These brilliant agnostic and atheist minds found greatness without god, proving that you don’t need religion to live a successful, meaningful life. In reality, there are probably far more famous non-believers than we will ever know — unfortunately, the stigma attached to skepticism prevents many people from “coming out.” These brave and freethinking individuals, however, were proud to announce their denial of blind faith:
- Mark Zuckerberg: “Since Mark Zuckerberg is an atheist, is it a sin to use Facebook?” queried one curious user on Ask.com.
- Susan B. Anthony: Unfortunately for this atheist civil rights leader, the words “In God We Trust” appear next to her face on the Susan B. Anthony coin.
- Lance Armstrong: Okay, so he’s kind of a jerk. But still, anyone who can overcome cancer to become a record-breaking athlete proves that you can find strength and faith without believing in god.
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.: Dubbed “Humanist of the Year” in 1992, atheist Vonnegut slyly toyed with organized religion in books like “Cat’s Cradle” and “Slaughterhouse Five.”
- Roger Ebert: Although he refused to live under a label like “atheist” or “agnostic,” Ebert did identify himself as a humanist and doubted that us mere mortals could figure out the mysteries of the universe.
- Woody Allen: Despite his obviously-Jewish ethnicity, Allen is known for quips like “To YOU I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition,” and “How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?”
- Diane Keaton: One of the most talented actresses alive, Keaton claims that despite being highly religious as a child, she now considers herself agnostic.
- James Cameron: The self-proclaimed “king of the world” can’t thank god for his movie-making success because he doesn’t think god exists.
- Ernest Hemingway: “All thinking men are atheists,” proclaimed the author of “The Sun Also Rises” and “The Old Man and the Sea.”
- Marie Curie: The most famous woman in science, to whom we owe much for modern physics and chemistry, ultimately rejected religion.
- Bruce Lee: This martial arts legend believed in the power of the individual and finding personal spirit, but rejected organized religion.
- Ricky Gervais: One of the most outspoken atheists today, the co-creator of “The Office” gets more than his share of flack from believers on Twitter.