quotations about atheism

By night an atheist half believes in God.

EDWARD YOUNG, Night Thoughts


Tags: Edward Young, night

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, Speaking My Mind


Tags: Ronald Reagan, God

God never wrought miracle, to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it.

FRANCIS BACON, "Of Atheism", Essays


Tags: Francis Bacon, miracles

Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.

HEYWOOD BROUN, Collected Edition of Heywood Broun


Tags: God

I don't think even the blackest atheist has an idea of what real separation [from God] will be. Outer darkness. What we live in you might call ... "inner darkness."

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit, Run


Tags: John Updike, God

The highest praise of God consists in the denial of him by the atheist who finds creation so perfect that it can dispense with a creator.

MARCEL PROUST, The Guermantes Way


Tags: Marcel Proust, God

If there were not God, there would be no atheists.

G. K. CHESTERTON, Where All Roads Lead


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There are two atheisms of which one is a purification of the notion of God.

SIMONE WEIL, Gravity and Grace


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My dog is an atheist: he no longer believes in me.

FRANCOIS CAVANNA, L'almanach-agenda de Cavanna


Tags: dogs

Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist.

C. S. LEWIS, The Problem of Pain


Tags: C. S. Lewis, God

The Atheist is God playing at hide and seek with Himself.

SRI AUROBINDO, Thoughts and Aphorisms


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If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

DAVID ELLER, Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker


Atheism's attraction -- greatness, dare I say? -- is that it takes seriously, deadly seriously indeed, the reality of this world, because, for atheism, this world is all we have. There is no emergency exit, which, for atheism, is what religious belief often amounts to. And in this perspective, the rejection of immortality can be seen as an invitation to a life of complete honesty in the here and now.

MARTIN HENRY, "Easter a time to reflect on life and `life hereafter'", The Irish News, March 24, 2016


Modern, post-Enlightenment atheism has a particular social function: it draws authority away from the clergy, towards the secular "priests" of science. In the ancient world, the conflict between science and religion did not exist, at least not in these terms. But it does not follow that nobody in antiquity ever questioned the traditional stories about the gods, which were often patently ridiculous.

EMILY WILSON, "Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World review -- disbelief has been around for 2,500 years", The Guardian, March 9, 2016


Fervid atheism is usually a screen for repressed religion.

WILHELM STEKEL, Autobiography


Tags: Wilhelm Stekel, religion

I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH, news conference, Aug. 27, 1987


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It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 25, 1924


Tags: Calvin Coolidge

Nothing shall warp me from the belief that every man is a lover of truth. There is no pure lie, no pure malignity in nature. The entertainment of the proposition of depravity is the last profligacy and profanation. There is no skepticism, no atheism but that. Could it be received into common belief, suicide would unpeople the planet.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON, lecture, Mar. 3, 1844


Tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, suicide

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 an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

DAVID FOSTER WALLACE, O Magazine, Dec. 2006


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Let us enquire. Who, then, shall challenge the words? Why are they challenged. And by whom? By those who call themselves the guardians of morality, and who are the constituted guardians of religion. Enquiry, it seems, suits not them. They have drawn the line, beyond which human reason shall not pass -- above which human virtue shall not aspire! All that is without their faith or above their rule, is immorality, is atheism, is -- I know not what.

FRANCES WRIGHT, Course of Popular Lectures


Tags: Frances Wright, morality