How Ricky Gervais became an atheist

August 29, 2011 • 7:24 am

You can’t watch this short but sweet video too often: Ricky Gervais explains how his brother helped him jettison Jesus.

I can’t claim anywhere near this man’s rhetorical brilliance, but we do have one thing in common: we both went from a believer to an atheist in the space of one hour.

This is from the up-and-coming We Are Atheism site. Make your own video and upload it there!

30 thoughts on “How Ricky Gervais became an atheist

  1. That it’s better to know the truth (I agree!) doesn’t mean that the truth doesn’t hurt (I disagree, it can!).

  2. ===we both went from a believer to an atheist in the space of one hour.===

    I find that amazing. I suspect it takes years for most of us, requiring a journey into increasingly liberal theism.

    1. Comparing Whitley, Berkshire to “The Projects” American public housing – now that’s a leap

      The UK in the mid-sixties, when RG started school, was an educational wonderland where an intelligent, white boy could aspire to anything. I’m sure his mum had higher hopes than that he didn’t “die in a bar room fight”

      I love the intelligence of his work ~ I place him nearly on the same continent as Stewart Lee
      [the link is SL’s Dawkins/ creationist video clip]

      Alas, RG has gone & joined the ranks of the Guy Ritchie/Jamie Oliver plastic Cockney brigade ~ reinventing himself for comedic value, the sake of a good story & the American chat show circuit

  3. His statement towards the end would make a great T-shirt.

    “If there is a God, why did he make me an atheist?”

    1. Obviously God made atheists so that sophisticated theologians could wax poetic on the topic of free will. Obviously…

  4. “I wish there WAS a god – from what I hear he’s great” – I know he was saying it for comic effect, but blimey! I side much more Hitchens’ view – I really dislike the idea of a prurient, violent god watching over us

    1. Well, yeah, if that’s how you were raised to regard God. As Gervais relates, his view was more Jesus, Superhero.

      1. Actually I was raised by a CofE mother and an atheist father. I can’t remember ever becoming atheist – I don’t think I ever really believed in gods. And I wasn’t proselytised to by either parent, thinking back. I was lucky compared to some, evidently.

  5. It happened in 1967 when Coyne, then 17, was listening for the first time to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”…

    Suddenly Coyne began to shake and sweat.

    Good acid, huh?

  6. The video is worth watching for the strained, nervous laughter of the audience alone. I do enjoy it when True Believers are confronted with the idea that their entire world view is palpable nonsense.

    1. I dunno, is the audience at “Inside the Actor’s Studio” really a bunch of true believers? They looked mostly pretty young to me, which means more likely to be areligious. And they sounded appreciative.

      1. Perhaps you’re right- I saw a few faces that looked a bit uncomfortable to me. Although is their being “young” really any indicator of whether someone in America is likely to be religious?

        1. According to polls, non-belief is on the rise (slowly), and that is mainly due to the current generation being more skeptical than their predecessors.

        2. Probably. As I understand it the most recent average is ~ 15 % atheists, the young ~ 30 %. (Don’t remember the def for “young”.

          – No, that doesn’t make me old, just reading much.)

  7. Theists seem to have a huge freakin’ bee in their bonnet over the issue of atheists “mocking” religion or religious believers. Just recently FOX had a panel screaming this accusation at Dave Silverman and now twice here I see an interviewer brings up this horrible possibility to Ricky Gervais. One can’t help but suspect that this is the REAL problem with atheism — the matter of God vs. No God is just a smokescreen.

    Believers can’t handle mocking.

    In interviews atheists usually rush to reassure the faithful that no, they are not mocking or trying to mock religious belief. It’s okay to believe if that’s what you want, nobody will tease you. There’s nothing funny about religious belief. Religion, yeah. Sure. But people’s belief in religion? Sacred.

    Personally, I think belief in religion is even sillier than the content of religion. I’d kind of like to see an atheist answer “But aren’t you just mocking people’s beliefs?” with “Yup.”

    1. I would also follow up with a “when was the last time you met a 47 year old who stilled belived in Santa?” to drive the point home.

    2. I agree with your assessment but the “Yup” could imply that the purpose is to mock. The question is ill formed because the mocking is actually a tool and the purpose is to dispel the dishonesty which is an intricate part of the christian world.

      “Yup and in the same context christians are just mocking truth and honesty.”

  8. The radical young (31) organist Cameron Carpenter described himself in an interview this morning as “God-free”.

    (He also said he’d been homeschooled, but in the hippie tradition in the early 80s, “unlike now where homeschooling in America has taken a rather alarming trend of being a far Christian Right Tea Party nuisance. … so there was a general sort of pro-nudity attitude about the whole thing.”)

  9. we all belive in it be a beliver or nonbeliver ..but that dosent mean that spirit isnt real ..i belive that there are spirits all around us all..The physcial body gives out but our spirits live on.we all go back home our true home (spirit world )We will meet our loved ones that have passed befor us when its our time to go over 🙂

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