An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.– John Buchan, 1875-1940
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 Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
, chapter 16. 1979
disbelieve in all gods, while monotheists disbelieve in all but one. Thus the atheists have both consistency and the razor
working for them. Seems like a more rational position to me.
IIRC the Romans called early Christians atheists since they disbelieved in so many gods.– William Hyde, rec.arts.sf.written, April 2000
In my notes, I have the line:
Ataraxia: (Greek): The state of tranquillity achieved by ignoring all the bullshit you are told.– Andrew Plotkin, rec.arts.sf.written, April 2000
during a discussion about the meaning of “atheist
[The Complete OED defines it more prosaically:
ataraxia: Freedom from disturbance of mind or passion; stoical indifference]
It takes a very special and strong-minded kind of atheist
to jump up and down with their hand clasped under their other armpit and shout, ‘Oh, random-fluctuations-in-the-space-time-continuum!’ or ‘Aaargh, primitive-and-outmoded-concept on a crutch!’– Terry Pratchett
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 F Roberts
alt.atheism or talk.atheisim, 1994 or 1995
Therefore, in regard to the Olympic gods, speaking to a purely philosophical audience, I would say that I am an Agnostic. But speaking popularly, I think that all of us would say in regard to those gods that we were Atheists
. In regard to the Christian God, I should, I think, take exactly the same line.There is exactly the same degree of possibility and likelihood of the existence of the Christian God as there is of the existence of the Homeric God. I cannot prove that either the Christian God or the Homeric gods do not exist, but I do not think that their existence is an alternative that is sufficiently probable to be worth serious consideration.
Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic? A Plea For Tolerance In The Face Of New Dogmas, 1947
Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.– Bertrand Russell
, Is There a God?, 1952
commissioned by Illustrated Magazine
first published in The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, Volume 11: Last Philosophical Testament, 1943-68
ed. John G. Slater and Peter Köllner, pp. 543-48, 1997
If atheism is a faith, then not playing chess is a hobby.– New Scientist, 2589:21, 3 February 2007
I’m a born-again atheist.– Gore Vidal (1925–)
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 BC–270 BC) attrib
My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel, or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.
— J. B. S. Haldane,
Preface to Fact and Faith, 1934
Don’t pray in my school; i won’t think in your church……………..!!!!!!
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