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Quotes

Educate people without religion and you make them but clever devils.

—Arthur Wellesley, c. 1830

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote.

—John F. Kennedy, 1960

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

—Voltaire, 1764

I can’t see (or feel) the conflict between love and religion. To me they’re the same thing.

—Elizabeth Bowen, c. 1970

Among all nations, through the darkest polytheism glimmer some faint sparks of monotheism.

—Immanuel Kant, 1781

Religion! How it dominates man’s mind, how it humiliates and degrades his soul. God is everything, man is nothing, says religion. But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began.

—Emma Goldman, 1910

Without doubt God is the universal moving force, but each being is moved according to the nature that God has given it. He directs angels, man, animals, brute matter, in sum all created things—but each according to its nature—and man having been created free, he is freely led. This rule is truly the eternal law and in it we must believe.

—Joseph de Maistre, 1821

God is a complex of ideas formed by the tribe, the nation, and humanity, which awake and organize social feelings and aim to link the individual to society and to bridle the zoological individualism.

—Maxim Gorky, 1913

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

—Galileo Galilei, 1615

To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the need for thought.

—Henri Poincaré, 1903

An irreligious man is not one who denies the gods of the majority, but one who applies to the gods the opinions of the majority. For what most men say about the gods are not ideas derived from sensation, but false opinions, according to which the greatest evils come to the wicked, and the greatest blessings come to the good from the gods.

—Epicurus, c. 250 BC

Religion is by no means a proper subject of conversation in mixed company.

—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 1754

Whatsoever is, is in God.

—Baruch Spinoza, 1677