"Agnosticism is a perfectly respectable and tenable philosophical position; it is not dogmatic and makes no pronouncements about the ultimate truths of the universe. It remains open to evidence and persuasion; lacking faith, it nevertheless does not deride faith. Atheism, on the other hand, is as unyielding and dogmatic about religious belief as true believers are about heathens. It tries to use reason to demolish a structure that is not built upon reason."
"He has not yet found the place where I contradict either the existence, or infiniteness, or incomprehensibility, or unity, or ubiquity of God. I am therefore yet absolved of atheism. But I am, he says, inconsistent and irreconcilable with myself; that is, I am (though he says it not) he thinks, a forgetful blockhead. I cannot help that: but my forgetfulness appears not here."
"But they that hold God to be [an incorporeal substance] ... do absolutely make God to be nothing at all. But how? Were they atheists? No. For though by ignorance of the consequence they said that which was equivalent to atheism, yet in their hearts they thought God a substance ... So that this atheism by consequence is a very easy thing to be fallen into, even by the most godly men of the church."
"I can't believe in the God of my Fathers. If there is one Mind which understands all things, it will comprehend me in my unbelief.I don't know whose hand hung Hesperus in the sky, and fixed the Dog Star, and scattered the shining dust of Heaven, and fired the sun, and froze the darkness between the lonely worlds that spin in space."
"I do not mind if I lose my soul for all eternity. If the kind of God exists Who would damn me for not working out a deal with Him,then that is unfortunate. I should not care to spend eternity in the company of such a person."
"What is an atheist, but one who does not, or will not, see in the universe a ruling principle of love; and what a misanthrope, butone who does not, or will not, see in man a ruling principle of kindness?"
"Here we are, we're alone in the universe, there's no God, it just seems that it all began by something as simple as sunlight striking on a piece of rock. And here we are. We've only got ourselves. Somehow, we've just got to make a go of it. We've only ourselves."
"What you don't understand is that it is possible to be an atheist, it is possible not to know if God exists or why He should, andyet to believe that man does not live in a state of nature but in history, and that history as we know it now began with Christ, it was founded by Him on the Gospels."
"An agnostic position is one that leaves open the question whether there exists a god or gods, professing to find such a question unanswered or unanswerable. For the atheist, the question has been answered, and in the negative."
"An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there isa God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. At the same time, an Agnostic may hold that the existence of God, though not impossible, is very improbable; he may even hold it so improbable that it is not worth considering in practice. In that case, he is not far removed from atheism. His attitude may be that which a careful philosopher would have towards the gods of ancient Greece. If I were asked to prove that Zeus and Poseidon and Hera and the rest of the Olympians do not exist, I should be at a loss to find conclusive arguments. An Agnostic may think the Christian God as improbable as the Olympians; in that case, he is, for practical purposes, at one with the atheists."
"Now we have no God. We have had two: the old God that our fathers handed down to us, that we hated, and never liked; the new one that we made for ourselves, that we loved; but now he has flitted away from us, and we see what he was made of--the shadow of our highest ideal, crowned and throned. Now we have no God."