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Was Mark Twain an atheist?

I heard he was but never had been able to verify it.

My favorite quote of his Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. —Mark Twain ...


Asked by Anonymous at 9:06 PM on Apr. 7, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • I don't know, but he was an exceptional written that's all I care about.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 9:46 PM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • Don't know don't care. he wrote some great stuff.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:11 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • yes he was

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 9:13 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • From what I know - yes.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:02 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • Although Twain was raised as a Presbyterian, he was critical of organized religion and certain elements of Christianity through most of his later life. He wrote, for example, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so", and "If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be – a Christian".[73]
    Twain generally avoided publishing his most "heretic" opinions on religion in his lifetime, and they are known from essays and stories that were published later. In the essay Three Statements of the Eighties in the 1880s, Twain stated that he believed in an almighty God, but not in any messages, revelations, holy scriptures such as the Bible, providence, or retribution in the afterlife. He did believe that "the goodness, the justice, and the mercy of God are manifested in His works", but also that "the universe is governed by strict and immutable laws", which determine "small matters" such as who dies in a pestilence.[74]

    Answer by pnwmom at 10:09 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • In later writings in the 1890s, he was less optimistic about the goodness of God, observing that "if our Maker is all-powerful for good or evil, He is not in His right mind". At other times, he conjectured sardonically that perhaps God had created the world with all its tortures for some purpose of His own, but was otherwise indifferent to humanity, which was too petty and insignificant to deserve His attention anyway.[75]

    Answer by pnwmom at 10:10 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • After his death, Twain's family suppressed some of his work which was especially irreverent toward conventional religion, notably Letters from the Earth, which was not published until his daughter Clara reversed her position in 1962 in response to Soviet propaganda about the withholding.[78] The anti-religious The Mysterious Stranger was published in 1916. Little Bessie, a story ridiculing Christianity, was first published in the 1972 collection Mark Twain's Fables of Man.[79]

    Answer by pnwmom at 10:11 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • Despite these views, he raised money to build a Presbyterian Church in Nevada in 1864, although it has been argued that it was only by his association with his Presbyterian brother that he did that.[80]

    Answer by pnwmom at 10:12 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • in otherwords while on earth he wasnt a believer. Who knows what happened in the last days of his life.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 1:29 AM on Apr. 8, 2010

  • ohhhhh Shaneagle...
    I sat with my father as he breathed his last- and he didn't reach out for god...
    I have conviction in my beliefs, and your belittling of it is rather rude...

    Answer by mtnmama111 at 4:12 AM on Apr. 8, 2010