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July 12th, 2011
11:34 AM ET

Bill Maher explains his 'apatheism,' apathetic atheism

Comedian Bill Maher sits down with Piers Morgan to talk about growing up Catholic and becoming an "apatheist," an apathetic atheist who just doesn't think much about religion.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Content Partner

soundoff (1,340 Responses)
  1. Christian Person

    I feel sorry for those of you that are not Christians.When you die you will go to Hell. I wonder if you will wish then that you had made different choices reagrding your religious beliefs?

    March 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  2. Linda Berch

    I am saddened by the fact that Bill Maher says he does not believe in God when has a kind heart for the poor and downtrodden of society. He does have some valid political opinions and great insights. He is a very intelligent person. I don't know what led him to this view when it seems so obvious that creation cannot come out of nothing. Sometimes people get hardened towards churchgoing people and a belief in God because of a bad experience in childhood. Sometimes people do not want to do what the Bible tells them to do so they turn against a belief in God entirely. The fact that he is always talking about it seems to mean that he is battling his conscience. A Catholic upbringing will develop a conscience. Let all who believe in God pray for him that he will turn around and use his intelligence for God's purpose in his life. The Bible says that whenever two are gathered in his name, there is power.

    June 17, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  3. Beleuchtung

    It's really a nice and helpful piece of info. I'm satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    April 1, 2012 at 4:18 am |
  4. Tyler

    I love all the Theists coming here and raging as if Maher deeply offended them.

    He was extremely calm and collected throughout the entire video. Your reaction is just a subconscious mental inability to handle the word "Atheist" because your mommies and daddies beat it into your head that it was a naughty word.

    August 12, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  5. mike

    saying there is no god is as stupid and extremist as a assuring there is a good, the only truth is that we really dont know and that is why WE ALL BELIEVE, the only difference between us is some people know what believing actually means : something that may or may NOT be true . as simple as that.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • bhigh

      That was rather incoherent. Care to try again?

      August 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Kim

      I thought it made perfect sense and was an intelligent statement. Other than a couple of typos and punctuation errors that were easy to read around.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Kim

      "Saying there is no god is as stupid and extremist as assuring that there is a god. The only truth is that we really don't KNOW and that is why we say we BELIEVE. The only difference between us is some people know what believing actually means : something that may or may not be true. As simple as that." Is that better?

      May 29, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Mike, As we don't know why attribute the universe to a god? Why not a purple leprechaun, or a pink unicorn, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Gods were the way primitive peoples explained events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, eclipses, etc. We understand them now and have no evidence of a god apart from the superstitions of said primitive peoples.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:52 am |
  6. Kats

    Believing in god(s) is no different than believing in fairies, talking snakes, aliens etc. Women and children especially suffer from such irrational beliefs.

    August 7, 2011 at 2:59 am |
    • Claude

      Actually theist (people who believe in a God) have less incidence of depression.

      Your case and point was false.

      August 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Lauren

      They probably just don't admit they're depressed, it would go hand in hand with their inability to face reality.

      August 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • ianagdm

      Claude, your comment is a non sequitur; Kats said nothing about depression. As the saying goes, "ignorance is bliss" .... but that doesn't make it rational.

      August 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Claude, Can you cite your source for that?

      May 29, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  7. Gregory Halabis

    In the beginning, man made God in his own image.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  8. rick

    Maher talks about religion more than pastors, priests, rabbis and Buddhists monks. He is so messed up by his confused childhood that he is constantly pubescent tantrums screaming 'there is no god, see I'm still here and I just said it on TV. AAA was there is no god. See mommy and daddy I don't believe in Jews or catholics. But I'm guilty of something cause I can't stop crying in public about it.' Grow up Maher.

    July 31, 2011 at 4:16 am |
    • SCAtheist

      Billy's right on.

      July 31, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Smokey Culver

      Good point, Rick. I totally agree...

      September 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  9. Scott

    What is interesting about any of this is not what Bill Maher thinks of religion. The fact that this not very funny cable comedian is written about as if his thought are newsworthy is whats really significant. Maybe CNN and Piers can interview the octomom and do a follow-up story on what she thinks about the the middle east peace process.

    July 30, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  10. cyberCMDR

    The Star Wars and Harry Potter universes are also consistent. Does that make them real?

    Steve's argument has so many flaws, I'm not sure where to begin. Laws of logic only require the existence of God if you presuppose that God exists, i.e. circular reasoning. The brain is the result of evolutionary processes, but while not driven by some external mind it was selected for by the environments in which it developed. There is no law that states that this would prevent it from being able to understand science and technology.

    Rational thinking, science and technology are not compatible with the worldview of many Christians, because it is evidence based rather than authority based. Many Christians in America categorically deny the objective observations made by science, because it does not fit their "Christian worldview". If they limit their beliefs to believing in a loving God and Jesus as their savior, science is agnostic on those concepts because there is no objective proof against that. There is also no objective proof in favor of those beliefs either, which is why we have different religions. As for morality, how much violence and bigotry has been perpetrated in this world in the name of religion? For many, a belief that they are "doing God's will" can justify any act of human cruelty.

    Basically, atheism is only irrational if you assume God exists. The atheist asks for evidence, and finding none, does not believe.

    July 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • rgcheek

      cyberCMDR, you are so wrong it makes my head spin.
      That you say the world of Harry Potter and Star Wars are consistent simply proves that you dont know what consistent means. You really think that 'the force' and Harry's magic spells are consistent with anything rational? Dont be absurd, if possible.
      Atheism that falls back on a claim of lack of evidence is an obvious case of stubborn denial of evidence available while refusing to present none to substantially support your claim that there is no God, like some child that refuses to believe that the F they got from class was their own doing despite the abundance of evidence.
      And science is not inconsistent with the world view of the vast majority of Christians who are quite comfortable with science as the contributions of Christians to modern science should easily demonstrate to anyone.
      But I suppose a denier like yourself can just skip the Big Bang Theory, Heliocentric astronomy or Pasteurization and sterilization, just a few examples of Christianity's contributions to science. The rationality of theism is demonstrated by the ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle who believed in a rational Creator long before the Greeks made significant cultural contact with the Jews.
      While there are many atheists who are quite honest and forthright about why they are atheists (default belief never really challenged or investigated) some atheists like you just have to go around spewing lies and slander because you are so hostile to the simple concept of moral responsibility, in all likelihood.

      August 4, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  11. Steve

    According to the article presented at this website, atheism is an irrational world view: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n1/atheism-irrational. It's conclusion: Clearly, atheism is not a rational worldview. It is self-refuting because the atheist must first assume the opposite of what he is trying to prove in order to be able to prove anything. As Dr. Cornelius VanTil put it, “[A]theism presupposes theism.” Laws of logic require the existence of God—and not just any god, but the Christian God. Only the God of the Bible can be the foundation for knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; Colossians 2:3). Since the God of Scripture is immaterial, sovereign, and beyond time, it makes sense to have laws of logic that are immaterial, universal, and unchanging. Since God has revealed Himself to man, we are able to know and use logic. Since God made the universe and since God made our minds, it makes sense that our minds would have an ability to study and understand the universe. But if the brain is simply the result of mindless evolutionary processes that conveyed some sort of survival value in the past, why should we trust its conclusions? If the universe and our minds are simply the results of time and chance, as the atheist contends, why would we expect that the mind could make sense of the universe? How could science and technology be possible?

    Rational thinking, science, and technology make sense in a Christian worldview. The Christian has a basis for these things; the atheist does not. This is not to say that atheists cannot be rational about some things. They can because they too are made in God’s image and have access to God’s laws of logic. But they have no rational basis for rationality within their own worldview. Likewise, atheists can be moral, but they have no basis for that morality according to what they claim to believe. An atheist is a walking bundle of contradictions. He reasons and does science, yet he denies the very God that makes reasoning and science possible. On the other hand, the Christian worldview is consistent and makes sense of human reasoning and experience.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.