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Atheism

  • Ah, the bitter, hopeless heart-hunger of godlessness none but an atheist can understand!

  • Whatever good you would do out of fear of punishment, or hope of reward hereafter, the Atheist would do simply because it is good; and being so, he would receive the far surer and more certain reward, springing from well-doing, which would constitute his pleasure, and promote his happiness.

    • Ernestine L. Rose,
    • "A Defence of Atheism," lecture in Boston (1861), in Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition "No Gods -- No Masters": The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries ()
  • I'm an atheist. The good news about atheists is that we have no mandate to convert anyone. So you'll never find me on your doorstep on a Saturday morning with a big smile, saying, 'Just stopped by to tell you there is no word. I brought along this little blank book I was hoping you could take a look at.'

  • I am an intransigent atheist, though not a militant one. This means that I am not fighting against religion — I am fighting for reason.

    • Ayn Rand,
    • 1963, in Michael S. Berliner, ed., Letters of Ayn Rand ()
  • No Gods, No Masters.

  • At no time have I ever said that people should be stripped of their right to the insanity of belief in God. If they want to practice this kind of irrationality, that's their business. It won't get them anywhere; it certainly won't make them happier or more compassionate human beings; but if they want to chew that particular cud. they're welcome to it.

  • Tolerance is thin gruel compared to the rapture of absolute truths. It's not surprising that religious people are often better protected by atheists and agnostics than each other.

  • Under the rubric of religious freedom, we respect the right to worship differently much more than the right to worship not at all.

  • American Atheists has always encouraged the public to read both the Old and New Testaments from cover to cover. Many people become atheists after reading the Bible.

    • Ellen Johnson,
    • in Jack Huberman, ed., The Quotable Atheist ()
  • . . . I regard irreligious people as pioneers. If there had been no priesthood the world would have advanced ten thousand times better than it has now.

    • Anandabai Joshee,
    • letter to her aunt (1881), in Caroline Wells Healey Dall, The Life of Dr. Anandabai Joshee ()
  • I'm an Atheist. I don't believe in God, Gods, Godlets or any sort of higher power beyond the universe itself, which seems quite high and powerful enough to me.

    • Natalie Angier,
    • "Confessions of a Lonely Atheist," in The New York Times ()