Love ’em or hate them, atheists are out there and they are in full force. These folks lack any beliefs about the existence of a god or gods and prefer to take what they see as a “no-nonsense” approach to life and death. People all over the world have different views on atheism and various reasons for becoming an atheist. The underlying motives span philosophical, social, and historical aspects, and help atheists make their arguments. That is not to say that all atheists will fight for hours with you about whether or not a god exists. Some atheists are quite vocal about their beliefs, while others are more low-key.
Among those people who practice atheism are celebrities. You may know of some celeb atheists, but this list of 10 current celebrities you didn’t know are atheists may surprise you. As of 2015, about 11% of the American population identifies as atheist, and there is a fine line between being complacent with no religion and firmly avowing that there is no god. So while you try to figure that one out, take a look at the rich and famous on this list who identify as atheists. You may notice the subtle distinctions between the varying levels of atheism or just find it intriguing.
10. Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong has certainly been through a lot, and we mean a lot. With his cancer, his surgeries, his claim to fame as a badass cyclist and then his demise when it was revealed that he had doped up, Lance has seen many good and bad times, and mostly in the public eye. Yet, he leans more towards being an atheist than anything else. He states that he had a distrust toward organized religion and he would just rather not deal with it. He trusts in belief, but not necessarily belief in a higher power. During his surgeries he believed in the advancements of medicine, the intelligence of the doctors, and his will to live.
9. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt and his wife Angelina Jolie are two very famous public figures. They are all over the world in terms of their incredible renown, and for a while they were both identified as celebrity atheists. Recently, Angelina stepped back from atheism and discovered a newfound belief in God, particularly after shooting a moving film. Brad, on the other hand, is still very iffy about his beliefs. He identifies either as an atheist or an agnostic, or maybe somewhere in between. Maybe his wife’s journey into religion will help Brad come to terms with what he really believes. Stay tuned!
8. Emma Thompson
While some celebs are more hush-hush about their religious beliefs, others are more rampant and vocal about it. Cue Emma Thompson, a celebrity who is not afraid to tell the world what she thinks. She has stated that she is definitely an atheist, maybe even “a sort of libertarian anarchist.” Not only does she not believe in God; she finds the entire organized religion thing to be quite frightening and a huge stress inducer. She said that some of the things written in religious scriptures greatly offended her, and she fights back against them. Wow, talk about fierce audacity!
7. Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster is a strange one, because while she says that she is an atheist, she also claims that she finds religion and the rituals involved fascinating. She and her family do not believe in God, yet the family celebrates Christmas, Easter, and pretty much all of the other religious holidays. Strange indeed. To her credit, she tries to ensure that her children get a firm understanding of all religions, so that they do not just grow up assuming that atheism is superior to all religious beliefs. Still, she realizes that her stance is somewhat unique, and is not surprised when people are shocked to hear she is an atheist.
6. Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore is one of those classic textbook-case atheists. After a traumatic event, she stopped believing there was a God. For her, the event was the loss of her mother, and it is totally understandable to be in shambles after such an occurrence. She claims that religion was created to prevent craziness and chaos from breaking loose in society and ruining everything. But as far as she is concerned, there is no God out there. Her mother died quite suddenly when she experienced an embolism, and the whole series of events may have really made Julianne rethink her stance on religion.
5. Morgan Freeman
Wait a minute, how can the guy who played God in the movies not believe in a higher power? Sounds a bit weird to us. Well, Morgan Freeman opened up about his beliefs and stated that all human beings have God and Satan inside of them. For Freeman, God is not the divine, Supreme bring; the human mind is. However, he also says that the universe has its own intelligence, one that transcends human smarts. Whoa, talk about a whirlwind adventure! Freeman is full of juicy tidbits such as this. Eventually, in Freeman’s words, nature will be the only thing left of the universe.
4. Hugh Hefner
It does not surprise us that a guy who hangs out in the Playboy mansion has atheist views on religion. Hugh Hefner grew up as a Methodist but paints the religion of his upbringing as being plagued with guilt feelings and stress. Upon reaching adulthood, he did away with the label of being a Methodist and decided to dive head-first into the whole sexualization movement. He thinks that religion is a ridiculous idea and that it is absurd that anyone tries to come to a conclusion about the answers to the universe. He has even stated that religion is a “myth.”
3. Keira Knightley
Keira Knightley once stated that if she were not an atheist, she would feel so much better about the bad things she has done because she could just be forgiven and that would be that. Well, despite the fact that Keira is missing the big picture of religion, she still stands by her atheist ideals. However, she does give us a new spin on the whole atheism thing since she expresses that atheists might feel more guilt about their wrongdoings because they cannot go to a higher power to receive forgiveness. Even so, her whole comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek, don’t you think?
2. Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem was raised Catholic, but the religion never really stuck with him. He began questioning the faith but sensed a lot of fear and control surrounding organized religion. He backed away from Catholicism and all religions claiming there is a higher power. In fact, he says that he does not believe in God and that religion is more an excuse or a crutch to fall back on when bad things happen, a realization he came to terms with after his father’s death. Javier is not afraid to speak his mind and says that it makes no sense that something in the future can control the here and now.
1. Daniel Radcliffe
What happens when you mix the Jewish and Protestant faiths? Apparently you get Daniel Radcliffe, a self-proclaimed “militant atheist.” While Daniel was growing up, there was pretty much no references to religious beliefs, so he grew up forming his own conclusions. Yet, Daniel says he is proud of his Jewish heritage and that it helped him develop a strong work ethic. He is also quite contemplative about society’s issues, saying that he has a lot of faith in his peers and that they need to make their own moral code. Not very surprising coming from a guy who spent the majority of his life as a wizard.