Apr 28, 2011

10 Famous people and celebrities you may not know are atheists

From a posting by the Church Of Liberty
Celebrities are often worshiped like human gods.  When this happens they often see how easily tricked people are in general, and are no longer easily tricked themselves by the usual false gods, human or otherwise, because of their acquired familiarity of religions lame tactics and fake antics.  It must be mentioned that celebrities with no idea of what real life is like, are often tricked by false gods using unfamiliar tactics, ahem stupidology.

There are many celebrity closet atheists that are afraid to come out as such, several go with the softer, fence jumping, pansy position of agnostic, even worse still leave their religious views completely unexplained.  No one thinks of celebrities being oppressed, its easier when you consider that there are some celebrity atheists that cant come out as such, out of a fear of negative consequences to their career and image, which is often what they consider the main focus of their life.  There is another almost borderline evil practice for celebrity closet atheists which is to claim Christianity, lying to everyone, including sometimes themselves, for purposes of greed or ignorance.

It is for this reason that we shed light on these heroes of humanity using their fame to help others put aside religious absurdity by example.  Heroes for helping to promote secular values, skepticism, free thought, and atheism by nothing more than publicly stating their belief that God is imaginary.  Several have done much more than that for the cause, including being very vocal and being a positive force in the lives of people around the world.  These heroes have the right combination of intelligence and bravery to help make the world better by example.

Roger Ebert
Film Critic

Ebert is specifically mentioned as an atheist in this recent article:
From Esquire (February 16, 2010)

"He begins to write about more than movies; in fact, it sometimes seems as though he'd rather write about anything other than movies. The existence of an afterlife, the beauty of a full bookshelf, his liberalism and atheism and alcoholism, the health-care debate, Darwin, memories of departed friends and fights won and lost — more than five hundred thousand words of inner monologue have poured out of him, five hundred thousand words that probably wouldn't exist had he kept his other voice.

Ebert is dying in increments, and he is aware of it.

I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear, he writes in a journal entry titled "Go Gently into That Good Night." I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting. My lifetime's memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.

There has been no death-row conversion. He has not found God."

Kevin Bacon
American Actor best known for Footloose, Apollo 13, A Few Good Men, Frost/Nixon etc.

I think there is a puritanical wind that is blowing. I have never seen such a lack of separation between church and state in America, I don't believe in God, but if I did I would say that sex is a Godgiven right. Otherwise it's the end of our species. Wendy Ide interviewing Bacon, 'The Outsider Wants In', The Times (London), 1 December 2005, Features, Pg. 20

Richard Branson
Business Mogul

Branson is the founder of the Virgin Empire, which notably includes Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, among other entities. He has made several attempts to be the first to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon.
He writes in his autobiography, Losing My Virginity (p.239) "I do not believe in God, but as I sat there in the damaged [balloon] capsule, hopelessly vulnerable to the slightest shift in weather or mechanical fault, I could not believe my eyes."

Norm Macdonald
Norman Gene "Norm" Macdonald (born October 17, 1963) is a Canadian comedian, actor and professional poker player. He is known for his three years anchoring Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. He performs as a stand up comedian in comedy clubs across Canada, the United States, and Australia. In Los Angeles, he wrote for the popular sitcom Roseanne and performed on shows including The Drew Carey Show and NewsRadio. Comedy Central named him #83 on the five part mini-series 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.

Artie said his mother has told him to never get rid of that card. He told another story about going on a flight with Norm MacDonald who is an atheist. He said that he told Norm that he usually calls his mother before he flies but this time he didn't. Norm actually told him to give her a call before they took off if that's what he does every time. Howard Stern Show Notes

Ray Romano
Ray Romano was on the Actors Studio (Episode) "Everybody Loves Raymond" - Original Airdate: June 19, 2005
The host (James Lipton) asked - "If Heaven exists, "Ray" What would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
(Ray Romano) answered - "My son, I saw what you did In the garage, and you're still welcomed here" (Laughter) "See you were wrong, I do exist."
See the video here.

Jack Nicholson
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson (born April 22, 1937) is an American actor, film director and producer. He is renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters.
Nicholson has been nominated for Academy Awards twelve times. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice, for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and for As Good as It Gets. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 1983 film Terms of Endearment. He is tied with Walter Brennan for most acting wins by a male actor (three), and second to Katharine Hepburn for most acting wins overall (four). He is also one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting (either lead or supporting) in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s (the other one being Michael Caine). He has won seven Golden Globe Awards, and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In 1994, he became one of the youngest actors to be awarded the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award.
Notable films in which he has starred include, in chronological order, Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Shining, Reds, Terms of Endearment, Batman, A Few Good Men, As Good as It Gets, About Schmidt, Something's Gotta Give, and The Departed. source: wikipedia

Jack Nicholson on God
In an 1992 interview in Vanity Fair, Jack Nicholson said,
"I don't believe in God now," but he added that "I can still work up an envy for someone who has a faith. I can see how that could be a deeply soothing experience.
"I resist all established beliefs. My religion basically is to be immediate, to live in the now. It's an old cliche, I know, but it's mine. I envy people of faith. I'm incapable of believing in anything supernatural. So far, at least. Not that I wouldn't like to. I mean, I want to believe. I do pray. I pray to something ... up there. I have a God sense. It's not religious so much as superstitious. It's part of being human, I guess ... Do unto others: How much deeper into religion do we really need to go?"
 - Jack Nicholson, Esquire, January 2004

Brad Pitt

The July 23, 2009 New York Daily News and other news sources reported that Pitt told the German magazine Bild that "I'm probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic."
The relevant portion of the Bild.com interview:
BILD: Do you believe in God?
Brad Pitt (smiling): “No, no, no!”
BILD: Is your soul spiritual?
Brad Pitt: “No, no, no! I’m probably 20 per cent atheist and 80 per cent agnostic. I don’t think anyone really knows. You’ll either find out or not when you get there, until then there’s no point thinking about it.
 Read more here and here.

By the time he entered college, Pitt had scuttled his fundamentalist beliefs. "When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self," he says. "I had faith that I'm capable enough to handle any situation. There's peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I'm responsible."

Steve Wozniak
Wozniak is a world-renowned co-founder of Apple Computer. The following is response to a letter published on his website:
    Comment from E-mail: I was reading that Gates, Linus T. and Larry Ellison are all atheist or agnostic. The article made no mention of you or Steve Jobs. My question is, are you a man of faith and do you think that Mr. Jobs is believes in God?
    Woz: I am also atheist or agnostic (I don't even know the difference). I've never been to church and prefer to think for myself. I do believe that religions stand for good things, and that if you make irrational sacrifices for a religion, then everyone can tell that your religion is important to you and can trust that your most important inner faiths are strong.
    Steve Jobs may be an informal fan of Eastern religions but it's never obvious in him and I never heard of him regularly attending a church. That's only a guess.
In the documentary Hackers Wanted Wozniak says the following:
"And over time, the term hacking sort of nowadays has a meaning of 'I'm hacking my way in. I'm chopping my way into somebody else's computer.' And the newspapers and the media have tried to make hacking to be a word that means 'Oh my Gosh. It's something bad. It's a threat. It's one of these invisible threats that you don't know about.' There's a lot of, like, built in, like a kind of church. Like "Here's the dogma!" And that's what we have in our society today. Even in just government and people. It's just one of those church realms, you know? It's like hackers are Satan." Video
Another quote from Hackers Wanted:
    "So, we don't teach thinking as much as we teach, you know, rigorous rote. And intelligence is not defined as somebody having a brain that can think and think and consider all the possibilities and come up with the best solution. Oh no no! Intelligence is saying the exact same things as everyone else. You read the same newspaper articles. You watched the same news shows. You read the same books. And now you can say exactly the same things about how the world works. So you all know you're in a group. It's almost like a religion. And we're all the same. And we're intelligent because I say it and you say it. And you're intelligent so I'm intelligent. And we never really have a real good way of measuring 'are you really thinking?' and putting it together and coming up with your own solutions. No. We don't define that as intelligent. We often define it as dumb.

Linus Torvalds
Torvalds is the original creator of the kernel Linux, which is mostly used in the GNU/Linux operating system for computers.
The San Jose Mercury News profiled him in a piece titled "Linus the Liberator" by David Diamond (1999):
Unlike many in Silicon Valley, the newcomer is guided by a strong set of ethics. "There are like two golden rules in life. One is 'Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.' For some reason, people associate this with Christianity. I'm not a Christian. I'm agnostic. The other rule is 'Be proud of what you do.'"
See the full article here.

From an interview in the November 1999 Linux Journal magazine, some excerpts
Margie: How about religion?
Linus: Hmmmm, completely a-religious -- atheist. I find that people seem to think religion brings morals and appreciation of nature. I actually think it detracts from both. It gives people the excuse to say, "Oh, nature was just created", and so the act of creation is seen to be something miraculous. I appreciate the fact that, "Wow, it's incredible that something like this could have happened in the first place." I think we can have morals without getting religion into it, and a lot of bad things have come from organized religion in particular. I actually fear organized religion because it usually leads to misuses of power.
Margie: As in holy wars?
Linus: Yeah, and I find it kind of distasteful having religions that tell you what you can do and what you can't do. Catholicism is an example of that kind of non-permissiveness, and I think that is very easy to get into if you are an organized religion. Religion is a very strange idea. In Finland, nobody cares. Many people are religious in Finland, but it's not a political issue. Over here, religion has become politicized, so you have the fringe people in the news. And then people are afraid to talk about it because it has political implications, and that's usually not true in most of Europe. Religion is a personal matter, but does not matter for anything else. That's how I think it should be done.
Margie: Yes, we were founded to keep the two separated. Then the Moral Majority found out what a large constituency they had, and...
Linus: Yeah, it's kind of ironic that in many European countries, there is actually a kind of legal binding between the state and the state religion. At the same time, in practice, religion has absolutely nothing to do with everyday life. Maybe the taxes to the church, but that's it. They don't have any political power.
Margie: Here it's called tithing, not taxes.
Linus: Actually, in Finland they call it taxes -- you pay taxes to the church. If you are a member of the church, you pay 2% tax to the church. And that's the amount of legal binding between the church and the state. Apart from that, they are completely separate. In the U.S., church and state claim to be very separate, but you still see the church has a lot of power in politics.
Margie: What about school for the kids? Are y'all going to stay here in the states for them to go to school?
Linus: Well that used to be kind of a major worry between us. We've seen some strange things. Tove was off looking for preschools, because you start so early here in the U.S. I looked closer at one of the papers she brought home, and found it mentioned L. Ron Hubbard. I started asking around about the place, and it turns out there are a scientology school, and they don't mention the fact that they are associated with scientology anywhere in their literature. And that kind of makes me nervous. I don't want to put my child in a scientology school by mistake.

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is an American entrepreneur who co-founded the social networking site Facebook. He is the youngest billionaire in the world.

As quite possibly the best way to show that you mean it in todays society.  He listed
for his religious views on Facebook.

Okay so maybe if your counting you noticed that is 11, we couldnt help it, we got this great information from the Celeberity Atheist List and they have literally hundreds more choose and read about.

Other famous atheists:
(in no particular order)

Douglas Adams, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Woody Allen, Lance Armstrong, Darren Aronofsky, Isaac Asimov, Dan Barker, Dave Barry, Ingmar Bergman, James Cameron, George Carlin, John Carmack, Adam Carolla, John Carpenter, Asia Carrera, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Clarkson, Billy Connolly, Francis Crick, David Cronenberg, David Cross, Alan Cumming, Rodney DangerfieldRichard Dawkins,Daniel Dennett, Ani DiFranco, Micky Dolenz, Harlan Ellison, Richard Feynman, Harvey Fierstein, Larry Flynt, Dave Foley, Jodie Foster, Janeane Garofalo, Bill Gates, Bob Geldof, Ricky Gervais, Ira Glass, James Gleick, Robert Heinlein, Ernest Hemingway, Katharine HepburnChristopher Hitchens, Jamie Hyneman, Eddie Izzard, Penn Jillette, Billy JoelDiane Keaton, Michael Kinsley, Artie Lange, Richard Leakey, Bruce Lee, Tom Lehrer, John Lennon, Tom Leykis, James Lipton, H.P. Lovecraft, Bill Maher, John MalkovichBarry Manilow, Todd McFarlane, Sir Ian McKellen, Arthur Miller, Frank Miller, Marvin Minsky, Julianne Moore, Rafael Nadal, Randy Newman, Mike Nichols, Gary Numan, Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, Camille Paglia, Steven Pinker, Paula Poundstone, Terry Pratchett, Robin Quivers, James Randi, Ron Reagan Jr., Keanu Reeves, Rick Reynolds,Gene RoddenberryJoe Rogan, Henry RollinsAndy Rooney, Salman Rushdie, Bob Simon, Steven Soderbergh, Annika Sorenstam, George Soros, Richard Stallman, Howard SternJulia SweeneyTeller, Studs Terkel, Pat Tillman, Alan Turing, Eddie Vedder, Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Steven Weinberg, Joss Whedon, Ted Williams and hundreds more on the Celebrity Atheist List

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