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Old 12-22-2010, 07:02 PM
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Default A Holiday Message From Ricky Gervais: Why I知 an Atheist




A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I'm An Atheist - Speakeasy - WSJ

Why don’t you believe in God? I get that question all the time. I always try to give a sensitive, reasoned answer. This is usually awkward, time consuming and pointless. 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.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: A Holiday Message From Ricky Gervais: Why I知 an Atheist

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Originally Posted by Mikeyy View Post



A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I'm An Atheist - Speakeasy - WSJ

Why don稚 you believe in God? I get that question all the time. I always try to give a sensitive, reasoned answer. This is usually awkward, time consuming and pointless. People who believe in God don稚 need proof of his existence, and they certainly don稚 want evidence to the contrary. They are happy with their belief. They even say things like 妬t痴 true to me and 妬t痴 faith. I still give my logical answer because I feel that not being honest would be patronizing and impolite. It is ironic therefore that 的 don稚 believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I致e heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe, comes across as both patronizing and impolite.
And he is who and why should I care about him?
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:22 PM
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Arrogance is another accusation. Which seems particularly unfair. Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn稚 know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence -*- evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn稚 get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn稚 hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition. If it did, you wouldn稚 get a shot of penicillin, you壇 pop a leach down your trousers and pray. Whatever you 澱elieve, this is not as effective as medicine. Again you can say, 的t works for me, but so do placebos. My point being, I知 saying God doesn稚 exist. I知 not saying faith doesn稚 exist. I know faith exists. I see it all the time. But believing in something doesn稚 make it true. Hoping that something is true doesn稚 make it true. The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesn稚. It痴 not a matter of opinion. You can have your own opinions. But you can稚 have your own facts.

Why don稚 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, 展hy don稚 you believe I can fly? You壇 say, 展hy would I? I壇 reply, 釘ecause it痴 a matter of faith. If I then said, 撤rove I can稚 fly. Prove I can稚 fly see, see, you can稚 prove it can you? You壇 probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, 葬F擁ng fly then you lunatic.

This, is of course a spirituality issue, religion is a different matter. As an atheist, I see nothing 努rong in believing in a god. I don稚 think there is a god, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that痴 fine with me. It痴 when belief starts infringing on other people痴 rights when it worries me. I would never deny your right to believe in a god. I would just rather you didn稚 kill people who believe in a different god, say. Or stone someone to death because your rulebook says their sexuality is immoral. It痴 strange that anyone who believes that an all-powerful all-knowing, omniscient power responsible for everything that happens, would also want to judge and punish people for what they are. From what I can gather, pretty much the worst type of person you can be is an atheist. The first four commandments hammer this point home. There is a god, I知 him, no one else is, you池e not as good and don稚 forget it. (Don稚 murder anyone, doesn稚 get a mention till number 6.)

When confronted with anyone who holds my lack of religious faith in such contempt, I say, 的t痴 the way God made me.

But what are atheists really being accused of?

The dictionary definition of God is 殿 supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Included in this definition are all deities, goddesses and supernatural beings. Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.

So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I値l say 徹h which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra? If they say 笛ust God. I only believe in the one God, I値l point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don稚 believe in 2,870 gods, and they don稚 believe in 2,869.

I used to believe in God. The Christian one that is.

I loved Jesus. He was my hero. More than pop stars. More than footballers. More than God. God was by definition omnipotent and perfect. Jesus was a man. He had to work at it. He had temptation but defeated sin. He had integrity and courage. But He was my hero because He was kind. And He was kind to everyone. He didn稚 bow to peer pressure or tyranny or cruelty. He didn稚 care who you were. He loved you. What a guy. I wanted to be just like Him.

One day when I was about 8 years old, I was drawing the crucifixion as part of my Bible studies homework. I loved art too. And nature. I loved how God made all the animals. They were also perfect. Unconditionally beautiful. It was an amazing world.

I lived in a very poor, working-class estate in an urban sprawl called Reading, about 40 miles west of London. My father was a laborer and my mother was a housewife. I was never ashamed of poverty. It was almost noble. Also, everyone I knew was in the same situation, and I had everything I needed. School was free. My clothes were cheap and always clean and ironed. And mum was always cooking. She was cooking the day I was drawing on the cross.

I was sitting at the kitchen table when my brother came home. He was 11 years older than me, so he would have been 19. He was as smart as anyone I knew, but he was too cheeky. He would answer back and get into trouble. I was a good boy. I went to church and believed in God - what a relief for a working-class mother. You see, growing up where I did, mums didn稚 hope as high as their kids growing up to be doctors; they just hoped their kids didn稚 go to jail. So bring them up believing in God and they値l be good and law abiding. It痴 a perfect system. Well, nearly. 75 percent of Americans are God-*‐fearing Christians; 75 percent of prisoners are God-*‐fearing Christians. 10 percent of Americans are atheists; 0.2 percent of prisoners are atheists.

But anyway, there I was happily drawing my hero when my big brother Bob asked, 展hy do you believe in God? Just a simple question. But my mum panicked. 釘ob, she said in a tone that I knew meant, 鉄hut up. Why was that a bad thing to ask? If there was a God and my faith was strong it didn稚 matter what people said.

Ohhang on. There is no God. He knows it, and she knows it deep down. It was as simple as that. I started thinking about it and asking more questions, and within an hour, I was an atheist.

Wow. No God. If mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? Yes, of course, but who cares? The gifts kept coming. And so did the gifts of my new found atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. I learned of evolution - a theory so simple that only England痴 greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals and us - with imagination, free will, love, humor. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.

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

So what does the question 展hy don稚 you believe in God? really mean. I think when someone asks that they are really questioning their own belief. In a way they are asking 努hat makes you so special? 滴ow come you weren稚 brainwashed with the rest of us? 滴ow dare you say I知 a fool and I知 not going to heaven, f you! Let痴 be honest, if one person believed in God he would be considered pretty strange. But because it痴 a very popular view it痴 accepted. And why is it such a popular view? That痴 obvious. It痴 an attractive proposition. Believe in me and live forever. Again if it was just a case of spirituality this would be fine.

泥o unto others is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that痴 exactly what it is -*‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I知 good. I just don稚 believe I値l be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It痴 knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that痴 where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. 泥o this or you値l burn in hell.

You won稚 burn in hell. But be nice anyway
.

Don't you just love reason and rational thought. The British are so much more grown up.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:39 PM
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.

Don't you just love reason and rational thought. The British are so much more grown up.
I gather that this fellow has never read a scientific debate nor known many scientists.

Such debates are often venomous and stuffed with dripping acrimony. Far from being humble, the common mediocre scientist is generally motivated by the pursuit of archaeology in the form of green pictures of early American politicians. Thus the addiction of Academia to grant money.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Oftencold View Post
I gather that this fellow has never read a scientific debate nor known many scientists.

Such debates are often venomous and stuffed with dripping acrimony. Far from being humble, the common mediocre scientist is generally motivated by the pursuit of archaeology in the form of green pictures of early American politicians. Thus the addiction of Academia to grant money.

Priceless.........


Most elequent descripition of religious ignorance.........
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:24 AM
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Priceless.........


Most elequent descripition of religious ignorance.........
Elequent, but sadly very far off base.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Oftencold View Post
I gather that this fellow has never read a scientific debate nor known many scientists.

Such debates are often venomous and stuffed with dripping acrimony. Far from being humble, the common mediocre scientist is generally motivated by the pursuit of archaeology in the form of green pictures of early American politicians. Thus the addiction of Academia to grant money.
Which fellow? Gervais? I'm sure he has. He was speaking of real scientists, not corporate hacks who are paid to find, what they are paid to find, like Rasmussen.

You poor deluded man.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:44 PM
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Priceless.........


Most elequent descripition of religious ignorance.........
All religion is ignorance.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:11 PM
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Fortunate for him, he lives in a place where he can be openly atheistic without losing his head.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:38 PM
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Fortunate for him, he lives in a place where he can be openly atheistic without losing his head.
And be elected to public office, unlike the States.
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