Ricky Gervais, Atheism, And The Invention Of Lying


I’m really excited about The Invention of Lying, the upcoming Ricky Gervais film.  I started the script last spring online and simply couldn’t stop reading until it was done.  It was not a terribly funny read (except occasionally) but I love films which explore a thought provoking “what if” in a sufficiently thoughtful way and this script certainly did that.   Being fascinated with questions of lies and honesty (a full chapter of my dissertation treats the subject of honesty and its entailments), I was absorbed with the idea of an alternate world to our own in which no one not only can lie but in which no one can even conceive that they’re being lied to.

In the film, Ricky Gervais’s character invents lying.  And, most amazing of all, the script’s plot revolves very heavily around explicitly atheist themes about the origins of religious ideas completely as fabrications.   I can hardly imagine the film will be so frank, but here’s hoping.

Here’s Gervais discussing his atheism explicitly:

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Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.