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← Ricky Gervais says atheism shouldn't offend

Ricky Gervais says atheism shouldn't offend - Comments

starboykb's Avatar Comment 1 by starboykb

He is a funny man. love him in Grammy Award there.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 07:29:07 UTC | #582356

Quine's Avatar Comment 2 by Quine

It is time for folks to know that we are here, that we don't believe the things they do, that we don't is nothing against us given that they can't show that what they believe is actually true, and that the 'golden rule' means as much to us as it does to them. Go Ricky.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 07:36:36 UTC | #582357

-TheCodeCrack-'s Avatar Comment 3 by -TheCodeCrack-

Big fan of Ricky.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 07:45:03 UTC | #582360

ordinaryjo's Avatar Comment 4 by ordinaryjo

I believe in Dog

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 08:05:30 UTC | #582362

markg's Avatar Comment 5 by markg

It would be nice to see Richard on Piers' new show. So far he's only interviewed big name celebrities & Condi Rice in his first week. Hope he goes beyond actors and celebs. I've never seen Richard on CNN, plus he could avoid the 3 to 4 min. with the bonehead Bill O'Liarly on Fox.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 08:15:12 UTC | #582364

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 6 by rod-the-farmer

I don't get offended when people say 'Thank god'

If they mean it, it at least makes me uncomfortable. It is a sign of a mindset I find disturbing. He perhaps could have compared it to person 1 being offended when person 2 says "I don't collect stamps."

You can be passionate and enthusiastic about anything you like. Just don't ask me to be the same, and don't ever insist that I do, nor that I follow the rules of your hobby. Maybe that is how we should start describing believers. Their hobby is one of the many flavours of religion. Like electric trains, plastic models, gardening, collecting things like cars or china, exercise, etc. etc. They all come in different flavours, and each has its devotees who don't relate much to the others.

"It's not a hobby ! These are my beliefs !" Of course they are, but there are others out there who believe slightly different things, or much different things, and each of you insist your own beliefs are not just better, but the best and most true. Then there are some who do not share ANY of the different beliefs. Who to believe ? Nah, what you have is a hobby. One in which I have no interest at all.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 08:30:58 UTC | #582368

PERSON's Avatar Comment 7 by PERSON

I suspect this is CNN's international channel and won't go out in America on the main network. Hopefully that's not so.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 08:32:18 UTC | #582370

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 8 by justinesaracen

It was, in fact, a fairly bland response by Gervais, but I suppose that's all an American audience can handle. Gervais pulled all his punches, even almost falling for the 'are you spiritual' trap. Saying "not in that way" and "I love nature and animals" is a good non-threatening answer, but I'd have preferred him to be a little more pointed.

I suppose I am mostly irritated by the inevitable tossing in of that vague-but-faintly-theistic word "spiritual." My answer would have been "what does that mean, exactly 'spirituality'? If you tell me what you mean by it, I'll tell you whether I have it." (Actually, in conversation, I usually say, "What the HELL do you mean by'spirituality'?")

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 09:09:35 UTC | #582380

Paul42's Avatar Comment 9 by Paul42

Nice one, Ricky.

Loved the photo in the background with him in a "Seen Kyle?" pose...

When I see stuff like this on mainstream channels, I imagine the slow, creeping change in the zeitgeist. The inevitable conciousness changing that is happening right now, in my lifetime.

This makes me slightly less depressed... A Good Thing.

Love.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 09:15:12 UTC | #582383

whenpigsfly's Avatar Comment 10 by whenpigsfly

I think what is meant by spirituality in this context is the sense of awe that can be achieved from being in the universe (without presupposing BS). A spiritual experience, in this way, does not require anything supernatural. It is simply a sense or awareness of the world around you that inspires and fills with wonder.

By this account I would hazard that most humans are spiritual (or have the capacity to be so)- it's just that up until recently religion has had a monopoly (largely) on the discussion of the 'spiritual'. We need to reclaim these experiences integral to the human condition.

C

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 09:24:04 UTC | #582386

Paul42's Avatar Comment 11 by Paul42

I just don't like the word spiritual...

Because it contains the word "spirit" probably...

And it is too close to "spiritualist"

Which means I find it hard to separate it from the phrase "spiritualist church".

I don't know if this is happening in the USA or not, but in the UK, some churches that are really suffering from lack of attendance have been trying to re-brand themselves and are holding regular "spiritualist services" where some crook (sorry, "medium") will attend and do the usual crap...

I'm not making this up...

And in a very British fashion, there is tea and biscuits served...

It's almost like a very subtle shift in the church going experience.

Anyone else noticed this?

Love.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 09:49:43 UTC | #582396

ridelo's Avatar Comment 12 by ridelo

Ricky handled this very well. You can't make listen people to you by confronting them head on. Therefore I also liked this. Warning: no bashing of mother Teresa here!

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:02:22 UTC | #582424

weavehole's Avatar Comment 13 by weavehole

I remember Carl Sagan saying that the word spirit comes from the latin word for breath and so ironically it hasn't always had 'spiritual' connotations.

Interestingly the Kanji for Spirit in Japanese 気 can also mean breath (or mind) and it's radical (imagine the same image without the x shape at bottom left) means steam. This also reminds me of Native Americans supposedly believing that seeing the last breath of their friends in the cold air was the soul/spirit leaving the body.

Anyone know if this is all just coincidence or is there a more ancient link? Also did we think it was our spirit or breath first?

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:03:34 UTC | #582425

scattering-like-light's Avatar Comment 14 by scattering-like-light

And this is why Rickey Gervais is such a great human... reasonable, rational, not afraid to say what he does and doesn't believe in, and more importantly, kind, considerate and a generally all-round decent bloke. And damn funny on occasions too.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:12:07 UTC | #582431

ridelo's Avatar Comment 15 by ridelo

Comment 13 by weavehole :

I remember Carl Sagan saying that the word spirit comes from the latin word for breath and so ironically it hasn't always had 'spiritual' connotations.

Interestingly the Kanji for Spirit in Japanese 気 can also mean breath (or mind) and it's radical (imagine the same image without the x shape at bottom left) means steam. This also reminds me of Native Americans supposedly believing that seeing the last breath of their friends in the cold air was the soul/spirit leaving the body.

Anyone know if this is all just coincidence or is there a more ancient link? Also did we think it was our spirit or breath first?

Yes, also the 'spirit' in whiskey, cognac etcetera. When you distillate it is the spirit that leaves the brew and you catch it in the distillate. It is often about gases.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:17:10 UTC | #582434

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 16 by El Bastardo

And in a very British fashion, there is tea and biscuits served...

When I'm in America I go to church for the coffee and cookies, seriously.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:21:18 UTC | #582440

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 17 by Stevehill

When you distillate it is the spirit that leaves the brew and you catch it in the distillate. It is often about gases.

So: the father, the son and the holy fart.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:22:46 UTC | #582442

weavehole's Avatar Comment 18 by weavehole

Yes, also the 'spirit' in whiskey, cognac etcetera. When you distillate it is the spirit that leaves the brew and you catch it in the distillate. It is often about gases.

Right, that's it I'm off down the kombini to get some sake. Will be in good spirits in no time...

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:24:17 UTC | #582443

Grandeur's Avatar Comment 19 by Grandeur

Comment 7 by PERSON :

I suspect this is CNN's international channel and won't go out in America on the main network. Hopefully that's not so.

Piers Morgan Tonight is broadcast across the US on CNN - American viewers would have seen the interview with Ricky Gervais. I think a decent chunk of the atheism talk made the final cut - based on a YouTube clip someone taped from the show.

By the way, if you go to 9:05 of this video you'll see the rest of the spirituality/religion/atheism discussion from the point where the short CNN clip we're discussing ends. Gervais has a bit more to say how spiritual-like feelings are all explainable by science. Piers Morgan then tries to argue for his Catholic belief on the basis that heaven is a comforting proposition, and atheists must fear death 10 times more than believers. Gervais deflects it calmly and rationally.

[edited to clarify youtube clip starting point]

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 11:53:22 UTC | #582457

GermanHumanist's Avatar Comment 20 by GermanHumanist

Very well put there by one of my favorite comedians, Ricky Gervais.

True freedom of religion can only exist if people like Ricky Gervais - and, on the bottom line, every single Atheist - have the right to say those things publicly and unequivocally without having to fear repression.

And when you look at how religious people, including the Pope, try to denigrate Atheism, they have no moral right to get bent out of shape over essentially harmless witty remarks made by one of England's finest and most eloquent comedians.

The problem is that more and more religious people these days want all their rights to practice their chosen belief in a ficticious deity, but heaven forbid (sic!) Atheists demand to be met with equal respect for their beliefs.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 12:21:01 UTC | #582477

gurkuda's Avatar Comment 21 by gurkuda

I am a big fan and have listened to most of his podcasts over the years. I think his interview was a lot more toned down compared to the stuff they come up with usually (by they I mean, Ricky, Steve and Karl). Understandable, considering the fact that he is on CNN and not in his own studio. I believe that people like Ricky will make atheism more acceptable in the media. In a way, what he did was public service :)

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 12:23:52 UTC | #582479

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 22 by AtheistEgbert

Ricky Gervais is going to hell for bullying Karl Pilkington.

But seriously, Gervais is a funny and intelligent artist, held back perhaps by our ridiculous class system here in Britain. He (and Karl Pilkington), along with Jimmy Carr are the only British comedians who continue to be funny.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 12:40:47 UTC | #582487

scotsman2010's Avatar Comment 23 by scotsman2010

Ricky talks a lot of sense. He put his points over well there.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 12:44:52 UTC | #582488

Linda3M's Avatar Comment 24 by Linda3M

After his performance at the Golden Globes, I'm not sure he's the best person to represent us on the subject of 'offensive.'

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 12:51:57 UTC | #582490

Logicel's Avatar Comment 25 by Logicel

Gervais is admirable on so many fronts. He is a whole person, feeling good in his skin. Great to see.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 13:02:28 UTC | #582492

qapla's Avatar Comment 26 by qapla

I watched the Golden Globe Awards just for Ricky Gervais

He was hilarious !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 13:17:53 UTC | #582497

Notstrident's Avatar Comment 27 by Notstrident

Conment 8 by Esuther: I suppose I am mostly irritated by the inevitable tossing in of that vague-but-faintly-theistic word "spiritual." My answer would have been "what does that mean, exactly 'spirituality'? If you tell me what you mean by it, I'll tell you whether I have it." (Actually, in conversation, I usually say, "What the HELL do you mean by'spirituality'?")

Very good way to handle it. That's how I will do it myself from now on.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 14:37:06 UTC | #582533

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 28 by DocWebster

Comment 12 by ridelo :

Ricky handled this very well. You can't make listen people to you by confronting them head on. Therefore I also liked this. Warning: no bashing of mother Teresa here!

The lady had me until Mutha Teresa.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 14:44:09 UTC | #582534

ridelo's Avatar Comment 29 by ridelo

Comment 28 by DocWebster :

Comment 12 by ridelo :

Ricky handled this very well. You can't make listen people to you by confronting them head on. Therefore I also liked this. Warning: no bashing of mother Teresa here!

The lady had me until Mutha Teresa.

Pity. You also should see the rest. Maybe she hasn't read the Hitch.

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 14:58:07 UTC | #582543

helena!'s Avatar Comment 30 by helena!

Yes my requested post made it here!

It was a fantastic interview. Ricky's doing an amazing job speaking up and out for atheism. He's a brilliant guy - very intelligent and funny. I watched the full interview and I'm in Canada. Piers made the pathetic case of religion bringing comfort and the atheists must be all doom and gloom. It is rare to see any talk of disbelief on cable tv so this was a big win thanks to Ricky. Humour is the best way to bring the ridiculous into the light and he does a great job.

I like that he says his first loves are nature and science.

Oh I wanted to add he has a nice blog too - thissideoftruth

Sat, 22 Jan 2011 15:00:49 UTC | #582546