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

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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 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

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

— Alexander Pope

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

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 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

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

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

[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

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

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

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

Is man one of God’s blunders? Or is God one of man’s blunders?

— Friedrich Nietzsche

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

— Friedrich Nietzsche

This brings us to a further aspect of the doctrine of Tikkun, which is also the most important for the system of practical theosophy. The process in which God conceives, brings forth and develops himself does not reach its final conclusion in God. Certain parts of the process of restitution are allotted to man. Not all the lights which are held in captivity by the powers of darkness are set free by their own efforts; it is man who adds the final touch to the divine countenance; it is he who completes the enthronement of God, the king and the mystical Creator of all things, in His own Kingdom of Heaven; it is he who perfects the maker of all things! In certain spheres of being, divine and human existence are intertwined. The intrinsic, extramundane process of Tikkun, symbolically described as the birth of God’s personality, corresponds to the process of mundane history. The historical process and its innermost soul, the religious act of the Jew, prepare the way for the final restitution of all scattered and exiled lights and sparks.

— Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism

I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.

— Isaac Asimov

And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in his own image;
Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.

— James Weldon Johnson, “The Creation”
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