quotations about atheism
There are no atheists in foxholes.
WILLIAM THOMAS CUMMINGS, Field Sermon on Bataan
Bold with joy,
Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place
(Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism,
Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon,
Drops her blue-fringed lids, and holds them close,
And hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven,
Cries out, "Where is it?"
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, "Fears in Solitude"
What men deny is not God, but some preposterous idol of the imagination.
GEORGE TYRRELL, Autobiography
Atheism is not the denial of the existence of God, but having doubts as to whether God is conscious.
SLAVOJ ZIZEK, God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse
I can well imagine an atheist's last words: "White, white! L-L-Love! My God!" -- and the deathbed leap of faith. Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, "Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain," and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story.
YANN MARTEL, Life of Pi
I have no religion, and at times I wish all religions at the bottom of the sea. He is a weak ruler who needs religion to uphold his government; it is as if he would catch his people in a trap. My people are going to learn the principles of democracy, the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will; every man can follow his own conscience, provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him against the liberty of his fellow-men.
MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK, attributed, Ataturk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey
Atheism can never be an institution ... it can never be more than a destitution.
ROBERT COLLYER, "Yesterday in the Pulpit", The New York Times, Mar. 6, 1882
After having treated of these false Zealots in Religion, I cannot forbear mentioning ... the Zealots in Atheism. One would fancy that these Men, tho' they fall short, in every other Respect, of those who make a Profession of Religion, would at least outshine them in this Particular, and be exempt from that single Fault which seems to grow out of the impudent Fervours of Religion: But so it is, that Infidelity is propagated with as much Fierceness and Contention, Wrath and Indignation, as if the Safety of Mankind depended upon it.
JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Oct. 2, 1711
For those who are born into atheism, it's a faith like any other. The only real atheist is an ex-believer.
GABRIEL LAUBER, Denken verdirbt den Charakter
If you have a sloppy religion you get a sloppy atheism.
RONALD KNOX, attributed, The Knox Brothers
Stripped of the opportunities for satire which organised religion cannot help but supply, the case for atheism has very little substance.
BILL SAUNDERS, "Sunlight on Dungheaps", Independent on Sunday, Jun. 10, 2001
No one is so much alone in the universe as a denier of God. With an orphaned heart, which has lost the greatest of fathers, he stands mourning by the immeasurable corpse of nature, no longer moved and sustained by the Spirit of the universe.
JEAN PAUL, Flower, Fruit and Thorn Pieces
Theist and Atheist: The fight between them is as to whether God shall be called God or shall have some other name.
SAMUEL BUTLER, The Note-Books of Samuel Butler
On second thought, maybe the atheist cannot find God, for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman.
LAURENCE J. PETER, attributed, Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Times
Even the Atheists ... readily acknowledge it for an indubitable truth, that there must be something ... which was never made or produced -- and which therefore is the cause of those other things that are made, something ... whose existence must needs be necessary.... Wherefore all the question now is, what is this ... self-existent thing, which is the cause of all other things that are made.
RALPH CUDWORTH, The True Intellectual System of the Universe
A man who parades his piety is one who, under an atheist king, would be an atheist.
JEAN DE LA BRUYERE, Les Caracteres ou les Moeurs de ce siecle
A society of atheists would immediately invent a religion.
HONORE DE BALZAC, Le catechisme social
Whilst no people appears in history without the sign and palladium of a positive faith, without temple, altar, priesthood--that is to say, without a constituted religion--unbelief appears only under an individual form, sometimes proscribed, sometimes tolerated, seldom powerful, and never becoming established as the public and social expression of a nation.
HENRI-DOMINIQUE LACORDAIRE, God and Man: Conferences Delivered at Notre Dame in Paris by the Rev. Père Lacordaire
The People will not allow themselves to be changed into hogs by the Circes of Atheism. Their souls will flash indignation against their transformers. A day will come when they will see that they are impoverished under the pretext of being enriched; that, when they are robbed of their souls and of God, both their titles to liberty are stolen from them.
ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE, Atheism Among the People
You won't be surprised that the Pew Research Center, in a survey released today, found that atheism is still the biggest political liability a candidate could have.
HEMANT MEHTA, "New Survey Shows That Atheism is Still a Political Liability, but Not As Much as Before", Patheos, January 27, 2016