"I lost my faith during the war and can't believe they are all up there, flying around or sitting at tables, all those I've lost."
“It is my contention that no other invention of man has brought greater chaos to humanity than the practice of religion.”
“I don't have a chance [on being elected Mayor of New Orleans]. I'm running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform.”
“Although we weren’t brought up to be any particular religion, we were taught to say our prayers. I remember one that ended, ‘Thy glorious kingdom, which is for ever and ever. Amen.’ These words made me scream, “I don’t want to be anywhere for ever and ever. It’s too much.”
“I'm so associated with being Jewish — and I do it myself — but I have no religion. . . . I wasn't raised with any religion, I have no religion. . . . ”
"I am . . . culturally Catholic, but spiritually agnostic."
"Yo soy . . . Culturalmente católico, pero espiritualmente agnóstico."
“When asked by journalist Alex Ben Block in the summer of 1972 what his religious affiliation was, Lee answered: ‘None whatsoever.’ Block then pressed him further, asking him if he then believed in God: ‘To be perfectly frank, I really do not.’ ”
“I've got my own religion. Iceland sets a world-record. The United Nations asked people from all over the world a series of questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what do we believe, 90% said, 'ourselves.' I think I'm in that group. If I get into trouble, there's no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself.”
“I absolutely believe what Ellie [Arroway, the atheist astronomer in the movie "Contact"] believes—that there is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there's absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that's out there that we haven't discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don't know any better.”
“I grew up on the coast of England in the 70’s. My dad is white from Cornwall and mum is black from Zimbabwe. Even the idea of us as a family was challenging to most people, but nature had its wicked way and brown babies were born. But, from about the age of five I was aware that I didn’t fit, I was the black atheist kid in the all-white Catholic school run by nuns, I was an anomaly.”
“I don't believe in god. I don't believe in an afterlife. I don't believe in soul. I don't believe in anything. I think it's totally right for people to have their own beliefs if it makes them happy, but to me it's a pretty preposterous idea.”
“I recently read The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, which ignited my interest in a scientific, mathematical version of the world. No, I'm not religious. At all. I'm an atheist."
“I do not believe in God. I'm an atheist. I consider myself a critical thinker, and it fascinates me that in the 21st century most people still believe in, as George Carlin puts it, 'the invisible man living in the sky.'”
"I'm pathetically pragmatic. . . . I don't believe that there's a higher power that created human beings."
“And yes I have all of the usual objections
To the miseducation of children who, in tax-exempt institutions,
Are taught to externalize blame
And to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong
But I quite like the songs . . . ”
“ . . . family, friends and well-wishers from around the world assured me that prayers and my faith in God would comfort me. I tried to pray but I didn't feel any better, nor did I make any kind of connection with God.”
“I wondered a little why God was such a useless thing. It seemed a waste of time to have him. After that he became less and less, until he was . . . nothingness.”
"I love how when people watch I don’t know, David Attenborough or Discovery Planet type thing you know where you see the absolute phenomenal majesty and complexity and bewildering beauty of nature and you stare at it and then … somebody next to you goes, 'And how can you say there is no God? Look at that.' And then five minutes later you’re looking at the lifecycle of a parasitic worm whose job is to bury itself in the eyeball of a little lamb and eat the eyeball from inside while the lamb dies in horrible agony and then you turn to them and say, 'Yeah, where is your God now?' "
Playboy: Do you believe in an afterlife?
Redford: I'm not sure I do. I've explored every religion, some very deeply, enough to know there's not one philosophy that can satisfy me. Problems can't be solved with one way of thinking. If anything is my guide, nature is. That's where my spirituality is. I don't believe in organized religion, because I don't believe people should be organized in how they think, in what they believe. That has never been driven home as hard as with the [Bush] administration. When somebody thinks God speaks to him, you've got trouble. If God is speaking to the president, he's speaking with a forked tongue, because the behavior of this administration doesn't seem very godlike or spiritual.. . . Is there an afterlife? As far as I know, this is it. It's all we’ve got. You take your opportunities and you go for it.
“I’m so fed up with being told that I’m a bad person because I don’t subscribe to the same exact narrow views [Christians] have.”
“I was getting into theology and studying the roots of the Bible, but then I started to discover the man-made nature of it. I started seeing things that made me ask, ‘Is God really speaking through this instrument? . . . My eyes opened to the reality of the Bible being just a document to control people. At the time I was a real mama’s boy and deeply mesmerized by the church.”
"I don't [believe in God]. I have a problem with religion or anything else that says, 'We have all the answers,' because there's no such thing as 'the answers.' We're complex. We change our minds on issues all the time. Religion leaves no room for human complexity."
“And the next day the miracle occurred, crucifixion, resurrection, and he rose again from the dead and if he sees his shadow another 2000 years of guilt.”
“Religion is such a medieval idea. Don’t get me started. I have thought about every facet of religion and I can’t buy any of it.”
“Yes. They say you die just a little bit when you sneeze. And I’m kind of an atheist, but yet I will say that just in case.”
“My parents did not practice any organized religion, although my father was raised Roman Catholic and my mother was Jewish. But there was always an ethical context to our lives, a very strong notion of individual moral responsibility.”
“I think there is a puritanical wind that is blowing. I have never seen such a lack of separation between church and state in America.”
“The tragedy is that every brain cell devoted to belief in the supernatural is a brain cell one cannot use to make life richer or easier or happier.”
"It's always better to tell the truth. The truth doesn't hurt, and saying that, my mother only ever lied to me about one thing. She said there was a God. But that's because when you're a working-class mum, Jesus is like an unpaid babysitter. She thought if I was God-fearing, then I'd be good."
“I can’t embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages, and that persecution still goes on today all over the world.”
James Lipton: Do you share House's skepticism?
Hugh Laurie: [laughing] I do. Big chunks of it, yes. I'm not a religious man. Again, I think this is connected to my father. My father was religious oddly enough, but I nonetheless I suppose was impressed by [and] enamored of his devotion to medical science. I find I am a fan of science. I believe in science. A humility before the facts. I find that a moving and beautiful thing. And belief in the unknown I find less interesting. I find the known and the knowable interesting enough.
"I’m going to tell you what my religion is. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Period. Terminato. Finito. I have no other religion. I feel very Jewish and I feel very grateful to be Jewish. But I don’t believe in God or anything to do with the Jewish religion."
"I'm much more like the product of a doctor than I am a Jew. I don't believe in [an afterlife]. I believe this is it, and I believe it's the best way to live."
"We are lucky enough to be living in a country that not only guarantees the freedom to practice religion as we see fit, but also freedom FROM religious zealots who would persecute and prosecute and even physically harm those of us who do not believe as they do. . . . If you refuse to salute the flag and say God in your pledge, you're actually judged un-American. But that's not the way America is supposed to be. That's the way Iran is. . . . Predicating patriotism on a citizen's belief in God is as anti-American as judging him on the color of his skin. It is wrong. It is useless. It is unconstitutional."
Matt Lauer: There have been calls from some religious groups. They wanted a disclaimer at the beginning of this movie saying it is fiction because, again, one of the themes in the book really knocks Christianity right on its ear. . . . How would you all have felt if there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie? Would it have been okay with you?
Ian McKellen: Well, I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. I mean, walking on water, it takes an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie. Not that it's true, not that it's factual, but that it's a jolly good story. And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing after they've seen it.
"There had never been any renunciation of religion on my part, but like so many people, it was a gradual fading away."
“I don't believe in heaven and hell. I don't know if I believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won't allow this life—the only thing I know to exist—to be wasted.”
"I'm not a practicing anything. I've been brought up around Buddhism and I'm very interested in it, and if I have any leaning I would lean toward Buddhist feelings. But as I have seen so many devout people, I wouldn't categorize myself as a practicing person."
“I fell in love when I was 16 and had this major crush on . . . I guess he was a drag queen? He was bisexual and a ballerina, and this was while I was at the Atlantic Theater Company in Vermont. We used to go to this gay club and I’d dance with him all night, four nights a week. I was so in love with him and thought, ’There’s no way this guy’s going to hell,’ because in my church, it was, ‘Anybody who’s gay is going to hell’ and ‘Premarital sex is evil,’ and I thought, ’There’s no chance! This guy is amazing!’ So that went right out the window.”
"I'd like to thank the way I was raised for giving me enough knowledge about organized religion to make the adult decision to live the rest of my life without it. I don't think you can believe or not believe in anything unless you know a lot about it. I know Christianity, especially Catholicism, like the back of my hand. And my education has given me the freedom to know that it is completely absurd for me to believe it."
“In Philadelphia, I inadvertently came upon an edition of Robert Ingersoll's Essays and Lectures. This was an exciting discovery; his atheism confirmed my own belief that the horrific cruelty of the Old Testament was degrading to the human spirit.”
"I'm an atheist; I suppose you can call me a sort of libertarian anarchist. I regard religion with fear and suspicion. It's not enough to say that I don't believe in God. I actually regard the system as distressing: I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Koran, and I refute them."
"When one guy sees an invisible man he's a nut case. Ten people see him it's a cult. Ten million people see him it's a respected religion."
"That's all religion is -- some principle you believe in . . . man has accomplished far more miracles than the God he invented. What a tragedy it is to invent a God and then suffer to keep him King."
"I will not swear on God. I will not swear on God, because I don't believe in the conceptual sense and in this nonsense. What I will swear on is my children and my grandchildren."
Keira Knightley: 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.
David Cronenberg: Yeah, but you could always lie about being an atheist. I don't think an atheist could get elected in America right now.
Keira Knightley: No, I don't think they could either.
"I am an atheist. I have a very different take on who God is. Man invented God because he needed him. God is us."
“Organized religions in general, in my opinion, are dying forms. They were all very important when we didn't know why the sun moved, why weather changed, why hurricanes occurred, or volcanoes happened. Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology. But there are people who interpret the Bible literally. Literally! I choose not to believe that's the way. And that's what makes America cool, you know?”
“And it [Buddhism] deals with the fact, in essence, you know, come right out and say it, that there is no God, that the individual is God.”
“I wish I believed I'd see my parents again, see my wife again. But I know it's not going to happen.”
" . . . by the age of 20 this whistle-blower had resisted two of the most powerful institutions – church and army, both. He is an atheist, 'And I have been against all of these wars ever since.' "
"Obviously, all religions get corrupted by man. The initial ideas are interesting, but once they get organized, they seem to become about politics and other things and they get misinterpreted. . . . Have faith, but do the work. Live your life right. Don't expect things to happen. That's why I'm put off by magical realism."
“I'm an atheist. My mother is very religious, a churchgoer. She would often encourage me to go to church as well, but never forced it upon me, which I thought was quite decent of her.
There was no defining moment in which I decided there was no god for me. It was more of a growing process. I do feel that whatever religious beliefs I had as a child were foisted upon me. It's like when you ask where Grandma went when she died, and you'd be told that she went to heaven. I wouldn't necessarily view that as a bad thing, but it was stuff like that which I think hindered my intellectual development. Now that I've grown, I prefer a different interpretation.”
“As an atheist, I'd skip the prayer and go straight to the colonel, who is arguably the god of affordable, bucket housed fried chicken bits.”
“In the theory of evolution there is no talk of God and no Bibles are used. They're not looking for higher powers, extraterrestrials, or anything else that could be found in the science fiction section, because they are not dealing with fiction.”
“There's an old saying that God exists in your search for him. I just want you to understand that I ain't looking. ”
"I never accepted religion so I had nothing to reject as such. The history of 'Christiansanity' (my own coinage of which I am proud!) is so brutal of mind, emotions, freedom, progress, science and all that I hold precious, that by any standards of justice its leaders in almost any given period would be incarcerated for life, or worse!"
"Prayers never bring anything. . . . They may bring solace to the sap, the bigot, the ignorant, the aboriginal, and the lazy, but to the enlightened it is the same as asking Santa Claus to bring you something for Xmas."
“For a while in my teens, I was sure I had it. It was about getting to heaven. If heaven existed and lasted forever, then a mere lifetime spent scrupulously following orders was a small investment for an infinite payoff. One day, though, I realized I was no longer a believer, and realizing that, I couldn’t go back.”
"My feelings on religion are starting to morph. I'm still very much an atheist, except that I don't necessarily see religion as being a bad thing. . . . I'm almost saying certain people do better with religion, the way that certain rock stars do better if they're shooting heroin."