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

    • eonL5

      I can’t find that. Where is it?

  • Geometry

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

    • vexorian

       It just means that god is imaginary. Duh.

      • 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.

      • 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.

        • vexorian

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

    • 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.)

  • 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.

    • 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.

        • 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.

          • 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.

  • gski

    Simple and understood by everyone,   god = 0.

  • 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.

    • jdm8

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

      • DG

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

        • jdm8

          Oh, sorry, that makes more sense now.

    • Patterrssonn

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

    • Eric Broze

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

  • 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. 

    • JohnnieCanuck

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

    • 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.

  • 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

    • Patterrssonn

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

  • A Reader

    “God=square root -1″ is my fav :)

  • 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

  • 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.)

  • 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. :)

  • 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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