Gervais on His Atheism

Both funny and compelling: A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m An Atheist.

People who believe in God don’t need proof of his existence, and they certainly don’t want evidence to the contrary. They are happy with their belief. They even say things like “it’s true to me” and “it’s faith”. I still give my logical answer because I feel that not being honest would be patronizing and impolite. It is ironic therefore that “I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe”, comes across as both patronizing and impolite.

13 Responses to “Gervais on His Atheism”

  1. enkidu Says:

    “But living an honest life -– for that you need the truth. That’s the other thing I learned that day, that the truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity.”

    Thank you Ricky, and thank you John.

    Peace and love my compass
    the stars our destination
    (with apologies to Alfred Bester)

  2. leftbehind Says:

    Atheists like Gervias seek to cast themselves as the grand opposition to religion, but they’re really not. Outspoken atheists and overly religious people all are way too concerned with religion and wrongly assume everyone else wants to hear about it. They waste too much energy getting overly emotional and/or analytical about something no one can prove or disprove, anyway, and waste too much ink, too many pixels and too much airtime pontificating on the subject. If God exists, He doesn’t care what you think about it. If God doesn’t exist, guys like Gervias, Hitchens, et. al. are fools for wasting their time shouting down the Easter Bunny, even as Billy Graham, Jimmy Carter, etc. are fools for planting their moral footing in milk chocolate. Gervias’ decision to not believe in God has no greater effect on the world at large than his decision on whether or not to eat GrapeNuts in the morning. If he wasn’t a stand-up comedian like John Stewart, no one would care – but the over exposure and inflated importance of stand-up comedy in the “intellectual” life of the West is another issue altogether, isn’t it?

    buh-dumbum – ching!

    Speaking of stand-up comedy , didn’t Julia Sweeney already write this article five years ago?

  3. leftbehind Says:

    Oh, and Merry Christmas!

  4. shcb Says:

    I’ve always found atheists using science as a justification for their views to be rather comical. Isn’t flatly stating something unproven isn’t true as unscientific as flatly stating that it is? To say there is no evidence of the existence of God is of course wrong, there’s plenty of evidence, it is just a question of how much weight does that evidence hold in proving or disproving His existence, or what form that existence is. But for a second let’s assume that they are right and there is no evidence of that existence. Was there evidence that there were particles smaller than molecules before there was evidence of the existence of the atom? Of course not. Was there evidence of the existence of matter smaller than an atom before there was evidence of subatomic particles, again the answer is no. That doesn’t mean that these levels of matter didn’t exist it just means that we didn’t have the technology or the knowledge to find them yet, or to even find evidence of them.

    So on this glorious Christmas morning please accept my wishes that least one of those 2700 gods smiles on you and grants you peace, happiness, and joy in this coming year. And in the off chance that Santa is real as well, may he bring a well stocked Christmas tree for all the little ones in your lives.

    Rick (shcb)

  5. Smith Says:

    “I’ve always found atheists using science as a justification for their views to be rather comical.”

    Funny, I feel the same way about religious people who babble about all the supposed evidence for the existence of God. Religion should be a matter of faith, if you need to harp on all the “evidence of God”, then surely you are deficient in faith and most likely do not really believe in God, but rather have convinced yourself you do, simply because you always thought you did. Demanding, as you have done, that scientists investigate something that by its very nature is not falsifiable belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the very nature of scientific inquiry. If you are comfortable in your faith, you should not be concerned about whether or not scientists have sufficiently investigated the existence of God.

    P.S. I usually have Grape-Nuts for breakfast.

  6. leftbehind Says:

    Smith is right of course: scientists have not typically investigated the existence of God because they can’t, it would serve no practical purpose if they could prove either side of the debate and I don’t think very many have ever claimed to. I think what SHCB is trying to say is that, very often, atheist writers try to use science in this the debate the same way religious types use religion – as an authority they don’t really understand that they can prop their own subjective arguments upon in an attempt to dazzle the other side, whether that authority backs up what they’re trying to say. In the abstract, a scientific mindset versus a religious one is, too often, a matter of little more than who you pay to understand your world for you.

    Grape nuts, huh? I always thought you ate a crossword dictionary in the morning!

  7. shcb Says:

    I’m not demanding science prove the existence of god, not even asking they do, I don’t believe he exists, at least not in the sense of the faithful. If he is found it will be in the normal course of scientific investigation. I think when science does prove his existence it will be a letdown to faithful because he won’t be this all powerful being but a mass of energy. My point is that atheists are just as religious as the faithful, and that is ok, as you both point out it is a matter of faith, but it is as much a matter of faith that he doesn’t exist as he does.

    You guys are also right that this will never be answered, just as if there were someone that believed once the atom was found he would be able to make gold from lead he was disappointed. Then he started believing that if subatomic particles could be found THAT would allow him to make gold from lead. Similarly if science finds “The Force” that explains 89% of supernatural phenomenon the faithful will say the creator made The Force, and they might be right, true scientists will continue to look while the faithful and the atheists continue the fight, with both their arguments based on faith.

  8. Smith Says:

    “The Force” is a result of Midi-chlorians. Everyone knows that.

    Joyous Kwanzaa and a happy belated birthday to Jesus.

  9. shcb Says:

    That’s my point, at some time Science will find out what has been attributed to God and it will be something within nature, and it will be a disappointment to the faithful to find out it was just a bug not a man with a white beard. Of course that won’t be enough for the faithful or the atheist since both their beliefs are based on, well, beliefs.

  10. Smith Says:

    “Of course that won’t be enough for the faithful or the atheist since both their beliefs are based on, well, beliefs.”

    Science finding proof that God doesn’t exist won’t satisfy the atheists? Do you actually think before you type? For someone who “don’t believe he exists”, you seem awfully threatened by atheists and science. I guess this “at least not in the sense of the faithful” is the real clue. You are one of those people. Religious folk who are ashamed to admit they are religious.

  11. enkidu Says:

    wrong wing nut jobs will never be convinced of anything that conflicts with their partisan nut jobbery
    end of story

  12. shcb Says:

    How do you find proof something doesn’t exist? You can prove that something that was once thought of as one thing was something else. For instance at one time they thought sailors that went out of sight of land fell off the edge of the earth or dragons ate them. In reality they just didn’t have the technology to make it back to land. So in some ways you may find aspects of what is evidence there are no gods are provable but that won’t deter the faithful, just as nothing will convince the atheist that there is a god. A true scientist would never consider that there could be proof something doesn’t exist, they would only consider proof of its existence hasn’t been found yet. Science is never complete, but it may be close enough for now, for instance gravitational force as a constant isn’t, but it is close enough for most things.

    “Science finding proof that God doesn’t exist won’t satisfy the atheists?” your whole existence here is trying to catch me in a gotcha isn’t it? You and everyone else knows exactly what I meant.

  13. leftbehind Says:

    For once I agree with Inky – wring wing nut jobs will never stop pushing this “God” thing, or trying to interject their fallacies into public policy. Case in point:

    ““They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’ And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word.”

    “And that Word is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.

    “Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.”

    -Nancy Pelosi, May 6, 2010

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