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, Libertarian activist and atheist 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: 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 News.com 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]

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.[12]

For more information, please see: Atheism and profanity

Penn Jilette on Christian evangelism and Hell

See also: Atheism and Hell

Penn Jillette said about Christian evangelism and Hell:

I’ve always said,” Jillette explained, “I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe there is a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward.

“How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

Jillette then offered this example to illustrate his point: “If I believed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe it, that that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point that I tackle you, and this is more important than that.”

“This guy was a really good guy. He was polite, honest, and sane, and he cared enough about me to proselytize and give me a Bible.”[13]

Donald Trump on Penn Jillette

See also: Donald Trump and American atheists

Jillette voted for Hillary Clinton in a vote swapping arrangement with someone who voted for Gary Johnson.[14]

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."[15]

Although Penn Jillette admitted that being on The Apprentice helped his career tremendously, he claims he was unfairly denied winning his competition on the show.[16][17]

Notes