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Rev Jerry Falwell
Fundamentalist Christian political pundit; founder, with Rev Tim LaHaye, of Moral Majority in 1969

     • See Jerry Falwell's Scary Quotations (Big)
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Jerry FalwellIf we ever opened a meeting with a prayer, silent or otherwise, we would disintegrate.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell, address to the Religious Newswriters Association in New Orleans, explaining why Moral Majority meetings do not open with prayer. People for the American Way says it has yet to find a stronger case against the proposed school prayer Constitutional amendment. Cal Thomas, director of communications for Moral Majority, said his group did not open meetings with prayer because it is a political organization that includes Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Protestants, and some "non-religious" members. "What kind of prayer would we use?" he asked. Quoted from "Falwell Arms the Opposition," San Francisco Chronicle, September 19, 1982.

I feel most ministers who claim they've heard God's voice are eating too much pizza before they go to bed at night, and it's really an intestinal disorder, not a revelation.
-- Rev Jerry Falwell (attributed: source unknown)

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George Farquhar (1678–1707)
Irish dramatist

George Farquhar'Tis a strange thing, Sam, that among us people can't agree the whole week, because they go different ways upon Sundays.
-- George Farquhar, letter, October 15, 1700 (published in Love and Business, 1701), quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

Necessity, the mother of invention.
-- George Farquhar, The Twin Rivals Act i, quoted from Bartlett's

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Diane Farr (b 1969)
With Adam Carolla and Dr Drew, a co-host of the MTV-KROQ program LoveLine

Diane FarrFor Lent, when I was younger, I gave up Happy Days. Now I'm an atheist.
-- Diane Farr, during a May 1999 show featuring former "Happy Days" star Henry Winkler as a guest

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Dr. Frederic William Farrar (1831–1903)
Dean of Canterbury

Frederic William FarrarIf miracles be incredible, Christianity is false. If Christ wrought no miracles, then the Gospels are untrustworthy.
-- Frederic William Farrar, Witness of History to Christ, p. 25, from John E Remsberg, The Christ (1909)

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William Faulkner (1897–1962)
American Writer

William FaulknerYou get born and you try this and you don't know why, only you keep on trying it and you are born at the same time with a lot of other people, all mixed up with them, like trying to, having to, move your arms and legs with strings, only the same strings are hitched to all the other arms and legs and the others all trying and they don't know why either except that the strings are all in one another's way ... and it can't matter, you know that, or the Ones [that set up the strings] would have arranged things a little better, and yet it must matter because you keep trying.
-- William Faulkner, Absolom! Absolom!

My father said that the reason for living is getting ready to stay dead.
-- William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

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David Feherty
PGA Tour golfer; CBS Sports commentator

David FehertyIf god wanted people to believe in him, why'd he invent logic then?
-- David Feherty (attributed: source unknown)

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James Kern Feibleman (b. 1904)
American philosopher, psychiatrist, and poet; chair: Department of Philosophy at Tulane University

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
-- James K Feibleman, Understanding Philosophy (1973), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Cynical Quotations

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Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator from California

Dianne FeinsteinOnce you sacrifice your rights, it's hard to get those rights protected again.
-- Dianne Feinstein, on pressure from George W Bush's White House to expand government srurveillance, meant for suspected terrorists, from Newsweek's "Perspectives" (August 13, 2007)

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Federico Fellini (1920–1993)
Italian movie director

Federico FelliniLike many people, I have no religion, and I am just sitting in a small boat drifting with the tide. I live in the doubts of my duty.... I think there is dignity in this, just to go on working.... Today we stand naked, defenseless, and more alone than at any time in history. We are waiting for something, perhaps another miracle, perhaps the Martians. Who knows?
-- Federico Fellini, quoted by Martin E Marty in Varieties of Unbelief (1964), p. 54, from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Federico FelliniReal religion should be something that liberates men. But churches don't want free men who can think for themself and find their own divinity within. When a religion becomes organized it is no longer a religious experience but only superstition and estrangement.
-- Federico Fellini, interview, Harry Reasoner, 60 Minutes (1981)

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Geraldine Anne Ferraro (b. 1935)
American politician, Democratic Candidate for Vice-President (1984)

Geraldine Ferraro (photo: New York Times 1999)Personal religious convictions have no place in political campaigns or in dictating public policy.
-- Geraldine Ferraro, Ferraro: My Story (1985), from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

We are a religious nation because we do not have a state religion, because the government guarantees freedom of religion but has no role in religion, because not only do we tolerate our religious differences, we celebrate them.
-- Geraldine Ferraro, Ferraro: My Story (1985), from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

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Francisco Ferrer (1859–1909)
Spanish crusader against illiteracy, monarchy, militarism, and religion: in a sense the last major European figure executed for heresy, his death was celebrated by Pope Pius X

Francisco FerrerWhen the masses become better informed about science, they will feel less need for help form supernatural Higher Powers. The need for religion will end when man becomes sensible enough to govern himself.
-- Francisco Ferrer, from The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, edited by Gordon Stein, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

It is a conspicuous fact in our modern Christian society that as a result and cumulation of our partriarchal development, the woman does not belong to herself.... Man has made her a perpetual minor.
-- Francisco Ferrer, from The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, edited by Gordon Stein, quoted from James A Haught, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Painting by Flavio Costantini remembers Ferrer's execution on 13 October 1909.When thier god and his exploiters cease to be adored and served, we shall live like comrades in mutual affection.
-- Francisco Ferrer, written on his jail cell wall in 1906, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

I desire that on no occasion ... shall demonstrations of a political or religious character be made before my remains.
-- Francisco Ferrer, final will, written on his Barcelona prison cell wall in 1909 on the eve of his execution, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Let no more gods or exploiters be served Let us learn rather to love one another.
-- Francisco Ferrer, final will, written on his Barcelona prison cell wall in 1909 on the eve of his execution, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

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Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach (1804–72)
German philosopher whose major work, The Essence of Christianity (1841), maintains that religion and divinity are projections of human nature

Ludwig FeuerbachIf therefore my work is negative, irreligious, atheistic, let it be remembered that atheism -- at least in the sense of this work -- is the secret of religion itself; that religion itself, not indeed on the surface, but fundamentally, not in intention or according to its own supposition, but in its heart, in its essence, believes in nothing else than the truth and divinity of human nature.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, Preface (1841)

My only wish is... to transform friends of God into friends of man, believers into thinkers, devotees of prayer into devotees of work, candidates for the hereafter into students of the world, Christians who, by their own admission, are "half animal, half angel" into persons, into whole persons.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, "Lectures on the Essence of Religion"

Christianity has in fact long vanished, not only from the reason but also from the life of mankind, and it is nothing more than a fixed idea.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, On Philosophy and Christianity (1839), from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Whenever morality is based on theology, whenever right is made dependent on divine authority, the most immoral, unjust, infamous things can be justified and established.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity (1841), from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

It is as clear as the sun and as evident as the day that there is no God and that there can be none.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, from Ira D Cardiff, What Great Men Think of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

There is no God, it is clear as the sun and as evident as the day that there is no God, and still more that there can be none.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, quoted from the article "Atheism," Encyclopaedia. Britannica

Ludwig FeuerbachOnly he is a truly ethical, a truly human being, who has the courage to see through his own religious feelings and needs.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, (attributed: source unknown)

Faith is essentially intolerant ... essentially because necessarily bound up with faith is the illusion that one's cause is also God's cause.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, (attributed: source unknown)

Religion is the dream of the human mind. But even in dreams we do not find ourselves in emptiness or in heaven, but on earth, in the realm of reality; we only see real things in the entrancing splendor of imagination and caprice, instead of in the simple daylight of reality and necessity.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, Preface to 1843 ed. of The Essence of Christianity (1841), from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

The present age ... prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, fancy to reality, the appearance to the essence ... for in these days illusion only is sacred, truth profane.
-- Ludwig Feuerbach, Preface to 1843 ed. of The Essence of Christianity (1841), from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

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Richard P Feynman (1918–1988)
Nobel Prize-winning Caltech physicist; bongo player; safecracker; practical joker; raconteur

Richard P. FeynmanYou see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here.
-- Richard P Feynman (attributed: source unknown)

[Excerpt]:
I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out.
-- Richard P Feynman (attributed: source unknown)

[Passage]:
God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don't believe the laws will explain, such as consiousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time -- life and death -- stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out.
-- Richard P Feynman (attributed: source unknown)

As you know, a theory in physics is not useful unless it is able to predict underlined effects which we would otherwise expect.
-- Richard P Feynman, in a May 30, 1949, letter to then-budding science fiction writer Jack Williamson, responding to the latter's ideas regarding atomic weight; quoted from Michelle Feynman, editor, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P Feynman (New York: 2005)

Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself.
-- Richard P Feynman (attributed: source unknown)

I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me.
-- Richard P Feynman, "Genius, the Life and Science," quoted from "An Analysis of the Wisdom of Richard Feyman For the Edification and Entertainment of Philip Adams" a letter from David Quinn to Phillip Adams (September 5,1993)

In those days, in Far Rockaway, there was a youth center for Jewish kids at the temple.... Somebody nominated me for president of the youth center. The elders began getting nervous, because I was an avowed atheist by that time.... I thought nature itself was so interesting that I didn't want it distorted like that [by miracle stories]. And so I gradually came to disbelieve the whole religion.
-- Richard P Feynman, What Do You Care What Other People Think? (1988), pp. 25-8, quoted from James A Haught, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Richard Feynman, formal Nobel portraitNo! Not for a second! I immediately began to think how this could have happened. And I realized that the clock was old and was always breaking. That the clock probably stopped some time before and the nurse coming in to the room to record the time of death would have looked at the clock and jotted down the time from that. I never made any supernatural connection, not even for a second. I just wanted to figure out how it happened.
-- Richard P Feynman, on being asked if he thought that the fact that his wife's favorite clock had stopped the moment she died was a supernatural occurrence, quoted from Al Sekel, "The Supernatural Clock"

By honest I don't mean that you only tell what's true. But you make clear the entire situation. You make clear all the information that is required for somebody else who is intelligent to make up their mind.
-- Richard P Feynman, The Meaning of It All, p. 106

Once we were driving in the midwest and we pulled into a McDonald's. Someone came up to me and asked me why I have Feynman diagrams all over my van. I replied, "Because I am Feynman!" The young man went, "Ahhhhh!"
-- Richard P Feynman, quoted from Al Sekel, "Because I Am Richard Feynman"

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James Feibleman (1904–1987)
American writer, philosopher, educator; “the man who supervised the philosophical training of scores of graduate students and hundreds of undergraduates at Tulane University had himself attended college, at the University of Virginia, for only one year.” (John Lachs and Robert B. Talisse, American Philosophy)

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
-- James Feibleman, Understanding Philosophy (1973)

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Geoffrey Fieger
Michigan attorney: represented Jack Kevorkian, candidate for Governor

Geoffrey Fieger in 2001I expect to see, on television, the porcine Governor of the State of Michigan decrying to the whole world that my client [Jack Kevorkian] should be in jail for rendering kindness and compassion, primarily because the porcine Governor of the State of Michigan is a religious nut.
-- Geoffrey Fieger, speaking by telephone to Tom Leykis, after Dr. Jack Kevorkian attended the suicide of a 27-year-old Arizona man whose body was found on May 12th, in Kevorkian's van, outside the Oakland County Sheriff's office; Fieger also noted that that it is not against the law to commit suicide and it is therefore not illegal to help someone commit an act that is not against the law; transcribed by Cliff Walker (May 12, 1995)

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David Dudley Field (1805–1894)
American jurist known for his efforts to codify New York State law and regularize court procedures

David Dudley Field (photo: Library of Congress)The greatest achievement ever made in the cause of human progress is the total and final separation of church and state. If we had nothing else to boast of, we could lay claim with justice that first among the nations we of this country made it an article of organic law that the relations between man and his Maker were a private concern, into which other men have no right to intrude.
    
To measure the stride thus made for the Emancipation of the race, we have only to look back over the centuries that have gone before us, and recall the dreadful persecutions in the name of religion that have filled the world.
-- David Dudley Field, "American Progress" in Jurisprudence, (1893), page 6, quoted from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

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Henry Fielding (1707–1754)
British playwright; essayist

Henry FieldingThere is no zeal blinder than that which impaired with the love of justice against offenders.
-- Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (1749), quoted from Laird Wilcox, editor, "The Degeneration of Belief"

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Millard Fillmore (1800–1874)
The 13th President of the United States (1850–1853)

United States Flag

Millard FillmoreI am tolerant of all creeds. Yet if any sect suffered itself to be used for political objects I would meet it by political opposition. In my view church and state should be separate, not only in form, but fact. Religion and politics should not be mingled.
-- Millard Fillmore, address during 1856 Presidential election, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

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Steiner: Opposed Religious School Aid

One point of contention between Fillmore and [William H] Seward was the division of the public school funds. The Catholics of New York demanded a share of those funds for their parochial schools. Seward favored complying with their demand, but Fillmore resolutely refused to consent to the division of state school funds with sectarian educational institutions, thereby upholding the American idea.
-- Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, pages 60-60

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John Fiske (1842–1901)
American historian and philosopher

John FiskeIs it honest for me to go and sit there on communion day and drink the wine and eat the bread while feeling it all to be mummery?
-- John Fiske, letter to his mother (March 20, 1860), quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

One and all, the orthodox creeds are crumbling into ruins everywhere. We now witness the constructive work on a foundation that will endure through the ages. That foundation is the god of science -- revealed to us in terms that will harmonize with our intelligence.
-- John Fiske, quoted in Frederick W Clampett, Luther Burbank: Our Beloved Infidel (1926), quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

[Christianity entailed] a mass of metaphysical assumptions, wherein science was disowned, where reason was discredited, and where blind, unquestioning faith was regarded as the only passport to true Christian knowledge.
-- John Fiske, quoted by John Spender Clark in The Life and Letters of John Fiske (1917), vol. 1, p. 103, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

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Camille Flammarion (1842–1925)
French astronomer

Camille FlammarionMen have had the vanity to pretend that the whole creation was made for them, while in reality the whole creation does not suspect their existence.
-- Camille Flammarion, from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

The supernatural does not exist.
-- Camille Flammarion, from Ira D Cardiff, What Great Men Think of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

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Florence Flast
Vice-Chair, Committee for Public Education and Religious Liberty (PEARL)

Religious liberty in America means not only the right to pursue one's own beliefs, but freedom from compulsory taxation to foster the religious beliefs of others.
-- Florence Flast, "Why Parochiaid is a Threat to Public Education and Religious Liberty," statement issued June 12, 1972, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

A proliferation of state-financed private and religious schools would greatly increase the tax burden on our citizenry. It would encourage racial, class and religious segregation, pitting one group against another in the political arena in bitter competition for the tax dollar. It would invite religious conflicts and the inequities of Southern style school segregation.
-- Florence Flast, "Why Parochiaid is a Threat to Public Education and Religious Liberty," statement issued June 12, 1972, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

The survival of free public education, the integrity of religious institutions, and the security of American democracy all demand an end to government financing of sectarian schools.
-- Florence Flast, "Why Parochiaid is a Threat to Public Education and Religious Liberty," statement issued June 12, 1972, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

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Antony Flew (b. 1923)
English philosopher

Antony Flew (photo: 'Merely Mortal?: Can You Survive Your Own Death?')You cannot ... transmute some incoherent mixture of words into sense merely by introducing the three-letter word "God" to be its grammatical subject.
-- Antony Flew, from his book How to Think Straight p. 19, summarizing Thomas Aquinas' statement in Summa Theologica: "Whatever does not imply a contradiction is, consequently, among those possibilities in virtue of which God is described as omnipotent. But what does imply a contradiction is not subsumed under the divine omnipotence..." [I Q25 A3]

If it is to be established that there is a God, then we have to have good grounds for believing that this is indeed so. Until and unless some such grounds are produced we have literally no reason at all for believing; and in that situation the only reasonable posture must be that of either the negative atheist or the agnostic. So the onus of proof has to rest on the proposition [of theism].
-- Antony Flew, "The Presumption of Atheism"

Pascal makes no attempt in this most famous argument to show that his Roman Catholicism is true or probably true. The reasons which he suggests for making the recommended bet on his particular faith are reasons in the sense of motives rather than reasons in [the] sense of grounds. Conceding, if only for the sake of the present argument, that we can have no knowledge here, Pascal tries to justify as prudent a policy of systematic self-persuasion, rather than to provide grounds for thinking that the beliefs recommended are actually true.
-- Anthony Flew, "The Presumption of Atheism"

In the ordinary, everyday understandings of the words involved, to say that someone survived death is to contradict yourself; while to assert that all of us live forever is to assert a manifest falsehood, the flat contrary of a universally known truth: namely, the truth that all human beings are mortal. For when, after some disaster, the 'dead' and the 'survivors' have both been listed, what logical space remains for a third category?
-- Antony Flew, Introduction to Merely Mortal?: Can You Survive Your Own Death? (2000)

However far back we may be able to trace the -- so to speak -- internal history of the Universe, there can be no question of arguing that this or that external origin is either probable or improbable. We do not have, and we necessarily could not have, experience of other Universes to tell us that Universes, or Universes with these particular features, are the work of Gods, or of Gods of this or that particular sort.
-- Antony Flew, "The Presumption of Atheism," in God, Freedom, and Immortality, p. 51 (1984), quoted from Internet Infidels

Now, if anything at all can be known to be wrong, it seems to me to be unshakably certain that it would be wrong to make any sentient being suffer eternally for any offence whatever.
-- Antony Flew, "The Presumption of Atheism" God, Freedom, and Immortality, p. 64 (1984), quoted from Internet Infidels

What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or of the existence of, God?
-- Antony Flew, "The Presumption of Atheism" God, Freedom, and Immortality, p. 74 (1984), quoted from Internet Infidels

Someone tells us that God loves us as a father loves his children. We are reassured. But then something awful happens. Some qualification is made.... We are reassured again. But then perhaps we ask: what is this assurance of God's (appropriately qualified) love worth, what is this apparent guarantee really a guarantee against? Just what would have to happen not merely (morally and wrongly) to tempt but also (logically and rightly) to entitle us to say "God does not love us" or even "God does not exist"?
-- Antony Flew, dismissing the moral arguments for the existence of the Mosaic god, in "Theology and Falsification," as quoted in Flew's "A Defeasible Atheism" in Atheistic Humanism, p. 27

Antony FlewOnce upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle. In the clearing were growing many flowers and many weeds. One explorer says, "Some gardener must tend this plot." The other disagrees, "There is no gardener." So, they pitch their tents and set a watch. No gardener.... So they set up a barbed wire fence. They electrify it. They patrol it with bloodhounds.... But no shrieks even suggest that some intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry. Yet still the Believer is not convinced. "But there is a gardener, invisible, intangible, insensible to electric shocks, a gardener who has no scent and makes no sound, a gardener who comes secretly to look after the garden which he loves." At last the Skeptic despairs, "But what remains of your original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even no gardener at all?"
-- Antony Flew, (attributed: source unknown)

The word "atheism", however, has in this contention to be construed unusually. Whereas nowadays the usual meaning of "atheist" in English is "someone who asserts that there is no such being as God", I want the word to be understood not positively but negatively. I want the originally Greek prefix "a" to be read in the same way in "atheist" as it customarily is read in such other Greco-English words as "amoral", "atypical", and "asymmetrical". In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels "positive atheist" for the former and "negative atheist" for the latter.
-- Antony Flew, discussing what we call the "weak" and "strong" positions held by various atheists, in "The Presumption of Atheism." NOTE: Flew's use of "positive atheist" to mean "one who hold to 'strong' atheism" is not the same sense in which we use the term "Positive Atheism" (we do not use the term "positive atheist" at all); our use of the term harkens from India, modeled after Gora's use of the term to mean "atheism as an ethic."

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Robert Flint
British theologian, apologist

The atheist is not necessarily a man who says, There is no God. What is called positive or dogmatic atheism, so far from being the only kind of atheism, is the rarest of all kinds.... [E]very man is an atheist who does not believe that there is a God, although his want of belief may not be rested on any allegation of positive knowledge that there is no God, but simply on one of want of knowledge that there is a God.
-- Robert Flint, defending the "weak" definition for the word atheism, in Anti-Theistic Theories (1885), quoted from Austin Cline, "Defining Atheism: Early Atheists"

The word atheist is a thoroughly honest, unambiguous term. It means one who does not believe in God, and it means neither more nor less.
-- Robert Flint, defending the "weak" definition for the word atheism, in Agnosticism (Edinburgh, 1903), quoted from George H Smith, "Defining Atheism," in Atheism, Ayn Rand, and other Heresies

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The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea

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I Love You, Jerry!