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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Átila GBS August 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Matt Dillahunty, of course! He is president of the Atheist Community of Austin, host of the live internet radio show “Non-Prophets Radio” and of the Austin Public-access television cable TV show “The Atheist Experience”.

2 Ashley Gray August 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Just thought Virginia Woolf would be a good person to add to your list of famous atheists.

3 Luke Adams August 13, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Donald Sutherland, Seth MacFarlane and Bill Maher would be great additions to your list of famous atheists.

4 Finbarr October 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Hi Michael,
just read your article in the irish time and was struck by its almost apologetic tone.

I am a non-militant atheist (so Dawkins is not on my mailing list!). I defend the right of the individual to believe in what they want provided it does not harm or negatively influence.

However I notice that a lot of literature and comments, related to atheism, mention or imply that atheism is a ‘rejection’. To quote your article ‘Why are atheists so certain that gods do not exist? Actually, most of us aren’t. We merely reject the assertion that one or more gods do exist, based on the best currently available evidence.’

But the question is more: why assume a god. in the absence of any evidence, why must the (even the term is misleading) ‘non-believers’ have to defend themselves, surely it should be the ‘believers’.

THis argument runs to the heart of teh true atheist position: I do not reject, I merely do no accept. This leaves the believer as the one who is looking for acceptence (of their views).

The total absence of evidence (to support a god-concept) makes atheism a default position.

keep up the good work

Finbarr

5 ahilan November 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

stephen hawkings!!

he authored the book the brief history of time and the grand design!! in which he has theoretically proved that god is not necessary!!

6 Stuart Oxley November 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Derren Brown. Safe to say he’s an Atheist.

7 Stephanie November 24, 2011 at 11:47 am

I second Derren Brown!

8 Lily Barnes November 27, 2011 at 7:09 am

Woody Allen; Christopher Hitchens; Bill Maher; Richard Dawkins; Billy Connolly; George Carlin; Bill Gates; Noam Chomsky; Janeane Garofalo; Sir Ian McKellen; John Lennon; Henry Rollins… and the list goes on!

9 cedric December 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

you have a wonderful mind! I teach creativity and innovation in goa at the goa institute of management, India.

I also teach raelity and language to the students…loved your thoughts sir.
be well. be loved.
cedric serpes

10 RTHORNE January 10, 2012 at 1:40 am
11 Raymond A Hedley January 15, 2012 at 8:31 am

Mikey –
Just wanted to say Hi and commend you on the excellent job you’re doing for us down here, its so greatly appreciated as its saving us a lot of time and effort. The work you’re doing along with all the others who’s souls I own and who embrace our strong beliefs in socialism – democratic atheism – gay rights – abortion – sexual freedoms with beast and children – destruction of good families – marriage and all moral values – standing up against these fundamentalists – born again, Christians and Jews, and other religions involving phobias of god/s and the supernatural. Also important to mention are the removal of crosses – Jesus statues – the prayer and bible reading – the coinage phrase, ‘In God We Trust’ – of the USA – religious holidays – (Except our day of Halloween) from society as a whole. You with OBAMA – the Clintons – and all other like minded people are really helping our cause worldwide – you’re making my job so much easier – and I can’t wait to shake you hand and reward you and all the others like you –who are working for me – too spent eternity with me! Looking forwarded to meeting you all personally! Keep up the good work!

Signed – LUCIFER ie.. satan the devil — See ya soon!

Ps – Ted Kennedy and his brothers – along with John Paul II and little Michael sent their best – await your arrival.

12 Daniel Andreassen January 18, 2012 at 10:15 am

I think people like Bill Maher and Stephen Hawking would be natural additions to the list.

Seth Macfarlane, creator of Family Guy and the Cleveland show could attract some attention.

Angela Gossow, singer of heavy metal band Arch Enemy is a devoted atheist as well.

I think these additions would cover a large area of people, ranging from intellectuals, comedy fans and metalheads. Like myself.

Thank you.
Daniel Andreassen, Denmark.

13 Padraic Glynn January 31, 2012 at 10:45 am

Hi Michael,

I’d like to see more Irish atheists on the list

regards,

Padraic

14 Thomas Lawson February 20, 2012 at 5:04 am

America’s first militant atheist, Charles Chilton Moore, should be in the Dead Atheist Society. He lived from 1837-1906.

Here’s his Twitter page:

https://twitter.com/#!/search/users/chilltownmoore

Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Chilton_Moore

15 Jake Brunker March 14, 2012 at 1:30 am

Hi, I tried to click on the “see also” links on the “famous atheists by date” page, but unfortunately, all I got were 404 errors. I thought it might be good if you would know that :-)

Jake

16 BankCardUSA March 23, 2012 at 7:20 am

Im running Steamtown too this year. My fourth trip down the Highway to Hell that is the marathon. Best of luck to you!

17 Ryan Fitzpatrick June 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Hi Michael,

Congratulations on your ovation from Richard Dawkins’ audience at the National Concert Hall yesterday evening. When Richard Dawkins’ replied to a question from an auditor about how to further progress secularism in Ireland, Richard Dawkins referred to Atheist Ireland and to yourself, by name, which induced a widespread ovation throughout the National Concert Hall. It was an evening of which to be proud: Richard Dawkins received frequent spontaneous ovations and the audience’s questions were overwhelmingly supportive of Richard Dawkins and his ideas. Yesterday evening proved that Ireland has matured and that Atheist Ireland, and you yourself, can take some credit for that progress. It was auspicious to observe that the audience was disproportionately teenage, twenty-something and thirty-something which indicates further progress for Irish secularism throughout the century.

Bravissimo!

Ryan Fitzpatrick

18 Michael Nugent July 9, 2012 at 3:07 am

Thanks, Ryan. It is nice to see the developments of the past few decades. Twenty years ago we would have been trying to change public opinion on a lot of these matters; now we are trying to get the get the government to recognize that public opinion has already changed (in most of the country, anyway – there are still pockets of religious bigotry and misogyny to tackle). It’s an ongoing process, and we can each contribute a bit to it and keep it going.

19 Eimear August 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

Please contact me in relation to a request for an interview.
01 6445129

20 Rae September 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm

V interesting read thanks
How about Dara O’Briain, an excellent
example and someone said they wanted
to see more Irish

21 Alan Thornberry September 21, 2012 at 10:26 am

HETAC are considering the accreditation of the academic programme validation of certain complementary therapies. Something we should all be concern about.
http://www.hetac.ie/publications_other.htm
(see links for Summary, Final Report etc).

22 Maeve Mahon-Ferriter September 24, 2012 at 12:46 am

Really enjoyed your talk at Cork Humanists yesterday. I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself but intend joining Atheist Ireland as a start. Trained in New york I’m a practicing clinical psychiatrist in Co Kerry for the past four years.

Will try to access Atheist Ireland now.
Best,
Maeve

23 MayDup November 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

‘trific ‘tcle, Myths about atheism ‘scures its ‘cular values, in IrishTimes.
unjumbled, “right on”, and dispelling.
my thanks.

24 audrey November 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Hi Michael,
Impressed by your article in IT 16 inst.
I wish you well and would encourage you to keep on
fighting the good fight.
Audrey

25 Sam November 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Hi,
I have few questions and I need honest answers.
1) Is really God does not exist?
2) Why God does not exist?
3) Is it the nature that made us?
4) If yes, then the nature is God or the Creator, is it true?
5) If the nature or something else that made me then I think I have to obey its rules not mine is it right?
6) Why I should not believe in God? Is it because you hate religion?
I don’t know, could you please explain to the point and in relation to the questions above.
regards,
Sam

26 Liam Flynn December 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Michael how have you been. it’s been a long time.I see you’ve been busy living life.I would appreciate if you could write me a few lines on your life. Still the big bohs man i’m glab to see.I’m currently living in new jersey and have recently retired so have time to spend surfing the net and came across your web site. So write me take care

27 Mick December 6, 2012 at 4:20 am

Your twitthis button does not work.

28 Emmanuel Sanchez January 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I would add Carl Sagan, Sigmund Freud, Max Stirner, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Trotsky, Stan Lee, Keira Knightley, Bruce Lee and obviously there are many more ones.

29 Emmanuel Sanchez January 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I would add Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Max Stirner, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Stan Lee, Bruce Lee and Keira Knightley. Thanks.

30 Michael Jonckheere February 7, 2013 at 2:13 am

I vote for the addition of Michael Shermer! You just gotta love his charming good-old-boy personality and his ability to make complex philosophy sound simple. And he’s an ex-evangelical like me!

31 Jo Peters February 20, 2013 at 11:56 am

Michael,

A lot of people are asking if the debate Monday night (science/faith) was videotaped. I know you had it recorded, and was wondering if I could get a copy please.

Jo Peters

32 Ed Vander Poel February 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Just found out about you, your work, and your website and I want to thank you for the work you’re doing. Your website is now on my weekly must-see list and I’ll be sure to tell everyone at Seattle Atheists in case they haven’t seen it. Enjoyed your excellent speech at U College, Cork, also.

33 Padraig McGrath March 2, 2013 at 4:05 pm

There are a few problems with the arguments in your Trinity spiel. For a start, the reason why the Irish Roman Catholic church had such influence in health & education was because the state had abdicated its responsibilities to provide those kinds of services to a reasonable level. So comparing Irish Catholic schools to state-run atheist institutions is based on historical confusion – in Ireland, the ABSENCE of the state was the problem….

Secondly, the western philosophical tradition has never managed to completely conceptually separate concepts such as “the Good,” “the Beautiful” and “the True.” So whether we like it or not, our truth-seeking activity is genealogically grounded in transcendentalist monotheism. It makes very little sense to swear an oath (for example, to tell “the truth”) on the basis of a metaphysical/transcendental vacuum. Atheists have no symbolic use for oaths – their symbolism would be meaningless to an atheist. Cultural non-post-monotheists don’t have a concept of “Truth” which is strictly equivalent to that generally internalized by people from initially monotheistic cultural groups. Write the word “truth” in any university essay for any professor specializing in sinology or east Asian aesthetics, and you’ll get it back with a big red X. Sure, “The Truth” has become a secularized concept, but the point remains that it’s still genealogically inseparable from monotheism. The linguistic philosopher Hilary Putnam has analyzed our conception of “truth” to the positing of a “God’s-eye-view,” and even Nietzsche remarks that we created Gods because we needed somebody who could see in the dark. So whether we like it or not, we still implicitly invoke the metaphysical in our ordinary day-to-day speech, insofar as that speech represents itself as a “truth-seeking” activity…. “God” is just buried so deep in the implicature our occidental day-to-day communicative norms that it’s impossible to remove him completely.

Thirdly, the insistence that only religious practitioners within certain religious denominations should work for certain religious institutions (such as schools) is maintained most stridently by religious minorities in Ireland, not by Catholic institutions. The minority religious groups’ argument (quite understandably) is that, in order for pluralism to be a meaningful political and social concept, different identities must first exist, as opposed to a single ill-formed monolithic non-identity. Anglicans, Presbyterians and Muslims are the people most often insisting that the ethos of their educational institutions should be preserved, not Roman Catholics. This is the aspect of the pluralism issue which atheists don’t really get – it’s not just about literal personal belief – it’s about culture and identity in a much broader sense. Personally, I think that the fact that Ireland was the first nation-state in the EU to publicly fund an Islamic primary school makes indicates a conception of pluralism which is quite sophisticated, far more sophisticated than blatantly assimilationist policies such as those in France, for example. Ultimately, pluralism is about everybody having the opportunity to throw their values into the public arena.

The philosopher Paul Feyerabend once argued that, while the written constitutions of most western nation-states make some passing reference to “cherishing all traditions equally,” or words to that effect, what actually happens in the best possible case scenario is that everybody, regardless of their ethnic, religious or cultural background, is given equal access the same tradition, and that tradition is called scientific post-industrialism. This is the clandestine state-religion of every nation-state in the western world, including Ireland. And before you answer that science is just a matter of fact, please note that phenomenologists and philosophers of natural science (including eminently secular people like Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend) began deconstructing the intellectual naivete of that position a long long long time ago…. You can dismiss religious people’s skepticism about the epistemic foundations of what we call “the scientific method,” but to ignore everybody else’s grounds for skepticism would be a bit obtuse, especially considering that skepticism is one of the intellectual virtues which you claim to prioritize most highly….

34 J March 4, 2013 at 4:10 am

Non-Holy Moly, isn’t or wasn’t this the ‘add an atheist’ or atheiaddendum page? Now I can’t just add a name and be quiet without adding a comment as well. I second many of the additions above and add one or two: most notably the great philosophers like Bertrand Russel, Nietsche, Kant, Hume, Locke, Hobbs,etc. and a few great scientists and mathematicians like Hawking, Godel…to which I add the non-great popularist Carl Sagan.
Thanks for such an interesting and thought-provoking and intelligence-provoking webpage. Too few of the ilk out there. Sorry the comments turn into just hissy fits from the respective bleachers. Those of us down on the field of play don’t appreciate the cheap distraction.
Though definitely definitely no longer an atheist, I find the intelligence, wit, and well-meaning of many if not most on the list to be ‘majorly’ refreshing. (I’m an Americate, not an Irishman)
The “trouble with atheists,” it seems to me, is the arrogance and ill-will that many seem to aim at theists, spawned no doubt, as with other minority populations, from the defensive position they are placed in by the majority population. So I applaud the well-mannered and witty like Hitchens and the ‘without unequivocal proof on either side, I choose non-offensive, non-proselytizing atheism’ [I'm paraphrasing, not really quoting] of James Randi . The other “trouble with atheists” is that they, by and large, lump all theism into Judeo-Christian tradition and criticize on that basis, and with a shallow understanding of any but perhaps standard, non-repentant (a pun) Catholicism. So please start doing unto theists as you would do unto your atheist self: treat strangers with respect, non-judgment, kind humor & kindness void of pity; all the things you have wished from them. Please set a good example, in other words, for the theists you demure. Eschew arrogance & ill-will in them as you. Atheism doesn’t make you anything but you, any more than any religion, creed or philosophy automatically makes you something you were not.

35 Shona Madden March 12, 2013 at 10:35 am

Hi Michael,

I emailed you regarding a talk this Saturday. Can you give me a call on 087 7810037, if you can.

Thanks,
Shona

36 Schrödinger's Therapist March 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Mr. Nugent, as a courtesy I am notifying you about this blog post I made which mentions you:

http://schrodingerstherapist.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-slymepit-and-pendulum.html

37 Eu March 18, 2013 at 4:05 am

So I keep trying to post this link as my website with comments sometimes http://slymepitintrom.blogspot.com/2013/03/incredibly-ironic-post-of-century.html & it wont post if I do that. I tried changing .com to .ca, nothing. Did you block it and forget? Do you… *sniffles*… think my blog is BAD?

38 Christiaan April 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Steven Pinker would be a good addition. I am a rather ‘lonely’ atheist in South Africa, a beautiful country riddled with superstition. But heard on the news the other day that our society is 19% less religious than it was in previous times. [Radio 702 South Africa.]
Thanks for your list of Atheists and comments. Because we have no support groups down here, I enjoy these websites and the You Tube debates.
Regards,
Christiaan

39 Paddy Crean April 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Padraig McGrath stated in post 33
“There are a few problems with the arguments in your Trinity spiel. For a start, the reason why the Irish Roman Catholic church had such influence in health & education was because the state had abdicated its responsibilities to provide those kinds of services to a reasonable level. So comparing Irish Catholic schools to state-run atheist institutions is based on historical confusion – in Ireland, the ABSENCE of the state was the problem….”
Here is a quote from http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/695/Ireland-EDUCATIONAL-SYSTEM-OVERVIEW.html which suggests that, rather than the state abdicating its reponsibilties, religious interests, both Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland elbowed the state out of education.
“Perhaps the most significant time in the establishment of a countrywide, state-aided educational system of elementary schools was in 1831, championed by Lord Edward G.S.M. Stanley. Conflicts immediately arose over the matter of keeping religious influence out of schools because the elementary schools were told that churches had the right to provide pupils with supplementary religious education. Even though, in theory, no aid was to be given to the primary schools and emerging secondary schools, in reality, religious influences permeated all levels of the educational system, particularly the school boards, which were headed by priests or vicars, depending on the district’s religious makeup.

At first, however, Protestants were the main critics against “godless” schools, while Catholic leaders, worried about high illiteracy rates among their people, generally supported the state-run educational system, at least at first. Eventually, Catholics came to despise the system, saying students were exposed to pro-British and anti-Catholic influences. Nonetheless, the formation of national schools was an important step forward in the history of education in Ireland. It was intended to give an equal education to all pupils without meddling from churches. It gave Irish schools a semblance of structure, and it established a policy of local districts to pick up their fair share of costs for teacher salaries, school lots and building costs, and schoolbooks.”

Read more: Ireland – Educational System—overview – Schools, Irish, Students, and School – StateUniversity.com http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/695/Ireland-EDUCATIONAL-SYSTEM-OVERVIEW.html#ixzz2Qijwmdyp

40 Christopher Lowe May 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm

It is inspiring (see..we can use that word too) to note that Ireland is rapidly becoming secularized, a trend across most of Europe, where science and philosophy and a sense of irony push back against the notions of provincial, ignorant, and superstitious writings long ago by provincial, ignorant, superstitious people in a backward corner of civilization. When every discipline of science exposes the holy books of all 3 monotheisms as superstitious man made rubbish that has been perpetuated and enforced by virtually every regime through out Europe and western Asia for 2 millennia. Savour, if you will, the paltry couple of hundred years of our human existence where in at least some small areas of our planet we can question or criticize organized religion without fear for our lives. Feel too the strident and powerful and deadly and serious counter push of the religious. From Canada I cast a baleful eye to the south where there is a concerted attempt to marginalize freethinking, atheism, and even science. The exact opposite direction taken by your country due to the efforts of people like yourself. Although prohibited by law to impose any religious belief upon anyone else(haleighluja!) there is a great deal of lawyering going on to do just that. Laws and policies are trying to be snuck through customs, as it were, imposing religious dogma as the law of the land. This is a frightfully powerful lobby, backed by an overwhelming majority of its citizens. Ways have already be found to skirt around the separation of church and state, the first nation on the planet to adopt this principle. They are capable of voting in a government with a president sympathetic to these causes who would have the power to appoint supreme court judges and judicial appointees. Ammendments to the constitution have been both repealed and added to shape and design desired social outcomes before. This is troubling and this is real. Promulgation of religion has always been backed by government. And we can all hearken back to the days when religion had it all their own way! Indeed we see it now among us. Thank God (heh heh) for people and organizations like yourselves.

41 J May 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Michael, I previously submitted for quotation the set and a few of the names of the great/famous philosophers who were atheists. I even threw in the mathematician Kurt Godel, but he is commonly considered a theist; one could find an argument for either side, but then who wants to argue?

42 Emmanuel Sanchez May 22, 2013 at 7:01 am

Hello Michael!

I’ve been posting comments recently and I was surprised that ine of my last ones appeared as “comment awaiting moderation”. Please, I consider it very unfair that some users have really made abuses of expression insulting others and now when I try to answer them in a serious way I’m censored! Please, again, you cannot put yourself on the side of fundamentalists inside your own website.

43 Michael Nugent May 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Emmanuel, I’ve approved that comment. I don’t know why the software put it into moderation.

44 Emmanuel Sanchez May 24, 2013 at 12:46 am

Oh c’mmon man, don’t do it again. Comment 315 has been censored. I just wanna have a little bit of fun against that chris, just a little of red hot pepper in the conversation.

By the way, I suggest you to visit a webpage called squidoo.I’ve visited it just a couple of times and at least a part of it is dedicated to atheist famous people and movies. That was amazing!

45 Emmanuel Sanchez May 29, 2013 at 6:46 am

Dear Michael:

There is a person that you have already spoken to, that uses the name “chris” who usually posts offensive comments in the famous atheists section. I’ve been answering to him in part because I know he is not going to shut up. If a very young or immature person watches that he always finishes the discussions, then could think that he is right. I suggest you to expelt him from the side and/or put all the new comments in evaluation before allowing them to be published. Thanks.

46 Emmanuel Sanchez May 30, 2013 at 4:34 am

Dear Michael:

I don’t know if you paid attention to my last comment directed to you, but I see something unfair happening. You allowed that person “chris” to publish a comment calling my country a shit-hole. Then I try to answer in a more polite way and my comment is censored. I consider this unfair. Please, allow my comment to be published if you did the same with his.

47 Emmanuel Sanchez May 30, 2013 at 5:24 am

Hi Michael!

I’ve already posted an edited version of my last comment. If possible, I would like you to publish this last version (#372). Thanks and excuses.

48 Emmanuel Sanchez June 5, 2013 at 2:35 am

Dear Michael:

I have read that you have the intention to write a book about atheism. I think it would be amazing to do it about the main thoughts and quotes from remarkable atheists during the history. Something like The Portable Atheist, but more complete. We could start with Epicurus and Socrates and finish with you, for example ;-P Some quotes from Russell and Sagan would fit perfect. I would like you to mention the story of Hypathia and other atheist/agnostic women. And I see you already know a lot about atheists.

Second suggestion: to me it is senseless to separate the section famous atheists from dead atheists. In fact, I know that two of the listed famous ones are deceased, which are Christopher Hitchens and George Carlin. In other sides I have found that they mixture the past and the present ones but unfortunatelly the way they put the info is not the best one. You have done it very well, so this could be the exception (by the way, I may know you are very busy but there are a lot of names missing in both lists, you have work to do :-D )

49 Christopher Lowe June 5, 2013 at 6:13 am

Hello Michael, My comment #373 is currently awaiting moderation. What did I do? I hardly ever fucking swear, and I didn’t insult anyone except (mildly) Karl Marx.

50 Christopher Lowe June 6, 2013 at 2:00 am

Story of my life. I get ignored where ever I go. Et tu, Michael?

51 Emmanuel Sanchez June 6, 2013 at 2:31 am

@ Christopher Lowe

Actually I have not ignored you, however you haven’t written anything to me lastly. Maybe Michael is busy now. Once one of my comments was two days awaiting aproval. I know it’s annoying and I have expressed him that sometimes I consider unfair his criteria.

52 J9 June 9, 2013 at 6:50 am

If Y’all are done wit yer intellectual circle jerk…and yer colons are clear for takeoff… Francois Leotard, Melvin Pantyraid, Christine Tantric, Alan M. Turing. No separation of Church and Turing. You are a disorganized machine. Run to your site cum nicety forthwith and without remorse; leaving us in pacem.

53 Paul B June 18, 2013 at 8:12 am

Great site Michael, apart from the nutjobs, who are funny I suppose if they weren’t so sad. Carl Sagan is your biggest omission I reckon, but the list is long indeed and thankfully, for humanity’s sake, getting longer all the time.

54 J June 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm

WC Fields, Johnny von Neumann, Johnny von Goethe, WD 40, Richard Feynman.

55 Philip Stonehouse July 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Hello Michael, love your site, but just so`s you know; Amanda Donohoe (not Donohue), isn`t an American (sorry reasearchers). She was born on the 29th of June 1962, London, ENGLAND, U.K. Keep flying the Atheist flag. Live long and prosper! x

56 Robert Higgins July 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Hi Michael, not altogether sure if my emails have been delivering to you. I’m free for that interview anytime from Thursday on so whenever suits you would be great. My mobile number is 086 0888880. Thanks very much. Robert Higgins

57 Conor Kelly August 5, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Hi Michael, saw you on Vincent Browne’s new show last night. Well done in very difficult circumstances. It reminded me of (I think it was) Joe Higgins’ remark about how trying to argue with Bertie Ahern was like trying to play handball against a haystack – very difficult to have a meaningful debate when the opposition appears unable to make a meaningful statement about their beliefs.

Well done, again. Your work is much appreciated by many.
Conor Kelly.

58 Ronnie Farrelly August 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Hi Mike,
I regard organised atheism as just another cult with its .semi-religious rituals. Why doed Dawkins, the St Paul of atheism, feel he has a mission to convert mankind to to his views
? Mankind always had tgo believe in something in order to explain the mystery of existence. Organised atheism as well as modern political ideologies are only substitute religions. There are de la carte atheists, who pick and choose parts of the atheist credo that suits them. They swear oaths to take seats in parliaments,to join the security forces and even act as godparents to children of relatives; they even have religious funerals when they die and have bishops in attendance.
Iam sure there are some atheists like Stalin and Mussolini that you don’t incluse in your calendar.
Ronnie

59 AKASHDEEP BHATTACHARIYA August 20, 2013 at 11:26 am

Munshigonj Union of Satkhira district,Bangladesh,though unique being just in the lap of the Sundarbans,is a land of superstition,people here are blindly obsessed with their respective supposed-sure-saver-creator-giver Almighty.Round the clock they are hysterically self-employed for mystic devil-devine causes-religiously spending their all,while they themselves,their families,their children are starving,they are making their children drop from schools for the very cause,some clever self claimed godguys are just making money out of others’innocence.As,there are different absolute creators,their arguments,their convictions germ communal tentions,a worldwide scenario,shamefully much more in this advanced century.If some permanent institution or camps can be installed here at intervals and preach them scientitic knowledges lying behind all causalities,people here surely would not do anything fanatic at impusle under the false beliefs-they surely would be much less incited by poisonous preaching of their religious wiseacres.Hopefully,people here though blind but not bloody,but the way the world is getting on they soon will be horribly bloody.Hope,if guided, people will understand and appreciate the truth and march by themselves to humanism.

Regards,

60 Randolf Richardson September 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I really like what your promoting, and I was delighted to read about how you’re working with educators to add atheism curriculum to the elementary school system in Ireland.

In an effort to try to promote atheists, such as yourself, I just added a link to your blog from my web site, which you can see here:

http://www.atheistfrontier.com/resources/atheism/blogs.pl#michaelnugent

Thanks for the great work you’re doing. I sincerely hope your efforts to promote “absence of theism” (atheism) as something that shouldn’t be vilified succeeds beyond your intent and expectation.

Yours very truly,
Randolf Richardson of the Atheist Frontier.

61 jan October 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for your list of Atheists (AND the rest of the site).
Maybe Marilyn Manson is a good person to add. Many people say he is very provocative, but in discussions, he is very wellspoken and patient.
Keep up the good work!
Greatings from the Netherlands.
-JK-

62 Kenny Robertson November 13, 2013 at 7:28 am

Just a couple who would be a good addition Doug Stanhope and frontman from Muse Matt Bellamy.

63 Helen Wright November 13, 2013 at 7:38 am

Stephen Fry, Mitch Benn, Brian Cox, Dara O’Briain, Patrick Moore. All Brits or Irish.

64 Robin Bury November 14, 2013 at 10:39 am

Michael
Good to meet last night
We have submitted a few suggestions for changing the constitution though I think the best thing is not to tamper with it but re-write it as the PDs attempted
Look at our suggestion for a new preamble which excludes the Trinity and God and was put together by Mary Robinson, Sean McBride and the churches in the 70s. It is pretty good. It is under OTHER and in the name of Reform.
I saw Jane Donnelly re the Angelus. She was good. I think we need to say no other public broadcaster in the world relays it nor does Vatican radio. Also the prayer contains beliefs exclusive to RCs so is offensive to all other religions and none.
Very good website….if you can recomment anyone who can do our one, please let me know.
Regards
Robin

65 Scott de Long November 19, 2013 at 3:50 am

Enjoy your site. Thanks to you Leonie Hilliard (Ray “Bananaman” Comfort) and I have become friends. Anyway, you asked for suggestions for atheist songs. Roger Waters (late of Pink Floyd) has a solo album called “Amused to Death” which is full of thoughtful atheism and antitheism. “What God Wants” Parts I,II,III must rank amongst the best atheist songs ever. His last Pink Floyd album “The Final Cut” contains some good atheist stuff, as does “Animals” and”Dark Side of the Moon.”

Regards,
Scott de Long

66 Ronnie November 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm

You did nor include Stalin or any of the Bolsheviks among your list of Atheists. Do you think all atheists are secular saints? I think you are little naive.

67 Robin Bury November 24, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Some of the world’s vilest people have been atheists such as Lenin, Stalin, Hitler There is something ugly and intolerant about aggressive atheism. If you do not believe, then fine but do not go on and on about it

68 Paddy Crean November 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm

@ Robin Bury.
Hi, Robin,
What is “aggressive atheism”; is it like “aggressive Christianity” or “aggressive Islam”or “aggressive Buddhism” ?

69 J9 November 29, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Robin & Ronnie,
If yours is an argument it is a bit silly. Why would any group, including atheists and religionists, “promote” by mentioning members of whom they are not proud or whose words would be refuted by their deeds? Not an oversight nor a dodge.

70 Jen December 1, 2013 at 4:14 am

I really enjoyed this article. Thanks for composing it. I didn’t see any artist on the list though & off the top of my head I thought of Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera.

Some of the most ‘aggressive’ people in history have been ‘believers’ of any other thought or idea. In every group you will find extremist. Besides if you read the bible ‘god’ killed WAY more people than Stalin or Hitler just with the flood… & they were ancestral jews & jesus so techanically according to ‘believers’ proclaimed beliefs ..they followed someone who killed more Jews than Hitler!…How was god a good guy?

Besides all religions propse its followers should propogate the beliefs so if you are a ‘true’ believer technically by your own beliefs standards you have to be aggressive/militant. And I can’t tell you how many people who are religious go on & on about it to include even trying to force you to let them ‘pray’ for you (which pisses me off to no end) especially once they find out you don’t believe.

The Death total attributed to christianity is approximated around 17 million. The precentages are staggering for religion being far more vile & having intolerance than a few extreme athiest.

& btw… Hilter was catholic not atheist & baptized in 1889 was never ex-communicated. Here is a qoute from Hitler “we were convinced that the people need & require this faith. We have therefor undertaken to fight against the atheist movement, & that not merely with a few ttheoretical declarations: we have stamped it out” He also spoke of christian beliefs & ideas in his speeches & german christians supported him.

71 mike December 25, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Asimov died in 92 but added in 94?

72 Sinead Ryan January 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Dear Michael

Just wondering could you send me a mail with your contact details?
Kind Regards
Sinead

73 Enna February 5, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Adam Savage (from Mythbusters)
Stephen Fry

Was pleased to see Tom Lehrer on the list. :)

74 Ted February 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm

How about adding Eamon Gilmore and Ruairi Quinn, they don’t believe in God or indeed the need to keep their promises to protect those most vulnerable in Irish society.

Adh mor

75 John February 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Hi,
I’m interested in atheism and have noticed that it is really a middle class group who make up the members. What does this say about atheism? I think we need to reflect on this

76 Michael Nugent February 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm

John, it is partly because people in poorer societies are more vulnerable to religious thinking. Where people are focused on survival values, societies tend to have traditional religious values. When people shift towards self-expression values, societies become more secular rational.

77 John Fox February 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Michael just to let you know, your friend Joe Davis in in hospital at the moment possibly dying following a heart attack, I’m John Fox a friend of his at if you need to contact me at [***********] or phone me at [*********], thank you very much

78 John February 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Michael, I’m disappointed with you view ” that poorer people are more vulnerable to religious thinking’. This is the problem with us in atheism – middle class. I regret your comment betrayed this attitude.

79 Michael Nugent February 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Thanks, John Fox. That’s very sad news.

80 Michael Nugent February 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm

John, it’s not a personal view of mine. It is based on the ongoing outcomes of the World Values Survey.

This is an ongoing global research project by a team of interdisciplinary social scientists, who have been researching world values in a scientific way for the past twenty five years. They have discovered that two sets of values dominate the picture.

When individual people are focusing on survival values, then societies tend to have traditional religious values.

But when investment in health, education, communications technology and democracy enable individuals to shift from survival values to self-expression values, that causes society to shift away from traditional religious values and towards secular rational values.

And that is happening throughout the world, at different speeds in different places, with the exception of Africa. Personal values have been shifting towards self-expression, and society values have been shifting towards secular-rational.

http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org

81 J9 February 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm

I think your use of the word ‘vulnerable’ betrayed a bias, but not to say that it is unearned. Thanks for the information on the survey. It appears there may be a bias going in, but it’s still valuable information. Once I’ve studied it, I may comment. Personal experiences support the connection between survival thinking and religious values & affiliation by individuals. On a societal level it may be clearer to extrapolate. I would only argue prima facie that your linking of secular with rational is unsupportable and sounds like bias. Is that in any way coming from the survey data or from you personally?

82 John February 18, 2014 at 5:21 pm

There are too many general points made without any substantional support in Michaels narrative. I’ve been very challenged and informed bu Primo Levi writings and human experience. General comments on vague surveys cheapen what he and others suffered and where they found ultimate meaning. But, middle class smugness is always right.

83 Michael Nugent February 18, 2014 at 5:29 pm

J9, the extrapolation from individual to society comes from an analysis on the World Values Survey website, not from me.

The description ‘Secular Rational Values’ also comes from the World Values Survey website, not from me.

84 Michael Nugent February 18, 2014 at 5:37 pm

John, I didn’t make a general comment on a vague survey without substantial support. I have linked to the website of the World Values Survey, which provides substantiation for what I am saying.

The results of those surveys don’t in any way cheapen what Primo Levi or others suffered or where he or others found (what they considered to be ultimate) meaning.

Describing being middle class as being a problem, and associating being middle class with being smug, don’t help your argument.

85 John March 2, 2014 at 7:38 pm

I’ve just finished reading Poe Francie encyclical ‘ The Joy of the Gospel’and his recent interview covering a range of topics. Could I preposr that on behalf of atheist Ireland we acknowledge the positive contribution he has made since become Pope….

86 John March 15, 2014 at 10:48 am

To our Christian brothers on the celebration of our patron Patrick have a good weekend. From all atheists of good will and peace.

87 John March 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Following on my recent suggestion of message of support to Pope Francis, I was encouraged to hear that fellow atheist Evana Bachik has supported a motion to invite him to the Seanad.

88 Christopher Lowe March 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm

The Pope may have given a little nod towards the atheists and seems to be focusing on the benevolent acts his church pursues, but don’t forget it is a corporation that seeks profits and is dedicated to spreading superstition. It is good we have a pope not “behaving badly”, but dream on if you think he’ll reform any of the core tenets of Catholicism.

89 John March 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

Christopher. I don’t need to dream on about the Pope changing tenets of Christian faith. In fact, why should he! I’m more interested in his humanity and reaching out in solidarity to all people of faith and none. He has filled a vacuum left by many leaders including, regrettably, many leading atheists.

90 J9 March 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Well said, John. You don’t have to be a papist nor a theist nor a religionairre to welcome and engage reform and decency. Isn’t that what we all hope for? Unless it is disingenuous or ulteriorly motivated.

91 Barbara Hensel April 6, 2014 at 12:45 am

boy are you all in for a big surprise on Judgment Day !!!!!! =) In fact Hell is too good for you all.

92 John April 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

The forthcoming meeting between M. Higgins and Elizabeth is a milestone for atheism. Our atheist president and the head of the Church of England. I wish them well.

93 Christopher Lowe April 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Awww….Barbara, don’t be so mean spirited. If Hell is good enough for you then it should be good enough for us too!

94 John April 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Did anyone read David Quinns recent essay, ‘The atheists act of Faith? Any comments….

95 J9 April 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Oh Barbara, you are already surprised. If there were a Hell, why wouldn’t you be good enough for it right now? Wouldn’t that be the place for Haters such as ye? This is why I put no faith in humanity.

96 John April 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

While a welcome the milestone of an Irish atheist president meeting the head of the Church of England, I was saddened by the gratuitous extravagant antics. Regrettably atheism is becoming associated with wealth…….

97 Jerry Mullins April 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

heard you this evening on the Joe Duffy show on RTE radio 1, you were inspirational well done Michael

98 John April 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

The media is favourable to us atheists at present. We have to be careful though, it was once favourable to organised religion. Let’s not take their support for granted.

99 John April 21, 2014 at 8:15 am

Interesting article in the Irish Times today by Rosemary McCabe – ‘what an atheist can learn at Mass’. I’m not in favour of our atheist know all Dawkins.

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