The list: Famous Atheists
There are many celebrities who have openly professed their religion and stressed the importance faith and God has in their lives. We also frequently hear about stars that find religion and their lives are forever changed. Sometimes these conversions even compel celebrities to turn down roles, renounce their previous behavior and ultimately shed their bad boy (or girl) image. Recently we saw ‘Two and a Half Men’ star Angus Jones turn such a corner in his life when he converted to the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
There are also many celebrities, however, who don’t believe in any organized religion or the concept of a God. Some profess to be agnostic, meaning they do not know – and in some cases don’t even care – if there is a higher power.
Daniel Day-Lewis, for instance, has said he isn’t sure if he believes in God and is a ‘die-hard agnostic.’ And while Bill Maher is known for being a relentless critic of organized religion of any kind, he himself has stated he doesn’t really know or care if God exists or not. But there are also those famous names that go beyond such an uncertain approach and flat-out deny the existence of a God or gods at all.
Take a look at the famous names that are also atheists.
Actress Amber Heard was raised Catholic but became an atheist in high school after she lost her best friend in a car crash.
“My very best friend died in a car accident when I was 16 years old. That was the hardest blow emotionally that I have ever had to endure. Suddenly you realize tomorrow might not come. Now I live by the motto, ‘Today is what I have.'”
Despite being born in a methodist hospital, Lance Armstrong has said that, while he respects organized religion, he never personally felt the need for faith. He claims that he has no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science.
Actress Keira Knightley has stated her atheism pushes her to be more responsible for her own actions. She once said, “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. It sounds much better than having to live with guilt.”
During a 2002 interview on “Inside the Actor’s Studio”, when Julianne Moore was asked what she would say to God after death she replied, “Wow, I was wrong, you really do exist.”
Moore is also a pro-choice activist, and sits on the board of advocates for Planned Parenthood.
Brad Pitt and Angelina
Celebrity power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have both made statements expressing their disbelief in a higher power.
When asked about her belief in God, Angelina Jolie stated, “Hmm… For some people. I hope so, for them. For the people who believe in it, I hope so. There doesn’t need to be a God for me. There’s something in people that’s spiritual, that’s godlike. I don’t feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don’t really know if it’s better to just not believe in anything, either.”
When asked a similar question, Brad Pitt said, “No, no, no! I’m probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent 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.”
Director James Cameron refused to read the Lord’s Prayer in school when a kid. In his biography “The Futurist”, written by Rebecca Meegan he stated, “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.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais has said he doesn’t believe in God but lives his life like there is one.
During one of his stand up routines, he said this about religion, “Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.”
“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.”
Many Evangelical Christians believe the series “Harry Potter” to be sacrilegious. They where even more outraged when the titular actor, Daniel Radcliffe, confessed that he does not believe in a higher power.
He once said, “I’m an atheist, and a militant atheist when religion starts impacting on legislation.”
Despite the fact that Warren Buffet had a religious upbringing, he was said to have been, “too mathematical, too logical, to make the leap of faith.”
As a known philanthropist, Buffet has given 85% of his $40 billion fortune to charities none of which, have religious affiliation like United Way.
When asked if he was religious, actor Paul Giamatti replied, “I consider myself an atheist. My wife is Jewish and I’m fine with my son being raised as a Jew. He’s learning Hebrew and is really into it. I will talk to my son about my atheism when the time is right. But there’s a great tradition of Jewish atheism, there are no better atheists in the world than the Jews.”
Jodie Foster is not religious but she has exposed her family to multiple religious ceremonies. In an interview she stated, “People are always surprised when I say that I’m an atheist…In my home, we ritualize all of them. We do Christmas. We do Shabbat on Fridays. We love Kwanzaa. I take pains to give my family a real religious basis, a knowledge, because it’s being well educated. You need to know why all those wars were fought.”