Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ricky Gervais - comic atheist - does the Bible

Thursday, 10 April 2008

The day Ricky Gervais became an atheist

American men's magazine Best Life has a short piece by comedian Ricky Gervais on how he became an atheist.

After saying how, at the age of 9, he was a massive fan of Jesus – "More than pop stars. More than footballers. More than God" – Gervais describes the day his 19-year-old brother, Bob, walked in just as he was drawing Jesus on the cross as part of his RE homework:

"There I was, happily drawing my hero when my big brother Bob asked, 'Why do you believe in God?' Just a simple question. But my mum panicked. 'Bob,' she said, in a tone that I knew meant 'shut up.' Why was that a bad thing to ask? If there was a God and my faith was strong, it didn’t matter what people said. Oh…hang on. There is no God. He knows it, and she knows it deep down. It was as simple as that. I started thinking about it and asking more questions, and within an hour, I was an atheist."

So, a fairly rapid conversion then. And Gervais goes on to describe the "gifts" that opened up to him as a result of his "newfound atheism":

"The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. Not a world by design, but one by chance. I learned of evolution—a theory so simple and obvious that only England’s greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals, and us—with imagination, free will, love, and humor. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer, and pizza are all good enough reasons for living. But living an honest life—for that you need the truth. That’s the other thing I learned that day, that the truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity."

Nice one, Ricky. And thanks for giving me a great excuse to put up a clip of the hilarious Genesis scene from stand-up show Animals:

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