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Penn Jillette, Atheism, And The Holidays

Think 2 Comments on Penn Jillette, Atheism, And The Holidays 28

Hour 2:           From the archive – What do holidays really mean and why do most of us only celebrate certain days as holidays? We talked last November with magician, actor, and author Penn Jillette who believes that we should celebrate every day like it’s a holiday. His recent book is “Every Day is an Atheist Holiday!” (Blue Rider Press, 2012).

  • Oh, drat. “An archive edition.”

    It’s nice to hear from him any time. Kinda wish he were live, today, at this moment.

  • Christopher_Graves

    In response to Mr. Jillette’s ruminations on atheism’s compatibility with objective moral standards, even philosophers who defend a thoroughgoing philosophical naturalism admit that such a position is inconsistent with moral realism. So, even if an atheist acts ethically in his personal life, there is no philosophical foundation for doing so. Probably when atheists in the Western world conduct themselves as Mr. Jillette suggests that they do, they have been influenced by the “social capital” of Christianity that has shaped their consciousness.

    As for his view that no one except the mentally ill harbors less than ideal thoughts and motives, I would suggest he consider G.K. Chesterton’s observation that the Christian doctrine of Origin Sin is a religious doctrine that has been empirically confirmed. Either Mr. Jillette is not being honest with us or with himself if he claims that he has never been seriously tempted to commit adultery or to kill someone who is creating a problem for him.