I love this quote from Penn Jillette and a wonderful interview.
The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don't want to do that. Right now, without any god, I don't want to jump across this table and strangle you. I have no desire to strangle you. I have no desire to flip you over and rape you. You know what I mean?
Ron Bennington: Now what do you say to people though that say, whether or not there’s an afterlife, it’s still important to have this because it keeps us morally based, it keeps us family based and even at the end of this life, if nothing happens, it’s still good to have these set of rules.
Penn Jillette: Well, you know, God told Abraham to kill his son, and his proof of Abraham’s devotion was his willingness to kill his son. Jesus says very clearly, “abandon your father and mother, abandon your children and come with me.” There’s nothing pro-family about Christianity. That is all layered on. That is all-American. The American Christian church has a great deal of family values, but those aren’t found in the Bible, those aren’t in the root material. We have a lot of evidence, [Christopher] Hitchens, a good friend of mine, we miss him all the time, but Hitchens had a standing offer for a religious person to name a moral thing that was done in the name of religion that had not been done by an atheist. All of your self-sacrifice, all of the help for communities, have all been done by religious people and by atheists. But I’ll tell one story that I just love, I brought a date once, because this is the kind of guy I am, to hear an atheist speaker. We’re sitting there in a college-type atmosphere, probably about 150 people in the audience, and I even forgot who it was speaking because there were a lot of people that day, it might have been [Michael] Shermer, and he speaks and he finished and he opens the floor up to questions. The person on the other side of my date stands up and says, “Well if there’s no God, what’s to stop me from raping and killing everyone around me?” And my date raised her hand and said, “May I change my seat?” [Laughter]
Ron Bennington: But maybe it’s because we distrust each other, we’re so afraid of other humans, that we have that, you know?
Penn Jillette: It’s amazing, and I always bring this up, that religion is for people who kind of at some level don’t like people. And I love people. And I think if you take the 7 billion people on the planet and you round it off, about 7 billion of them are good. To find bad people is really difficult. Not people doing bad things, but really bad people who get up in the morning and say, How can I fuck people up? That’s a really rare thing. Misguided, you know, mistaken, but I just can’t understand how this view of humanity that all we want to do is horrible things to each other and it’s just this belief in something else that stops us. And that that is what you see over and over again through the Bible. There’s reward and punishment but there’s no – I mean, nothing feels better than helping someone out. I mean, there’s nothing better, nothing better in the world than someone whose life was fucked up and you do a little something and now their life isn’t. I mean, you can talk about the joy of sex, hedonistic joys of food, and you can talk about the joy with your children, but man, someone is going through a hard time and you help them out, man you feel good for months.
Read the rest here.
Thank you Luara for your input - enjoyed reading your response.
Also, when religious people and atheists have this conversation - which is an old conversation - neither is understanding the other!
The religious person doesn't understand that becoming atheist doesn't mean losing that sense of rightness - it means the sense of goodness goes back into themselves.
The atheist doesn't understand that for the religious person, that sense of rightness and goodness has become externalized into "God".
this atheist understands... waaaay more than say 10- years back..
when i just thought folks were mentally ill mostly.. or racist because of parents...
seems to have gone into the realms of organized crime.. but they don't hear me.
imagine all that tax free land. and huge place to store stuff.. what would a corrupted mexican official love more!?!? store that crack! pffffft..
human traffic much? illegal slave labor for Koch bros much? ha. cya #OCCUPY
I didn't become an atheist- I think I was born that way.
Many religious people view humankind as endued with original sin and a fallen nature that's only remedied by the conversion they've experienced.
It's axiomatic (to them) that this sinful nature will lead to rape, jaywalking, and invading Poland.
I have known ex-fundamentalists that kept that frame of reference after losing the faith, and ran around trying to catch up on all the sinning they were previously denied.
It can take awhile to detox from that way of thinking.
it's a fear factor too.. (((capitalism's in bed with faith dugh))))
the fear of being homeless.. but jesus was haaaa sigh...
The irony of this is that I see almost the same argument from atheists when discussing the benefits of a more libertarian government. "Without (a mind numbing sea of government) regulations, society will fall into barbarism."
Having read other things he's written, I suspect Jillette would appreciate that point.
...the benefits of a more libertarian government.
Jay, I'm glad you said more libertarian and not just libertarian.
A friend who was a libertarian activist asked me to register Libertarian to get the Party on the state (Calif.) ballot. I did so and right away re-registered Dem.
I teased him a bit, about how he felt when a major party stole an LP issue. His face lit up and he told me he hopes the major stea; more LP issues.
Some years ago I heard an attorney tease a libertarian activist with "Libertarians want to repeal all laws but those against bribery."
I can be less tactful; I tell people that Libertarians want to return to the Law of the Jungle.
From an evolutionary perspective, Jungle Law would strengthen the species but we've been there and have moved beyond it to a more gentle morality.
post more quotes here
Everyone without an agenda can easily see that is more reasonable to believe in God based on science. There has never been in the history of mankind more proofs for the existence of God than now.
It is impossible to prove God does not exist, or that he does. It is easy to prove that it is more reasonable to believe that he does exist.
John, you've said the reasonableness of a god's existence is easy to prove.
Can you do it?
Is it reasonable as well that this god is a male, and is not a god of the gaps?
Neurology is already demonstrating the non-existence of God, or more precisely, that God is an illusion.
We have already solved many of the unanswered questions of where morals and ethics come from, and it has been demonstrated from studies into the minds of many species of animal that morality and ethics are evolution based for the survival of the species.
Group dwellers have a natural reason not to harm and to assist their own for survival of the group. Apes assassinate or excommunicate rapists, because only the leader is allowed to propagate in some gorilla species.
There is evidence that apes fantasize and masturbate over these fantasies, though subjective, not conclusive as yet.
The only evidence for god is subjective, which means without verification.
Neurology is finding real evidence that religion comes from inside the human mind and not from the outside (cosmic consciousness, godhead, etc...)
We are delusional animals and some of those delusions produce religious concepts.
That is only natural, but the God it creates is imaginary only.
Such is the basis of all religion, imaginary fantasy!
Yes, Neurology will one day destroy religion by finding how God(s) are created within the brain structures only.