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List of nontheists (surnames A to B)

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Atheists with surnames starting A and B, sortable by the field for which they are mainly known and nationality.

Name Dates Known as / for Who Reference
Aaronovitch, DavidDavid Aaronovitch 1954– Journalist British journalist, author and broadcaster. "Like most of the Godless (or Godfree), I have no desire to proselytise for atheism or to persuade people out of religions that may offer them comfort and companionship."[1]"What makes me think I "can reduce the function of religion to the provision of 'comfort and companionship'" instead of seeing it as a "public truth"? Being an atheist, I suppose. I see religion as a cultural and psychological construct, which fulfils certain almost universal needs and which, as a consequence, I am disinclined to condemn."[2]
Abraham, AbuAbu Abraham 1924–2002 Visual arts Indian political cartoonist, journalist, and author. "His strongest theme, as India sank faster into factional and religious politics, had remained adherence to the original vision of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru for a wholly secular state: Abu was a rationalist and atheist."[3]
Acciarito, PietroPietro Acciarito 1871–1943 Activist Italian anarchist activist who attempted to assassinate King Umberto I. "He was tried at the Rome Assizes on May 28 and 29, and on being convicted, was sentenced to imprisonment for life. He was certainly both an Anarchist and an atheist, but whether he had accomplices or acted solely on his own initiative is doubtful."[4]
Achmat, ZackieZackie Achmat 1962– Activist South African anti-HIV/AIDS activist, founder of the Treatment Action Campaign. "Zackie Achmat was raised in a conservative Muslim family but when he was 14 years old he left home, burnt down his school and, for a brief while, sold his body for sex. A homosexual, an atheist and a militant anti-apartheid campaigner whose political ideas were forged on an intense reading of Marx, Lenin and Trotsky, he was diagnosed with the Aids virus in his late twenties and founded his country's first gay and lesbian rights movement. His father went to his grave hating him; his mother never got over the shame. But today, in the country worst hit by Aids, Zackie Achmat is a national hero."[5]
Adams, ClarkClark Adams 1969–2007 Atheist activist American freethought leader and activist. "In college, after reading material from American Atheists, he became, in his words, 'a pretty hard core atheist.'"[6]
Douglas adams cropped Adams, DouglasDouglas Adams 1952–2001 Author British radio and television writer and novelist, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. "I am a radical Atheist..." - Adams in an interview with American Atheists.[7]
Mary AdamsMary Adams 1898–1984 Television producer British (English) producer and administrator in the BBC, instrumental in setting up the BBC's television service. "She was a socialist, a romantic communist, and could charm with her charisma, spontaneity, and quick informed intelligence. She was a fervent atheist and advocate of humanism and common sense, accepting her stance without subjecting it to analysis."[8]
Adams, PhillipPhillip Adams 1939– Journalist and broadcaster Australian broadcaster, writer, film-maker, left-wing radical thinker and iconoclast. He was the Australian Humanist of the Year in 1987. "I've spent a life-time attacking religious beliefs and have not wavered from a view of the universe that many would regard as bleak. Namely, that it is a meaningless place devoid of deity [sic]"[9]
Adithya 1974– Actor Indian actor in Tamil and Malayalam films. "Am I glad I am an atheist for I am convinced that were I to be a believer in the cosmic watchdog then I would surely be reserved a suite in hotel hell. The good part is that I will not be alone. All my close circle of friends will be there to keep me company, males and females alike. Hell, come to think of it the best of everybody will be around – It's going to be one big party.[10]
Adler, LarryLarry Adler 1914–2001 Musician American musician, widely acknowledged as one of the world's most skilled harmonica players. "I was among friends and family who packed a chapel at Golders Green crematorium on Friday to hear more than two hours of tributes to Larry Adler. In accordance with Larry's wishes - he was an inveterate atheist who refused to recognise the supernatural in any shape or form - there were no religious observances."[11]
Ahearne, JoeJoe Ahearne 1963– Television writer British television writer and director, best known for his work on several 'cult' fantasy-based programmes including Ultraviolet and Doctor Who. Interviewer: "Has researching subjects such as exorcism and possession forced you to challenge your belief system?" Ahearne: "No I'm a devout atheist and endlessly fascinated with the issue of faith in the impossible. It's true I bought a cross when we were shooting in Rome and I'm still wearing it. And it's true some of the actors had unnerving stories to tell during the shoot. My unfaith remains unshaken however. I need big miracles to make me believe. So far I've just been teased by the paranormal."[12]
Aldred, GuyGuy Aldred 1886–1963 Politician British (English) anarchist communist and a prominent member of the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation. "The defendant, in the witness-box, declared that the meeting was quite orderly, and there were cries of "Shame" when he was arrested. He denied the charges. Aldred said he was an Atheist and a Socialist."[13]
Ayaan-Hirsi-Ali-VVD.NL-1200x1600 Ali, Ayaan HirsiAyaan Hirsi Ali 1969– Activist Dutch feminist and politician, a prominent critic of Islam, whose screenplay for the movie Submission led to death threats. "Too much reason can reform a faith away, which would be fine with Hirsi Ali, who regards herself as an atheist."[14]
Ali, SubhashiniSubhashini Ali 19??– Politician Indian Marxist politician and President of the All India Democratic Women's Association. "There are religions that have very rigid rules and there are others that don't. Religion is something that I, as a person, am not interested in. I have always been an atheist. My parents were atheists. It doesn't bother me if somebody is religious. My problem is when religion is used to institutionalise other things."[15]
Tariq ali Ali, TariqTariq Ali 1943– Author British-Pakistani historian, novelist, filmmaker, political campaigner and commentator. "It is well known that I am not a religious person, I grew up and remain an atheist [...]".[16]
Alkon, AmyAmy Alkon 19??– Journalist American advice columnist known as the Advice Goddess, author of Ask the Advice Goddess, published in more than 100 newspapers within North America. "Come on, somebody tell me I can't possibly have morals because I'm an atheist."[17]
Dave AllenDave Allen 1936–2005 Comedian Irish comedian, popular on United Kingdom and Australian television in the 1960s, 1970s and also in the 1990s. "Allen had little time for those who unquestioningly accept the tenets of any creed or system of thought. He applied this stricture equally to himself, and used humour to undermine even his own scepticism ("I'm an atheist, thank God"). [...] "His baffled humanity," wrote Charles Spencer, the theatre critic of The Daily Telegraph, in 1993, "his perplexity in the face of life's mysteries and irritations, are the qualities that make him such a fine and sometimes moving comedian. He's a blaspheming atheist on the side of the angels."[18]
Allen, KeithKeith Allen 1953– Comedian British comedian, actor, singer and writer, father of Lilly Allen. "One of the many reasons Allen made the documentary was to explore his own atheism. Unlike most non-believers, he claims, in all seriousness, to have once seen God. It was at Glastonbury during the 1980s, and (as is the case with most of the splendid anecdotes that litter his conversation), it involved enough mind-altering substances to stun a baby elephant. [...] Like any considered atheist, particularly one who will burn in Hell, he lives according to a moral code that refuses to romanticise things like love, or devotion."[19]
Graham AllenGraham Allen 1953– Politician British Labour politician and Member Member of Parliament for Nottingham North, and a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society. "That point was made in the excellent speech by the hon. Member for Nottingham, North (Mr. Allen), who is a convinced atheist — perhaps a member of the National Secular Society; I do not know."[20]
Allen, WoodyWoody Allen 1935– Comedian and film director American film director, writer, actor, comedian, playwright and jazz musician, winner of numerous awards and one of the most respected living American directors. "Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends."
"If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever."

"To you, I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition."

Allison, HughHugh Allison 1982– Director English playwright, actor and director. Founder of The Yellowchair Performance Experience Directed Gospel, "Seven five minute atheist plays on the themes of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."[21] Also wrote Worship, based on Jet de Sang by French atheist Antonin Artaud.[22]
Allende, SalvadorSalvador Allende 1908–1973 Politician Chilean Marxist politician, President of Chile from November 1970 until his death during the coup d'état of September 11, 1973. "The inauguration was, however, followed by an ecumenical service in the cathedral, since, as the new President, an atheist and freemason, has already explained, many of those who voted for his "Popular Unity" programme are sincere Roman Catholics."[23]
Alvarez de Toledo, Luisa IsabelLuisa Isabel Alvarez de Toledo 1936–2008 Politician Spanish duchess, holder of the ducal title Medina-Sidonia, known as the "Red Duchess". "The dictator Francisco Franco jailed her for championing workers, who nicknamed her the "Red Duchess". She challenged Spain's official history, arguing that Columbus didn't discover America. She was an atheist, a republican and reckoned her 13th-century ancestor Guzman el Bueno, ennobled for fighting the Moors, was a north African whose grandmother was black."[24]
Altman, RobertRobert Altman 1925–2006 Film director American film director, recognised in 2006 with an Academy Honorary Award. "Still, it's worth noting that by the age of 20 this whistle-blower had resisted two of the most powerful institutions - church and army, both. He is an atheist, "And I have been against all of these wars ever since.""[25]
Amado, JorgeJorge Amado 1912–2001 Author Brazilian author. Amado is described as an "ateu convicto", or "convinced atheist".[26]
Ambler, EricEric Ambler 1909–1998 Author British (English) writer of spy novels, influential for introducing a new realism to the genre. Awards: OBE. "Once, filming in Italy with the American director John Huston and a US army crew, Ambler and his colleagues were shelled so fiercely that his unconscious 'played a nasty trick on him' (Ambler, Here Lies, 208). A confirmed atheist, he heard himself saying, 'Into thy hands I commend my spirit.' "[27]
Amis, Sir KingsleySir Kingsley Amis 1922–1995 Author British (English) novelist, poet, critic and teacher, most famous for his novels Lucky Jim and the Booker Prize-winning The Old Devils. "His son Martin, who led the ceremony, said: "His relationship with the Christian God was not entirely frictionless. In 1962 (the Russian poet) Yevtushenko asked him 'Are you an atheist?'. He replied: 'Well, yes - but it's more that I hate Him'.""[28]
Amte, BabaBaba Amte 1914–2008 Activist Indian social activist, known for his work with lepers. "From 1990 he went to live by the Narmada, the most threatened river, building another ashram from scratch on stony, empty ground. Each day, until he grew too frail and the slippery banks too hazardous, he would walk to the river to watch it flow. Atheist though he was, he saw the Narmada as a goddess whose beauty should be decorated only with micro-dams on a human scale. And certainly he did not want his ashes to float there after his death. He insisted on burial, where his body—becoming what he had once been most disgusted and afraid of—might go on being useful and productive, inside the earth."[29]
John AndersonJohn Anderson 1893–1962 Philosopher Australian philosopher, founder of the empirical philosophy known as 'Sydney realism'. "This degree of radicalism Sydney could endure. But what of a man who had signed up as a communist immediately on his arrival, who was unashamedly an atheist, a realist where philosophers were expected to be idealists, who freely mixed with students when he was expected to meet them only in classes or, very occasionally, in their studies? Trouble was bound to loom ahead."[30]
William Crawford AndersonWilliam Crawford Anderson 1877–1919 Politician British (Scottish) socialist politician, a founder member of the Union of Democratic Control. "His mother was an intelligent and widely read woman of strong, radical, Presbyterian views who encouraged William to read extensively and passed on a love of literature which stayed with him long after he was converted to free-thinking atheism."[31]
Angier, NatalieNatalie Angier 1958– Journalist American nonfiction writer and science journalist for The New York Times; 1991 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting. "I may be an atheist, and I may be impressed that, through the stepwise rigor of science, its Spockian eyebrow of doubt always cocked, we have learned so much about the universe. Yet I recognize that, from there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere. [...] I recognize that science doesn't have all the answers and doesn't pretend to, and that's one of the things I love about it. But it has a pretty good notion of what's probable or possible, and virgin births and carpenter rebirths just aren't on the list. Is there a divine intelligence, separate from the universe but somehow in charge of the universe, either in its inception or in twiddling its parameters? No evidence. [...] I don't believe in life after death, but I'd like to believe in life before death. I'd like to think that one of these days we'll leave superstition and delusional thinking and Jerry Falwell behind. Scientists would like that, too. But for now, they like their grants even more."


Anguita, JulioJulio Anguita 1941– Politician Spanish politician and a former teacher, Mayor of Córdoba 1979–1988, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain 1988–1998. "Señor Julio Anguita, the mayor, who is a self-confessed atheist indifferent to both religions, has invoked Spain's 1978 constitution which separates church and state [...]".[33]
Argibay, CarmenCarmen Argibay 1939– Lawyer Argentinian lawyer, a member of the Argentine Supreme Court of Justice, the first woman to be nominated for the Court by a democratic government in Argentina. Interviewer: "In interviews you have described yourself as "more left than right" and "a militant atheist" in a country that is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, and where the political left continues to be a minority. Don't you think that most of the public might take your statements as a sign that you might be biased on certain issues?"

Argibay: "On the contrary -- if one reads my declarations correctly. I believe that saying up front who one is or what one thinks is an indication of honesty, which is the first step towards impartiality. My beliefs, or lack thereof, should not interfere in the judicial decisions I take."[34]

Armstrong, LanceLance Armstrong 1971– Sportsperson American cyclist, winner of the Tour de France seven consecutive times. "If there was a god, I'd still have both nuts." (Armstrong lost one testicle due to cancer.)[35]
Isaac.Asimov01 Asimov, IsaacIsaac Asimov 1920–1992 Author Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, a highly prolific and successful writer of science fiction and popular science books. Widely considered a master of the science-fiction genre, he was considered one of the "Big Three" science-fiction writers during his lifetime. "I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it... I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."[36]
Athill, DianaDiana Athill 1917– Author British literary editor, novelist and memoirist who worked with some of the most important writers of the 20th century. "Last week, looking through a book about 15th-century painting in Italy, I began to wonder why I loved these paintings so much. Almost all of them are illustrations of religious subjects, and I have been an atheist almost since the day I was confirmed in the Christian faith by the Bishop of Norwich in 1931. To describe the atheism first: it originated in a certainty that I was going to start breaking the rules as laid down by the god I'd been taught about, followed by a suspicion that if his rules were so easy to break he couldn't be all that he was cracked up to be. Then came its firmer base: the observation that many of the most hideous things done to each other by human beings have been done in his name. It can be argued that this is our fault, not God's. But the god we Europeans are supposed to believe in a) created us as well as everything else that is; b) is omnipotent; c) is Love. In which case, one must assume from the evidence rammed down our throats for century after century that he is liable to fits of serious derangement during which he is Not Himself."[37]
Peter Atkins Paris 2007 Atkins, PeterPeter Atkins 1940– Scientist British (English) chemist, Professor of chemistry at Lincoln College, Oxford in England. When asked by Rod Liddle in the documentary The Trouble with Atheism "Give me your views on the existence, or otherwise, of God", Peter Atkins replied "Well it's fairly straightforward: there isn't one. And there's no evidence for one, no reason to believe that there is one, and so I don't believe that there is one. And I think that it is rather foolish that people do think that there is one."[38]
Atran, ScottScott Atran 1952– Social scientist American anthropologist. "I find it fascinating that among the brilliant scientists and philosophers at the conference, there was no convincing evidence presented that they know how to deal with the basic irrationality of human life and society other than to insist against all reason and evidence that things ought to be rational and evidence based. It makes me embarrassed to be a scientist and atheist."[39]
Attenborough, Sir DavidSir David Attenborough 1926– British natural history programmes British broadcaster and naturalist. "It never really occurred to me to believe in God - and I had nothing to rebel against, my parents told me nothing whatsoever.

But I do remember looking at my headmaster delivering a sermon, a classicist, extremely clever... and thinking, he can't really believe all that, can he? How incredible!"[40]

Attlee, ClementClement Attlee 1883–1967 Politician British politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, under whose government the National Health Service and Welfare State were established. Honours: 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC. "[...] then in 1896 at the age of thirteen went on, like all the boys in the family, to Haileybury College. Here he confirmed an unobtrusive atheism—he became disenchanted with church attendance and religious observance—and played rugby and cricket with the handicap of his small stature and lack of any real skill, but enjoyed the rifle corps."[41]
Auriol, VincentVincent Auriol 1884–1966 Politician French politician who served as the first President of the Fourth Republic from 1947 to 1954. "When John XXIII was later “elevated” to the College of Cardinals, he insisted upon receiving the red hat from the atheist and notoriously anti-clerical socialist Vincent Auriol, President of the country of France, whom he had described as "an honest socialist."[42]
Avakian, BobBob Avakian 19??– Politician American author of Away With All Gods! (2008) and Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Part Four of Away With All Gods! contains a section called "God Does Not Exist — And There Is No Good Reason to Believe In God".[43]
Avalos, HectorHector Avalos 1958– Philosopher Mexican-American professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University and author of several books about religion. "I was a child evangelist and preacher, and I used to go around a lot of churches in Arizona specifically [...] it was coming along sort of in stages [...] slowly through high school, and so by the first year of college, I pretty much had realised that I am an atheist." [...] "Well I always say, reading the Bible [made me an atheist]. The more I read the Bible and I tried to use the Bible to convert other people to Christianity, I realised, well I have to learn the arguments of the other religions I'm trying to convert. And the more I tried to learn the arguments and compare them to mine, the more I realised, I could make the arguments for their side just as well. Then it went into, you know, how do I know that anything I believe is true? And eventually I realised I have no evidence for any religion being true, and at that point, I was an atheist."[44]
Aveling, EdwardEdward Aveling 1849–1898 Politician British (English) Marxist activist and partner of Karl Marx's daughter Eleanor. "His failed marriage aside, he was on a climbing path of conventional success and acclaim, which he left in 1879 when he abandoned his application for the chair of comparative anatomy because the post required its holder to profess Christianity. In July 1879 he made a public pronouncement that he had been an atheist for two or three years. In June 1881 he lost his lectureship, largely because of his atheism."[45]
Avnery, UriUri Avnery 1923– Politician German-born Israeli journalist, left-wing peace activist, and former Knesset member. "Well, I myself am a 100% atheist. And I am increasingly worried that the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, which dominates our entire life, is assuming a more and more religious character."[46]
Axelrod, JuliusJulius Axelrod 1912–2004 Scientist American Nobel Prize winning biochemist, noted for his work on the release and reuptake of catecholamine neurotransmitters and major contributions to the understanding of the pineal gland and how it is regulated during the sleep-wake cycle. "Although he became an atheist early in life and resented the strict upbringing of his parents’ religion, he identified with Jewish culture and joined several international fights against anti-Semitism."[47]
Ayer, Sir A. J.Sir A. J. Ayer 1910–1989 Philosopher British philosopher and advocate of logical positivism, Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London, Wykeham Professor of Logic at the University of Oxford, and a president of the Aristotelian Society. "Conversely, an absolute denial of God's existence is equally meaningless, since verification is impossible. However, despite this assertion, Ayer may be considered a practical atheist: one who sees no reason to worship an invisible deity."[48]"I was thoroughly irritated when Freddie Ayer, the philosopher who was at Christ Church with me, presented me with a book inscribed: 'To my fellow atheist'."[49]
B, FrankoFranko B 1960– Visual arts Italian-born, London-based performance artist who uses his own body in his art. "But while the power of Franko B's medium is unquestionable, the multi-dimensional interpretations open to onlookers mean that he is prey to negative readings. He protests: "Blood is one of the fluids inside me that gives me life, and in a way when I'm performing I feel I'm giving life. I grew up Catholic, and while I am an atheist, religion is a major influence on my work - I love churches, I love paintings of the Crucifixion. Whatever I do, I believe in it 100 per cent.""[50]
Bachelet, MichelleMichelle Bachelet 1951– Politician Chilean politician, the current President of Chile and the first woman to hold this position in the country's history. "A paediatrician turned politician, Ms Bachelet is an atheist single mother with three children by two different partners - which makes her an odd choice in a macho and profoundly Catholic country."[51]"Given this context, it is nothing short of extraordinary - even revolutionary - that the clear front-runner in the presidential vote being held on Sunday is Michelle Bachelet, a divorced mother of three who is an atheist and a member of the Socialist Party."[52]
Francis BaconFrancis Bacon 1909–1992 Visual arts Irish-born figurative painter whose work is known for its bold, austere, and often grotesque or nightmarish imagery. "And a painter works with his human material, not with colours and paintbrushes. It's his thoughts that enter the painting. But I don't expect any certainty in life, I don't believe in anything, not in God, not in morality, not in social success ... I just believe in the present moment if it has genius - in the spinning roulette ball or in the emotions that I experience when what I transmit on to the canvas works. I am completely amoral and atheist, and if I hadn't painted, I would have been a thief or a criminal. My paintings are a lot less violent than me. Perhaps if my childhood had been happier, I would have painted bouquets of flowers."[53]
Bacon, KevinKevin Bacon 1958– Actor American film and theatre actor whose notable roles include Animal House, A Few Good Men, Stir of Echoes, JFK, Apollo 13, Mystic River and Footloose. "The rating furore that surrounded the film [Where the Truth Lies] is symptomatic, Bacon says, of a particularly repressive period for the arts in America. The film would not, he thinks, have been slammed with such a punitive rating ten years ago. "I think there is a puritanical wind that is blowing. I have never seen such a lack of separation between church and state in America," he says. "I don't believe in God, but if I did I would say that sex is a Godgiven right. Otherwise it's the end of our species." Bacon sounds weary, as if he's been fighting a lot of losing battles over the past couple of years. It can't have escaped his notice that this puritanism will have ramifications for the kind of films that are financed in future."[54]
Baddiel, DavidDavid Baddiel 1964– Comedian English comedian, novelist and television presenter. "This project springs from Updike's understanding of God, his deep religious conviction that God is as present in cabbages, vaginas, golf and dentist's chairs as he is in churches. I don't believe in God, although I do sometimes when reading Updike. Make no mistake, we are living in the time of a master. He is up there with Dickens, with Austen - sod it, he's up there with Shakespeare. The only person I can think of with more talent is Ronaldinho. Now can I have that lunch invitation?"[55]
Baggini, JulianJulian Baggini 1968– Philosopher British (English) writer specialising in philosophy, author of Atheism: A Very Short Introduction. "The reverend Dr Tom Ambrose was sacked yesterday by his bishop for being "arrogant, aggressive, rude, bullying, high-handed, disorganised and at times petty", as a Church of England tribunal put it. Twice, he even spat at parishioners. You might expect that, as an atheist, I might rub my hands over this clerical outrage."[56]
Bahara, HassanHassan Bahara 1978– Author Moroccan-Dutch writer. "In interviews he calls himself an atheist, but "so far I have been left alone by the beardmonkeys [referring to Muslims]. Perhaps I have to make myself heard just a little bit better, I should be more explicit in my aversion to Islam and religion in general.""[57]
Roy BaileyRoy Bailey 1935– Musician British (English) socialist folk singer, awarded an MBE for services to folk music in 2000. "I think of myself as a militant atheist and I never knew quite where Tony [Benn] was coming from on the religion side."[58]
Bailey, Sir Edward BattersbySir Edward Battersby Bailey 1881–1968 Scientist British geologist, director of the British Geological Survey and Fellow of the Royal Society. "In religious matters he was an atheist."[59]
Bakewell, JoanJoan Bakewell 1933– Journalist British (English) television presenter and journalist. Awarded a CBE. "What has stayed with me is the need for and love of ritual, the language of the authorised version of the Bible, the liturgy of the Anglican services, the beauty of its places of worship, the music and painting created to celebrate Christianity's central mystery. I think I remain to this day an unbelieving Anglican. None of this is rational, or particularly logical. It is how religion happens: a heap of childhood influence, a questing mind as the search begins, a failure to find new or surprising answers, a sound respect for the minds that once shaped doctrine and then the settling for a quiet and untroubled agnosticism. It is merely a timid temperament that inhibits me from declaring a bold, defiant atheism. Mine has been an outlook evolved from its time, growing from a particular period of history of absolutes and certainties. Everything shifted for devoutly held faith when schools began teaching comparative religion. From then on, the game was up. If each religion, it was now taught, has its own legitimacy, its own beliefs and concept of the divine, what is to say whether one is any better than another?"[60]
Bakunin, MikhailMikhail Bakunin 1814–1876 Philosopher Russian philosopher, writer and anarchist. "God, or rather the fiction of God, is thus the sanction and the intellectual and moral cause of all the slavery on earth, and the liberty of men will not be complete, unless it will have completely annihilated the inauspicious fiction of a heavenly master."

"We are materialists and atheists, and we glory in the fact."[61]

Banks, IainIain Banks 1954– Author British (Scottish) author, writing mainstream fiction as Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks. "I'm an evangelical atheist so I'm not into supernatural effects - I hated The Exorcist - but John Carpenter's remake of The Thing is different."[62]
Bardem, JavierJavier Bardem 1969– Actor Spanish actor and former rugby player best known for his role in Jamón, Jamón and No Country For Old Men. "In a final act of deflection, he explained away all this Oscar business by blaming [Cuban writer Reinaldo] Arenas: "I don't believe in God," he said. "But I do believe in guardian angels. He chose me for his movie."[63]
Barker, DanDan Barker 1949– Atheist activist American activist, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and author of Losing Faith In Faith: From Preacher To Atheist. "Following five years of reading, Dan gradually outgrew his religious beliefs. "If I had limited myself to Christian authors, I'd still be a Christian today," Dan says. "I just lost faith in faith." He announced his atheism publicly in January, 1984."[64]
Barnes, JonathanJonathan Barnes 1942– Philosopher British (English) philosopher, translator and historian of ancient philosophy, and brother of the novelist Julian Barnes. ""I don't believe in God," [Julian] Barnes says in the book's opening line, "but I miss Him." It's a statement Barnes's brother, Jonathan, a philosopher and confirmed atheist, dismisses as "soppy." Jonathan provides a sanguine counterpoint to Julian's perpetual fretting, or what he calls "pit-gazing." Jonathan is resigned to the fact that one day he will cease to exist. Julian keeps looking for a loophole. He wouldn't mind dying, he admits, "as long as I didn't end up being dead afterwards.""[65]
Baskerville, JohnJohn Baskerville 1706–1775 Businessperson British (English) typesetter, printing innovator and typefounder, designer of the typeface that bears his name. Baskerville left directions that his body be buried "in a Conical Building in my own premises Hearetofore used as a mill which I have lately Raised Higher and painted and in a vault which I have prepared for It. This Doubtless to many may appear a Whim perhaps It is so—But it is a whim for many years Resolve'd upon, as I have a Hearty Contempt for all Superstition the Farce of a Consecrated Ground the Irish Barbarism of Sure and Certain Hopes &c I also consider Revelation as it is call'd Exclusive of the Scraps of Morality casually Intermixt with It to be the most Impudent Abuse of Common Sense which Ever was Invented to Befool Mankind."

He also wrote the text for his epitaph: "Stranger—Beneath this Cone in Uncons[e]crated Ground / A Friend to the Liberties of mankind Directed his Body to be Inhum'd / May the Example Contribute to Emancipate thy mind / From the Idle Fears of Superstition / And the wicked arts of priesthood."[66] "Baskerville, designer of the type that bears his name and one of Birmingham's best known citizens, was an atheist and anticleric whose will contained a vitriolic attack on the Church."[67]

Bateson, Sir PatrickSir Patrick Bateson 1939– Scientist British (English) biologist and science writer, Emeritus Professor of ethology at Cambridge University, president of the Zoological Society of London, and Fellow of the Royal Society. "A confirmed agnostic, he [Bateson] was converted to atheism after attending a dinner where he tried to converse with a woman who was a creationist. "For many years what had been good enough for Darwin was good enough for me. Not long after that dreadful dinner, Richard Dawkins wrote to me to ask whether I would publicly affirm my atheism. I could see no reason why not.""[68]
Bateson, WilliamWilliam Bateson 1861–1926 Scientist British geneticist, a Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, where he eventually became Master. He was the first person to use the term genetics to describe the study of heredity and biological inheritance, and the chief populariser of the ideas of Gregor Mendel following their rediscovery. "William Bateson was a very militant atheist and a very bitter man, I fancy. Knowing that I was interested in biology, they invited me when I was still a school girl to go down and see the experimental garden. I remarked to him what I thought then, and still think, that doing research must be the most wonderful thing in the world and he snapped at me that it wasn’t wonderful at all, it was tedious, disheartening, annoying and anyhow you didn’t need an experimental garden to do research."[69]
Bauer, BrunoBruno Bauer 1809–1882 Philosopher German philosopher, theologian and historian, the first propounder of the Jesus myth hypothesis. "Feuerbach's book received criticism from two quarters: expectedly from Christian theologians but surprisingly, from the atheists Max Stirner and Bruno Bauer."[70]
Beaird, Charles T.Charles T. Beaird 1922–2006 Politician American industrialist, investor, newspaper publisher, philanthropist, philosopher, college professor, world traveler, and civic leader, a self-identified "liberal Republican" politician and a champion of civil rights. "He had many friends across a wide spectrum of economic, social and religious backgrounds, all of whom he respected and honored. While Carolyn [his wife] was a devoted Presbyterian, he was a 'nontheist'."[71]
Beauvoir, Simone deSimone de Beauvoir 1908–1986 Philosopher French author and existentialist philosopher, author of novels and monographs on philosophy, politics, social issues and feminism. "[Beauvoir] remained an atheist until her death."[72]"I cannot be angry at God, in whom I do not believe."[73]
Berton, PierrePierre Berton 1920–2004 Author Canadian author of non-fiction, noted especially for Canadiana and Canadian history, and a well-known television personality and journalist. Awarded the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario. "Berton's book, The Comfortable Pew, in which as a lifelong atheist he attacked status quo religiosity, outraged churchgoers. But the wider public came to expect to be challenged by Berton's views."[74]
Besser, MattMatt Besser 1967– Comedian American comedian. ""My name is Matt Besser, and I'm an Arkansas Razorback. My father is a Jew from Little Rock, Ark., my mother was a Christian from Harrison, Ark., and somehow I'm an atheist now living in L.A. I am a Razorback living in the Razorback diaspora." Thus begins Woo Pig Sooie, Matt Besser's one-man comedic rant that fearlessly confronts all the folly and confusion of what it means to be religious in America."[75]
Bettany, PaulPaul Bettany 1971– Actor British (English) actor, known for his roles in A Knight's Tale, A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and The Da Vinci Code. "I was brought up Catholic. I'm lapsed. From the age of three I was with the nuns. Now I'm an atheist. I think religion does a lot for us but I can't quite believe it, alas... It's just a personal choice. I love the idea of heaven though. Who doesn't? It's lovely."[76]
Björk 1965– Musician Icelandic singer/song writer, composer and producer. "I've got my own religion. Iceland set a world record. The United Nations asked people from all over the world a series ot questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what do we believe, 90% said, 'ourselves'. I think I'm in that group. If I get into trouble, there's no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself." Interview by Liam Fay, 'Björk on the wild side', Hot Press, 10 Aug 1994.
Blackburn, JemimaJemima Blackburn 1957– Visual arts British (Scottish) painter and illustrator, especially of evocative images of rural life in 19th century Scotland. "Around their dinner table could be found all shades of political and religious affiliation. Hugh was a devout Christian and apolitical, while Jemima's atheism was coupled with a stout defence of Disraeli's brand of toryism."[77]
Blackburn, SimonSimon Blackburn 1944– Philosopher British (English) academic philosopher known for his efforts to popularise philosophy. "Some years ago, without realizing what it might mean, I accepted a dinner invitation from a Jewish colleague for dinner on Friday night. I should say that my colleague had never appeared particularly orthodox, and he would have known that I am an atheist."[78]
Patrick BlackettPatrick Blackett 1897–1974 Scientist British (English) experimental physicist known for his work on cloud chambers, cosmic rays, and paleomagnetism, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Fellow of the Royal Society and awarded OM and CH. "The grandson of a vicar on his father’s side, Blackett respected religious observances that were established social customs, but described himself as agnostic or atheist."[79]
Blackford, RussellRussell Blackford 1950– Writer, bioethicist Australian writer, philosopher, bioethicist, and critic. He is co-editor of the upcoming Voices of Disbelief, a collection of essays by prominent atheists and sceptics. "It’s true that atheists and sceptics have less reason to be aggressive in arguing publicly for our views if we find ourselves in an environment where religion wields little political influence. In those circumstances, there is simply less urgency about speaking up. Those, however, are not the circumstances that we face."[80]
Blackmore, SusanSusan Blackmore 1951– Scientist British (English) psychologist and memeticist, best known for her book The Meme Machine. In a Point of Inquiry podcast interview, Blackmore described religion as a collection of "really pernicious memes", "I think religious memeplexes are really amongst the nastiest viruses we have on the planet". Blackmore also practices Zen Buddhist meditation; later, when she was asked: "And you find this practice of Zen, the meditative practice, completely compatible with your lack of theism, your atheism...?" She replied: "Oh yes, I mean, there is no god in Buddhism...".[81]
Leo BlairLeo Blair 1923– Lawyer English barrister and father of Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. "The pupil said he had read Richard Dawkins's book The God Delusion and it had helped turn him into an atheist. Mr Blair looked put out and eventually spluttered something about his new Tony Blair Faith Foundation also being about understanding people who had no god. His father Leo was a "militant" atheist, he added."[82]
Blazwick, IwonaIwona Blazwick 19??– Visual arts British (English) art gallery curator, Director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, art writer and broadcaster, awarded an OBE in 2008. "The hidden jewel of the year was an impromptu performance by 40 singers from a South African township under the dome of St Paul's Cathedral, which made me - a devout atheist - feel spiritually moved."[83]
Blunt, Wilfrid ScawenWilfrid Scawen Blunt 1840–1922 Author British (English) poet, writer and diplomat. "Wilfred Scawen Blunt was notorious as an atheist, a libertine, an adventurer and a poet. Somehow he also found time to be a diplomat - one of the earliest in this country to make a real attempt to understand Islam - and an anti-imperialist, becoming the first British-born person to go to jail for Irish independence."[84]
Sir Hermann BondiHermann Bondi 1919–2005 Scientist English-Austrian mathematician and cosmologist, best known for co-developing the steady-state theory of the universe and important contributions to the theory of general relativity and a Fellow of the Royal Society. "Since his childhood in Vienna Bondi had been an atheist, developing from an early age a view on religion that associated it with repression and intolerance. This view, which he shared with Hoyle, never left him. On several occasions he spoke out on behalf of freethinking, so-called, and became early on active in British atheist or "humanist" circles. From 1982 to 1999, he was president of the British Humanist Association, and he also served as president of the Rationalist Press Association of United Kingdom."[85]"Also president of the Rationalist Press Association from 1982 until his death, and with a particular interest in Indian rationalism, Hermann was a strong supporter of the Atheist Centre in Andra Pradesh. He and his wife Christine visited the centre a number of times, and the hall in the science museum there bears his name. When presented with a prestigious international award, he divided a large sum of money between the Atheist Centre and women's health projects in Mumbai."[86]
Bostrom, NickNick Bostrom 1973– Philosopher Swedish philosopher, well-known as the originator of the simulation argument, developer of the existential risk concept, and his advocacy of transhumanism. "Evolution theory gives a naturalistic explanation of how advanced biological organisms could come to exist. This explanation is superior in every way to the earlier deistic explanation. Not only does it not involve postulating some unobserved superhuman entity, but evolution theory is an infinitely richer source of successful empirical predictions than any rival creationist explanation. At this stage of the debate, the atheist seems to have triumphed. Actually, that might be an overstatement, for the atheist has only refuted the deist’s argument for God’s existence; she has not proved that God does not exist. Still, considering the internal difficulties with deism referred to above, atheism, or at least agnosticism, would be the only reasonable conclusion at this point [...] The main possibilities are nonetheless the following: either there is a large ensemble of universes with differing properties, or our universe was intentionally created. Currently, the ensemble hypothesis is the most plausible one."[87]
Bouazza, HafidHafid Bouazza 1970– Author Moroccan-Dutch writer. "Believers live behind a fence, and non-believers live in a pasture and they know there are believers out there behind the fence." "It [religion] is a matter of conditioning, of brainwashing." "I know that when I die, it's over with me."[88]"Look, I'm an atheist. I believe God does not exist, I do not believe in an afterlife. How terrible it may be: Hitler isn't in hell getting pinched in his ass with a trident. I'm fine with he fact there are people who do believe that and get comfort from it, like my mother. I just hope the influence of religion on policy makers will diminish, because my freedom is precious to me."[89]
Bowman, Abie PhilbinAbie Philbin Bowman 19??– Comedian Irish comedian and columnist, writer/director/performer of Jesus: The Guantanamo Years. "Don't expect Jerry Springer-style controversy, however. Bowman, an atheist, has found that "most Christians are so disgusted by Guantanamo that I don't get many people saying it's offensive". And playing Jesus has even infiltrated his own personality: "I feel myself being more humble and trying to understand people with compassion rather than getting angry.""[90]
Boyd, WilliamWilliam Boyd 1952– Author British (Scottish) novelist and screenwriter, awarded a CBE. Interviewer: "What song would you like played at your funeral?"

Boyd: "We'll Meet Again. I'd like the congregation to join in. As a devout atheist, I should make it clear there are no religious connotations."[91]

Boyer, Paul D.Paul D. Boyer 1918– Scientist American biochemist and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1997. [92]
Braddock, BessieBessie Braddock 1899–1970 Politician British (English) Labour politician, vice-chairman of the party in 1968. "Mrs. Braddock, whose husband died in 1963, was an atheist, and her funeral service, next Tuesday at Liverpool crematorium, will be non-sectarian."[93]
Bradlaugh, CharlesCharles Bradlaugh 1833–1891 Politician British (English) political activist and Member of Parliament, freethinker, radical and champion of popular causes, and one of the most famous English atheists of the 19th century. "Excepting to each of the above allegations, I maintain that thoughtful Atheism affords greater possibility for human happiness than any system yet based on, or possible to be founded on, Theism, and that the lives of true Atheists must be more virtuous -- because more human -- than those of the believers in Deity, the humanity of the devout believer often finding itself neutralized by a faith with which that humanity is necessarily in constant collision. [...] Atheism, properly understood, is no mere disbelief; is in no wise a cold, barren negative; it is, on the contrary, a hearty, fruitful affirmation of all truth, and involves the positive assertion of action of highest humanity." Charles Bradlaugh, 'A Plea For Atheism' (1864).
Brandes, EdvardEdvard Brandes 1847–1931 Politician Danish politician, critic and author, Minister of Finance 1909–1910 and 1913–1920. "Because of his Jewish origin, his atheism, and his "European," rather than "Danish," outlook, Brandes was, from the beginning of his political career, at odds with the more moderate faction of the left coalition that formed the Left Reform Party in the late 1890s."[94]
Braga, BrannonBrannon Braga 1965– Television producer American TV producer and writer, creator of Star Trek: Enterprise. "These mythologies explain the world's creation, humanity's destiny, and they serve to codify the beliefs of these religions by telling stories about God or whatever deity has been cooked up. By definition, Atheism has no need for a mythology. Atheism is a non-belief. It is the absence of religion and belief in the existence of deities. The fact that we're all gathered here today is kind of odd when you think about it, because we really have nothing to talk about other than our conviction that religion sucks, isn't science great, and how the hell do we get the other 95% of the population to come to their senses? We don't believe anything. Therefore, we have no need for a mythology. [...] What does it mean to be an atheist? What kind of morality can you have? What are your ambitions and hopes? What would the world be like if religion disappeared? How could humanity possibly keep itself together? If anybody ever asks you these questions, tell them to watch STAR TREK. You know it's funny – I worked on the show for 15 years and wrote over 150 episodes. And it didn't occur to me until very recently that I was creating more than just entertainment, but a wider philosophical canvas that embodied my very own beliefs."[95]
Brahms, JohannesJohannes Brahms 1833–1897 Composer German romantic composer. The religious faith of Brahms is a matter in which he, true to his character, would give varying accounts of in public. He did, however, entrust his true thoughts to a small clique of close friends, among them Bohemian composer Antonin Dvořák. Dvořák once said of Brahms: "Such a man, such a fine soul--and he believes in nothing! He believes in nothing!" [96]</ref>
Braibanti, AldoAldo Braibanti 1922– Author Italian writer and dramatist, famous for having been sentenced to nine years' imprisonment for 'plagiarism'. "Braibanti is a fiercely intellectual left-wing atheist and so, apart from his sexual preferences, would be regarded by sections of Italian opinion as a dangerous character."[97]
Brain, MarshallMarshall Brain 1961– Author American author, founder of HowStuffWorks and author of and
Sir Richard BransonRichard Branson 1950– Businessperson British (English) entrepreneur, founder of the Virgin Group. "I do not believe in God, but as I sat there in the damaged [balloon] capsule, hopelessly vulnerable to the slightest shift in weather or mechanical fault, I could not believe my eyes."[98]
Braun, LilyLily Braun 1865–1916 Author German feminist writer. "Passionate and enthusiastic, Lily was converted to atheism, pacifism, and feminism by Georg von Gizycki, whom she married in 1893."[99]
Brearey, PeterPeter Brearey 1939–1998 Atheist activist British secularist, socialist and journalist, Editor of The Freethinker from 1993 until his death. "He was an old-fashioned rationalist and radical. He detested modern politics and despised Blairite froth, spin-doctoring and cloned MPs and betrayal of principles. I share Peter's doubts about the milk-and-water term "humanism." He and I called ourselves atheists."[100]
Brenton, HowardHoward Brenton 1942– Author British (English) English playwright, who gained notoriety for his 1980 play The Romans in Britain. "It strikes me as an exceptionally powerful study of the human need for belief in a higher power, notwithstanding the fact that Brenton himself is an atheist. And the dramatist examines the nature of Paul's faith with both sympathy and insight."[101]
Breton, AndréAndré Breton 1896–1966 Writer French writer, poet, artist, and surrealist theorist, best known as the main founder of surrealism. "A cynical atheist, the poet, critic, and artist harbored an irrepressible streak of romanticism."[102]
Bridges, CalvinCalvin Bridges 1889–1938 Scientist American geneticist, known especially for his work on fruit fly genetics. "...he always remained true to his own concepts and ideals and did not dissimulate. His open designation of himself as "atheist" in "Who's Who in America" and his opposition to the invasion of the Soviet Union by the Allies..."[103]
Brigstocke, MarcusMarcus Brigstocke 1973– Comedian British (English) comedian, satirist and presenter of The Late Edition. On being presented by Richard Dawkins with an Out Campaign t-shirt: "Look at that. Outed, outed as an atheist and proud to be so."[104]
Broadbent, JimJim Broadbent 1949– Actor British (English) Academy Award-, Golden Globe- and BAFTA-winning theatre, film and television actor, regarded as one of cinema's most reliable character actors, and known especially for his roles in Bridget Jones's Diary, Moulin Rouge! and Iris. "Does the prospect of his own inevitable death frighten him? 'I don't think it does. I don't fret about it. I think it was partly to do with seeing my father go. It didn't frighten him. Upset him a bit but not ... I think if you are an atheist, what's there to be frightened of? ... But I don't want to die yet.' "[105]
Isaac BrockIsaac Brock 1975– Musician American singer, guitarist, banjoist, and songwriter for the indie rock band Modest Mouse. Interviewer: "Do you still consider yourself an atheist?"

Brock: "Pretty much, but there are things that make me think. Like that guy who played Jesus [Jim Caviezel] getting hit by lightning during the filming of that movie? That just makes you think, "I can't be 100 percent sure." But I'm not going to change my game plan anyway. [...] I'm 100 percent on the whole Christianity thing being a crock of shit, pretty much, but I don't give a fuck if other people are religious. Believe what you want. Whatever makes the day easier for you."[106]

Brock, JeremyJeremy Brock 1959– Actor British (English) actor, producer, writer, and director, whose work includes Mrs. Brown and the BAFTA award winning screenplay for The Last King of Scotland. "Nor does organised religion emerge with honour, and Brock says he has been an atheist for many years. "My father was an intelligent and articulate advocate for old-fashioned notions of kindness and liberalism, but in the end I just did not feel that loving him was a justification for believing in a whole theocratic system. Religion in certain circles has become increasingly exclusive and aggressive. Fundamentalist attitudes pervade, and that, in its most extreme form, means you can kill anybody you want to because they're an unbeliever.""[107]
Brockman, JohnJohn Brockman 1941– Author American literary agent and author, specializing in scientific literature, and founder of the Edge Foundation. "He has a keen sense for interesting ideas, but also for the ways in which they fit into society. For instance, he would never call himself an atheist, he says, in America: "I mean I don't believe: I'm sure there's no God. I'm sure there's no afterlife. But don't call me an atheist. It's like a losers' club. When I hear the word atheist, I think of some crummy motel where they're having a function and these people have nowhere else to go. That's what it means in America. In the UK it's very different.""[108]
Broderick, DamienDamien Broderick 1944– Author Australian science fiction and popular science writer. His science fiction novel The Judas Mandala is credited with the first appearance of the term "virtual reality". "I sat around reading, especially science fiction comics. My father thought this was some absurd weakness of character, and not only that -- this stuff was going to corrupt me and make me an atheist. Luckily, he was right!"[109]
Brook, YaronYaron Brook 1961– Activist Israeli activist, current president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. "Anyone who has heard Dr. Yaron Brook lecture on foreign policy would likely call him a militant, unflinching champion of Israel. His loyalty, however, does not derive from his Jewish or Israeli background. He's a proud atheist, who admits to not knowing - or really caring - when the Pessah Seder falls. He relentlessly defends Israel and the West because he puts his faith in the rational, free, individual soul."[110]
Brooks, RodneyRodney Brooks 1954– Roboticist Australian-born American robotics engineer, artificial intelligence and artificial life researcher, and director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. "I've been an atheist - I had found it difficult to have religious beliefs and scientific ones, but I've accepted that I have a duality - there's a human way of interacting with people but also a mechanistic explanation of what people are and how they work."[111]
Brophy, Lady Levey, BrigidBrigid Brophy, Lady Levey 1929–1995 Author British (English) novelist, essayist, critic, biographer, and dramatist. "It [her non-fiction book Black Ship to Hell (1962)] endeavoured to formulate a morality based on reason rather than religion—Brophy described herself as 'a natural, logical and happy atheist' (King of a Rainy Country, afterword, 276)."[112]
Brown, DerrenDerren Brown 1971– Illusionist British (English) psychological illusionist, mentalist, and skeptic of paranormal phenomena. "[Richard Dawkins's book] The God Delusion is a very important defence of atheism, and systematically looks at every aspect of faith and 'proofs' of God's existence. [...] For atheists like me, it's an addictive and wonderful read which argues comprehensively and convincingly for the fallacy of religious belief."[113]
Brown, Lori LipmanLori Lipman Brown 19??– Politician American politician, lobbyist, lawyer, educator, and social worker supporter, Nevada Senator 1992-1994. ""You can be elected as an openly gay politician in this country, but you can't be elected as an openly atheistic one," said Lori Lipman Brown, who was hired last fall to be the Washington, D.C., lobbyist for an organization devoted to atheist causes, the Secular Coalition for America. She's believed to be the first paid lobbyist for the unbelievers in the nation's capital, the front lines of the culture wars. Now, all Brown is seeking is a constituency willing to go public. "Think of where the LGBT movement was 25 years ago," said Brown, who has worked on gay and lesbian rights issues as a legislator and attorney. "That's where atheists are today." [...] Brown, who is married and was raised a "humanistic Jew," talks about how she "came out" as an atheist several years ago, and how most atheists aren't "out yet" at work. She says atheist kids -- like many gay children -- are made to feel outcasts at school, and explains that she wants to erase the negative connotation to the word "atheist" just as homosexuals have reclaimed slurs like "queer" and "dyke.""[114]
Brown, William MontgomeryWilliam Montgomery Brown 1855–1937 Atheist activist American Episcopal bishop and communist author. "An ecclesiastical court [...] sitting at Cleveland, Ohio, yesterday, found Dr. William Montgomery Brown, retired Bishop of Arkansas, a self-styled "Christian Atheist", guilty of heresy."[115]
Brownjohn, AlanAlan Brownjohn 1931–1995 Author British (English) poet and novelist. "Brownjohn is 75 at the moment of publication. He has been on the literary scene - publishing, reviewing, judging, chairing, tutoring, giving readings - since the 1950s. He has also been a London borough councillor, a Labour parliamentary candidate (Richmond, Surrey, 1964), very much what I think of as decent, persistent, dogged "Old Labour" - sensitive but solid, inclining towards the puritan (though a self-confessed atheist in matters of religion) - and a strenuous campaigner for serious radio and television, anti-muzak, anti-destruction of libraries, for the proper traditional cultural concerns of the British Council, et al."[116]
Brunswick, Ruth MackRuth Mack Brunswick 1897–1946 Scientist American psychologist, a close confidant of and collaborator with Sigmund Freud. "Although in her youth she had shared her father's Zionist sympathies, she was not otherwise involved in Jewish affairs and was by conviction an atheist."[117]
Büchner, LudwigLudwig Büchner 1824–1899 Philosopher German philosopher, physiologist and physician who became one of the exponents of 19th century scientific materialism. "Büchner's materialistic interpretation of the universe in Kraft und Stoff created an uproar for its rejection of God, creation, religion, and free will and for its explanation of mind and consciousness as physical states of the brain produced by matter in motion. His continued defense of atheism and atomism and his denial of any distinction between mind and matter (Natur und Geist, 1857; "Nature and Spirit") appealed strongly to freethinkers, but dialectical materialists condemned his acceptance of competitive capitalism, which Büchner viewed as an example of Charles Darwin's "struggle for survival.""[118]
Buñuel, LuisLuis Buñuel 1900–1983 Film-maker Spanish-born Mexican film-maker, activist of the surrealist movement, considered one of Mexico's finest directors, and one of the most important directors in the history of cinema. "Father Julian... and I often talk about faith and the existence of God, but... he's forever coming up against the stone wall of my atheism..."[119]Buñuel is also known for his one-liner, "Thank God I'm still an atheist."
Burgon, GeoffreyGeoffrey Burgon 1941– Musician British (English) composer known especially for his television and film themes. "Geoffrey Burgon [...] has declined a generous Hollywood offer to write the music for award-winning John Carpenter's remake of The Thing, a 1950s horror film. An atheist with a remarkable feel for "church" music, Burgon tells me that time prevents his crossing the Atlantic; he is busy writing two operas [...]"[120]
Bush, LawrenceLawrence Bush 19??– Author American author of several books of Jewish fiction and non-fiction, including Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist. "Caught between the atheism of his parents and the religion of his peers, Bush writes from what he calls "my own peculiar perch as an atheist who has nevertheless worked intimately in Jewish religious institutions as a writer and editor for much of my adult life." As a result, he writes about non-belief with an empathy for believers missing from the works of the New Atheists. [...] Bush may be reluctant, but he remains an atheist: "No matter how therapeutic religious observance might be for individuals, no matter how beguiling the symbols, metaphors, ceremonies, and community spirit, there is something about the surrender to God and to a prescribed worship tradition that simply offends my arrogant soul.""[121]
Burstow, HenryHenry Burstow 1826–1916 Musician British (English) shoemaker, singer and bellringer from Horsham, Sussex, best known for his vast repertoire of songs, many of which were collected in the folksong revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. "Burstow was a fascinating man. A shoemaker by trade, he shared the radical and non-conformist attitudes of many who followed the gentle craft. His reading included Darwin and Lyle and he was a convinced atheist, this in spite of the fact that he was a well known church bell-ringer."[122]
Busoni, FerruccioFerruccio Busoni 1866–1924 Musician Italian composer, pianist, teacher of piano and composition, and conductor. "Aside from his undisputed powers as composer, pianist and man of letters, Busoni was an enterprising (if sometimes erratic) conductor, a passionate bibliophile, a talented draughtsman and a bon vivant. Baptized into the Catholic church, he was at heart an atheist; a lucid commentator on world affairs, he remained politically uncommitted."[123]
Butts, MaryMary Butts 1890–1937 Author British (English) modernist writer. "By this time she had become an atheist and socialist."[124]
Byrne, GabrielGabriel Byrne 1950– Actor Irish actor and film producer, star of over thirty-five films including The Usual Suspects, Miller's Crossing and Stigmata. "I spent five years in the seminary and I suppose it was assumed that you had a vocation. I have realised subsequently that I didn't have one at all. I don't believe in God. But I did believe at the time in this notion that you were being called."[125]

Notes and references

  1. Wicked untruths from the Church, David Aaronovitch, Times Online, 25 March 2008 (Accessed 26 March 2008)
  2. Who wants to kill the elderly?, David Aaronovitch, Times Online, 31 March 2008 (Accessed 31 March 2008)
  3. Michael McNay, 'Obituary: Abu Abraham', The Guardian, 7 December 2002, Pg. 26.
  4. Vizetelly, Ernest Alfred (1911), Barcelona Outrages - The Empress Elizabeth and Luccheni, The Anarchists: Their Faith and Their Record, Turnbull and Spears Printers, Edinburgh. Retrieved March 19, 2007.
  5. John Carlin (2005-08-05). "Zackie's story: The man who took on Mbeki - and won". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-08-27. "A homosexual, an atheist, and a militant anti-apartheid campaigner whose political ideas were forged on an intense reading of Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky... Having scored triumphs in the toughest Aids battlefield of them all - South Africa - his atheist's faith tells him that, for all the suffering, it can be done." 
  6. Clark Adams: 1969-2007, American Humanist Association News Flash, May 24, 2007 (Accessed 14 April 2008)
  8. Sally Adams: 'Adams , Mary Grace Agnes (1898–1984)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed 29 April 2008).
  9. In a letter by Adams dated 10 August
  10. 'Thank god I'm an atheist!', The Big Bang (Adithya's blog), 9 April 2007 (accessed 12 August 2007).
  11. Richard Ingrams, 'Larry Adler: brilliant musician, formidable campaigner', The Observer, 12 August 2001, Observer News Pages, Pg. 24.
  12. Interview with writer, Joe Ahearne, BBC Press Office, 31 October 2008 (accessed 28 November 2008).
  13. 'Hyde Park Speech Prosecution. Evidence For The Defence', The Times, Wednesday, Mar 04, 1925; pg. 5; Issue 43901; col G.
  14. Ian Buruma (2005-08-05). "Sacred freedom". Financial Times. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 
  15. The Rediff Interview/ Subhasini Ali, 8 August 2001 (accessed 21 April 2008).
  16. Tariq Ali, Interview: Tariq Ali, Socialist Review November 2006 (accessed 22 April 2008).
  17. Amy Alkon/Advice Goddess Blog, Awww, How Sweet!, 25 May 2008 (accessed 9 June 2008).
  18. Obituary of Dave Allen, Daily Telegraph, 12 March 2005, Pg. 029.
  19. Guy Adams, Serious documentary maker? Is Keith Allen having a laugh?, The Independent 21 June 2007 (accessed 25 April 2008).
  20. Edward Leigh, Gainsborough MP, House of Commons Hansard, 21 June 2005: Column 728 (accessed 24 April 2008).
  23. Richard Wigg, '75 states witness Allende pledge to democracy', The Times, 4 November 1970; pg. 9; Issue 58014; col E.
  24. Elizabeth Nash, 'Red Duchess a rebel to the last as she snubs family and leaves all to wife', The Independent (London), 2 May 2008, World News, Pg. 26.
  25. Suzie Mackenzie interviewing Altman, 'Still up to mischief', The Guardian, 1 May 2004, Pg. 30.
  26. Cynara Menezes (8 August 2001). "Velório de Jorge Amado foi discreto" (in Portuguese). Folha de S. Paulo. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  27. Michael Barber: 'Ambler, Eric Clifford (1909–1998)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edition, January 2007 (accessed 29 April 2008).
  28. John Ezard, 'Secular send-off for an 'old devil' who did not wans too much fuss over his funeral', The Guardian (London), 23 October 1996, Pg. 8.
  29. Obituary: Baba Amte, The Economist, 28 February 2008 (accessed 21 August 2008)
  30. John Passmore: 'Anderson, John (1893–1962)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 (accessed 29 April 2008).
  31. Joseph Melling, 'Anderson, William Crawford (1877–1919), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 (accessed 2 May 2008).
  32. My God
  33. Richard Wigg, 'Córdoba mayor upsets the bishop', The Times, 9 January 1981; pg. 4; Issue 60821; col E.
  34. Diana Cariboni, 'Single Woman, Atheist, Heads to Seat on High Court', IPS News, 21 January 2004.
  35. Lance Armstrong, quoted by ET Magazine in 2004.
  36. Isaac Asimov in "Free Inquiry", Spring 1982, vol.2 no.2, p. 9 (See Wikiquote.)
  37. Diana Athill, 'I'm a believer - but only in a good story', The Guardian, 21 January 2004, Features Pages, Pg. 5.
  38. The Trouble with Atheism, UK Channel 4 TV. 2006-12-18.
  39. Atran criticising other speakers in an Edge discussion following the Beyond Belief conference in 2006 (accessed 13 August 208).
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