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January 21st, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Ricky Gervais says atheism shouldn't offend

Ricky Gervais tells CNN's Piers Morgan why he's an atheist, and why his jokes about God shouldn't offend believers.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • TV

soundoff (486 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Read about the message of Islam;
    http://islamfuture.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/the-message-of-islam.pdf

    February 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Atheism reading shouldn't offend;
    http://islamfuture.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/god-arises.pdf

    February 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  3. BL

    Arguing about religion with believers is never abut "religion.' It's about ego. Most believers simply cherry pick only what conforms to their preconceived, conditioned view of the world. They use that part as an ego crutch and weapon, then disregard the rest.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sheer, unadulterated, 100% pure nonsense.

      February 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Muneef

      Read it before calling it nonsense...
      Religious or non,you will not regret reading this page;
      Miracles of the Qur'an
      Shaykh Muhammed Metwalli Al-Sharawi       
      http://www.sunnah.org/sources/The%20Miracles%20of%20the%20Quran.htm

      February 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  4. ryan

    NL
    Not sure if you're implying that "the wonder of the unknown" that He's placed in us could be defined as "imparted ignorance"...which I can't agree with. I'm not sure if I'm following you; pardon me if I am not. We’re created curious and all encounter some very important questions that we strive for answers too, but how entrusted can we be with knowledge? We pursue knowledge for our purpose, for our pride, that’s been our downfall of man from the beginning of creation. As Holy and omniscient, He knows what He's doing and unfortunately, we've proven what we're capable of doing when our selfish desires entangle with the knowledge we gain (we lack the Holy part and therefore aren’t too trustworthy). The bottom line is this is we hate submission. Submission equals humility, which equals weakness, which equals vulnerability, which equals fear and weakness...for the fearful and weak. LOL. Acknowledging your weakness is strength. If we attempt to attain knowledge for His purpose or His glory which is in return for us and back and forth and so on, then He is faithful…too bad we’re not. I got off subject a little, oops. That’s how you end up reborn, regenerated, and have scales removed from your eyes. His name is Yeshua (Jesus). Take care.

    February 4, 2011 at 5:33 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Ryan..sorry you started to get into some mumbo jumbo there..a lot of words but not much substance. Submission equals humility.. so if i get my wife to submit to me thats humility? thats domineering and cruelty in my books.

      February 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  5. Muneef

    Since as we know the first mankind kill on earth has started with these two sons of Adam:
    Al-Maeda sura 02:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    But recite unto them with truth the tale of the two sons of Adam, how they offered each a sacrifice, and it was accepted from the one of them and it was not accepted from the other. (The one) said: I will surely kill thee. (The other) answered: Allah accepteth only from those who ward off (evil). (27) Even if thou stretch out thy hand against me to kill me, I shall not stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee, lo! I fear Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. (28) Lo! I would rather thou shouldst bear the punishment of the sin against me and thine own sin and become one of the owners of the fire. That is the reward of evil-doers. (29) But (the other's) mind imposed on him the killing of his brother, so he slew him and became one of the losers. (30) Then Allah sent a raven scratching up the ground, to show him how to hide his brother's naked corpse. He said: Woe unto me! Am I not able to be as this raven and so hide my brother's naked corpse? And he became repentant. (31) For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth. (32).

    February 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • BL

      Sheer, unadulterated, 100% pure nonsense.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  6. Muneef

    As it seems that the Domino effect is really taking effect for countries falling one after another as all idols fell at times of winds of change ( El-Zalzalah) the Earthquake...to those countries which have not invested in their populations but rather treated as if in a major Prison system. Their time, efforts being inslaved by other powerful and rich ones to make them richer while they always remain in debt to the system and the rising cost of living,jobless above all being ripped from savings by fragile financial org's ?? It's jungle out there...poverty and starvation is the base of all filths to nations on earth and if those two were conquered and human greed was controlled am sure peace will find it way back to earth once again if ever it did happen before? 

    February 2, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  7. tehheh

    Religious people need to leave non-believers alone. Take the hint when someone says they don't believe as you do and that they have no interest in changing their mind. You aren't selling Tupperware. Butt out of other people's lives. It doesn't concern you. Many non-believers are good people who care about others. Many so-called believers are selfish pigs who are just pretending to be God-fearing. Stop judging others.

    February 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  8. Gaunt

    The Religious fanatics are already Athiests. They are athiests regarding Odin, Zeus, Jupiter, Ra, Teshub, Osiris, Gloosecap, Indra, Marduk and hundreds of other dieties and pantheons which existed once and/or exist now. Each of those religions had followers who bleived in the absolute truth of THEIR Gods just as the zealots now believe in the absolute belief of THEIR God. It is supremely arrogant to deny the differing faith of the billions who have passed before while asserting your own faith is somehow uniquely different and MUST be true.

    Christians are already athiest towards every other god and pantheon that has ever existed. Proper athiests just go one God further.

    February 2, 2011 at 5:30 am |
    • Sathyavrath

      well said.

      February 4, 2011 at 5:55 am |
  9. mike

    Oh and for what it's worth my comment was aimed at the posters in here, not Gervais who at least articulates his atheism in non-offensive conversation in this piece. For the record though he sounds more like an agnostic than an atheist. He does not talk in very concrete absolutes in his wording. His tone speaks doubt which is more agnosticism than atheism.

    February 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I think if a person says he's an atheist, you can believe him. Not your place to decide the beliefs (or lack thereof) of others.

      February 2, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  10. mike

    Amazing to me how many atheists think they are so much smarter than everyone else. It's pretty pathetic to look at. I mean, to think that had you guys existed 2000 years ago, generations upon generations of people wouldn't have spent so much time trying to figure it all out. All of the smart people in the world were in this very chat room the whole time. I am just amazed by the fact that human beings can sit there and be so smug as to cliam they have figured out the universe from head to toe. Smug and arrogant and thoroughly repugnant.

    February 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • NL

      mike-
      Funny, because an atheist will likely be the first to admit that we as a species have learned a lot about the universe, but that there is still a lot that remains to be discovered, whereas believers think they've had everything answered thousands of years ago in one word, 'God.' So, who looks smug, arrogant and thoroughly repugnant now?

      February 1, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm not sure what you're trying to say, but people have been trying to find the truth since time began. It takes a great deal of courage to fight the powers that be, especially those who can take your lives, a power that organized religion enjoyed for far too many eras in history. Science has been free to go past theological boundaries for a very short historical time and look how much has been learned. I'm sorry you've read a book and shut off your mind. Open minds are growing minds. Closed minds are a dead end.

      February 2, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • BL

      Thanks, it wasn't easy, but we did get all figured out, so i accept your apology!

      February 4, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  11. ryan

    Secularization = where everything loses meaning, yet some contradictorily search for purpose in a world that exists by chance and therefore has no purpose...and others call themselves open-minded, yet close their minds to those that they perceive as close-minded
    I guess hypocrisy is universal...

    February 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • NL

      I admit that new proof could convince me that I'm completely mistaken. Now, do you admit the same? Could a new proof convince you that God doesn't exist?

      February 1, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  12. JG

    Secularisation = Progress

    February 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  13. ryan

    The atheist's obsession with religion is answered in Ecclesiastes 3:11. I see so many that are obsessed with belief, speaking of skeptics. So many long for answers, unfortunately the truth requires rules, guidelines, and submission. I admire the desire for answers, I had it. That's how I ended up here. Most know more about than a lot of us Christians anyways. Enjoy your pursuit and hopefully you'll find yourself in the presence of unmatched completeness and love. We really have know clue what we're missing and I'd sure hate to reject Him now so He can reject me later. Justice is justice...so if you don't want Him, He'll let you have it your way.
    curious see rzim.org

    February 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • NL

      ryan-
      "Ecclesiastes 3:11"
      Do you translate that as God setting "eternity in the human heart" or placing "ignorance in the human heart"?

      February 1, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Ryan
      I have no obsession with religion at all.. you have failed to produce any evidence for you assertions as to why should I believe it. If the only thing that you have to convince that god is real is fear of a violent confrontation with him/her then sorry, you have to do better.

      February 4, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  14. Jimbo

    Man, why can't I meet atheists this awesome? All I get are the pretentious hypocritical jerks.

    For example:

    1) "Unlike those moronic Christians, (add something menial and not even related to religion at all)."
    2) "You Christians are so horrible for acting like you know for a proven fact there is a God. There is in fact no God."

    I really wish I could meet more athiests that don't just sit around and feel bitter towards Christianity.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • NL

      Likely you already know lots of civil atheists. Start threatening them with hell and automatically as.suming that they must be evil just because they don't believe in you god and civility tends to decay.

      February 2, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • NL

      Gervais was being interviewed by a reporter being impartial and earnestly asking him for his opinion on his atheism. That's a far cry from debating atheism with folks who usually can't muster any better argument for believing in the bible than quoting from it, and who tend to gloat over the idea of we atheists burning in hell forever. Most of us are quite willing to have a civil, intelligent conversation with Christians. Too bad many of you aren't willing to do the same.

      February 2, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  15. Esem

    Thank you to Mr. Gervais for expressing my beliefs and spirituality. One that I do not dare to express while I live in the United States, because I get judged and have paid dearly for, though I sincerely respect the beliefs of others.

    January 30, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  16. The One True Steve

    Which God is the "One True God"? Is it the God of the Jews, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Scientology? Clearly if you read anything about any of these religions you will see it is not possible that they worship the same God. Is it a long dead god of the Egyptians, Norse, Mayans? These Gods were worshiped and feared and now are considered myths. Maybe time is not Gods friend, in time all gods will fade into myth. Religion was created to control the masses. Religion is like a gang, join our gang and we will protect you, explain things you don't understand because, the gang, has great unknown knowledge from and unseen Being. The Gang creates or exploits a fear and then claims to have the answer to save you. (not unlike Political Parties).

    If you are going to follow a religion, read about all religions (or as many as you can) before you make a decision. Most people seem to just stay in the world of the religion that they were raised.

    My favorite holiday is Christmas. Most Christians think that December 25th is the day Jesus was born, think again. Christmas is a amalgam of several Pagan celebrations. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Partying, eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated the their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras. Yule tide greetings to all. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.
    In 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be celebrated on December 25. There is little doubt that he was trying to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans (who remained a majority at that time) to convert to Christianity.

    Think, think, think ... don't follow blindly.

    And if you think I'm going to burn in HELL ... The gospel according to Bartholomew from "The Apocryphal New Testament" is a "get out of Hell free card"

    January 28, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Muneef

      The True Steve.

      Got mixed up about which Gods we are talking about ? Are they the one's on Earth controlling our lives or are you about God the creator of universe that is worshipped by mankind in different ways,given different names,given different looks and combinations ,partners,sons...others worshiped Satan or made him partner to God...The Message of the "Monotheism" was there from time of existance up to Noah PBUH and the monotheist derived from those saved by Noah named Abraham PBUH who came up then with the message of "Submission" and rebuilt the house of worship in Mecca for religion teachings redirecting pagans worshiping idols,trees,or worshiping many Gods they made and named as in Greek mythology....

      Partly correct that Religion is controlling masses! Just as politics does? Who is controlling these masses now ? Or are they uncontrolled now you are saying? Laws control mankind,laws written by mankind weren't they? Were the bases of those laws quoted from those books old the books of fairy tales,as told by many here ?
      God has addressed his messages to generations through chosen one's to remind and warn those evil doers and the ones who are astray to come back to the truth but when messanger gives up on his people God would bring upon them heavy natural disasters,losses and grieves...there among any religions or branches of religions you will find people worship and do good deeds for the sake of God and would do all could to raise his name and belief....there are others who careless for it as a religion or faith but taking advantage of the posts for their own personal vast interest or the gangs interests as named by you... "Those are as a Walves using the Sheeps Skins in Disguise for hunting and feeding its greeds". Man is judged by God basis his inner soul intentions in heart and mind? Loving and Fearing God means we should take into considerations of the signs or inspirations which comes more as alarms to those who are doing as God told as commandments in all Holy Books that came upon the sons of Israel by Moses,David,Jesus and then upon Muhammed PBUH who was derived from Ismael son of Abraham PBUB ... All those books landed or inspired are on the base of monotheism and God told he has all the beautiful names known or unknown to us...so no matter what names we call him by Allah,Allahim,God,Lord,Creator,Almighty and so on...
      But you have mentioned other religions that worshiped Planets,Stars,idols unendless list of beliefs which were actully reduced by Islam but return it became branches that contained those converted publicly but inner still on their old belief and that what has given Islam a multi cultures and beliefs that have came out of the one islamic belief, that has caused any seeing doings of one accuses the whole bunch under the name of Islam with out any suggrigation between branches. You know I think not all those accounted to Islam or Islamic countries are real Muslim in practice but Muslim only by Coding as by land or family of birth...but they contain all those you might know in beliefs or in disbliefs in their inner soul,heart,mind, that's why we were told we will be judged by our intentions and not by being accounted for religions as followers...

      February 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • The One True Steve

      @Muneef

      The God of the Christians and The God of the Muslims is not the same God. It comes down to one simple point. Jesus. The Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God. The Muslims believe Jesus is just another Prophet. Islam came into existence after Christianity. If its the same God, wouldn't God have told Muhammad he had a Son, born of a virgin, died for man's sins, the only way into heaven. This is a major point. The same God would have said the same thing. Different Gods would say different things. The two religions are very different . Its not possible they worship the same God.

      February 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  17. seanmf

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
    Mohandas Gandhi

    January 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • LoriDD

      Oh, I LIKE that!

      February 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • BL

      Great quote! Christ was perfect, the monster fallible humans created in his name called, Christianity, is a disease.

      February 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  18. ROSIN

    Right on Ricky!

    All I can say is keep 2 things out of your kids head:

    Drugs and Religion. They will both screw 'em up later on... brainwashed with "Jesus/God has a plan for me" or such nonsense.

    January 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  19. Muneef

    http://kaheel7.com/eng/index.php/unseen-miracles/434-mohamed-is-the-most-influential-man-in-history

    January 28, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Any pictures then?

      January 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  20. Muneef

    Al-Hijr sura 15:
    We have given thee seven of the oft-repeated (verses) and the great Qur'an. (87).

    Al-Fatiha sura 01:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful (1) 
    Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, (2) The Beneficent, the Merciful. (3) Owner of the Day of Judgment, (4) Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. (5) Show us the straight path, (6) The path of those whom Thou hast favoured. Not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray. (7).

    This is the message of the Quran " Three Paths " and Only One Path of Three is the Savior in Life and Afterlife which of those Three do we stand as individuals or groups religious or non religious in every faith or belief.

    Should't we ask the holy books and the books of man of old how we can become at any path of those three?
    -Path of those whom Thou hast favoured. "How to become Favoured"?.
    -Path of those who earn Thine anger.  "How to become earning Thine anger"?.
    -Path of those who go astray. "How to become astray"?.
    Serious questions we ought to ask and pave our selves a path among others to live by with our intentions which should be purely for the love of God who had started his Holy Message with his name as "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful", or being  "In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate".
    Those God called Favoured could come out of all faiths and beliefs, while those who will fall could be as well from all of those faiths and beliefs..

    Al-Hajj sura 22:
    And strive for Allah with the endeavour which is His right. He hath chosen you and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship; the faith of your father Abraham (is yours). He hath named you Muslims of old time and in this (Scripture), that the messenger may be a witness against you, and that ye may be witnesses against mankind. So establish worship, pay the poor-due, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protecting friend. A blessed Patron and a blessed Helper! (78).

            

    January 27, 2011 at 8:45 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.