The American Media Group wrote about celebrity atheists:
|“||Celebrity atheists are everywhere and it’s not hard to wonder why. After all, with so much adulation and praise, entertainers have become their own religious figures in a sense. Their celebrity has become something to worship and actors such as George Clooney and Brad Pitt are at the forefront. These celebs have chosen to forgo a higher power in exchange for something a little more glamorous.||”|
- 1 Celebrity atheist list
- 2 Overlap between celebrity atheists and Hollywood
- 3 Errant celebrity atheists lists
- 4 Celebrity atheist lists and celebrity sports figures
- 5 Atheism and its reliance on celebrity atheists
- 6 Atheism, Christianity and celebrities
- 7 See also
- 8 References
Celebrity atheist list
Below is a list of celebrity atheists :
- Stephen Fry See also: British atheism
- Ricky Gervais
- Penn Jillette (Outspoken weak atheist)
- James Randi (Outspoken weak atheist)
- Woody Allen
- Richard Dawkins, in addition to being a founder of the New Atheism movement, is often referred to as the "world's most famous atheist". But when interviewed, he claims that, on a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is perfect faith in God and 7 is perfect confidence in atheism, he is a 6.9. Despite being an elderly, self-declared agnostic, in his book The God Delusion, Dawkins said that "permanent in agnosticism in principle" is "fence-sitting, intellectual cowardice" (see: Richard Dawkins and agnosticism and Atheism and cowardice). In recent years, Dawkins' popularity has waned (See: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence).
- Bill Nye
- Howard Stern
- Larry King
- Jodie Foster
- Rob Reiner
- Daniel Radcliffe
- Gene Roddenberry
- Kathy Griffin
- Hugh Hefner (See also: Atheism and pornography)
- Larry Flynt
- Katharine Hepburn
- Billy Joel
- Jesse Ventura
- Julianne Moore
- Seth McFarlane
- Ani Defranco
- Emma Thompson
- David Cross
- Kiera Knightly
- Patton Oswalt
- Rodney Dangerfield
- Sir Denis Forman
New Atheism and celebrity atheists
The article Why the arguments of the ‘New Atheists’ are often just as violent as religion states:
|“|| Celebrity atheists such as Richard Dawkins appear to claim the moral high ground when it comes to violence. Dawkins, along with Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens, insist that because religion is intrinsically violent, then atheism is inherently more pacific. After all, if all the evils in the world can be blamed on religion, then arguably eliminating religion is not only desirable but a moral obligation for atheists who believe in peace.
Yet our research shows that in the War on Terror, these atheists have been surprisingly willing to align themselves with policies which are at least as violent – and in some cases more so – than many of those perpetrated in the name of religion...
Their arguments are not new. But, unlike more ponderous academic atheist philosophers, they seemingly cultivated combative and acerbic, media-savvy personae. Their success at writing bestselling books, giving engaging public talks and cultivating a global following through social media, has made them minor celebrities. For example, Dawkins has been depicted in South Park, Family Guy and The Simpsons – and even made a cameo appearance in Dr. Who.
Overlap between celebrity atheists and Hollywood
For example, an article in The Daily Illini (a newspaper at the University of Illinois) indicated: "It’s awards season yet again, and I for one feel overwhelmed with the amount of awards shows that seem to exist purely for stoking the already inflated egos of Hollywood."
Errant celebrity atheists lists
Many celebrity/famous atheists lists have a tendency to inflate their list by claiming agnostics to be atheists or even claiming theists as being atheists (see: Atheists inflating the number of atheists and Atheism and deception).
Part of the problem is the some atheists/agnostics give vague responses in relation to the existence of God when asked which is partly due to much of the public having unfavorable views towards atheists (see: Views on atheists and Distrust of atheists and Closet atheist). Also, there are various definitions of atheism.
Celebrity atheist lists and celebrity sports figures
Celebrity atheists lists are extremely sparse when it comes to very well-known celebrity atheist athletes.
On the other hand, Christianity/theism has an abundance of well-known sports athletes associated with it. And Christian athletes commonly ascribe their success to God's blessing and thank God for their victories.
Atheism and its reliance on celebrity atheists
The Scientology cult uses celebrities to recruit followers (see also: Atheist cults). Vox Day noted that the cult of personality surrounding Richard Dawkins is similar to the cult of Scientology (See: Richard Dawkins' cult of personality).
Stratfor Advisory Services, which provide global enterprises predictive, customized intelligence assessments, wrote about violent ideologies and their recruitment methods:
|“|| A few weeks ago I wrote about how uncannily similar today's jihadists are to the anarchists who came a century before them...
For one, both types of terrorists rely on celebrity ideologues to recruit and radicalize new followers. Consider the modern jihadist movement, which has trotted out a procession of thought leaders to fill its ranks and fundraise.
Secular leftism has a history of being violent and murderous (see: Atheism and mass murder). See also: Atheism and violence and Left-wing violence in the Trump era and Donald Trump and American atheists and Intolerance of militant atheism and militant Islam
As far as atheism and anarchism, according to the website The Atheist Scholar:
|“|| Most anarchists, past and present, are atheists. Their slogan is: “No god, No master.”
Quotations from famous anarchists, William Godwin to Voltairene de Clerye, all theorists and/or activists against religion and god.
Most scholars agree that in 19th Century America, freethought was basically anti-Christian and anti-clerical, whose goal was to free each individual spiritually and politically to make personal decisions about religion.
The anarchists maintained that “Where there is authority, there is no freedom.”
|“|| But to me the speakers and talks have often seemed repetitive: the same crew of jet-set skeptics giving the same talks.
...a few things bothered me, most notably the air of self-congratulation (which I excused on the grounds of enthusiastic people finding like-minded folks for the first time), the “fanboyness” directed at some of the famous atheists (they hardly let poor Richard alone, and I’m not sure he liked that!), and the lameness of quite a few of the talks. Again, how much new can you say about atheism?
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of individuals in which the quest for harmony/conformity within the group results in irrational and/or poor decision-making.
|“|| We've seen various cliques emerge, some of which have largely abandoned critical thinking for dogma. This mutual admiration society strikes me as being antithetical to free thought, as similar ideas are rewarded through promotion while diverse perspectives receive less attention. This sets the stage for a type of groupthink that runs counter to big tent atheism...
By elevating some in our movement to the level of celebrities, I fear we have cheapened it through irrational hero worship.
In 2018, the atheist PZ Myers wrote: "I noticed the “troubling turn” about 8 years ago, as more and more atheists began to rally around two themes: the Glorious Leaders who were fonts of inarguable Reason & Logic, and a definition of atheism that exempted them from all social responsibility or ethical obligation."
Atheism, Christianity and celebrities
See also: Atheism and the media
Hollywood has hostility towards biblical Christianity and Christians
- Conservapedia articles on atheists
- Atheism and public relations
- Attempts to positively rebrand atheism
- Atheism and leadership
- Famous atheists
- January 30, 2012 CBS Stephen Fry interview with Charlie Rose
- NO FAITH, NO PROBLEM! THE 21 MOST FAMOUS CELEBRITY ATHEISTS
- Brad Pitt says he's given up on atheism and 'clings to religion'
- List of atheists in film, radio, television and theater
- BBC Radio 4 – Factual — Desert Island Discs — Ricky Gervais.
- 23 Celebrities Who Don't Believe In A Higher Power.
- Penn Jillette - National Public Radio
- The Course of Reason: I Expose Penn Jillette’s Logic Trick, Center for Inquiry
- The Amazing James Randi
- Richard Dawkins: I can't be sure God does not exist, The Telegraph
- Bingham, John. "Richard Dawkins: I can't be sure God does not exist", February 24, 2012. Retrieved on February 24, 2012.
- The God Delusion, page 70
- Bill Nye Insults the World: “Creationists” Have “Small Brains”, Evolution News
- Cedar, Joshua (September 19, 2017). Bill Nye: Science Guy or Secular Activist? Answers in Genesis. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
- Humanists hold 69th annual conference San Jose, California. Website AHA. American Humanist Association (June 3, 2010). Retrieved on December 31, 2014.
- Howard Stern - 25 celebrities who are atheists
- Norm Macdonald & Larry King - Norm Macdonald Live - Video Podcast Network. YouTube (April 30, 2013).
- Howard Stern and Larry King on Atheism and Homosexuality by Michael Shoesmith, Wednesday, May 7, 2014
- "Debra Ollivier: Rob Reiner On The Magic Of Belle Isle And 'Living Your Life Until You Can't'", Huffingtonpost.com, June 23, 2012. Retrieved on October 11, 2012.
- "We're not equal? How are we not equal?" Rob Reiner on Real Time with Bill Maher, in response to Maher's statement, "I would argue atheists are [not considered equal under the law]". Maher then stated, "For a group that is about 17 percent now... no representation in congress..." to which Reiner replied, "You're right about that-that we don't have that representation. I include myself in that same 17 percent...." "Real Time with Bill Maher".
- Gene Roddenberry
- Myths About Christianity
- Blase DiStefano. "Foul-Mouthed and Funny", OutSmart, June 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-01. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
- 10 celebs you didn't know were atheists, Salon 2-23-2010
- Flynt writes, "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism": see the epilogue of Flynt and Ross
- "I am not saying he don't believe in God. I am just saying I don't believe in God. That puts me at odds with him." Larry King Live, January 10, 1996
- Hepburn stated "I'm 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 people" in the October 1991 issue of Ladies' Home Journal 
- 'ATHEIST DAY' 2018: BILLY JOEL, EMMA THOMPSON AND MORE ON WHY GOD MAY NOT EXIST, Newsweek
- Jesse Ventura - I am an atheists and proud to say it
- Actress Julianne Moore Briefly Mentions Her Atheism in an Interview
- Hungover with Seth MacFarlane
- Rothschild, Matthew (May 9, 2000). "Ani DiFranco – folk singer – Interview". The Progressive. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008.
- Emma Thompson: I am an atheist because religions oppress many women
- Keira Knightley
- Rodney Dangerfield
- "The more significant was Granada's Adam Smith the following year, with Keir as a bereaved Church of Scotland minister seeking the meaning of life. Though written by Trevor Griffiths under a nom-de-plume, it owed much of its character to Sir Denis Forman, by this time Granada's chairman and himself a son of the manse – Adam was his father's first name. Sir Denis is also a convinced atheist, and the series, which at first went out on Sunday evenings as a religious offering, became so doubting that it had to be switched to an ordinary outlet." Philip Purser, 'Obituary: Andrew Keir', The Guardian, October 7, 1997, Pg. 14.
- Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21. Retrieved on July 30, 2014.
- NEWSWEEK Poll: 90% Believe in God, Newsweek 2007
- Why the arguments of the ‘New Atheists’ are often just as violent as religion
- The perception of atheists as narcissistic, Dubendorff, S. J., & Luchner, A. F. (2017), Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 9(4), 368-376.
- [COLUMN: Stop giving celebrities so many awards – their egos are big enough], The Daily Illini
- Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions
- Athletes Who Live Their Faiths: A Newsmax List, NewsMax
- 20 athletes who are vocal about their faith
- Strength of Religious Faith of Athletes and Nonathletes at Two NCAA Division III Institutions
- Sappell, Joel. "The Courting of Celebrities", Los Angeles Times, June 25, 1990, p. A18:5. Retrieved on 2006-06-06.
- Shaw, William. "What do Tom Cruise and John Travolta know about Scientology that we don't?", The Daily Telegraph, February 14, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-06-25.
- The Cult of Dicky Dawkins
- To Kill an Ideology By Scott Stewart, VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
- Anarchism, Website: The Atheist Scholar
- Are there too many atheist meetings? by Jerry Coyne
- Feeling Disillusioned With the Atheist Movement, Atheist Revolution
- Get out of my head, Eiynah! by PZ Myers
- A shambolic atheist community faces some tough choices by Denyse O'Leary
- "Smoking gun proof that there is an atheist media bias" (July 17, 2008). YouTube video, 2:56, posted by Atheism Sucks! Retrieved on July 25, 2014.
- Hollywood’s Immoral Agenda by Billy Graham Association
- Hollywood's Anti-Christian Bias