Atheism Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Atheism. Here they are! All 100 of them:

β€œ
We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
”
”
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
β€œ
Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning...
”
”
C.S. Lewis
β€œ
All thinking men are atheists.
”
”
Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms)
β€œ
To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.
”
”
Woody Allen
β€œ
Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
”
”
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
β€œ
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens
β€œ
Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
”
”
Isaac Asimov
β€œ
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.
”
”
Voltaire
β€œ
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 nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational 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
β€œ
Is man merely a mistake of God's? Or God merely a mistake of man?
”
”
Friedrich Nietzsche
β€œ
I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist.
”
”
Albert Camus (Notebooks 1951-1959)
β€œ
Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.
”
”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
β€œ
Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
β€œ
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
”
”
George Carlin
β€œ
Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money!
”
”
George Carlin
β€œ
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
”
”
Epicurus
β€œ
We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.
”
”
Carl Sagan
β€œ
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
”
”
Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time)
β€œ
Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature.
”
”
Emmett F. Fields
β€œ
Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
”
”
NapolΓ©on Bonaparte
β€œ
To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creationβ€”is that good for the world?
”
”
Christopher Hitchens
β€œ
She believed in nothing. Only her scepticism kept her from being an atheist.
”
”
Jean-Paul Sartre
β€œ
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
”
”
Thomas Jefferson
β€œ
There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.
”
”
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
β€œ
Agnostics are just atheists without balls.
”
”
Stephen Colbert (I Am America (And So Can You!))
β€œ
Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
β€œ
When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.
”
”
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
β€œ
The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.
”
”
Mark Twain
β€œ
belief is the death of intelligence.
”
”
Robert Anton Wilson (Cosmic Trigger: Die letzten Geheimnisse der Illuminaten oder An den Grenzen des erweiterten Bewusstseins)
β€œ
I did not marry the first girl that I fell in love with, because there was a tremendous religious conflict, at the time. She was an atheist, and I was an agnostic.
”
”
Woody Allen
β€œ
One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.
”
”
Aleister Crowley (Magick: Liber ABA: Book 4)
β€œ
A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
β€œ
With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.
”
”
Steven Weinberg
β€œ
If it turns out that there is a God...the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever.
”
”
Woody Allen
β€œ
I don't want to believe. I want to know.
”
”
Carl Sagan
β€œ
After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.
”
”
Friedrich Nietzsche
β€œ
What is it you most dislike? Stupidity, especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
β€œ
So. You get handed a holy sword by an archangel, told to go fight the forces of evil, and you somehow remain an atheist. Is that what you're saying?
”
”
Jim Butcher (Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5))
β€œ
If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.
”
”
Edmond de Goncourt
β€œ
The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
”
”
Brennan Manning
β€œ
The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.
”
”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel)
β€œ
Almighty God, I am sorry I am now an atheist, but have You read Nietzsche?
”
”
John Fante (Ask the Dust (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #3))
β€œ
If you think God’s there, He is. If you don’t, He isn’t. And if that’s what God’s like, I wouldn’t worry about it.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
β€œ
I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.
”
”
Isaac Asimov
β€œ
I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.
”
”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
β€œ
A cult is a religion with no political power.
”
”
Tom Wolfe
β€œ
Just keep asking yourself: What would Jesus not do?
”
”
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
β€œ
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
”
”
Thomas Aquinas
β€œ
Sometimes when I'm faced with an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we have finished eating that magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there's a cook.
”
”
Ronald Reagan
β€œ
We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens
β€œ
The more I learn about the universe, the less convinced I am that there's any sort of benevolent force that has anything to do with it, at all.
”
”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
β€œ
I prefer rationalism to atheism. The question of God and other objects-of-faith are outside reason and play no part in rationalism, thus you don't have to waste your time in either attacking or defending.
”
”
Isaac Asimov
β€œ
In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.
”
”
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
β€œ
We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That's it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.
”
”
Sam Harris
β€œ
I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. 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. [Letter to Thomas Law, 13 June 1814]
”
”
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
β€œ
I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage
”
”
Friedrich Nietzsche
β€œ
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.
”
”
Carl Sagan (Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium)
β€œ
Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.
”
”
Γ‰mile Zola
β€œ
Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worshipβ€”be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principlesβ€”is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichΓ©s, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.
”
”
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
β€œ
We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.
”
”
Gene Roddenberry
β€œ
An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.
”
”
Madalyn Murray O'Hair
β€œ
The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with, isn't it? Believe or die! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.
”
”
Bill Hicks
β€œ
If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.
”
”
NapolΓ©on Bonaparte
β€œ
Your heart's desire is to be told some mystery. The mystery is that there is no mystery.
”
”
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West)
β€œ
I don't profess any religion; I don't think it’s possible that there is a God; I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words β€˜spiritual’ or β€˜spirituality.' [Interview, The New Yorker, Dec. 26, 2005]
”
”
Philip Pullman
β€œ
The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.
”
”
Richard Pryor
β€œ
Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing "Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.
”
”
Dan Barker (Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists)
β€œ
Ninety-nine percent of everything that goes on in most Christian churches has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual religion. Intelligent people all notice this sooner or later, and they conclude that the entire one hundred percent is bullshit, which is why atheism is connected with being intelligent in people's minds.
”
”
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
β€œ
I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fucked up.
”
”
George Carlin
β€œ
How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens
β€œ
Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world. Was Rorschach. Does that answer your Questions, Doctor?
”
”
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
β€œ
I die, as I have lived, a free spirit, an Anarchist, owing no allegiance to rulers, heavenly or earthly.
”
”
Voltairine de Cleyre
β€œ
A preoccupation with the next world clearly shows an inability to cope credibly with this one.
”
”
Richard K. Morgan (Broken Angels (Takeshi Kovacs, #2))
β€œ
Doubt as sin. β€” Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature β€” is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.
”
”
Friedrich Nietzsche (Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality)
β€œ
I suppose that one reason I have always detested religion is its sly tendency to insinuate the idea that the universe is designed with 'you' in mind or, even worse, that there is a divine plan into which one fits whether one knows it or not. This kind of modesty is too arrogant for me.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
β€œ
Chance favors the prepared mind.
”
”
Louis Pasteur
β€œ
Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.
”
”
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
β€œ
I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.
”
”
Stephen Hawking
β€œ
This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in β€” an interesting hole I find myself in β€” fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.
”
”
Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time)
β€œ
Be sure to lie to your kids about the benevolent, all-seeing Santa Claus. It will prepare them for an adulthood of believing in God.
”
”
Scott Dikkers (You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day)
β€œ
The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.
”
”
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
β€œ
Theology is ignorance with wings.
”
”
Sam Harris
β€œ
It's been a prevalent notion. Fallen sparks. Fragments of vessels broken at the Creation. And someday, somehow, before the end, a gathering back to home. A messenger from the Kingdom, arriving at the last moment. But I tell you there is no such message, no such home -- only the millions of last moments . . . nothing more. Our history is an aggregate of last moments.
”
”
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
β€œ
Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
β€œ
A true friend is a gift from God. Since God doesn't exist, guess what? Neither do true friends.
”
”
Scott Dikkers (You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day)
β€œ
I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t.
”
”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
β€œ
Epicurus's old questions are still unanswered: Is he (God) willing to prevent evil, but not able? then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? then whence evil?
”
”
David Hume
β€œ
To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase 'terrible beauty.' Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it's a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else's body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
β€œ
As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God. On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think that I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because, when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.
”
”
Bertrand Russell
β€œ
I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness... The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance
”
”
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
β€œ
I don't accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view. My view is that the moon is made of rock. If someone says to me 'Well, you haven't been there, have you? You haven't seen it for yourself, so my view that it is made of Norwegian Beaver Cheese is equally valid' - then I can't even be bothered to argue. There is such a thing as the burden of proof, and in the case of god, as in the case of the composition of the moon, this has shifted radically. God used to be the best explanation we'd got, and we've now got vastly better ones. God is no longer an explanation of anything, but has instead become something that would itself need an insurmountable amount of explaining. So I don't think that being convinced that there is no god is as irrational or arrogant a point of view as belief that there is. I don't think the matter calls for even-handedness at all.
”
”
Douglas Adams
β€œ
The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a Parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes. But knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.
”
”
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
β€œ
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the rΓ©sumΓ© of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say "this guy", because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man. No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.
”
”
George Carlin
β€œ
I think that God that we have created and allowed to shape our culture through, essentially Christian theology is a pretty villainous creature. I think that one of the things that male patriarchal figure has done is, allowed under it's, his church, his wing, all kinds of corruptions and villainies to grow and fester. In the name of that God terrible wars have been waged, in the name of that God terrible sexism has been allowed to spread. There are children being born all across this world that don't have enough food to eat because that God, at least his church, tells the mothers and fathers that they must procreate at all costs, and to prevent procreation with a condom is in contravention with his laws. Now, I don't believe that God exists. I think that God is creation of men, by men, and for men. What has happened over the many centuries now, the better part of two thousand in fact, is that that God has been slowly and steadily accruing power. His church has been accruing power, and the men who run that church, and they are all men, are not about to give it up. If they give it up, they give up luxury, they give up comfort.
”
”
Clive Barker
β€œ
When my husband died, because he was so famous and known for not being a believer, many people would come up to me-it still sometimes happens-and ask me if Carl changed at the end and converted to a belief in an afterlife. They also frequently ask me if I think I will see him again. Carl faced his death with unflagging courage and never sought refuge in illusions. The tragedy was that we knew we would never see each other again. I don't ever expect to be reunited with Carl. But, the great thing is that when we were together, for nearly twenty years, we lived with a vivid appreciation of how brief and precious life is. We never trivialized the meaning of death by pretending it was anything other than a final parting. Every single moment that we were alive and we were together was miraculous-not miraculous in the sense of inexplicable or supernatural. We knew we were beneficiaries of chance. . . . That pure chance could be so generous and so kind. . . . That we could find each other, as Carl wrote so beautifully in Cosmos, you know, in the vastness of space and the immensity of time. . . . That we could be together for twenty years. That is something which sustains me and it’s much more meaningful. . . . The way he treated me and the way I treated him, the way we took care of each other and our family, while he lived. That is so much more important than the idea I will see him someday. I don't think I'll ever see Carl again. But I saw him. We saw each other. We found each other in the cosmos, and that was wonderful.
”
”
Ann Druyan
β€œ
When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise. We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no god. No one created our universe,and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that I am extremely grateful.
”
”
Stephen Hawking
β€œ
[Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism:] Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime. Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins, β€œI swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system? Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens
β€œ
Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I'm sure we'll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn't withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn't seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That's an idea we're so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it's kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is 'Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? - because you're not!
”
”
Douglas Adams
β€œ
We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value.... If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.
”
”
H.P. Lovecraft (Against Religion: The Atheist Writings of H.P. Lovecraft)
β€œ
About once or twice every month I engage in public debates with those whose pressing need it is to woo and to win the approval of supernatural beings. Very often, when I give my view that there is no supernatural dimension, and certainly not one that is only or especially available to the faithful, and that the natural world is wonderful enoughβ€”and even miraculous enough if you insistβ€”I attract pitying looks and anxious questions. How, in that case, I am asked, do I find meaning and purpose in life? How does a mere and gross materialist, with no expectation of a life to come, decide what, if anything, is worth caring about? Depending on my mood, I sometimes but not always refrain from pointing out what a breathtakingly insulting and patronizing question this is. (It is on a par with the equally subtle inquiry: Since you don't believe in our god, what stops you from stealing and lying and raping and killing to your heart's content?) Just as the answer to the latter question is: self-respect and the desire for the respect of othersβ€”while in the meantime it is precisely those who think they have divine permission who are truly capable of any atrocityβ€”so the answer to the first question falls into two parts. A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humor, parenthood, literature, and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless' except if the person living it is also an existentialist and elects to call it so. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so. Whereas if one sought to define meaninglessness and futility, the idea that a human life should be expended in the guilty, fearful, self-obsessed propitiation of supernatural nonentities… but there, there. Enough.
”
”
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)