Chapman Cohen

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Chapman Cohen (1 September 18684 February 1954) was a leading English atheist and secularist writer and lecturer.


  • Atheist is really ʺa thoroughly honest, unambiguous term,ʺ it admits of no paltering and of no evasion, and the need of the world, now as ever, is for clear‐cut issues and unambiguous speech.
    • Theism Or Atheism: The Great Alternative (1921), Chapter XIII: Agnosticism.
  • Human society is born in the shadow of religious fear, and in that stage the suppression of heresy is a sacred social duty. Then comes the rise of a priesthood, and the independent thinker is met with punishment in this world and the threat of eternal damnation hereafter. Even today it is from the religious side that the greatest danger to freedom of thought comes. Religion is the last thing that man will civilise.
    • Quoted in The Freethinker, Vol. 84 (G.W. Foote, 1964), p. 215.
  • Gods are fragile things, they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense. They thrive on servility and shrink before independence. They feed upon worship as kings do upon flattery. That is why the cry of gods at all times is "Worship us or we perish."
    • Pamphlet The Devil, quoted in Gordon Stein An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism (Prometheus Books, 1980), p. 258.
  • All my life I have made it a rule never to permit a religious man or woman take for granted that his or her religious beliefs deserved more consideration than non-religious beliefs or anti-religious ones.
    I never agree with that foolish statement that I ought to respect the views of others when I believe them to be wrong.
    • The Credo of Empowerment, as quoted in David M. Mandell Atheist Acrimonious (Vervante, 2008), p. 176.

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