How *Dare* the Comedian Make Fun of Atheists!

I was watching Comedy Central recently and saw stand-up by comedian Bret Ernst.

Watch the clip below… around the 0:49 mark.


Jokes.com
Stand-Up: Bret Ernst – Kept His Word
comedians.comedycentral.com
Funny Jokes Funny Videos Daniel Tosh Stand-Up

For a moment, let’s put aside the fact that Ernst is completely wrong about atheists being “responsible for 300,000,000 deaths.”

Usually, it’s religion that fodder for comedians. You don’t hear a lot of maintream comedians pick on atheists (Dane Cook‘s joke being an exception) because, I suspect, so many of them are atheists themselves.

I’m curious what your reaction was to the video.

Were you angry? Defensive? Is your reaction any different, you think, from religious people who listen to George Carlin?

  • Alycia

    I don’t personally take offense to this as an atheist, it just gives me further reason to be more active in AHA (Alliance of Happy Atheists). This just goes to show the typical negative view held of most atheists, which is why us non-religious people should make ourselves more approachable and less “snobby”.

  • http://fluffles.bigbighuge.com/ Tom

    Well the fact that he’s pulling facts out of his ass and just called all atheists smug assholes pisses me off. The fact he’s ripping on Atheists doesn’t matter, say what you like. Even his facts about how many died in the religious crusades are made up.
    I don’t think we’re counting all the people that have died because the pope feels condoms spread disease.

  • Narvi

    “Is your reaction any different, you think, from religious people who listen to George Carlin?”

    Yes. I won’t be mailing him death threats. And neither will anyone else.

  • GigiAUT

    Disgusting. That 300,000,000 deaths was absolute bullsh*t, and since when are we the smug ones?

    We’re the ones who get pissed off at smug christians always trying to push their sh*t onto us because they feel that we’re the ones who are lost and confused.

    THAT MAN NEEDS A HITCHSLAP!

  • Calculon

    I tried to watch the video while being mindful that I would already have a predisposition to view it in a negative light based on your intro.
    But I know it is a comedy routine, so I didn’t expect him to go into details as to why he held his views. But the routine afterwards which was “patriotic” in a sense told me a little bit more of what type of audience he was playing to.

    What is bad is that I looked him up, and I now have a negative view of him because he is from New Jersey. That explains it all in my mind, lol (I know this is wrong to see it this way….just sayin’)

  • Jude

    I’m not angry nor defensive. Most comedians aren’t laugh-out-loud funny, nor are they consistent analysts of society the way Carlin was. I worked with a lot of Christians last year–so many that I quit that job and am currently under-employed. I hated working in an overly-religious public school. The school compounded the problem this year by hiring a creationist as a biology teacher. Great–an entire generation will be taught that evolution is an unproven theory (if it’s even mentioned at all). At that job, I was angry and, if they’d known that I am an atheist, I would have been defensive. What this comedian says is so obviously untrue that it is meaningless. Besides, I don’t feel part of a monolithic group of atheists. I don’t like strident atheists (nor strident humans in general). For example, I subscribe to Pharyngula only because I like to “pharyngulate” stupid polls. He’s obnoxious.

  • Greg

    No idea.

    The video isn’t available in the UK. :(

    If it’s anything like Dane Cook’s, then I probably wouldn’t find it funny because the joke itself was lame regardless of who the punchline was aimed at.

    I suspect the fact that he got something so drastically wrong as atheists being “responsible for 300,000,000 deaths” would prevent the joke being funny anyway, because all good humour has a grain of truth in it – otherwise it’s merely nonsense.

  • Ben Porter

    Alright here is the thing. I’m mad he pulled some bullshit out his ass to pass as facts okay. That is a stunt that religious people need to stop if they want some respect alright. That being said im not to upset about this. Atheist ,I am an atheist and whereas I try not to do this i often fail, treat most Christians like their stupid. We need to notice the fact that if you insult a group they will fight back. So i wish he wouldn’t pull shit out his ass, and I think we in the atheist community do need to stop treating them like they are all idiots.

  • Claudia

    George Carlin, he’s not. He’s not even Dane Cook, who also did an atheist bit that was much funnier.

    There is a bit of an unspoken rule about stereotypical humor in comedy. Essentially you can make any joke you like about a group percieved as dominant and powerful (whites, Catholics whatever) but when it comes to minorities who are subject to actual real discrimination you can only safely mess with them if you belong to said minority or if you’re so overtly supportive of them that you are considered an honorary member (Kathy Griffin can say anything she wants about gays, Jeff Foxworthy can’t).

    Even accepting that I’m predisposed against the joke because I’m part of the group being lampooned, it’s just not very funny. It’s also categorically false, but that’s not really the issue for me. I’ve laughed long and hard at jokes made about women, when they were funny.
    It’s possible to make jokes about Jews and money without coming across as anti-semitic (it helps if you’re Jewish) and it’s possible to make jokes about atheists without coming across as a prejudiced dick. This guy is obviously not the one to do it though.

    [edit]: I would like to add that if indeed he’s never come across a nice atheist (which I’m sure isn’t true) he might want to ask himself why that is. Gee, I wonder why people who I say are responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths aren’t nice to me?

  • Lukas

    I laughed. His delivery was self-deprecating (“I googled it”), and it’s hard to claim that his “smug atheist” stereotype isn’t at least somewhat true.

  • Danish Atheist

    I was a bit disappointed. I was looking fwd too a good laugh – I really don’t mind people poking fun at atheists, blondes, danes, women (and I am all of this) – if they do it in a funny way.

    This guy just wasn’t very funny.

  • http://www.michaelwharton.co.uk Synonymous

    He sounds confrontational, but I’m pretty confident that he doesn’t actually believe what he’s saying is true. He seems to merely be playing to the audience as many comedians do.

    As far as the religious people he cites, Dr King had many atheist/secular cohorts that have simply been forgotten about, Gandhi wanted a violent armed uprising but couldn’t get hold of weapons, and Mother Teresa was just like any other nun.

  • lurker111

    Religious people watch(ed) Carlin???

  • Shatterface

    A massive ‘don’t give a toss’ from me.

    Hysterical over-reactions to ‘humour’ is for religious nutters, not atheists. We’re better than that.

    Besides, we have the better jokes.

  • http://toomanytribbles.blogspot.com/ toomanytribbles

    i really don’t care if it comes in a formal essay or book or a stand-up comedy routine… apologetics is still apologetics and arguments are still arguments. they stand or fall on their merit, regardless of delivery.

    i didn’t find him funny, because i found his arguments to be hollow.

    the only thing this has in common to carlin’s monologues is that they’re both standing up.

  • http://muledungandash.blogspot.com/ Mule Breath

    Angry? No, not really. Disappointed more than anything.

    It will be interesting to watch the You Tube ratings & Comments for the ratio of positive to negative. The Dane Cook video is running positive by about 9 to 9.5 to 1.

  • K

    …meh/10

  • Claudia

    Quite frankly this is much funnier, and it’s coming from what is almost certainly a devout mormon.

  • http://www.freedomloversacademy.com Kristina

    Someone could be offended by that?

  • http://skepticalrockhead.blogspot.com/ Rockhead

    The Bret Ernst bit was just lame and not funny. But the Dane Cook video made me laugh. His stuff is pretty clever.

  • Benjamin

    I don’t think its offensive but it isn’t funny either.

  • http://religiouscomics.net jeff P

    He wasn’t that funny. When I was much younger, I used to travel a lot and many of the hotels I stayed in had a club with a stand-up comedy skit. For the comics that were not very good, they always stuck to one simple formula. Make fun of people not from around there. I would hear stand-up comics while up in the Pacific Northwest make fun of Southerners. I would hear stand-up comics in the South make fun of people from the Pacific Northwest. This guy simply picks on atheists because for his audience, “there are not that many around there”. His implausible fact checking also undermines his delivery.

  • http://www.DangerousTalk.net DangerousTalk

    I just wish he was funnier and had his facts correct. Some comedians just like playing the stupid card. His line about googling it says everything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000586562927 muggle

    Thank you for that link, Claudia. I laughed all the way through which was a nice antidote to the other two videos which only depressed me. LOL, I’m retired now so don’t say anything much but I used to say thank the unions (who pressured FDR into passing the 40 hour work week we take for granted and the legislation against child labor) it’s Friday. That irritated both Christers and the anti-union people!

    I found both Bret Esner and Dane Cook offensive but you know what, give them thumbs down on their videos and move on. As others have said, they just weren’t funny anyway. Bret was facts wrong and Dane, yes, I’ve been known to say geishundheit (however you spell it). Does using the German language at all make one a Nazi?

    Here’s a thought. Don’t say anything at all rather than viewing a sneeze as a chance to promote gawd. I have ripped people a new one for that but only the ones who were asshat enough to demand why I didn’t thank them. (You know, the glare followed by didn’t you hear me? I said bless you?) I also went through a stage where I was responding with “cursed be” instead of thank you just to freak them out. Usually, I just ignore it. No, I don’t feel rude. I feel they are. (Of course, I turn away from people and use a tissue.)

    They were both ignorant assholes. (I thought Dane Cook’s obvious relishing of violently cutting down the Atheist tree and turning it into a buybull even worse than Bret’s ignorance.)But here’s the thing — if you don’t like a comedian, just don’t go see him. End of story.

  • Jessica

    The fact that he pulled numbers out of his ass to back his claims is what pisses me off. He’s perpetuating a stereotype we’re trying to fight. The smug atheist bit, he might be a little correct on that. I gotta say though, I’ll take smug over delusional.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    I think he just wasn’t that funny. He went for the safe, easy laughs. “Right wing people are stupid!” “Aren’t gay people weird?” “America is so awesome!” “Atheists are such assholes!”

    We are, after all, the single most despised minority in America; even right after 9/11, we were more distrusted than Muslims. Pretty safe bet that you’ll get laughter for attacking us.

  • Denis Robert

    I really have no problem with a religious person making fun of Atheists or Atheism… as long as it’s based on reality. When they have to use slander and invent so-called facts to attack us, it’s no longer humor but witch-hunting…

    Now, if they wanted to make fun of Dawkins’ professoral lack of humor, then I’d be with them; as much as I admire Dawkins, there is material there to make fun of. But it’s not acceptable to rewrite history…

  • billybee

    The dude just ain’t funny…regardless of it’s content, his delivery and stage personality doesn’t add up to “funny”.

  • Mr Z

    Wow, I’m not sure I understand the question. In his skit he mentions that religion is to control the stupid, then uses bad math and facts to show how this is true. The tone was generally “why can’t we all just get along” and that’s not bad. As mentioned, I won’t be sending him death threats or posting videos of his DVD being burned. Some of it was kind of funny. He claims political center and in a way theocratic center. He counts multiple religions on one side, atheists on the other, and that’s how I see the issue of religion as far as taking sides. He clearly doesn’t like anything that appears extremist or elitist.

    Sure, he’s wrong, but there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with his view or skit. He’s not advocating ‘for’ religion but against extremes. We have atheists who do that. I don’t agree with them either. I rather enjoyed the Hitchslap videos this weekend… wooohooo

  • http://camelswithhammers.com Camels With Hammers

    I don’t know, I’m sort of heartened that the support for the hating on atheists was completely anemic. No big cheers, no big laughs, no successful tap into any hateful zeitgeist. I think we win here.

  • madscutter

    @Claudia

    Great link. Solid observational humor from a religous perspective that doesn’t rely on belittling the “targets” of the jokes. He does the same thing as Ernst in playing to his crowd, but actually manages to be funny. Ernst had some good stuff, but the bit about atheists was just weak. There just wasn’t anything “new” there.

  • Danish Atheist

    Now, if they wanted to make fun of Dawkins’ professoral lack of humor, then I’d be with them; as much as I admire Dawkins, there is material there to make fun of. But it’s not acceptable to rewrite history…

    I actually happen to think Dawkins has great humour … but I can see it would be easy to miss by stand up standards, as it is the downplayed, ironic and typical british kind :-)

    But I am sure a good stand up comedian could make great jokes on his behalf, as he is that typical british professor type.

  • Ibis

    1. I found the gay joke on the misogynistic side.
    2. I was disappointed and angry about the atheist joke because he started with a good comedic premise (the ‘atheists are smug’ stereotype) but instead of going somewhere with it, he thought it would be funnier to make up imaginary, unhistorical facts (the ‘unhistorical’ is the thing that made it offensive for me).
    3. The America joke was based on unhistorical BS too and was also unfunny.

    So all in all, meh. I wouldn’t watch a whole show of his, and never pay for a ticket to see him do standup.

  • tim

    A comedian making a joke about a segment of society? This is news now?

  • Brian-sama

    He’s not funny, but I’m more annoyed that he uses typical religious debate tactics and talking points in this schlock that he’s trying to pass off as humor. He tries to tear down the idea that “religion was created to control the stupids” by bringing up MLK, Mother Teresa, and Gandhi. Maybe my knowledge of history is bad, but I wasn’t aware that any of these three figures created organized religion. Martin Luther King, Jr. sure seemed like an upstanding guy, but Christianity was the norm long before he showed up. In fact (and here’s the history!), religion was certainly used as a reason/excuse for controlling minorities and denying rights to people.

    Worse than the “smug atheist” trope is the “smug theist” problem. We get guys like Ernst who think their beliefs are on some magical, government-protected pedestal, and that nobody else has the right to say anything about these beliefs. It doesn’t matter how incredibly absurd these beliefs sound to a rational person; if you dare comment on these things, you’re labeled a bigot and an asshole. Then, of course, after being denied the right to comment on people’s ridiculous beliefs, the atheist must endure the mockery and ignorant insults from these people who, at all other times in their lives, claim to value “turning the other cheek.”

  • http://www.greenwoodblog.net Bo Gardiner

    Interesting exercise, Hemant.

    My reaction was a combination of several here. Like Lukas:

    I laughed. His delivery was self-deprecating (“I googled it”), and it’s hard to claim that his “smug atheist” stereotype isn’t at least somewhat true.

    Yup, me too. I laughed up until the patriotic BS. He’s talented, no question.

    If I hadn’t been prepared in advance, I would have gasped in horror at the ludicrous 300 million claim. That’s unacceptable, as folks here are pointing out. Claudia makes the most crucial point:

    There is a bit of an unspoken rule about stereotypical humor in comedy. Essentially you can make any joke you like about a group percieved as dominant and powerful (whites, Catholics whatever) but when it comes to minorities who are subject to actual real discrimination you can only safely mess with them if you belong to said minority or if you’re so overtly supportive of them that you are considered an honorary member (Kathy Griffin can say anything she wants about gays, Jeff Foxworthy can’t)

    Well put. This is why it’s crucial we keep steady and consistent pressure on extending social justice thinking to atheists. (I read Eugenie Scott just spoke out against this principle, hope I heard wrong).

    We shouldn’t feel obliged to be “good sports” and laugh at stereotypes and misinformation that materially contribute to very real oppression of a minority. Even if you yourself are not feeling the oppression, you should recognize that many other atheists, including me, are. We need your solidarity.

    (Claudia, I also love your line, “I wonder why people who I say are responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths aren’t nice to me?”)

  • G

    So, I have to preface this by saying that I’m a working comic. I have to keep a job so my family doesn’t starve, so kudos to this guy for landing a Comedy Central gig.
    The point here isn’t his facts (my wife often laments at my shows that I say things that aren’t factually true), but rather, the routine isn’t that funny. His timing is off, his crowd is reluctant to follow him, his pacing is dragging, there are too many interrogatories to flow well, and he’s just not that likable.
    I’ve watched the rest of the routine and he has better moments, but overall I would have put him in the clips of rejects if I were a producer of Last Comic Standing and editing the first few episodes of a season.
    I’ve seen plenty of religious comics that I adore (check out Dan McGowan if you are lucky enough to ever be in Denver!). But I’ve also laughed at jokes on atheism done much, much better.
    Edit: I forgot to add that there are ways to be in the majority and still make comments about a minority group (the topic is discrimination rather than an attack on the minority, you are placing the bias on another group, etc.). This guy just isn’t talented and/or experienced enough to have applied those techniques.

  • noen

    He isn’t that funny, but he is right about most of what he said.

    He probably gets his number from here:
    Murder by Cummunism

    Which gives as an upper figure of some 259 million murdered by Communist regimes in the 20th century. Communism is an explicitly atheist political ideology. In the former USSR you could not hold public office unless you were a member of the Communist Party, which specifically required you to be an atheist to join.

    Was Hitler an atheist? There seems to be some evidence for him making explicit atheist comments but those are questionable. But does it matter? We should apply the test that atheists use for themselves. Did Hitler lack belief? If he did, if he simply used religious propaganda as a means to power and feigned belief so people would follow him. Then I’d say Hitler was clearly an atheist.

    Atheists really need to come to terms with the facts. Atheists in positions of power and officially atheist regimes that held power are responsible for the direct murder of 100′s of millions of people.

    It won’t do to try to claim that Stalin or Mao weren’t really atheists, that Marxism isn’t really an atheistic political philosophy, or that Nietzsche’s atheistic nihilism didn’t have profound influence on German fascism (even if it was misunderstood). You own this.

    Deal with it.

  • Ms. Crazy Pants

    Facts incorrect, but he didn’t dwell on it. No one really gets to know the non-smug atheists, because the non-smug ones tend to not talk about it as much.

    It’s easy to come off as sounding smug when you’re trying to correct someone’s error. Those who correct others’ grammar come off as sounding smug. Those who try to teach correct evolutionary theory come off as sounding smug. Really, any error correction tends to get viewed that way. An ex-friend was telling me about something legal she didn’t know and learned the hard way, and I said it was her lawyer’s responsibility to tell her those details, and she thought I was being smug. Noooo, I was merely telling her a fact that she wasn’t expected to already know that stuff and that her lawyer was supposed to tell her. Either way, people don’t like being corrected or finding out that the person next to them might know something they don’t.

    On the false “fact”, I found some information the other day that the Vatican, through the person directing their finances, financially backed Hitler and Moussilini: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernadino_Nogara. Or, that’s what I got out of the article. Maybe someone could correct me.

  • Revyloution

    I laughed. Not pee my pants belly laugh, but a good chuckle. He was playing fast and loose with the facts, and playing into some stereo types. Not high crimes in the least.

    Now, how do I feel about him in the light of ‘The Cause’. My analytical brain says that any publicity is good publicity. Anything that gets people talking is good. If some theist listens to this guy, takes his ‘facts’ at face value and decides to challenge me on my lack of belief, then I can use a barrage of real facts to educate them. With a smug look on my face, of course.

  • Ms. Crazy Pants

    Neon: Even though communism espouses atheism, atheism does not espouse communism. Communism may lead to atheism, but atheism does not lead to communism.

    Atheists do not have a single book that says go out and kill people if they don’t become atheists.

  • noen

    Ms. Crazy Pants Says:
    “Even though communism espouses atheism, atheism does not espouse communism. Communism may lead to atheism, but atheism does not lead to communism.”

    That’s not what Marx, Engels and many other prominent Marxists believed. They argued consistently and some would say persuasively, that Atheistic Materialism leads directly to a Marxist understanding of history.

    “Atheists do not have a single book that says go out and kill people if they don’t become atheists.”

    And yet that is exactly what happened in the 20th century. An explicitly atheist political ideology went out and killed 100′s of millions of people. Anyone who did not believe as they did in the coming Socialist utopia were systematically murdered.

    Atheists really need to engage honestly with their history. That you consistently fail to do so will only undermine any message you hope to give. You cannot continue to pretend that because you reside in the US you have no connection to European historical movements.

  • Greg

    noen – you ought to read the link Hemant posted in the original message – here it is again. You might learn something.

    Oh, who am I kidding, judging by your last sentence in your last message, you’ll probably close your eyes, plug your ears, and refuse to look at anything which contradicts your claims.

  • Denise

    Yeah, I’m mad. I watched the whole bit and it didn’t make me laugh!

    Seriously though, I seen this guy’s act on Comedy Central and turned it. It wasn’t because of his jabs at atheism, I had never even heard that until now. He just isn’t funny. I worked at a comedy club and I can tell ya, this guy’s a hack, he uses material already been done several times over and panders to a lower denominator. I’d rather watch Carrot Top, at least that guy literally creates his own lousy material.

  • SeekerLancer

    The difference is George Carlin was funny and will always be remembered as a legendary comedian and this guy is just some random mook on Comedy Central. I don’t think I’d find myself agreeing with this guy on a lot of things but I can relate to his feelings about the extreme left and the extreme right. Categorizing atheism as an extreme left position was pretty absurd though since belief in god has nothing to do with where you fall on the political spectrum. It just seems that way these days thanks to fundamentalist Christians.

    I do agree with him that throwing around stuff like death toll figures is an annoying and worthless argument (even if his facts are wrong) but those “smug atheists” exist usually because they’re constantly put on the defensive about stupid crap like that.

    I think it’s interesting that he used the word “hate” though. He “hates atheists the most”. If he said that about any other group of people (and was famous enough for anyone to give a damn) he would’ve ended his career.

    The only reason people think atheists are smug is because everyone assumes if you don’t talk about religion that you must be religious.

    And I’d argue that Mother Theresa and Gandhi weren’t exactly the sweetest people in the world but he’d probably call me smug.

  • Brian-sama

    Mr Z says:

    He’s not advocating ‘for’ religion but against extremes.

    I don’t know about that. He “hates atheists,” and is quick to attack anyone via strawmen who dismisses religious beliefs. Sounds to me like he has picked a very definite side.

  • http://www.uncrediblehallq.net/ Chris Hallquist

    @Lukas: He made a token effort to be self-depreciating, but that stopped once the anti-atheist mini rant got seriously going. I’m afraid he probably meant the things he said.

    I’m not mad. I just mentally filed this under “stupid things people say about atheists.”

  • HispanicCausingPanic

    I happen to be atheist & a comedian and I found my self laughing at his jokes. Sometimes as a comic we take artistic license when it comes to setting up a punchline. I don’t agree with what the guy was saying but I have to admit that he is funny.

  • Craig

    I laughed at the Dane Cook jokes. Because they were funny, and not just a blanket “atheists suck.” But the dude in the first video just wasn’t funny, so it came across as nothing but just bashing. And it was based on questionable (ok, just wrong) facts and arguments. The idea of a smug asshole, which is what the guy in the Dane Cook story pretty much was, being made into a Bible, was kind of funny. Like somebody else said, I can laugh at myself when its funny. I grew up Catholic, and would laugh at a funny Catholic joke. I laugh at Engineer jokes. And guy jokes. And now atheist jokes. IF they’re funny and not just offensive.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    You cannot continue to pretend that because you reside in the US you have no connection to European historical movements.

    What an idiotic thing to say. I don’t have any connection to them. I’m not a communist, a Marxist, a socialist, whatever. Communism may include atheism (and sometimes it doesn’t), but atheism does not require communism. Deal with it.

    Seriously? Your retort to “atheism doesn’t lead to communism” was to cite the guys who started communism, and to ignore the thousands of other atheists who disagree?

    Methinks your critical thinking faculties are a bit rusty.

    Oh, and as for blaming an (historically wrong) atheistic Hitler for the Holocaust, here’s a reminder: The majority of the German population – you know, the ones who either stood by and let it happen or took an active part? They weren’t atheists. They were mostly Catholic or Lutheran.

  • http://www.tomshamma.wordpress.com Thomas Shamma

    It didn’t really bother me very much. I recognized the comedian – I started watching that routine a while ago, but shut it off because I found him boring, and missed his stuff about atheism. I think it probably would have pissed me off then, though, because I was already annoyed at having to sit through a comedian I didn’t find funny when I was hoping to enjoy some good comedy.

    I don’t know. It annoys me on some level that he makes fun of atheists and gets stuff that wrong, but I think I’m used to filtering that sort of thing out with comedians. I mean, I really like Jeff Dunham, but to enjoy his routines I sometimes have to quietly cringe through the racist bits until he gets to Peanut.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    It was somewhat funny, but ruined by him citing false history.

    I agree with Tom that the comedian is underestimating the harm done by religion to make it look better. (I’ve noticed others do this, too, by counting only some of the people who were hurt or harmed in the name of religion and leave out many more.)

    @Claudia: Thanks for the link. I definitely thought he was much funnier.

  • noen

    Greg Says:
    “noen – you ought to read the link Hemant posted in the original message – here it is again. You might learn somethin”

    Here is what I learned:

    “First of all, there is no such thing as state-imposed atheism. A state can ban religion, but it cannot ban atheism because it is not a belief, a faith, a set of doctrines or dogmas and cannot be imposed on anybody. Atheism is an absence of belief, and you cannot ban something that does not exist.”

    And yet that is exactly what happened. The USSR really did impose atheism on it’s people and on anyone wanting to hold public office. How can this be? If atheism does not exist how can it be forced on anyone?

    The answer is simple, atheism really does exist. It is not the lack of belief, atheism is the non-falsifiable belief that god does not exist.

    About Hitler:

    “We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.”

    Look up Nazi philosopher Carl Schmidt. The Nazis believed that religion was “a noble lie” and that the masses needed religion because they were weak but that their leaders do not need to be religious. This is typical for fascism. We see it today in the fascist neo-conservative movement in the US. Many of who’s leaders are in fact atheists and yet they actively promote religion in the public sphere.

    That’s right, the leaders of the neocons are atheists but are they very same people actively whipping up religious fervor. Just like they did in Wiemar Germany.

    About Stalin

    “Joseph Stalin was raised to be a Catholic Priest and I remain curious as to why his Christianity is shoved aside in all these arguments.”

    Probably because what religion you are born with is irrelevant to determining whether or not one is an atheist as an adult. We can know that Stalin was an atheist because he was a member of the Communist Party which explicitly forbade anyone but atheists from joining.

    About Pol Pot

    “Prince Norodom Sihanouk said, “Pol Pot does not believe in God but he thinks that heaven, destiny, wants him to guide Cambodia in the way he thinks it the best for Cambodia, that is to say, the worst. Pol Pot is mad, you know, like Hitler.”

    So, while Pol Pot was definitely not a Christian, he was also definitely not an Atheist.”

    The stupid is powerful with this one. Let’s repeat that just so we can get it clear.

    “Pol Pot does not believe in God”

    but

    “he was also definitely not an Atheist”

    The conclusion is definitely false. Let’s see why:

    1. All atheists do not believe in god.
    2. Pol Pot did not believe in god.
    Therefore:
    Pol Pot was an atheist.

    ——-
    Again, you need to seriously confront reality. Coming up with laughably absurd arguments does you no good. It just makes you look like fools.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jalyth Tizzle

    I saw this guy in person a year or two ago. I went up and down with his schtick over whether it was funny. He is a really good storyteller type comedian. Less good with the one-liners. He plays up the ‘I’m a dumb Jersey guy’ really well, and my friends from there thought him to be less of a stereotype than I did. They thought he could’ve played it up more.

    I liked the atheist joke. Especially since there is a grain of truth to it. Most religious people are nice in person. Many atheists are smug, if not bastards.

    He’s definitely out of my comfort zone to listen to, as I don’t get the patriotism he displays, but I think on the whole he does less shocking material than many comics. I often cringe at comedians, but he was not worse than any other.

  • noen

    MikeTheInfidel Says:
    “Communism may include atheism…”

    Thank you for admitting that I am right. Try to focus and recall that the claim is not that ALL atheists are responsible for the horrors of the 20th century. Only that many atheists in fact were.

    Simply getting atheists to admit that atheists and atheistic philosophies were responsible for those atrocities is very difficult. The denial runs deep.

    “but atheism does not require communism”

    Try telling that to Marx and Engels. Marx argued specifically that his political philosophy flowed directly as a consequence of the assumption of atheistic materialism. He convinced a lot of people that he was right.

    “Seriously? Your retort to “atheism doesn’t lead to communism” was to cite the guys who started communism, and to ignore the thousands of other atheists who disagree?”

    My argument is that many if not most of the atrocities committed in the 20th century were done by atheists following an explicitly atheist ideology. That claim is not refuted by pointing out that not every single atheist agreed.

    “Methinks your critical thinking faculties are a bit rusty.”

    I think they are just fine. You need to argue coherently and rationally. You also need to represent my position fairly and honestly and not project your misunderstanding of the argument onto me. Let me know when you plan on doing that.

  • Aj

    noen,

    Hitler was a theist, Mein Kampf makes it clear he believed in a creator god who was also active. He expressed hatred for atheists while talking about Providence and salvation. He closed down freethinker groups and killed Marxists. He supported faith schools and religious instruction. Deal with it.

    Did Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao’s atheism motivate them to kill? No. Atheism is inconsequential to their actions. We do not own the crimes of other atheists motivated by philosophies and ideology that we do not hold. The only way there could be connection is if a lack of belief in god was also a lack in morals or motivation to kill, but that is an ignorant and moronic claim.

  • http://zheshiwoying.blogspot.com/ AwesomeCloud’s Mom

    Well, he googled his misinformation. That made it marginally funnier.

    Claudia’s link was much funnier, though.

  • Robert

    Noen,

    They will never agree with you on this point. I have had this argument many times.

    They didn’t have a book, but they did have the communist manifesto that specifically called for the elimination of all religion.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Try telling that to Marx and Engels.

    I would, but they’re both dead and irrelevant.

    You attempted to say that American atheists need to acknowledge that they’re connected to European philosophies about communism, and that’s bullshit. Don’t try to spin it around and say that I don’t understand your point.

    My argument is that many if not most of the atrocities committed in the 20th century were done by atheists following an explicitly atheist ideology. That claim is not refuted by pointing out that not every single atheist agreed.

    There is simply no logical connection between disbelief in a god and action of any kind. Thus, there is no possible way to develop an “atheist ideology” in which you can blame the atheism for anything that is done in its name. The communism of Mao and Stalin were ideologies that did what they did for reasons other than that they were atheistic, and to blame atheism for what they did is as ridiculous as blaming the atrocities on having the letter ‘a’ in your family name.

    Meanwhile, atrocities committed in the name of religion can actually be tied back to the religions, because religions actually do espouse ideological positions that encourage action – much like the manifestos Robert mentioned.

  • Aguz

    Well, he is right in something, I’ve open a book and it turns out Ghandi was racist and Mother Theresa was an *sshole. There.
    Is sad when the joke back fires…
    Also… “America saves the war”? A couple Russians in the eastern front would like to disagree…

  • Steve

    The crimes by communists (and Stalinism is its own ideology that that has little to do with classical communism) were not committed in the name of atheism. Atheism is part of, but incidental to their ideology.

    Hitler was born as a Catholic btw, and was happy to abuse religion whenever it suited him. He frequently referenced aspects of Christianity in speeches and writings. Some of his early anti-Semitic views included the stuff about the Jews murdering Jesus.

    The Nazis didn’t like organized Christian religion because it interfered with their own power, but as long as the priests shut up and served them, they weren’t bothered overly much. No one was sent to a concentration camp simply for being Christian (except for sects like the Jehova’s Witnesses I think). They made a treaty with the Vatican to do their crimes without religious interference and that was it. But they never even considered state sponsored atheism. It said “God with us” on every Wehrmacht belt.

  • alnitak

    Bret Ernst just wasn’t funny. Dane Cook was more of and advocate for religion and a lot funnier. I can laugh at the foibles of the atheists just as I can laugh at the political party I favor. But the humor has to be sharp. Ernst needs to polish his act, but I wasn’t offended by his effort.

  • http://www.uncrediblehallq.net/ Chris Hallquist

    Explaining Stalinism as the result of an “atheist ideology” is like explaining the Inquisition as the result of a “non-extraterrestrial ideology.” Technically accurate, but you’re an idiot if you think it’s informative.

  • cat

    Um, since when was Stalin a good representative of European Marxism, or even early Soviet Marxism for that matter? Stalin represented a counter-revolution, not a continuation of early Bolshevik ideas. He killed the remaining Leninists, revoked the massive social reforms that happened under Lenin (such as huge expansions of women’s rights and gay rights), and was actually the target of an armed rebellion by Leon Trotsky, who had been a key figure of the revolution. Trotsky fled to England upon defeat and his political theories have had far more wide reaching influence than Stalin’s. The term ‘trotsky’ is still used to refer to socialists in Britain. Also, if you want to flush away the Marxists, you don’t really get to claim the civil rights movement, considering that one of its cheif organizers, A. Phillip Randolph, was a radical socialist who co-organized the March on Washington with a former member of the Communist party with financial help from the Socialist Party of Ameria. You also don’t get to claim King, because he had distinctly anti-capitialist views and was discussing a run on the Socialist Party of America’s ticket for president at the time of his death. King also wrote an article entitled ‘The Bravest Man I Know’ about one of the leading members of the Socialist Party of America who stood behind him durign the ‘I have a dream’ speech. The union movement in the US and the organizing of tenant farmers were centered around the American far left. The first nationally recognized black union was founded by a socialist, (Randolph again). Child labour laws were instituted at the behest of the left.

    The communist manifesto does not, in fact, “specifically called for the elimination of all religion”. You could try actually reading the communist manifesto before trying to lecture the rest of us (http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/) Also, while Marx thought religion was bad, no where did he advocate for it to be legally banned, though he did think that abolishing relious power would help lead to freedom. It is definitely worth noting that both of the governments that Marx said were communisms or taking a good step towards communism were representative, constitutional democracies, not totalitarian states. Here, in fact, is what Marx said about an ‘atheist state’ in “On The Jewish Question”:

    “It follows, finally, that man, even if he proclaims himself an atheist through the medium of the state – that is, if he proclaims the state to be atheist – still remains in the grip of religion, precisely because he acknowledges himself only by a roundabout route, only through an intermediary.”

    “Man emancipates himself politically from religion by banishing it from the sphere of public law to that of private law. Religion is no longer the spirit of the state, in which man behaves – although in a limited way, in a particular form, and in a particular sphere – as a species-being, in community with other men. Religion has become the spirit of civil society, of the sphere of egoism, of bellum omnium contra omnes. It is no longer the essence of community, but the essence of difference. It has become the expression of man’s separation from his community, from himself and from other men – as it was originally. It is only the abstract avowal of specific perversity, private whimsy, and arbitrariness. ”

    Do some basic reading before opening your pie hole.

  • cat

    Okay, Marxist rant out of the way, I will address the question in Hemant’s post (I’m not even going to bother with the amazing stupid ‘Hitler was an atheist’ notion that has beeen debunked millions of times).

    I am not upset that he poked fun of atheism, I am upset because he used blatantly false historical statements (the 300,000,000 dead by atheism thing), and merely threw out a stereotype. ‘Atheist are dumb meanies’ is just a stereotype, it isn’t a witty criticism. If Carlin’s routines on religion went no further than basically stating ‘Christians are dumb meanies who kill people, look, I can name three nice atheists’ he wouldn’t be funny either.

    It is annoying, but it wasn’t really outrageously offensive though, I probably would just roll my eyes and switch the channel.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VLHVFSCQJ53BHGXKU5KQG3LH64 Derek S

      Be honest:  You are actually upset that he poked fun at you, but you just can’t come to admit it.  Really, you make his point for him.  You sit on a message board and try and discredit a commedian..lol. 

      The priceless part is that you try and hide behind a false outrage at his inaccurate statements.   Really?  You’re upset that that he didn’t do hours of research with “approved” atheist scholars to sort everything out for a 60 second bit?

      Again, just be honest about it, because you really do come across as the exact stereotype you are railing against in your post.

      I’M A KNOW IT ALL AND THOSE FACTS AREN’T RIGHT!!!!  HOW DARE HE!!!!! *Fun being sucked out of the room sound here*

  • Jim [different Jim]

    @noen- Your arguments really accomplish nothing wrg to “atheist regimes”. The forgotten factor in your statement is *motivation*. Wars are not fought between armies, they are fought between societies and society needs motivation to support the war effort. Defending ones homeland is an obvious, and good, one. Otherwise, why would any society support a war? There needs to be some cause to support. In the US civil war, Lincoln never hid the real reason for freeing the slaves. He ONLY did it to motivate the north into supporting an increasingly unpopular war. Atheism cannot provide any motivation for..well..anything. But religion can! “It’s God’s will that you kill the infidel” or “Gott mit uns” on Nazi belt buckles. Believers are usually taught to never question their spiritual leader, regardless of what spews out of their cake-hole. Religion is the biggest motivator of all. The next on the list is fear and THAT is what dictators like Stalin used to motivate people. Religion can often overcome fear by the promise of a great reward. Atheism cannot do that.

  • Alex

    So if I’m a comedian and need jokes, would I write a joke about atheists or muslims? Which group would be less likely to put a fatwa on my head?

    • Larry

      well the muslim would be more likely to take the direct action. but the atheist would attack you still the same and make the attempt to belittle your view and destroy you in the eyes of the public.. see Bill Maher who goes out of his way to not only attack women and minorities, but anyone that believe in God. it is the same out come.  I would point out that Atheist have Killed MILLIONS of people all over the world – from Stalin -to Mao – another Famous and LOVED atheist was the Communits Che would was not only a Atheist but a communist and he on a common daily basic killed people with out reguard to ANY basic human rights. he even found it funny to take new borns by the feet and slap them up against a tree. when you speak of Atheisim you are speaking of the cowardly american style. but if you speak to these people they do believe the Ends justify the means. look AT Mickey moore who has made it public practice to lie about believers or any actor that openly attacks christians and trys to paint them as stupid and de-humanize them. which is always the first step towards slavery and mass murder. to prove this look at anything the athiest che or stalin said aBOUT Jews and christian. the hate speaks starts first followed by a power grab followed by the mass arrest and killings of Millions.

  • noen

    MikeTheInfidel Says:
    “I would, but they’re both dead and irrelevant.”

    Dead yes but hardly irrelevant. Marx was an atheist. His political philosophy was directly based on an atheistic understanding of history. That political philosophy was responsible for the deaths of 100′s of millions.

    “There is simply no logical connection between disbelief in a god and action of any kind.”

    False. Are your replies here connected to your atheism? If you need a logical demonstration I can provide you with one.

    1. People act on their disbeliefs as well as their beliefs.
    2. Atheism is either the belief that there is no god or the disbelief in god.
    Therefore atheists act on either their belief that there is no god or their disbelief in god.

    The definition is meant to be as inclusive as possible of atheism. That people act on their disbeliefs all the time should be self evident. I do not believe that my car can fly. As a result I do not drive it off a cliff expecting it to take to the air.

    “The communism of Mao and Stalin were ideologies that did what they did for reasons other than that they were atheistic”

    I’m sorry but you are simply flat out wrong here. They said what they were doing was a direct result of what was referred to in Stalinist USSR as “scientific atheism”. THEY SAID what they were doing was because of their atheism.

    Both Stalin and Mao were proud atheists and routinely berated Western democracies for their religious belief. Khrushchev mocked religious belief when he claimed that Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space, said:

    “I looked and looked but I didn’t see God.”

    You know, the same thing you would say.

    Atheism played a significant role in both the formation and conduct of Communist regimes. To try to claim otherwise is beyond absurd and borders on the delusional.

    “to blame atheism for what they did is as ridiculous as blaming the atrocities on having the letter ‘a’ in your family name.”

    I understand that it is part of your dogma that atheism does not exist. That nothing any atheist ever did had anything at all to do with his disbelief. That every atheist is utterly unique and alone without the slightest connection to any other atheists in history. That there can never be any rational argument constructed from atheism that isn’t sweetness and light.

    If you believe all that. You are… in a word, insane.

    • Bob

      Freaking well said, I was going to attempt to write something comparable until I saw this. Someone should link it to Richard Dawkins.

    • Mr.fuckfalsehoods

      all i can say is true communism, which was what Marx proposed, was brilliant stalin’s communism was not marx’s communism marx believed in everyone being equal and working together. Stalin believed in sacrificing people to advance the state.

  • Emma F

    Ernst brings up a valid point regarding Ghandi, King, and Mother Theresa. It’s easy for us atheists to forget that religion can be used for good just as much as it can be used evil (in these cases, for promoting non-violence and helping the poor/oppressed). It’s really about the personality of the believer, and not the religion itself.

    However, Ernst loses my goodwill when he talks about how many people have been killed by atheists, or how all atheists are jerks, but all religious people are cool.

  • Centricci

    @noen

    Hitler was a practising catholic and remained one until his death and his writings and speeches are littered with references to Jesus, God and the divine.

    The evidence we have tells us that Hitler really did believe in the christian god and that he wasn’t just feigning “belief so people would follow him”.

    Nazi Germany was not an officially atheist regime.It was an officially national-socialist regime. One of the many reasons why Nazi-Germany hated Communism was because of its atheist appearance.

    Atheism is not the belief that no gods exist.Its a lack of belief that gods do exist. There is a difference. The atheist position is that no credible evidence for the existence of any gods have ever been produced.

    You cannot impose atheism on religious people.All you can do, is scare them into keeping their faith to themselves…which is what happened in the USSR.

    We dont know that Stalin was an atheist.All we know is that he appeared to be an atheist because he was a member of the Communist Party which officially required their members to be atheists.

    We also know that the various leaders throughout the history of the Soviet Union worked with the Russian Orthodox church to keep the population in check.

    Pol Pot was also not an atheist.He was a buddhist.
    The fact that he did not believe in the christian god does not, in itself, make him an atheist. Pol Pot believed that he was guided by heaven.Atheists do not believe that they are guided by anything supernatural.

    The only one who is coming up with laughably absurd arguments is you.
    Try again.

  • http://weltbranding.com Larry

    It was funny. He’s a comedian. Many of us are “arrogant Douche Nozzles”. What’s the big deal?

    At least someone is talking about us. Smells like legitimacy…

  • noen

    Steve said
    “The Nazis didn’t like organized Christian religion because it interfered with their own power, but as long as the priests shut up and served them, they weren’t bothered overly much.”

    Sounds like an atheist to me. They may have been sociopaths but they “lacked belief”. Therefore they were atheists.

    The Nazis used people and propaganda to further their goal of the naked pursuit of power. They also were slowly replacing Christianity with their own Nazi religion. This is consistent with their belief that religion is for the little people.

    Remember, I’m using YOUR definition here. Atheism is by your account a lack of belief. If Hitler “lacked belief” then he was an atheist. Period.

    Why do you swallow Nazi propaganda whole?

  • http://weltbranding.com Larry

    Noen,

    After reading your posts, I am struck by your eloquence. You are almost always on the wrong side of actual knowledge, but you when you get it wrong, you really sound great doing it!

    You should intern on the Glenn Beck Show. They having a great way of twisting information to suit their version of truth.

    Bravo!

  • Dante

    Dane Cook and “comedian” shouldn’t be used in the same sentence.

  • noen

    Centricci Says
    Hitler was a practising catholic and remained one until his death and his writings and speeches are littered with references to Jesus, God and the divine.

    As a child

    According to historian Bradley F. Smith, Hitler’s father Alois, though nominally a Catholic, was somewhat religiously sceptical, while his mother was a practicing Catholic. According to historian Michael Rissmann, young Hitler was influenced in school by Pan-Germanism and began to reject the Catholic Church, receiving Confirmation only unwillingly. A boyhood friend reports that after Hitler had left home, he never again attended a Catholic Mass or received the Church’s Sacraments

    As an adult

    Something of Hitler’s religious beliefs can be gathered from his public and private statements; however, they present a conflicting picture of a man who is somewhat spiritual and yet against organized religion. Some private statements attributed to him remain disputed or unsourced. His public and written statements however can be interpreted as propaganda.

    Private statements

    Hitler’s private statements about Christianity were often conflicting. Hitler’s intimates, such as Joseph Goebbels, Albert Speer, and Martin Bormann suggest that Hitler generally had negative opinions of religion, although the historical validity of some remarks has been questioned, particularly the English translation of Hitler’s Table Talk. Historian Ian Kershaw remarked upon the questionable nature of Table Talk as a source, stating “the `table talk’ monologues of the last months (the so called `bunkergespräche’) of which no German text has ever been brought to light must be treated with due caution.” Atheist activist and historian Richard Carrier goes further, contending that certain portions of Table Talk — especially those regarding Hitler’s hostility of Christianity — are poor mistranslations. Carrier states that Hitler was criticizing Catholicism in particular, while remaining entirely religious. Albert Speer confirmed the authenticity of Henry Picker’s German transcripts, which was published in 1951 as Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier. Carrier states, “It is clear that Picker and Jochmann have the correct text and Trevor-Roper’s is entirely untrustworthy.” An example from the Table Talk includes Hitler’s statement that, “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.”

    Table talk

    Testimony during the Nuremberg Trials from Hitler’s top Nazi officials including Albert Speer, Alfred Rosenberg, Racial theory ideologist and Minister of the Eastern Occupied Territories 1941–1945, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Hermann Göring, originally Hitler’s designated successor, the second highest ranking Nazi official, and Atheist Martin Bormann, the Nazi Party Secretary, revealed plans to eliminate Christianity entirely. Such intentions could only have come from Hitler himself.

    despite Hitler’s words suggesting belief in God, Hitler’s actions speak otherwise. Although Hitler often mentioned God and the Providence and condemned atheism in his speeches, he rejected Himmler’s attempt to reestablish pre-Christian pagan mythologies, and “poured scorn on the earnest efforts of those among his followers like Hess, who resorted to astrology and reading the stars”

    Dictators rarely believe in god. They can’t stand the competition.

  • http://weltbranding.com Larry

    You do realize that most of what you’ve written actually supports the idea that Hitler believed in some form of divinity, right Noen?

    Just because Hitler thought that his version of religion, Nazism was superior to Christianity, didn’t mean that he didn’t think he was given divine right to rule.

    Are you conscious when you right this stuff, man?

  • Ms. Crazy Pants

    –quote from neon..
    “is definitely false. Let’s see why:

    1. All atheists do not believe in god.
    2. Pol Pot did not believe in god.
    Therefore:
    Pol Pot was an atheist.”

    What you’ve essentially said is A = C and B = C therefore A = B, and that is a logical fallacy.

    That’s like saying, All girls have blue eyes, Frank has blue eyes, therefore Frank is a girl.

    Also, no one has seemed to have considered the other information I posted about where the Vatican’s money was going: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernadino_Nogara. Even if Hilter was faking being a believer, how does that wipe clean the Vatican investing in his killing?

  • Steve

    You make zero sense. None whatsoever.

    No one said the Nazis lacked belief. Even if they didn’t follow exact Christian dogma, that doesn’t make them atheists. Hitler was nominally a Catholic, but also believed some Protestant things. He believed in some divine things, though it probably can’t be clearly defined. In general terms he indeed was a Christian, even though religion wasn’t important to him.
    Many of the other key Nazis clearly believed something, even if it was sometimes outright supernatural claptrap (not that Christianity is free of that).

    As for my comment that the Nazis were only against organized religion. It’s simply fact and was evident in their actions from the very beginning.

    It’s not too different from modern secularism really. Secularism isn’t necessarily atheistic or anti-theistic, but anti-religion. Religion is not the same as faith, let alone spirituality. Many atheists would be perfectly fine with believers if they just kept it to themselves. We may think it’s nonsense, but if you want to spend your time with it, go ahead. It doesn’t hurt me. But religion inevitably tries to exert control over all people, more or less forcefully convert them to their faith and impose faith-based laws regardless of what people actually believe. That’s many atheists’ main problem with religion. Keep it out of politics and don’t force it on society and we’re fine.

  • http://weltbranding.com Larry

    Hitler really just “Rebranded Christianity”. He added dashes of Roman flair, but essentially, he rebranded what the Roman Catholic Church was doing…

    http://brandsinger.blogspot.com/2008/08/did-nazis-perfect-branding.html

  • S-Y

    His credibility on religion was automatically lost when he made the remark on atheism killing millions in the 20th century. He probably thought Hitler was an atheist too.

    Stalin was an atheist, no doubt, but I’d argue that he promoted his own state religion. Just as Hubbard made up Scientology, Stalin made up Stalinism. They had to sing songs for him, pass out books and propoganda materials. He knew just about everything that was going on, just as the gods people believe in know everything, and had nearly absolute power over the minds of the people. Whether or not Stalinism could actually be defined as a religion (even though there are still neo-communists who believe in what he did, believe it or not) doesn’t matter; Stalinism was far, far closer to being a religion than to being anything else.

    Stalin and Mao both focused on their communist ideologies and dogma. Atheism was to the side as they happened to not believe in any gods unlike Hitler who happened to be Catholic. The only place where atheism came in was to wipe out any religion so that the leaders could have complete mind control of the population (wouldn’t want them to be mind controlled by a god now, wouldn’t we), but it’s not exactly atheism when you regard a human as a god. (Of course, many people did not subscribe to the state religions the two dictators imposed.)

    The three G’s of totalitarianism: Greed, God (or demi-god), and doGma.

  • Dan W

    I usually don’t care much what a comedian’s religion is, unless they’re telling jokes about religion. I have noticed that atheist comedians seem to be funnier though, and the religious comedians’ jokes about atheists always come across to me as hateful and just plain not funny.

    I’m ok with jokes about atheists when they’re funny, but this guy and Dane Cook’s jokes about atheists are not funny. Honestly Bret Ernst’s “jokes” in this video sound more like an ignorant rant to me than anything else.

  • Alice

    I think debating whether or not sociopaths who committed mass atrocities are atheist or religious is a somewhat fruitless argument. There are many Christian and other religious figures in the past that have committed atrocities in the name of religion, as well as these debatable figures who may have done so in the name of atheism, so to me, just because someone claims to be doing it in the name of a religion or non-religion does not mean that that person actually is espousing the views of said religion or lack thereof. These are despicable, evil people, sociopaths, etc. who have existed throughout history and will continue to exist, and will use whatever means available to take power and destroy. Using them as an example for either side just seems ridiculous.

    It’s much more telling to examine everyday people and how their views affect the lives of those around them. The recent post about whether or not Christianity’s persecution of homosexuals played a role in the suicides of gay teens and adults around the US? That’s way, way more telling about what views are harmful to society than debating whether Hitler actually believed in Christianity or was an atheist. (Similarly, the Vatican’s relationship with Nazism is far more telling than debating what Hitler believed.)

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com MikeTheInfidel

    False. Are your replies here connected to your atheism? If you need a logical demonstration I can provide you with one.
    1. People act on their disbeliefs as well as their beliefs.

    2. Atheism is either the belief that there is no god or the disbelief in god.

    Therefore atheists act on either their belief that there is no god or their disbelief in god.

    Do you believe that there is an invisible dragon in my garage? No. Please create for me a logical syllogism that instructs you to perform a specific action as a result of your disbelief.

    What’s that? You can’t, because theres no possible course of action that can logically be connected to this disbelief? Hmm…

    Disbelieving a religion is not the same as rejecting all of its philosophical positions. It’s also not the same as proposing an alternate philosophy. You seem to think that mere disbelief can somehow dictate an entire philosophical viewpoint, and about this you are sorely mistaken.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com MikeTheInfidel

    I’d also like to point out the word game you’ve just played. I said that atheism cannot cause you to act a specific way. You then asked if my responses here are connected to my atheism. And the answer is yes – but causation and connection aren’t the same thing at all. My atheism and my philosophical positions are both caused by something else; the atheism itself is not the cause.

  • Hitch

    I don’t care. I don’t think he was particularly funny, but there are lots of comedians in that style. Let people try defend their world-view through comedy. I much prefer that over some trite, tedious boring overly emo discussion.

  • Alex Salyer

    I don’t mind either that he is basking on Atheists, people do it all the time. It is the fact that he makes up facts that pisses me off. He only mentioned the Crusades, instead of all the other slaughters that religion has committed.

  • Samiimas

    Are people who like the color red responsible for communism because communists are obsessed with the color?

    Is anyone who hates capitalism required to accept responsibility for communist atrocities since anti-capitalism is an ideology they both share?

    Does anyone who thinks mustaches are awesome share the same ideology as Stalin?

    Do you think Noen would ever apply his ‘Communists were atheists therefore communists=atheists’ logic in any situation where it can’t be used to bash people who don’t believe in his imaginary friends?

  • Samiimas

    Atheism played a significant role in both the formation and conduct of Communist regimes. To try to claim otherwise is beyond absurd and borders on the delusional.

    Opposition to capitalism played the largest part in the formation and conduct of communist regimes. It’s already been pointed out that MLK was a proud critic of capitalism. So are you gonna tell us about how he needs to take responsibility for communist atrocities or are you gonna admit that your logic is only applied when it can be used to bash atheists?

    • what

      MLK was a Republican

  • weas

    …it wasn’t funny :/ that’s it really, I was hoping for a chuckle but I was left with a “that’s it?” kind of feeling.

    Like I’m still waiting for the punchline.

    and wtf is up with the made-up stats? Reality is funnier

  • B Lazar

    Meh. The guy just isn’t funny. He took a couple of okay premises, jumbled an assortment of iffy facts, and delivered them in a wholly uninteresting way.

    I find it more intriguing how he would know that his older brother was gay since day one.

  • Michelle

    Jokes about Atheists, or even on Atheists, can be funny; he just isn’t. I’ve tried his whole set before. He had a few funny lines, but there are so many better comedians – why bother?

  • AxeGrrl

    For those of us who are unable to SEE the video……

    is there a transcript or something?

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    meh, i’m not bothered. everyone is a target for humor at some point. he’s not really that funny and i thought it was interesting that the audience didn’t laugh that loud or applaud when he was doing the pro-religion part. i’m more annoyed by his “i’m in the middle” politically line. people in the middle right now? imho, sort of fools. radical moderates are a big part of the problem with the political system he says disgusts him.

  • fritzy

    No more offensive than it is funny or factually accurate.

  • Tom

    “religion is responsible for more deaths than anything else in history”

    “atheistic people are responsible for 300 million deaths in the 20th century”

    Even if the 300 million number was factual (no), and even if it indeed was greater than the number of deaths caused by religious people (no), that doesn’t make atheism the cause of the deaths performed by atheistic people.

    Frankly I’m a bit flattered he felt atheists were significant enough to be worth the joke. I know the kind of person who would laugh at the atheist joke and the USA RULEZ! joke that followed it, and it is not the kind of person I choose to associate with.

  • Claudia

    @AxeGrrl, you really aren’t missing anything. Atheists are smug bastards and we’re responsible for 300 million deaths in the 20th century. It doesn’t look funny written down, but worry not that out loud it’s not particularly funny either.

  • LinkSkywalker

    It is core to my beliefs (and George Carlin’s as well, I might add) that anything can be funny.

    A lot of what determines what is funny and what isn’t is your audience. And we, as Atheists, will never be able to laugh at those jokes. They’re too real for us.

    That doesn’t mean we should say those jokes are “bad.”

    Though I would appreciate it if he got his facts straight.

    • Logicacircular

      So you don’t “believe” those jokes are funny? THAT is funny!

  • http://bottle-imp.com Daniel

    What did he say? 52,000 died in the Crusades? I think he google’d the wrong shit.

  • HandyGeek

    It was mildly funny. Like many comedians, he’s using stereotypical imagery to convey what he thinks is silly or nonsensical. By the audience reaction, I would not consider his bit highly successful. I would place it in the “cute” category for humor. He’s no Carlin, for sure. :D As my wife would say: he’s probably good enough for a cruise ship.

  • Aj

    noen,

    The definition is meant to be as inclusive as possible of atheism. That people act on their disbeliefs all the time should be self evident. I do not believe that my car can fly. As a result I do not drive it off a cliff expecting it to take to the air.

    That is a fine example of your inability to use logic. Not driving off of a cliff isn’t a decision people make who lack a belief in their cars ability to fly. Inaction is not necessarily motivated, what you’re highlighting is not a motivation not to drive off a cliff, but a lack of a motivation to drive off a cliff in comparison with someone who may be motivated to do so. This shows your ignorance of what motivation means, and explains your inability to comprehend the comments you reply to.

    I have already suggested that your actual argument is that atheists lack the motivation not to murder people, and that there are plenty of motivations that people in general have to murder. This is clearly delusional on two counts, it is obviously false that atheists lack the motivation not to murder, and it’s extremely clear that some theists murder.

    What do you atheism is? It seems as though you have absolutely no understand of it at all.

  • Houston

    There are a lot of smug comments on here from the atheists.

    Maybe the comedian was on to something.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Smug does not mean wrong.

    • what

      Neither does it mean correct

  • Aj

    Correction: What do you think atheism is? It seems as though you have absolutely no understanding of it at all.*

  • Rich

    He was correct about one thing, Matisyahu is awesome.

  • jolly

    He has the energy and presence to be funny but in this clip he just spouted some lines and wasn’t funny. He would do well if he was satirical or even sarcastic but just angry doesn’t do it for me. Carlin obviously studied his subjects thoroughly before taking them on to the stage where this guy really failed. He jumped subjects before he said much and didn’t create a story before moving on and so never drew me in. He struck me as a very lazy comedian.

  • jack

    Stalin ATHEIST 20 million killed
    Mao ATHEIST 50 Million killed

    okay thats 2 ATHEIST 70 million killed

    • YourMother

      Stalin wasn’t an Atheist you moron. You clearly have a problem with reading comprehension.

      • MacRealist

        Stalin said “You know, they are fooling us, there is no God…all this talk about God is sheer nonsense” in E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow 1940 Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Was_Stalin_an_atheist#ixzz1afXcqR5Q

        • Andrew

          You know who wasn’t an atheist?  Hitler.  Sure, he didn’t kill as many people as those 2, but had he had the chance, he would’ve.    And remember, it was a pope who called for the Crusades and the Inquisition.  Every group has it assholes, they’re deeds shouldn’t define the whole group.

          • what

            Hitler was an evolutionist.

            • the comedian is right

              Hitler was very smart but at the same a very greedy no good fuck. He finally gave Germany a voice in this world. He made them grow. He was the man, but then he wanted more… he wanted to take over the world and wipe out all Jews. He was a great waste of talent. Greed killed him.

            • http://www.facebook.com/eyoungstrom Eric Youngstrom

              You are a flipping idiot

          • Megaroo22475

            Hitler was born catholic but never followed the beliefs. If so many of his supporters in Europe weren’t catholic he would have killed the catholics when he was finished with the Jews and Gypsies

            • Mr.fuckfalsehoods

              Hitler had more than once said his was a catholic cause.

      • MacRealist

        Stalin said “You know, they are fooling us, there is no God…all this talk about God is sheer nonsense” in E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow 1940 Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Was_Stalin_an_atheist#ixzz1afXcqR5Q

  • Zerocool

    Wow, its all funny and good to make fun of religion, but atheist get a little and the smug dickheads come out in force.

  • http://mmefitness.com Devan Griffith

    No no no.. its really helping the image of atheists to have a thread complaininggg about a comedian making a joke about you…

    I think it is a valid statement targeting a lot of those “religion is stupid and God is like a spaghetti monster” or w/e that crap is.. I’ve met respectful atheists that say.. hey you know, God could be real and I could be wrong.. but there aren’t many

    I don’t say that atheists are definitely right or wrong either.

  • Matthias2986

    People will kill in the name of anything that suits them at the time. Religion was prevalent throughout the ages until recently. Of course killing in the name of god was ultimately used to rally soldiers. Now we kill in the name of greed and the all mighty dollar (who is about to die btw) it was always about greed. replace “god” with “terrorism” or “terrorists” we kill in the name of fear.

  • Larry

    umm, he isnt wrong atheists have killed MILLIONS more than all believers in God ever have. just because someone walks into a court room and yells I’m a Lawyer doesnt make him one.. Stalin didnt believe in God and he killed FAR more people that anyone you can name that believed in God.

    • Bryan

      hitler

    • http://www.facebook.com/eyoungstrom Eric Youngstrom

      Stalin didn’t kill in the name of god. He killed anyone that threatened the state. He was an atheist and an A-hole but he did not kill because of it….. Facts are a bummer huh?

      • Logicacircular

        Wouldn’t the same logic apply to the “believers” who killed others?

        • Eric Youngstrom

          I don’t see a whole lot….. Or any Atheists falling in and saying Stalin was right in what he did.

          We see A LOT of the religious types doing just that… Falling into what some religious Jackhole says about killing others.

  • Cheani

    He wasn’t really that funny, but it is true that most comedians are either atheists or agnostics. Interesting, though, that anti-religious joke go so well when, apparently, the majority of the population is religious. 

  • Logan

    1. Religion was created to explain what science couldn’t at the time. Case in point, Pacifying the Stupid.

    2. Ghandi wasn’t christian, but he relates to him because he’s religious. But Ghandi said he didn’t like christians because they’re nothing like their christ.

    3. When Haiti occurred they didn’t want our charity.4. At Larry. Religious extremists caused 9/11.

  • AJ

    Atheists bag out believers ALL THE TIME… But they can’t take it when someone gives it back. Suck it up! You expect us to have to do so. .. and atheists call us hypocrites. Atheist are the biggest hypocrites I know.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/eyoungstrom Eric Youngstrom

      It be funny if he was at all accurate. But what do you expect from some “funny” guy, facts?

    • Ryan

      Exactly, it’s funny how christians choose to ignore atheist at least half the time while atheist go all out butthurt when they get a taste of their own crap :)

  • Sbkinnai

    fuck this guy hes wrong as hell and personally i think who agrees with him can shove it up their ass oh and also religion was created to pacify the stupid and by stupid i mean easily impressed

  • Sbkinnai

    religious people have killed more than athiests shure you can bring up stalin but at least have the people he killed were kill for reasons other than just because they had an imaginary friend. oh and where is all this shit about athiest talking more trash than religious people all is see other than my self on this blog are tools of the church oh but then i forgot about the few here who are trying to use reason well again other than me no one is agry except for you the dumb ass tools of the church of which you religious types have been sucking the dick of for thousands of years! the only problem i have with religion is its getting in the way of science and trying to shut up us logical types. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2H44BC762XZQ5T5IFG7ZGT2AZM Casper, the nonkilling, non-ve

    we can all agree on one thing about the 400 different gods and thousands of religions- they all separate children on the playground- see Peace Walls of Ireland-  
    Ganhdi an admitted pedophile- slept naked with 12 year olds- black and white youtube vid- hated blacks called them the “N” word, said they were less than animals, should be kept like animals,  sister agnes borhaeev teresa, allowed the suffering and death of 100 of millions- while she flew around in Keating’s private jet and had sushi with Diana while basking at posh resorts- with 100 of millons in several US  and foreign bank accts, mlk, loved the white women- dude taught about the sky fairy’s- , not a good guy!   AS far as atheist-  einstein, carl sagan, neil degrasse,   warren buffet , gates, george clooney, david gilmour, john lennon, jodie foster, ann sanger,  bruce lee, julianne moore, pitt, jolie, mark zuckerberg, jack nicholson, anyone with a fucckiin brain!  etc…. who cares!  just don’t be a dipshit!  play nice- BTW hitler was catholic as well as most of the popes- and let’s don’t forget the millions moses killed!  God/sky-fairy- Will Kill the Children of Sinners – classic!    Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword.  Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes.  Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes….  The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows.  They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.  (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)…….. I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins.  I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted.  (Leviticus 26:21-22 NLT) Kill Old Men and Young Women    “You are my battle-ax and sword,” says the LORD.  “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.  With you I will shatter armies, destroying the horse and rider, the chariot and charioteer.  With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens.  With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, captains and rulers……..You will be completely wiped out,” says the LORD.  (Jeremiah 51:20-26)Kill Men, Women, and Children    “Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked.  Show no mercy; have no pity!  Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children.  But do not touch anyone with the mark.  Begin your task right here at the Temple.”  So they began by killing the seventy leaders.  “Defile the Temple!” the LORD commanded.  “Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill!  Go!”  So they went throughout the city and did as they were told.”  (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)At midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.  Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.  (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT) 
    get back on the porch!

  • DotterD

    Wait, are you people being serious? REALLY? His joke RIGHT BEFORE that bit about all those deaths was “It’s true, I Googled it”. It was part of the joke!

    Besides, every atheist I know has always goes “Oh, religion starts all/most wars”, and when I’m like “Really? Name some.”, they can usually name maybe 2 AT MOST. And how many wars can you name?

    He completely hit the nail on the head about all the atheists he knows; I’ve known a few cool ones online who were smart and thought about why they don’t believe, and weren’t offended by anyone who thought otherwise. In real life? It’s exactly like he said, most atheists I know are holier-than-thou (…anyone? anyone?).

    But all in all, comedy’s like, the LAST thing you should take seriously, so whether it’s anti-theist or atheist humor, hey, if it makes you laugh, it’s all good!

  • INTRO173 .

    Well lets remember there are very little/no atheist that killed in the name of atheism. If you watch football and kill then kill someone, no says NFL viewers are responsible for murders. Where as religious attacks are usually over the religions, BIG difference.


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