Quotes about Death & Dying

Thoughts of the famous and infamous about

God, religion, beliefs, faith, atheism, skepticism and more

“We, as human beings, are becoming conscious of ourselves as whole beings, both Human and Divine… and we are learning to adapt to that situation!”

–Diane Goble

“No one ever believes they could die until they do and then they realize they didn’t… life goes on!!!”

–Diane Goble

“Dying is actually waking up!”

–Diane Goble

“At some point, healing may not mean stopping the disease process but may bring about a necessary soul healing for which the transition process is the perfect beginning of one’s spiritual growth.”

–Diane Goble

“We have the sleep of forgetfulness when we transition into the physical world and the clarity of awakened consciousness when we transition back home.”

— Diane Goble

“When a man is seventy-five he cannot help sometimes thinking about death,” wrote the great philosopher and poet Goethe. “The thought of it leaves me perfectly calm, for I am convinced that our spirit is absolutely indestructible…it is like the sun which only seems to sink and in reality never sinks at all.”

The eminent Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung said that it is psychologically beneficial to have death as a goal toward which to strive. Mozart called death the key to unlocking the door to true happiness.  Shakespeare wrote that when we are prepared for death, life is sweeter.  The French philosopher Michel de Montaigne said that “to practice death is to practice freedom.”

–Michal Tymn

Do prayers help people to make their transition?

“Awakening only comes when realization dawns. If you have knowledge, then your awakening is much quicker, much faster. We have to fight ignorance, misunderstanding, superstition, false creeds, erroneous theologies, all of which do not help to prepare the soul for its new life. Before these are conquered, the soul has gradually to accustom itself and there is a long period of rest. As in your world you have hospitals for bruised and injured bodies, we have to treat bruised and injured souls. But where an individual has rendered great service, and love, goodwill, affection and prayer accompany his passing into my world, then the awakening is speeded, for all those vibrations help him” (‘TEACHINGS OF SILVER BIRCH’ ed. A.W.Austen).

John Jacob Astor, who went down with the Titanic– apparently Astor complained in after-death communication:

“Why did no one ever tell me these things? Why should humanity not be taught differently before death?”

His choice was not a choice between living and dying.

His was a choice between dying one way or dying another way.


To fear death is nothing other than to think oneself wise when one is not.
For it is to think one knows what one does not know.
No one knows whether death may not even turn out to be the greatest blessings of human beings.
And yet people fear it as if they knew for certain it is the greatest evil.


After your death you will be what you were before your birth.

–Arthur Schopenhaur

Do everything with a mind that lets go.

If you let go a little,
 you will have a little peace.

If you let go a lot, you will have a
lot of peace.

If you let go completely, you will know complete
peace and freedom.

Your struggles with the world will have
 come to an end.

– Achaan Chah

Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

–Norman Cousins

The bitterest tears shed over graves
are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

–Harriet Beecher Stowe

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

–Helen Keller

Seeing death as the end of life
is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.
–David Searls

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

–Isaac Asimov

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

–Albert Einstein

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

–Albert Einstein

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do.

When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

–Richard Dawkins

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord does not work that way so I stole one and
asked Him to forgive me.

–Emo Philips

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?


There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled.

This time was called the Dark Ages.

–Richard Lederer

Religion has actually convinced people that there`s an invisible man — living in the sky — who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever `til the end of time! …But He loves you.

–George Carlin

Religion is regarded by the common people as true,

by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

–Seneca the Younger 4 b.c.- 65 a.d.

Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.

–Blaise Pascal

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.

–Bertrand Russell

Do not pray in my school, and I will not think in your church.


I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use,

giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them.

–Galileo Galilei

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered.

Religion is answers that may never be questioned.


You can not convince a believer of anything; for their belief is
not based on evidence, it is based on a deep-seated need to believe.

–Carl Sagan

Blind faith is an ironic gift to return to the Creator of human intelligence.


We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing
all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for
His own mistakes.

–Gene Roddenberry

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to
the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

–George Bernard Shaw

You are basically killing each other to see who has got the better imaginary friend.

–Richard Jeni

I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence.

–Doug McLeod

The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round,
for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a
shadow than in the church.

–Ferdinand Magellan

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.


With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.

But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

–Steven Weinberg

Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.

–Richard Dawkins

The World is divided into armed camps ready to commit genocide just because we can’t agree on whose fairy tales to believe.

–Ed Krebs

The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history.

The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge.

The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out
what was going on.

–Frank Zappa

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself.

–Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890)

To have an invisible friend at the age of eight is charming and not a cause for concern.

To have an invisible friend in adulthood is however a cause for concern and could be considered psychotic.

So how exactly does giving them the name of a deity change that opinion?

–Phil Slattery

Religion does three things quite effectively:

Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people.

–Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney

I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose.

–Clarence Darrow

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

–Carl Sagan

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the
sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is
beautiful and his children smart.

–H. L. Mencken

I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I
do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming
feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.

–Thomas Jefferson

As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers.

–Robert G. Ingersoll

We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they
don’t stand up to experimentation, Buddha`s own words must be rejected.

–Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, 1988

Which is it, is man one of God`s blunders or is God one of man’s?

–Friedrich Nietzsche

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day;

teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime;

give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.


The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.

–Terry Pratchett

The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.

–Mark Twain

People who don’t like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn’t have such funny beliefs.


I would defend the liberty of consenting adult creationists to practice whatever intellectual perversions they like in the privacy of their own homes;

but it is also necessary to protect the young and innocent.

–Arthur C. Clarke

Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.


The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail.

–Gustaf Lindborg

But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by
not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without
having any purpose — which is the way it really is, as far as I can
tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.

–Richard Feynman

Atheism is more than just the knowledge that gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud.

Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature.

–Carl Sagan

Man created God in his image: intolerant, sexist, homophobic and violent.


Doesn’t it bother you that you put more logical thought into choosing a car than you do in choosing a god?


Imagine a future in which millions of our descendants murder each other over rival interpretations of Star Wars or Windows 98.

Could anything – anything – be more ridiculous? And yet, this would be no more ridiculous that the world we are living in.

–Sam Harris

If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse.

–Woody Allen

He that will not reason is a bigot;

he that cannot reason is a fool;

he that dares not reason is a slave.

–William Drummond

Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one.

–Richard Dawkins

Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown His own?

–Robert G. Ingersoll

George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and Christians love him for it. I

f George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad.

I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd.

–Sam Harris

Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o,

and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.

–Penn Jillette

Eskimo: If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?

Priest: No, not if you did not know.

Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?

–Annie Dillard, “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek”

Is it not better to place a question mark upon a problem while seeking an answer than to put the label ‘God’ there and consider the matter closed?

–Joseph Lewis

‘Faith’ means not wanting to know what is true.

–Friedrich Nietzsche

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.

–Bertrand Russell

Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.

–Frater Ravus

It has served us well, this myth of Christ.

–Pope Leo X

If god doesn’t like the way I live,

Let him tell me, not you.


Men rarely (if ever) managed to dream up a god superior to themselves.

Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

–Robert A Heinlein

Certainly I see the scientific view of the world as incompatible with religion, but that is not what is interesting about it.

It is also incompatible with magic, but that also is not worth stressing.

What is interesting about the scientific world view is that it is true,
inspiring, remarkable and that it unites a whole lot of phenomena under a single heading.

–Richard Dawkins

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.

–Delos B. McKown

The objections to religion are of two sorts – intellectual and moral. The intellectual objection is that there is no reason to suppose any religion true; the moral objection is that religious precepts date from a time when men were more cruel than they are now and therefore tend to perpetuate inhumanities which the moral conscience of the age would otherwise outgrow.

–Bertrand Russell

Most people can’t bear to sit in church for an hour on Sundays.
How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for eternity?

–Mark Twain

There’s this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out.

–Richard Dawkins

Theology, by diverting the attention of men from this life to another, and by endeavoring to coerce all men into one religion, constantly preaching that this world is full of misery, but the next world would be beautiful — or not, as the case may be — has forced on men the thought of fear where otherwise there might have been the happy abandon of nature.

–Elbert Hubbard

…it is a telling fact that, the world over, the vast majority of children follow the religion of their parents rather than any of the other available religions.

–Richard Dawkins

Without death, the influence of faith-based religion would be unthinkable.

Clearly, the fact of death is intolerable to us, and faith is little more than the shadow cast by our hope for a better life beyond the grave.

–Sam Harris

The foolish reject what they see and not what they think;

the wise reject what they think and not what they see.

–Huang Po

Beliefs are what divide people.

Doubt unites them.

–Peter Ustinov

Deaths in the Bible.

God – 2,270,365 not including the victims of Noah’s flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the many plagues, famines, fiery serpents, etc. because no specific numbers were given.

Satan – 10.


There are all sorts of things that would be comforting.

I expect an injection of morphine would be comforting…

But to say that something is comforting is not to say that it’s true.

–Richard Dawkins

If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!
–Clark Adams

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.

–Richard Dawkins

I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

–Bertrand Russell

Religions are conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises.

–Ambrose Bierce

They said God was on high and he controlled the world and therefore we must pray against Satan.

Well, if God controls the world, he controls Satan.

For me, religion was full of misstatements and reaches of logic that I just couldn’t agree with.

–Gene Roddenberry

Religion. It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
–Charlie Chaplin

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration–

courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness,

and, above all, love of the truth.
–H.L. Mencken

To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure;

to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.
–David Brooks

Faith is believing something you know ain’t true.

–Mark Twain

People in America look at extreme Muslims, and how they are brainwashed, but not at themselves.

–Heath Gresham

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

–Carl Sagan

The power of god has given men the ability to realize that he does not exist.

–Andre dos Santos

I would argue that those who see god in everything are the ones who have a problem seeing life`s true value. They’re not able to see the enormous beauty in the immense improbability of our very existence. If god created us all for a purpose, we’re just doing a job, pawns in his cosmic game. But if we just happen be be here by random chance, then the lives we have are truly something to value, enjoy, and celebrate.


The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance…logic can be happily tossed out the window.

–Stephen King

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

–Susan B. Anthony

People have suffered and become insane for centuries by the thought of eternal punishment after death. Wouldn’t it be better to depend on blind matter (…) than by a god who puts out traps for people, invites them to sin, and allows them to sin and commit crimes he could prevent. Only to finally get the barbarian pleasure to punish them in an excessive way, of no use for himself, without them changing their ways and without their example preventing others from committing crimes.

–Baron d`Holbach

All thinking men are atheists.

–Ernest Hemmingway

It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. … Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

–Albert Einstein

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward,

then we are a sorry lot indeed.
–Albert Einstein

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.

Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

–Mohandas K Gandhi

It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.

–Mark Twain

We are afraid of the known and afraid of the unknown. That is our daily life and in that there is no hope, and therefore every form of philosophy, every form of theological concept, is merely an escape from the actual reality of what is. All outward forms of change brought about by wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed
completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore of society.

–Thomas Jefferson

The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.

–Benjamin Franklin

The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.

–Jiddu Krishnamurti

What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

–Christopher Hitchens

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.

–Sigmund Freud

I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative.

I think religion is a neurological disorder.

–Bill Maher

A Christian reads the bible. An atheist understands it.


“[I]f we assume a liberty interest but nevertheless say that, even assuming a liberty interest, a state can prohibit it entirely, that would be rather a conundrum.”

— Justice Rehnquist (re: assisted dying)


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