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Sarah Silverman: Atheists Are ‘Just As Obnoxious’ as Believers

By December 5, 2013

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Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman
Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty

Sarah Silverman is a comedian who's become known for her biting critiques of religion which she incorporates in her stand-up comedy shows. It will thus come as no surprise that she describes herself as godless - such critiques can indeed come from believers, but they seem to come more often from nonbelievers who stand outside of religious traditions.

It's probably also no surprise that Sarah Silverman describes herself as "fascinated" by religion. Aside from the fact that her sister is a rabbi, people who don't care about religion don't also invest much effort into critiquing it. That said, though, what is a surprise - and a disappointment - is that despite admitting being godless, she thinks that other godless people are "obnoxious."

I'm godless, but I'm fascinated by religion. I think there is a lot of beauty in religion. I also think it's responsible for a massive amount of human deaths, and I think Jesus, should he have been real, would be disgusted with a lot of the people that use his name to justify things like hatred or unacceptance... it's very not Jesus-y. ...

I don't like to say "atheist" because I feel like atheists have that same chip on their shoulder that people who feel like their religion is the only right thing have. It's to know something, to think you know something definitively that, I feel, we as mere mortal humans can't possibly know. I think it's just as obnoxious. I'm Agnostic. I don't know, and neither do you!

Source: HuffPost

I wonder how it is that Sarah Silverman thinks she can definitively know that "god" is something that mortal humans can't possibly know? How is it that she isn't being obnoxious? How is it that she isn't being obnoxious in asserting that since she doesn't think she can know something, the no one else can either? Why is everyone else on the planet restricted by Silverman's personal limitations?

This is, sadly, an affliction we see all too often among those who most loudly proclaim their agnosticism while decrying atheists (despite technically being atheists themselves). They insist that atheists are smug, arrogant, and obnoxious while at the same time smugly proclaiming their own arrogant superiority over non-agnostics. An interesting facet of their position is how they single out atheists for attack despite the fact that they should be lumping both atheists and theists in category of those who are "inferior" for not being sufficiently "agnostic."

In effect, the position they proclaim can be presented as: "the rest of you are wrong to insist that you know for sure and arrogant to think you're better than others because of it; lucky for me I know for sure that I don't know and am better than you because of it."

December 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm
(1) JTL says:

Hey, Sarah: Sounds like bullsh*t to me…

December 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm
(2) billwalker says:

I will pray for her.

December 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm
(3) ssgchester says:

Hummm might she have some unresolved “issues”?
Say, possibly “guilt”?
Her grandfather was from Germany and served in the German Army during WWII.
He had nothing to do with the “final solution.”
And that was proven…he was also a POW here in the States.
Yes, but only when I get attacked or cornered by a bible pounder who tells me just how wrong I am.
But she is a comic and really not my cup of tea….

December 6, 2013 at 7:48 pm
(4) ssgchester says:

I was wrong in my last posts about her…it was Ms. Lately whose grandfather served in the Germany Army during WWII,

I apologize for that.
Still, let her be attacked about being Jewish and let her and I compare notes about being attacked for being an Atheist….

Thing is, even Jews attack atheists….
We are an equal opportunity and unifying target for religions…

December 7, 2013 at 10:18 am
(5) Grandpa In The East says:

I guess Sarah Silverman has a right to be what she is, and on her on terms. I feel she is something of a sociopath. She knows religion has been responsible for many deaths, but if they can’t take a joke, that’s sad, ha! ha! ha!


December 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm
(6) Dean J. Smith says:

It’s a rookie mistake, she hasn’t put nearly as much thought into atheism as she has into religion. I’m sure that with her gifts she can mock atheists in a much funnier way without trying to make out like she’s not one.

December 8, 2013 at 6:56 am
(7) L.E. Alba says:

Most of the obnoxious atheists that I know are pugnacious newcomers to atheism, ready to kick the tires & give their new found non-belief a test run. This is contrary to my approach these days. I favor an inviting tone when speaking with believers….a kind of ‘missionary outreach’ with my message of secular humanism.
I like to leave them at some point with Darwin’s last sentence in The Origin Of Species—
“There is grandeur in this view of life.”

December 8, 2013 at 9:19 am
(8) Jeanne says:

There is a term in psychology called “argument from ignorance”. It occurs when people say, “I don’t know what it is so it must be………………”. This is often used when people a UFO or when they cannot explain something and say, “I don’t know how that happened so god must have done it.”

In the case of the UFO, remember that the “U” stands for “unidentified”. In the case of the other unknown, if a person does not know what the cause is, that should be the end of the conversation. Once a person adds a solution after admitting they don’t know, they become satisfied with that answer and stop searching.

So, to claim that “god” is unknowable is to say that you know their is a god but you really don’t know. How can you “know” what you claim is “unknowable”?

December 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm
(9) Gerald Vanderhoff says:

Sure, Sarah, we’re “just as obnoxious” as believers. Because encouraging people to think critically is just as bad as telling them they’ll be tortured for eternity if they ask questions, and that they deserve it because some woman had a conversation with a snake.

December 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm
(10) Anthony Hall says:

Sarah, firstly I adore you. Secondly, I am obnoxious because I know I am right, and I hate it when people espouse religion, when you get right down to it with them their facts crumble, yet their faith persists. I can’t knock you for saying this though, you are too cute.

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