List of fictional atheists and agnostics

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The following is a list of fictional atheists and agnostics limited to notable characters who have, either through self-admission within canon works or through admission of the character creator(s), been associated with a disbelief in a supreme deity or follow an agnostic approach toward religious matters.

Literature[edit]

Name Book Author Notes Refs
Holden Caulfield The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger the 17-year-old[1] protagonist of author J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. He is universally recognized for his resistance to growing older and desire to protect childhood innocence. Since the book's 1951 publication, Holden has become an icon for teenage rebellion and angst, and now stands among the most important characters of 20th-century American literature. The name Holden Caulfield, as shown below, was used in an unpublished short story written in 1942 and first appeared in print in 1945. [2]
Meursault The Stranger Albert Camus an Algerian ("a citizen of France domiciled in North Africa, a man of the Mediterranean, an homme du midi yet one who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture")[3] who seemingly irrationally kills an Arab man whom he recognises in French Algiers. The story is divided into two parts: Meursault's first-person narrative view before and after the murder, respectively. [4]
Mothwing Warrior Cats Erin Hunter Mothwing lacked belief in StarClan ever since her brother, Hawkfrost, admitted to faking the sign which led to her becoming a medicine cat. She usually hides her lack of faith, believing that the Clans would not stand for a medicine cat who did not believe in StarClan (as communing with StarClan is normally a large part of a medicine cat's duties).
Brady Hartsfield Mr. Mercedes Stephen King An American 30-year old serial mass murderer. Stopped believing in a god after the awful events involving his little brother, Frankie.

Comics[edit]

Name Debut Creator(s) Notes
Anarky Detective Comics No.608
(Nov. 1989)
Alan Grant
Norm Breyfogle
(a.k.a. Lonnie Machin), an ambiguous superhero/villain in publications of DC Comics.[5]
Beta Ray Bill an alien superhero from Marvel Comics[6]
Booster Gold (a.k.a. Michael Jon Carter), a superhero in publications from DC Comics.[7]
Dr. Manhattan from the graphic novel and Watchmen[8]
Johnny C Johnny the Homicidal Maniac Jhonen Vasquez Serial killer in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.[9]
Maggie Greene The Walking Dead Issue 10
(July 2004)
Robert Kirkman a character who founded in The Walking Dead
Iron Man (a.k.a. Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark), a superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe.[10]
Eugene Porter The Walking Dead Issue 53
(October 10, 2008)
Robert Kirkman a character who founded in The Walking Dead
Hank Pym (a.k.a. "Ant Man"), a Marvel Comics character who founded in The Avengers[11]
Mister Terrific (a.k.a. Michael Holt), a superhero in the DC Comics Universe.[12]
Savage Dragon superhero who stars in his eponymous series from Image Comics.[13]
Starman (Ted Knight) superhero from DC Comics and member of the JSA.[14]

Video games[edit]

Name Game Notes Refs
Ted Strayer Fallout 3 A non-player character living in Rivet City. When Rev. Clifford tries to convince Strayer to believe in God, he responds that there is "no way in hell". [citation needed]
Andrew Ryan Bioshock Half Antagonist in BioShock, created Rapture partially as a refuge from a world consumed by religion. "I believe in no God, no invisible man in the sky." [citation needed]
Mario Auditore Assassins Creed 2 When speaking of the Auditore Villa Pastor, Mario says "I have never been religious, but he is a good man". [citation needed]
Niko Belic GTA IV This main character often muses that he does not care whether or not God exists, saying that any faith he had died after the numerous atrocities that he witnessed and took part in during the war. He states that because of his firsthand experience of seeing what human beings are capable of, he does not believe humans have souls. [citation needed]
John Marston Red Dead Redemption When rancher Bonnie MacFarlane asks Marston if he is a religious man, he responds, "Not in any real sense", he goes on to say "Believing in some kind of divine purpose ain't gonna get me my wife and child back" [citation needed]
Terrence Sweetwater Battlefield: Bad Company 2 During an idle conversation with Haggard, Sweetwater reveals that he rejects the concept of sin and a god, referring to them as "superstition", as well as just stating that he does not believe in a god. [citation needed]

Animation[edit]

Name Work Notes Refs
Daria Morgendorffer Daria [15][better source needed]
Edward Elric Fullmetal Alchemist Elric shows an express disbelief in gods, especially in his trip to Reole, and debunks the cult of Letoism while there, showing that the leader was actually using alchemy. However, he privately makes reference to belief in some sort of higher power, if for no reason other than to rationalize why his life is so difficult.
Holo Spice and Wolf Holo initially scoffs at the notion that one god created the entire world and everything in it; later on in the series, she states that there cannot possibly be a god given how much pain and sorrow there is in the world. However, she should be considered an agnostic as she herself is a wolf deity; she knows that gods like herself exist but expresses disbelief in a monotheistic God.
Brian Griffin Family Guy Originally he was a closeted atheist in earlier seasons and it is revealed in "Love, Blactually" that he is an open atheist like Seth MacFarlane himself, who claims that this character represents him most. This was revealed where he is seen at the library and he is looking for The God Delusion by atheist Richard Dawkins. His atheism comes under attack in "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven" when he comes out to the Griffins about his atheism, and Meg, in a drastic effort to convert Brian to Christianity, makes his atheism public knowledge, quickly making him a social outcast until near climax of the episode. However, in the episode April in Quahog Brian is seen praying as a response to the news report about a black hole that was discovered near the solar system and was about to suck the Earth inside (the black hole turned out to be an April Fool's joke plotted by Channel News 5). Stewie then teases Brian for it. [citation needed]
Malloy Brickleberry In "Two Weeks Notice", Malloy tries to convince the show's main protagonist Steve Williams that God cannot exist because of hunger, suffering and war particularly using Africa as an example. Malloy also dismisses that Heaven and Hell after life connections exist.
Professor Hubert Farnsworth Futurama [16]
Cleveland Brown, Jr. The Cleveland Show
Homer Simpson The Simpsons In The Simpsons Movie before entering church, he says, "Relax, those pious morons are too busy talking to their phony-baloney God. Though in the television series, he seems to be a average Christian/Protestant.
Paul Pokémon He regards religion as patent nonsense and a collection of platitudes. [17][better source needed]
Mr. and Mrs. Weatherhead The Poor Kid (South Park) Both them are militant agnostics who oppose any statements of certainty in the episode "The Poor Kid".

Film[edit]

Name Film Notes Refs
Nicholas Angel Hot Fuzz played by Simon Pegg[18] [citation needed]
Eleanor Ann Arroway Contact played by Jodie Foster[19] [citation needed]
Darrin "Doughboy" Baker Boyz n the Hood played by Ice Cube[20] [citation needed]
Sandy Bates Stardust Memories played by Woody Allen[21] [citation needed]
Laine Billings Hanson The Contender played by Joan Allen[22] [citation needed]
Harry Block Deconstructing Harry played by Woody Allen[23] [citation needed]
Henry Drummond Inherit the Wind played by Spencer Tracy[24] [citation needed]
Charlie Holloway Prometheus played by Logan Marshall-Green [citation needed]
David Labraccio Flatliners played by Kevin Bacon [citation needed]
Robert Neville I Am Legend played by Will Smith [citation needed]
Harper Stewart The Best Man played by Taye Diggs [citation needed]

Television[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Book analysis at Cliffsnotes.com, accessed 2011-05-18
    He is 17 years old when, as the book's narrator, he is referring to the main story, taking place the previous December.
  2. ^ Salinger, Jerome (1951). The Catcher in the Rye. p. 130. 
  3. ^ From the introduction to the first English edition(1946)
  4. ^ Camus, Albert (1942). The Stranger. p. 80.  "Il [..] me demandant si je croyais en Dieu. J'ai répondu que non." (He asked me if I believe in God. I answered 'no'.)
  5. ^ Kraft, Gary S. (1997-04-08). "Holy Penis Collapsor Batman! DC Publishes The First Zonpower Comic Book!?!?!". GoComics.com. Archived from the original on 1998-02-18. Retrieved 1998-02-18.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
    Alan Grant (w), Norm Breyfogle (p), Josef Rubinstein (i). "Metamorphosis, Part One: Does a Dog Have a Buddha Nature?" Anarky 1: 20/5 (May 1, 1997), DC Comics
  6. ^ Secret Invasion Aftermath: Beta Ray Bill - The Green of Eden (2009), by Kieron Gillen; Bill states that he when he looks at the heavens, he considers them to be empty – "and, if not empty, I find the idea of worshipping whatever dwells there, obscene."
  7. ^ Justice League International Annual #2
  8. ^ In Chapter IV reveals that he doesn't think there is a God
  9. ^ The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character Johnny C. (or Nny) in Jhonen Vasquez's Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
  10. ^ Ching, Albert (2011-02-18). "Matt Fraction Takes IRON MAN From #500 to FEAR ITSELF". Newsarama. Retrieved 2011-07-27. 
  11. ^ TheGodlessHeathen.com: The Leading The Godless Heathen Site on the Net
  12. ^ Infinite Crisis # 5, pg. 1
  13. ^ Erik Larsen. The Savage Dragon #31
  14. ^ JSA Returns #9 All-Star Comics
  15. ^ Television show’s "Daria"- the first openly atheist character in popular culture? | Ruby Soup with Pearl Juice
  16. ^ In the Simpsons/Futurama crossover, Simpsorama, it is revealed that Professor Farnsworth is an atheist.
  17. ^ http://toasty-coconut.tumblr.com/post/81342206185/based-on-my-last-post-these-are-my-headcanons-for
  18. ^ Movie review: Hot Fuzz
  19. ^ Contact (1997)
  20. ^ Non-Believers of Color: Atheists and Skeptics in the Black Community - YouTube
  21. ^ [this quote needs a citation]
  22. ^ The Contender (2000): FILM REVIEW; Those Strange Bedfellows Haunt a Politician
  23. ^ Deconstructing Harry - Woody Allen - The Affair. Youtube. n.d. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  24. ^ "Analysis of Major Characters". Inherit the Wind Drama Study Guide. SparkNotes. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  25. ^ Episode 1 "Serenity", quote: ""You're welcome on my boat. God ain't." ―Malcolm Reynolds to Derrial Book
  26. ^ "Corrie comments spark complaints". BBC News. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  27. ^ Bones Season 1
  28. ^ Brenda Chenowith#During the series
  29. ^ "The Zarnecki Incurence". The Big Bang Theory. Season 4. Episode 19. March 31, 2011. CBS. Why hast thou forsaken me, o deity whose existence I doubt? 
  30. ^ "The Hawking Excitation". The Big Bang Theory. Season 5. Episode 21. April 5, 2012. CBS. Raj, you’re our group historian. Has Sheldon ever begged before?
    Raj: Three times. He begged the Fox network not to cancel Firefly. He begged the TNT network to cancel Babylon 5. And when he got food poisoning at the Rose Bowl Parade, he begged a deity he doesn’t believe in to end his life quickly.
     
  31. ^ season 2, episode 3 "Local Zero", quote: "You believe in a god, do you?! [...] There is no evidence for god [...]"
  32. ^ "My No Good Reason", Scrubs, ABC, March 22, 2007
  33. ^ Ostrow, Joanne (2011-07-03). "Ostrow: New shows get religion — of all stripes". Denver Post. 
  34. ^ TV Character Bios: Madeline Hayes
  35. ^ Season 3, Episode 2 The Sign of Three
  36. ^ Playing Godless
  37. ^ Billy Keikeya Biography
  38. ^ Dawson's Crock
  39. ^ Main/Hollywood Atheist - Television Tropes & Idioms
  40. ^ Background Chatter: Ricky Gervais’s hilarious Extras
  41. ^ 'X-Files' And Dana Scully v. 'Bones' And Temperance Brennan | ThinkProgress
  42. ^ a b Short Lived Series With Passion Makes For Best Possible DVD Release
  43. ^ Community: "Comparative Religion"
  44. ^ "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," Grey's Anatomy, ABC, December 11, 2005
  45. ^ "It's a matter of 'Perception' for Eric McCormack and Rachael Leigh Cook". Zap2it. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 
  46. ^ The Mentalist - The Restaurant Scene [Pilot Episode]. Youtube.com. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  47. ^ Season 4, Episode 14: "Rest Her Soul"
  48. ^ Brave Acts of Bravery - Part 1. Youtube.com. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  49. ^ The Walking Dead Episode Scripts N/A - Infected. springfieldspringfield.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  50. ^ Congressional Prayer. Youtube.com. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2014-06-14.