Welcome Atheism   >  Quotations  >  by topics    >  Religion

Quotes :   Religion

"All religions, with their gods, demigods, prophets, messiahs and saints, are the product of the fancy and credulity of men who have not yet reached the full development and complete possession of their intellectual powers."
(Michael A. Bakunin / 1814-1876 / God and the State / 1871)

"Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable."
(Ambrose Gwinett Bierce / 1842-1914 / The Devil's Dictionary)

"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
(Napoleon Bonaparte / 1769-1821)

"Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses."
(Arthur C. Clarke / born in 1917 / 18th February 2004 / The Onion AV Club interview)

"Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor - but they have few followers now."
(Arthur C. Clarke / born in 1917)

"Incurably religious, that is the best way to describe the mental condition of so many people."
(Thomas Edison / 1847-1931)

"So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk."
(Thomas Edison / 1847-1931)

"Religion is the dream of the human mind. But even in dreams we do not find ourselves in emptiness or in heaven, but on earth, in the realm of reality; we only see real things in the entrancing splendor of imagination and caprice, instead of in the simple daylight of reality and necessity."
(Ludwig Feuerbach / 1804-1872 / The Essence of Christianity, 1841)

"A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it."
(Sigmund Freud / 1856-1939 / Group Psychology And The Analysis Of The Ego, 1921)

"Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis."
(Sigmund Freud / 1856-1939 / The Future of an Illusion / 1927)

"The different religions have never overlooked the part played by the sense of guilt in civilization. What is more, they come forward with a claim...to save mankind from this sense of guilt, which they call sin."
(Sigmund Freud / 1856-1939 / Civilization and its Discontents / 1931)

"Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities. [...] If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man's evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity."
(Sigmund Freud / 1856-1939 / Moses and Monotheism / 1939)

"Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires."
(Sigmund Freud / 1856-1939 / New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis)

"There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the dark ages."
(Ruth Hermence Green / The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible)

"All religions are ancient monuments to superstition, ignorance, ferocity; and modern religions are only ancient follies."
(Paul-Henri, baron d'Holbach / 1723-1789)

"Religions, of course, have their own demanding intellectual traditions, as Jesuits and Talmudic scholars might attest.... But, in its less rigorous, popular forms, religion is about as intellectually challenging as the average self-help book. (Like personal development literature, mass market books about spirituality and religion celebrate emotionalism and denigrate reason. They elevate the "truths" of myths and parables over empiricism.) In its more authoritarian forms, religion punishes questioning and rewards gullibility. Faith is not a function of stupidity but a frequent cause of it."
(Wendy Kaminer / The Last Taboo /1996)

"Religious suffering is at one and the same time the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."
(Karl Marx / 1818-1883 / A Criticism of the Hegelian Philosophy of Law / 1844)

"The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him a ride."
(Henry Louis Mencken / 1880-1956 / Prejudices: Third Series / 1917)

"I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking."
(Henry Louis Mencken / 1880-1956)

"Religion, like poetry, is simply a concerted effort to deny the most obvious realities."
(Henry Louis Mencken / 1880-1956)

"Religion deserves no more respect than a pile of garbage."
(Henry Louis Mencken / 1880-1956)

"I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion is anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970 / Why I am not a Christian)

"Each religion, so dear to those whose life it sanctifies, and fulfilling so necessary a function in the society that has adopted it, necessarily contradicts every other religion, and probably contradicts itself."
(George Santayana / 1863-1952)

"Religions are the great fairy tales of conscience."
(George Santayana / 1863-1952)

"Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think."
(Arthur Schopenhauer / 1788-1860 / Studies in Pessimism / 1851)

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."
(Seneca the Younger / circa 4 BC - 65 AD)

"At present there is not a single credible established religion in the world."
(George Bernard Shaw / 1856-1950)

"Religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few."
(Stendhal / 1783-1842)

"Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of."
(Mark Twain / 1835-1910)

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."
(Steven Weinberg / born un 1933 / Nobel Laureate in physics)

Welcome atheism     Home Quotations     Top of the page