- Religion and Philosophy
The Celebrity Atheist and Skeptics List
Thou are not alone, for we are plentiful
This list is for those skeptics and non-believers who feel alone in their lack of faith. We see religion coming at us from all ends every day, from television, to films, to literature, to the vast majority of our fellow man (and woman). But would it surprise you that some of the most influential artists of our time and our past were non-believers just as ourselves? It's quite true. And below I've compiled a list of some of the most well-known of these individuals.
While I've not listed every outspoken celebrity atheist and agnostic, I have listed some of my personal favorites -- along with others who I thought may interest others. These people range from Brad Pitt, to Charlie Chaplin, to Virginia Woolf and the Mythbusters. Along with each name I've also added quotes by the individual in question, where they speak of their lack of belief; sometimes with hope, sometimes with inspiration, sometimes with wit, and many times with utter hilarity.
I hope others enjoy this list as much as I have and find that they truly are not alone, weird, or bad for believing (or not believing) in the way that they do. Be proud of your lack of faith... you're in good company.
Writer of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" -- Douglas Adams
"People will then often say, 'But surely it's better to remain an Agnostic just in case?' This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I've been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would choose not to worship him anyway.)" -- Douglas Adams
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing." -- Douglas Adams
Critically acclaimed screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright
"How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?" -- Woody Allen
"If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever." -- Woody Allen
"To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition." -- Woody Allen
"If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank." -- Woody Allen
"Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends." -- Woody Allen
"I do occasionally envy the person who is religious naturally, without being brainwashed into it or suckered into it by all the organized hustles / Just like having an ear for music or something. It would just never occur to such a person for a second that the world isn't about something." -- Woody Allen
American film director
The Guardian, May 1, 2004, Pg. 30.
"Still, it's worth noting that by the age of 20 this whistle-blower had resisted two of the most powerful institutions -- church and army, both. He is an atheist, 'And I have been against all of these wars ever since.'" Suzie Mackenzie interviewing Altman, 'Still up to mischief'
Actor and comedian
In the March 23, 2012 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher asks Armisen what his religion is, to which Armisen replied "I'm an atheist."
An author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books
[I]f I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul. -- Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov: A Memoir
I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time. -- Isaac Asimov, in "Free Inquiry", Spring 1982, vol.2 no.2, p. 9
"Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism." --Isaac Asimov
"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." -- Kevin Bacon
Academy Award winning actor
"I always said that I don't believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino" -- Javier Bardem
A director, writer and producer for film, stage and television
"I have struggled all my life with a tormented and joyless relationship with God. Faith and lack of faith, punishment, grace and rejection, all were real to me, all were imperative. My prayers stank of anguish, entreaty, trust, loathing and despair. God spoke, God said nothing. Do not turn from Thy face." -- Ingmar Bergman
"The lost hours of that operation provided me with a calming message. You were born without purpose, you live without meaning, living is its own meaning." -- Ingmar Bergman
"When you die, you are extinguished. From being you will be transformed to non-being. A god does not necessarily dwell among our capricious atoms." -- Ingmar Bergman
French stage actress referred to as "the most famous actress in the history of the world"
Asked by French composer Charles Gounod if she ever prayed, Bernhadt replied "No, never. I'm an atheist."
"I was brought up Catholic. I'm lapsed. From the age of three I was with the nuns. Now I'm an atheist. I think religion does a lot for us but I can't quite believe it, alas... It's just a personal choice. I love the idea of heaven though. Who doesn't? It's lovely." -- Paul Bettany
Actor and musician
On the April 26th, 2012 episode of Conan Jack Black stated that he was an atheist.
Actor and Comedian
"Who knew that the devil had a factory where he made millions of fossils, which his minions distributed throughout the earth, in order to confuse my tiny brain?" -- Lewis Black (Me of Little Faith)
"That's the funny thing about religion: it doesn't matter what you say, you're going to upset someone. " -- Lewis Black
"I think if you are an atheist, what's there to be frightened of? ... But I don't want to die yet." -- Jim Broadbent
Actor and comedian
"Maybe God is an asshole...of course not, he's not an asshole, he's imaginary." -- Louis C.K.
"I've sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I've come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsover for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise." -- James Cameron
An American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor and author
"In the Bullshit Department, a businessman can't hold a candle to a clergyman. 'Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time!" -- George Carlin
Radio personality, television host, comedian, and actor
"I am not agnostic. I am atheist. I don't think there is no God; I know there's no God. I know there's no God the same way I know many other laws in our universe. I know there's no God and I know most of the world knows that as well. They just won't admit it because there's another thing they know. They know they're going to die and it freaks them out. So most people don't have the courage to admit there's no God and they know it. They feel it. They try to suppress it. And if you bring it up they get angry because it freaks them out." -- Adam Carolla
A film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, composer, and occasional actor.
"I'm an atheist, but I have a great fascination with this issue -- over God and whether there is one or not. I come to (my belief) personally for my own reasons and my own decisions. But I respect anybody who believes anything, I don't have the ultimate answers about anything." -- John Carpenter
"If we're all Gods children, then what's so special about Jesus?" -- Jimmy Carr
English comedian, actor, director and producer.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in God, in none." -- Charlie Chaplin
"Man as an individual is a genius. But men in the mass form the headless monster, a great, brutish idiot that goes where prodded." -- Charlie Chaplin
"Religion. It’s given people hope in a world torn apart by religion." -- Charlie Chaplin
"What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning." -- Charlie Chaplin
"What do you want a meaning for? Life is a desire, not a meaning." -- Charlie Chaplin
Arthur C. Clarke
A British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, most famous for the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey
"It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him." -- Arthur C. Clarke
"Perhaps most controversially, religions of all kinds have fallen under a strict taboo, with the citizenry looking back on the religious beliefs and practices of earlier ages as products of ignorance that caused untold strife and bloodshed. But the concept of a God, known by the Latin word Deus, survives, a legacy of man's continuing wonder at the universe." -- Arthur C. Clarke
"I don't believe in God but I'm extremely interested in him." -- Arthur C. Clarke
Actor and film director
"I don't believe in Heaven and Hell, I don't know if I believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won't allow this life -- the only thing I know to exist -- to be wasted." -- George Clooney
Scottish comedian, actor, former musician
"Where do you go when you die? The same place you were before you were born; nowhere! It's over!" -- Billy Connolly
Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips)
American rock musician, lead singer of The Flaming Lips
"I wish I did believe in God. It would be a great relief to think, 'God'll take care of it. God'll put gas in the car tomorrow'" -- Wayne Coyne
Film director and writer, perhaps best known as the director of many horror films, including the famed A Nightmare on Elm Street
"Yeah. Formally, I don’t believe in God, because I think people’s minds are too limited to even have a concept of whether there is a God, and I believe religions have done much more harm than they’ve done good." -- Wes Craven
Screenwriter and director of such films as The Dead Zone, Scanners, and A History of Violence
"It was apparent to me that religion was an invented thing, a wish-fulfillment thing, a fantasy thing. It was much more real, dangerous, to accept that mortality was the end for you as an individual. As an atheist, I don't believe in an afterlife, so if you're thinking of murder, if your subject is murder, then that's a physical act of absolute destruction because you're ending something, a body, that is unique. That person never existed before, will never exist again, will not be karmically recycled, will not go to heaven, therefore I take it seriously." -- David Cronenberg
Actor, writer, and Emmy winner
"It was just before the peace treaty was signed between Israel and Palestine, and I was pissed off that the Israeli soldiers had killed a kid, a 12-year-old, who was throwing rocks at them. I thought that was reprehensible, and so this guy starts yelling at me about how they're terrorists, and I said, 'Yeah, so are these Israeli soldiers. They torture people. That's documented: They torture their political prisoners.' He's coming at me with all this, saying that I'm a self-loathing Jew, and I said I was raised Jewish but I don't believe in God, I'm not Jewish, and I don't hold those beliefs. His whole point was that Israel was good and Palestine was bad. I said, 'That's just 'cause that's what you were taught, and you don't have an open mind about it.'" -- David Cross
"I was made to go to church, but no, it wasn't a very religious thing. And I'm completely atheist. I don't hold any beliefs about God and stuff. And I can't do the church thing. Last year, I was here in New York, at a Christmas party, and everyone went to midnight Mass except me. I just listened to music while they were all out, supposedly communing with God, but they were just doing it because it's habit."
Actor and comedian
Dangerfield said he was an atheist during an interview with Howard Stern in May 2004. Stern asked Dangerfield if he believed in an afterlife. Dangerfield answered he was a "logical" atheist and added, "We're apes––do apes go anyplace?"
Actor, writer, comedian and producer, famous for creating Seinfield and Curb Your Enthusiasm
“At the end of the day, if there was indeed some body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I’d been baptized. If there was indeed a god at the end of my days, I hoped he didn’t say, ‘But you were never a Christian, so you’re going the other way from heaven.’ If so, I was going to reply, ‘You know what? You’re right. Fine.”
William B. Davis (the smoking man)
Canadian actor, known for his role as the Cigarette Smoking Man in The X-Files
In a May 15, 1997 Rolling Stone, he is interviewed by Anthony Bozza and is asked about whether he has a belief in UFOs. Davis answers "No, I'm a skeptic." He continues, "I think we live in a very barren universe. Our task is essentially existential. If we're going to have any meaning in this universe, we have to make it for ourselves. It's not going to come from outside."
He discussed the X-Files finale of the previous season, which was based on Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. In particular, he points to the similarity between the philosophy of the Church and the philosophy of Cancer Man, that is, "We'll control the world for the sake of the world, because [people] can't look after themselves."
Whether or not Depp would consider himself a "atheist", it's still unknown. But, all evidence is pointing to that. Aside from wearing his SKEPTIC pin (pictured on the right) and holding a book, The Moral Arc, by skeptic extraordinaire, Michael Shermer (about how morality can exist without religion), he's also stated in an October 16th, 2011 interview with Larry King, when King asked Depp if he had faith"
"I have faith in my kids. Yeah, I have faith in my kids. And I have, I have faith, you know, as long as you keep moving forward, just keep walking forward things will be alright, I suppose, you know. Faith in terms of religion, I don't, religion is not my specialty." (Click here to see the interview on Youtube)
Film director, best known for his musicals including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Singin' in the Rain
"I never became religious. I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. I never did. I don't think it's possible. He made such a bess of it if there is." -- Stanley Donen
Critic and writer
"My opinions have been challenged. I had to defend what I believed. I did some more reading. I discovered fractals and Strange Attractors. I wrote an entry about the way I believe in God, which is to say that I do not. Not, at least, in the God that most people mean when they say God. I grant you that if the universe was Caused, there might have been a Causer. But that entity, or force, must by definition be outside space and time; beyond all categories of thought, or non-thought; transcending existence, or non-existence. What is the utility of arguing our "beliefs" about it? What about the awesome possibility that there was no Cause? What if everything...just happened?" -- Roger Ebert
"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." -- Roger Ebert on death
A theoretical physicist who discovered the theory of general relativity
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death." -- Albert Einstein
"I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. " -- Albert Einstein
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery-- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds -- it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man." -- Albert Einstein
"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." -- Albert Einstein
"The idea of a Being who interferes with the sequence of events in the world is absolutely impossible." -- Albert Einstein
Bret Easton Ellis
A novelist and short story writer popular for writing American Psycho
"Are you asking me if I was raised in a religious family or if I go to church? I was raised an agnostic. I don't know - I hate to fly, I have a fear of flying. That means either that I have no faith in air-traffic controllers or that I've done something really bad, and this is God's way of getting at me. Maybe I'm caught in the middle... But no, I don't believe in God. That's such a strange thing to admit in an interview."
American actor, playwright, and screenwriter
"I mean, I don't believe in God, I don't believe in heaven or hell, but I pray three or four times a day." -- Harvey Fierstein
On an appearance on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect, one of the panelists suggested that Fierstein -- who is a Jew -- must think that Menorahs ought to be displayed alongside Christmas trees on public property. Fierstein disputed this and said that neither should be displayed saying that though he is a Jew, he is also an atheist.
Publisher and the president of Larry Flynt Publications
Flynt writes "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism" in the epilogue of his autobiography An Unseemly Man: My Life As A Pornographer, Pundit And Social Outcast.
Actor best known for his work in The Kids in the Hall and NewsRadio
"Not all religions claim the direct authority of God speaking to their leader. You know, I'm an atheist, but I'm a Puritan atheist." -- Dave Foley
When asked about his feelings on motorcycling:
“Yes. Well, it forces focus. I ride an MV Agusta. This is an Italian racing motorcycle. It forces focus. You have to be focused and in my life, in this business, focus is hard to find sometimes. So I need to force focus and that's great. The bike takes you on a free road. There's no fences on the roads I ride and I don't ride freeways. That's as much as I can tell you because there are more lands waiting for this little Christian boy. That's not true. I'm an atheist, but what the heck.”
Film actress, director, and producer
When asked if she was religious by Entertainment Weekly, Jodie Foster replied: "No, I'm an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals. Even though I don't believe in God."
Speaking about her character in Carl Sagan's Contact: "I absolutely believe what Ellie believes - that there is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there's absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that's out there that we haven't discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don't know any better."
Actor, film director, and narrator
When a CNN interviewer suggested Freeman had previously said he was a "man of God", he replied "When did I ever say I was a man of God?" "You're not?" "No ...no no no no no!". He instead explained how he considers his faith in science, "We take a lot of what we're talking about in science on faith; we posit a theory, and until it's disproven we have faith that it's true. If the mathematics work out, then it's true, until it's proven to be untrue."
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CLIP
English actor, comedian, and writer
"The Omen is one of my favorites. Even though I'm an atheist now, I was brought up Catholic and can remember thinking that it could actually be real! The first Dawn of the Dead is a great one. We had a TV serial in Britain called Day of the Triffids and that was always really terrifying for me as well." -- Nick Frost
British humourist, writer, actor, and filmmaker
"I knew I couldn't believe in God, because I was fundamentally Hellenic in my outlook." -- Stephen Fry
"Yes, there may be a creator... I don't think it at all likely." -- Stephen Fry
"I've always believed that everything that is said from authority is either the authority of one's own heart, one's own brain, one's own reading, one's own trust, but not the authority of someone who claims it because they're speaking for God and they know the truth because it's written in a book. That, essentially, is where I come from. In a sense, tolerance is my religion. Reason is my religion." -- Stephen Fry
American stand-up comedian, actress, political activist and writer
"Organized religions and their dogmas only serve to indoctrinate the participants into sheeplike common behaviors. This type of blind assimilation promotes the popularity of top-forty count down radio stations and movie sequels. Skepticism towards groups, holy or otherwise, is enriching and makes you a far more entertaning person" -- Janeane Garofalo
"He just seems very man-made to me. There are so many theories, and not everyone can be right. It's human nature to need a religious crutch, and I don't begrudge anyone that. I just don't need one." -- Janeane Garofalo
American business magnate, philanthropist, and chairman of Microsoft
"Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning." -- Bill Gates
British (voice) actor, film and TV director, screenwriter, producer, and comedian
"It annoys me that the burden of proof is on us. It should be: you came up with the idea. Why do you believe it?" -- Ricky Gervais
"I'm basically a 'do unto others' type person. I don't have any religious feelings because I'm an atheist, but I live my life like there's a God. And if there was he'd probably love me." -- Ricky Gervais
As host of the Golden Globes in 2011 Gervais created a stir by ending the show: "and I'd like to thank God for making me an atheist".
American film and television actor
When asked if he gets treated like a star at home Paul Giamatti responded: No, no. "My wife treats me worse now. She has no tolerance for that sort of behaviour! She’s Jewish and my son will probably be raised Jewish. I’m an atheist, so I’m waiting for my time to step in and tell him how things really are but I’ll do that when he’s a teenager. I figure he’ll be ripe for atheism when he’s a teenager."
English guitarist, songwriter and vocalist of Pink Floyd
"I'm an atheist, and I don't have any belief in an afterlife..." -- David Gilmour
"The theme of the new album - those Pink Floyd habits die hard - is mortality. One song, 'This Heaven', reflects Gilmour's atheism. 'There is an element of contended resignation in that song. It extols the virtues of living in the moment and accepting your mortality. Perhaps the closest I will get to immortality will be through Dark Side of the Moon. I think that record will go on being played for a while yet.' " Nigel Farndale interviewing Gilmour, 'Still on the dark side', The Sunday Telegraph (London), May 28, 2006, Section Seven, Pg. 8
An actor, comedian, voice actor, and television producer
"God is, to me, pretty much an idea. God is, to me, pretty much a myth created over time to deny the idea that we're all responsible for our own actions." -- Seth Green
American actress, comedian, and media personality
"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn't help me a bit." She went on to hold up her Emmy and say, "Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now!"
Australian film and television actress famous for her role on the TV show Six Feet Under
"Although I'm not a Christian, I was raised Christian. I'm an atheist, with a slight Buddhist leaning." --Rachel Griffiths
Creator of the television series The Simpsons and Futurama
When asked by the New York Times whether or not he believed in god and what he considers the most comical story in the Bible, Groening replied: "I was very disturbed when Jesus found a demon in a guy, and he put the demon in a herd of pigs, then sent them off a cliff. What did the pigs do? I could never figure that out. It just seemed very un-Christian. Technically, I'm an agnostic, but I definitely believe in hell -- especially after watching the fall TV schedule."
An American author and journalist
"All thinking men are atheists" -- Ernest Hemingway
"Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name. Thy kingdom nada, thy will be nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee" -- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
"I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious, and sacrifice.... I had seen nothing sacred, and the things that were glorious had no glory and the sacrifices were like the stockyards at Chicago if nothing was done with the meat except bury it. There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity." -- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
American actress who appeared in 53 films from 1932 to 1994
"I'm an atheist, and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for people" -- Katharine Hepburn
American film director and actor, especially known for the films The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Asphalt Jungle, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, The African Queen, The Misfits, and The Man Who Would Be King
"I prefer to think that God is not dead, just drunk." -- John Huston
"Ireland is ninety-six percent Catholic. I wanted it known immediately that I had no orthodox religion, so I announced right off the bat that I was an atheist. And I had the feeling they were particularly nice to me. 'He's a good fellow who's surely going to hell, so why not make things as pleasant as possible for him--temporarily?' They certainly did that." -- John Huston
Actor and Comedian
"I was warming the material up in New York, where one night, literally on stage, I realised I didn't believe in God at all...I just didn't think there was anyone upstairs." -- Eddie Izzard
"I don't think anyone's taken revenge on me. I try to end relationships in as equitable a way as possible, because I like to get on with people. But I worked out the only way to stop loving someone was to hate them, you know, because that 'in love' thing is just hellish - the chemicals that are released in the brain are not good. Whoever came up with that thing that said 'in love' was going to exist - I don't know who because I don't believe in God - it's a very weird thing. But hatred seems to be the only thing strong enough to kill love. That's a dangerous thing. So I have gone through that situation and it's not great, and behind all the hatred was still the love." -- Eddie Izzard
Musician, singer, and songwriter (lead singer for The Rolling Stones)
"Like most English people I'm not a great believer. I've read Richard Dawkins' book and it's very persuasive. I'm more in awe of the universe and that's not really a belief in God. It's a belief in something. I don't have belief in the Holy Book. I don't think many English people do. My parents' generation weren't religious either. They were the rebels."
Actor and Comedian
Jim Jeffries lack of belief is a common topic in his stand-up comedy. The following quote is taken from one routine:
"Here's the thing about people who believe in god. They're idiots. There's no dancing around it. You're a borderline mentalist. You're an idiot. You're like a 13 year old kid who still believe's in Santa."
Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind)
Lead singer for the American rock band, Third Eye Blind
Jenkins has expressed that he does not believe in God and that he thinks "religion is a bunch of hooey." December 16, 2000 AP report on the 'Jingle Ball' at New York City's Madison Square Garden by Jennifer Vineyard
American musician and pianist, singer-songwriter, and classical composer
"Well, I wasn't raised Catholic, but I used to go to Mass with my friends, and I viewed the whole business as a lot of very enthralling hocus-pocus. There's a guy hanging upon the wall in the church, nailed to a cross and dripping blood, and everybody's blaming themselves for that man's torment, but I said to myself, 'Forget it. I had no hand in that evil. I have no original sin Theres no blood of any sacred martyr an my hands. I pass on all of this.'" -- Billy Joel
"For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn't need to be a God for me." -- Angelina Jolie
Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand)
Lead singer of Scottish band Franz Ferdinand
When asked if he was and Atheist or Believer in The Mind's Construction Quarterly, Kapranos responded "Atheist."
American comedian, actor, and voice actor who is best known for his starring role in the animated sitcom Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist
When asked by Bill Maher on the talk show Politically Incorrect if he was an atheist, Jonathan Katz responded "Yes. And my parents were atheists".
Dancer, singer, actor and director
The following is an excerpt from the biography, Gene Kelly: A Life of Dance and Dreams (p. 58):
"Somehow, driving through Mexico, observing the poverty of the peasants in abject prayer at the churches, rich with gold and silver jewels, he was sickened by the contrast. He abhorred the role of the Church in supporting the fascist Franco against the Spanish Republic. Now, seeing it firsthand, the failure of the Church, his church, to come to grips meaningfully with the physical and spiritual needs of the poor opened his eyes to the hypocrisy of what he called "organized religion." Feeding into his consciousness were his recent meetings with simpatico contacts who had influenced him with their outspoken attitudes- Robeson, Comden, Green, and many left-wing intellectuals. On the return trip, long before they saw Pittsburgh looming in the distance, he made it plain to his father that he was now a complete agnostic. His father could tell Harriet [Gene's mother] or not, as he chose. But no longer would Gene Kelly be dominated by the wishes and preferences of his mother."
Canadian American film and television actress best known for playing Lois Lane in the Superman movies of the 1970s and 1980s.
"Once I stayed up for three weeks in a row because I felt I was called upon to write a new religion for women. I was reading all these books, including the Bible... and I'm an atheist." -- Margot Kidder
American radio and television show host
"My biggest fear is death, because I don't think I'm going anywhere. And since I don't think that, and I don't have a belief ... I'm married to someone who has the belief, so she knows she's going somewhere." -- Larry King
The atheist actress, star of A Dangerous Method, said she is desperate to be Catholic because she would "just get to ask for forgiveness".
She added: "It sounds much better than having to live with guilt.
"It's absolutely extraordinary. If only I wasn't an atheist, I could get away with anything.
"You'd just ask for forgiveness and then you'd be forgiven."
American film director, writer, film producer, and photographer
"I will say that the God concept is at the heart of 2001 but not any traditional, anthromorphic image of God. I don’t believe in any of Earth's monotheistic religions, but I do believe that one can construct an intriguing scientific definition of God, once you accept the fact that there are approximately 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone, that each star is a life-giving sun and that there are approximately 100 billion galaxies in just the visible universe." -- Stanley Kubrick
Claudio Masenza said of his friend: "He was an atheist Jew who celebrated Christmas."
American film actor
A self-described atheist, Lancaster had turned down the role in the remake of Ben-Hur (1959) played by Charlton Heston, but followed in Heston's footsteps when he played the title role in Moses the Lawgiver [...]. When a reporter asked him if he was following in Heston's sandal-clad steps, Lancaster replied, "If Charlton was trapped in Biblical films, it was his own fault - he accepted the limitation."
English actor, comedian, writer, and star of the television show House
"I don't believe in God, but I have this idea that if there were a God, or destiny of some kind looking down on us, that if he saw you taking anything for granted he’d take it away. So he'll be like: 'You think this is going pretty well?' Then he'll go and send down some big disaster." -- Hugh Laurie
When asked "Does faith play a big role in your life?" Cloris Leachman replied: "Not in a God, no. I am an atheist. I'm not even atheist. I don't think any of us has the answer. I'm an agnostic."
Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran)
Lead singer and lyricist of the band Duran Duran and its offshoot, Arcadia
"Losing my faith was very gradual. [...] And then I started thinking, 'Well, what if it's just people trying to personify life? To personify the fact that there is matter, and that there is a universe? If there is a God, that's it. God doesn't have a brain, God doesn't think, God is just existence.' And when you get to that point, you realise, if that's what God is, then there's no such thing. [...] I didn't like it [the Atheist Bus Campaign's slogan that says "There probably is not god. So stop worrying and enjoy your life."] at first -- I thought it was too nice. I wanted to say, 'There's no God, so forget it! You're living in a dream world!' But then it made sense to me, because probability is one of the things I really believe in, in a scientific sense. It's quite healthy to have an open mind." -- Simon Le Bon
Bruce Lee - Martial artist, actor and philosopher
Martial Artists, Actor, and Philosopher
When asked in 1972 what his religious affiliation was, Bruce Lee replied "none whatsoever."
Also in 1972, when asked if he believed in God, he responded, "To be perfectly frank, I really do not."
Singer and bass guitarist, most famous for founding the rock band Motorhead
"I'm an atheist and an anarchist" -- Lemmy
Actor, animator, comedian, writer, producer, director, and singer-songwriter
"I do not believe in God. I'm an atheist. I consider myself a critical thinker, and it fascinates me that in the 21st century most people still believe in, as George Carlin puts it, 'the invisible man living in the sky' " -- Seth MacFarlane
"religion notoriously claims that they invented morality, they didn't. Morality exists in animals, ya know." -- Seth MacFarlane
"Do I have that much contempt for Christianity? I guess maybe I do." -- Seth MacFarlane
"I'm still a man of science, not God." -- Seth MacFarlane
Stand-up comedian, television host, political commentator, author and actor
"We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion. I do believe that. I think religion stops people from thinking. I think it justified crazies." - Bill Maher
"When we talk about values, I think of rationality in solving problems. That's something I value. Fairness, kindness, generosity, tolerance. When they talk about values, they're talking about things like going to church, voting for Bush, being loyal to Jesus, praying. These are not values." - Bill Maher
"The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs." - Bill Maher
American actor, producer, and director
In an interview conducted by Australian magazine The Age in 2003 John Malkovich stated: "I'm an atheist."
Shirley Manson (Garbage)
Lead singer of the British-American alternative rock band, Garbage
At age 12 she announced her atheism at the dinner table, calling religion "bullshit." This view she continues to maintain, though more tactfully. Elissa Blake.
["Spirit In The Sky (From Rolling Stone, September 1998)"]
Underground hip-hop artist
"she gave me a kiss every time i made her laugh and she hugged me extra tight when i said i was an atheist", written in his MySpace Blog, in July 29, 2008.
Sir Ian McKellen
English stage and screen actor
"I was brought up a Christian, low church, and I like the community of churchgoing. That's rather been replaced for me by the community of people I work with. I like a sense of family, of people working together. But I'm an atheist. So God, if She exists, isn't really a part of my life." -- Ian McKellen
Thelma "Butterfly" McQueen
American actress, most renowned for her performance as Prissy, the young maid in Gone with the Wind
"As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion." -- Thelma "Butterfly" McQueen
A lifelong atheist, she donated her body to medical science and remembered the Freedom From Religion Foundation in her will.
British actor and writer, co-creator of The Office
"No, I don't believe in God" -- Stephen Merchant in Series 1, Episode 2 of The Ricky Gervais Show.
"I've been reading Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. It's his polemic against religion and even for an avowed atheist like myself, it's quite strong." -- Stephen Merchant
English stage, television, and Oscar-winning film actress
"Sometimes I feel like a farmer during a war, someone who doesn't know very much about it and carries on digging, hoping for rain. But just the last few days I've had this terrible feeling of... doom. It's a, er, biblical, kind of Old Testament feeling. I'm an atheist, but I was suddenly thinking of those stories of the flood and punishment. Because we've become unbelievably greedy and destructive." -- Helen Mirren
When asked what she hoped God would say to her when she approached the pearly gates on Inside The Actors Studio, Julianne Moore replied: "Well I guess you were wrong, I do exist."
Irish stage and screen actor
When interviewed by Total Film in 2007:
Interviewer: "You said that your experiences on Sunshine, and particularly the time you spent with the scientists turned you from an agnostic to an atheist – what changed your perception?"
Cillian Murphy: "I did a lot of reading, I spoke to those guys a lot, and I was always an agnostic, which I think is a very safe place to be in terms of your faith or lack of... It just seems to me to be irrational that there’s an omnipotent, omnipresent being who was there at the beginning, and will be there forever, it’s not logical, it doesn’t help me as a person..."
Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage
"[A]ctually I'm pretty adamant about, you know, the whole God thing and it seems that skeptics are by and large atheists or something approaching that, which I strongly identify with. So it turned out to be a good thing and I have become enthusiastically part of it." -- Jamie Hyneman
"For me it was pretty simple. I’m actually the fourth generation in my family to have no practical use for the church, or God, or religion. My children continue this trend." -- Adam Savage
Actor and director
"I don't believe in God now, but I can still work up an envy for someone who has a faith. I can see how that could be a deeply soothing experience." -- Jack Nicholson in an 1992 interview in Vanity Fair.
"I resist all established beliefs. My religion basically is to be immediate, to live in the now. It's an old cliché, 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
Stand-up comedian, writer, actor and voice actor
On his December 2004 stand-up special on Comedy Central titled No Reason to Complain, Patton Oswalt said he was a "Stone cold Atheist." On his 2004 comedy album Feelin' Kind of Patton, Oswalt repeats the claim during a routine about the Apocalypse, noting that if one occurred, "I'm wrong and there is a God."
Patton is also credited in the program of Julia Sweeney's monologue Letting Go of God.
"I've got a T-shirt that says, 'Jesus saves,' and the 's' in 'Jesus' is a big dollar sign," he says. "I've worn it here [in America] and had people come up on the street and go, 'You can't wear that.' People in Australia think it's funny. I'm fascinated by religion. I don't believe in God, but the thing I do believe in is that we're all connected. And I guess that's what other people might call God. I don't know enough about religion to really say, but on some level, doesn't everyone just believe in a different version of the same thing?" -- Guy Pearce
English actor, comedian, writer, film producer and director
"As an atheist, I'd skip the prayer and go straight to the colonel, who is arguably the god of affordable, bucket housed fried chicken bits." -- Simon Pegg
Penn and Teller
"The characters and events depicted in the damn bible are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental." -- Penn Jillette
"Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future." -- Penn Jillette
"Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have." -- Penn Jillette
Penn recounts a 1998 appearance on Donny and Marie Osmond's syndicated talkshow: "We were asked to do autographs for Donny and Marie. I wrote, 'There is no god,' and Teller wrote, 'He's right.'"
"..." -- Teller
"I don't believe in god. I don't believe in an afterlife. I don't believe in soul. I don't believe in anything. I think it's totally right for people to have their own beliefs if it makes them happy, but to me it's a pretty preposterous idea." -- Joaquin Phoenix, Nylon Guys magazine, Winter 2008
American actor and producer, best known for the films Fight Club, Se7en and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
When asked if he believed in God, Brad Pitt replied: "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."
"When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self. 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." -- Brad Pitt
American actor and musician
When asked if he thought suicide was selfish Michael Pitt replied: "I see why people think it is, and sometimes I do. And sometimes I don't think it's selfish. I'm probably an atheist, though I was raised a Catholic and that whole religion is based on the first suicide, in many ways."
Polish film director
"I'm totally disinterested, personally, with that sort of thing [the occult]. It does absolutely nothing for me. I'm neither religious nor superstitious. At best I can be counted as an agnostic. Science and technology get me a lot more excited." -- Roman Polanski
Describes himself as an atheist in his autobiography Roman. He intentionally made "Rosemary's Baby" ambiguous so that it can be interpreted as having no genuine supernatural events (all just in Mia Farrow's head).
Canadian actress and director
When asked what directors she admires, Polley talks about Ingmar Bergman and Terrence Malick. She says his Thin Red Line "single-handedly brought me out of a deep depression. It shifted something in me. I'm an atheist, but it was the first time that it gave me faith in other people's faith"
"I don't have faith in anything but my fellow human beings and the world around me. I have strong faith in people, but not beyond people. The world is a beautiful place, it's a beautiful enough place for me to worship and have faith in and--it's enough for me." -- Sarah Polley
Academy Award winning actress
When asked if she believed in an afterlife in the June 20th, 2002 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, Portman replied, "I don't believe in that. I believe this is it, and I believe it's the best way to live."
"Although raised a conservative Methodist, I am, in fact, a liberal atheist. Many people mistake me for Irish." -- Paula Poundstone
"I'm an atheist, so I don't really know where spirituality fits in for me.... A devout atheist." -- Paula Poundstone
English actor. Most notable for his role in the movie productions of the J.K. Rowlings books, Harry Potter
"I'm an atheist, but I'm very relaxed about it. I don't preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do." -- Daniel Radcliffe
Canadian-American actor best known for his portrayal of Neo in The Matrix trilogy
Film star Keanu Reeves, promoting his supernatural thriller Constantine, told a South African newspaper that making the film - about demonic possession - had not caused him to embrace religion, and he still thought of himself as an atheist.
American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian
"I'm not a believer, I call myself an atheist. It was man who invented God. I once wrote that there are 15 things I know about God, and one is that he is allergic to shellfish. There are far too many commandments and you really only need one: Do not hurt anybody." -- Carl Reiner
Screenwriter and producer, best known as the creator of Star Trek
Roddenberry regarded himself as an "agnostic atheist," and banned any religious references from the Star Trek television show.
Actor and comedian famous for his work on Fear Factor and Newsradio
"Despite all the advancements in science, and all things about religion that are disproved it still marches on. The bottom line is that the only real, absolutely provable answers about life and our place in the universe are provided by science, and religion has been holding down science since day one." -- Joe Rogan
"Every single religion that has ever been on the face of the Earth, ever, is a cult. That's all they are. Just a cult with millions of people in them. Meanwhile, they have a bunch of really bad ... stories that require more belief than an episode of 'I Dream of Jeannie.'
"You're supposed to just go along with it. Meanwhile your brain is just spinning, going, 'How is this real?' They will just not listen to logic. To me, that's fascinating that so many people are willing to buy into it. It's be cause people need answers. I'd rather have no answers than a(n) ... answer that makes me an idiot.'" -- Joe Rogan
Punk/rock musician, author, spoken word performer and actor
When asked "Henry, Do you believe in any form of afterlife or form of "God"? Also, what makes you get up out of bed every morning?" Henry responded- "No. Curiosity/anger."
Humorist, American radio and television writer, and commentator best known for his weekly broadcast on the television program 60 Minutes
"Why am I an atheist? I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist? Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated. I resent anyone pushing their religion on me. I don't push my atheism on anybody else. Live and let live. Not many people practice that when it comes to religion." -- Andy Rooney
"I am an atheist... I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense." -- Andy Rooney
English actor and director, best known for his portrayal of SmÃ©agol/Gollum in The Lord of the Rings
"Yes, I am an atheist. [...] In terms of spirituality, I don't want to ram any of my belief systems down my children's throats. What we both say to them is "This is what some people believe, this is what other people believe," and again, allow them to make their own decisions. Absolutism in anything is death. I hope to keep things as open for them as possible, so they question things and examine things for themselves." -- Andy Serkis
Actor, Comedian, and writer
In an interview with Elvis Mitchell aired November 16, 2005 on KCRW, Sarah Silverman says she is "almost positive there's no god" when speaking of reactions to her 'Jesus is Magic' catch-phrase that was printed on a t-shirt.
When asked "Are you an observant Jew?" Sarah Silverman answered: "Nope. I have no religion. I'm only Jewish ethnically. Culturally."
Swedish actor known internationally for his film roles in Angels & Demons, Breaking the Waves and Good Will Hunting
"if a real God were actually so vain as to constantly demand worship, then he would not be worth it." -- Stellan Skarsgard
Robert Smith (The Cure)
British musician, songwriter, singer and guitarist of the band The Cure
"I don't believe in god. I wish I did." -- Robert Smith
"....I used to lay myself open to visions of God, but I never had any. I come from a religious family, and there have been moments when I've felt the oneness of things, but they never last, they fade away, leaving me with the belief that it's only fear that drives people to religion. And I don't think I'm ever going to wake up and know that I was wrong." -- Robert Smith
American filmmaker, director of such films as Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Ocean's Eleven, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Steven Soderbergh siad "I’m a hardcore atheist." State of Independence, by Scotland on Sunday, January 23, 2005.
American comedian and brief stint as co-host of The Man Show
"Whatever unpopular or calloused point of view I have, I can always find someone who wants money for it. I'm bombarded by requests for money from pro-choice and atheist groups, as I'm also a loud atheist. It's not even a cause, it's a theory -- who are you kidding?" -- Doug Stanhope
American radio personality, humorist, television host, author and actor
"Here's what happens when you die--you sit in a box and get eaten by worms. I guarantee you that when you die, nothing cool happens." -- Howard Stern
"I'm sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don't think there's any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock." -- Howard Stern
Co-creator of South Park
During an October 14, 2004 NPR interview on Fresh Air NPR interview, Stone stated: "I'm Jewish simply because... my mom is Jewish... but... I grew up completely secular and completely agnostic... I am the worst Jew in the world. I know nothing about the religion. I'm completely agnostic (my poor mother)."
"I am an atheist, I live my life like I'm an atheist." -- Matt Stone during an interview with ABC News.
American actress, comedian and author best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and for her autobiographical solo shows
"I just became a stronger agnostic, and then I started to realize that everyone who was saying they were agnostic really hadn't thought about it that much. Still, I went with agnosticism for a long, long time because I just hated to say I was an atheist -- being an atheist seemed so rigid. But the more I became comfortable with the word, and the more I read, it started to stick." -- Julia Sweeney
English actress, comedian, and screenwriter
"I'm an atheist; I suppose you can call me a sort of libertarian anarchist. I regard religion with fear and suspicion. It's not enough to say that I don't believe in God. I actually regard the system as distressing: I am offended by some of the things said in the Bible and the Koran, and I refute them." -- Emma Thompson
"I think that the Bible as a system of moral guidance in the 21st century is insufficient, to put it mildly. I feel quite strongly that we need a new moral lodestone if we can't rely on what is inside our own selves. Which I think, actually, is pretty reliable." -- Emma Thompson
Lead singer for Pearl Jam
"I think it's like a movie that was way too popular. It's a story that's been told too many times and just doesn't mean anything. Man lived on the planet -- [placing his fingers an inch apart], this is 5000 years of semi-recorded history. And God and the Bible, that came in somewhere around the middle, maybe 2000. This is the last 2000, this is what we're about to celebrate [indicating about an 1/8th of an inch with his fingers]. Now, humans, in some shape or form, have been on the earth for three million years [pointing across the room to indicate the distance]. So, all this time, from there [gesturing toward the other side of the room], to here [indicating the 1/8th of an inch], there was no God, there was no story, there was no myth and people lived on this planet and they wandered and they gathered and they did all these things. The planet was never threatened. How did they survive for all this time without this belief in God? I'd like to ask this to someone who knows about Christianity and maybe you do. That just seems funny to me." -- Eddie Vedder
"When you're out in the desert, you can't believe the amount of stars. We've sent mechanisms out there, and they haven't found anything. They've found different colors of sand, and rings, and gasses, but nobody's shown me anything that makes me feel secure in what happens afterward. All I really believe in is this moment, like right now." -- Eddie Vedder
Dutch film director, screenwriter, and film producer, filming in both the Netherlands and the United States, best known for RoboCop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, and Starship Troopers
"The Fourth Man has to do with my vision of religion. In my opinion, Christianity is nothing more than one of many interpretations of reality, neither more nor less. Ideally, it would be nice to believe that there is a God somewhere out there, but it looks to me as if the whole Christian religion is a major symptom of schizophrenia in half the world's population: civilizations scrambling to rationalize their chaotic existence. Subsequently, Christianity has a tendency to look like magic or the occult. And I liked that ambiguity, because I wanted my audience to take something home with them. I wanted them to wonder about what religion really is. Remember, that Christianity is a religion grounded in one of the most violent acts of murder, the crucifixion. Otherwise, religion wouldn't have had any kind of impact. With regards to the irony of the violence, much of that probably comes from my childhood experiences during and immediately following the Second World War. In fact, if it hadn't been for the German occupation and then the American occupation, I would have never been a filmmaker." -- Paul Verhoeven
Italian actor, writer, director, and comedian, who often worked with Federico Fellini
"I am an atheist but I am sure a divine zone exists, where certain special machines like Fellini work." -- Paolo Villaggio
Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)
English rock musician
"Please, God - I'm an atheist so maybe I shouldn't be asking God - but let Barack Obama finally win the Democratic nomination and elect a person who seems to be not just enormously intelligent but also deeply humane and seems to have an imagination." -- Roger Waters interviewed by Mark Brown.
Actor and author best known for his roles in Stand by Me and Star Trek: Next Generation
On Wheaton's Twitter page on September 12, 2007, Wheaton Tweeted: "I was a bit upset to recently discover that I have no soul, but it actually dovetails quite nicely with my Atheism."
A screenwriter and director, most famous for creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly
"I will explore [theology] only in so much as people will tend to use it as a metaphor for the way they talk. As an atheist, I'm not going to spend a huge amount of time with it, unless there is a point about the way religion interacts with our humanity that I think needs to be made. You can't stop the Garden of Eden stuff. It keeps coming up because that is the mythos that I was brought up with, and it's very powerful in this place. But, I would say that I'm more interested in the philosophy than the theology of the thing." -- Joss Whedon
An actor best known for his role as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Gene Wilder was the subject of a prolonged interview on "Inside the Actor's Studio." That program was cablecast during Fall of 1998 on Bravo, a US-based cable television network. The instructor-host asked the famous comic actor what heaven is. Wilder responded by saying that he is not sure if heaven exists and immediately added that everyday life can be thought of as heaven.
In the book Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish Gene Wilder states, "Well, I'm a Jewish-Buddhist-Atheist, I guess." He was Jewish in descent and a Godless Buddhist.
American actor, producer, and musician
In a 1998 interview with George Magazine.:
"Organized religions in general, in my opinion, are dying forms," he says. "They were all very important when we didn't know why the sun moved, why weather changed, why hurricanes occurred, or volcanoes happened," he continues. "Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology. But there are people who interpret the Bible literally. Literally!" he says incredulously. "I choose not to believe that's the way. And that's what makes America cool, you know?"
English author, widely regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century
"I have had a most shameful and distressing interview with dear Tom Eliot, who may be called dead to us all from this day forward. He has become an Anglo-Catholic believer in God and immortality, and goes to church. I was shocked. A corpse would seem to me more credible than he is. I mean, there’s something obscene in a living person sitting by the fire and believing in God." -- Virginia Woolf
American musician and composer
"Well, I believe that those energies and processes exist. I just don't think that they've been adequately described or adequately named yet, because people are too willing to make it all into something that supports a religious theory of one flavor or another. If you start defining these things in nuts-and-bolts scientific terms, people reject it because it's not fun, y'know. It takes some of the romance out of being dead ... because of people's desires to have eternal life and to extend their influence from beyond the grave ... all that Houdini type stuff ... but basically, I think when you're dead ... you're dead. It comes with the territory." -- Frank Zappa
"Children are naïve -- they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you're asking for trouble." -- Frank Zappa
Creator of Facebook
Listed ATHEIST under his religious views on his Facebook page.