This is a short list of famous atheists who were, or are not afraid to tell the world why they reject the idea of the existence of God. There is no doubt that famous atheists, dead or alive, have played a significant role in the public discussion about religion.
- James Cameron. (1954 – ) A Canadian film director, screenwirter, special effect artist, and producer. His most famous works, "Titanic," (1997) which won 11 out of 14 Oscar nominations, and and Avatar (2009) with 3 awards, have placed Cameron as one of the best filmakers in the world. Cameron has stated publicly, “I’ve sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I’ve come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsoever for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise.”
- Mark Twain. (1835-1910) One of the most celebrated American writers. His most famous books, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," are part of more than 60 books published around the globe. In his last book, "Letters from the Earth," Twain referred to "The Bible" as “A book containing two million words, called the Old and New Testaments. Also it has another name – The Word of God. For the Christian thinks every word of it was dictated by God. It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.”
- Jodie Foster. (1962 – ) An American actress, film director, and producer. Foster, a two-time Academy Award winner, won her first Oscar for her brilliant performance as a rape survivor in the 1988 film, "The Accused." She won her second Oscar for her work in the 1991 drama, "The Silence of the Lambs." During her performance as Ellie Arroway, an astronomer in the film "Contact," (based on the novel Contact, written by Carl Sagan), Foster said, "I absolutely believe what Ellie believes; that there is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there’s absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that’s out there that we haven’t discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don’t know any better."
- Bill Gates. (1955 – ) Chairman of Microsoft, and one of the wealthiest men in the world. On January 13, 1996, "Time" magazine published an interview with Gates. When Walter Isaacson, the interviewer, asked Gates, "Isn't there something special, perhaps even divine, about the human soul?" Gates answered: "I don't have any evidence on that, I don't have any evidence of that." "Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning."
- Daniel Radcliffe. (1989 – ) The famous British actor who played "Harry Potter" in the film series, quotes, “I’m an atheist, but I’m very relaxed about it. I don’t preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch.”
- Guillermo del Toro. (1964 – ) A Mexican film director, whose exceptional movie, "Pan’s Labyrinth," a brilliant combination of fantasy and post war violence, won three Academy Awards in 2006. Del Toro has become one of the top horror movie masters in the world. In an interview with Charlie Rose in 2009, Del Toro said: “I mercifully lapsed as a Catholic, I say. But as Buñuel used to say, 'I'm an atheist, thank God. You know, there is always, once a Catholic, always a Catholic in a way. Charlie Rose: So you're not with him or you are with him? Del Toro: No. I think I'm lapsed enough. I believe in man. I believe in mankind….as the worst and the best that has happened to this world."