Quotes of Reason -- in favor of atheism

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Quotes marked with an asterisk (*) were originally written in Swedish, and I have personally translated them to English. Those marked with a double asterisk (**) had first been translated to Swedish when I read them, and then I've translated them back to English. Therefore some of the quotes listed here may differ slightly from the original quotes, but translations are like women: The most beautiful are usually not the most faithful ones.

"God made me an atheist. Who are you to question his wisdom."
"I wish to propose for the reader's favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true."
Bertrand Russell
*"Without doubt you are not sane."
Tage Danielsson
"Only the fool says in his heart: There is no god -- The wise says it to the world"
"Remember there is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over"
Frank Zappa (Heavenly bank account, 1981)
"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
Napoleon Bonaparte
"I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him."
Mikhail Bakunin
"It is fashionable to wax apocalyptic about the threat to humanity posed by the AIDS virus, "mad cow" disease, and many others, but I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate."
Richard Dawkins (The Humanist, Vol. 57, No. 1)
"This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no [organized] religion in it"
John Adams
"I do not see how it is possible for an intelligent human being to conclude that the Song of Solomon is the work of God, and that the tragedy of Lear was the work of an uninspired man."
Robert Ingersoll
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
Carl Sagan
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary beliefs"
Steve Nadis
"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."
Gene Roddenberry
"My spell-checker lacks the word 'creationism' in its dictionary, so each time that word is encountered, an alternative pops up at the bottom of my screen, 'cretinism'"
E.T. Babinski
"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."
Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 10, 1787)
*"Faith can remove a mountain, but doubt can put it back in place again"
Tage Danielsson
"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
"Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat."
Sir Julian Huxley
"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered.
Religion is answers that may never be questioned. ."
"Our ignorance is God; what we know is science."
Robert Ingersoll
"Jesus' last words on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" hardly seem like the words of a man who planned it that way. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure there is something wrong here."
Donald Morgan
"But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State."
Thomas Jefferson (in a letter to S. Kercheval, 1810)
"Among mammals, a virgin birth (parthenogenesis) can only produce female offspring, for chromosomal reasons. Messiahs are mammals. Therefore, Jesus was... On the other hand, among turkeys, the chromosomal situation is such that all products of virgin birth are males. So if Jesus was a male, he might also have been..." (Zindler's own punctuations)
Frank Zindler (In a note to the debate Does god exist? with John Koster)
"The foolish reject what they see and not what they think;
the wise reject what they think and not what they see."
Huang Po
"Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense."
Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary, 1764)
"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike."
Delos B. McKown
"...any belief in supernatural creators, rulers, or influencers of natural or human process introduces an irreparable split into the universe, and prevents us from grasping its real unity. Any belief in Absolutes, whether the absolute validity of moral commandments, of authority of revelation, of inner certitudes, or of divine inspiration, erects a formidable barrier against progress and the responsibility of improvement, moral, rational, and religious."
Sir Julian Huxley
"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin."
Cardinal Bellarmine
"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
"With soap baptism is a good thing"
Robert Ingersoll
"I do think the Roman Catholic religion is a disease of the mind which has a particular epidemiology similar to that of a virus... Religion is a terrific meme. That's right. But that doesn't make it true and I care about what's true. Smallpox virus is a terrific virus. It does its job magnificently well. That doesn't mean that it's a good thing. It doesn't mean that I don't want to see it stamped out."
Richard Dawkins (Interviewed in: Sceptic vol 3, no 4, 1995)
"How unfortunate for mankind that the Lord is reported by Holy Writ as having said 'Vengeance is mine!' "
Sir Julian Huxley
"The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion."
Karl Marx
"Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning."
Albert Einstein
"The church lives because it witholds the results of the historical Jesus-research from you" (Original german quote: "Die Volkskirche lebt davon, dass man ihr die Ergebnisse der kritischen Jesusforschung vorenthält")
Hans Conzelmann
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth."
Henry Louis Mencken
"While men are gazing up to Heaven, imagining after a happiness, or fearing a Hell after they are dead, their eyes are put out, that they see not what is their birthright."
Gerrard Winstanley (The Law of Freedom, 1652)
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; 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."
Albert Einstein
"The sense of spiritual relief, which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being, is enormous."
Sir Julian Huxley (Religion without revelation)
"There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages."
Richard Lederer (Anguished English)
"If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!"
Clark Adams
"Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains."
Robert G. Ingersoll (Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p. 285)
**"People have suffered and become insane for centuries by the thought of eternal punishment after death. Wouldn't it be better to depend on blind matter (...) than by a god who puts out traps for people, invites them to sin, and allows them to sin and commit crimes he could prevent. Only to finally get the barbarian pleasure to punish them in an excessive way, of no use for himself, without them changing their ways and without their example preventing others from committing crimes."
Baron d'Holbach (Systeme de la Nature, 1789)
"If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we're going?"
Justin Brown
"An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated."
Madalyn Murray O'Hair
"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy."
David Brooks (The Necessity of Atheism)
*"The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail"
Gustaf Lindborg
"If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little Electric Chairs around their necks instead of crosses"
Lenny Bruce
"The contemplation of this world beckoned as a liberation (...)The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it."
Albert Einstein (Autobiographical Notes)
"The few took advantage of the ignorant many. They pretended to have received messages from the Unknown. They stood between the helpless multitude and the gods. They were the carriers of flags of truce. At the court of heaven they presented the cause of man, and upon the labor of the deceived they lived."

"We find now that the prosperity of nations has depended, not upon their religion, not upon the goodness or providence of some god, but on soil and climate and commerce, upon the ingenuity, industry, and courage of the people, upon the development of the mind, on the spread of education, on the liberty of thought and action; and that in this mighty panorama of national life, reason has built and superstition has destroyed."

"I believe in the religion of reason -- the gospel of this world; in the development of the mind, in the accumulation of intellectual wealth, to the end that man may free himself from superstitious fear, to the end that he may take advantage of the forces of nature to feed and clothe the world."

Robert Ingersoll (Why Am I an Agnostic?, North American Review, December, 1889)
"If all the historic books of the Bible were blotted from the memory of mankind, nothing of value would be lost.."
Robert Ingersoll

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