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God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales
 
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God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales [Format Kindle]

Penn Jillette
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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

• INTRODUCTION •
The Humility of Loudmouth Know-it-all Asshole Atheists


You don’t have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is “I don’t know.” I remember sitting in a room full of skeptics when I first heard Christopher Hitchens say, “Atheists don’t have saints and we don’t have martyrs.” I’m a little afraid to put that in quotes, because no matter how brilliantly I remember any Hitchens phrase, when I go back and check, what he said was better than I remember. He is better at speaking off the top of his head after a couple of drinks than I am at remembering his brilliance later while referencing notes.

I know nothing about drinking, but I know that Hitchens did drink, and when he made that comment he was sitting next to me on the dais with a drink in front of him. But the drink was irrelevant—I could never see that it made any difference to his abilities. My doctor’s brother (how’s that for a source?) said there is such a thing as state-dependent learning. This explains the brilliance of all the jazz cats on heroin and how Keith Richards could play even a specially tuned guitar while as fucked-up as . . . well, Keith Richards. They’re performing in the same state in which they practiced. Hank Williams was so fucked-up we don’t even know which of the United States he died in. Hank’s driver drove him across many state lines all night in his long white Cadillac and when they got to Oak Hill, West Virginia, Hank was dead. Hank’s genius might have been state-dependent, but his dying wasn’t even that.

For years it seemed Christopher Hitchens was always drunk, so he was calling up information in the same state (drunk) that he learned it (drunk). I did the Howard Stern radio show a lot in the late eighties. Many times I was on with Sam Kinison. I’ve never had a sip of alcohol or tried any recreational drug in my life, and I’d come in to the Stern show as rested as carny trash could be that early in the morning—focused and ready to work. Sam would come in fucked-up. Really fucked-up. Stern would kick off the show and Sam was always so good. I would be sweating into the mic, trying to get a clever word in here and there while in awe of how fast, insightful, profound, and motherfucking funny Sam was every second. Howard would keep us on for a long time, and at the end of the show I’d be exhausted, and Sam would just stagger out like he came in.

I used to wonder: if that was how he was in a fucked-up state, if he ever were sober, couldn’t he sweep the Nobel Prizes and throw in a Fields Medal?

You don’t have to be very smart, fast, or funny to be an atheist. You don’t have to be well educated. Being an atheist is simply saying “I don’t know.”

When I was a professional dishwasher, I worked with a man named Harold. Harold sent in lyrics and the little bit of money he saved up to “song-poem” companies that advertised in the back of the National Enquirer and Midnight. He’d pay a full week’s wages to have “song sharks” set his poems to music, record the songs, and try to sell them to make Harold rich. Part of the scam was to send the victim a copy of his song on a record. I now collect copies of those song-poem records. Nothing is labeled very well, and most of them are about Jesus or Nixon. I’ll never know if I’m listening to a song Harold cowrote with a rip-off artist, but when I listen, I feel like I’m in touch with him. Most of the song-poems are unlistenable, but the ones that are good are heartbreaking. They are all you want in art—the cynical blasé skill of out-of-work studio musicians sight-reading hastily scribbled sheet music while a competent but bitter vocalist sings unedited, pure, white light/white heat lyrics from the heart of someone who doesn’t know what the word “cynical” means. Beat that, Bruce Springsteen.

Harold was fat and ugly and sweaty. He didn’t have any brainpower or hair at all, and I looked up to him. I knew other people who were a zillion times smarter than Harold, but Harold managed to show up for work, get the pots and pans clean, and deal with all the smart-assed punks, hippies, drunks, and drug users who washed dishes briefly and badly at Famous Bill’s Restaurant in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Famous Bill’s contained the word “famous” because they’d gotten a good review of their lobster pie in a travel magazine in the fifties. I was a hippie punk who worked with Harold for one summer and then went on with my life with Penn & Teller. Harold knew a couple little jokes, and he knew how to be polite and get to the restaurant on time and back to his apartment after work to write songs. I never talked theology with Harold—I don’t know if he believed in god—but I heard him say “I don’t know” about a lot of things. His smile when he admitted he didn’t know was unapologetic, unless you were asking a question related to his job. If you were asking him if he liked Kerouac or Thailand, he would just say “I don’t know” as a simple statement of fact. He knew very well that he didn’t know.

I try to claim that I was friends with the genius Richard Feynman. He came to our show a few times and was very complimentary, and I had dinner with him a couple times, and we chatted on the phone several times. I’d call him to get quick tutoring on physics so I could pretend to read his books. No matter how much I want to brag, it’s overstating it to call him a friend. I would never have called him to help me move a couch. I did, however, call him once to ask how we could score some liquid nitrogen for a Letterman spot we wanted to do. He was the only physicist I knew at the time. He explained patiently that he didn’t know. He was a theoretical physicist and I needed a hands-on guy, but he’d try to find one for me. About a half hour later a physics teacher from a community college in Brooklyn called me and said, “I don’t know what kind of practical joke this is, but a Nobel Prize–winning scientist just called me here at the community college, gave me this number, and told me to call Penn of Penn & Teller to help with a Letterman appearance.”

I guess that’s close to a friend.

My friend Richard Feynman said “I don’t know.” I heard him say it several times. He said it just like Harold, a simple statement of fact. When Richard didn’t know, he often worked harder than anyone else to find out, but while he didn’t know, he said “I don’t know.”

I like to think I fit in somewhere between my friends Harold and Richard. I don’t know. I try to remember to say “I don’t know” just the way they both did, as a simple statement of fact. It doesn’t always work. It seems that with “climate change” we’re all supposed to know, but I’ll get to that later in the book.

One attack I’ve heard theists make against atheists is, “So, you atheists think you know everything? You think you’re smart enough to know everything? You think science can figure out everything? There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt . . .” That quote is from my good friend Mr. Straw Man, but it’s an idea we hear all the time: atheists are arrogant and don’t think they need god, because they’ve got it all figured out. I think people who make that accusation are confusing style with content. I’m a loud, aggressive, strident, outspoken atheist, and I’m an asshole—but what I’m claiming is not in any way arrogant. It couldn’t be more humble. It’s just “I don’t know.”

I don’t know how the world was created. I don’t know how humans got here. There are lots of good guesses, and we keep testing those guesses trying to find where they’re wrong. Science has helped a lot, but we don’t know. And maybe we never will. I mean, we, all of us, the people alive right now, will certainly never know, but it seems almost as likely that no humans will ever know. How could we? We will keep getting closer, we will keep knowing more and more. I guess string theory might explain some things, but I don’t know. I don’t understand jack shit about string theory. Evolution explains a lot. I think I get a little bit about that. Evolution really does seem to make a zillion pieces fall into place. It’s the answer to a lot of questions that, before Darwin, had to be answered with “I don’t know.” The theory of evolution keeps, you know, evolving—it keeps changing. Now, we do know a lot, but the number of “I don’t know”s is still infinite. Aren’t there a few different kinds of infinity? I don’t fucking know. I sure can’t picture infinity. What does it mean to go on forever? I don’t know. That’s how Harold’s coworker Penn, the dishwasher, would say it—a simple statement of fact: “I don’t know.”

Where is the humility in being a theist? There is none. What would it mean for me to believe in god? It would mean that I know. Not just that I might happen to know about Kerouac, Thailand, liquid nitrogen, and vector calculus identities, but that I know that there is an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent power in the universe that I can’t prove to you, but that I know because I have faith. I know because I say I know. I can feel it. I would maybe have faith that this force in the universe is for good. Maybe it’s tied in with love. Maybe I know that this force in the universe will give everlasting life and cares very much where I stick my fucking cock. Maybe I would know that there is a supreme power in the universe and that supreme power cares about me. Not everyone who believes in god believes all of those things. But it doesn’t matter—whatever they say god is, they’re saying they know. There is no humility. They believe because they say they believe. Some people who believe in god distort the meaning to the point where . . . well, even I could say I believe in god. Some will tell you “God is love” and then defy you not to believe in love. But, if X = Y, why have a fucking X? Just keep it at Y. Why call love god? Why not call love . . . love? “Beauty is god.” Okay. If you change what the word means, you can get me to say I believe in it. Say “God is bacon” or “God is tits” and I’ll love and praise god, but you’re just changing the word, not the idea. Some think that god will answer prayers. They think that their prayer can influence the behavior of an omnipotent, omniscient power. How do you figure that? How come it’s rare to see people on TV saying that god made them lose the stupid ball game or killed that baby in the house fire? How come every time someone says that god told them to kill their whole family, the religious people say right away that the faithful murderer was crazy? You never see religious people saying “I wonder if that murder was a miracle. I wonder if god is speaking to us directly again.”

Maybe they really don’t believe this shit either.

I could scream at the altar of a church, with a crucifix stuck deep up my asshole, that I fuck Jesus Christ hard through the hand holes and cream on his crown of thorns, and I will never hit the level of blasphemy that’s required for someone to pray to god for their family’s pet dog to return home. The idea that someone can claim that they know there’s a god because they feel it, because they trust a book that they were raised with, because they had an epiphany, and then ask this god to change its mind about its plan for the universe is arrogant. Once you say you have the answer to everything, but you can’t prove it to anyone else, I don’t think you can accuse anyone else of being arrogant. I think you are the king of kings of the arrogant assholes.

And “I don’t know” doesn’t mean “There might be a god.” That’s the different kind of “I don’t know,” that’s not Harold and Richard’s honest, humble “I don’t know.” Being an atheist means you don’t believe in god. When someone asks if god exists and you humbly say “I don’t know,” you’ve answered the question honestly. Once you’ve answered “I don’t know” to the existence of a god, the answer to whether you believe in god pretty much has to be no. That doesn’t mean you’re saying it’s impossible for there to be a god, or that we couldn’t have evidence of a god in the future. It just means that right now you don’t know. And if you don’t know, you can’t believe. Believing cannot rise out of “I don’t know.”

Is there an elephant in your bathtub right now? If you humbly answer “I don’t know,” then when asked if you believe there’s an elephant in your bathtub right now, the answer would be no. Anything is possible, but there’s no reason to believe it until there’s some evidence. Once you’re an atheist, anything is possible. You are leaving open the possibility of Jesus Christ as lord, and Thor, and invisible gremlins living in your toaster. It’s all possible, but . . . I don’t know. And until I know—until there’s some evidence—I’m an atheist.

What could be humbler than that? You don’t have to be smart or well educated, you just need to be humble. And if you’re a libertarian atheist, there can be no commandments. There can be no edicts. It’s all down to the individual. No one knows what’s best for other people. I don’t even know what’s best for myself.

I was asked by Glenn Beck to entertain the idea of an atheist Ten Commandments. It was his rhetorical exercise to try to force the incorrect point that the biblical Ten Commandments were just common sense. Even though my heroes Hitchens and George Carlin have taken a pass at the Ten Commandments, I wanted to do my own. I wanted to see how many of the ideas that many people think are handed down from god really make sense to someone who says “I don’t know.”

Borscht Belt comics and a lot of web pages have used the gag “The Ten Suggestions.” All joking aside, that seems like the right feeling. This book is just some thoughts from someone who doesn’t know. I’ve tried to throw in a couple of funny stories, and there’s a lot of rambling. Some of the stories have nothing to do with atheism directly, but they will give you a feel for how one goofy atheist lives his life in turn-of-the-century America. If you’re still claiming that you’re religious, you can compare and contrast. I think you’ll find that I’m just like you, if you’re the kind of guy or gal who’s dropped his or her cock into a blow-dryer. Try to remember, when it all comes down, I just don’t know.

But . . . god? No! There is no fucking god!

© 2011 10 in 1

Revue de presse

“Penn Jillette is a 21st-century Lordof Misrule: big, boisterously anarchic, funny, Rabelaisian, impossible—andunique. There isn't—couldn't be—better not be—anybody like him.” —Richard Dawkins, bestselling author ofThe Greatest Show on Earth and The God Delusion

“There are few people in the country who question more boldly, brashly and bravely than my friend Penn Jillette. This book is funny, provocative and profane. But is it right? God, no!” —Glenn Beck

“This planet has yielded exactly one mutual friend for Glenn Beck and me and that friend has written a brilliant book called God, No!. Penn reveals ‘the big secret of magic,’ tells you why tattoos are perfect expressions of atheism and exactly what to eat when you know you're going to vomit later.” —Lawrence O’ Donnell

"People who say that libertarians have no heart or atheists have no soul need to read this book. Because Penn Jillette has a lot of both." —Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of South Park and award-winning Broadway musical The Book of Mormon

"Jillette has made a career as a provocateur, and it is tempting to dismiss this book as another piece of carny shtick, but there is a forceful intelligence at work here that demands to be taken seriously. He has shaped his argument with care." —Daniel Stashower, Washington Post Book World

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 676 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 258 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1451610378
  • Editeur : Simon & Schuster (16 août 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004G8QTNE
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 1.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°204.665 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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1.0 étoiles sur 5 Oh well... 15 octobre 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I hate starting a book without finishing it, so I just forced myself. It's a good thing I didn't by the sequel in advance
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  302 commentaires
237 internautes sur 268 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A moderately amusing ramble 16 août 2011
Par TChris - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
God No! is, I think, about the possibility of being a good person without believing in a supreme being. When Penn Jillette stays on point, he uses humor effectively to make meaningful arguments. When he rambles and digresses -- which he does frequently -- he dilutes that message. In the introduction, Penn tells the reader that he rambles, but the admission should be in all caps, printed in bright red ink, surrounded by stars and preceded by a WARNING sign.

Penn tells us that he is an atheist, not an agnostic, because anyone who doesn't know whether there is a god necessarily doesn't believe in one and must therefore be an atheist. It seems to me Penn defines agnosticism out of existence. Most people I know who call themselves atheists deny the possibility of a deity while those who argue that the existence or nonexistence of a supreme being is unknowable tend to call themselves agnostics. Penn understands the distinction but rejects it; in his words, "If you're not willing to pretend that matters of god can be certain, you're an atheist." I suppose Penn can define his terms any way he wants, but he didn't persuade me that "Do you believe in god?" is a question "that needs to be answered yes or no." I think it's a question that can legitimately be answered however an individual wants to answer it (including "I have no belief either way"), even if Penn thinks that any answer more nuanced than "yes" or "no" is "a cheesy grade school dodge."

Definitions aside, there is something to be said for Penn's larger point: It is possible to live an ethical life based on rules derived from shared experiences that are not dependent on biblical commandments. This book, Penn tells us, is a response to Glen Beck's challenge "to entertain the idea of an atheist Ten Commandments." Penn offers ten "suggestions" that, to a large extent, parallel the Ten Commandments. He illustrates each of his suggestions with a group of funny stories -- or, more accurately, with stories that are intended to be funny. Some are, some aren't, some are funnier than others. While Penn's sense of humor isn't always on key with my own, I found many of his stories to be at least moderately amusing. My favorite is a very funny story about battling the TSA over his right to drop trou. Despite his general abrasiveness, some of his stories, particularly about his family, are sweet. I also appreciated his ability to use self-deprecating humor to tone down the preachiness of his message.

I can't quarrel with the "suggestions" Penn offers in place of "commandments" but I do think he made some odd choices to illustrate them. For instance, his first suggestion is "The highest ideals are human intelligence, creativity, and love. Respect these above all." After positing the suggestion, Penn launches into a lengthy discussion of Siegfried and Roy. Penn loves Siegfried and Roy despite belittling their glitziness, their animals, their magic, and their music, because of the "desperate purity" of their desire to be onstage. They may have invented "a new art form," as Penn argues, but if Siegfried and Roy's Vegas act represents our highest ideals, we are in serious trouble.

Despite Penn's occasional takes on atheism, God No! is less about religion than it is a stream of consciousness ramble about the people Penn knows (including a surprisingly large number of strippers and porn stars) and the random events that have shaped his life. If you're a Penn & Teller fan, you might enjoy the backstage stories, the gossip about other magicians, the venting about Kreskin, or the descriptions of Penn's house and the parties he throws.

I imagine someone will post a "review" of this book without reading it, complaining that the book is anti-Christian. It isn't. It could be viewed as anti-religion (Penn skewers a variety of religious beliefs) but his larger point -- that religion isn't a necessary component of an ethical life -- is not a concept that depends upon hostility to religion. The book doesn't have a mean-spirited feel (although religious people might be offended by some of the things he says). One of Penn's precepts is that most people are fundamentally good, whether or not they belong to a religion. Penn is actually meaner to self-described agnostics (who, in his view, "are really cowardly and manipulative atheists") than he is in his discussions of sincerely held religious beliefs.

While nothing in this book offended me, neither did much of it delight me. I don't hold it against Penn that he doesn't believe tax money should be used to fund libraries or cancer research (he's entitled to his opinion, after all) but I wasn't impressed with his defense of those positions, among others. In the end, I was indifferent to much of the book and a bit put off by its rambling nature, but I liked enough of the stories to give it 3 1/2 stars.
89 internautes sur 100 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Funny farrago with surprising sentiment and wit. 16 août 2011
Par Kindle Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Penn is profane and obnoxious, as anyone who's seen him on TV shows such as [and the irony here is that although they can sell it by name, I can't write the actual name without being censored, so let's just say "BS"] knows. And there's plenty of that in "God, No!" What some readers might not be as prepared for are the moments of sentiment, sometimes slipping into sentimentality. Penn is a big guy with a big voice, big opinions, big appetites, and a big heart. He values individuality above most things, and wears his admiration for courageous action and original thought on his sleeve. All of that comes out in this book.

All of it.

And not in any organized format, either, but as it occurs to Penn. And you know what? That's actually pretty cool. I found the book very hard to put down, precisely because of its conversational nature. The one thing I could live without--something Penn also employed in his novel "Sock"--is the more-or-less random use of song titles and quotes.

Sometimes I found myself wishing he were a little less obscene because there are plenty of people I would love to share "God, No!" with, but a sizeable percentage of them would be put off by some of the language. But in truth, that's Penn's style, and even saying one wished things were different sounds like wishing "Lady Gaga would put some damned clothes on." Absurd on its face.

So take Penn as Penn, and prepare to meet an interesting cast of characters from all strata of society, punctuated by a fresh take on the "Ten Commandments" that is unbelievably sane and erudite. But the heart of "God, No!" relates to friendship and family. The "baptism" of former Hassidic Jews into a sort of sacrament of bacon, for example. Or the way Penn's mom left their church because of bigotry against its pastor.

The book ends with a rant against faith that is a funnier, more emotional version of what Sam Harris says in his ground-breaking "End of Faith," and bears some resemblance to what Bill Maher says at the end of "Religulous." But it probably cannot be said too often, or in too many ways. As long as people consider faith--pretending to know something they can't possibly know, using no evidence whatever--a virtue, the bold, the loud, the fearless will have to stand firm and say "eff faith." Penn does so in "God, No!" with not-to-be-missed aplomb.
190 internautes sur 239 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 funny but an amateur on politics and serious science 29 août 2011
Par Kevin Gurney - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I must admit that my feelings about this book are a bit schizophrenic. I do really enjoy Mr Jillette - funny as hell, irreverent, outspoken, unfiltered. All stuff I love. Hence, it was fun to read about his escapades and outlook. Yes, I am an atheist, a scientist (climate change - yes, we exist!) and have an eclectic political viewpoint. So, I am a forgiving reader of Mr Jillette, for sure.
So, first the bad news: The trouble I had is a similar problem I have had with some books of late written by entertainers in which they attempt to tread, at times, on more serious matters with a license borrowed from their celebrity. It is a danger that a big microphone has on many..... they think because the big microphone keeps showing up (because they are funny, sing well, act well, entertain) their view on politics, family psychology, science, etc are equally sharp, informed and worth listening too. This is often just not true (though there are exceptional cases). His libertarian snippets for example...... he falls into the same childish, simplistic view of the world that most unstudied libertarians do. Once you spend any time actually trying to manage anything bigger than a 2-man show or a small business, you quickly learn that the Randian bumper stickers sound great but are for dorm rooms and chat rooms - not serious contributions to actually governing much and just serve to add to the clatter of uninformed opinion.
Similarly with climate change - though Jillette confesses he doesn't know much about it and recounts his overstatements in the past, he does so with the "insult first, then say it was a joke" approach. "I don't know" is indeed an honest position if he had just left it there. But while proclaiming to do that, he plays that "maybe" game that just comes off as manipulative. Hey, just read a few scientific papers and/or talk to some experts who actually do it for a living. But, it is the big microphone problem again .... Why actually work hard at learning about a subject when you can fill the airwaves with opinion riding on the coattails of your "fame". Ugh.
There is a certain irony embedded in the book. A cornerstone of atheism and skepticism is the requirement of evidence and Mr Jillette has long spoken out about the ease with which modern society gullibly swallows religion, hucksterism, false politicians, etc. But skepticism is the initiation of the process of learning. The next step is to roll up your sleeves and build understanding of reality. Why not do that with political theory and earth science? Mr Jillette retires to the same chat room crap that passes for "informed opinion" among the lazy. This is frustrating - a sharp mind filled with wit and creativity should do more before treading on this ground.
The good news? Because the guy is so damn funny and he is sincere in his humility about most of the more bombastic stuff, it remains a worthwhile read. He is a unique spirit and he has brought a bit of edgy art subculture (burning man, performance art) into the lives of people that go to Vegas shows.... A very good thing in a world of homogenization and bland titilation.
45 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining! 17 août 2011
Par Book Shark - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
God, No! By Penn Jillette

"God, No!" is the irreverent, unfiltered reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments. The "Penn" Commandments takes you through Penn's personal life's experiences through the eyes of an atheist. This 256 page-book is composed of an introduction, the Ten Commandments and an afterword.

Positives:
1. Be ready to be entertained. Penn's irreverent unfiltered humor is exposed for all to see.
2. Well written, fascinating and even uncomfortable to read at times, but Penn is never boring.
3. A biography of sorts. Interesting, page-turner of a book. The stories are hilarious, crude yet never malicious.
4. Some of the funniest stories I've ever read.
5. Through some of the nutty antics, there is wisdom to be found. "Being proud of yourself, your beliefs, your taste, your accomplishments, and your immediate family and friends seems sensible and right. Being proud of some imaginary group you were born into seems insane and wrong".
6. Some very interesting insight about Penn Jillette.
7. His track to atheism.
8. The love of family is palpable and admirable.
9. The secret to his success.
10. Some celebrity insight.
11. The meaning of tattoos...
12. Interesting insight. "Atheists are also morally obligated to tell the truth as we see it. We should preach and proselytize too".
13. Agnosticism versus atheism.
14. Nutty and amusing behavior..."There was a sex dungeon off the bedroom that has since been turned into a nursery (the wonderful story of my life)".
15. The truths according to Penn.
16. Political insight, "Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks.
17. Social criticism as only Penn can deliver.
18. James Randi.
19. Interesting insight about Nixon and I mean interesting.
20. His views about the Tea Party.
21. Love for Springsteen.
22. Perhaps the funniest story I've ever read and I will not spoil here.
23. And the problem with faith.

Negatives:
1. The crude humor and use of offensive language will put some people off.
2. Sometime rambles too much in a given story for his own good.
3. Some stories and one in particular was too uncomfortable even for an open-minded person like me.
4. Penn was on the wrong side of the global warming debate, so he wasn't on top of the science...it happens.
5. If you are expecting an intellectual book about atheism this is not the book. This book is about the life stories of a nutty, hearty, larger than life entertainer who happens to be an atheist and a libertarian...and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
6. It's not as intellectually stimulating as I had hoped for.

In summary, this is an irreverent book at its heart and it doesn't apologize for it. Penn Jillette has lived and continues to live an interesting life and has interesting viewpoints. He's like that one intellectual nutty friend that everyone has or should have. This book is crude, gritty, but at its essence it has heart and love of life. If you can put up with some crudeness this book is an entertaining treat.

Further recommendations, of course the author's previous book, "The Atheist Camel Chronicles", "God Hates You, Hate Him Back" and " Jesus Lied" by CJ Werleman, "Your Religion Is False" by Joel Grus, and "What Do You Do with a Chocolate Jesus?" by Thomas Quinn. All these books have an irreverent tone that is similar to the book reviewed.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Enjoyable 2 septembre 2011
Par Nemo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
With the exception of David Mills, Atheist Universe, it is near impossible to write an interesting book on atheism. Atheism is a very simple concept. Atheists do not believe in God or an afterlife. After that statement you basically just get into arguments explaining why theists are wrong. And that is not really what atheism is about.

Penn instead takes the road of someone explaining why they and others don't believe in specific concepts and then goes into stories about his life. The stories are largely funny and entertaining and what this book is all about.

Penn likes to talk about sex. In fact, Penn liked to date strippers and get naked in zero gravity. That's really not my thing, but it is still interesting and written to be funny and entertaining instead of pornographic.

So, I recommend this book as a fun read. Get in the head of Penn Jillette. Find out if Penn has ever visited a gay bathhouse. Learn what Penn and Debbie Harry talk about. And in the end, maybe you'll question your faith a little bit. Questioning is good...and so is this book.
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