[D.A. logo] Definitions of "atheism" and "atheist"
Clarifying a natural classification
[Chinese word for: atheism -- Wu Shen Lun)] [Greek word for: atheism -- atheos]
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Define atheism :: References :: Quotes

This is a collection of quotations by people correctly defining or characterizing atheists and atheism.  Sorting order is by name (including a title if applicable), and sources are included where they are known.


"The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve."
-- Albert Einstein

"Everyone starts out being an atheist.  No one is born with belief in anything.  Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated."
-- Andy Rooney

"It is the mark of an enlightened mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
-- Aristotle (Aristoteles)

"The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism.  It is not a creed.  Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell.  Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love.  There is nothing more; but I want nothing more."
-- Ayaan Hirsi Ali (2007)

Source: Book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali published in 2006 entitled "Infdel: My Life" that was translated to English in 2007


"I like to compare it to being a non-smoker.  Not smoking is the only thing that group of people definitely has in common.  That group can also have ex-smokers and people who are actively against smoking/smokers."
-- Bikini Atroll (comparing atheism to not smoking)

Source: Twitter posting on April 22, 2018


"... not only is atheism not a religion, it's not even my hobby -- and that's the best thing about being an atheist; it requires so little of your time."
-- Bill Maher

"Every child starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then [society] beats it out of them; a few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact."
-- Carl Sagan

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

"We don't say on non-truth claims or faith claims that we know when we don't ... atheists do not say that we know there is no god, we say to the contrary, no argument and no evidence has ever been educed that we consider to be persuasive; there's no reason to believe in evidence or argument, ontology or science.  The same with the afterlife, of course we don't say that we know there isn't one, we say that we don't know anyone who can bring any reason to think that there is."
-- Christopher Hitchens

Source: https://www.atheistfrontier.com/people/christopher-hitchens/quotations.pl


"My calculations show that even if God dedicated all of his time meeting the dead, you would only get to meet him for half of one second.  There are 56 million deaths occurring annually and only 32 million seconds in a year."
-- Darwin Bedford, Ambassador of Reason

Source: Article "The Pope is Humpty Dumpty"


"If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby."
-- David Eller

Source: Book by David Eller published in 2007 entitled "Atheism Advanced: Further Thoughts of a Freethinker"


"A religion without a goddess is halfway to atheism."
-- Dion Fortune

"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

"If the all-powerful God controls Satan, he is an accomplice, but if he doesn't then he is not an all-powerful god."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

"Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself."
-- Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel

"Freedom is never out of style."
-- Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel

"Foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits."
-- General Sun Zi (a.k.a., Sun Tzu)

"I am an atheist, out and out.  It took me a long time to say it.  I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have.  Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic.  I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason.  Emotionally, I am an atheist.  I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."
-- Isaac Asimov (Spring of 1982; Free Inquiry)

"If atheism is a religion, then not playing sports is a sport."
-- Jamison Potter (September 1, 2016)

"I was born right the first time, as an atheist."
-- Jason Steinberger (May 26, 2013)

"How is atheism, the very lack of religion, a religion?"
-- Jeanne Douglas (September 18, 2012)

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

The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism, but practical atheism -- that's the most dangerous type.  And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service.  And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don't.  We say with our mouths that we believe in him, but we live with our lives like he never existed.  That is the ever-present danger confronting religion.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr. (February 28, 1954)

Source: Sermon he delivered at Detroit's Second Baptist Church, Michigan, USA


"An atheist is somebody who doesn't believe there's a god."
-- Matt Dillahunty (May 4, 2018)

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmH7JUeVQb8&t=5621


"We lack belief in gods and goddesses and that's it, that's the only thing atheists have in common."
-- Mr. Oz Atheist (2015-Feb-14)

Source: https://mrozatheist.blogspot.com/2015/02/is-atheism-religion.html


"There is no directive in atheism.  The concept atheism has no actionables.  Whereas ideological notions can have actionables."
-- MyContext (2015-Mar-14)

"If an omnipotent God did exist, there'd be one holy book that anyone would be able to read regardless of the language they spoke."
-- Neil Bernstein (December 2018)

"All children are atheists; they have no idea of God."
-- Paul-Henri Holbach (1772)

Source: Book by Paul-Henri Holbach published in 1772 entitled "Le Bon-Sens ou Idees Naturelles Opposees aux Idees Surnaturelles"


"Atheism.  There's nothing to it.  Literally."
-- Randolf Richardson 張文道 (February 27, 2012)

"An atheist, with the prefix 'a-' meaning 'not,' is someone who is not convinced that a god exists; that's it."
-- Rationality Rules (June 30, 2018)

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmrpiCsuv6w&t=144


"If children understand that beliefs should be substantiated with evidence, as opposed to tradition, authority, revelation, or faith, they will automatically work out for themselves that they are atheists."
-- Richard Dawkins

Source: https://www.atheistfrontier.com/people/richard-dawkins/quotations.pl


"Saying atheism is a belief system is like saying 'not going skiing is a hobby.'  I've never been skiing.  It's my biggest hobby.  I literally do it all the time."
-- Ricky Gervais

"... one of the things I find comforting about being an atheist is knowing that my ethics don't come out of some book, but rather through rational, careful consideration."
-- Rob Ladd (August 14, 2013)

"The atheist, by merely being in touch with reality, appears shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of his neighbours."
-- Sam Harris

"To find yourself, think for yourself."
-- Socrates

"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

"... there is no ideological content in atheism so no encouragement or justification for murder ..."
-- Thomas "Gudloos" P. (June 10, 2012)

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
-- Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)

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