Tag Archives: Hollywood

Notable Atheist: David Cronenberg

From an interview in Film Threat, February 1997.

Q: Most of your films deal with various characters’ personal spirituality, yet you have never dealt directly with religion.

A: The reason why is that I’m not interested. You’re absolutely right. For me, it’s not even worth discussion. It doesn’t interest me. It interests me only to be discarded. If I start there, I’m mired in a discussion that is very unfruitful to me. I’m simply a non-believer and have been forever. To discuss religion is to put me in a debate with myself. I’m interested in saying, “Let us discuss the existential question. We are all going to die, that is the end of all consciousness. There is no afterlife. There is no God. Now what do we do.” That’s the point where it starts getting interesting to me. If I have to go back and say, “What if there is a God?” then I’m doing a debate that is not very interesting. You have to create one character who believes and another that doesn’t. It’s not an issue.

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Notable Atheist: 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. 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.” 

“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?”

 

“The truth hidden below the surface of the story is a hard one: Nothing makes any sense. We do not get what we deserve. If we are lucky, we get more. If we are unlucky, we get less. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. That’s the system. All of our philosophies are a futile attempt to explain it. Let me tell you a story. Not long ago, I was in the middle of a cheerful conversation when I slipped on wet wax, landed hard, and broke bones in my left shoulder. I was in a fool’s paradise of happiness, you see, not realizing that I was working without a net–that in a second my happiness would be rudely interrupted.

I could have hit my head and been killed. Or landed better and not been injured. At best, what we can hope for is a daily reprieve from all of the things that can go wrong. And yet, even so, there is a way to find happiness. That is to be curious about all of the interlocking events that add up to our lives. To notice connections. To be amused or perhaps frightened by the ways things work out. If the universe is indifferent, what a consolation that we are not.”

 

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Notable Atheist: Brad Pitt

“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.”

 

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Notable Atheist: Katherine Hepburn

“I am 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 other people.” 

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