"Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers."
"Superstition is, always has been, and forever will be, the foe of progress, the enemy of education and the assassin of freedom."
"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."
"Do you not know that every religion in the world has declared every other religion a fraud? Yes, we all know it. That is the time all religions tell the truth - each of the other."
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith! Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge!"
"Is there an intelligent man or woman now in the world who believes in the Garden of Eden story? If you find any man who believes it, strike his forehead and you will hear an echo. Something is for rent."
"And why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his?"
"If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant."
"We do not need the forgiveness of God, but of each other and of ourselves."
"It is hard for many people to give up the religion in which they were born; to admit that their fathers were utterly mistaken, and that the sacred records of their country are but collections of myths and fables."
"Blasphemy is what an old dogma screams at a new truth."
"Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery."
On the church:
"Progress is born of doubt and inquiry. The Church never doubts, never inquires. To doubt is heresy, to inquire is to admit that you do not know - the Church does neither."
"The priests of one religion never credit the miracles of another religion. Is this because priests instinctively know priests?"
"The church hates a thinker precisely for the same reason a robber dislikes a sheriff, or a thief despises the prosecuting witness."
"This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves."
"If God created the universe, there was a time when he commenced to create. Back of that commencement there must have been an eternity. In that eternity what was this God doing? He certainly did not think. There was nothing to think about. He did not remember. Nothing had ever happened. What did he do? Can you imagine anything more absurd than an infinite intelligence in infinite nothing wasting an eternity?"
"As a matter of fact, no one knows that God exists and no one knows that God does not exist. To my mind there is no evidence that God exists - that this world is governed by a being of infinite goodness, wisdom and power, but I do not pretend to know."