If the Prodigal Son's a parable, and if Adam and Eve are metaphors, then maybe God is just figure of speech.

— Dan Barker

The most killer Dan Barker quotes to get the best of your day

Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing "Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.

36

Asking, ‘If there is no God, what is the purpose of life?’ is like asking, ‘If there is no master, whose slave will I be?’ If your purpose of life is to submit as a slave, then your meaning comes from flattering the ego of a person whom you should detest.

29

There is no evidence for a god, no coherent definition of a god, no good argument for a god, good positive arguments against a god, no agreement among believers about the nature or moral principles of a god, and no need for a god. We can live happy, moral, productive lives without such belief, and we can do it better.

25

I am an atheist because there is no evidence for the existence of God.

That should be all that needs to be said about it: no evidence, no belief.

18

Insanity is believing your hallucinations are real.

Religion is believing that other peoples' hallucinations are real.

18

Freethinkers reject faith as a valid tool of knowledge.

Faith is the opposite of reason because reason imposes very strict limits on what can be true, and faith has no limits at all. A Great Escape into faith is no retreat to safety. It is nothing less than surrender.

17

All you have to do is walk into any children's hospital and you know there is no God. Prayer doesn't make any difference. Those people pray for their beloved children to live and they die.

16

People are always asking, "What's the purpose of life?" That's easy.

Relieve suffering. Create beauty. Make gardens.

15

If the answers to prayer are merely what God wills all along, then why pray?

14

Look at the posture of prayer. It is the posture of slavery, of bowing before your master. We are a proudly rebellious country. We kicked out the master. Now here comes the government telling us to humbly bow again.

13

It's not easy to change world views. Faith has its own momentum and belief is comfortable. To restructure reality is traumatic and scary. That is why many intelligent people continue to believe: unbelief is an unknown.

13

Some theists, observing that all 'effects' need a cause, assert that God is a cause but not an effect. But no one has ever observed an uncaused cause and simply inventing one merely assumes what the argument wishes to prove.

13

About Dan Barker

Quotes 58 sayings
Profession Musician
Birthday June 25, 1949

I'm proud to be an atheist - it helps me stand for so much more and fall for so much less.

12

Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission.

It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.

11

Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits. It is intellectual bankruptcy.

10

You can cite a hundred references to show that the biblical God is a bloodthirsty tyrant, but if they can dig up two or three verses that say "God is love" they will claim that you are taking things out of context!

6

Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, 'Yes, gravity is real! I will have faith!'

6

It is a fact of history and of current events that human beings exaggerate, misinterpret, or wrongly remember events. They have also fabricated pious fraud. Most believers in a religion understand this when examining the claims of other religions.

5

Basic atheism is not a belief. It is the lack of belief. There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god - both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter.

5

As humanists, we urge today, as in the past that humans not look beyond themselves for salvation. We alone are responsible for our own destiny and the best we can do is muster our intelligence, courage, and compassion to realize our highest aspirations.

4

There are many gods which Christians reject.

I just believe in one less god then they do. The reasons that you might give for your atheism toward the Roman gods are likely the same reasons I would give for not believing in Jesus.

4

In any open question, we should argue from what we do know to what we do not know. We do know that fervent legends and stubborn myths arise easily and naturally. We do not know that dead people rise from the grave.

4

To think that the ruler of the universe will run to my assistance and bend the laws of nature for me is the height of arrogance.

3

Theology is a subject without an object

2

It is wrong for a secular government to promote prayer.

We think the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. What if the president declared a National Day of Cursing God because He failed us on September 11? Americans would say, "You've overstepped your authority." That's how we feel when he promotes prayer.

2

Not thinking critically, I assumed that the successful prayers were proof that God answers prayer while the failures were proof that there was something wrong with me.

1

I took about a year to fully adjust. Like there's a death at the family or a divorce, you don't just snap your fingers and it's over.

1

Only sinners need saviors.

0

Freethought is respectable. Freethought is crucial. Freethought needs to be publicized.

0

There is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus, not by Romans or by Jews, not by believers or by unbelievers, during his entire lifetime. This does not disprove his existence, but it certainly casts great doubt on the historicity of a man who was supposedly widely known to have made a great impact on the world. Someone should have noticed.

0

Please clean up after your dogma.

0

Atheists are suffering from bad PR. What if Sesame Street had an atheist character?

0

We were blood brothers, pals forever.

He was my very best friend. Nobody else could see him. I now know he was just pretend.

0

There is joy in rationality, happiness in clarity of mind.

Freethought is thrilling and fulfilling - absolutely essential to mental health and happiness.

0

For my money, I'll bet on reason and humanistic kindness.

Even if I am wrong I will have enjoyed my life, the existence of which is under little dispute.

0

Truth does not demand belief.

0

Without "The Law of Moses" would we all be wandering around like little gods, stealing, raping, and spilling blood whenever our vanity was offended?

0

Most Christians are afraid that people will think for themselves;

most atheists are afraid that they won’t.

0

I have an Easter challenge for Christians.

My challenge is simply this: tell me what happened on Easter. I am not asking for proof. My straightforward request is merely that Christians tell me exactly what happened on the day that their most important doctrine was born.

0

Faith is not the result of fuzy thinking. It is the cause of it.

0

The very concept of sin comes from the Bible.

Christianity offers to solve a problem of its own making! Would you be thankful to a person who cut you with a knife in order to sell you a bandage?

0

Either in or out of time, the decision of a personal agency to commit an action happens antecedent to the action itself. Even if the deciding and the acting happened simultaneously, it would still not be true that the acting was antecedent to the deciding. Imagine God saying, "Oh, look! I just created a universe. Now I'd better decide to do it.

0

You believe in a book that has sticks turning into snakes, and you say we are the ones that need help?

0

Isn't atheism just another religion?' No, it isn't.

Atheism has no creeds, rituals, holy book, absolute moral code, origin myth, sacred spaces or shrines. It has no sin, divine judgment, forbidden words, prayer, worship, prophecy, group privileges, or anointed 'holy' leaders. Atheists don't believe in a transcendent world or supernatural afterlife. Most important, there is no orthodoxy in atheism.

0

You keep accusing me of blasphemy all of the time, but I cannot be convicted of a victimless crime.

0

I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil—you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself.

0

One of the primary questions in a state-church arrangement is, 'which controls which?' . . . In Norway, for example, the liberal labor government has regularly angered Church officials by making controversial ministerial appointments against the wishes of the clergy. . . . These and other actions have strained the church-state relationship almost to the breaking point. As a result, some of the bishops have advocated disestablishment.

0

The 9/11 terrorist attack was a faith-based initiative.

0

If faith is a valid tool of knowledge, then anything can be true 'by faith,' and therefore nothing is true. If the only reason you can accept a claim is by faith, then you are admitting that the claim does not stand on its own merits.

0