List of atheists
A number of noted individuals have been atheists. Please note that these people have been selected for this list because their reputation is in some way due or connected to their atheism.
A partial list of persons believed to be atheists:
- Douglas Adams, novelist
- Woody Allen, film director, actor, comedian
- Isaac Asimov, author and scientist
- John Baskerville, printer and typefounder
- Charles Bradlaugh, British Member of Parliament
- Nathaniel Branden, psychologist and philosopher, associated with Objectivism.
- George Gordon, Lord Byron; Romantic poet
- George Carlin - comedian. Wrote a number of monologues about the non-existence of a God.
- Noam Chomsky, philosopher, linguist, political activist.
- Clarence Darrow Defense attorney at the Scopes Monkey Trial. Was largely demonized in the press for his atheism.
- Richard Dawkins - biologist and science writer.
- Daniel Dennett - philosopher, well-known for his book Darwin's Dangerous Idea.
- Thomas Edison.
- Paul Ehrlich - entomologist.
- Ludwig Feuerbach, philosopher, postulated that God is merely a projection by humans of their own best qualities.
- Richard Feynman, physicist.
- Sigmund Freud - neurologist. Father of psychoanalysis; considered the belief in God to stem from an unconscious fear of one's own biological father.
- Christopher Hitchens - political commentator and author
- David Hume - Scottish Philosopher and major skeptic of The Enlightenment period.
- Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, one of the most popular orators in late 19th century America, speaking in favor of atheism in every part of the country before large crowds.
- Paul Kurtz - philosopher and founder of Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), the Council for Secular Humanism
- Karl Marx - philosopher and sociologist. Founder of Marxist political and economic philosophy. His famous formulation was: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."
- John McCarthy - AI researcher and inventor of Lisp programming language
- Henry Louis Mencken - journalist and social critic.
- Madalyn Murray O'Hair Founder of American Atheists; filed the lawsuit that led the US Supreme Court to ban teacher-led prayer in public schools.
- Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator, who said "Religion is a species of mental disease."
- Roy Neuberger, financier and art collector, his preference of wealth over spirituality estranges him from his son, who wrote a book on the need for spirituality in his life and rediscovering Judaism
- Kai Nielsen, contemporary professor of philosophy, specializes in philosophy of religion as a leading advocate of atheism.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, German existentialist philosopher and fierce critic of what he called the 'slave morality' of Christianity.
- Camille Paglia, post-feminist literary and cultural critic.
- Jacques Prévert, French poet.
- Ayn Rand - novelist and philosopher. Founder of Objectivism. Wrote extensively on her position that individuals should abandon what she considered superstitious beliefs.
- James Randi, professional magician and debunker of psychics.
- Matt Ridley, science writer and journalist.
- La Rochefoucauld
- Richard Rorty
- Gene Roddenberry-TV Writer, producer, creator of Star Trek.
- Bertrand Russell - philosopher; author of Why I am not a Christian and Science and Religion.
- Marquis de Sade - author. Denied the existence of morality based on a mandate from divine authority.
- Carl Sagan - physicist, popular-science writer.
- Brian Short - noted blogger.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet, author of The necessity of Atheism.
- B. F. Skinner, psychologist.
- Josef Stalin, Soviet dictator.
- Richard M. Stallman - computer programmer and founder of the Free Software Foundation.
- Max Stirner, Young Hegelian philosopher and anarchist.
- Mao Tse-Tung - Chinese dictator, who said, "Religion is poison."
- Mark Twain - author.
- Gore Vidal - author.
- Joss Whedon
- Virginia Woolf - author and feminist.