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Ayaan Hirsi Ali says she’s a Christian, a Rational Response

In 2007, I was slated to interview Ayaan Hirsi Ali at an atheist convention. We were staying in the same hotel and being cared for by a security detail due to theistic threats on our safety. There was a very real and specific threat to her life that weekend, and as a result, I was told she didn’t have the time for the interview. However, my team and I suspected that the real reason was that taking an extra risk wasn’t worth the benefit, given the immediate and significant threat. This is the life of prominent atheist activists, and her experiences may have led her to seek relief from that fear. Many of us have great admiration for Ayaan speaking out against the dangers of Islam over the last 15+ years and may deal with some frustration when hearing that she just wrote an essay entitled “Why I am now a Christian.

Her essay pivots on several points that require a critical examination, particularly from an atheist and secular perspective. Her rationale for becoming a Christian lacks a concrete, tenable reason for god belief, relying instead on “tradition” and perceived civilizational threats.

Firstly, Ali’s subtitle claiming that atheism can't equip us for civilizational war is based on a false premise. Atheism doesn’t do anything, of course, it can’t equip us. Atheism, at its core, is simply a lack of belief in gods. It's not a tool, strategy, or ideology. However, secular humanism, often a result of abandoning archaic theistic myths, is a philosophy that values critical thinking, scientific understanding, ethical reasoning, and evidence-based knowledge. It can indeed play a crucial role in steering us away from conflict. If we shift our focus from arming ourselves for hypothetical wars to embracing the principles of secular humanism, we’d find ourselves discussing how to build a better, more rational, and peaceful world, rather than obsessing over potential conflicts fueled by divisive ideologies.

Ali's assertion that embracing Christianity is a response to global threats like authoritarianism and Islamism reflects a desire to seek solutions, but this solution rests on shaky logical footing. There were probably similar arguments pre-Scientific Revolution regarding the wide embrace of flat Earth theory and geocentrism. History is replete with examples of religions, including Christianity, being used to justify authoritarian regimes and violent conflicts. One must wonder: why hasn’t Christianity been a response to various global threats? Maybe it’s due to a deep-seated notion that while we say we believe these things, we know that these beliefs rest on a foundation of quicksand, easily demolished under the microscope of reason. Which is why beliefs in the modern age should rest on a scientific, logical, and provable foundation.

Ali cites tradition as a justification for belief. An appeal to tradition is a logical fallacy, and you can see how it’s not useful when contemplating the lives of Ancient Egyptians focused on Osiris, the god of the dead, and recognizing that you don’t hold this belief to be true simply because traditionally it was part of a culture. Similarly, the Norse gods, central to Scandinavian culture for centuries, have all but vanished from sincere religious belief. These examples illustrate that the longevity and tradition of a belief system do not equate to its truthfulness. Simply put, tradition doesn’t make a belief true.

Ali's claim that "freedom of conscience and speech" stems from "centuries of debate within Jewish and Christian communities" lacks historical evidence. Many cultures and religious traditions, including those outside the Judeo-Christian sphere, have grappled with these concepts. It's a disservice to attribute these universal human values solely to a specific religious tradition.

Ali notes that atheism didn’t provide her with the “meaning and purpose of life.” Human understanding, shaped by scientific inquiry and philosophical thought, has yet to converge on a definitive answer to any universal meaning of life. The lack of consensus extends to religious beliefs, which, founded on unverifiable premises, cannot claim to offer a reliable answer to the question of life's purpose. We see this in the actions of religious people. The world is full of religious fundamentalists that breed intolerance, hostility, and are at the center of the wars that Ali wants to avoid. The only universal constant about life, from a biological perspective, might be procreation, a fundamental drive for the continuation of life. However, many would like to believe that the human experience transcends mere biology.

As an individual and an atheist activist, I have crafted my own meaning of life, which is a liberty that atheism affords. My personal philosophy centers on embracing knowledge and reason, treating others as I would like to be treated, rejecting ignorance and superstition, maintaining an open mind, continually seeking new knowledge, and striving to make a positive impact on society. Ali was always free to find her own meaning as an atheist, and if she needed an atheist to dictate meaning to her, she can borrow mine.


The idea that we need to “fight woke ideology” to save civilization is not just misguided, it’s rooted in a regressive, often religiously fueled mindset that resists progress. Labeling societal advancements as 'woke ideology' – whether it’s the fight for racial equality, gender rights, or simply acknowledging and addressing historical injustices – is to misunderstand the very fabric of a progressive, enlightened society. These are not threats; they are evolutions towards a more equitable world. While Islam attempted to suppress the perspectives and physical visibility of women like Ali, it was the very essence of "woke ideology" – a commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusivity – that propelled the advancement of accepting and valuing voices like hers. Ironically, there’s an intersection in attempting to thwart societal progress (woke) and religious groups, clinging to dogmas incompatible with modern, inclusive values. Instead of fighting these so-called 'woke' ideas, we should be embracing and building upon them to create a society that is fairer and more just for all.

In conclusion, Ali's conversion, while a personal choice, was not an intellectually rigorous endorsement of Christianity. There was no defensible argument for the existence of God, an “appeal to tradition” fallacy, and a bunch of arguments about using religion as a tool of which we can see in society it has failed to be successful at. For those committed to rationality and evidence-based beliefs, this serves as a cautionary tale of how even unfounded beliefs can hold sway under the guise of tradition and existential fear.

My approach, rooted in reason and personal reflection, offers a meaningful and rational way to navigate life, devoid of the need for religious belief. And I can’t see how we as a society benefit by attempting to promote solutions to any problem that a 12-year-old can easily demolish in a debate.


Brian Sapient

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We're building the Atheism United Library in Bihar, India

I've partnered with Humanist Global Charity to help vet recipients and have committed to donating $1,000 to help atheists in Africa and India. If you use Facebook, please share the message for me to help increase exposure for this important cause as we aim towards building "The Atheism United Library" in Bihar, India. 

Here's the Facebook post that I'm hoping you'll like and share. 


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Christian Intervention with Lawrence Show #7

Lawrence who follows "Christ my way" is on the show to discuss his beliefs and answer the tough questions from the Rational Response Squad.

Brief notes on the topics and questions discussed in this episode...

Is the bible literal or metaphorical? Would you say contradictions are metaphorical?

What if we could show you that the God of the bible lied?

Do you think that god is all loving?

If god is infinite, is he also hate?

If god is the creator of all things is he not the creator of evil as well?

If god is infinite isn't god love and hate at the same time?

Why do you think god would create something that he knew ahead of time would occur? Why would he subject himself to that?

If god is all knowing then god knows before certain people come into existence that they are going to hell when they die. He knew about it before he created the Universe.
God is all knowing therefore he knows ahead of time who is going to hell and who is going to heaven. Certain people were born with god knowing they were going to hell. It's hard to reconcile that with all loving. Would you create a child if you knew in advance that child was going to go to hell? (LONG PAUSE AND DODGED ANSWER)

Are there bad parts in the bible? In Leviticus there are things you are supposed to kill your children for, and the new testament tells you that you can be forgiven for these things.

An atheist that lives a decent good life he'll go to hell but a death row inmate who repents will go to heaven.

Why should the King James bible be used? The other bibles are made to fix the "errors" in the bible. The manuscripts contradict each other. There is no original one copy of the bible.

Deutoronomy 12:30, 6:15, 2:25
Deutoronomy 17:2-7... Rook interprets to mean that Rational Response Squad hosts should be stoned to death.

Lawrence interprets the passage to mean this only applies before Jesus came.

Rook responds with Matthew 23:2-3 John 7:19 and Mark 1:44 to explain that Jesus said you must abide by all of the old testament.

We then cover Isaiah 45:7 KJV in which god I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil, I the lord do all these things. We then cover the difference of this passage in 3 different bibles and how it's sugar coated in other newer versions of the bibles.

There are people that blame the bad things on this planet on atheists, gays, and satan. Meanwhile the bible clearly states it's the lord that does these things.

At 53:30 Lawrence admits there is a flaw in the bible, but it doesn't mean much.

Paraphrasing Lawrence at 58 minutes: In order to believe in the Invisible Pink Unicorn, you need to start by believing in the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

Why do I have to please an infinite being? He doesn't need to be pleased, he's infinite.

It's reading the bible that led us away from it. Rook wanted to become a Priest a few years before the recording of the show. He was willing to give up sex for god, so he really believed! 1:01:45

Lawrence can see where we're coming from and can understand why the bible pushed us away but he can't ever do that.

Jesus says in Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Lawrence responds by bringing up a version of the bible that someone changed to have a totally different sugar coated meaning.

1:07 the bible says if you have the faith you can move mountains, but nobody has ever moved a mountain with their faith. Lawrence says it's more of a spiritual thing.

Jesus committed witchcraft (against Levitican law) by cursing a tree so that no fig could ever grow from it again.

Ok fine Lawrence all of these things are metaphors. How do we tell the difference between literal and metaphors. Just the parts are bullshit aren't literal.

1:13 Lawrence can't accept this stuff because it's a faith killer. "Exactly" Lawrence says.

Matthew 10:34 (at 1:15): Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

(at 1:17) Lawrence has an aunt that's an atheist, is she less moral than him? He doesn't admit that she is or isn't.

Lawrence claims to be unwavered by the discussion... the seeds were planted.


Show 61 with Matt Slick [now on youtube]

'Jesus Christ'.  I just listened to both Show 61 with Matt Slick (carm.org) and Show 60 with Greg Cooper (Christian Intervention).

Those are the worst guests I've ever heard Sticking out tongue.  Matt Slick is a complete moron.  Someone would ask a question and then someone else would clarify or just add their 2 cents and he would go on for like 10 minutes about how he can't respond to multiple people, or that someone is interrupting.  Or my favorite:  He would say that you guys were having a "Scholar War" and then someone would explain for several minutes why you weren't and when he spoke again he would say that you guys are having a "Scholar War".  Again and Again.  

Greg Cooper didn't understand circular reasoning or any other logical fallacies and just tried to witness the whole time.

Those shows made me angry.  People are so fucking stupid. 


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Your favorite anti-religious quotes

In 2006 a member posted a thread on our message board to ask other atheists about favorite quotes that are anti-religious.  The first post of this thread has been edited, to compile most of these atheist quotes in one place.  Some of these quotes can be found at Celebatheists.com.  

"Surely the ass who invented the first religion ought to be the first ass damned" - Mark Twain

"Faith is believing in that which I know ain't so." - Mark Twain

"The hands that help are better far than lips that pray." Robert Green Ingersoll

"Nothing could be more idiotic and absurd than the doctrine of the trinity." Robert Green Ingersoll

"Fear paints pictures of ghosts and hangs them in the gallery of ignorance." Robert Green Ingersoll

"Nothing could be more idiotic and absurd than the doctrine of the trinity." Robert Green Ingersoll

(paraphrase) - "If God objected to [people with various handicaps], he ought not have created such people." Robert G Ingersoll

"All thinking men are atheists." - Ernest Hemmingway

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Mohandas Gandhi

"Born again?! No, I'm not. Excuse me for getting it right the first time." - Dennis Miller

Annie Dillard:
Eskimo:"If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?" Priest: "No, not if you did not know." Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"

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

"Without religion, we'd have good people doing good things, and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Stephen Weinburg

 ""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

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State." Thomas Jefferson

"To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is." Thomas Jefferson

"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter." Thomas Jefferson

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

"The word "Christianity" is already a misunderstanding - in reality there has been only one Christian, and he died on the Cross."  Friederich Nietzsche

"The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad."  Friederich Nietzsche

"There is not enough love and kindness in the world to give any of it away to imaginary beings." - Friederich Nietzsche

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

"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it." - John Adams

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

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

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

"I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out." - Bertrand Russell

"I do not believe any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States." - Thomas Alva Edison

"Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are leaves in all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over. Tell me these men are in Hell; that these men are in torment; that these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of lies." - Robert G. Ingersoll

"The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites." - Thomas Jefferson

"Religion is "so absurd that it comes close to imbecility." - H. L. Mencken

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration--courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth."- H. L. Mencken

". Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain." - Gene Roddenberry

"If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?" - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world." - Voltaire

"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

"For there is nothing either good or bad, thinking makes it so." - William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet, II.ii

"Faith: not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

"The being we call god is merely a pawn working for a powerful and rational force in some far-off galaxy. This force is trying to weed out people who are irrational by seeing who would be stupid enough to believe in his god illusion so easily. Those that believe in this illusion, he will send to eternal damnation and he will deliver the rational beings, those who stoically refused to believe in a god, to heaven." - Nicholas Yee

"God for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say God did it." - Carl Sagan (1934-1996), Contact

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

"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.

God is a concept by which we measure our pain. - John Lennon

"We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself." - Carl Gustav Jung

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

If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another. - Epicurus

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 Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I? - Samuel Johnson

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

To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell. - Marquis De Sade

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. - Voltaire

God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God
. And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see.
- Frank Lloyd Wright

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

To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance. - Eric Hoffer

If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circustance. - Theodore Dreiser

A country dominated by televangelism would be unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers, who envisioned religion as personal and spiritua, not social and political. No particular variety of religion was intended to control the political agenda, to set the community's moral tone or to judge who are the true believers and members of our society. But this is precisely the objective of the electric church - Razelle Frankel

My faith is that the only soul a man must save is his own. - William Orville Douglas

England has forty-two religions and only two sauces. - Voltaire

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car. - Laurence J. Peter

I think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability. - Oscar Wilde

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex? - Art Hoppe

"Since no one really knows anything about God, those who think they do are just troublemakers." Rabia Al-Basri

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance. - Socrates.

"I refuse to prove that I exist" says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing."  "Oh," says man, "but the Babel Fish is a dead give-away, isn't it?  It proves You exist, and so therefore You don't.  Q.E.D."  "Oh, I hadn't thought of that," says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.  ~ Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Moral:  a peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord.  ~ Donald Morgan

There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa.  They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land.  They said "Let us pray," and we dutifully shut our eyes.  When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible.  ~Desmond M. Tutu, "Religious Human Rights and the Bible"

Religion:  A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.  ~ Ambrose Bierce

I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do.  ~ D. Dale Gulledge

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope?  If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't.  ~ George Bernard Shaw

The world is not a prison house but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks.  ~Edwin Arlington Robinson

The god who is reputed to have created fleas to keep dogs from moping over their situation must also have created fundamentalists to keep rationalists from getting flabby.  Let us be duly thankful for out blessings. ~Garrett Hardin

Sunday school:  a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.  ~H.L. Mencken

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, I.  Asimov:  A Memoir

"There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over." - Frank Zappa.

"How do I know the Bible isn't the word of God? Well if it was the word of God it would be clear and easy to understand...considering God was the creator of LANGUAGE!" - Bill Hicks.

""I'm proud to be an atheist - it helps me stand for so much more and fall for so much less." - Dan Barker

"All religions have been made by men." - Napoleon Bonaparte

"But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?" - Mark Twain

"We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." - Richard Dawkins

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

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

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

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

 "Atheism is a requirement for a complete human being. Religion is a crutch that is shackled to you, one you never really needed in the first place, but were convinced by others that you couldn't live without. Once you discover it's only an illusion, that it's not even a real crutch, you discard it gladly." -Brent Yaciw

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

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

"Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits." --Dan Barker, former evangelist

"Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, 'atheist' is a term that should not ever exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a 'non astrologer' or a 'non-alchemist'. We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. An atheist is simply a person who believes that the 260 million Americans (87 percent of the population) claiming to 'never doubt the existence of God' should be obliged to present evidence for his existence-and, indeed, for his BENEVOLENCE, given the relentless destruction of innocent human beings we witness in the world each day." --Sam Harris, "Letter to a Christian Nation"

"Religion is the opium of the masses." Karl Marx

Heaven will be a great place as long as you keep the christians out. - G. Janus

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

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

“Hence today I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator” –Adolph Hitler

“I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job.” –George W. Bush

"Let's face it; God has an ego problem, why do we always have to worship him? "- Bill Maher

"I don't know anyone less Jesus like than Christians." - Bill Maher

"I would never want to be the member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood." - George Carlin"

"I have as much authority as the pope, I just don't have as many people that believe it." George Carlin

"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert Heinlein

"History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it." - Robert Heinlein

If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them, and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve its own interests. -- Baron d'Holbach, The System of Nature 

Nature, you say, is totally inexplicable without a God. That is to say, to explain what you understand very little, you have need of a cause which you understand not at all. -- Baron d'Holbach, Good Sense

Few intelligent Christians can still hold to the idea that the Bible is an infallible Book, that it contains no linguistic errors, no historical discrepancies, no antiquated scientific assumptions, not even bad ethical standards. Historical investigation and literary criticism have taken the magic out of the Bible and have made it a composite human book, written by many hands in different ages. The existence of thousands of variations of texts makes it impossible to hold the doctrine of a book verbally infallible. Some might claim for the original copies of the Bible an infallible character, but this view only begs the question and makes such Christian apologetics more ridiculous in the eyes of the sincere man. -- Elmer Homrighausen, Christianity in America

I recall the story of the philosopher and the theologian. The two were engaged in disputation and the theologian used the old quip about a philosopher resembling a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat—which wasn't there. "That may be," said the philosopher: "but a theologian would have found it." -- Julian Huxley, The Creed of a Scientific Humanist

"Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man -- living in the sky -- who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! ..But He loves you." - George Carlin 

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell

"I'd rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief." Gerry Spencer

"We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us" Samuel Johnson

"Believe one who has proved it.  Believe an expert." Virgil

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit attrocities." Voltaire

"Such evil deeds could religion prompt" Lucretius

"The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness" Joseph Conrad

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfullly as when they do it from a religious conviction" Blaise Pascale 

"When one person suffers from delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion."

"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, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."--Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, ch. 2.

"The study of theology,  as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on nothing; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing."--Thomas Paine, in The Age Of Reason, quoted with approval by David Mills in Atheist Universe, ch. 6. 

"The moment we admit that our beliefs are attempts to represent states of the world, we see that they must stand in right relation to the world to be valid." --Sam Harris, The End Of Faith

"Urging humans to be superhumans, on pain of death and torture, is the urging of terrible self-abasement at their repeated and inevitable failure to keep the rules."--Christopher Hitchens, god is not great, ch. 15.

"Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find my self in - an interesting hole I find my self in - fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for." - Douglass Adams

"Find me some ghost sperm and show me how one survives rigor mortis and I will become a believer. I'm sure you'll have that evidence in short order" - Brian 37

"don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't. - Jules Renard

The Bible is a book that has been read more, and examined less, than any book that ever existed. - Thomas Paine [one of my personal faves]

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

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

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

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

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

As far as I can tell from studying the scriptures, all you do in heaven is pretty much just sit around all day and praise the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I think that after the first, oh, I don’t know, 50,000,000 years of that I’d start to get a little bored. - Rick Reynolds

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

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

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

“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes. - James Morrow

Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived. - Isaac Asimov

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

If god is the alpha and the omega. The begining and the end, knows what has passed and what is to come, like it states in the bible, why do people pray and think it will make any difference. - Mark Fairclough

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 

"We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn't been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake." - Catherine Fahringer

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes - James K. Feibleman

Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning. - Bill Gates

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. - Thomas Paine

"Everything is what it is because it got that way." -D'arcy Thompson

"We may conclude, therefore, that, in all nations, which have embraced polytheism, the first ideas of religion arose not from a contemplation of the works of nature, but from a concern with regard to the events of life, and from the incessant hopes and fears, which actuate the human mind." -Hume, The Natural History of Religion

"We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice and good-will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us."--Hume, TNHR

"You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." --Abraham Lincoln

"Those to whom his word was revealed were always alone in some remote place, like Moses. There wasn't anyone else around when Mohammed got the word either. Mormon Joseph Smith and Christian Scientist, Mary Baker Eddy, had exclusive audiences with God. We have to trust them as reporters---and you know how reporters are. They'll do anything for a story." --Andy Rooney 

"Pray: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy." - Ambroce Bierce

In a dangerous world, there will always be more people around whose prayers for their own safety have been answered than those whose prayers have not." -Nicholas Humphrey's Law of the Efficacy of Prayer

"Cults and prophets proclaiming the imminent end of the world have been with us for several millenia, and it has been another sour sort of fun to ridicule them the morning after, when they discover that their calculations were a little off. But, just as with Marxists, there are some among them who are working hard to 'hasten the inevitable,' not merely anticipating the End Days with joy in their hearts, but taking political action to bring about the conditions they think are the prerequisites for that occasion." -Dennett, Breaking the Spell, pg 338

When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together. -- Isaac Asimov

From the point of view of a tapeworm, man was created by God to serve the appetite of the tapeworm. -- Edward Abbey

Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, "Yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it. -- Dan Barker

Faith is the fatigue resulting from the attempt to preserve God's integrity instead of one's own. -- Matt Berry

As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys. -- William Blake

"Religion is not fate, religion is fake, spirituality comes from the heart not from the pages of some out dated book written by mere men" -Madd Maxxx

"Religion is a group of scam artists that sell the calming idea that your body is a temple of God, while your mind belongs to them." -Jose Carrillo

Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night — Isaac Asimov

All thinking men are atheists. — Ernest Hemingway

Lighthouses are more helpful then churches. — Benjamin Franklin

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

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

Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile. — Kurt Vonnegut

A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows. — Samuel Clemens

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

"Let's face a historical truth: we have never had a "free market", we have always had government intervention in the economy, and indeed that intervention has been welcomed by the captains of finance and industry. They had no quarrel with "big government" when it served their needs." - Howard Zinn

"This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it." - John Adams

"Lighthouses are more useful than Churches." - Benjamin Franklin

"Chritianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man." - Thomas Jefferson

"Religion can never reform mankind, because Religion is slavery." - Robert G. Ingersoll

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

"Religion is the opium of the masses." - Karl Marx

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."

"How come when it's us is an abortion and when it's a chicken is an omelet?" - George Carlin

" Why is it often that, when someone points out the lies of another person, the person who lied gets angry, rather than abashed. Never is this more apparent than when the lie pointed out is a lie to oneself, and the anger never more fierce than when the lie is one of religion." ~ G. Scott Wells

"If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people" - Gregory House

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'Oh, Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' and God granted it." - Voltaire

"The family that prays together...is brainwashing their children."- Albert Einstein

"When you understand why you don't believe in other people's gods, you will understand why I don't believe in yours."- Albert Einstein

"Just because you believe in something does not mean that it is true."- Albert Einstein

"Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth." - Albert Einstein

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." - Albert Einstein

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms." - Albert Einstein

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can change this." - Albert Einstein

"It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere... Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; 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

"If we are to believe the Bible, god created a flood that nearly wiped out all of mankind, taking genocide to epic proportions. Why then is god worshiped and Hitler, who committed genocide on a smaller scale, labeled evil for similar acts?" - Scott Williams 

ALSO SEE: "Positive Atheism's Big List of Quotations"  


And another: http://www.quotedb.com/categories/anti-religion

Keywords for this post: atheist atheism agnostic science history religion god non-believer skeptic humanist