Ricky Gervais: "Why I'm an athiest"

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  • terminalterror 20 Dec 2010 12:08:58 18,937 posts
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    An essay he wrote for the Wall Street Journal

    It is beautifully written, and well worth a read.


    A few sample quotes:
    So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God”, I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869.

    Why don’t I believe in God? No, no no, why do YOU believe in God? Surely the burden of proof is on the believer. You started all this. If I came up to you and said, “Why don’t you believe I can fly?” You’d say, “Why would I?” I’d reply, “Because it’s a matter of faith”. If I then said, “Prove I can’t fly. Prove I can’t fly see, see, you can’t prove it can you?” You’d probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, ‘’F—ing fly then you lunatic.”

    And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”

    You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.
  • Psychotext 20 Dec 2010 12:10:51 53,933 posts
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    If those quotes you posted are indicative of the essay as a whole, I'd say no... it's not particularly beautifully written, but I'll give it a look anyway.

    /not even slightly religious
  • FWB 20 Dec 2010 12:12:18 44,209 posts
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    And stolen from Stephen Roberts.
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 20 Dec 2010 12:14:37 37,766 posts
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    His next article - Ricky Gervais: Why I'm a complete tool.

    Follow me on Twitter: @MrTom
    Voted by the community "Best mod" 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  • Genji 20 Dec 2010 12:14:53 19,689 posts
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    I don't fucking care why he's an atheist, tbh.
  • Deleted user 20 December 2010 12:15:39
    That reads like a 13 year old after his first RE class :/
  • Sharks 20 Dec 2010 12:15:41 5,136 posts
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    DDevil wrote:
    His next article - Ricky Gervais: Why I'm a complete tool.

    glol
  • FWB 20 Dec 2010 12:15:54 44,209 posts
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    Does he write "lol" at the end of each paragraph?
  • Deleted user 20 December 2010 12:16:20
    Genji wrote:
    I don't fucking care why he's an atheist, tbh.

    Obviously.
  • Deleted user 20 December 2010 12:18:04
    I liked it! Wouldn't mind repeating the J witness :)
  • BravoGolf Moderator 20 Dec 2010 12:19:32 12,740 posts
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    It's an exceedingly difficult topic to address in an articulate way, his principles for this argument are fundamental and basic, not layered in spirituality or philosophy, which, I think, is "a good thing".
  • BravoGolf Moderator 20 Dec 2010 12:20:11 12,740 posts
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    Furthermore isn't his argument that he doesn't believe in God as we perceive him?
  • Deleted user 20 December 2010 12:20:11
    mowgli wrote:
    That reads like a 13 year old after his first RE class :/

    Did you read the whole article? Thats kinda the point.
  • BravoGolf Moderator 20 Dec 2010 12:20:54 12,740 posts
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    Also - I've used the word furthermore in my thoughts on this matter. As such, any further argument or retort is invalid, null & void.

    Edit: I've not read the article :-D
  • FWB 20 Dec 2010 12:21:29 44,209 posts
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    Isn't philosophy dead when discussing the meaning of the universe?
  • BravoGolf Moderator 20 Dec 2010 12:22:07 12,740 posts
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    FWB wrote:
    Isn't philosophy dead when discussing the meaning of the universe?

    See above. Furthermore....
  • Deleted user 20 December 2010 12:23:39
    Indeed, Furthermore
  • Genji 20 Dec 2010 12:27:53 19,689 posts
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    Rage_Quit_Rob wrote:
    Genji wrote:
    I don't fucking care why he's an atheist, tbh.

    Obviously.
    No, really, I don't. There is a little irony in this, but this is a discussion forum after all.

    And I'm getting tired of people thinking that proclaiming themselves as atheist is some sort of free pass to being smarter and better than religious people. Sometimes I just wish they'd fucking keep it to themselves and try to be nice.

    /sorry, bit cranky after seeing Godfather Part III
  • FWB 20 Dec 2010 12:29:23 44,209 posts
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    I'm an atheist and so is my wife.
  • Deleted user 20 December 2010 12:30:17
    Genji wrote:
    And I'm getting tired of people thinking that proclaiming themselves as atheist is some sort of free pass to being smarter and better than religious people. Sometimes I just wish they'd fucking keep it to themselves and try to be nice.

    I agree. It does seem to be strangely fashionable to declare atheism.
  • warlockuk 20 Dec 2010 12:32:36 19,146 posts
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    Aren't all thse quotes lifted from other people?

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

  • ModishNouns 20 Dec 2010 12:33:21 4,655 posts
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    A comic [actor] declaring as an atheist is probably just trying to buy into the O'Briain/Ince/Goldacre clique.
  • Lukey__b 20 Dec 2010 12:33:42 3,716 posts
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    I like horseradish.

    'Sup, what's guanine?

  • Psychotext 20 Dec 2010 12:33:48 53,933 posts
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    Rage_Quit_Rob wrote:
    I agree. It does seem to be strangely fashionable to declare atheism.
    On the bright side, at least you couldn't technically declare them as acting "holier than thou". :D

    But really, it's not like we haven't had hundreds of years of people gobbing off about how pious they are. So at least it's a refreshing change.
  • Deleted user 20 December 2010 12:35:40
    Atheist is a technical death metal band from Florida, founded in 1984, whose music combines metal riffs with subtle latin music arrangements and jazz fusion.

    :)
  • estoo 20 Dec 2010 12:35:52 2,817 posts
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    He based a large part of his stand up show around this.

    I liked it.

    Not as much as his bit about humpty-dumpty, but still...
  • Deleted user 20 December 2010 12:37:35
    Rage_Quit_Rob wrote:
    mowgli wrote:
    That reads like a 13 year old after his first RE class :/

    Did you read the whole article? Thats kinda the point.
    Ah fair enough, didn't get very far.
  • sport 20 Dec 2010 12:37:51 12,686 posts
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    A much, much better read.
  • Articulate-Troll 20 Dec 2010 12:38:54 3,101 posts
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    Pointing out the faults of religion can hilarious, but there's nothing particularly witty or original in what Ricky's saying. Stewert Lee does the same thing much better.
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