To me, it is important to have people you can look up to in life. Living or dead, having an "idol" of sorts that you can look to for inspiration. Not an idol that can do no wrong, but one that you can look toward for inspirational quotes and ideas from their life and their work.
Many atheists quote Nietzsche, Twain, Dawkins, Hitchens, Sagan etc.
What quote do you consider to be the best quote to use in a religious debate? Your ace card that you goto when the argument is not going your way. A quote that even the most unreasonable cannot dispute.