What's your favourite atheist (secular/science) quote?
There are lots of inspiring ones out there. Lots of well known ones too.
My favourite is one that has come to mean a lot to me recently, taken from Dawkins' brilliant 'River Out of Eden':
"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference."- Richard Dawkins
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” - Carl Sagan
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell
Lord Russell is the guy who made me an atheist with his collection of essays, Why I Am Not A Christian. A very good read.
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" - Seneca
"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." ~ Stephen Hawking
Well they aren't atheist quotes per se, but the words hanging above my desk at the job I just left have some kind of philosophical meaning for me: (I need to go back and get it)
To be is to do. - Socrates
To do is to be - Sartre
Do be do be do. - Sinatra
There are too many good ones to pick a single favorite, but here is one that I enjoyed.
"I'm sorry, but that's completely ridiculous! How can I possibly prove it doesn't exist? I mean you could claim that anything's real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody's proved it doesn't exist." ~ Hermione Granger
“After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.”
Just for fun:
“Atheism is a non-prophet organization.”
I find the Nietzsche quote quite endearing(?), considering his father and grandfathers were all protestant priest and his sister, his favorite person, was quite religious too.
by ascribing it to his gods... When, therefore, he ascribes to his gods the production of some phenomenon... does he, in fact, do any thing more than substitute for the darkness of his own mind, a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe?
Baron de Holbach,
This is my favorite
When I became convinced that the universe is natural—that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light, and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world—not even in infinite space.
I was free—free to think, to express my thoughts—free to live to my own ideal—free to use all my faculties, all my senses—free to spread imagination's wings—free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope—free to judge and determine for myself—free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past—free from popes and priests—free from all the "called" and "set apart"—free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies—free from the fear of eternal pain—free from the winged monsters of the night—free from devils, ghosts, and gods.
For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought—no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings—no chains for my limbs—no lashes for my back—no fires for my flesh—no master's frown or threat—no following another's steps—no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.
And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain—for the freedom of labor and thought—to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs—to those whose flesh was scarred and torn—to those by fire consumed—to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.