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Godless Characters

Post  Fletch on Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:05 am

I want to compile a list of characters in movies, tv shows, books and comic books, who are explicitly atheist/ humanist/ skeptical. For example:

TV - 'House' -- both House and Cameron have acknowledged their atheism. House goes without saying because he's the ultimate skeptic -- but of course he's also an enormous asshole so I appreciate the show's creators for balancing that by making the touchy-feely Cameron an atheist as well.

Comics - DC's Mr. Terrific -- The 3rd smartest man on earth and avowed atheist.

Books/ Movies - 'Contact's' Ellie Arroway -- Even Jake Cockadoodee Busey blowing up her spaceship can't change shake her skepticism.

Anyway, those are a few who come to mind immediately. Can anyone think of others?

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  MisterChristopher on Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:46 am

Watchmen- Doctor Manhattan "Even if there is a god, he is definitely not me" something like that
.....I'll be back with more later
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Stegocephalian on Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:48 am

That's a tough one. scratch

It's hard to think of characters that are explicitly atheists - I thought of pretty much the same characters you listed.

One more though: Dr. Temperance Brennan from the TV show "Bones", I think she's clearly an atheist.
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  MisterChristopher on Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:51 am

If you go to adherents.com, that gives you a full list of fictional character's affiliations
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Fletch on Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:54 am

Dr. Manhattan! How could I have overlooked him! Damn!

Anyone notice how all of the characters on the list have a PhD or better?

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Fletch on Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:25 am

Adherents.com is okay. I take issue with a lot of their labels and, most irritating, they don't offer references. Also, a lot of characters have 'doublets.'

A lot of characters in comics are moving targets. Each new writer who takes on a character can pretty much do what they want. Batman ranges from an absolute skeptic to a non-denominational Christian depending on who writes him. Only those whose religious identity is a core part of their identity seem to get much consistency (ex. DC's Ragman who comes out of Jewish mythology and Marvel's Daredevil has a pretty strongly featured Catholic background).

But then there's a number of characters who, it seems to me, would have to be atheists. People like Tony Stark, Hank Pym and Reed Richards. These guys are so well educated -- statistics suggest that they would almost have to be atheists with that level of education.

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  MisterChristopher on Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:38 am

Hm, point taken.

Can anyone think of any atheistic video game characters? The problem I end up seeing is, most characters aren't fleshed out enough to where you can identify their adherence, or they live in a universe where there are gods, and they play a very active role in their world (unlike a certain plane of reality)
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atheist characters

Post  Karen B on Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:28 pm

The dog on Family Guy.
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Stanley on Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:39 pm

Well, there's always Lyra from the His Dark Materials trilogy. I can't really explain it without spoilers, just read all 3 books as soon as you possibly can.
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  TheDailyJokelahoman on Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:50 pm

Dr. House on House

Temperance Brennan on Bones

Was Mulder an atheist?

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Fletch on Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:14 pm

I wouldn't want to claim anyone from the X Files for our cause. Mulder may not have believed in god, but he was the worst skeptic in human history. Scully wasn't much better.

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  MisterChristopher on Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:18 pm

Oh, just thought of one vidya game character: Shepard from Mass Effect.
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Firefly!

Post  kidigus on Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:33 pm

Malcolm Reynolds!

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  BrodeurHOF on Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:06 pm

I would deduce that Sherlock Holmes should fall into the category of non-believer.

Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park), althought he is resurrected in The Lost World.

Anyone native to Earth in the Star Trek canon. In Gene Roddenberry's vision of Earth's future, everyone was an atheist and better for it.

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  DavidTSD on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:52 pm

Capt. Jean-Luc Picard is my favorite example. Watch the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Who Watches the Watchers." My favorite thing about most of the characters in the Star Trek universe is that they do not even have to mention they are atheist because society has progressed to the point where atheism and secular humanism is the default and religion is an antiquated myth of the past.

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Neon Genesis on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:59 pm

Edward Elric and Roy Mustang are atheists in the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist. There's one episode of the original TV series where Roy flat out states there is no such thing as God. Elphaba in the book Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West by Gregory Maguire is an agnostic.

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  MisterChristopher on Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:28 pm

Oh man....if we delve into anime, there's hundreds that are non-theistic. A lot of the protagonist of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and antogonist Ali-au-Sanchez are non-theistic, though Sanchez pretended to be a theist to manipulate fanatics for his bidding
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  timmeh on Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:09 am

Jodie Foster as Dr. Eleanor Arroway in Contact. Great movie adapted from Carl Sagan's book of the same name. I'd recommend seeing it if you haven't already.
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  karyn on Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:50 am

I would think that a lot of the Anime only appears atheistic because their main religion is more animistic, rather than 'one true god' centered. You can't really judge and entire genre than influenced by a religion so completely different from our own. I'm sure if you understood Shinto as the more cultural ingrainment (that may not even be a word) that it is, you would see it's influence everywhere.
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Neon Genesis on Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:18 pm

I'm not sure if Misato from the mecha anime Evangelion is an atheist, but there was one episode where she said that acts of men were better than acts of God.

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Re: Godless Characters

Post  billybingg on Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:03 pm

Beneatha Younger in the book "A Raisin in the Sun"; The Clitoris in the short film "The Atheist Clitoris"; Maybe Stan Marsh from "South Park"...BONG!!!
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Momma Heathen on Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:06 am

Fletch wrote:
Books/ Movies - 'Contact's' Ellie Arroway -- Even Jake Cockadoodee Busey blowing up her spaceship can't change shake her skepticism.

I'm telling. Razz
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  Nicholas on Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:18 am

Mr. Christopher -

Shepard's an Atheist? I must have missed that.

And yes, it is true - it seems most of these fictional Atheists tend to be of the brainy sort.

I'm also pretty sure Silver Surfer is fairly agnostic.
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  dezrah on Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:24 am

For my first foray into the forums, I'm letting my geek flag fly. If we're talking atheists in comics, the first place to start is a little-known Image production called "The Atheist" first published in 2005. I've only ever been able to find the first 2 issues but they were great:

"We humans, we delicate, beautiful snowflakes of ingenuity, we're perfectly capable of generating the boundless evil in the world. No supernatural outsourcing necessary."

However, if we're talking the Marvel U, this question was answered in "The Infinity Crusade" where...cosmic blah blah blah...separated out believers from non believers. So if that could be taken as "cannon" then skimming the issues I came up with the following list of Marvel U non-believers:

Wolverine
Reed Richards
The Thing
Human Torch
She-Hulk
Speedball
Vision
Pip the Troll
Drax the Destroyer
Nova
Havok
Polaris
Cyclops
Iron Man
The Hulk
Forge
Iceman
Northstar
Rogue
Psylocke
Night Thrasher
Strong Guy (best name in comics)
Nighthawk
Nomad
Professor X

Weren't the 90's great?


Last edited by dezrah on Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Godless Characters

Post  MisterChristopher on Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:24 pm

Nik -If you flesh out the relationship (in every context) with Ashley Williams, you learn the Ashley believes in god, which in the space age, is apparently an anomaly for someone to be a theist, one option is to say the you believe in god too, which might be a lie, because every other option hints that Sheperd doesn't believe or doesn't care
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Re: Godless Characters

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