The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.
- Excerpt from How (and Why) I Became an Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in Christopher Hitchens' book The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever