NPR & Penn and Teller

A couple of months back, Austin’s KUT was a sounding board for NPR’s ‘revival’ of theThis I Believe series. To be honest I was fairly underwhelmed. It was nothing too thrilling till the other morning when I was making the 5-mile/30 minute slog to work. Of all people Penn Jillete submitted an essay on why he doesn’t he believes there is no god. In addition to the clever bending of the rules i was floored by his statements, which paralleled my interactions with a highly conservative small town, in which all my friends went to church and I did not.

…I’m saying, “This I believe: I believe there is no God.”

Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I’m not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it’s everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I’m raising now is enough that I don’t need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.

Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

Man, that is one very interesting and well adjusted magician. Kind of ( hopefully, at least) gives your average self righteous american a little to chew on. I’m not entirely sure that I agree with him entirely, but none the less, good stuff.

2 replies
  1. Brian Daskam
    Brian Daskam says:

    This was a very eloquent little essay. I thought the part was interesting where he said that his atheism made him more open minded:
    "I don’t travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That’s just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," "

  2. wade
    wade says:

    Very true. How do you continue that discussion after they go that route? My conversations regarding faith always seem to run into this road block…and to be honest I’m more curious about the thought they’ve put into founding their faith. I’m not necessarily out to question it, just curious to discover it. (btw sorry the comments weren’t showing up..bad coding on my part)

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