"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."
"First, whenever a man talks loudly against religion, always suspect that it is not his reason, but his passions, which have got the better of his creed. A bad life and a good belief are disagreeable and troublesome neighbours, and where they separate, depend upon it, 'tis for no other cause but quietness' sake."
"I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a Mind; and, therefore, God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it."