't prove. [Barry White, singer]
  • There is so much in the Bible against which every instinct of my being rebels, so much so that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read it through from beginning to end. I do not think that the knowledge I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant details it has forced upon my attention. [Helen Keller, essayist]
  • I don't believe in God now. I can still work up an envy for someone who has a faith. I can see how that could be a deeply soothing experience. [Jack Nicholson, actor]
  • Believe nothing... Doubt everything. Find your own light. [Buddha, philosopher]
  • New: [If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?] You see, I do exist. [Gabriel Byrne, actor]
  • Religion is a byproduct of fear... It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him. [Arthur C. Clarke, author]
  • Misquoted? Missed quote? Miss? Comment
  • I grew tired of religion some time not long after birth. I believe in people, I believe in humans, I believe in a car, but I don't believe something I can have absolutely no evidence of for millenniums. And it's funny - people think analysis or psychiatry is mad, and they go to church! [John Malkovich, actor]
  • I'm not really cut out to be a politician. You know that I sometimes don't know when to shut up. That could be a drawback. I'm an atheist. So there you go right there. I can't be elected to anything because polls all say that people won't elect an atheist. [Ron Reagan, Jr., Democrat]
  • The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion... This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it. [John Adams, U.S. President]
  • I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand?! Honestly! [Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.] What?! Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah! [He is! He is the Messiah!] Now, fuck off! [How shall we fuck off, O Lord?] [Brian, messiah]
  • Praying is like a rocking chair - it'll give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere. [Gypsy Rose Lee, stripper]
  • New: I've been going to Bible classes. They're teaching me to be more judgmental. [Maude Flanders, dead housewife]
  • Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived... I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time... To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature... Imagine the people who believe such things, these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly. [Isaac Asimov, author]
  • Although I'm not Christian, I was raised Christian. I'm an atheist, with a slight Buddhist leaning. I've got a very strong sense of morality. [Rachel Griffiths, actress]
  • [Is there a God?] No. What further is there to say? [Armisted Maupin, author]
  • All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit... Toleration is not the opposite of intolerance but the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms: the one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it... The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion... Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel... I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church. [Thomas Paine, statesman]
  • If there is a God, all evidence shows that He hates me. [Matt Groening, cartoonist]
  • New: I will remove judges from the Supreme Court quickly, and their successors will refuse to sanction the attacks on religious faith. [God, Judeo-Christian deity]
  • Life has no meaning beyond this reality. But people keep searching for excuses... People call it truth, religion; I call it insanity, the denial of death as the basic truth of life. "What is the meaning of life?" is a stupid question. Life just exists... I see life as a dance. Does a dance have to have a meaning? You're dancing because you enjoy it. [Jackie Mason, comedian]
  • Think, just think, about how every last man and woman and child of the Pharisees was killed for their blasphemy and their infidelity when their greatest crime was they were mistaken. So they believed in the wrong God - they should be killed for this? Is this justice? Is it? No, this is not what a fair God would do. And why does it not say anywhere in the Bible that slavery is wrong? It only says that you should treat your slaves well. Well, I don't care if you treat them well. How is it possible that it is not immoral to own another person? [Mira Sorvino, actress]
  • Intelligent design is not a serious alternative to science. If you choose to believe in fairy tales, that's your decision... Anyone who believes in intelligent design cannot be that intelligent. Your Mr. Bush appears to believe in it. [Richard Leakey, paleontologist]
  • It's an incredible con job when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations with all their reward systems don't try to make it posthumous. [Gloria Steinem, feminist activist]
  • I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting. But I cannot, suffering as I am, do without something which is greater than I am - which is my life, the power to create. [Vincent van Gogh, painter]
  • It stands for everything most hostile to the mental emancipation and stimulation of mankind. It is the completest, most highly organized system of prejudices and antagonism in existence. Everywhere in the world there are ignorance and prejudice, but the greatest complex of these, with the most extensive prestige and the most intimate entanglement with traditional institutions, is the Roman Catholic Church. It presents many faces to the world, but everywhere it is systematic in its fight against freedom. [H.G. Wells, author]
  • To create a universe, you must taste the forbidden fruit. Deus does not exist, but he does, he’d want to get down from that cloud. ["Deus" by The Sugarcubes, musicians]
  • All thinking men are atheists. [Ernest Hemingway, author]
  • New: [If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?] Oh, you know something? I'm so far away from believing that it exists, and the only thing I know are jokes about it. [Donald Sutherland, actor]
  • Even though I don't personally believe in the Lord, I try to behave as though He was watching. [Christopher Reeve, actor]
  • Once I stayed up for three weeks in a row because I felt like I was called upon to write a new religion for women. I was reading all these books, including the Bible - and I'm an atheist! [Margot Kidder, actress]
  • There is no God, Nature sufficeth unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author. [Marquis de Sade, author]
  • I am not religious - quite the opposite. It would seem, particularly at the moment that in certain countries to deny having faith is virtually to admit to being a worshipper of the devil. Such is the fear, hate and hostility created by the believers of this so-called all-forgiving God. I worship nothing. Not a good lie nor a dark one. If nature is proof of God's amazing creation, then I have truly seen the light, and the light is black. Nature is genius at its most cruel and savage. No benevolent God could have come up with such an outrage. [Gary Numan, musician]
  • [In a church] Stupid people! You reek of dirt and stupidity!... You talk of heaven, pointing with your fingers over your head. What heaven is there? There is only air, clouds which give rain, lightning which makes a loud sound and breaks the tree branches, and birds flying. There are no boys with wings nor any ladies or gentlemen sitting on clouds... If there really is a Holy Virgin or anyone up in the air, tell them to send lightning to strike me down or let the stones of the vault fall on my head. If you are unable to do that Mr. Priest, you're nothing but a puppet taking money from stupid old women. You're no better than the clown in the circus coaxing coins from the public. If God doesn't stop me, then there must be no God. Get out of here! You see, there is no God! You're all stupid cows! [Diego Rivera, painter]
  • Although I'm an atheist, I don't fear death more than, say, sharing a room in a detox center with a sobbing Rush Limbaugh...This is why I'm returning to Opus. [Berkeley Breathed, cartoonist]
  • You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci. Two reasons; first of all, I think he's a good actor. Okay. To me, that counts. Second; he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn't fuck around. Doesn't fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with. For years I asked God to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog. Joe Pesci straightened that cocksucker out with one visit. I noticed that of all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers that I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same 50% rate. [George Carlin, comedian]
  • I don't follow any organized religion, but I do believe in the idea of god as a verb - being love and light. And that we are part of everything as everything is part of us. [Sarah McLachlan, musician]
  • New: Are you usually awake at this hour? [God, Judeo-Christian deity]
  • When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it... Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived. [Oscar Wilde, poet]
  • I'm an atheist, but I have a great fascination with this issue - over God and whether there is one or not. I come to (my belief) personally for my own reasons and my own decisions. But I respect anybody who believes anything, I don't have the ultimate answers about anything. [John Carpenter, writer-director]
  • An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support. [Fulton Sheen, Auxiliary Bishop of New York City]
  • Whether you interpret the Bible as literature or as the final word of whatever God may be, Christianity has given us an image of death and sexuality that we have based our culture around. A half-naked dead man hangs in most homes and around our necks, and we have just taken that for granted all of our lives... Who wants to go to Heaven with all those asshole angels? [Marilyn Manson, musician]
  • Shrines! Shrines! Surely you don't believe in the gods. What's your argument? Where's your proof?... Open your mouth and shut your eyes and see what Zeus will send you. [Aristophanes, philosopher]
  • [Do you believe in God?] Yes. His name is Clive Davis, and he's the head of my record company. [How important is your Judaism to you?] It isn't. My humanism is. [Barry Manilow, musician]
  • I'm a born-again atheist. [Gore Vidal, author]
  • New: 'Thank the Lord'? That sounded like a prayer! A prayer in a public school! Religion has no place in public schools the way facts have no place in organized religion! ['Super Nintendo' Chalmers, superintendent of schools]
  • The only responsibilty is to ourselves. If we all found God tomorrow and wanted to do a gospel show, we would do it. I never will - I'm an atheist. But if we drive people away because of the music we're making or what we're saying, fine. Don't. [Peter Buck of REM, musician]
  • I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use. [Galileo, explorer]
  • Just to clarify... I am Jewish, but I was raised superstitious. I actually don't believe in God. I do believe, though, that you shouldn't step on the cracks on the sidewalk. And science will bear me out, that it actually is dangerous. [So you are atheistic?] Yes. And my parents were atheists. [Jonathan Katz, comedian]
  • I love the idea of God, but it's not stylistically in keeping with the way I function. I would describe myself as an enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God. I can see that people who believe in God are happier... But I doubt. [Carrie Fisher, author-actress]
  • I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own - a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty... I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it... Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. [Albert Einstein, physicist]
  • Religious hatreds ought not to be propagated at all, but certainly not on a tax-exempt basis. [James A. Michener, author]
  • New: I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose. [Clarence Darrow, lawyer]
  • I always say that if God is hydrogen and helium, then yes, I believe in God, too… Some people have written and accused me of a dogmatic fanaticism in my non-belief. I disagree. My disbelief in God is just like my disbelief in Santa Claus. If there is solid scientific evidence that shows a creator God who cares about us humans and offers an eternal life, I am completely open to that and I would change my mind based on it. I have not yet seen evidence that comes close. And yes, it’s true: I am not going to spend all my time searching for evidence that I am wrong. I did do that for years and I came to a certain conclusion and I’m going to stick with it until I find compelling evidence to the contrary. Michael Shermer says you should be open-minded but not so open-minded that your brains fall out. I think that’s a good stance. [Julia Sweeney, actress-comedian]
  • If you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. [Thomas Szasz, psychiatrist]
  • Cat got your tongue, pussycat? Comment
  • This whole Christian theology thing is that God came down to experience life through his son. Well, how's he experiencing life if he doesn't get laid? Give me a break. And why would he not get laid, as he created the apparatus in the first place? [Tori Amos, musician]
  • The more I read about man and his maniacal ruthlessness and his murderous envious scatological soul, the more I realize that he will never change. Our stupidity is immortal, nothing will change it. The same mistakes, the same prejudices, the same injustice, the same lusts wheel endlessly around the parade ground of the centuries. Immutable and ineluctable. I wish I could believe in a god of some kind, but I simply cannot. [Sir Richard Burton, actor]
  • Many religious beliefs decline as education levels rise. [George Gallup, Jr., pollster]
  • New: Oh, don't grovel! One thing I can't stand, it's people groveling! [Sorry.] And don't apologize! Every time I try to talk to someone it's 'sorry this' and 'forgive me that' and 'I'm not worthy!' What are you doing now?! [I'm averting my eyes, O Lord] Well, dont!... [Good idea, O Lord] 'Course it's a good idea! [God, Judeo-Christian deity]
  • I'm so not ready to die. It petrifies me. I go alone. I go to a place I don't know. It might be painful. It might be the end. My thought is that it is the end. I become nameless, and I spent a lifetime being known. [William Shatner, actor]
  • The American people need no course in philosophy or political science or church history to know that God should not be made into a celestial party chairman. To most of us, the manipulative invoking of religion to advance a politician or a party is frightening and divisive... But the American people are leery about large religious groups engaging in such activities because our innate wisdom and democratic instinct teaches us these things are dangerous... We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might someday force theirs on us. [Mario Cuomo, Governor of New York]
  • I'm an atheist. So God, if She exists, isn't really a part of my life. [Ian McKellan, actor]
  • I'm an atheist... The fact is, the Christian mythos has a powerful fascination to me, and it bleeds into my storytelling. Redemption, hope, purpose, Santa, these all are important to me, whether I believe in an afterlife or some universal structure or not. [Joss Whedon, writer-director]
  • Dear God, hope you got the letter, and I pray you can make it better down here. I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer. But all the people that you made in your image, see them starving on their feet 'cause they don't get enough to eat from God. I can't believe in you. Dear God, sorry to disturb you, but I feel that I should be heard loud and clear. We all need a big reduction in amount of tears. And all the people that you made in your image, see them fighting in the street 'cause they can't make opinions meet about God. I can't believe in you. Did you make disease, and the diamond blue? Did you make mankind after we made you? And the devil. too? Dear God, don't know if you noticed, but your name is on a lot of quotes in this book. And us crazy humans wrote it – you should take a look. And all the people that you made in your image still believing that junk is true. Well I know it ain't, and so do you, dear God. I can't believe in I don't believe in…I won't believe in heaven and hell. No saints, no sinners, no Devil, as well. No pearly gates, no thorny crown. You're always letting us humans down. The wars you bring, the babes you drown. Those lost at sea and never found, and it's the same the whole world 'round. The hurt I see helps to compound that Father, Son and Holy Ghost is just somebody's unholy hoax. And if you're up there you'd perceive that my heart's here upon my sleeve. If there's one thing I don't believe in - it's you, dear god. [“Dear God” by XTC, musicians]
  • What happens in our lives is not really anybody's fault but our own... When I was in high school, I was in an atheist crowd, and it was the consensus that religion was a crutch. [Gillian Anderson, actress]
  • Religion is an illusion... The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life... Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis. [Sigmund Freud, psychiatrist]
  • I think that God that we created... is a pretty villainous creature. I think that one of the things that male patriarchal figure has done is, allowed under its - His church, His wing - all kinds of corruption and villainies to grow and fester. In the name of God terrible wars have been waged; in the name of that God terrible sexism has been allowed to spread... I don't believe that God exists. I think that God is creation of men, by men, and for men. [Clive Barker, author-director]
  • New: [If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?] You see, I do exist. [Kevin Kline, actor]
  • 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. [John Keats, poet]
  • Organized religions in general, in my opinion, are dying forms. They were all very important when we didn't know why the sun moved, why weather changed, why hurricanes occurred, or volcanoes happened. Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology. But there are people who interpret the Bible literally. Literally! I choose not to believe that's the way. And that's what makes America cool, you know? [Bruce Willis, actor]
  • Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it. But if they called everything divine which they do not understand, why, there would be no end of divine things. [Hippocrates, philosopher]
  • I would thank God, but I don't believe in it... It's like a movie that was way too popular. It's a story that's been told too many times and just doesn't mean anything... All I really believe in is this moment, like right now. [Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, musician]
  • Other world? There is no other world; here or nowhere is the whole fact. [Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet]
  • New: Get a divorce. [Isn't that a sin?] Marge, everything is a sin. Have you ever sat down and read this thing? Technically, we're not allowed to go to the bathroom... Marge, you can save more souls with rollerskates and Easy Bake ovens than with this 2,000-page sleeping pill!... [Aren't you going to give him the last rites?] That's Catholic, Marge. You might as well ask me to do a voodoo dance... There's more to being a minister than not caring about people... Oh Ned, have you thought about one of the other major religions? They're all pretty much the same... I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens. Who came to earth - and then died - only to be brought back to life again. And his name was: E.T., the extra-terrestrial. I love that little guy. [Timothy Lovejoy, reverend]
  • The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance... logic can be happily tossed out the window. [Stephen King, author]
  • I used to go to Mass with my friends, and I viewed the whole business as a lot of very enthralling hocus-pocus. There's a guy hanging upon the wall in the church, nailed to a cross and dripping blood, and everybody's blaming themselves for that man's torment, but I said to myself, "Forget it. I had no hand in that evil. I have no original sin Theres no blood of any sacred martyr an my hands. I pass on all of this"… I gradually decided that just because I didn't have or couldn't find the ultimate answer didn't mean I was going to buy the religious fairytale. We should all struggle to the last to hold on to life, and religion encourages people to give up on making this life work because the supposed next life will be fairer. Religion is the source of too many of the world's worst problems. I believe that all important matters have to be settled here, not in the clouds somewhere after we kick off. [Billy Joel, musician]
  • When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"... The absolute nothingness of death is a blessing. Something to look forward to. [Quentin Crisp, author]
  • I am quite flattered that you [the interviewer] view me as a liberal Jew like yourself. Although raised a conservative Methodist, I am, in fact, a liberal atheist. Many people mistake me for Irish. [Paula Poundstone, comedian]
  • I myself am no longer religious in the sense that a long-ago altar boy thought he should be, but I can respond to the power of belief whether I agree or not, and when I find it in a film, I must respect it. [Roger Ebert, critic]
  • Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life... Prayers and sacrifices are of no avail. [Aristotle, philosopher]
  • New: The problem with religion or the state for that matter is that it involves putting faith in something above yourself. They take power and responsibility away from ordinary people and undervalue people's worth... We don't believe in god on any level. Religion is a socially acceptable version of heroin, it's a prop which fucks people up and over. And as Blaise Pascal so aptly put it: 'Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.' [Chumbawamba, musicians]
  • I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in. God, Satan, Paradise, and Hell all vanished one day in my 15th year, when I quite abruptly lost my faith... Afterwards, to prove my new-found atheism, I bought myself a rather tasteless ham sandwich, and so partook for the first time of the forbidden flesh of the swine. No thunderbolt arrived to strike me down. [Salman Rushdie, novelist]
  • The sheep are running scared tonight; the cows are coming home. They cling together terrified, afraid to be alone…They don’t know who to run to; they don’t know where to go. Unless you tell them what to think, they don’t know what they know…They’re looking for an answer. They’re looking for more. Just what are they looking up here to me for? They’re looking for Jesus; they’re looking for Christ. They’re looking for some human sacrifice. It looks like Jonestown, again. [“Jonestown” by Concrete Blonde, musicians]
  • I'm Godless. And so I've had to make my God, and my God is narrative filmmaking, which is - ultimately what my God becomes, which is what my mantra becomes, is the theme. [Darren Aronofsky, director]
  • Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning. [Bill Gates, mogul]
  • I don't believe in God, I'm an atheist but matters of spirit and of the mind transcend all political affiliations... I acknowledge that religion may be socially necessary as an ethical counterweight to natural human ferocity. The primitive marauding impulse can emerge very swiftly in the alienated young. [Camille Paglia, critic]
  • I'm glad some people have that faith. I don't have that faith. If there is a God, a caring God, then we have to figure he's done an extraordinary job of making a very cruel world. [Dave Matthews, musician]
  • There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created that a cat should play with mice. [Charles Darwin, scientist]
  • New: I'm totally disinterested, personally, with that sort of thing. [The occult] does absolutely nothing for me. I'm neither religious nor superstitious. At best I can be counted as an agnostic. Science and technology get me a lot more excited. [Roman Polanski, director]
  • Despite all the advancements in science, and all things about religion that are disproved it still marches on. The bottom line is that the only real, absolutely provable answers about life and our place in the universe are provided by science, and religion has been holding down science since day one…Every single religion that has ever been on the face of the Earth, ever, is a cult. That's all they are. Just a cult with millions of people in them. Meanwhile, they have a bunch of really bad...stories that require more belief than an episode of I Dream of Jeannie. You're supposed to just go along with it. Meanwhile your brain is just spinning, going, "How is this real?” They will just not listen to logic. To me, that's fascinating that so many people are willing to buy into it. It's because people need answers. I'd rather have no answers than a(n) answer that makes me an idiot. [Joe Rogan, actor-comedian]
  • 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. [Karl Marx, philosopher]
  • Isn't the essential pillar of Catholicism papal infallibility? Well, then how can the church ever change its mind about anything unless God gets confused one day? Not all religions claim the direct authority of God speaking to their leader. You know, I'm an atheist, but I'm a Puritan atheist. [Dave Foley, actor-comedian]
  • By simple common sense I don't believe in God, in none. [Charlie Chaplin, actor]
  • Questioning my spiritual life has always been germane to what I was writing. Always. It's because I'm not quite an atheist and it worries me. There's that little bit that holds on: "Well, I'm almost an atheist. Give me a couple of months.” [David Bowie, musician]
  • If the concept of God has any validity or use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him. [James Baldwin, author]
  • Angry priest-to-nun transsexual? Comment
  • It's perfectly clear to me that religion is a myth. It's something we have invented to explain the inexplicable. My religion and the spiritual side of my life come from a sense of connection to the humankind and nature on this planet and in the universe. I am in overwhelming awe of it all: It is so fantastic, so complex, so beyond comprehension. What does it all mean - if it has any meaning at all? But how can it all exist if it doesn't have some kind of meaning? I think anyone who suggests that they have the answer is motivated by the need to invent answers, because we have no such answers. [Hugh Hefner, Playboy publisher]
  • New: I'm not giving it up for anybody. Not even for God. [Dawn Jenkins, God]
  • How could you ask me to believe in God when there's absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that's out there that we haven't discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don't know any better. [Jodie Foster, actress]
  • I do not believe in any revealed religion. I will have nothing to do with your immortality; we are miserable enough in this life, without the absurdity of speculating upon another... Why should I believe mysteries no one can understand, because written by men who chose to mistake madness for inspiration? [Lord Byron, poet]
  • The term that best describes me now is "secular humanist." I despise those shallow religious comics. Dennis the Menace, for instance, is the most shallow. When they show him praying - I just can't stand that sort of thing, talking to God about some cutesy thing that he'd done during the day... Oh, I can't stand [Family Circus]. You could get diabetes reading them. [Charles Schulz, cartoonist]
  • There is no god more divine than yourself. [Walt Whitman, poet]
  • I don't believe in God. I don't believe in America. I don't believe in rock and roll. All I believe in is me. [Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, musician]
  • For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our education system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. [Charles Bukowski, author]
  • Buddhism deals with the fact, in essence, you know, come right out and say it, that there is no God, that the individual is God... You are the sole person responsible for all causes in your life. [Patrick Duffy, actor]
  • New: So there I sat at the party drinking anything they put before me. I was completely stunned, not from liquor but from emotion. I knew how it felt to be drunk but I didn't know how to feel success. Was there something inside of me which allowed me to enjoy my moment but not be elated or overcome with it? I had been taught somewhere in my background that Jews did not gather around a campfire talking about the possessions they had with them, for they would surely be gone in the morning. You did not boast about your good fortune because God would certainly punish a boaster. I was not overly religious, in fact hardly religious at all, but your culture, by osmosis, or what you hear around the dinner table as a boy, brands fears and superstitions into your mind forever. [Neil Simon, playwright]
  • [Is there a God?] I don't think so. I don't know. I don't think about it much, because I figure, what's the point?… When you pray, I don't think anyone's listening. Besides other people, I don't think anyone cares if you murder people or masturbate or shove things up your butt. I don't think there's anybody sitting in the sky watching you. You're on your own. All you have is other people around you, and how you treat them. I actually think that not having a focus on God would make life better, because there would be more of an imperative to be nice to each other… But I don't know. People have got to worry about something, and there's obviously some kind of anthropological, almost zoological need. This particular animal does this particular thing. Instead of constructing a hive out of paper that they chew up, they create a God. It's just something that they do. [Andy Richter, actor]
  • I'm an atheist, and Christianity appears to me to be the most absurd imposture of all the religions, and I'm puzzled that so many people can't see through a religion that encourages irresponsibility and bigotry. [Butterfly McQueen, actress]
  • I went to church every Sunday and when I was about 12, I had a huge fight with my father over the dinner table. I'm screaming at him that religion's a sham, it's crazy and I'm not going to church anymore - it's just bullshit! And he looked at me and laughed. He said, "Of course it's not to be taken literally. You must look at the Bible almost like Aesop's Fables - it's just fundamental truths that the Bible discusses; it's not to be taken word for word." And ever since then I loosened up my view of organized religion. [Do I believe in God?] No, not at all. [Shirley Manson of Garbage, musician]
  • I was born a heretic. I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. [Susan B. Anthony, activist]
  • New: There's no such thing as a soul. It's just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson. [Bart, boy]
  • The whole foundation of Christianity is based on the idea that intellectualism is the work of the Devil. Remember the apple on the tree? Okay, it was the Tree of Knowledge. "You eat this apple, you're going to be as smart as God. We can't have that." [Frank Zappa, musician]
  • Many Americans reaffirmed their faith this year. I didn't, because I have no faith. I was born and raised Jewish and it just didn't take. You see, when I was a kid, my parents on the first Hanukkah gave me a top to play with. They call it a dreidel, but I know a top when I see one. And as I looked down at what is truly the dumbest toy ever created in the history of civilization, I thought, You know, I'm not gonna be Jewish for long. Religion is important and patriotism is important, but religion and patriotism without a sense of humor, and you're in trouble. You know that's, that's why our enemy is so frightening, they have no humor…If these people had any humor at all, none of this would have happened because no one could have stood in front of them and said that if they killed themselves in the name of Allah, that they would immediately go to heaven and be met by 72 virgins. No one could have said that because everybody would have known that that's a punchline to a joke. [Lewis Black, comedian-critic]
  • 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. [Magellan, explorer]
  • For some people. I hope [there is a God], for them. For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn't need to be a God for me. [Angelina Jolie, actress]
  • New: [Is there a God?] Well, let me put it this way... [Pauses] No, I'm not going to try to be clever. I really don't know. I just don't know. [Stan Lee, comic book creator]
  • I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well...are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?" He said, "Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!" I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum," and pushed him off. [Emo Phillips, comedian]
  • During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, bigotry, and persecution. [James Madison, U.S. President]
  • [The real truth about a lot of life's mysteries can be explained by science.] But people don't want to get in bed with science because it's cold. They prefer religion, myth, drama. [David Duchovny, actor]
  • The word "belief" is a difficult thing for me. I don't believe. I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it - I don't need to believe it. [Carl Jung, psychiatrist]
  • God is, to me, pretty much a myth created over time to deny the idea that we're all responsible for our own actions. [Seth Green, actor]
  • New: No, this is mine. [God, Judeo-Christian deity]
  • I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will - and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain. [Gene Roddenberry, TV producer]
  • I don't believe in life after death... I kind of hope that there's a Hell. I hope that there's a Heaven and that I'm qualified for Hell. 'Cause that's where I would definitely want to go. You know, if there is a Heaven and a Hell, I hope that involves the Russian plan. I've always loved the Russian version of Hell, where all the writers and the interesting people are gonna spend their time gathering. It's just like this big house in like the middle of somewhere. If there is a Christian version of Heaven, I know I don't want to go there. Awful bad. [Am I an atheist?] Absolutely not. I believe in Dog. [Danny Elfman, composer]
  • It isn't true that the laws of nature have been capriciously disturbed; that snakes have talked; that women have been turned into salt; that rods have brought water out of rocks. [Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author]
  • There's no bigger atheist than me. Well, I take that back. I'm a cancer screening away from going agnostic and a biopsy away from full-fledged Christian. [Adam Carolla, comedian]
  • The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma... When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion... What is to be, will be, and no prayers of ours can arrest the decree. [Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President]
  • Girl of 18, fell in love with everything, found new life in Jesus Christ, hit by a car, ended up on a life support machine. Summer's day as she passed away. Birds were singing in the summer's sky. Then came the rain, and once again a tear fell from her mother's eye. I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumors, but I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor. And when I die, I expect to find him laughing. [“Blasphemous Rumours” by Depeche Mode, musicians]
  • This is my religious problem: It would be wonderful to believe in the most fundamental way. It would make life easier, it would explain everything, it would give meaning where none is apparent, it would make tragedies bearable. If I went to a revival meeting, I have no doubt I could be one of the first to go down on his knees. It seems as if the only religion worth having is the simplest possible religion. But something about the fact that all it takes to make it so is deciding it IS so puts me off. Knowing it could instantly make me much happier makes it somehow unworthy of having. [Dick Cavett, talk show host]
  • Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. [Jesse Ventura, Governor of Minnesota]
  • We respect people's spirituality. Just don't come up to my fucking face and tell me about God, because for thousands of years organized religion has done nothing more than fuck up science and, in general, any kind of scholastics...I don't believe in some old man with a beard. [Filter, musicians]
  • New: Do you have a life? I think you already know the answer. [God, Judeo-Christian deity]
  • No, of course I don't [believe in God], and anyone who tells you that there is a god who make his or her presence known to him or her is hallucinating or not telling the truth…I am an atheist. I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense…[Christian fundamentalism is] a lack of education. [Andy Rooney, critic]
  • 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... Faith means not wanting to know what is true... A casual stroll through a lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. [Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher]
  • Updated: I don't need to be told what I think! By anyone living... Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins a movie by telling you how it ends! Well, I say there are some things we don't want to know! Important things! [Ned Flanders, neighbor]
  • As for myself, I do not believe that such a person as Jesus Christ ever existed; but as the people are inclined to superstition, it is proper not to oppose them... Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. [Napoleon, Emperor of France]
  • There are just some things that don't seem very fair in the world, like this fucking hypocrisy of organized religion. I just don't understand how people can blindly believe a bunch of the shit they're fed, to believe it so that they don't think too hard about other issues. 'Be a good boy and you'll go to heaven.' If it works for you, fine, but it doesn't work for me and that pisses me off because I kind of wish it did. [Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, musician]
  • New: So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?... What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary. [Stephen Hawking, physicist]
  • Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense... Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world. [Voltaire, author/philospher]
  • Imagine there's no heaven - it's easy if you try; No hell below us, above us only sky; Imagine all the people living for today...Imagine there's no countries - it isn't hard to do; Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too; Imagine all the people living life in peace. ["Imagine" by John Lennon, musician]
  • [What would I say to God at the Pearly Gates?] Wow, I was wrong. You really do exist. [Julianne Moore, actress]
  • We were not created by a deity. We created the deity in our image. Life began on this planet when the first amoeba split. Mankind will still be seeking God, not accepting that God is a spirit; can't see it, touch it, only feel it. It's called love. [Phyllis Diller, comedian]
  • Jesus died to save men - a small thing for an immortal to do... Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight... If there is a God, he is a malign thug..."In God We Trust." I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true... A God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell - mouths mercy, and invented hell - mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!... If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be - a Christian. [Mark Twain, author]
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