Ricky Gervais in New Humanist

I’m a big Ricky Gervais fan. He’s a funny guy, especially in his interviews on The Daily Show, and he has produced a lot of good television, too. Now he has an interview with New Humanist:

I never actively try to offend though. That’s churlish, pointless and frankly too easy. But I believe you should say what you mean. Be honest. No one should ever be offended by truth. That way you’ll never have to apologise. I hate it when a comedian says, “Sorry for what I said.” You shouldn’t have said it. You shouldn’t say it if you didn’t mean it and you should never regret anything you meant to do.

I like this quote. Offending others merely for the sake of offending them is a useless endeavor. It doesn’t get anyone anywhere. But causing offense when there is a wider point to be had is useful. In Gervais’ case, he is doing it for the sake of comedy. For others such as Gnu Atheists (of which Gervais is one), the point is often to raise consciousness/awareness. It’s like Kant says about using others as a means. (He is commonly summed up as saying that it’s a bad thing, but that misses a very key part of his philosophy.) What he says is that it is bad to use others merely as a means. Of course we’re using others as a means all the time. It’s when the point is to only use others that we’ve gone awry. The very same goes for causing offense.

But all this aside, I think Gervais may have an even better quote:

I used to believe in God. The Christian one, that is. (There are a few thousand to choose from. But I was born in a country where the dominant religion was Christianity so I believed in that one. Isn’t it weird how that always happens?)

Weird, indeed.

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One Response

  1. […] here: Ricky Gervais in New Humanist « For the Sake of Science Related Posts:Ricky Gervais on cover of Sept/Oct issue of New Humanist – on sale … Church […]

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