I was watching one of my favorite comedians Ricky Gervais on his hilarious show "Extras" the other day. There was a scene in which his character discusses with another the nonexistence of heaven and has to deal with some social ramifications of that understanding. Something seemed odd about that and it took me a while to make the realization that I couldn't think of a single other instance of a character in a TV series (not actor, mind you) unambiguously coming out as an atheist.

There was an episode of "Star Trek" where Picard describes how humanity improved when it moved past primitive concepts such as religion, so that almost counts, and a friend of mine says a character in "House" (which I've not seen) referred to himself as an atheist. I seriously can't think of any other examples. Can you think of any?

Tags: Extras, Gervais, Ricky, character, out

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I would guess that Dr. Brennan of Bones is an atheist. She makes a lot of atheistic comments.
Dr. Brennan came out and said she was an atheist on the Thursday 5/12 show!

*spoiler*

 

She said Vincent was also an atheist and when she talked Booth about Vincent dying, he did not try to talk her out of it which was a surprise to me.  They do not say religious words over him either.  

 

Never fear,  according to IMDB, the actor who played Vincent will now be starring in a new yet to be released tv crime drama. 

 

Mal Reynolds on Firefly "lost his faith in God."  Christians take this to mean he's just let down, but deep down inside is still one (according to the fan forums).  However, I also found him in Wikipedia's list of cultural references to atheism.  One of my favorite scenes is when Shepard gives River Tam his Bible to read and she tears out several pages of inaccuracies and contradictions, then she tries to rewrite the whole thing to correct all the mistakes and things that just don't make sense. 

 

In the movie Contact, Jodie Foster's character is not given the opportunity to meet an alien race, because she is an atheist. Then when the Christian gets killed and it looks really fatal to talk to aliens, then they send her in.  IRL, she is an atheist.

 

Also, I always wondered if Richard Dean Anderson's character on SG-1 was an atheist.  IRL, he is not going to say much over he believes in science.  Here is a list of celebrity atheists and agnostics:  http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Main_Page

 

There has been a lot of debate in historical circles if Ben Franklin was an atheist.  Some citing he is known to have given money to preachers on two occasions.  Others say he was really an atheist and who knows why he donated when the plate was passed a couple of times or why he attended religious services on two known occasions.

Don't listen to what others have to say about people like Ben Franklin.  There are plenty of references for you to read and make up your own mind about that.  The publisher called "Library of America" has many many works of our founders.  I really recommend Franklin and Thomas Paine.  Paine was certainly an Atheist, and so admitted in his writings, (even though in "Common Sense" he references god, as was the custom in those days).  Franklin on the other hand I'm not so sure.  His private life was much the same as his public life in that he was always a diplomat, and very careful about his choice of words.  My personal guess is that he was really Agnostic, but kept his true beliefs to himself.

   Remember, videos are entertaining, but they are just that.  If you really want to know, pick up a book.

Yeah, She's (Dr. Brennan) done that quite a bit even to the point of arguing about it w/Booth.  That's a fairly regular occurance on that show.

 

Lot of comments out there, even Jack Harkness on Torchwood has made enough comments about there being nothing after death that we can assume, but I wonder why there aren't as many flat out statements and discussions like Gervais's.
 Han Solo....Clarice Starling....if your looking for big discussions on film of a characters atheism there isnt much out there. I really dont have a problem with that, I prefer more realistic portrayals on film and...in the middle of hunting a serial killer or defeating a galactic empire most ppl are not going tompause for a discussion of their atheism...but be not stressed. TV, prometime, (sitcoms historically) will get to it just as they did with homosexuality. And it will be horribly writtin with a complete lack of nuance ...as TV usually is. ...Except for Trek :p 
Brian on "Family Guy" is an admitted atheist.
Yup, and interestingly the Simpsons have toyed very entertainingly with atheistic ideas over the years, they just do it with so much charm that not even the nutjobs seem to mind...
That's the second character I thought of besides house.
Thought of another, Lister from Red Dwarf.

Pharyngula has an older article on this subject. Will Smith supposedly was an Atheist in I Am Legend. Of course in the movie he is shown he is wrong.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/01/the_limited_representati...

 

ETA: Henry Drummond from Inherit The Wind, was Agnostic at least. In Contact, Jodie Foster, I believe was an Atheist.

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