Great Minds Quotes

Quotes on God, Religion and Atheism by some of humanity's greatest minds.

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"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

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

"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support."
-- John Buchan

"No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism."
--Annie Wood Besant


Nature of God

"It is said that men may not be the dreams of the Gods, but rather that the Gods are the dreams of men." - Carl Sagan

"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him." - Arthur C. Clarke

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

"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

"God is not dead. He is alive and working on a much less ambitious project."
-- graffito

"Don't you know there ain't no devil, it's just god when he's drunk."
-- Tom Waits

You know your god is man-made when he hates all the same people you do.
--[from Usenet]

"If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever." - Woody Allen


"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, & the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." - Karl Marx

"Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people" - Jesse Ventura

"Humanity without religion is like a serial killer without a chainsaw."
-- unknown

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Men never commit evil so fully and joyfuly as when they do it for religious convictions"
-- Blaise Pascal



"Faith is believing something you know ain't true." - Mark Twain

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin

"The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."
--Ferdinand Magellan



"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." - George Bernard Shaw

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan

"And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence." - Bertrand Russell



"Creationists make it sound like a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night." - Isaac Asamov

"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense."
-- Chapman Cohen



"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men." - Voltaire

"Only Sheep need a shepherd!"
-- unknown

"I still say a church steeple with a lightening rod on top shows a lack of confidence."
-- Doug McLeod



"It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand." - Mark Twain

"No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means." - George Bernard Shaw



"The good part of Christmas is not always Christian -- it is generally Pagan; that is to say, human, natural." - Robert G. Ingersoll


"The first clergyman was the first rascal who met the first fool" - Voltaire

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest"
--Denis Diderot



"Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown His own?" - Robert G. Ingersoll



"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."
-- unknown

"The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers."
-- Denis Diderot


"As people become more intelligent they care less for preaches and more for teachers" - Robert G. Ingersoll

"The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."
-- Abu Ala Al-Ma'arri


Founding Fathers (US)

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson

"Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies." - Thomas Jefferson

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government." - Thomas Jefferson

"In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people." - James Madison

" The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity." - John Adams

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." - Benjamin Franklin

* also see the Law and Government section for more


Seperation of Church and State

"...the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State - James Madison

"Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together" - James Madison

"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separated." - Ulysses S. Grant

* also see the Law and Government section for more


Religion in Government

"'In God We Trust.' I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true." - Mark Twain

"the trouble with theocracy is that everyone wants to be Theo."
-- James Dunn

"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte