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I'm not religious in the normal sense. I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.

STEPHEN HAWKING, New Scientist, Apr. 26, 2007

To see God everywhere is to see Him nowhere.


I have known many gods. He who denies them is blind as he who trusts them too deeply.

ROBERT E. HOWARD, "Queen of the Black Coast," Weird Tales (1933)

Mankind, transmitting from generation to generation the legacy of accumulated vengeances, and pursuing with the feelings of duty the misery of their fellow-beings, have not failed to attribute to the Universal Cause a character analogous with their own. The image of this invisible, mysterious Being is more or less excellent and perfect — resembles more or less its original — in proportion to the perfection of the mind on which it is impressed.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, "Essay on Christianity"

The voice of the Almighty speaks most profoundly in such things as lives in silence themselves.


Do you not see the hand of God, which gives harmony, light, and love to the world? Do not the mountains, in the blue cloud of incense, sing their hymn of glory?

LEONID ANDREYEV, He Who Gets Slapped

The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism. From a barbaric Bronze Age text known as the Old Testament, three anti-human religions have evolved -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These are sky-god religions. They are, literally, patriarchal -- God is the Omnipotent Father -- hence the loathing of women for 2,000 years in those countries afflicted by the sky-god and his earthly male delegates.

GORE VIDAL, The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

The rule of God is not tyranny, for it does not partake of a political or governmental character -- it is not a rule of authority. God is not a governor of the universe, for a governor rules over those of a like nature with himself, and exercises a political and judicial power, while God exercises a creative, a preserving, and a determinative power of an altogether different kind. If I am a servant of God, I am under no tyranny; for God does not govern, but supports, sustains, and directs me.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History

As God contains all good things, He must also contain a sense of playfulness -- a gift he has shared with Creatures other than ourselves, as witness the tricks Crows play, and the sportiveness of Squirrels, and the frolicking of Kittens.

MARGARET ATWOOD, The Year of the Flood

The thoughts which the word "God" suggests to the human mind are susceptible of as many variations as human minds themselves. The Stoic, the Platonist, and the Epicurean, the Polytheist, the Dualist, and the Trinitarian, differ infinitely in their conceptions of its meaning. They agree only in considering it the most awful and most venerable of names, as a common term devised to express all of mystery, or majesty, or power, which the invisible world contains. And not only has every sect distinct conceptions of the application of this name, but scarcely two individuals of the same sect, who exercise in any degree the freedom of their judgment, or yield themselves with any candour of feeling to the influences of the visible world, find perfect coincidence of opinion to exist between them.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, "Essay on Christianity"

Nor does God whisper through the trees. His voice is not mistaken. When men hear it they fall to their knees and their souls are riven and they cry out to Him and there is no fear in them but only that wildness of heart that springs from such longing and they cry out to stay his presence for they know at once that while godless men may live well enough in their exile those to whom He has spoken can contemplate no life without Him but only darkness and despair. Trees and stones are no part of it.


Too much God and you overdose. God needs to be filtered.

MARGARET ATWOOD, The Year of the Flood

God -- if he really exist -- is good, alive, self-conscious, and governs all things according to his benevolent and holy providence; but the world shows no indications of such a benevolent and holy Providence. This earth appears to be a hell, or at best a planet condemned -- a sort of purgatory: it is filled with violence, tyranny and injustice, and yet God, if he exist, is absolute sovereign, and has willed that things should be as they are! -- Therefore there is no God.

WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History

It's easy being a god. If you have the right equipment.


Before we deny or believe the existence of anything, it is necessary that we should have a tolerably clear idea of what it is. The word "God," a vague word, has been, and will continue to be, the source of numberless errors, until it is erased from the nomenclature of philosophy. Does it imply "the soul of the universe, the intelligent and necessarily beneficent, actuating principle?" This it is impossible not to believe in; I may not be able to adduce proofs, but I think that the leaf of a tree, the meanest insect on which we trample, are, in themselves, arguments more conclusive than any which can be advanced, that some vast intellect animates infinity.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, letter to Thomas Jefferson Hogg, Jan. 3, 1811

Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What is in me dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the heighth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost

Sometimes you get the sense that the Creator is getting to that point of "Yeah, we might have to reboot."

TIM ALLEN, Esquire, Nov. 2011

You say you will never believe in God until the fact of his existence is proved to you! Then you will never believe in him at all; for, in the face of positive knowledge, faith is no longer possible. Faith affirms in the presence of the unknown. If science should ever demonstrate the existence of God (which it never can) faith would become lost in sight, and men would no longer believe, but know. The reason why science is intrinsically incompetent to either prove or disprove the existence of God, is simply this, that the subject-matter transcends the reach of scientific instruments and processes. The dispute is, therefore, not between faith and science, but between faith and unbelief. Unbelief is a disease, not of the human understanding, but of the human will, and is susceptible to cure.


I don't want to start
Any blasphemous rumours
But I think that God's
Got a sick sense of humour
And when I die
I expect to find Him laughing

DEPECHE MODE, "Blasphemous Rumours"

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.

MARY MCCARTHY, Memories of a Catholic Girlhood

As it is impossible to be outside God, the best is consciously to dwell in Him.


So, loath to suffer mute.
We, peopling the void air,
Make Gods to whom to impute
The ills we ought to bear.

MATTHEW ARNOLD, Empedocles on Etna

Everyone who believes in God carries around a basic assumption of how God acts in relation with us. The French novelist Flaubert said that a great writer should stand in his novel like God in his creation: nowhere to be seen, nowhere to be heard. God is everywhere and yet invisible, silent, seemingly absent and indifferent. A few intellectuals may enjoy worshiping such an absentee God, but most Christians prefer Jesus' image of a God as a loving father. We need more than a watchmaker who winds up the universe and lets it tick. We need love and mercy and forgiveness and grace -- qualities only a personal God can offer.

PHILIP YANCEY, Reaching for the Invisible God: What Can We Expect to Find?

God, possessing supreme and infinite wisdom, acts in the most perfect manner, not only metaphysically, but also morally speaking, and ... with respect to ourselves, we can say that the more enlightened and informed we are about God's works, the more we will be disposed to find them excellent and in complete conformity with what we might have desired.

GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ, Discourse on Metaphysics

Curiously, neither God nor the devil may wear modern dress, but must retain Grecian vestments.

SINCLAIR LEWIS, Nobel Lecture, December 12, 1930

God is the place of spirits, as spaces are the places of bodies.

JOHN LOCKE, "An Examination of P. Malebranche's Opinion of Seeing All Things in God", Philosophical Works

The experience of personal communication with God is as universal as the human race. Appreciation of the divine presence is more common than appreciation of art, music, or literature. Men and women who do not respond to music, see no beauty in pictures, never read, and could not understand literature if it were read to them, yet find comfort in sorrow, strength in temptation, courage in danger, and added joy in their enjoyments from the sense of a Father's presence.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Seeking After God

As long as God does not intervene in the contemporary universe in such a way as to violate physical laws, science has no way of knowing whether God exists or not. The belief or disbelief in such a Being is therefore a matter of faith.

ALAN LIGHTMAN, "Does God exist?", Salon, October 2, 2011

The common ground where the activities of God and man become one is the motive of perfect love; for in the last resolve love is the essence of God's nature. When he thinks, love is his thought; when he wills, love is the product of his will. To the degree, therefore, that man thinks and wills the good--to the degree that he realizes love in his finite dealings--he interfuses himself with God.


God alone is true; God alone is great; alone is God.


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