Penn Jillette just got born again – but don't fortify the gates of heaven just yet, because it's his atheism that he's renewed, to account for blanket religious vilification and hate politics. Jillette's latest book is "Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales" (http://goo.gl/jJDkz1). Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/penn-jillette-on-muslim-refugees-and-atheists Follow Big Think here: YouTube: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigThinkdotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigthink Transcript - About three years ago I came in to Big Think and I talked very strongly and very passionately about atheism, how I did not believe in God. And over the past three years I opened my heart to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit filled me. And all of a sudden I realized that everlasting life is possible by following in the ways of Jesus Christ our Lord. I have since then dedicated my life to Jesus Christ. I have joined the Church and I will live the rest of my life and die as a Christian in service and in joy with Jesus Christ Our Lord. I’m just fucking with you. For a minute, just for a minute did I – just for a second did I have you going? Just for a minute? Can you imagine how much money I would make if I could just convert to re – I don’t have to convert. If I just pretend to convert. Can you imagine if I just took and threw away my atheism, if I threw away my morality and said I was religious and went out and started preaching? Can you imagine the amount of money I would make. But what good if a man gained the whole world but lose his soul. No. I’m still an atheist. I’m still doing fine. I just spoke at a Young Americans for Liberty conference, you know, a lot of conservatives, a lot of people that are too young to be wearing suits were wearing suits. I liked them. And afterwards a man came up to me probably 20 years old and he was slight in build, very dark complected and he said to me I wanted to talk about this during your lecture but I was very, very frightened that there were cameras there. And I said well there were cameras there so at least you’re not frightened by UFOs. You’re frightened by spiders, something that’s real. I can respect that. I made this kind of light of his wording there. And then he shut me up because then he said my family is from Pakistan and everybody in my community is a devout Muslim. And my mom and dad are devout Muslims. And I’m an atheist. And if I said that while you were speaking, if I raised my hand and said that with the cameras on, said that declared a statement I’m an atheist. My mom and dad would not kill me but they would disown me and they would never speak to me again. And I would be an apostate and it is not unlikely that someone in my community would kill me. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/ndibS4.
Don't miss new Big Think videos! Subscribe by clicking here: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5 The magician was asked to leave his Christian youth group by a pastor who told his parents: "He's no longer learning about the Bible from me. He is now converting everyone in the class to atheism."
Don't miss new Big Think videos! Subscribe by clicking here: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5 Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson claims the title "scientist" above all other "ists." And yet, he says he is "constantly claimed by atheists." So where does he stand? "Neil deGrasse, widely claimed by atheists, is actually an agnostic." Neil deGrasse Tyson: I'm often asked -- and occasionally in an accusatory way -- "Are you atheist?" And it's like, you know, the only "ist" I am is a scientist, all right? I don't associate with movements. I'm not an "ism." I just - I think for myself. The moment when someone attaches to a philosophy or a movement, then they assign all the baggage and all the rest of the philosophy that goes with it to you, and when you want to have a conversation they will assert that they already know everything important there is to know about you because of that association. And that's not the way to have a conversation. I'm sorry. It's not. I'd rather we explore each other's ideas in real time rather than assign a label to it and assert, you know, what's going to happen in advance. So what people are really after is, what is my stance on religion or spirituality or God? And I would say, if I find a word that came closest it would be agnostic. Agnostic -- the word dates from the 19th century -- Huxley -- to refer to someone who doesn't know but hasn't yet really seen evidence for it but is prepared to embrace the evidence if it's there but if it's not won't be forced to have to think something that is not otherwise supported. There are many atheists who say, "Well, all agnostics are atheists." Okay. I'm constantly claimed by atheists. I find this intriguing. In fact, on my Wiki page -- I didn't create the Wiki page, others did, and I'm flattered that people cared enough about my life to assemble it -- and it said, "Neil deGrasse is an atheist." I said, "Well that's not really true." I said, "Neil deGrasse is an agnostic." I went back a week later. It said, "Neil deGrasse is an atheist." -- again within a week -- and I said, "What's up with that?" and I said, "I have to word it a little differently." So I said, okay, "Neil deGrasse, widely claimed by atheists, is actually an agnostic." And some will say, well, that's -- "You're not being fair to the fact that they're actually the same thing." No, they're not the same thing, and I'll tell you why. Atheists I know who proudly wear the badge are active atheists. They're like in your face atheist and they want to change policies and they're having debates. I don't have the time, the interest, the energy to do any of that. I'm a scientist. I'm an educator. My goal is to get people thinking straight in the first place, just get you to be curious about the natural world. That's what I'm about. I'm not about any of the rest of this. And it's odd that the word atheist even exists. I don't play golf. Is there a word for non-golf players? Do non-golf players gather and strategize? Do non-skiers have a word and come together and talk about the fact that they don't ski? I don't—I can't do that. I can't gather around and talk about how much everybody in the room doesn't believe in God. I just don't—I don't have the energy for that, and so I . . . Agnostic separates me from the conduct of atheists whether or not there is strong overlap between the two categories, and at the end of the day I'd rather not be any category at all. Directed / Produced byJonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd
Comedian and magician Penn Jillette discusses Donald Trump and his time on the Apprentice. https://www.dailykos.com https://www.facebook.com/dailykos
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