So Ricky Gervais penned an article for the WSJ discussing his reasons for claiming the banner of atheism. He says:
“So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869.”
Couldn’t have said it better. Only Richard Dawkins did:
“We are all atheists about most of the gods humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”
Good company for Ricky. Of course he didn’t get everything right. For all of Ricky’s smarts, he gives religion a pass where it matters most:
“As an atheist, I see nothing “wrong” in believing in a god. I don’t think there is a god, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me. It’s when belief starts infringing on other people’s rights when it worries me. I would never deny your right to believe in a god. I would just rather you didn’t kill people who believe in a different god, say. Or stone someone to death because your rulebook says their sexuality is immoral.”
The belief in god has a history of violence – violence with other believers in gods and believers in no gods. All Abrahamic religions have violent scriptures and teachings. I can’t speak to others, and I won’t make assumptions. Ricky almost gives them a pass here. “don’t kill people who believe in a different god”? (John 15:6); “stone someone to death”? (Leviticus 20:13). All believers in the Abrahamic religions are mandated to do these things per Leviticus 26: 14-39 or the believer will be killed.
That is why I don’t believe.