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Atheist; Awarded the 1903 nobel prize for physics and the 1911 nobel prize for chemistry; the first person to win a second Nobel Prize, and she is the only Nobel Prize winner who is also the mother of another Nobel Prize winner -- daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, Irène Joliot-Curie. Biography
Second President of the United States (1797-1801); Regarded as one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States.
"The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?"
-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 20, 1815
American inventor, scientist and businessman; invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Edison is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history, holding 1,093 U.S. patents in his name.
"I cannot believe in the immortality of the soul. . . . I am an aggregate of cells, as, for instance, New York City is an aggregate of individuals. Will New York City go to heaven? . . . . No; nature made us--nature did it all--not the gods of the religions."
-- Thomas Alva Edison, The New York Times, Oct. 2, 1910
Fourth President of the United States; considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and father of the U.S. Constitution, presented the below opinion on Christianity to the General Assembly of Virginia in 1785.
"What influence in fact, have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In NO instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy."
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect."
-- James Madison, letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774
"I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs." -- Autobiography
Escaped slave; renowned abolitionist, editor and feminist. Douglass was the only man to speak in favor of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's controversial plank of woman suffrage at the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. He became US marshall of the District of Columbia in 1877.
Third President of the United States; principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers
In Notes on the State of Virginia, he said of this religion,"There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites"
("Politics and Religious Illiteracy," Truth Seeker, Vol. 121, No. 3, p. 33) The Christian Nation Myth
World renowned as the father of American literature, Twain is most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has since been called the Great American Novel, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Twain became a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
"The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition."
"The Bible is a mass of fables and traditions, mere mythology."-- Mark Twain
The 16th President of the United States; successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery.
In answer to a letter from Judge J. A. Wakefield, an old friend, inquiring and hoping that he had changed the infidel opinions and convictions of his early manhood, Lincoln wrote -- and it is significant that this letter was written after the death of his son Willie: --
"My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them."Lincoln, the Freethinker by Joseph Lewis, 1924
Author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
"What is it the Bible teaches us? -- rapine, cruelty, and murder. What is it the Testament teaches us? -- to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married, and the belief of this debauchery is called faith."
THE AGE OF REASON (1796) Thomas Paine
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
Age of Reason, Part 1; Paine, The Age of Reason
He also wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1795), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income.
American social activist, abolitionist, leading figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States. New York Times Oct. 27, 1902; Obit.
"The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation." -- Free Thought Magazine (Sept. 1896)
"I know of no other book that so fully teaches the subjection and degradation of women." -- Eight Years and More (1898), page 395
One of the most famous "Captains of Industry" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the 1890s, Carnegie Steel was the largest and most profitable industrial enterprise in the world!
"The whole scheme of Christian Salvation is diabolical as revealed by the creeds. An angry God, imagine such a creator of the universe. Angry at what he knew was coming and was himself responsible for. Then he sets himself about to beget a son, in order that the child should beg him to forgive the Sinner. ...I decline to accept Salvation from such a fiend."