Dead atheists society

See also: Famous Atheists A-Z | Famous Atheists by Age

Please let me know if there is somebody you would like to see added to this list (by which I do not mean somebody you would like to put out a contract on.)

Died in the 2010s

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)
WebsiteWikipedia Entry

Christopher Hitchens was an atheist British American writer and public speaker. He was a columnist at Vanity Fair and wrote or co-wrote over twenty books including God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. In The Portable Atheist, he wrote that:

‘The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.’

Died in the 2000s

Alexander McQueen (1969-2010)
WebsiteWikipedia Entry

Alexander McQueen was an atheist British fashion designer who had boutiques in London, Paris, New York, Milan, Tokyo, Beijing and fifteen other cities. In 1996, he was asked who he would like to dress more than anyone else in the world, and he answered:

‘Oh my God no, because I’m an atheist and an anti-royalist, so why would I put anyone on a pedestal?’

George Carlin (1937-2008)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

George Carlin was an atheist American comedian, actor and writer. In a 1997 routine, he said:

‘Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man – living in the sky – who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ‘til the end of time! [Pause] But He loves you.’

Carlin said that he worshiped the sun, because he could see it, and that he prayed to Joe Pesci, because he seemed like someone who can get things done, adding:

‘I noticed that of all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers that I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same fifty percent rate. Half the time I get what I want. Half the time I don’t. Same as God: fifty-fifty.’

Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)
Wikipedia Entry

Katharine Hepburn was an atheist American actress who won Oscars for her roles in Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, the Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond. In 1985, Anne Edwards, in her biography of Hepburn, wrote: ‘God was a concept too vast for her mind to consider, but she believed in the lessons of Jesus Christ despite her feeling, shared with Marx, that religion was a sop for the masses’. However in 1991, Hepburn herself said:

‘I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for people.’

Douglas Adams (1954-2001)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Douglas Adams was an atheist British writer who wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and several episodes of Doctor Who. He described himself as a ‘radical atheist’ in order to distinguish himself from agnostics. In 1999, Adams explained that:

‘I really do not believe that there is a god – in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one. It’s easier to say that I am a radical Atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously.’

In his final book, The Salmon of Doubt, published in 2002, Adams addresses people who believe that God must exist because the world so fits our needs. He compares them to an intelligent puddle of water that fills a hole in the ground. The puddle is certain that the hole must have been designed specifically for it because it fits so well. The puddle exists under the sun until it has entirely evaporated.

Died in the 1990s

Madalyn Murray O’Hair (1923-1995)
Wikipedia Entry

Madalyn Murray O’Hair was an atheist American activist who won a case in the US Supreme Court challenging the practice of prayers being said in schools. She went on to found American Atheists. In 1989, she was asked whether she supported religious freedom, and she answered:

‘Oh, absolutely! I feel that everyone has a right to be insane. And that they can do this any place at all. If they want religious schools, build them! My only problem with that is, do not ask for the land to be tax-free. Do not ask for a government grant to build them. Do not ask for money for teacher’s salaries, or more books, or anything else. Just go ahead and do your thing, and do it yourself. Just exactly the same as if you were a nudist. Somebody doesn’t get a tax break for being a Mason, or whatever they’re interested in.’

Frank Zappa (1940-1993)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Frank Zappa was an atheist American musician who self-produced almost sixty albums with The Mothers of Invention or as a solo artist. In 1989, he said of religion:

‘If you want to get together in any exclusive situation and have people love you, fine – but to hang all this desperate sociology on the idea of The Cloud-Guy who has The Big Book, who knows if you’ve been bad or good – and cares about any of it – to hang it all on that, folks, is the chimpanzee part of the brain working.’

And in 1993 he said of Christianity:

‘The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, all the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.’

Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Marlene Dietrich was an atheist German-born American actress, singer and entertainer who starred in nearly sixty films. In her autobiography, she wrote of her tours to battlefronts as an entertainer for American troops:

‘Back in my early childhood I learnt that God doesn’t fight on any army’s side. So there was little point in praying. Nonetheless, before every battle, prayers were read, all kinds of incantations were incited, staged by all sorts of preachers. We attended these ceremonies and I saw how all the soldiers stood in place, as though they couldn’t believe their ears. I couldn’t believe it either, but I counted for nothing… Since then, I have given up belief in God, in a ‘light’ that leads us, or anything of that sort. Goethe said, if God created this world, he should review his plan.’

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Isaac Asimov was an atheist Russian-born American writer and professor of biochemistry, whose prolific output of over 130 books covered science fiction, mysteries, popular science, history and memoirs. In 1982, Asimov said:

‘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.’

In 1994, Asimov speculated that:

‘If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.’

Died in the 1980s

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986)
Institute | Wikipedia Entry

Simone de Beauvoir was an atheist French existentialist philosopher and author of more than twenty books, including the major feminist work The Second Sex. In 1958, describing how she became an atheist while reading Balzac when aged fourteen, she wrote:

‘I no longer believe in God, I told myself, with no great surprise… That was proof: if I had believed in Him, I should not have allowed myself to offend Him so light-heartedly. I had always thought that the world was a small price to pay for eternity; but it was worth more than that, because I loved the world, and it was suddenly God whose price was small: from now on His name would have to be a cover for nothing more than a mirage… I was not denying Him in order to rid myself of a troublesome person: on the contrary, I realized that He was playing no further part in my life and so I concluded that he had ceased to exist for me.’

Butterfly McQueen (1911-1985)
Wikipedia Entry

Butterfly McQueen was an atheist American actress and dancer whose roles in a dozen films ranged from maid Prissy in Gone With The Wind to Ma Pennywick in The Mosquito Coast. In 1989, McQueen said of her atheism:

‘As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion… They say the streets are beautiful in Heaven. Well, I’m trying to make the streets beautiful here… When it’s clean and beautiful, I believe America is heaven. And some people are hell.’

Died in the 1960s

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964)
Wikipedia Entry

Jawaharlal Nehru was an atheist politician who served as the first Prime Minister of Independent India from 1947 to 1964. In his autobiography, which he wrote while in prison in 1936, Nehru said that he did not believe in a god of any kind. He said of religion:

‘The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organized religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled us with horror, and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it.’

Nehru also said that:

‘I want nothing to do with any religion concerned with keeping the masses satisfied to live in hunger, filth, and ignorance. I want nothing to do with any order, religious or otherwise, which does not teach people that they are capable of becoming happier and more civilized, on this earth, capable of becoming true man, master of his fate and captain of his soul. To attain this I would put priests to work, also, and turn the temples into schools.’

Died in the 1910s

Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Website | Wikipedia Entry

Mark Twain was an atheist American writer whose sixty books included The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In his last book, Letters from the Earth, Twain wrote:

‘You have noticed that the human being is a curiosity. In times past he has had (and worn out and flung away) hundreds and hundreds of religions; today he has hundreds and hundreds of religions, and launches not fewer than three new ones every year… One of his principle religions is called the Christian. A sketch of it will interest you. It sets forth in detail in a book containing two million words, called the Old and New Testaments. Also it has another name – The Word of God. For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.’

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Please let me know if there is somebody you would like to see added to this list.

See also: Famous Atheists A-Z | Famous Atheists by Age

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ASIMOV fan August 23, 2011 at 3:53 am

DR ASIMOV wrote over 500 books
and is in every dewy decimal code

2 Att Peece February 18, 2012 at 6:17 am

They are not atheists now!

3 teanah April 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I am a christain and not an atheist.
But most things is and go thru makes me wonder if there’s really a god somewhere and if the bible isn’t just a book of history.
And I also don’t attend church(its too boeing and most often than not filled with lies and hypocrisy

4 555555 April 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

What hope can a fellow atheist say to an atheist when dead? ( silence )

5 jill rabine April 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

How sad that all of these intelligent human beings would come to such a sad conclusion….to believe that “all of this” just miraculously came together over billions and billions of years without a “Master mind” behind it. Quite to the contrary, these people actually have a great deal of faith. It takes much more faith to believe the former, than to believe that there is a Creator.

Scripture says in Psalms that “the fool hath said in his heart there is no God”. I carry it even further, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit…..and they three are one. Jesus said: “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life……no man comes to the Father but by me”. He was either who He said He was or He was the biggest liar that ever existed. He said He was the Son of God. He gave his life and shed his blood for your sins. All you need to do is accept Him as Lord and Saviour.

This simple act does not bring bondage ……it brings FREEDOM!

You are accurate when you say that sometimes people who believe in God are hypocrites….sad but true. But do not use this as an excuse or a crutch. There are just as many hypocrites on the other side.

So, do not look to people….they will fail……look to Jesus….HE NEVER FAILS.

My heart aches for all of these people who are no longer here, for truly they are no longer Atheists, and although they are very much dead in body, their souls are very much alive.

JESUS CHRIST IS THE ALIVE….HE IS GOD….AND HE IS THE WAY FOR SALVATION AND TO ESCAPE ETERNAL HELL AND DAMNATION.

6 Kirk April 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Yeah we know, Santa and I talked about this already.

7 Shan Bogart April 26, 2012 at 3:18 am

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny.

8 Kirk April 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Sorry to here that.

9 Uyi Iredia May 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I think God would have to meet you personally.

10 bg July 11, 2012 at 3:23 am

You got that right. People just don’t realize how much it’s going to suck when they realize on Judgement Day that there is a God.

11 TAK July 16, 2012 at 3:14 am

I tell people there is no such thing as a dead atheist, and they cock thier heads. Think about it, I say.

12 TAK July 16, 2012 at 3:17 am

Kirk, please be careful with your words. God loves you even if you dont love Him. We all will be held accountable for our words. I say this to you will all due respect, i am not scoldng.

13 Jay August 24, 2012 at 12:20 am

Which one ?

14 Jay August 24, 2012 at 12:24 am

There is no god … and if there is all the hate and destruction your kind has created will be at the top of his/her honey do list.

15 john September 11, 2012 at 10:15 am

Can I tell a kind of odd, peculiar or curious story, approaching the unseen spiritual God from wildly different “means-to-an-end” tangent? Some will laugh and poo-poo this as ludicrous, but that’s okay because I witnessed it with my very own eyes. Of the episodes of which I speak are referring to our Pekingese, Bentley, casually lounging with my wife and myself in our apartment living room. Bentley began have seeing or “tracking” something towards the ceiling that we could not see – tracking it in fear. He would follow this entity as a person would watch a person, bird, butterfly, etc move around a room, but this was mostly near the ceiling. This thing or things would not only move around, but would also somehow put fear in him, as he at one point crawled under my back to hide as I sat on the floor leaning back on the couch – real fear. He would also flinch at times as though this unseen thing were coming closer quickly and then retreating – or as lunging AT him. There was no mistaking this, as well as the fact that we could not see what he was so reluctantly focused on, or keeping a wary eye on. I could go into alot more detail, but my point is to say that, as the Bible says, God is to be worshipped in spirit, as we cannot see him. Our experience, as already lifelong christians, to me only shows the opposite end of the good spiritual God – the dark spiritual. Or my biggest point is to say to unbelievers that there is certainly an unseen spiritual world – NO DOUBT. Just know that there IS a spiritual world, an unseen world with unseen beings. As this spiritual world and dimension does most certainly exist, you must understand that this is the very unseen spiritual realm that God also is found – don’t have to see to believe. I saw with my own eyes an invisible fearful darkness reflected by the obvious witness of a very worried little dog – no mistake. As if there was an unseen person with a rolled up newspaper going after him. Believe there is a God.

16 I love santa, amen October 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm

If there is a hell, I hope I go there because this seems like pretty good company to me :D

17 marC January 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

During my impressionable youth I read the bible and spent a lot of time with christians. I can honestly say that I would prefer an eternity in hell with atheists. Bible values are amongst the most vile and bible people amongst the meanest wackiest folks I have ever had the displeasure to spend time. I say, “Bring on the rapture so they will all just go away.”

18 Proby January 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm

God DOES exist. And if you don´t believe it, you´re already damned in life.

19 marC January 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Hey Proby. You may wish me to be damned in life so that it is consistent with your violent morals but I don’t feel damned in life. I am very happy in life. Man, I am really good without god. I am not afraid of monsters or ogres or devils or satans or all the other myriad of frightful images your story book contains. If you choose to believe in a monster god that permits an eternal place of torture to exist then you are the one that is damned in life. Think of all the joy you will miss in this life as you spend it preparing for your next. I am prepared for nothing. Are you?

20 harrill7 January 8, 2013 at 6:52 am

att peece -just wrote the worst words an atheist could ever see-and it is absolutely true. There are no dead atheists, and the group that is taking that “blasphemy challenge” is just asking for it. Pretty simple- stuff-some believe the history books, but deny the Bible. Jesus is alive and well, and we will all get to know that firsthand someday. Repent yawl!

21 harrill7 January 8, 2013 at 7:11 am

marC-hang on baby cause you gonna get yo wish. There are many wackos that falsely claim to be Christian, but miss the mark in a big way. Read the book. Christians are to be humble, trustworthy, reliable, and to hold to the teachings of Christ who demands truth and love. To want to spend an eternity with those that reject that-well that’s just what will happen to those that reject Jesus. You do realize the non-believing crew will include rapists, murderers, sadists, Himmler, Nero, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Al Capone, pedophiles, – that type of personality. Good luck with that. If the Bible is true then the time our life will last is just a grain of sand on an endless beach. You’ll have a long while to get to know everyone that thinks like you seem to think. The time on this earth spent in obedience is a small price to pay for the stated heavenly rewards- not to mention missing those that enjoy torture/pain/suffering/ as roommates. Repent while you can yawl. :D

22 marC January 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

harrill7 – Listen to all those scary people and bad people and evil people you want to protect us/me from. No wonder you wanted to be saved. You can describe your hell has demonically and monstrously as you wish, it only reflects on the nature of your mind and the minds who wrote your book. You claim it is a small price to pay for heavenly rewards and I perceive it as a waisted life seeking protection from monsters.

23 marC January 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

harrill7 – No, atheists do not ignore the bible and most of us have read the book. I recommend reading it to everyone since it is the one sure way to gain more atheists. What we don’t ignore are the mountains of history books and science books and all the knowledge that conflict with your book. I tried faith but had to lose my mind.

24 Craig March 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm

harrill7 answer this are all those child raping priests going to heaven or hell? According to your christian values if they ask for forgivness they get thru. It is a comfort to me to know that these places don’t exist. As for a ‘dead athiest’ the same is true for unborn christians. There is no such thing as a baby christian. It all happens because of their kookie parents who believe the garbage. All we athiests want is proof. Apologetics will all use tricky words and phrases to turn things around to the athiest but when push comes to shove it all comes down to proof and you’ve got none.
Although the ‘because its in the bible’ never ceases to amaze me.

25 Repent April 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

human always crave for flesh and it is the reason they choose the path of atheism. The bible told a story about an atheist (early people don’t call them that way) named Herod. he never listened to what John the Baptist because it will cost him to let go his relationship with Herodias which is actually the wife of his brother. see, their heart was hardened because they live what they want and do what the flesh is craving to do! what do we expect from them? psalms 1:4-6 says, “they will be condemned..” they are like useless and worthless chaff that has no direction but only follows where the wind will take them.

There is only one thing you need to do – repent! it is not an option. it is LOVE. God don’t want you to be condemned or be put to hell (whether you believe in or not), He loves you and He wants to be with you. Say a little prayer.. just a little..

26 Emmanuel Sanchez June 5, 2013 at 2:54 am

@harrill7 and everybody else:

The following were NOT atheists: Himmler, Hitler, Nero, Al Capone. Nero was a polytheistic pagan egotist that though of himself as a god. The rest were christians, in their way, but they were. Read from several history books and sources. I think we must differenciate political and egostistical ambitions from religious beliefs. This goes to both sides.

27 Lee July 4, 2013 at 3:09 am

Atheism takes no faith at all, takes no form of belief. It’s just the natural way of thinking when a brain has attained a certain level of education and/or intelligence. Downright insulting? Damn right! I resent having had part of my life dictated by stupidity. It’s nothing less than indoctrination and brain washing. You own it to your children to give them a choice. If religious people want to delude themselves and waste their lives away believing in fairy tales then good for them… as long as they don’t cause others harm, start wars etc. Looking at history that appears to be what they are good at!

28 Dick Munch September 9, 2013 at 5:11 pm

What sucks the most is that I’ll be sharing nowhere with all of you ignorant Christians but at least you cant bother me then.

29 pwm November 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Who made the dirt???

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