Magician Penn Jillette Says ‘God, No!’ To Religion

Penn Jillette at Rio Las Vegas

Image via Wikipedia

Even if you believe in God, you might still be atheist. That’s what Penn Jillette argues in his new book God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales.

The louder half of the magician duo Penn & Teller — of Showtime’s Pen & Teller: Bull – – – –— frames his new book as the atheist’s Ten Commandments. In it, he wanders from rants about the war on drugs to stories of eating shellfish and bacon cheeseburgers with Hasidic Jews.

Jillette tells NPR’s Neal Conan that critics of atheism often assume non-believers are arrogant people, but that’s not necessarily true. You may not have to be brave or smart to be an atheist, Jillette says, but you do have to be humble. Atheists don’t have all the answers, he writes, but they do have the humility to admit they don’t know how the world was created, where humans came from or many of life’s other mysteries.

Quotes from the interview:

On why he actually does respect religious people: “In my run-ins with Christians … I find that they really are good moral people.”

On how hate mail helped him find common ground with believers: “what you’re talking about is seriously mentally ill psychotic people, who happened to add some God stuff to the end of it. It is not coming out of Christianity. It is not coming out of religion. It is someone who is … probably not dangerous, but certainly sick. And … with a lot of troubles, and it doesn’t really relate to religion.”

On the concept of divine inspiration: “… listen to [the] St. Matthew Passion by Bach. All the Bach stuff references God, even if it’s not directly. I may be lying to myself, but I believe that that incredible talent, that incredible power, that incredible passion, is from the people who created it. And I believe that they would find passion in something else, if not for the church.”

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4 thoughts on “Magician Penn Jillette Says ‘God, No!’ To Religion

  1. Pingback: Penn & Teller Explain Ball & Cups Trick | That Was Random .com - Sharing Random Videos, Images and More. Sharing Random Stuff from Present to Nostalgic

  2. Pingback: Infamous Blasphemy | The Atheist's Quill

  3. Smart man! I too have found many that say they are religious but when you get into the discussion it turns out they have admit they really have no idea. My father is one and he is a preacher!!

    • I’ve been thinking on your comment. This is what I’ve concluded ~ it seems to me that we all need to question and have doubts, to not blindly listen to what people are telling us. However, it also seems to me that we need to keep our minds open to the very real probability that God exists and is bigger than us, than all people put together from the beginning of time through the end of time.
      I think that is why we call it faith and say it is a decision we make, because no one really knows the mind of God (whom I have chosen to believe exists).

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