"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."

"Religion is a necessary fiction for those who are too stupid to have developed morals on their own, and need the threat of hell and the promise of heaven to lead a moral life."

"Religion is what the common people see as true, the wise see as false, and the rulers see as useful."