Ricky Gervais: Atheists have ‘nothing to die for’ and ‘everything to live for’

By David Ferguson
Saturday, September 14, 2013 14:44 EDT
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Ricky Gervais via screencap
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British comedian Ricky Gervais said in his appearance on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Friday that he doesn’t understand why people say that atheists have “nothing to live for.” Atheists, he said, have “nothing to die for” and “everything to live for.”

Gervais, who is currently starring in the Netflix original series “Derek,” spoke to Morgan for a moment about his struggle with an orthopedic disorder called frozen shoulder syndrome, also known as adhesive capsulitis.

“Whenever I’m ill, I think I’m going to die,” he laughingly explained. “Everything’s terminal.”

“Well, also for you,” said Morgan, “because anyone that follows you on Twitter — you have a huge following — they’ll know that you are a pathological atheist, and therefore the thought of death is very final for you. For me, as a good Irish Catholic boy, it’s the start of something new and glorious. For you, that’s it.”

“And for me, it’s the end of something glorious,” said Gervais, “so I have to pack it all in. But, you know, I’m not depressed about it. I don’t want to die any more than anyone else. And I think there’s this strange myth that atheists have nothing to live for. It’s the opposite. We have nothing to die for. We have everything to live for.”

Morgan said that perhaps this would give an atheist a sharper focus on life and the here and now.

“I think it’s precious,” Gervais said of being alive. “I think it’s beautiful. I think the world is amazing, I love people, animals, art, every hobby. I can’t believe my luck that I’m alive for these 70 or 80 years.”

Watch the video, embedded below via YouTube:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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