“An atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An atheist thinks that heaven is something for which we should work for now â€” here on earth â€” for all men together to enjoy. An atheist accepts that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, subdue and enjoy it. An atheist thinks that only in knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.
Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to ‘know’ a god. An atheist knows that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death.
He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a hereafter. He knows that we are our brothers’ keepers in that we are, first, keepers of our lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here and the time is now.” — Madalyn Murray O’Hair
I’m not saying I like what she did or how she went about it, but I like how eloquent that quote is. Her much less eloquent quote, true as it is, was:
“There is no God. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. There are no angels. When you die, you go in the ground, the worms eat you.”