Bill Maher on why we need an Atheist Day

April 1, 2023 • 1:00 pm

In this segment of yesterday’s Bill Maher show, the host beefs about the failure of Americans to pay attention to the increasing titer of atheists in America (we’re 32% “nones), due partly to the failure of atheists to “out” themselves (he mentions Obama).

Where, he asks, is “Atheist Day” at a time when schools all over America are celebrating Ramadan—a whole month observed by Muslims who are far outnumbered by nonbelievers? And Maher gives many reasons why an Atheist Day is superior to all other religious holidays.

Well, it seems like a good idea. . . .

h/t: Divy

29 thoughts on “Bill Maher on why we need an Atheist Day

  1. I literally LOLed many times at this last night, but I disagree about not needing community. It’s good for mental health. I wish the Humanist community (at least in the US) hadn’t been taken over by SJW radicals.

    1. I think the idea is that you don’t need compulsory community where you go to reinforce magic thinking by rubbing elbows with others wishful thinkers. You can enjoy community by joining a bowling league without feeling you can never leave without endangering your soul.

      1. Amen. We can get together around a million things that don’t involve harmful regressive mythologies that people think are fact. Let’s get together around arts, sports, science, community building, books, environmentalism, nature, animals, food, history, travel, languages, whatever. I’d rather attend a weekly Ted talk or a hiking club than a weekly sermon from a book that still defends slavery and threatens me with eternal burning.

      2. Some people like the rituals. For them The Satanic Temple is probably a good fit. Non religious with nice robes.

    2. Just ask Stephany Trump, he he he.

      I’m not sure the ‘Humanist community’ has been taken over by the SWJ, I consider myself as some kind of humanist, but I’m certainly not taken in by the SJW. But then I’m not a US-ian.

      I’m sure our host may be considered a humanist (if I’m not mistaken) in many a way, but he’s most certainly not (I’m 100% not mistaken there) a fan of SJW.

      All that being said, I basically agree, the SJW ‘movement’ has done great harm to the secular cause.

      1. It’s bad in America, really bad. The humanists and larger atheism movement are much more concerned with being “woke” than they are anything else. The American Humanist Association ever revoked an award they gave Richard Dawkins ages ago. To his credit, he didn’t even care! LOL

        1. “The American Humanist Association ever revoked an award they gave Richard Dawkins ages ago. To his credit, he didn’t even care! LOL”

          I wonder if they needed a trigger warning.

          1. It drives me crazy I can’t edit the comment to fix my typo of “ever” to “even”

    1. We can actually have an atheist day!

      Since I heard Randall Munroe on the radio recently, I cannot but think that it should be International Standard Atheist Day.

  2. This was hilarious and very well taken, thanks!

    Atheism is more or less the result of taking a science-friendly empiricism as one’s epistemology (a very rational thing to do) and then finding out that there’s no good evidence for gods. But the wider worldview bequeathed to us by science, of which atheism is a corollary, is naturalism: that the natural world is what there is, with nothing supernatural in addition. Another corollary is that we humans don’t have contra-causal free will, the capacity to transcend the cause-and-effect relations that explain who we are and what we do. This aspect of naturalism, which I think has some pretty important personal and social ramifications, gets attention here from Jerry, which is way cool. But it has a long way to go to gain the visibility atheism now has in the wider culture.

  3. I think that humans have two needs in tension with one another: the need for autonomy and the need for affiliation. For me, I like to affiliate with like-minded people, including people who are secular humanists or irreligious. I was a long-time member of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which I left a few years ago for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was its succumbing to full-bore wokeism. I have also been an active member of various humanist groups. I’m currently interested in Sunday Assembly, but the organization has no groups near me in the Chicago area.

  4. Humanism is perhaps a surrogate for atheism. Good to know there’s a day for that. World Humanist Day is a Humanist holiday celebrated annually around the world on the June solstice, which usually falls on June 21. According to Humanists International, the day is a way of spreading awareness of Humanism as a philosophical life stance and means to effect change in the world.

  5. “Atheist” simply means your convictions and justifications of epistemic and moral truth do not involve God/gods, and I would add: no such thing as a supernatural (noumenal) realm. You are A-Theistic. “I am atheist” says nothing about the worldview of your actual convictions. Millions of atheists have this 100%, yet it is only an observation — those millions often have clashing actual convictions of what is true, and opposing moral codes.

    I advocate “Reason Month.” This is simple, and subsumes ‘atheistic.’ It means, No Magic. Only reason, which means Facts plus Logic. Every claim you make must be solid as if examined on a syllogistic level, and shown to be “sound.” Sound means all the premises have previously been proven true, and there is no fallacy on the way to the conclusion/claim.

    “Reason as an absolute.” — Ayn Rand

  6. When I graduated from high school in 1974, I bought the high school yearbook for my year and—like all the other graduating seniors—I went around asking people to sign it next to their respective pictures. My earth science teacher, a man named Thom Rogers—with whom I remained close friends until he died in 2011—wrote :

    “I really enjoyed knowing you as a student and a humanist. I expect that we’ll stay in touch. Affectionately, Thom Rogers.”

    Humanist! When I read today’s post, I opened my yearbook to his inscription. Almost 50 years later, it remains a source of pride.

  7. Maher says that there are two Protestants on the Supreme Court, but that is not true. Neil Gorsuch is not a Protestant but a Catholic. In fact, all six members selected by the Republican Party are Catholic. Therefore, on the Supreme Court there are seven Catholics, one Jew (Kagan) and only one Protestant (Jackson).

      1. Gorsuch attends an Episcopalian church, a member of the Anglican Communion, simply because his British-born wife is an Anglican, but he has never claimed to be an Episcopalian. The article linked by Wikipedia footnote 190 clarifies that, when the Gorsuchs joined an Episcopalian parish, “on the membership forms, Neil indicated that his religion was Catholic.”

        1. Thanks for pointing that out. It seems that Gorsuch hedges and plays both sides against the middle.
          Rather than engage in trading dueling citations with you, I’ll end by saying that, on the principle that religion is as religion does, since Gorsuch attends and serves at an Episcopal church, I consider him an Episcopalian.

  8. Every morning in the Hili Dialogue I read a laundry list of what Day it is — Blueberry Pie Day, Hug an Octopus Day, Don’t Forget to Say Please and Thank You Day. Atheists can have a day.

    Just don’t make it April 1st. I got sick of listening to Evangelicals tell me I had a day and it was … har har har. The “Fool said in his heart.” Get it?

  9. In particular, it is interesting, the idea that everyone – including the religious – in such a country with such a day might reflect upon the idea. Not that I’d delight in making the faithful squirm…. well, maybe a little.

    The thing I’d want in an Atheism Day is ample quantities of satire of atheism. I’m not exactly sure what that’d look like but the point is to show that atheism day is no different from “I do not play solitaire day”, “I do not memorize the dictionary day”, or “I do not go deep-sea fishing day”. “So what?” one might say – exactly the point. We also do not need cheerleaders to inflate our egos with specialness or candles on an atheism cake.

    Atheism invites criticism or satire and has no defense because it needs none, opposite to the virtuous nature of faith and the religions that use it for protection.

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