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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. Mark

    Bill is DICK, he has way to big of an EGO, he's so full of himself and doesn't think of others, He is so far off the mark and never debates the person for which he disagrees with but only relys on comedy to belittle and tear the person down and never offers much on the actual subject. total liberal moron!

    July 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • TexasCentrist

      I don't understand the basis of those comments. He presents many supporting facts behind his statements. I cannot speak for him, but I'm sure he would welcome a debate on at least some of the topics he covers. Seems to be pretty well informed to me.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • ZackBauer

      Grrrrr! Bill is dick!!! Bread good!!!! Fire bad!!!! So sad and painful to read your little attempt at discourse. Bill Maher goes out on the road and debates his opposites (Ann Coulter for example) in front of audiences all the time. He has more intellect in his bellybutton lint then you possess in your whole chicken mcnugget of a brain.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • BackInElementary

      "...never debates the person for which he disagrees with..."

      Have you actually watched the show?? He's constantly debating with his guests, that's why they're on the show. Debate and discuss. Watch it sometime...sounds like YOU are the one spouting off at the mouth without offering much on the actual subject...except that "he's a dick". Great input...

      July 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  2. Reality

    Bill speaks the truth. Religion provides a false sense of security because praying won't solve any problems but only give a false sense of reassurance. Religious people don't have the brain cells to figure things out so they just say God created everything (how easy is that!). If you think that you have a personal relationship with god and that you talk to him/her/it then you must check yourself into a mental hospital, that is where people who hear voices go to. Religion never solved or will solve any problems or issues facing us now and in the future, all it does is separate us and make us kill each other over something that has NO proof of existence, and you can't disprove something that has never been proven. Look at GW Bush who is a born again christian who basically put this country in the hole where it is today(meaning people who F...up majorly in their lives and all of the sudden find god and hear voices in their head). I do not want people who will lead this country to hear voices in their head and god told me so, that is very dangerous!

    July 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ryan

      That's exactly right! End of discussion. Wish there was more people like you out there!!!!!!!!!!

      July 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Cagey Rabbit

    All hail his noodliness, for he boiled for our sins.

    July 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Todd

      Ah, the FSM. Love it.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  4. Colin

    Matthew, this post appeared yesterday. You might like to consider it.

    Feb 2011 -founder and senior pastor of Glory House London, Dr Albert Odulele was charged with two counts of se xual as sault

    2010 – former pastor Vaughn Reeves serving consecutive six-year terms for each of nine fraud counts, in a scheme that cost about 2,900 investors $13.1 million

    2010 – complaints were filed against Eddie L. Long by men that stated Mr. Long used his position as the church leader to entice or coerce the men into consensual se xual relationships in exchange for money, travel and goods.

    April 13, 2010 – Christian leader George Alan Rekers photographed at Miami International Airport returning from an extended overseas trip with a twenty-year-old "rent boy", or gay male prosti tute

    2007 – Coy Privette resigned as president of North Carolina's Christian Action League and from the Board of Directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, following revelations on July 19 that he had been charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prost itution

    2007 – Earl Paulk founder and head pastor of Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Decatur, Georgia from 1960 until the 1990s. A number of women from the congregation came forward during the 1990s and 2000s, claiming that Paulk had se xual relations with them charges of child mol estation were also made.

    2006 – Lonnie Latham, the senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church and a member of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, was arrested for "offering to engage in an act of lewdness" with a male undercover police officer

    2006 – Paul Barnes founder and former senior minister of the evangelical church Grace Chapel in Douglas County, Colorado confessed his ho mo se xual activity to the church board, and his resignation was accepted.

    2006 – Ted Haggard, pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado and was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, had been regularly visiting a male prost itute who also provided him with methamphetamine

    YEp, being an evangelical Christian really assures one of a good character, doesn't it?

    July 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Alienxfb14

      So what's your point? That Christians are the only ones that commit these crimes? Or that Christians are equal to Atheists (who have just has much of a chance of committing these same exact offenses)?

      July 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Colin

      Alien – it was a response to a threaded discussion a few pages back. I accidently posted it as a new comment.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  5. Dan, Tx

    I think most people are apathetic atheists. Religion is good for socializing, but there are alternatives nowadays. We don't really need religion to survive anymore.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  6. sfg

    Who really cares about Bill Maher's thoughts on anything? Pierce is definitely scraping the bottom of the barrel to interview Maher – this guy's only a legend in his own mind!

    July 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  7. Nick in Vegas

    Bill is so refreshing!!

    July 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  8. Scott

    Here's the deal. Either there is a God or not. 2 sides. That means it is a 50/50 proposition.

    So, given a 50% chance that God exists, take a look around you at life and all of the wonders in the universe.

    Is it really that difficult to imagine their may be a God? Read his word for the truth..it will set you free.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • radam82

      OK, it is a 50/50, but who says that the thing that created this universe is the Christian god? It could be Odin, or Buddah too, so your 50/50 isn't really that simple.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • EZRA

      I can't decide. I think I'll just flip a coin.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Dan, Tx

      wouldn't that be 0/100 or 100/0. 50/50 would be god is on for one week and off the next. Either way, we'll never know the difference in this life.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Shalisa

      Zeus is the only True God. Those who claim otherwise will go straight to Hades. All hail Zeus!

      July 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Todd

      Hey Scott, can I use the bible as a defense? I want to kill my kids – they dare to speak up to me.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Gregg

      Well Scott,

      Take that same look around you and see the horrors and pitfalls of life? Would a truly compassionate caring God allow that to occur? 50/50 is still 50/50

      July 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Russ

      Not 50/50, at least based on true/false.

      You throw a die, what are the odds it will be a 6? It either will or it won't, but it's not 50/50, It's one chance out of six.

      Your faith is better than your math.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Scott,
      First, there are more than just 2 choices, i.e. other gods, other universes. What you're trying to force is a false dichotomy and make it look like either your God exists or none do.

      Second, just because there are two choices does not mean that the chances are 50/50. If you roll a die (dice?) is there a 50/50 chance that it will come up either 1 or not 1? Of course not.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Colin

      That 50/50 analysis demonstartes a jaw dropping ignorance of basic math. Just becuas ehtere are two possibel outcomes, it does not follow that they are equally likely- I buy a lottery ticket and I win or I lose, but I do not have a 50% chance of winning.

      This is the problem when theists try to use science to support their beliefs – they phuck it up.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • GMB

      This is a delusional statement. It's like saying I can leap 50 feet or not - I can do that or I can't. 50/50 odds. I'll beleive in god when I see god...

      July 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Oh, Russ beat me to it...

      And, Colin tops us both. Well put!

      July 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • eddie

      what you propose is a false dichotemy. There may be many additional ways to think about it and many different ways to conceptualize what you mean by god. then you have to evaluate the evidence that would qualify for the actions that count for your idea of what god is. That in turn must be compared to the evidence that goes against your conception. It is far from 50/50 to say the least.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  9. 2bits

    Religion is inherently a mind control game and evil.

    All ORGANIZED religions should be banned.

    They are all guilty of fear-induced brain washing.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • wgage

      I don't think religious orgs should be tax exempt.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  10. MG

    Like Bill, I grew up Catholic, and now I'm really just apathetic. I just don't care about religion, and like to live my life without fear that I wont make it into heaven. I tend to think that religion's purpose is to help those who feel lost find something and believe in something to keep them going. Personally, I don't feel lost, and therefore feel no need for religion, hence why I don't care.
    On another note, a lot of people I grew up with were Catholic, and like me, have become quite apathetic about religion. It seems like more Catholics grow out of religion than other religions. I am sure I am just biased in saying this with my very small sample set of data, but I find it interesting.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  11. Todd

    why does cnn think we all care so much what Bill Maher thinks? It's like whenever he opens his mouth. CNN has to report it...

    July 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Ryan

      Because Bill actually is more interesting than most on TV and I believe more and more people are finding out how refreshing he is. Smart guy

      July 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  12. Laughing

    I'm sorry

    I've been seeing this posted a lot on this particular board (though it's not the first time I've heard it)

    Why, when someone says they don't believe in god and take an aggressive stance on it, do all christians believe that person must be a closet christian? It's like believing my vegan friend must eat cheeseburgers when I'm not around because she dislikes them so much.

    Seriously, can someone please explain the rationale here?

    July 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Shalisa

      No. I can not explain the irrational.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • bible Clown

      It is vitally important to them to believe we are evil. You cannot convince them and they will get irrationally angry if you laugh. After all, as they say, it's IN the BIBLE.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  13. Max

    Right on "just me." Who on earth would listen to him and take him seriously?

    July 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  14. Ken from FL

    Could someone please explain to me why this idiot gets so much air time?

    July 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • rafael

      From your own description it seems unlikely that anyone could.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • jon

      i was wondering the same thing. What a soft interview.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • dave

      I sir in Connecticut, Ken from FL , your the complete idiot. Only an complete moron would come to the conclusion Bill Maher is an idiot.
      I bet your have no college degree. You are not a thinker Ken. You are a complete moron and I wish you bad luck. Expand your mind moron, Maher is on PAR with everything and its so refreshing to hear him speak about fairy tale religions.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • EZRA

      Yes, and they seem to get elected too.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      You seem kinda stupid. I'm not sure you could 'get' the explanation: he has millions of fans. That's more than hundreds. Big number.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  15. bcrunner

    I am a Christian and I don't agree with Bill Maher on religion. However, on politics, the guy is spot on.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Big Bob

      Then you prefer satire to real news...

      July 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • dave

      haha so you don't agree with Bill Maher on religion, good luck with your belief in fairtales and imaginary men in the sky.

      Psst...we have now been in space, above the big mysterious blue sky. Did you hear that or did you miss the news story 50 years ago... there's nothing up there, we found nothing up there, not even oxygen.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  16. ToadInAustin

    I never think about broccoli. Never think about at all. In fact, I never think about broccoli so much that I made a movie about broccoli. Never think about broccoli.

    My Sweet Lord isn't plagiarized if He's So Fine never existed, know what I mean?

    July 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  17. Harry

    Not only doesn't Bill Maher think much about religion, he doesn't think much at all. Why would anyone care what he has to say about anything?

    July 12, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Ryan

      Intelligent people who get it...really do watch and care what he thinks. where do you stand in this mix?

      July 12, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  18. helloeyes

    I think Bill Maher is a frustrated bully. He needs psychiatric help. Not all atheists are like him. I am an atheist but I think hey, whatever floats your boat. It's not my scene but why be so disparaging. Live and let live. It's not up to any of us to decide what others should believe or not believe – belief is private and a lot of people need it.

    July 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ryan

      I agree to a point. But you have to understand that religions have been shoved down people's throughts for thosands of years. Our country votes of people who believe in one magical being over another. Maher is also heavily involved in politics so he is speaking out against this. Someone needs to put real thought out there. We really do need people like him not afraid to speak up against something that people (not to long ago) used to be burned over. Good for Bill Maher

      July 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Ryan

      * Throats

      July 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  19. just me

    Bill who? Some people actually listen to this guy? And take him seriously? Phhh

    July 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  20. William

    I am so grateful for someone that isn't religious. It gets so tiresome to listen to religious profess about their faith – yawn!

    July 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Elaine Connelly

      William: I am not particularly religious, so I won't bother you with a few important things you might need to learn. Humility is one of them. Kindness is another. Oh, and a swift kick in the keister probably would do you a world of good.

      July 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Daniel

      Elaine, you missed the joke.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • EZRA

      Yes, makes me want to change the subject to something like professional bowling.

      July 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Ryan

      Elaine- yes, you did miss the joke

      July 12, 2011 at 5:19 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.