Atheist of the Day: Ricky Gervais
Today's Atheist of the Day is also from show business. Ricky Gervais is best known for writing and acting in the British version of TV series The Office. He tells a great atheism conversion story (from rickygervais.com):
I remember the day I became an atheist," says Gervais. "I was doing my homework. I'd been to Sunday school from the age of five to eight. I had gold stars and used to win Jason in the Lion's Den books, and everything was great. And, er, I fÇÇ"ing loved Jesus, I thought he was brilliant. What a great man." Then his brother Bob, who was 19, came in and took an interest in the homework. He asked Ricky why he believed in God 'and my mum got nervous. My mum went, 'Bob' [in a warning voice] and I thought, something's up. Then he went, 'Well, what proofis there?' My mum said, 'Of course there's a God.' He went, 'No, I'mjust asking.' And I said something ludicrous: they've found evidence, they've found his blood in a bottle. I was just guessing. And Bob laughed. I could tell just by looking, that he was telling the truth and my mum was lying. I knew the truth in that instant. That's why I put such a value in body language."His atheism is also ducmented at his Wikipedia entry:
Gervais is an atheist. In an interview given to John Humphrys he said, "Being an atheist makes someone a clearer-thinking, fairer person... They [atheists] are not doing things to be rewarded in heaven; they're doing things because they're right, because they live by a moral code". He also added that, although he doesn't believe, God (if he exists) would like him .. Andy Millman, the character he plays in his and Merchants sitcom Extras, also holds this view.