When Atheism and Math Collide…

My friends Eric and Rose have a website called The Coming Out Godless Project where they post stories about people who have left their faith. They also sell really awesome shirts on Zazzle.

Last week, I suggested a few math-themed shirts that I’d love to see… and they designed them :)

If you get one, wear it proudly!

I believe in higher powers… but not god:

The limit does not exist… just like god:

God = the Square Root of -1



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/GoddessGeek Naomi

    I ordered one of the “Engineering: Like Math Only Louder” shirts

  • Geometry

    I find this offensive.  Please don’t drag i ( sqrt(-1) ) down to that level.

  • digitalatheist

    √-1 ;-)
    Over in the forums, my formula has been as follows:√-0 x 1/3∞ ÷ π∞*

    The whole idea of “god” now seems ludicrous.

    *where ∞ represents the value carried to the last possible decimal place.

  • vexorian

     It just means that god is imaginary. Duh.

  • gski

    Simple and understood by everyone,   god = 0.

  • Stev84

    Or impossible if you don’t want to consider complex numbers

  • Slavoc

     True, but i is actually a useful concept with real-life applications. That god thing isn’t.

  • Cheepak Dopra

    I’m a mathematician and I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.

  • digitalatheist

    It means nothing. It is a garbage formula. The whole argument was that because humans exist, that proves “god” exists. I said it was as valid as saying that there is an answer to the sqrt of negative zero, mulitplied 1/3 to the last possible decimal place (of which there isn’t one), divided by Pi, again to the last possible decimal place. Anyone with anything above basic mathematics will see the formula is baloney. Therefore: our existence proves “god” is baloney.

  • Brian Sherson

    I vote for “God = lim_{x rightarrow 0} sinfrac{1}{x}”

  • Brian Sherson

    Namely due to the usefulness of complex numbers and infinity.

  • DG

    There’s an old adage in religion that everyone must believe in some higher power.  If it’s not God, it will be something.  At least one shirt seems to suggest that’s true.

  • Cheepak Dopra

    Your explanation of 
    ∞ makes it sound like it was supposed to mean something. Also, the square root of negative zero is just zero. 1/3 and pi may not have a “last decimal place” (neither does any number, for that matter – for example, in 0.1, there are infinitely many zeroes following the one), but they do have exact values.

  • Amoran2

    In Hawaii (and on the west coast, I believe?) the HE>i thing is ridiculously popular.  I have a coffee cup that says he=sqrt(-1), and I was ordered to take it home from work because it was offensive (as I carried it past dozens of heki’s in the parking lot).

  • Mutantjedi

    Yep… Hemant, as a math teacher, you’ve got to know that sqrt(-1) is an extremely useful number. 

  • Mutantjedi

    Wrong use of the word “imaginary” and wrong use of the word “real” while we’re at it too. With i*i=-1, both terms refer to number systems. 
    Actually, I would think theists, especially those who are into mysteries, would like god=sqrt(-1): useful, mathematical, sciency, and mysterious. Just throw in the word “quantum” and you’ll have Deepak Chopra in orgasmic fits.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    And you are unaware that God has been an extremely useful concept to power hungry cynics down through the millennia?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hgainapure Hemant Ainapure

    Funny, if you subscribe to the dogma of atheism.
    I am unapologetically sympathetic to the faith of theism.
    And about the existence of God,
    I will let Dr. Carl Sagan take the floor :
    ” Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence “.
    [ From: Dragons of Eden - Evolution of Human Intelligence ]a few seconds ago · Like

  • jdm8

    I think it’s a clever way of saying it, but I’d like to come up with a design that says imaginary numbers are more real than God.

  • jdm8

     If you’re using a parody T-shirt to prove that point, then that suggests the adage is groundless.

  • Patterrssonn

    Perhaps you could outline the dogma of atheism for us. And absence of evidence makes the idea of god pure supposition.

  • Patterrssonn

    Silly old crap has religious origin, thanks for pointing that out D.

  • kullervo

    Agreed. No part of the Euler Identity should be dragged into comparison with such shoddy mythology.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Arthur-Bryne/100002441143047 Arthur Bryne

    While I don’t consider it offensive, I suspect it will probably be spun by some theists as another reflection of how atheists think of themselves as God. (“Look at this shirt. What’s God? The atheists answer ‘I’ in their hubris…” etc.)

  • DG

    I was actually just joking, trying to be a little light hearted here.

  • A Reader

    “God=square root -1″ is my fav :)

  • Eric Broze

     If God does not believe in a higher power he is an Atheist.

  • http://jewmanist.com/ Rose Schwartz

    Thanks, Hemant, for this post! If anyone would like to send in ideas for The Coming Out Godless Project Store, send an email here: 
    http://comingoutgodless.com/contact-us/ :D

  • jdm8

    Oh, sorry, that makes more sense now.

  • vexorian

    We know this. We just don’t care. I mean, like seriously, it is just a joke.

  • Nicole Youngman

    Is it ok if I’m deeply amused that the “limit does not exist” shirt graphic looks just like a Druid Awen symbol? ;)  (Which does, I should hasten to add, refer to something quite real: the position of the sun in the sky and the changing angle of its rays at the solstices and equinoxes.)

  • eonL5

    I can’t find that. Where is it?

  • Kyle Anderson

    That is because Christianity is the BEST CONSPIRACY EVER
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p9CY976_kw 

  • avelworldcreator

    I recognize the e to the pi i =-1,  but the better version goes e^pi i +1 = 0 

    That way you have ALL the basic mathematical constants. :)

  • avelworldcreator

    He’s deliberately trying to avoid things with real meaning. It’s a joke. And your use of infinities is spot on. The idea of a magic pixie fairy in the sky is just as infinitely absurd as his equation. :)  That’s the whole point.

  • Go

    Its ironic that people honeslty belive that by comparing ‘s nonexistance to math is valid because 1) God does exist and 2) God created the very foundations and constructs of mathematics.


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