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List of atheists (surnames C to D)

Atheists with surnames starting C and D, sortable by the field for which they are mainly known and nationality.

List of atheists (surnames C to D)

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Name Dates Known as / for Who Reference

1920–1999 Author Brazilian poet, considered one of the greatest Brazilian poets of all time. "Though an atheist, Cabral had a deep, atavistic fear of the devil. When his wife died in 1986, he placed an emblem of Our Lady of Carmen around her neck, saying, in his mocking way, that this would make sure that she went directly to heaven, without being stopped at customs.
1949–2008 Actor Irish actor, best known for playing Padraig O'Kelly in Series 1-4 of Ballykissangel. "Born in Dublin in 1949, Caffrey enjoyed acting in school plays but subsequently went to a seminary for two years with a view to becoming a priest (he later played one in Coronation Street). He came out an atheist and studied English at University College, Dublin, before teaching at a primary school for a year.
1949– Actor British (English) stage, film and television actor, and author. "Was it then a very religious upbringing? "First of all, they were continental Catholics, not Irish Catholics, and that makes a big difference," he replies. "It was much more sophisticated, to do with having the priest round for drinks and telling a few saucy jokes. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we confess. But in terms of attendance at church, and the whole immersion in the language and imagery of religion, yes, very much. I was very religiously inclined. I wanted to be a priest." Do you still have faith? "No," he guffaws. "But I still have hope!"" Peter Ross interviewing Callow, 'The Lost Boy', The Sunday Herald, 30 April 2006, Magazine, Pg. 8.
1962– Actor American television and film actor known for his role as Francis "Chainsaw" Gremp in the 1987 Mark Harmon comedy Summer School. "I don't believe in God, Satan, angels, an afterlife, a creator, or any of those dangerous myths. I trust in science, objective truth, wonder, and mankind."
1943–2006 Journalist Australian television journalist for 60 Minutes. "Richard Carleton was a devout atheist whose cynicism about an after-life made Kerry Packer look like a wimp. He would have hated the way I end this piece. But he had soul."
1964– Comedian and radio/television personality American comedic radio and television personality, best known for co-hosting the radio program Loveline and the television series The Man Show. "Adam thinks that, even though he's an atheist, we need to flood hell with all of the cool people because then hell won’t be such a bad place.
1973– Actress (pornographic) American pornographic actress. "I've always been an atheist; science explains everything.
1969– Atheist activist American historian and philosopher, best known for his writings on Internet Infidels, where he served as Editor-in-Chief for several years. "Religious Background:
  • Parents were freethinking Methodists (mother was church secretary)
  • Went to Sunday School, and to church on holy days
  • Philosophical Taoist at the age of 15
  • Atheist (Secular Humanist) at the age of 21
  • Extensive study of philosophy and world religions, formal and informal

1940–1992 Author British (English) novelist and journalist, known for her feminist, magical realism and science fiction works. "All the mythic versions of women, from the myth of the redeeming purity of the virgin to that of the healing, reconciling mother, are consolatory nonsenses; and consolatory nonsense seems to me a fair definition of myth, anyway. Mother goddesses are just as silly a notion as father gods. If a revival of the myths of these cults gives women emotional satisfaction, it does so at the price of obscuring the real conditions of life. This is why they were invented in the first place.
19??– Author Italian author, known especially for his book The Fable of Christ, arguing that Jesus never existed. "Italian judge Gaetano Mautone has, with that special blend of flamboyance and arrogance you really only see in the continental judiciary, ordered a priest to appear in court to prove that Jesus exists. Or at least existed. Luigi Cascioli, a militant atheist and author of The Fable of Christ, has brought a case against Father Enrico Righi after the priest lambasted the writer for questioning Christ's historical origins.
1964– Musician American singer-songwriter. "Chesnutt's contrary nature was forged in isolation, in the backwoods of Pine County, Georgia. Though he loved the closeness of nature, and was loved by friends and parents, he found himself "at odds with the Protestant power structure". "I had a revelation that I was an atheist at a very early age," he remembers, "and I bumped up with these fuckers my whole time there. Sometimes it felt great to be at war with them. But I knew I needed to go somewhere else."
1917–2008 Author British (English) scientist and science-fiction author. "...Stanley [Kubrick] is a Jew and I'm an atheist.
1955– Philosopher Dutch jurist and philosopher, as well as a columnist, publisher and writer. He's currently professor of "encyclopædia of law" at the University of Leiden. "I do not believe in the existence of God. But is everyone who does not believe in the existence of God an atheist? I don't think so. I think that many non-believers dislike being called "atheist". I do not object to being labelled "atheist". To the contrary, I think it would be a good thing if more people would become atheists.
1840–1930 Author British (English) banker, writer and anthropologist, an early populariser of evolution, keen folklorist and chairman of the Rationalist Press Association. "We can only guess what Clodd would have thought of having an evangelical preacher owning his old house: he was a noted atheist, who rejected his parents' ambition for him to become a Baptist minister in favour of becoming chairman of the Rationalist Press Association. His contribution to literature was in popularising the work of Charles Darwin and other evolutionary scientists in the face of opposition from the church. "The story of creation," wrote Clodd, " is the story of gas into genius".
1904–1981 Author British (English) writer and journalist, controversial for his communist sympathies. "For one whose life had been so full of ironies, it was fitting that five priests celebrated a requiem mass for him in Youghal, although he had been a committed atheist.
1961– Author British (English) novelist and satirical writer. "Or you can ask: was that you in The Rotters' Club, the schoolboy so crazed with fear of being seen naked that you prayed to God for deliverance and He was moved to fling a wet pair of bathers into your orbit. Yes and no. There was no such epiphanous moment, he says, and besides, he's an atheist.
1868–1954 Atheist activist British (English) freethought writer and lecturer, and an editor of The Freethinker and president of the National Secular Society. "Cohen was a witty, courteous, and effective public speaker and debater, and a prolific writer with over fifty titles to his credit. Typical of his writings are A Grammar of Freethought (1921), Theism or Atheism (1921), Materialism Restated (1927), and four series of Essays in Freethinking (1923–38), culled from occasional pieces in the Freethinker. His achievement was to transform Victorian freethought from an emphasis on anti-biblical argument to the positive advocacy of materialism [...]".
1889–1959 Author British (English) political theorist, economist, writer and historian. "An unlikely friendship developed between Reckitt and G. D. H. Cole. Although an unapproachable cold atheist, and at root an anarchist, Cole joined forces with Reckitt, the clubbable, romantic medievalist, archetypal bourgeois, and unswerving Anglican with a dogmatic faith, to found the National Guilds League in 1915.
19??– Musician African-American hip hop artist. "Written, produced and recorded by Greydon Square, The Compton Effect fuses atheism, critical thinking, and rationality with hip hop to spread free-thought and education about the dangers of faith and religion. It's a giant step towards the enlightenment of urban culture's dependency on religious indoctrination. "This is music that transcends genres," says Greydon. "This is bigger than just hip hop, these are cultural issues that need to be addressed before humanity can safely take another evolutionary step. I am the minority of the minority, an African-American atheist, from a community that does not tolerate threats to the status quote unless it's based on religion. This album is the manifestation of the thought, research and education that has been used to free myself from the shackles of religion."
1884–1969 Author British (English) novelist, awarded the 1955 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for her novel Mother and Son. "Like Margaret Jourdain, and most of her characters who are not fools or knaves, Ivy Compton-Burnett was a firm atheist, dismissing religion because ‘No good can come of it’ (Spurling, Ivy when Young, 77).
1903–1974 Author British (English) intellectual, literary critic and writer. "'Don't stand any nonsense from the Astors,' Sitwell concluded: prophetic advice, for within a short time of his arrival, Lord Astor was writing to the new literary editor to say that reviewers must combine 'ability and character and high ideals': he was especially worried in case A.L. Rowse proved a 'militant atheist', for 'I am convinced that our great influence in the world is due to the fact that this country has given a definite place to religion and to free religion, ie Protestantism at that.' Undaunted, Connolly made it plain in his reply that he would not put up with such nonsense: he himself was an atheist, and discerned no difference in behaviour between an English Protestant and an English atheist.
1899–1985 Atheist activist Dutch activist for atheism and anarchism, a scientist, writer, journalist and publisher. "An important part of his life was his continuous fight against the church and religion in general. His first and thickest work was Grondslagen van het atheïsme/Foundations of Atheism” (Rotterdam 1926; reprint 1976). With biting intellect and powerful arguments he propagated his atheistic conviction. In packed halls he debated the clergyman A.H. de Hertog."
1926–1982 Author British (English) poet and prolific writer of speculative fiction and other genres, published under his own name and several pen names. "I'm an atheist. God is an abstract noun, he's not a Father Christmas up there in Heaven, he's an abstract bloody noun who has been exploited by men in order to exploit other men, through the centuries.
1910–2002 Author British (English) novelist. "As a militant atheist he was especially on his guard in churches, and at the wedding of a much younger friend had to be restrained from heckling the bride's clerical uncle, who was delivering an address.
1899–1973 Actor British (English) actor, playwright and composer of popular music. "His unashamed patriotism galvanised the nation. One wonders whether these admirers would have laughed so heartily or wept so freely if they had thought that they were being entertained and moved by a homosexual atheist of the most militant kind. A letter to his mother on the early death of his brother out-Dawkinses Dawkins: "I'm saying several acid prayers to a fat contented God the Father in a dirty night gown who hates you and me and every living creature in the world."
1961– Musician American lead singer, guitarist, and principal songwriter for the band The Flaming Lips. "Coyne is a comically rationalist atheist ("I wish I did believe in God. It would be a great relief to think, 'God'll take care of it. God'll put gas in the car tomorrow'") who makes music that, for all its quirkiness and frivolity, is in its essence spiritually transcendental. [...] For an atheist, he has a touching faith in the power of song to ease our shared burden. "There's some comfort in saying, I'm joining this long line of humanity," he says. "We're all going to get in line and our parents will die and our friends will die but I'm in the line with you and you're in it with me and, for some reason, if we're in it together, it's better than doing it alone. That's why music is always going to save us.
1946– Author British (English) writer and novelist, winner of numerous awards. "The impulse of this book came when I was writing Quarantine. At the end of writing that book, I was no less of an atheist than I was before, yet it did make me think about my atheism. Thinking about the bleakness of my own atheism, and the inadequacy of the old fashioned kind of atheism when the big events of life-- especially death--came along, made me want to see whether I could come up with a narrative of comfort, a false narrative of comfort, but one that could match the narratives of comfort religions come up with to get you through death and bereavement.
1943– Film director Canadian film director, one of the principal originators of the 'body horror' genre. "Cronenberg's parents were atheists who encouraged him to experiment spiritually, convinced that sooner or later he'd find his own path to godlessness. And he did. This lack of belief, which became a belief system in itself, informs so much of his work: the primacy of the body, the finality of death, the lack of consolation. "It was apparent to me that religion was an invented thing," he says, "a wish-fulfilment thing, a fantasy thing. It was much more real, dangerous, to accept that mortality was the end for you as an individual. As an atheist, I don't believe in an afterlife, so if you're thinking of murder, if your subject is murder, then that's a physical act of absolute destruction because you're ending something, a body, that is unique. That person never existed before, will never exist again, will not be karmically recycled, will not go to heaven, therefore I take it seriously."
1971– Actor and comedian British (English) actor and comedian, known for playing Gareth Keenan in The Office and Ragetti in Pirates of the Caribbean. "I don't believe in life after death. I'm a staunch atheist and I know when I die that will be it, I'll just blink out of existence. It's not an incredibly comforting thought but I'm completely at peace with that idea and it just makes me appreciate this life all the more. It's almost a panic to get as much done and to have as much experience as possible.
1964– Musician British (Scottish) singer and songwriter, best known as a founder member of Del Amitri. "Currie isn't praying for salvation, either. Echoing recent bestsellers by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, he finds organized religion "fascinating, intellectually, but completely redundant. So I'm an extreme atheist who also believes in human rights."
1949– Author British (English) writer and retired physician, who has written extensively on culture, art, politics, education and medicine, drawing upon his experience as a doctor and psychiatrist in Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and more recently at a prison and a public hospital in Birmingham. Criticising the 'New Atheists' (Harris, Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennett, Grayling and co.), Dalrymple wrote: "Yet with the possible exception of Dennett's [book Breaking the Spell], they advance no argument that I, the village atheist, could not have made by the age of 14 (Saint Anselm's ontological argument for God's existence gave me the greatest difficulty, but I had taken Hume to heart on the weakness of the argument from design).
1966– Comedian and actor British (English) comedian, writer and actor, best known for starring as Jonathan Creek on the popular TV mystery series, and more recently as a permanent panellist on the TV quiz show QI. "Why do people believe all this stuff, Stephen? (...) Bronze age mythology and they believe it all! (...) Why do they believe it all? Can't they just go: 'all that was mad. I thought it was true for a minute'.
1901–1978 Author British (Welsh) novelist and short story writer. "As a boy he attended a nonconformist chapel, and later an Anglican church, but in later life was to declare himself an atheist.
1963– Television producer and writer British (Welsh) television producer and writer, most famous for reviving Doctor Who on British television. "As writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, Davies often plays with religious imagery (from a cross-shaped space station to robot angels with halos), but he's a fervent believer in [Richard] Dawkins. "He has brought atheism proudly out of the closet!"
1945– Film director and actor British (English) screenwriter, film director, actor and novelist. "A fervently Roman Catholic child - he talks of his "dogged piety" and of "years wasted in useless prayer" - Davies has now embraced atheism with a born-again zeal.
1938– Actor Canadian actor, known for his role as the Cigarette Smoking Man in The X-Files. Interviewer: "You're a second generation Atheist. While in college, did you have a skeptical attitude toward the paranormal? Was it something you thought about at the time?" Davis: "I was always skeptical of ghosts, or aliens, or whatever it might be.

1893–1970 Author Australian novelist and short story writer, best known for his animal stories and sensitive interpretations of Australian bush life. "Davison died on 24 May 1970 at Greensborough, Melbourne; a lifelong atheist, he was cremated after a secular funeral.
1969– Author British (English) writer and television producer. "Status Anxiety is divided into two parts: an analysis of the problem, followed by 'solutions', which are, in fact, less solutions than consolations (they include philosophy, art, politics, bohemia, a certain kind of opting out, and Christianity, for which, as an atheist with no Christian background, he says he is able to have a 'weird sympathy').
1862–1934 Musician British (English) composer whose luscious harmonies blended Impressionism with the slightly older post-romanticism and northern European and African-American folk idioms. Awarded the Order of the Companions of Honour. "In the Mass of Life (1904–05) Delius testified to his atheism. With Cassirer's assistance, he selected the words from Nietzsche's prose-poem Also sprach Zarathustra [...] In music that touches extreme poles of physical energy and rapt contemplation, Delius celebrates the human 'Will' and the 'Individual', and the 'Eternal Recurrence of Nature'.
Deng Pufang 1944– Activist Chinese handicap people's rights activist, first son of China's former Paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. "Mother Teresa of Calcutta told the handicapped son of China's leader, Deng Xiaoping, yesterday that his efforts for the disabled showed he loved God. 'But I am an atheist,' said Deng Pufang, whose legs were paralysed when fellow students forced him out of a window during the Cultural Revolution.
1740–1814 Author French aristocrat, revolutionary and writer of philosophy-laden and often violent pornography. "De Sade overcame his boredom and anger in prison by writing sexually graphic novels and plays. In July 1782 he finished his Dialogue entre un prêtre et un moribond (Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man), in which he declared himself an atheist.
1960– Television presenter Australian comedian and Gold Logie-winning television presenter, and is the host of the ABC's weekly interview program Enough Rope. "Gentlemen, frankly I'm atheist,...
1907–1967 Author British (English) journalist, historian and biographer. "He rejected his father's ambition to make him a rabbi. Instead he became an atheist and, following in the footsteps of Marx, Trotsky, and his countrywoman Rosa Luxemburg, a lifelong 'non-Jewish Jew' (Non-Jewish Jew, ed. Deutscher).
?–? Bioethicist Canadian professor of bioethics, named Humanist of the Year by the Humanist Association of Canada. "Long before he became Canada's top atheist, Christopher diCarlo was an altar boy.
1963– Musician British (English)-born music industry and television personality in Australia, best known as a judge on the television shows Australian Idol and The Next Great American Band. "I have developed a spirituality which I suppose you could call metaphysics or science of mind - nothing to do with Scientology, I hasten to add. It's something that was developed by a guy called Ernest Holmes, and it's about the law of the universe, the law of attraction. It's all that stuff that's been popular on The Secret but there's far more to it than that. I'm an atheist but I've got a spirituality I can fall back on. I don't like religion because I see it as a bureaucracy of faith and I've never really been big on bureaucracy.
1901–1992 Actress German-born Amercan actress, singer and entertainer, considered to be the first German actress to flourish in Hollywood. "I have given up belief in a God."
1970– Musician American Grammy Award winning singer, guitarist and songwriter. "Q: What song proves to you that there is a God? Ani: "I'm an atheist, for Chrissake!"

1940–2008 Author American science fiction author and poet, winner of several awards. "Friends said Disch had been despondent over ill health and Naylor's death in 2005. Yet he seemed in good humor for a brief Publishers Weekly interview last spring about his most recent book, "The Word of God." An outspoken atheist, Disch adopted the deity's perspective to score points on the absurdity of hell and similar numinous postulates. "One of the wonderful things about being God is you can say such nonsense and it's all true," he said.
1981– Musician American vocalist with the band Gossip. ""Southern life really was God-fearing. Granny Ditto was a strict Pentecostal, with hair down to her knees. I said in an interview not long ago that I didn't believe in God, and people called my mother saying, 'How do you feel about Beth being an atheist?'" She realised she was gay when she was only five years old. "I loved the sound of women's voices, not those of guys. I would pray because I didn't want to go to hell." She's not joking; her eyes fill with tears. "In my teens, my motor skills quit, I was shaking all the time." Did her pubic hair really turn white? "Yes. In fact, it's still half white!" A revelation about her atheism, at 19, saved Ditto from her fate. "I realised that every 2,000 years, there's a religion that happens to rule, and Christianity is just today's religion," she says.
1924– Film director American film director, best known for his musicals including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Singin' in the Rain; awarded honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement.

1962– Actress British (English) film, stage and television actress. Speaking about her role in the film The Lair of the White Worm, Donohoe said: "I'm an atheist, so it was actually a joy. Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun. I can't embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages. And that persecution still goes on today all over the world.
195?– Atheist activist American atheist activist, the current President of Atheist Alliance International. "Margaret read literary works of Thomas Paine and Robert G. Ingersoll which enabled her to develop a keen sense of revolutionary thought. She became an openly declared Atheist and activist in her twenties. Free from the constraints of religious dogma and patriarchal systems, Margaret became involved with the feminist movement. She fought for basic rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of choice, personal family leave for working parents, equal pay and promotion opportunities for women.
1958– Author Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter, winner of the Booker Prize in 1993. "He does appreciate the new and confident pluralism that has loosened the grip of the Roman Catholic hierarchy on education. His three children attend secular state schools, and he welcomes the widening "rift between Church and state. It has happened, it is happening, and for me that's a great thing. As an atheist, I feel very comfortable in Ireland now."
19??– Author Irish historian, crime novelist, journalist and broadcaster. "Tariq likes permanent revolution, whereas I am a libertarian conservative. True, we are both atheists, but Tariq is evangelical while I am benign about religion and think the Throne should be occupied by a member of the Church of England.
1955– Author British (English) poet, playwright and freelance writer, winner of several awards. "But the 21st century has done nothing to prevent two others from the Manchester area from reshaping and modernising the Christmas story - the poet Carol Ann Duffy and the composer Sasha Johnson Manning, who have written 16 new carols. Duffy, brought up a Catholic, pronounces herself an atheist; Johnson Manning is a committed Christian.
1934–1990 Author Turkish Islamic scholar, former imam and mufti, author of a number of books about religion, an open critic of religion and was frequently threatened by fundamentalists. "Turan Dursun, a former imam and an atheist writer...

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