Quotations about gods and other deities, with many different attitudes represented.

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No term of common discourse is so vague and elusive in meaning as the term ‘God.’

— A. Eustace Haydon

The Holy Prophet Mohammed came into this world and taught us: ‘That man is a Muslim who never hurts anyone by word or deed, but who works for the benefit and happiness of God’s creatures. Belief in God is to love one’s fellow men.’

— Abdul Ghaffar Khan

A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.

— Abraham Joshua Heschel

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.

— Abraham Lincoln

I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and that by religious men, who are equally certain that they represent the Divine will. I am sure that either the one or the other is mistaken in that belief, and perhaps in some respects both. I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that if it is probable that God would reveal his will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me; for, unless I am more deceived in myself than I often am, it is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter. And if I can learn what it is, I will do it! These are not, however, the days of miracles, and I suppose it will be granted that I am not to expect a direct revelation. I must study the plain, physical facts of the case, ascertain what is possible and learn what appears to be wise and right.

— Abraham Lincoln

It is the human condition to question one god after another, one appearance after another, or better, one apparition after another, always pursuing the truth of the imagination, which is not the same as the truth of appearance.

— Alain (Émile-Auguste Chartier)

God is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

— Alaine of Lille, The Rules of Theology

I don’t believe in God and all that. But I am Jewish, and very proud to be, so very proud of the culture.

— Alan Sugar

God does not play dice.

— Albert Einstein

The question “Why” in the human sphere is easy to answer: to create satisfaction for ourselves and for other people. In the extra-human sphere the question has no meaning. Also the belief in God is no way out for in this case you may ask “Why God”.

— Albert Einstein

Whatever there is of God in the universe, it must work itself out and express itself through us.

— Albert Einstein

I don’t try to imagine a personal god; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.

— Albert Einstein

To err is human; to forgive, divine.

— Alexander Pope

All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.

— Alexander Pope

We humans, through old habits, and because of the inherent structure of human knowledge have a tendency to make static, definite, and, in a way, absolutistic one-valued statements. But when we fight absolutism, we quite often establish, instead, some other dogma equally silly and harmful. For instance, an active atheist is psychologically as unsound as a rabid theist.

— Alfred Korzybski

Mammon, n. The god of the world’s leading religion. His chief temple is in the holy city of New York.

— Ambrose Bierce

The fundamentalists, in their struggle against the modernists, had identified the “Social Gospel” and the concern for social justice expressed in Charles Sheldon’s seminal work asking “What would Jesus do?” as a hallmark of heresy. Rice and other fundamentalists viewed the “Social Gospel” as tantamount to believing in salvation through “works” rather than faith. Salvation, they averred, was the result of God’s unearned grace rather than anything humans might do for themselves. They charged the modernists with imagining salvation might be achieved by working to improve society.

— Andrew Himes

You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

— Anne Lamott

An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: ‘If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?’ ‘No,’ said the priest, ‘not if you did not know.’ ‘Then why,’ asked the Inuit earnestly, ‘did you tell me?’

— Annie Dillard

Of course there’s no such thing as a totally objective person, except Almighty God, if she exists.

— Antonia Fraser

We achieve everything by our efforts alone. Our fate is not decided by an almighty God. We decide our own fate by our actions. You have to gain mastery over yourself. . . . It is not a matter of sitting back and accepting.

— Aung San Suu Kyi

God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things.

— Baruch Spinoza

God does not require us to achieve any of the good tasks that humanity must pursue. What God requires of us is that we not stop trying.

— Bayard Rustin

How can we consider ourselves to be rational and proclaim that God is ineffable — beyond our frail human abilities to comprehend him — and in the same stroke of the pen develop a list of orthodoxical beliefs of what God is and is not!?

— Brian Goedken

What I call my ‘self’ now is hardly a person at all. It’s mainly a meeting place for various natural forces, desires, and fears, etcetera, some of which come from my ancestors, and some from my education, some perhaps from devils. The self you were really intended to be is something that lives not from nature but from God.

— C. S. Lewis

In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed”? Instead they say, ‘No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.’ A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later such a religion will emerge.

— Carl Sagan

The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by ‘God,’ one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.

— Carl Sagan

Evolving before our eyes has been a God of the Gaps; that is, whatever it is we cannot explain lately is attributed to God.

— Carl Sagan

If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why’s he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He’s not good at design, he’s not good at execution. He’d be out of business, if there was any competition.

— Carl Sagan

[O]wners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.

— Christopher Hitchens

The fear of God is not the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God is the death of wisdom. Skepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.

— Clarence Darrow

Your cravings as a human animal do not become a prayer just because it is God whom you ask to attend to them.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder the source of which is beyond all reason.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

[O]ne thing is certain: to say an unconditional yes to the mutual belonging of all beings will make this a more joyful world. This is the reason why Yes is my favorite synonym for God.

— David Steindl-Rast

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The best thing about the battered but not totally defeated American tradition of separation of church and state is that we can and should avoid mixing up God and country.

— Ed Kilgore

Each of the Arts whose office is to refine, purify, adorn, embellish and grace life is under the patronage of a Muse, no god being found worthy to preside over them.

— Eliza Farnham

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Brain — is wider than the Sky —
For — put them side by side —
The one the other will contain
With ease — and You — beside —

The Brain is deeper than the sea —
For — hold them — Blue to Blue —
The one the other will absorb —
As Sponges — Buckets — do —

The Brain is just the weight of God —
For — Heft them — Pound for Pound —
And they will differ — if they do —
As Syllable from Sound —

— Emily Dickinson

Who has not found the heaven below
Will fail of it above.
God’s residence is next to mine,
His furniture is love.

— Emily Dickinson

Is god willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?

— Epicurus

Pure communism was the economic and social gospel preached by Jesus Christ, and every act and utterance which may properly be ascribed to him conclusively affirms it. Private property was to his elevated mind and exalted soul a sacrilege and a horror; an insult to God and a crime against man.

— Eugene V. Debs

You can pray until you faint, but unless you get up and try to do something, God is not going to put it in your lap.

— Fannie Lou Hamer

Christianity is being concerned about [others], not building a million-dollar church while people are starving right around the corner. Christ was a revolutionary person, out there where it was happening. That’s what God is all about, and that’s where I get my strength.

— Fannie Lou Hamer

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

One and God make a majority.

— Frederick Douglass

What I wanted to express very clearly and intensely was that the reason these people had to invent or imagine heroes and gods is pure fear. Fear of life and fear of death.

— Frida Kahlo

God is a thought who makes crooked all that is straight.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance.

— Friedrich Nietzsche
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