Sir Anthony Hopkins says atheism is like “living in a closed cell with no windows”

From the UK Catholic Herald:

Sir Anthony Hopkins told the Catholic Herald this week that he “couldn’t live with” the certainty of being an atheist.

The actor, who was knighted in 1993, said: “Being an atheist must be like living in a closed cell with no windows”.

Sir Anthony said: “I’d hate to live like that, wouldn’t you? We see them, mind you, on television today, many brilliant people who are professional atheists who say they know for a fact that it’s insanity to have a God or to believe in religion. Well, OK, God bless them for feeling that way and I hope they’re happy.”

He added: “But I couldn’t live with that certainty, and I wonder about some of them: why are they protesting so much? How are they so sure of what is out there? And who am I to refute the beliefs of so many great philosophers and martyrs all the way down the years?”


28 responses to “Sir Anthony Hopkins says atheism is like “living in a closed cell with no windows”

  1. And yet another person is wrong about atheism. Not surprised, even when it’s a famous person.

    • I think he’s dead on. I’ve always said far more: I have no idea why all the atheists just don’t off themselves? It’s a religion of despair, a belief that we are nothing more than highly intelligent apes (I prefer C. S. Lewis’s “more but not less”). It’s a belief that this life is inherently meaningless. It’s a belief that justifies abortion and euthanasia and radical environmentalism and yet somehow atheists think that *their* lives are somehow worth preserving while they want to kill everyone else who’s inconvenient to them.

      I really don’t get it, other than that it is a gigantic ego trip.

      • Of course you think he’s spot on. Neither of you have been atheist and thus don’t know what you’re talking about.

        I have no idea why all the theists don’t off themselves. If this world is nothing but a fraction of our real existence and everything is much better in heaven, then this life is inherently meaningless. Why not just off yourself and go see your god?

      • That is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. I guess being an atheist is like being a homosexual, something inbred that you have no control over?

        It’ snot possible to examine the merits of an intellectual position and discard it?

      • Herpy McDerp

        You are accusing me of wanting to kill people, although you do not know me.

        Get lost.

      • GodsGadfly

        1. “Get lost”??? Really? On *my* blog?
        2. Are you “pro-choice”?

  2. Atheism is not a religion. Just because you need one doesn’t mean that other desire an invisible daddy. Atheism is to religion what bald is to hair color. We don’t kill ourselves because we know there is no evidence to back up the claim of an after life so we want the most out of this one. The question here is really “if you think there is something better after this, why are YOU still here?”

    • Who said anything about religion? I’m talking about philosophy, and atheism is lousy philosophy.
      This is proven by the fact that you idiots can’t make a logical argument for your position or address it’s inherent contradictions without turning to the same tired circular straw men like ‘invisible friend.’ God is neither invisible nor imaginary nor a ‘friend’, nor ‘in the sky.’ You people reject God because you want Him to be a cosmic vending machine, and you get mad that you can’t pop in a coin and make a wish.
      If you took the time to actually read the Saints, particularly the mystics, you would get answers to all your objections. Instead, you define the epistemology, constantly adjusting the terms to avoid the evidence. You claim there is no evidence but refuse to read the evidence because you say it’s a waste of time since God doesn’t exist. It’s a circular argument and completely unintellectual.

  3. “You claim there is no evidence but refuse to read the evidence…”

    Please provide your scientifically verified evidence god exists.

    • Can you give me irrefutable scientific evidence that the Pythagorean Theorem exists? Pi? That parallel angles are always the same degrees?
      Once again-blatant stupidity. Scientific empiricism is but one form of epistemological inquiry and indeed one of yhe least reliable gor ascertaining anything of meaning.
      That wasn’t what I said. Edith Stein, an atheist PhD in philosophy, converted to Catholicism based upon one reading of the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila.
      Have you even heard of either?
      What about the volumes of scientific evivdence from official investigations of various miracles held at the Vatican, Lourdes, etc.?
      Have you read Aquinas, Pascal, Augustine, Chesterton, Boethius, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Ignatius of Loyola, Bonaventure, Albert, Ambrose, Clement, John of the Cross, Von Hildebrand, Descartes, etc.?
      Again, you define your own arbitrary standard of evidence to the exclusion of all others and then say there’s no evidence.

      • “Can you give me irrefutable scientific evidence that the Pythagorean Theorem exists? Pi? That parallel angles are always the same degrees?”

        That is possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever read.

  4. So, in other words, you can’t. Some things can only be proven logically or mathematically, not empirically. Some things are just axiomatic.

    • And why is it that every discussion of atheism on this blog involves several “atheists” posting a comment each that all follow a discussion thread, with a tone as if they’re the same person? Atheists are either masters of group think or masters of trolling.
      This, of course, gets me to my other basic criticism of atheists: they’re amoral. Atheists try to say “I can be a moral person and be an atheist,” yet they make up their own moral rules that are easy to follow. If it’s a moral principle they want to follow, atheists say “I’m a moral person.” If it’s one they don’t, it’s “You can’t force your morality on me” or “There’s no such thing as Natural Law.” And while insisting there’s no such thing as Natural Law, atheists will still try to apply Natural Law when convenient (like condemning pedophile priests or condemning Republicans for environmental disasters).

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  6. How about we all humble ourselves? If there is a reason behind the existence of the universe, none of us can say with certainty that we know it. It is not ludicrous to believe that a higher power might have created it, and it is not ludicrous to believe that no higher power created it. Nor is it ludicrous to remain totally unsure.

    The only real power a cosmological opinion carries is how it affects our actions. If a belief in God makes you want to have a meaningful life (because that is God’s plan for you), and motivates you to be more responsible, more helpful, and generally a better human being, more power to ya. If a belief in the nonexistence of God makes you want to have a meaningful life (because you think there is only one), and motivates you to be more responsible, more helpful, and generally a better human being…also good!

    Atheists are not necessarily immoral. They’re likely to attend to certain values that others won’t attend to, which are still important. For instance, they might do more to maintain the long-term health of the Earth (‘radical’ environmentalism) because they believe it’s the only home we’ll ever have. Religious people are not necessarily immoral, either. They’re likely to attend to values that others won’t attend to, such as issues of symbolic sanctity (pro-life-ism, for instance).

    In the end, we need to have a good grounding in common sense, which to me means not letting our speculations about the unknowable waste our time and impede cooperation or peace. We should respect one another, or else we waste time and energy in unresolvable disagreements that would be better spent loving one another (that is, acknowledging our common humanity).

  7. Ah! The old assent to the obvious truth is arrogant claim.
    You’re asking and answering the wrong questions, Stephen. The question is: does God exist, and has He revealed Himself? The answer to both questions is “Yes.” To deny it is as stupid as to deny the assassination of Julius Caesar or the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It’s historical fact.

  8. Writings about the Christian God are historical, as are writings about the Gods of all major religions throughout history. I continually fail to see how the tales of this God should be considered fact.

  9. 1, I fail to see how the random speculations of some 19th Century British dude that have no possibility of empirical verification are considered fact.
    2. I fail to see how the insane ramblings of atheists are considered rational.
    3. If you can’t tell the difference between the Gospels and Greek myths, you’re an idiot.
    4. There is more historical credibility to the Bible than there is to Greek history.

  10. I phrased my opinion respectfully as a courtesy to your blog and its readers. I can see I’m not going to receive the same respect back in response. It is clear that when your beliefs are challenged you quickly resort to grade school name-calling.

    1. I’ll assume you are referencing Charles Darwin. I didn’t bring him up and he really has nothing to do with my first post. Many atheists existed before him, much of their questioning stemmed from gaping holes in mythology (christianity included), rather than science.

    2. This sounds like user error.

    3. This is exactly why I shouldn’t be addressing your childish retorts, but I will anyways because I’m young and bored.

    4. This is false. Perhaps you meant Greek mythology* but there certainly is not more credibility to the bible than all of known Greek history. Luckily this falsity was posted on a blog where absolutely no one really cares.

    I’ll pray for you 😉

  11. I apologize, please disregard my last post. After researching your website further I now know I had no idea who I was challenging.

    You clearly have a mission to accomplish, I refuse to stand in your way. Good luck with your crusade (not that you’ll need it, the last christian crusades went smashingly)

    • Well, they led to the creation of the Carmelite Order, so that’s something.

      But, thanks. I invite anyone to challenge my level of expertise in religion, philosophy and authentic science (as opposed to bad philosophy masquerading as science)–not that I know every nuance of any given scientific discipline, but I am well rounded in most scientific disciplines, and my knowledge of medicine rivals a lot of doctors (though physical and financial limitations, along with an aversion to laboratory research, have kept me from pursuing anything degree-wise). I’ve been studying theology, apologetics and spirituality since I was 12.

      All that said, the Comedy Central flippancy and pure stupidity of atheists bores me.

  12. Referring to people as stupid or idiots is arrogant and contrary to true Christian spiritual values. Doing so does a disservice to Christians everywhere and serves to confirm the idea that many people have about christians; that they are hypocrites. You Mr./Mrs. Gadfly, who claims to be enlightened, may be, but you are either missing or ignoring the main source and the principal points of the Christian faith. When Christ asked his disciples who do the people say that I am, and who do you say that I am, John answered and said, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus then said, you are blessed, because you could not have learned this on your own, (meaning simply through reason), but God the Father revealed this to you. IF you have the knowledge of God Mr/Mrs Gadfly, and not just some religious notions, it is likely not due to your own efforts at studying and learning, or due to your intelligence, but because God himself has revealed his existence to you. Therefore, you should be humble and thankful and not condescending to others who have not been so blessed. I wish all who read this peace and blessings.

  13. Dear Mr. Lew,
    1. You obviously didn’t read my previous reply. G. K.Chesterton pointed out that “agnostic” actually means the same thing as ignorant. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church–and I am of the opinion of Bl. John Henry Newman that one must be Catholic or Orthodox to be truly Christian, since the Bible is nonsense without apostolic succession–that it is heresy to deny that God is intellectually knowable by reason.
    2. To say that God is intellectually knowable, regardless of religion, which is called “theism,” is a very far cry from accepting all the propositions of Christian revelation, which, as you rightly note, are a matter of faith. However, from the early Church Fathers to today, it has been the consistent teaching of the Cathoic Church that those who are intellectually capable of knowing the Truth, are properly informed of the Truth, and refuse to accept it, are morally culpable for that rejection. The only exception is invincible ignorance.
    3. It is interesting that you use the proof text of the Papacy, Matthew16, as the basis for your Calvinist views, yet you attribute to John what are actually the words of Simon Peter–Petros, the Rock, Kephas in Aramaic which is the language Jesus spoke.
    They were standing on a Kephas, a bedrock, in Caesarea Philippi, which can still be seen today. The particular Kephas is underneath a cave known as the Gates of Hell, and out of that cave comes a stream which has never eroded the Kephas. Also, in Caesarea Philippi are statues of the Caesars and other Roman heroes. Jesus said, amidst those statues, “Who do you say that I am?” SIMON replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” You are right that Jesus attributed this knowledge to the Father’s inspiration–establishing that Peter and his successors, the Popes, would be guided by the Father’s inspiration through the Holy Spirit–and then declared Simon to be Kephas (in the original Aramaic He spoke), the Rock, which was translated into Greek by St. Matthew, upon which Jesus would build His Church–fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 22:19-21.
    4. as for your repeated references to me as “Mr. or Mrs.,” while I keep a nominal anonymity in my blog, and more importantly in my combox postings, to help protect my family, I make no real secret of my identity, and if you bothered to read anything else on this blog, or even the “About” page, you wouldn’t have to express ambiguity about my gender.
    5. Your disdainful words about “religion” make it sound like you’re one of those “I like Jesus but not religion” people, which is a position as intellectually untenable as atheism. It’s like saying, “Iike my wife but not marriage” or “I like my kids but not family” or “I like marriage but not kids.”
    Jesus established a Church. He made it very clear in the Gospels that He was establishing a Church, a community. He did not establish a bunch of individuals. The notion that Jesus died for *your* sins, so often touted by Evangelicals, is partially true but inadequate. Jesus died to establish a new Covenant, a new People of God. He died to give the world the Sacraments, which are administered by His Holy Church.
    Protestant sects are man-made religions based upon the ramblings of men who just wanted to justify their own sins, by taking Biblical passages out of context. The notion of sola Scriptura makes no sense: what purpose is there in believing the Bible without the Church that, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, *gave* us the Bible?

    When Jesus said, “This is the New Testament,” He wasn’t holding up a book; He was holding up a Chalice. “Unless you eat the flesh of the son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”

  14. When I see the lack of logic of some of today’s atheists, I shudder that I for a time seriously considered becoming one of them. It really does help to know what logical argument is before proclaiming one’s own views logical and one’s opponents’ illogical.

  15. Anthony hopkins is definetely one of the best actors these days, this guy is very talented. .*,.,

    Take a look at our new blog as well

  16. Anthony hopkins is still one of the best actors these days eventhough he is very old. ”

    <a href="My personal web page

  17. Atheism isn’t a religion. It’s freedom from ignorance. I’m an atheist. I don’t listen to Richard Dawkins or other preachers of atheism, I just come to my own conclusions.

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