No God in Vegas

Penn Jillette, God, No!, 2011

This is subtitled,
Signs you may already be an atheist. It’s funny, when it’s talking about belief. Also funny when Penn is reminiscing about sex — and there’s a lot of that, so you don’t necessarily want to have your kids read the whole thing. But definitely they should read some of it!

Here are some of the high points (in addition to the ones I noted
in my blog a couple of days ago):

On atheism: “Where is the humility in being a theist? There is none” (Kindle Location 145). “I will never hit the level of blasphemy that’s required for someone to pray to god for their family’s pet dog to return home” (Kindle Locations 161-162). “The Bible is the fast track to atheism” (Kindle Location 801). “What’s a ‘hard-core atheist’?” “I don’t even believe that other people believe in god” (Kindle Locations 1059-1061). “You can’t respect someone’s right to not believe in something that’s going to give him or her eternal life. That’s not real respect, that’s callous disregard. That’s negligent eternal homicide” (Kindle Locations 1100-1101). “Is there a god?” can be answered, “I don’t know.” “Do you believe in god?” needs to be answered yes or no, even though you haven’t made up your mind for sure” (Kindle Locations 1338-1340). “Once you’ve condoned faith in general, you’ve condoned any crazy shit done because of faith…There is a world of safety in doubt. The respect for faith, the celebration of faith, is dangerous. It’s faith itself that’s wrong. I deny terrorists the moral right to have faith in a god that will reward them for killing people with airplanes. That means I have to deny Christians the moral right to a faith that Jesus Christ died for their sins. That means I have to deny the warm, fuzzy faith that there’s some positive conscious energy guiding the universe. That means I have to get pissed off when Luke Skywalker trusts “the force” (Kindle Locations 3505, 3519-3523).

On magic (or writing): “you take something easy and safe and make it look difficult and death-defying, you are a cheesy circus act. When you take something impossible and make it look easy, you’re an artist” (Kindle Locations 288-289). “When Penn & Teller give away magic tricks, it’s really hard work. We have to design magic that’s made to be exposed. We make the way we do it as beautiful as the trick. That’s a sneaky thing for us to do. It makes the audience think that the tricks we don’t give away are also beautiful, and that f##ks up their sh#t. When you’re looking for something beautiful and satisfying, it’s much harder to find the ugly truth. The big secret of magic is we are willing to work harder to accomplish something stupid than you can imagine” (Kindle Locations 929-933).

Just funny stuff I couldn’t resist: “Eskimos—or as I think they’re called, the Inuits, or maybe the correct term is now ‘Frozen-Ass Aboriginal North Americans,’ I don’t know—do not have twenty-something words for snow. That’s not true. But the Brits do have more than a hundred and fifty terms for male masturbation. If you’re in England and someone uses a verb and you don’t know what it means, it probably means jacking off.” (Kindle Locations 898-901). “Without god, even Glenn Beck isn’t all that crazy…Without cynicism, even Michael Moore isn’t all that . . . oh, never mind” (Kindle Location 2470-76).