A list of thought-provoking, funny and not-so-funny quotes on the subject of Atheism as seen throughout the ages by some great and not-so-great thinkers.
Atheism and Atheists Quotes and Sayings
A comprehended god is no god. ~St. John Chrysostom
If there were no God, there would be no Atheists. ~G.K. Chesterton
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. ~John Bertram Phillips
If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped. ~Evelyn Underhill
Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God. ~Heywood Broun
I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays. ~Henny Youngman
The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank. ~Dante Gabriel Rossetti
To you I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition. ~Woody Allen
A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. ~Francis Bacon
The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief—call it what you will—than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counter-attractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course. ~Alan Alexander Milne
Postulating the nonexistence of God, atheism immediately commits the blunder of an absolute negation, which is self-contradictory. For, to sustain the belief that there is no God, it 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
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
By night an atheist half believes in God. ~Edward Young
I cannot but pity the man who recognizes nothing godlike in his own nature. ~William Ellery Channing
Atheism is a disease of the mind caused by eating underdone philosophy. ~Austin O’Malley
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
We may seek God by our intellect, but we only can find him with our heart. ~Cotvos
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
Shouldn’t atheist have an equal obligation to explain pleasure in a world of randomness. Where does pleasure come from? ~G.K. Chesterton
The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is. ~Patrick Morley
The real attitude of sin in the heart towards God is that of being without God; it is pride, the worship of myself, that is the great atheistic fact in human life. ~Oswald Chambers
A god who let us prove his existence would be an idol. ~Deitrich Bonhoeffer
Self is the opaque veil that hides the Face of God from us. It can be removed only in spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. ~Aiden Wilson Tozer
Secrets of the incomprehensible wisdom of God, unknown to any besides Himself! Man, sprung up only of a few days, wants to penetrate, and to set bounds to it. Who is it that hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counselor? ~Jeanne Guyon
According to the teaching of our Lord, what is wrong with the world is precisely that it does not believe in God. Yet it is clear that the unbelief which he so bitterly deplored was not an intellectual persuasion of God’s non-existence. Those whom he rebuked for their lack of faith were not men who denied God with the top of their minds, but men who, while apparently incapable of doubting him with the top of their minds, lived as though he did not exist. ~John Baillie
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. ~Robert Charles Sproul
If we were to judge nature by common sense or likelihood, we wouldn’t believe the world existed. ~Annie Dillard
I hope for the day when everyone can speak again of God without embarrassment. ~Paul Johannes Tillich
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
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
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
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. This being so, who will dare to undertake the decision of the question? Not we, who have no affinity to Him.
Who then will blame Christians for not being able to give a reason for their belief, since they profess a religion for which they cannot give a reason? They declare, in expounding it to the world, that it is a foolishness, and then you complain that they do not prove it! If they proved it, they would not keep their word; it is in lacking proofs that they are not lacking in sense. “Yes, but although this excuses those who offer it as such and takes away from them the blame of putting it forward without reason, it does not excuse those who receive it.” Let us then examine this point, and say, “God is, or He is not.” But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.
Do not, then, reprove for error those who have made a choice; for you know nothing about it. “No, but I blame them for having made, not this choice, but a choice; for again both he who chooses heads and he who chooses tails are equally at fault, they are both in the wrong. The true course is not to wager at all.”
Yes; but you must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? 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
Can one be a saint if God does not exist? That is the only concrete problem I know of today. ~Albert Camus
You think you are too intelligent to believe in God. I am not like you. ~Napoleon Bonaparte
Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God. ~Tom Stoppard
Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist. ~C.S. Lewis
It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists. ~Mohandas Gandhi
A list of thought-provoking, funny, and not-so-funny quotes on the subject of atheism has graced the pages of history, offering diverse perspectives from some great and not-so-great thinkers. These quotes shed light on the enigmatic nature of atheism, its challenges, and the ever-lingering question of the divine. Join us as we delve into the minds of philosophers, writers, and comedians, exploring their insights into atheism and the deeper questions it raises.
A Comprehended God Is No God – St. John Chrysostom
St. John Chrysostom’s quote, “A comprehended god is no god,” takes us on a philosophical journey into the paradoxical nature of divinity. It challenges the human tendency to confine the divine to our limited understanding. Chrysostom reminds us that the very essence of God lies beyond the grasp of human comprehension. In attempting to dissect and define the divine, we may inadvertently diminish its true magnitude. It’s a notion that invites humility in the face of the infinite.
The Existence of God and the Birth of Atheists – G.K. Chesterton
G.K. Chesterton humorously observes, “If there were no God, there would be no Atheists.” This clever quip highlights the symbiotic relationship between belief and disbelief. The existence of atheism presupposes the existence of theism. Without the concept of God, atheism as we know it would cease to exist. Chesterton’s quote encourages us to reflect on the interconnectedness of opposing viewpoints, reminding us that one often gives rise to the other.
Science’s Quest and the Nature of God – John Bertram Phillips
John Bertram Phillips points out, “God is not discoverable or demonstrable by purely scientific means, unfortunately for the scientifically minded.” Here, he acknowledges the limitations of science in addressing questions of faith. While science is a powerful tool for understanding the natural world, it cannot encompass the entirety of human experience, including matters of the divine. Phillips suggests that the quest for God requires different instruments, such as faith and spirituality, that lie beyond the scope of empirical observation.
The Ineffable Nature of God – Evelyn Underhill
Evelyn Underhill beautifully captures the essence of divine mystery with her quote, “If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped.” This thought-provoking statement emphasizes the transcendence of God. To worship a deity worthy of reverence, we must acknowledge the ineffable and incomprehensible nature of the divine. Underhill reminds us that the awe-inspiring grandeur of God lies precisely in His elusiveness.
The Paradoxical Talk of Atheists – Heywood Broun
Heywood Broun humorously observes, “Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God.” This witty remark draws attention to the paradox of atheism’s preoccupation with the divine. Those who reject God often find themselves engaging in fervent discussions about His non-existence. Broun’s quote playfully points out the irony in the passionate discourse that surrounds atheism.
The Lack of Holidays in Atheism – Henny Youngman
Henny Youngman injects a dose of humor into the discussion with his quip, “I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.” This lighthearted remark highlights a common misconception about atheism. It pokes fun at the idea that atheism lacks the rituals and festivities associated with organized religions. Youngman’s humor reminds us that belief systems, or the absence thereof, can shape our experiences in unexpected ways.
The Thankful Atheist’s Dilemma – Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti touches on the poignant side of atheism, stating, “The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.” This quote tugs at the heartstrings, revealing a profound human need to express gratitude and find meaning in moments of joy and appreciation. Rossetti’s words remind us that even in the absence of belief in a higher power, the human spirit continues to seek connection and purpose.
Woody Allen’s Loyal Opposition – Woody Allen
Woody Allen’s humor takes center stage as he declares, “To you I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition.” This witty remark invites us to consider the multifaceted nature of belief. Allen’s perspective highlights the complex relationship individuals have with faith. We may outwardly identify as atheists, but within our innermost thoughts, questions and doubts about the divine persist.
Philosophy’s Journey: From Atheism to Religion – Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon offers a profound insight into the evolution of thought with his statement, “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.” This observation underscores the dynamic nature of human inquiry. At first, a surface-level study of philosophy may lean towards atheism, but a deeper exploration uncovers the complex connection between philosophy, faith, and spirituality.
The Old Testament’s Impact on Atheism – Alan Alexander Milne
Alan Alexander Milne, best known for creating Winnie-the-Pooh, presents a thought-provoking perspective on the Old Testament: “The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief—call it what you will—than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counter-attractions of cinema, motor bicycle, and golf course.” Milne’s quote raises questions about the role of religious texts in shaping belief systems and the enduring impact of ancient scriptures on contemporary thought.
The Flawed Absolute Negation of Atheism – Ravi Zacharias
Ravi Zacharias delves into the logical challenges of atheism, stating, “Postulating the nonexistence of God, atheism immediately commits the blunder of an absolute negation, which is self-contradictory.” Zacharias draws attention to a critical philosophical flaw within atheism—the assertion of absolute knowledge about the non-existence of God. This quote invites us to explore the intricacies of belief and disbelief, emphasizing the need for intellectual humility.
Abraham Lincoln’s Cosmic Perspective – Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln offers a perspective rooted in the grandeur of the cosmos: “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.” Lincoln’s quote encourages us to contemplate the vastness of the universe and the awe it inspires. It reminds us that the natural world, with its mysteries and wonders, often leads individuals to a profound sense of the divine.
The No-God Night – Edward Young
Edward Young’s poetic quote muses, “By night an atheist half believes in God.” This introspective statement delves into the moments of vulnerability and doubt that can visit the most resolute non-believer during the quiet hours of the night. It suggests that, in moments of solitude and reflection, even atheists may find themselves grappling with existential questions and the possibility of a higher power.
Recognizing the Divine Within – William Ellery Channing
William Ellery Channing extends a hand of understanding, stating, “I cannot but pity the man who recognizes nothing godlike in his own nature.” Channing’s quote invites us to explore the innate spirituality within each person. It emphasizes that even those who identify as atheists may find a sense of the divine within themselves, rooted in their capacity for compassion, love, and moral goodness.
The Philosophical Indigestion of Atheism – Austin O’Malley
Austin O’Malley adds a touch of humor to the conversation with his quip, “Atheism is a disease of the mind caused by eating underdone philosophy.” This comical statement highlights the notion that hasty or shallow philosophical exploration can lead to confusion and disbelief. O’Malley’s quote serves as a playful reminder of the importance of thoughtful and thorough intellectual inquiry.
C.S. Lewis’ Belief Through Perception – C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis offers a perspective that transcends the boundaries of belief and perception: “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.” Lewis draws a profound parallel between belief in God and the undeniable reality of the rising sun. He suggests that just as the sun illuminates the world, belief in God can shed light on the deeper meaning and purpose of life.
Seeking God with the Heart – Cotvos
Cotvos reminds us of the intimate nature of the spiritual quest with the statement, “We may seek God by our intellect, but we only can find him with our heart.” This quote underscores the importance of a holistic approach to faith. While intellectual exploration has its place, the search for God often requires an emotional and intuitive connection, inviting us to engage both our minds and hearts in the journey.
In conclusion, the quotes on atheism provided by a multitude of thinkers offer a comprehensive range of perspectives, encompassing both philosophical and humorous insights, as well as profound and introspective reflections. They encourage us to explore the complex nature of belief, the limitations of human understanding, and the enduring human quest for meaning in a world filled with questions. Whether you identify as a believer, an atheist, or somewhere in between, these quotes invite you to join the conversation and continue the age-old exploration of the divine and the mysteries of existence.