Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.
Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist ...- Stephen Hawking (atheist) and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, 2010
If materialism [the only thing that exists is matter] is true, it seems to me that we cannot know that it is true. If my opinions are the result of the chemical processes going on in my brain, they are determined by the laws of chemistry, not of logic.- JBS Haldane (atheist), The Inequality of Man, 1932
We have to accept the subtle but closely woven evidence that man is not different in kind from other forms of life; that living matter is not different in kind from dead matter; and therefore that man is an assembly of atoms that obeys natural laws of the same kind that a star does ...
The atoms in the brain, as much as those in the body, constitute a mechanism, which ticks with the same orderly regularity, and abides by similar laws, and as any other interlocking constellation of atoms.
Men have uneasily pushed this thought out of their heads because they want to avoid the conflict with their rooted conviction that man is a free agent who follows only the promptings of his own free will. But we cannot hide this contradiction for ever."- Jacob Bronowski (atheist), The Identity of Man, 1967, pp. 8, 2-4
When I come to my own beliefs, I find myself quite unable to discern any purpose in the universe, and still more unable to wish to discern one ...
The cosmos is like a theatre in which just once a play is performed, but, after the curtain falls, the theatre is left cold and empty until it sinks in ruins. I do not mean to assert with any positiveness that this is the case. That would be to assume more knowledge than we possess. I say only that it is probable on present evidence.
I will not assert dogmatically that there is no cosmic purpose, but I will say that there is no shred of evidence in favour of there being one.- Bertrand Russell (atheist), “Is There a God?” (1952), in The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, Vol 11: Last Philosophical Testament, 1943-68p. 543
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.- Madelyn Murray O’Hair (atheist)
When one gives up Christian belief one thereby deprives oneself of the right to Christian morality… Christianity is a system, a consistently thought out and complete view of things. If one breaks out of it a fundamental idea, the belief in God, one thereby breaks the whole thing to pieces: one has nothing of any consequence left in one’s hands.- Friedriche Nietzsche (atheist), Twilight of the Idols p.12
We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view, or that all really rational persons should not be individual egoists or classical anoralists. Reason doesn’t decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me ...
Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.- Kai Nielsen (atheist), “Why should I be moral?” American Philosophical Quarterly 21, 1894: 90
The moral principles that govern our behaviour are rooted in habits and custom, feeling and fashion.- Paul Kurtz (atheist), Forbidden Fruit, 1988, p.73
Outside human desires there is no moral standard.- Bertrand Russell (atheist), “What I believe” p.62, 1957