Quotes on atheism

Here’s a short collection of quotes on atheists and atheism I’ve garnered over the years. Some are profound insights, some are just the obvious and others are rather humorous. Enjoy.

“The agnostic is gutless and prefers to keep one safe foot in the god camp.”
-O’Hair M.M., “Agnostics”

“Atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man…..”
-Sir Francis Bacon

“Atheism is the death of hope, the suicide of the soul…..”
-Anonymous

“An atheist is a man who looks through a telescope and tries to explain what he can’t see…..”
-O.A. Battista, Power to Influence People c.1959

“Atheism is a theoretical formulation of the discouraged life…”
-Harry Emerson Fosdick

“There are no atheists in the foxholes of Bataan…”
General D. MacArthur: Sermons on Bataan, March 1942

“If you believe in evolution and naturalism then you have a reason not to think your faculties are reliable.”
-Alvin Plantinga

“Only in Atheism does the spring rise higher than the source, the effect exist without the cause, life come from a stone, blood from a turnip, a silk purse from a sow’s ear, a Beethoven Symphony or a Bach Fugue from a kitten walking across the keys…”
-James M. Gillis

“Few men are so obstinate in their atheism, that a pressing danger will not compel them to acknowledgment of a divine power…..” – Plato

“Atheism is a disease of the soul before it becomes an error of understanding…..”
-Plato

“No one ever dies an atheist…..”
-Plato

“The religion of the atheist has a God-shaped blank at it’s heart…..”
-H.G. Wells

“The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability…..”
-Voltaire: Philosophical Dictionary

“Atheists put on false courage in the midst of their darkness and misapprehensions, like children who, when they fear to go in the dark,will sing or whistle to keep their courage….”
-Alexander Pope

“A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”
-Francis Bacon

“There was never miracle wrought by God to convert an atheist, because the light of nature might have led him to confess a God.”
-Francis Bacon

“In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners.”
-Jonathon Miller

“It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists.”
-Mohandas Gandhi

“A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere–‘Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,’ as Herbert says, ‘fine nets and stratagems.’ God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”
-C.S. Lewis

“We find the most terrible form of atheism, not in the militant and passionate struggle against the idea of God himself, but in the practical atheism of everyday living, in indifference and torpor. We often encounter these forms of atheism among those who are formally Christians.”
-Nicolai A. Berdyaev

“Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God.”
-Tom Stoppard

“If atheism spread, it would become a religion as intolerable as the ancient ones.”
-Gustave le Bon

“You think you are too intelligent to believe in God. I am not like you.”
-Napoleon Bonaparte

“If there were no God, there would be no atheists.”
-G.K. Chesterton

“Atheism is a disease of the mind caused by eating underdone philosophy.”
-Austin O’Malley, Keystones of Thought

“If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having, neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is. [So] you must wager. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then without hesitation that he is.”
-Blaise Pascal (this is know as Pascal’s Wager)

“If there be a God and one has never sought him, it will be small consolation to remember that one could not get proof of his existence.”
-George MacDonald

“Humanism or atheism is a wonderful philosophy of life as long as you are big, strong, and between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. But watch out if you are in a lifeboat and there are others who are younger, bigger, or smarter.”
-William Murray

“Still, even the most admirable of atheists is nothing more than a moral parasite, living his life based on borrowed ethics. This is why, when pressed, the atheist will often attempt to hide his lack of conviction in his own beliefs behind some poorly formulated utilitarianism, or argue that he acts out of altruistic self-interest. But this is only post-facto rationalization, not reason or rational behavior.”
-Vox Day

“A disbelief in God does not result in a belief in nothing; disbelief in God usually results in a belief in anything.” -unknown

“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”
-Abraham Lincoln

“A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers–including even his power to revolt…It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower.”
-C.S. Lewis

“To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge”
-Ravi Zacharias

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist–in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless–I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality–namely my idea of justice–was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
-C.S. Lewis

“God is not discoverable or demonstrable by purely scientific means, unfortunately for the scientifically minded. But that really proves nothing. It simply means that the wrong instruments are being used for the job.”
– J.B. Phillips

“A god who let us prove his existence would be an idol.”
-Deitrich Bonhoeffer

“A god who would stoop so low as to prove his existence to satisfy a human’s disbelief or demand for proof, would be no god at all”
– Me

“What can be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth could come by chance, when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster? To see rare effects, and no cause ; a motion, without a mover ; a circle, without a centre ; a time, without an eternity ; a second, without a first : these are things so against philosophy and natural reason, that he must be a beast in understanding who can believe in them. The thing formed, says that nothing formed it ; and that which is made is, while that which made it is not, This folly is infinite.”
-Jeremy Taylor

“Shouldn’t atheist have an equal obligation to explain pleasure in a world of randomness. Where does pleasure come from?”
-G.K. Chesterton

“Understanding God is not attained by calling into session all arguments for and against Him, in order to debate whether He is a reality or a figment of the mind. God cannot be sensed as a second thought, as an explanation of the origin of the universe. He is either the first and the last, or just another concept.”
-Abraham Joshua Heschel

“God will not take shelter behind a jugglery of logic or metaphysics. He is neither a schoolman nor theologian, but our Father in Heaven.”
-George MacDonald

“Without God man has no reference point to define himself. 20th century philosophy manifests the chaos of man seeking to understand himself as a creature with dignity while having no reference point for that dignity.”
-R. C. Sproul

“God is dead” – F. Neitzche
“Neitzche is dead” – God

“Unbelief in God is idolatry”
-Me

“An “impersonal God”– well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads — better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap — best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps, approaching an infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband — that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion (“Man’s search for God!”) suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us?
-C. S. Lewis

“I believe in God as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
-C. S. Lewis

“From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the centre is opened to it.”
– C.S. Lewis

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
-C. S. Lewis

“Fervid atheism is usually a screen for repressed religion.”
-WILHELM STEKEL

“The atheist has no hope.”
-J. F. Clarke

“Those thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it.” – Chesterton, Gilbert K.

“Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place, (Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism, sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon, drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close, and hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven, cries out, Where is it?”
-Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

“He must pull out his own eyes, and see no creature, before he can say, he sees no God; He must be no man, and quench his reasonable soul, before he can say to himself, there is no God.”
-John Donne

“If there is no God, everything is permitted.”
– Dostoevski, Fyodor

“Here lies an Atheist: All Dressed Up and No Place to Go.”
-Epitaph

“An atheist is a man who believes himself an accident.”
-Thompson, Francis

“I wanted to be an atheist, but I gave it up. They have no holidays.”
— Henry Youngman

“There is no logical impossibility in the hypothesis that the world sprang into being five minutes ago, exactly as it then was, with a population that “remembered” a wholly unreal past. There is no logically necessary connection between events at different times; therefore nothing that is happening now or will happen in the future can disprove the hypothesis that the world began five minutes ago.” — Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind, 1921, pp. 159- 60

“The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike…Unless we return to the crude and nursery-like belief in objective values, we perish.”
“Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”
“If naturalism were true then all thoughts whatever would be wholly the result of irrational causes…it cuts its own throat.”
“Unless thought is valid we have no reason to believe in the real universe.”
“A universe whose only claim to be believed in rests on the validity of inference must not start telling us the inference is invalid…”
-CS Lewis

“Who made God? Doesn’t matter.  We are not responsible to a hypothetical maker of God but to our maker – God.”
-Walter Martin

“It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves. We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love. Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan. ”
-Calvin Coolidge, speech, Jul. 25, 1924

La nature a des perfections pour montrer qu’elle est l’image de Dieu, et des défauts pour montrer qu’elle n’en est que l’image. Nature has some perfections to show that she is the image of God, and some defects to show that she is only His image. (Blaise Pascal, 1623–1662)

“Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist…. Nor…are we provided with any values or commands that could legitimize our behavior”
-Sartre(1961, p. 485).

“You have to assume the law of noncontradiction in order to disprove it.”
“Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned”
-Metaphysics I.

“Scepticism, ironically, draws its life’s blood from claims to have a good deal of knowledge. For example, your friends claim to know, ‘Since every possible option has not been explored, nothing can be said for certain.’ That statement is itself a claim to knowledge!”
-William L. Craig

“…I find that there is no such thing as “reasonable non belief.” The litany of excuses, wild speculations, and other absurdities ground out by skeptics and critics doesn’t deserve the adjective “reasonable”
-JP Holding, in his essay rebutting a work of atheist Jeffery Jay Lowder

The three stooges of neoatheism: Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris

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