Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Why Ricky Gervais is an Atheist, and Why I Agree With Him

Ricky Gervais, the British comedian behind such series as The Office and Extras, has some interesting ideas.  He is a self-confessed atheist, as anyone who follows him on Twitter would know, and wrote a great insight into why he holds this view back at the end of 2010.

In fact he has some very valid ideas and points and I agree with him on many of them:

  • "The existence of God is not subjective. He either exists or he doesn’t."
    Agreed.  Truth is truth, if you believe something that isn't true, it doesn't make it true...
  • "From what I can gather, pretty much the worst type of person you can be is an atheist. The first four commandments hammer this point home. There is a god, I’m him, no one else is, you’re not as good and don’t forget it. (Don’t murder anyone, doesn’t get a mention till number 6.)"
    There's an interesting point here; not that atheists are any 'worse a type of person' than someone else but that it's the first four commandments that  that God takes most seriously and that people (in general, Christians or not) ignore the most.  It's not necessarily what you do that makes you good or bad but your relationship with your Creator.
  • "Well, nearly. 75 percent of Americans are God-­‐fearing Christians; 75 percent of prisoners are God-­‐fearing Christians. 10 percent of Americans are atheists; 0.2 percent of prisoners are atheists."
    Indeed, just being labelled a Christian, a Hindu or an atheist doesn't mean you will or will no likely end up in jail, be 'good' or 'bad' or anything.
  • "If mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa?"
    An important question, from both sides, as discussed in the past...

However, Ricky pinpoints the moment when he decided that God indeed didn't exist, as his mother had always told him, when his brother asked him for a reason for his belief.  Ricky's problem was that he never met anyone who truly knew God when he was growing up.  He was always told to believe and so he did but since no one gave him a reason to believe, he had none.

What he does 'believe' in is science, which "seeks the truth...for better or worse it finds things humble...knows what it knows and what it doesn't know".  This gives him the "gifts of truth, science, nature" and a long list of things he likes as a reason to live.

The problem is, these things won't last and they will never truly satisfy, they will ultimately disappoint.  Indeed life itself will not last, no matter how hard you try.  Many have tried to figure out a way around these problems but only one man has had any authority over it, the God-man Jesus.  Ricky Gervais looked up to him as a hero when he was young, more so than God himself.  If he had met someone who truly knew God, he would have learnt that this superhero in fact was God.

Jesus evidenced his deity by performing miracles, leading an exemplary life and teaching with authority, yet was murdered innocently.  He then rose again, fulfilling the prophecies of God's people before him.  Science, which seeks the truth, finds things out and knows what it knows, will tell you that this story is real and that means we must take notice of what Jesus had to say.

He says God is the only thing that can satisfy, God is the reason to live and God certainly exists.  He also gives perspective on what life is really about ("beer and pizza" is involved but it isn't the main purpose of life...) and what happens after it.  Billions of people throughout the world and history testify that what he said is true.

It's a real shame that no one has ever explained this to Ricky.  He has a great understanding of the ideas I mentioned at the beginning but has been so affected by the "brainwashing" his mother gave him as a child that he is now immune to it.

If this is similar to you, I'd urge you to look into the life and claims of Jesus again from a fresh perspective, from a mature point of view.  Don't let the confusion of growing up stop you from discovering a possible life-changing story.