101 Atheist Quotes

The Atheist Blogger has a list of 101 atheist quotes. Here are a few of my favorites in that list:

A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. – Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. – Seneca the Younger

I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence. – Doug McLeod

Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going? – Anonymous

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. – Anonymous

Blind faith is an ironic gift to return to the Creator of human intelligence. – Anonymous

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. – Christopher Hitchens

On the first day, man created God. – Anonymous

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. – Stephen Roberts

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish. – Anonymous

Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color. – Don Hirschberg

God should be executed for crimes against humanity. – Bryan Emmanuel Gutierrez

What’s your favorite atheist/agnostic quote? Is there a quote you would add to the list?

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  • Andy

    Great list. I think Dawkins likes to use this one a lot (I certainly remember him quoting it in The God Delusion):

    When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion. – Robert Pirsig

    and this one just made me laugh:

    Atheism is a non-prophet organization. – George Carlin

  • Absolutely fabulous (to coin a phrase ;) ) ! I have none to add to the list, but I think my favorite of those is the one by Stephen Roberts.

  • “Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.” – Andre Gide

  • HCR

    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish. – Anonymous

    This was Karl Marx. I don’t think he’s very anonymous.

  • @HCR: Could you provide a citation that shows Marx said that? I can’t find one.

  • “All religions have been made by men.” – Napoleon

    “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” – George Bernard Shaw

    “All men are born with a nose and ten fingers, but no one was born with a knowledge of God.” – Voltaire

  • A quote from this blog rang true for me:

    “Religion is essentially a ritualised version of “here be dragons”, and as science maps out more and more of the unknown, the remaining dragons are left balancing on smaller and smaller islands.”

  • mark a

    I’d like to put forth two. The first is a long-time favourite of mine, while the second is one more recently discovered via it’s publication earlier this year.

    1) “Belief is the end of intelligence.” – Robert Anton Wilson

    2) “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this” – Albert Einstein in letter written 3 January 1954 to the philosopher Erik Gutkind.

  • Somegreencat

    I know this quote isn’t what many would call an atheist quote but it rings so true to me. Show me where no religion doesn’t require the government to keep it going.

    It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
    Thomas Jefferson

  • “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” – Carl Sagan.

  • didn’t someone say something like:

    “when you understand why you don’t believe in Zeus, you’ll understand why we don’t believe in God.”?

    and a Greek philosopher once said “if an ox could paint and sculpt, his god would look like an ox”

  • John B

    There was one I read many years ago, I think it was by B.C. Johnson in The Atheist Debater’s Handbook; I can’t remember it exactly, but the gist of it goes like this: If it turns out that god does exist, how do you know that on Judgment Day he won’t let the atheists into heaven and send the believers to hell because he doesn’t want to be surrounded by a bunch of brown-nosing yes-men? (I believe the quote was a response to the common argument of Christians when you overwhelm them with logic, that “God doesn’t have to conform to man’s logic/wisdom.”)

  • charlie

    Not an atheist, but-

    “To be saved is to fall into the ludicrous and satanic flippancy of false religion, kitsch.”
    Trappist monk Thomas Merton

    Another from Jefferson-

    “Question with boldness even the existence of God, for if there be one, he must prefer the homage of reason to that of blindfolded fear.”

  • Ashley Nichols

    If God made us capable of independent thought, why would he require blind faith?

  • Lenny

    Love them! My favorite is the one by Seneca the Younger.

  • John M

    My favorite, and as far as I know original to me is:

    God made me an atheist.

    This is why I don’t believe. :-))

  • Aor

    If God dropped acid, would he see people?
    – Steven Wright

  • dr.R.

    “If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank.” – Woody Allen

  • Caitlin

    “I dislike the term ‘atheist.’ The prefix ‘a’ means ‘without,’ leaving room for religious proselytizing on the grounds of sharing ‘the word of God’ with the poor, deprived individuals who are ‘without god’: the ‘a-theists.’ I prefer to think of myself as an ‘anti-theist,’ but even that’s not good enough because it contains the word ‘tithe.’ I’ll think of something else.”

    “Isn’t it interesting how Christianity has evolved?”

    “Religion resides in fear and ignorance and has to expand the spheres of both to survive.”

    -All three quotations compliments of my dad

  • Jimbob

    “If you really believe in eternal bliss then why are you wearing a seat-belt”
    – Doug Stanhope

    this one isn’t directly atheist/agnostic but I think there is an implied atheist/agnostic aspect
    “Don’t f***ing work hard you die at the end, didn’t anyone ever tell you that”
    – Doug stanhope

  • dr.R.

    “In the beginning there was nothing. God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.”
    – Ellen DeGeneres

  • I’d categorize Albert Eienstien as more of an Agnostic since he also had harsh words for Atheists. But he had some great quotes concerning religion.

    “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. 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.”

    “A research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.”

    “A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

    “I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts.”

  • Andreea Elena Alexandru

    More recent ones:

    “Science flyes you to the moon. Religion flyes you into buildings”


    “Faith may not move mountains, but you should see what it does to skyscrapers”

    I know they are not much… but I am thinking of getting T-shirts with them :)

  • Deontae Riley-Waites

    I can’t understand for the life of me why GOD would rather be believed as opposed of being Known…