Inspirational, funny, and downright honest quotes from the worlds greatest authors, artists, scientists, philosphers, politicians and comedians, both contemporary and historical; compiled by UMSS members. Enjoy…

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 (341-270 BCE), Greek philosopher

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
-Galileo Galilei

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. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.
– Albert Einstein, from “The World As I See it”

One’s convictions should be proportional to one’s evidence
-Sam Harris

Lighthouses are more helpful than churches
-Benjamin Franklin

Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong
-Christopher Hitchens

All great truths begin as blasphemy
-George Bernard Shaw

Religion is excellent for keeping common people quiet
-Napoleon Bonaparte

The way to see faith is to shut the eye of reason
– Benjamin Franklin

God bless those pagans
– Homer Simpson

When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything equal to it
-Oscar Wilde

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world
-Richard Dawkins

If only god would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.
-Woody Allen

I’m not normally a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me Superman
-Homer Simpson

Faith is believing what you know ain’t so
-Mark Twain

The hands that help are far better than the lips that pray
-Robert G Ingersoll

Eternal nothingness is OK, if you’re dressed for it
-Woody Allen

Certainty about the next life is incompatible with tolerance in this one
-Sam Harris

Ridicule is the best weapon against unintelligible propositions
-Thomas Jefferson

You ever notice that everyone who believes in creationism looks really un-evolved?
-Bill Hicks

Atheism: A non-prophet organisation
-George Carlin

Religion may in most of its forms be defined as the belief that the gods are on the side of the Government.
-Bertrand Russell

Religion: Something comparable to childhood neurosis
-Sigmund Freud

I’d take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
-Douglas Adams

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
-Douglas Adams

The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism
-Sir William Osler

The human mind treats a new idea the way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it
-Biologist P.B. Medawar

To the Muslims, Christians and Jews: It’s just a little thing really, but do you think that when you’ve finished smashing up the world and blowing each other to bits and demanding special privileges while you do it, do you think that maybe the rest of us could, sort of, have our planet back?
– Marcus Brigstocke, British comedian

I can only regard with bewilderment an educated man who is also religious
-Anton Chekhov, Russian playwright

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.
– Robert Frost

One cannot really be a Catholic and a grown-up.
– George Orwell

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.
– Huang Po

If there is a God, atheism must seem to Him as less of an insult than religion.
– Edmond de Goncourt

In Heaven, all the interesting people are missing.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

I do not find in Orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature
– Thomas Jefferson.

All thinking men are atheists
– Ernest Hemmingway.

Born again?! No I’m not. Excuse me for getting it right the first time
– Dennis Miller.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ
– Mohandas Ghandi.

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad
– Friedrich Nietzsche

There is not enough love and kindness in the world to give any of it away to imaginary beings
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be
– Frank Zappa

To sit alone with my conscience will be judgment enough for me
– Charles William Stubbs

It’s fair to say that the Bible contains equal amounts of fact, history, and pizza
– Penn Jillette

I don’t see any god up here
– Yuri Gagarin (first man in space, while in space)

Christianity may be OK between consenting adults in private, but should not be taught to young children.
– Francis Crick

Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.
– Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I find it necessary to wash my hands after I have come into contact with religious people
– Friedrich Nietzsche

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

I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is.
– L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes
– James K. Fiebleman

There is in every village a torch : the schoolmaster – and an extinguisher: the parson
– Victor Hugo

There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.
– Ruth Hurmence Green

An actually existent fly is more important than a possibly existent angel
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Faith: the effort to believe that which your common sense tells you is not true.
– Elbert Hubbard

Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.
– George Carlin

If we don’t play God, who will?
– James Watson

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
– Voltaire

Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence.
– Bertrand Russell

Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.
– Arthur C. Clarke

Religions are all alike — founded upon fables and mythologies.
– Thomas Jefferson

Born again? No, I am not. Excuse me for getting it right the first time.
– Dennis Miller

All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.
– Cathy Ladman

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!
– George Bernard Shaw

I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue.
– Bertrand Russell

Religion does three things quite effectively: divides people, controls people, deludes people.
– Carlespie McKinney

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it is true.
– Bertrand Russell

Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas.
– Clarence Darro

So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake… Religion is all bunk.
– Thomas Edison

By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
– Richard Dawkins

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
– Isaac Asimov

What is wanted is not the will-to-believe, but the wish to find out, which is its exact opposite.
– Bertrand Russell

Religion, like poetry, is simply a concerted effort to deny the most obvious realities.
– H. L. Mencken

When men stop believing in God, it isn’t that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything.
– Umberto Eco

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
– Jonathan Swift

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
– Carl Sagan

Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of.
– Mark Twain

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.
– Sigmund Freud

Prayer is of no avail. The lightning falls on the just and the unjust in accordance with natural laws.
– Robert Ingersoll

We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
– Richard Dawkins

Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not.
– Richard Dawkins

To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.
– Bertrand Russell

God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand.
– Richard Feynman

The hypothesis of God offers no worthwhile explanation for anything, for it simply postulates what we are trying to explain.
– Richard Dawkins

Religions do make claims about the universe – the same kinds of claims that scientists make, except they’re usually false.
– Richard Dawkins

It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
– Carl Sagan

As soon as we abandon our own reason, and are content to rely upon authority, there is no end to our troubles.
– Bertrand Russell

I am deeply frightened by ritual, because it implies mind-numbing repetition, obedience and the mysticism of action without thought.
– Jonathan Wallace

I believe the spreading of Catholicism to be the most horrible means of political and social degradation left in the world.
– Charles Dickens

The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: Those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains.
– Abu’l-`Ala’ al-Ma`arri

Monotheism is in its turn doomed to subtract one more God and become atheism
-Ibn Warraq

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

Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you’re an asshole.
– Bumper sticker

Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith; we need believing people.
– Adolf Hitler

If anyone can show me … that there is any reason – other than fear – to believe in any version of an afterlife, I’ll give you my piano, one of my legs, and my wife.
– Tim Minchin

Don’t pray in my school, and I won’t think in your church
– Anonymous

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. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality
-George Bernard Shaw

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

You’re basically killing each other to see who’s got the better imaginary friend
– Richard Jeni

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
– Emo Philips

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

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
– Seneca the Younger (4 BCE – 65 CE)

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

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
– Aldous Huxley

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
– Carl Sagan

Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities
– Voltaire

He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave
– William Drummond

As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers
– Robert G. Ingersoll

We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don’t stand up to experimentation, Buddha’s own words must be rejected.
– Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, 1988

Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people.
– Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney

Faith means not wanting to know what is true.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.
– Frank Lloyd Wright

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

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
– Isaac Asimov

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

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
– Anonymous

If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.
– Isaac Asimov

Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.
– Edward Abbey

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
– Steven Weinberg, Nobel prize-winning physicist

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

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

Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
– Sir Francis Bacon

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
– Richard Dawkins

It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image.
– Ludwig Feuerbach

All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science.
– Matthew Arnold

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

Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.
– Richard Dawkins

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

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

It will yet be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible.
– George W. Foote

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

You do not need the Bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate.
– Richard A. Weatherwax

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 colour.
– Don Hirschberg

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

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.
– Mark Twain

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

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

I’m a polyatheist – there are many gods I don’t believe in.
– Dan Fouts

A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.
– David Stevens

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a God superior to themselves. Most Gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.
– Robert A Heinlein

I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing”.
– Douglas Adams

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

He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave.
– William Drummond

Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family.
– Stephen Colbert

Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea.
– Anonymous

When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life.
– Sigmund Freud

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

History teaches us that no other cause has brought more death than the word of god.
– Giulian Buzila

A believer states everything must have a creator but fail to say how he was created.
– Anonymous

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.
– Isaac Asimov

If all the Christians who have called other Christians “not really a Christian” were to vanish, there’d be no Christians left.
– Anonymous

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

Gods don’t kill people. People with Gods kill people.
– David Viaene

True virtue is life under the direction of reason.
– Benedictus de Spinoza

If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which He has inflicted upon men, He would kill Himself.
– Alexandre Dumas

Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma.
– Sam Harris

I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose
– Clarence Darrow

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

Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.
– Frater Ravus

Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.
– Penn Jillette

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power but absolute power is corrupt only in the hands of the absolutely faithful.
– Anonymous

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

The inspiration of the bible depends on the ignorance of the person who reads it.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

I have no need for religion, I have a conscience.
– Anonymous

Man has always required an explanation for all of those things in the world he did not understand. If an explanation was not available, he created one.
– Jim Crawford

What has been Christianity’s fruits? Superstition, Bigotry and Persecution.
– James Madison

The finality of death is the coldest truth one must face. Religion makes the perfect distraction.
– Anonymous

Religion is the opium of the masses.
– Karl Marx

If we expect God to subscribe to one religion at the exclusion of all the others, then we should expect damnation as a matter of chance. This should give Christians pause when expounding their religious beliefs, but it does not.
– Sam Harris

Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd.
-Benedictus de Spinoza

Atheists will celebrate life, while you’re in church celebrating death.
– Anonymous

Animals do not have gods, they are smarter than that.
– Ronnie Snow

I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake… Religion is all bunk.
– Thomas Edison

Fundamentalism, of any type, due to its prerequisite lack of intelligent thought, could prove to be the worst weapon of mass destruction, of all.
– David J. Constable

To really be free, You need to be free in the mind.
– Alexander Loutsis

Most religions prophecy the end of the world and then consistently work together to ensure that these prophecies come true.
– Anonymous

Jesus hardly made the greatest sacrifice. He knew he would be resurrected anyway.
– Anonymous

Religion is like a virus that affects the behaviour of its host in such a way as to propagate itself further.
– Jack Pritchard

Religions are like pills, which must be swallowed whole without chewing.
– Anonymous

Today’s religion will be the future’s mythology. Both believed at one time by many; but proved wrong by the clever.
– Steven Crocker

The Bible – A Fairytale book of rules brainwashing millions. Obliviously used to help create war, kill, hate, judge and discriminate.
– Anonymous

There is no god higher than truth and Righteouness
– Mohandas Ghandi

I call him free who is led solely by reason.
– Benedictus de Spinoza

If Mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, but who cares? The gifts kept coming. And so did the gifts of my newfound atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. Not a world by design, but one by chance. I learned of evolution—a theory so simple and obvious that only England’s greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals, and us—with imagination, free will, love and humour. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humour, fun, music, sports, beer, and pizza are all good enough reasons for living. But living an honest life—for that you need the truth. That’s the other thing I learned that day, that the truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity.
-Ricky Gervais, award-winning creator of The Office and Extras


6 thoughts on “Quotes

  1. Pingback: Jason’s CFI diaries — Day 6 | Young Australian Skeptics

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