Comedian Ricky Gervais: Atheists ‘Have Nothing to Die For… We Have Everything to Live For’

Last night, Ricky Gervais appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” to talk about his new Netflix series “Derek” but the conversation — as it always seems to do when someone interviews Gervais — moved to religion.

Fine by me, though, because Gervais got in a wonderful line about why the lack of an afterlife drives him to do even more in this life (beginning at the 2:44 mark):

Gervais: Whenever I’m ill, I think I’m going to die. Everything’s terminal…

Morgan: Well, also for you. Because anyone that follows you on Twitter — you have a huge following — they’ll know that you are a pathological atheist, and therefore the thought of death is very final for you. For me, as a good Irish Catholic boy, it’s the start of something new and glorious. For you, that’s it.

Gervais: And for me, it’s the end of something glorious, so I have to pack it all in. But, you know, I’m not depressed about it. I don’t want to die any more than anyone else. And I think there’s this strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It’s the opposite. We have nothing to die for… We have everything to live for.

That’s exactly it. Gervais went on to say how lucky he was to be alive for as long as he does because he gets a chance to enjoy life and all it has to offer. Even Morgan found little to criticize in that.

(via Raw Story)

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.

  • 3lemenope

    “Pathological” atheism? Piers Morgan is never not a bit of a tool.

    • Larry Meredith

      what does that even mean? Is Piers calling atheism a disease?

      • 3lemenope

        Either that or the result of another disease. Either way, a teensy bit of a tool.

        • viaten

          I take more as a figure of speech, the way a person might be called a pathological liar by their friends, when the person just exaggerates a lot. It’s like it would be quite hard for Jervais not to be an outspoken atheist. But I still would rather Morgan not use a negative term.

    • Tainda

      Sounds to me like he’s comparing it to a mental disorder

  • Rain

    they’ll know that you are a pathological atheist, and therefore the thought of death is very final for you. For me, as a good Irish Catholic boy, it’s the start of something new and glorious. For you, that’s it.

    Then what’s the big deal about resurrections? If death is so freking fantastic, then what’s the big whoopy-doo-daw about resurrections? Why do religious people get all yippy-dippy-ding-dong about resurrections then?

    • Brian Westley

      Because it’s a way to deny that death is final. I suppose in the future there will be a religion that worships turritopsis nutricula, a jellyfish that can revert back to its colonial stage and grow up again, and basically live forever. And Zoidberg.

      • Feminerd

        And mole rats (I think it was mole rats? Some sort of rodent). They can be killed, but they don’t seem to die. They don’t age past reaching maturity and they are immune to cancer.

  • katiehippie

    CNN, do we really need the description below? “Ricky Gervais gets serious”
    Oh, yes, ok, he’s not kidding now, he’s serious and I must take it so.
    Do they think their viewers that stupid?

    • islandbrewer


  • SJH

    If life is pointless then there is no such thing as having “everything to live for”. Life is as meaningless as death and is as meaningless as a rock. Without God there should be no preference for life or death because neither is more relevant than the other. On the other hand if God created the universe, then it is beautiful and should be loved, adored and cherished. This should include all aspects of life, birth, development, death and the afterlife.

    • HollowGolem

      Who said life is pointless? The point is that, since we don’t believe in an afterlife, life is EVERYTHING. Life is our one chance. Why would we waste a second of it just because there are stories of some unproven paradise?

      The universe may not care whether we live or die, but we, as living beings, -experience- things, which is important because of its uniqueness. Unliving things do not experience, and yet we do. Our brains only allow us to experience for a limited amount of time, so why not take as much advantage of that time as possible?

      • SJH

        This line of thinking, in my opinion, comes from a flawed understanding of the afterlife. Your life you are currently living is everything even if there is an afterlife.

        As I said in a response to another, how do we define purpose and meaning? Do we each decide for ourselves? If so what if there is conflict? What if my meaning conflicts with your meaning? Who defines which meaning takes precedence? I vote for mine. Do I get to decide if I am stronger or smarter? Under this system there is no standard other than that defined by the person with more power.

        If this is what life is then it sounds pretty depressing. Why live at all? Just because my instinct tell me to? Am I a product of my instincts with no free will? The more I think about it and the more questions I ask, the worse it gets. Very depressing.

        • Captain Cassidy

          And you can credibly, objectively demonstrate that your view of the afterlife is the correct one out of hundreds of competing ideas about the afterlife.. how, exactly?

          Why does it terrify you so much to think that humans are just making up their own purposes? Why are you so narcissistic that you have to have a god handing you a purpose? Don’t you see how demeaning that is to your human potential and worth? What are you, a single-use kitchen gadget? What happens if your purpose is fulfilled? Or if you can’t do it because a human required for that purpose exercises free will and doesn’t play along? Or if you physically can’t do that purpose? Does your god change your purpose? In that case, why bother with one at all? Why can’t you make one up for yourself that suits your desires, goals, and needs? Why is that sort of purpose inferior? Or, may I suggest, what if you’re wrong about what you thought it was? Not like it shows up like a mailer in a tube like in “Fifth Element” for you to read, is it? The Christian god is quite difficult to hear even for those very eager to try to do so. When I was Christian, people were wrong all the time about what they thought their purposes were (among many other things they were wrong about). If handing out “purposes” is really so important to this god, then he’s inept at it. So why bother?

          Reality doesn’t care if you’re happy or sad about it. It’s still reality. You may find it depressing, but a big part of that depression may be the sunshine-up-the-butt conditioning that harmful Christianity feeds you to make you feel super-important and better than everybody else. But the evidence leads me to say that the truth is, you’re just one of billions of humans trying to do what you can with what you’ve got, making it up as you go. To me, that’s liberating. But to you, it’s scary and you have to make people like me into sub-humans. Very loving!

          • SJH

            Those were interesting and challenging questions. (Except for the one about kitchen gadgets. That one is pretty easy to answer. No, I am not a kitchen gadget.)

            Lets tackle the one about others exercising free will. If another person does not allow me to fulfill my purpose then my purpose must be transformed in order to bend with the actions of others. One day my purpose might be to help a person dealing with cancer. Perhaps someone comes along that tries to act against that. My purpose then may be to stand up to him, fight him, or help him change. We are all called to work together to develop a more loving, perfect world where we live in unity with each other and God. We can always do that no matter what tries to get in our way.

            So, why bother? Because we care about eachother. Because we all have human dignity as a natural consequence to our creation and we all deserve to live an existence in unity.

            If I am wrong about my purpose then that is ok. I can still make adjustments along the way as those mistakes are revealed to me. Fortunately God is just and merciful and if I make mistakes along the way then he will understand.

            I think you maybe the miscommunication is that a purpose might be very specific for everyone. Someone might have the purpose of developing a cure for cancer while another might have a purpose of being a good father. If we live a life in love and respect then I bet we will do fine. The question becomes what is the best way to do that? Who has God most clearly revealed that to? Buddha? St. Peter? Joseph Smith? We must be willing to do our homework to discern that if we are truly going to live a life of love and unity.

            That is enough for now. hopefully that will be adequate.

            • Captain Cassidy

              Oh okay, Pascal’s Wager trotted out in lieu of an actual response. But don’t you get it? You have no idea what your purpose might actually be. It’s not like your deity fedexes you an envelope containing a cell phone or something. I knew people who thought they knew what their god’s will was for their lives–for their marriages–for their futures, and these guesses routinely turned out to be totally wrong. I was one of ‘em, even, who thought I knew and was always just wrong. And now, as an ex-Christian, I appear to have totally thwarted whatever that god’s “purpose” for me was. Lots of talk talk talk about “discernment,” but even the very most dedicated Christians have no real idea what that is or how to practice it, or how to definitively tell what their “purpose” is once they light upon one, or what the best “purpose” is out of all the options available. So no go. I’m your worst nightmare: someone who lived the life and knows that what you are saying is pure and total balderdash.

              It sounds like you really don’t want to think about this idea, but why don’t you devote a little thought to it? You’re just guessing, same as anybody else–so what’s wrong with people just making their own purpose, since that’s what they do anyway even in Christianity? You didn’t really answer my question. If you live a life of love and respect, then you don’t need a god handing you a purpose–you already found one all by yourself, no god required.

    • # zbowman

      Because ‘I won’t live forever’ totally equals ‘There’s no point to living’.

      Do you bother with meals? ‘Cause there will come a point when your dinner won’t be there any more. Why bother eating it at all?

      • SJH

        They do equate. If God doesn’t exist then there is no transcendent purpose. Then everything is relative which would include morality, purpose and the importance of life and death. One could not condemn Hitler any more than they could condemn my dog for eating off of my dinner table or for a rock to be here rather than there. After all Hitler was just living his life to what he thought was its fullest.

        • # zbowman

          No. They really don’t. There’s relativism and then there’s this insane strawman you’ve put up, sure – but ‘no god giving absolute morality’ doesn’t mean ‘Hitler only deserved a spank on the wrist’. Even aside from the obligatory Nazi reference apologists seem to have to shove into these conversations, that was a particularly pants-on-head analogy; I’m forced to conclude you’re either not taking this seriously as a topic, or not worth taking seriously on same. Have fun pretending otherwise.

          • SJH

            Please explain. How is my statement incorrect? Please explain a relativism that is not absolutely relative. Is there a halfway point where only certain things are relative? If so then who defines those things?

            • Captain Cassidy

              Are you really so dense that you don’t understand that comparing someone living a good life the best way s/he knows how to HITLER is maybe way off base? Are you really so intent on demonizing dissenters that you actually compare someone choosing his or her own purpose to a madman who murdered millions of people? Is that really what you think people do when left to their own devices? And I’m supposed to think you are a credible source of information about *anything*?

              And you still have not demonstrated that “those things” even need to be defined by a supernatural agent, or anybody else really. It’s well-known by now that morality is not handed down to us by a deity (and thank goodness; I’ve read your deity’s holy book extensively and it is a freakshow of horror, not moral at all), but that all animals practice some form of cooperation and altruism so the group can survive and thrive better. You’re starting from the top looking down and shoehorning whatever you can into your idea, rather than just looking at reality and building it from there. I know why, of course–if you don’t *start* with your god, you won’t end up with your god, as the common apologetics saying goes. You’re freaked out over the idea that people who don’t use the supernatural as a grand purpose-giver END UP LIKE ZOMG HITLER ZOMG ZOMG, but frankly, people who leave this religion don’t have those sorts of problems. The world makes a lot more sense when you remove those contortions. I really suggest you look beyond your own blinkered ideas a little.

              And oh dear god no I am not going to “put up with your tutelage for the next several months.” I don’t even know how to express how beyond insane and arrogant that sounded. If you have credible, verified, measurable evidence of your god, provide it to the world and enjoy the adoration of billions of people who up to that moment will have had no such evidence at all supporting their beliefs. Otherwise, no, I’m not going to listen to your contortions for months on end. If that’s the only way you have of forcing your god into the equation, then it’s a pretty piss-poor god you’ve got there and certainly not one required in the real world I inhabit.

              • SJH

                My sarcasm probably didn’t translate well through my writing so I can see how I came across as arrogant. What I was trying to say regarding my tutelage comment was that it is not something you can prove in a combox. It is something far deeper and complex than that. It is something you have to live and discover over time. I would suggest that even if you were a Christian before that you don’t discredit all of religion because you found one or even many denominations to be faulty.

                Also, I don’t think I was making an assertion that you disagree with for which I would have to prove. All I was saying is that if there is no God then people make up their own purpose or it is made up by others whom have obtained the power to force a purpose on us.

                And, I wasn’t implying that atheists end up like Hitler. I was saying that if relativism is true then Hitler is no more evil than anyone or anything else because there is no evil. He can only be called evil by the standard in which we choose to acknowledge as being superior however that standard, since standards would also be relative, is no better than any other standard, including Hitler’s.

                • Captain Cassidy

                  I’m glad you clarified that, SJH.

                  And I never said I discredited all religions. I do discredit Christianity because it makes truth claims that are demonstrably false. When a religion keeps out of the truth-claim business and isn’t forcing its views on anybody unwilling, I’ve got no real argument with it, and many religions are like that nowadays–even some flavors of Christianity. But I don’t think for a heartbeat that any religions feature really true and real supernatural beings or communication from beyond this material plane. If that were the case, we’d have heard about it long before now.

                  You seem to be modifying your initial presentation somewhat, and I think that’s for the best. Your assumptions about relativism are still very faulty; humanity does not need a god to know that genocide is evil (in fact one almost needs *not* to have a god to know that, considering that the major ones all tend to cause genocides; I had a Christian try to justify drowning the whole world just today on FB). There are demonstrably better standards than others; we do not have to fall into the false dilemma you are painting that the answer is either “accept some superior standard-giver” or “everybody’s standard is perfectly valid and equal.” You’re painting yourself into a corner that only theism can rescue you from, when really you don’t have to paint yourself into a corner at all.

        • Captain Cassidy

          That was an example of the demonization you commit against non-believers. Is that what you have to tell yourself to make non-belief look scary and weird?

          You need to demonstrate that there is no “transcendent purpose” without your god. A definition of “transcendent” would help, along with how we know, objectively, when we’ve found this quality. You need to demonstrate that your god even exists, that transcendent purposes exist, and that your god provides them. Of course, then you have to demonstrate how people even *find out* what these purposes are, because in all my years as a Christian I never saw anybody figure that out. And you then have to demonstrate that the purposes people devise for themselves are inferior to the god-given ones. So.. uh.. good luck with that “proving god exists” step. Nobody’s managed the trick in thousands of years. Until you manage, though, your truth claims are nothing but your opinion–and a really awful, hateful, mean-spirited, and downright ignorant opinion at that.

          • SJH

            I’m sorry if my comments come off as mean spirited. Please elaborate on which comments those are. Also, why do you think that I believe non-believers are so scary and weird? Did I say something to communicate that?

            Regarding proof, I guess I have a lot of work ahead of me. Are you willing to put up with my tutelage for the next several months? If so then I, along with the help of others, would be happy to prove all that you asked for.

    • allein

      Why? Why should we value it more just because someone else made it? Why is it “beautiful” if God made it but not beautiful if it is the result of purely natural processes? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as they say, and we are the beholders, whether a god has anything to do with it or not.

      • SJH

        I can see how one could define beauty in that way. In which case, I would grant that your definition of beauty would be consistent with your belief. I define it in a more transcendent way so it would have been better of me to have left that out of the discussion all together since this is not a discussion about the definition of beauty.

        Though I might say that if beauty is transcendent then, in my opinion, it is more meaningful and thus more beautiful. If beauty is in the “eye of the beholder” then it is more shallow in my eyes. But that may just be my opinion.

        • Captain Cassidy

          That was a lot of word salad to say absolutely nothing of substance. That *you* are unable to appreciate the universe in all its glory without cloaking it in a 2000-year-old fantasy story does not in any way mean someone else has the same inability. You’re right: your opinion is just that. It is your opinion. It is not fact, and it is not universal.

          • SJH

            Of course it is not universal. If it were then it would indeed be a fact. I am communicating my opinion of what I think the facts are in a forum developed so that we can discuss opinions. That is why they are comments and not lessons.

            • Captain Cassidy

              As long as you understand that your subjective opinion about “beauty” requiring a deity is purely that, and nothing more, and certainly no proof or evidence for said deity and carrying no greater weight or authority than anybody else’s ideas about beauty, then we’re cool there.

    • Captain Cassidy

      I think your premises are all uniformly flawed and flow from one premise–that there is a god of the sort you like–that you conveniently don’t demonstrate is true. Nobody said life was pointless just because there isn’t some grand and all-powerful god orchestrating everything. That’s something you tell yourself to make non-believers look subhuman and demonized, like we’re just animals or something compared to you. And it doesn’t necessarily follow that if a god created the universe then it is “beautiful and should be loved, adored, and cherished,” but if a god didn’t do it, that the universe wouldn’t have the same sort of beauty– these are your prejudices at work and not givens at all. They’re what *you* desperately want to believe is true, but you’ve got no evidence for any of it, so all your belief is doing is separating you from the human experience and your fellow humans.

      Maybe you should talk to people who don’t believe in your religion and ask them if they think their lives are pointless. How many non-believers (and ex-believers) do you need to talk to? Five? Ten? A hundred? — before you start to think that we can’t all be off our rockers by feeling that our lives do indeed have plenty of purpose and beauty. I personally feel my life has much more point to it now that I’ve left Christianity because this is all I may ever get–it is 100% the point now. I’m not focused on an afterlife at all anymore, so I neither fear it nor spend my time and money preparing for it. THIS is where I live and move and make my home, this world, this reality, and so it is completely my focus now. Without a god’s threats and promises of an afterlife, my preference is entirely to live my life in a way that is meaningful as I can make it. No longer am I arrogant or self-obsessed or narcissistic enough to imagine that I am the whole point of the universe’s creation and existence; I am just a part of it, but by the same token, I AM A PART OF IT, and not just passing through on the way to something else.

      You could say that far from being meaningless, my existence has become exquisitely meaningful.

      I look at it like that old self-esteem argument. You can have self-esteem stuffed down your gullet, or you can develop it for yourself by achieving things and mastering skills. Which one’s better? In the same way, you can conceive of a purpose being stuffed down your gullet or you can find that purpose for yourself. I know which one I’d prefer.

      • SJH

        You assume that I think life should be well-lived for the purpose of achieving afterlife or out of fear of God’s wrath. This is not the case.

        Please explain the purpose of our existence or your existence.

        Do you define the purpose? Is it defined by someone else? What if your purpose conflicts with another person’s purpose? Do they have the right to redefine your purpose?

        • Captain Cassidy

          Um, no, sorry, SJH. You made the claims, you defend ‘em. You say there’s some kind of cosmic purpose? Then prove there is one. You say that without (YOUR) god that life has no meaning? Prove this god–out of the tens of thousands that people have worshiped over the years–exists. Otherwise you’re just making guesses, dehumanizing dissenters, and trying to shove your concept of how life ought to be lived onto others without any good reason.

          Then you can get to proving that this being gives people purposes. Then you can get to demonstrating how humans can reliably, consistently figure out what this purpose is and exactly why we ought to give it precedence over a self-made purpose.

          I don’t need to explain a single thing to you. You, however, have a lot to explain to us. You’re still making a slew of assertions without evidence and making non-believers sound like animals with no sense of purpose. All it’d take to puncture your illusion is really talking to people, you know. You’d see very quickly that no, actually, non-Christians have plenty of purpose. But if you respond to their words like you did here, by re-asserting your unproven truth claims and re-demonizing non-believers, then sure, of course you’re going to get a really skewed image of reality. It must suck to have to deceive yourself this extensively to keep your illusions intact.

          • SJH

            To prove something you need another person that is willing to cooperate. Imagine if we were in a science lab and I asked you to prove to me a particular theory or law and rather than sitting patiently, attentively and participating I simply left the room. It takes participation and patience to prove God’s existence. Will you be patient enough for me to prove it?

            Also, it has been many days already but i do not think I was making a scientific claim. I simply made the philosophical point that without God, there is no purpose to anything other than what we grant it. If there is no transcendent being to give things purpose then purpose is defined by whoever has the power to do so. You are claiming that there is a purpose so I asked you to tell me that that was.

            • 3lemenope

              I simply made the philosophical point that without God, there is no purpose to anything other than what we grant it.

              A philosophical point is something that is painstakingly and rigorously analyzed and retested and generally relates to a well-formed philosophical inquiry.

              That’s not a philosophical point you’ve got there. It’s merely an assertion about a speculation.

              • SJH

                How do you know it wasn’t rigorously analyzed and retested?
                Even so, if you would like to assume that and call it an assertion, then call it that. Frankly, It does not matter to me what it is called. Is my assertion incorrect? If God does not exist then is our purpose defined by some other being that is not transcendent and/or does not have the power to do so?

                • Captain Cassidy

                  I don’t think you’ve analyzed or tested your wild guess in the slightest, and don’t find your position very well studied or considered, to be honest. It’s “philosophy” in the same way that a college kid tripping balls is philosophical, I guess maybe. It’s not worth even engaging you because you’re not even really defining your terms or demonstrating any of your assertions as valid. In order to even start considering someone giving us a purpose, we’ve got to demonstrate that this someone even exists. (Hint: Substitute “unicorns” in place of “God” and you’ll understand why most folks will find your non-starter “argument” ludicrous.)

                  You are the one claiming that your god exists and is handing out purposes. I’m not required to do a damn thing here except evaluate your claim. So far you haven’t submitted a single bit of evidence that would support your claim, so it is going to have to be dismissed. If your evidence is going to be fancy apologetics arguments creating a “philosopher’s god” that sounds semi-plausible if you can’t follow debate but doesn’t bear the slightest bit of resemblance to the real world, then save us both some time and don’t bother. I’m talking about evidence that can be measured, seen, retested, falsified, etc. I’ve heard enough windbag philosophers’ gods created this way and I’m not patient enough to deal with yet another one, no. And you know what’s hilarious? I don’t even feel sorry to say that. I’m absolutely sick of philosophers’ gods. That’s all theists ever seem to be able to come up with. Not like the good old days, is it, with its pillars of flame and its manna from heaven, its resurrections from touching dead prophets’ bones, its lame people regenerated? No, now it’s just down to words, words, WORDS.

    • Mira

      Without god I can still sit in the sunshine and admire the gorgeous, terrifying, incredible life around me that we are still figuring out. Without god I can look to science and see the incredible amounts of progress we have made and find hope in the knowledge that we are going to continue that progress (however slow!). Without god I can play the piano and become so emotionally enthralled I lose track of time, and I can go to a live orchestra and be moved to tears by a group of people who have perfected instruments that humans have invented to make incredible music that defies comprehension.
      Life is by no means pointless. I enjoy certain things, and I do my utmost to make life enjoyable for others as well because that ALSO makes me happy. When I am alive, I have the opportunity to enjoy what I have around me and change what I can, while making peace with what I cannot and growing in my knowledge and understanding of this crazy world. Obviously I don’t particularly want death. That makes no sense whatsoever.
      You don’t need a god to see beauty, to love, to adore, or to cherish. You simply don’t. I don’t have a god, and I still see and feel all of those things just fine, thanks.

      • SJH

        So what is the purpose? Who defines it?
        Why does it make no sense to want death?
        How do you know that the experience would not be more beautiful if you acknowledged God’s existence?

        • Mira

          I make my own purpose. We each define our purpose in life. It makes no sense to want death unless life is awful–something your god isn’t good at ameliorating anyway. Job, anyone?
          I used to be a Christian. Life is no more sparkly or wonderful with him or without. If you acknowledge god and miracles and such, you also have to remember bone cancer in children. How is that wonderful or beautiful?

          • SJH

            What is my purpose conflicts with yours? Who defines which is correct? The atheist socialists of the 20th century felt like they had a purpose along with the ambiguously religious Hitler and the fundamentalist Muslim jihadists. Who defines which purposes should be allowed? Relativism doesn’t work. It contradicts itself. If there are no absolutes such as a pre-ordained purpose than then everything falls apart. Entropy wins.
            Regarding the fact that you used to be Christian, how do you know you experienced Christianity in w way that allowed you to experience God? Perhaps you missed something? I rarely feel God’s presence but I am not willing to abandon it because of my feelings or lack thereof. I develop my conclusions based on reason along with experience.

            • Mira

              Yawn. Yeah, I’ve NEVER heard the “you weren’t the right Christian” bullshit before.
              Get over yourself. I changed my mind because I use logic and reviewed the evidence. No more jumping mental hurdles to compensate for a belief system that is constantly teetering on collapse because of the sheer paradoxes at every turn.
              I developed my conclusions based on reason, evidence, and logic. Experience is subjective.
              You have your purpose. So long as it doesn’t actively harm others–or deny them rights (homophobes, that’s you)–who cares that yours is different? Everyone has different purposes ANYWAY. Don’t throw that bullshit in there and expect anyone to believe you for a second. Aren’t Christians always going on and on and on and ON about how “men and women are different but equal!” Yeah, buddy, that right there is a “different purpose” for each person.

            • Captain Cassidy

              SJH, you should be ashamed of yourself to trot out these tired old debunked arguments in lieu of actual evidence for your claims. It’s not up to you to decide how sincere Mira was as a Christian or how “real” of a Christian she was, nor to suggest she did something wrong so you can feel more secure in your own riddled-with-holes idea. Pretend she did everything right. Pretend I did too. I’m certainly pretending you are sincere and doing things as correctly as you know how. That’s called “arguing in good faith” and it’s how adults can have conversations about stuff like religion.

              One big piece of evidence for there not being a god handing out purposes is that so many people’s purposes conflict. When I was a Christian, right before I got married, a young man claimed that he’d been told by our god that his purpose was to marry me. Well, that was news to me, since my pastor thought my purpose was to marry this other guy. And I secretly was very sure that my purpose was to marry neither of them, but what’d I know? I also thought my purpose was to go into evangelism, but my church thought that my purpose was to get married, keep house, and have kids. I knew my purpose didn’t involve kids, though. So who was right in all of that mess? Every one of us was convinced that we were hearing these “purposes” straight from our god, dead convinced, as in fasting, praying all the time, studying the Bible, all of it.

              It’s ridiculous that you think there’s this streamlined, wonderful PURPOSE GIVER out there making sure that everybody’s purposes mesh properly and work together. Anybody who’s done time in any fundagelical church knows that’s total BS.

              When what you think is your purpose conflicts with what someone else’s purpose is, how do you know which one is “realer”? Not like either of you have the faintest idea that you are, in fact, pursuing the real purpose of your lives or just wrong about hearing your god’s “voice,” right? When you have this idea that a god is responsible for purposes and you see conflicts like this, then yes, you’ve got some serious and sometimes painful work to do to resolve the situation. When you know that a god has nothing to do with it, though, then it’s actually really easy to deal with conflicts.

  • WoodwindsRock

    Of course, Christianity is really living for death. Nobody wants to say it that bluntly, but I will whenever I see the ridiculously wrong notion that atheists have nothing to live for.

  • God’s Starship

    Speaking of the show, it’s actually pretty good. I’ve watched two so far. More sentimental than his usually style. It’s actually kind of sweet.

  • Fred

    Christians think that this life only matters in the sense of getting Jesus’ attention and forgiveness. When you die you get “something new and glorious”.

    How is that not fucked up?

    • Jacqui H

      Clearly F’ed up

  • R Speeter

    CBS Sunday Morning did a story on Mr. Gervais this morning. It was an interview, review of his life and background of his work. It was starkly lacking in any mention of his atheism. I realize that he probably is tired of the atheism questions so either he requested not to discuss it or CBS decided to avoid the topic.