Since the 18th century, as atheism has continuously gained in importance, more and more quotes on the subject have appeared. Profound statements have come from politicians and scientists, the more aesthetic references were made by writers and musicians and the ones declared by comedians and actors were simply keen or even bold.
This quote is from Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of our nation, “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle suggested a more practical point of view, “If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.” Richard Dawkins, a British scientist and atheist proclaims “Why do more than 40 percent of Americans think that the Universe began after the domestication of the dog?”
Writers seem to either dramatize the matter or intensify it. This quote from author Mark Twain is beautifully poetic: “Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought.” Writer Ernest Hemingway simply declares “All thinking men are atheists” and Journalist Christopher Hitchens remarks ”Jesus is Santa Claus for Adults.”
Hollywood’s finest also express their thoughts on the matter of atheism. Brad Pitt remarked “I’m probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there, until then there’s no point thinking about it.” British actress Keira Knightley announced sharply “If only I wasn’t an atheist, I could get away with anything. You’d just ask for forgiveness and then you’d be forgiven. It sounds much better than having to live with guilt.” The creator of the intellectual nebbish, Woody Allen, explains “To you, I’m an atheist. To God, I’m the loyal opposition.”
The remarks of the comedians on religion are snappish and blunt: “Agnostics are just atheists without balls” writes Stephen Colbert in his book “I am America”. The satirist George Carlin proclaims “Atheism is a non-prophet organization” and “I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.”
And finally the impressive words from the musicians of Jethro Tull: “In the beginning Man created God; and in the image of Man created he him.”