Penn Jillette

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A National Public Radio reviewer of one of atheist Penn Jillette's books found the book "showy and assaultive" in terms of its use of profanity.[1] See: Atheism and profanity

Penn Fraser Jillette (born March 5, 1955 in Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA) is an illusionist, juggler and Libertarian activist. He is best known for his work with fellow illusionist Teller in the team of Penn & Teller. The duo often perform in Las Vegas and have their own TV show Penn & Teller:Bull**** on the Showtime channel.

Penn Jillette is an outspoken weak atheist which is a form of agnostic ( See: Attempts to dilute the definition of atheism).[2][3]

Involvement in the Brights Movement

The Brights Movement was started in 2003 by Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell in 2003 in order to assist in the advocacy of a naturalistic worldview.[4][5] The Brights movement had a media campaign and was announced in Wired magazine (by Richard Dawkins), Free Inquiry (by Richard Dawkins), and on the New York Times op-ed page (by the philosopher and atheist Daniel Dennett).

Well known skeptics and atheists are listed as "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website.[6] Examples of individuals listed as Brights are notable skeptics/atheists such as: Penn Jillette, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Margaret Downy, James Randi, Mel Lipman, Bobbie Kirkhart, Herb Silverman, Michael Shermer, Matt Cherry, and Babu Gogineni.[7][8]

The ABC commentator John Allen Paulos remarked of the “brights” campaign, “I don’t think a degree in public relations is needed to expect that many people will construe the term as smug, ridiculous, and arrogant.”[9]

Unlike the skeptic Michael Shermer who had second thoughts after endorsing the Brights Movement, Penn Jillette has never publicly denounced the Bright Movement for its smugness and remains listed on on its website as an "Enthusiastic Bright" (See: Atheism and arrogance).[10][11]

Popular YouTube Christian Shockofgod on Brights Movement

Shockofgod pointed out that although Penn Jillette is an "enthusiastic bright", the website of the Brights Movement has plunging web traffic according to[12][13]. Shockofgod quipped that it appears as if his prediction that atheism will go from "a squeak to half a squeak in American society" due to the Question evolution! campaign is being fullfilled faster than he expected. The video with the prediction is located on YouTube HERE.

National Public Radio on atheist Penn Jillette's profanity laced book

See also: Atheism and profanity

A National Public Radio's review of Penn Jillette's book God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales declared:

The problem with the book is that that same vibrancy, that same exuberance, eventually becomes performative and exhausting. Jillette's adoration of profanity is shared by plenty of great writers, and I absolutely believe in a "well-tempered *#@!-word,"... But there are places in this particular book where it feels showy and assaultive, as if the millionth *#@! will make a duck drop from the ceiling. As much as I enjoy profanity wielded for proper effect, that's how much I don't like it slathered on just to add a gratuitous sense of rebellion, just to rile up the kind of people you want to dislike your book.[14]

For more information, please see: Atheism and profanity

Debate challenge from a leading Christian YouTube channel

See also: Atheism and cowardice and Shockofgod's debate challenge to atheist Penn Jillette

Logo for the Shockofgod YouTube channel

On September 26, 2011, the popular Christian YouTube video maker Shockofgod, who has over 18,000 subscribers, challenged atheist Penn Jillette to a debate.VIDEO. The debate challenge focuses on the 15 questions that evolutionists cannot satisfactorily answer.

On September 3, 2012, Shockofgod challenged Jillette to debate the question "Does God exist?" a second time.[15]

Shockofgod fan comments about Penn Jillette ignoring debate challenge

Penn Jillette has been contacted about the debate challenge via Twitter, YouTube and email.

Shockofgod fan: "He's watching. trust me. Most Atheists are obsessed with the TRUTH, they just don't like it."[2]

Shockofgod fan: "Come on Penn, you even WANT people to debate because our opinions on the existence of God are too important to keep private!"[3]

Debate challenge from Christian apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate

See also: Atheism and cowardice and Sye Ten Bruggencate's debate challenge to atheist Penn Jillette

The Christian apologetist Ken Ammi in an article entitled Will atheist Penn Jillette debate Christian Sye Ten Bruggencate? wrote:

Sye Ten Bruggencate, of the website Proof That God Exists, has challenged Penn Jillette to a Christian versus atheist debate on God’s existence.
The Christian apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate has challenged Penn Jillette to a debate and Jillette has not accepted his debate challenge.

Penn Jillette is not merely a Las Vegas legend, as an illusionist, but also adheres to (and proselytizes for) the positive affirmation of God’s non-existence sect of atheism having stated, “I know there’s no God,” for example.

One would think that an illusionist who has made a name and a career intelligently designing shows that have dazzled audiences for decades would know that life, the universe and everything do not just happen. Yet, rebellion knows no boundaries and every atheist concocts consoling delusions—or, consoling illusions.

You may recall Sye from a previous article, Atheism’s debategate: on the Sye Ten Bruggencate vs. Justin Schieber debate and you may be aware that on occasion Penn Jillette has some positive things to say about Christians (such as in Penn Jillette Lays it Down). However, just as often he uses compliments as an open door to challenge Christians, in a good way, yet the goal is always the same: open the door just enough to squeeze in and preach the pseudo-gospel of atheism.

We will just to just wait and see how Penn Jillette responds, for now let us spread the word about this challenge. [16]

Challenge to debate the existence of God by a Conservapedian

In August 2011, Penn Jillette was challenged to debate the existence of God by a Conservapedian. [17] Like the debate offers from Shockofgod and Christian apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate, Penn Jillette refused to accept the debate offer. [18]

Historically, atheists often engage in mockery rather than discussion/debate and they often react poorly when satire/humor is directed at atheist ideology (see: Atheism and mockery).[19][20][21]

Atheists Penn and Teller produced a poorly reasoned video disputing the veracity of the Bible which used low grade humor and it was entitled "The Bible is bull****""."[22] (see also: Atheism and the Bible and Bible apologetics website resources). Yet, after producing two videos after being listed in Conservapedia's atheism and obesity article and having a debate challenge directed his way which employed some humor, atheist Penn Jillette posted a video on the internet which declared:

I didn't really read the stuff so I guess I can't really comment...

I don't tend to react to satire, or sarcasm or irony, I pretty much say what I mean and that is what I react to the most... I do know people and love people who believe...who are Christians and who have belief and who believe this stuff strongly, and as much as I want to argue with them, I don't want to show them disrespect. And I will say that's a ****ing stupid argument, but that's not disrespect.[23]

See also: Atheist hypocrisy

Donald Trump on Penn Jillette

Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: "I loved firing goofball atheist Penn @pennjillette on The Apprentice. He never had a chance. Wrote letter to me begging for forgiveness."[24]

See also

Comedy/satire concerning Penn Jillette:

External Links


  1. National Public Radio [NPR) review of the book God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette
  2. Penn Jillette - National Public Radio
  3. The Course of Reason: I Expose Penn Jillette’s Logic Trick, Center for Inquiry
  7. Penn and Teller listing - Enthusiastic Brights at Brights Movement website
  8. Enthusiastic Brightt - Brights Movement website
  9. Not Too “Bright", Skeptical Enquirer, Chris Mooney, October 15, 2003
  10. Penn and Teller listing - Enthusiastic Brights at Brights Movement website
  11. Not Too “Bright", Skeptical Enquirer, Chris Mooney, October 15, 2003
  12. [Atheism's future not bright at all]
  13. [1]
  14. National Public Radio [NPR) review of the book God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette
  15. Christian turn Penn Jillette into a chicken
  16. Will atheist Penn Jillette debate Christian Sye Ten Bruggencate?
  17. Penn Jillette on the debate challenge
  18. Penn Jillette on the debate challenge
  19. Charlie Hebdo and France’s Irreligious Tradition by Kenneth R. Weinstein]
  20. Dawkins: Mock them. Ridicule them! In public
  21. Mockery - the M.O. for atheists by Matt Barber
  22. Penn & Teller - The Bible is Bull****
  23. Penn Point - Conservapedia or Troll Site? - Penn Point
  24. Donald Trump Calls Penn Jillette A “Goofball Atheist”