George Bernard Shaw quotes on religion

George Bernard Shaw was not a religious man. Though he understood and respected that people had the right to believe in whatever they chose, he scorned at the arguments and conflicts religion could cause.

Shaw also felt that people believed in God not through their own mind, but through a sense of duty and belonging as it was the done thing. Here are some of Shaw’s best quotes on religion:

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There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
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All professions are conspiracies against the laity.
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We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession. For years past the strain of countenancing such a proceeding, so gross, reckless, dirty, and dangerous as vaccination from the calf, has been growing unbearable to bacteriological experts. . . . Nothing but the natural ignorance of the public, countenanced by the inoculated erroneousness of the ordinary general medical practitioners, makes such a barbarism as vaccination possible. . . Recent developments have shown that an inoculation made in the usual general practitioner’s light-hearted way, without previous highly skilled examination of the state of the patient’s blood, is just as likely to be a simple manslaughter as a cure or preventive. But vaccination is nothing short of attempted murder. A skilled bacteriologist would just as soon think of cutting his child’s arm and rubbing the contents of the dustpan into the wound, as vaccinating it in the same.”–George Bernard Shaw (Letter to the Secretary of the National Anti-Vaccination League, March, 1906, repeated verbatim in a letter to the Irish Anti-Vaccination League, May, 1911, quoted in the Jennerian No. 29, p. 268. Sourced: Should we be vaccinated ? by Bernhard Stern)
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George Bernard Shaw quote. No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Once there was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. This time is called the Dark Ages.
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A miracle, my friend, is an event which creates faith.
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There are scores of thousands of human insects who are ready at a moment’s notice to reveal the will of God on every possible subject.

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The heretic is always better dead. And mortal eyes cannot distinguish the saint from the heretic.
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The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.
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I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness.
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George Bernard Shaw quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Don’t think you can frighten me by telling me that I am alone. France is alone. God is alone. And the loneliness of God is His strength.
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Suppose the world were only one of God’s jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one?
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If any religion had a chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam.

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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. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life.”
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Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!
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The word morality, if we met it in the Bible, would surprise us as much as the word telephone or motor car.
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George Bernard Shaw quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.
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Gentle Jesus, meek and mild’ is a snivelling modern invention, with no warrant in the gospels.
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What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.

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Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.
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I am sorry to have to introduce the subject of Christmas. It is an indecent subject; a cruel, gluttonous subject; a drunken, disorderly subject; a wasteful, disastrous subject; a wicked, cadging, lying, filthy, blasphemous and demoralizing subject. Christmas is forced on a reluctant and disgusted nation by the shopkeepers and the press: on its own merits it would wither and shrivel in the fiery breath of universal hatred; and anyone who looked back to it would be turned into a pillar of greasy sausages.
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There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot.
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George Bernard Shaw quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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I was brought up in that other service; but I knew from the first that the Devil was my natural master and captain and friend. I saw that he was in the right, and that the world cringed to his conqueror only from fear.
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The Churches must learn humility as well as teach it.
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I am a Christian. That obliges me to be a Communist.

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Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles.
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Christianity as a specific doctrine was slain with Jesus, suddenly and utterly. He was hardly cold in his grave, or high in his heaven (as you please), before the apostles dragged the tradition of him down to the level of the thing it has remained ever since.
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I have very carefully studied Islam and the life of its Prophet (PBUH). I have done so both as a student of history and as a critic. And I have come to conclusion that Muhammad (PBUH) was indeed a great man and a deliverer and benefactor of mankind which was till then writhing under the most agonising Pain.
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George Bernard Shaw quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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