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 The name Holden Caulfield, as shown below, was used in an unpublished short story written in 1942 and first appeared in print in 1945.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, who believes that if something even dwells in the heavens, it is pointless to worship that "something".[6]
Jetfire Transformers In a few episodes of Transformers G1 and some G1 comics, due to his scientific nature, Jetfire openly states that he is an atheist, that he does not believe in Primus. However, after his face-to-face contact and conversation with Primus, he became an agnostic atheist, still not confirmed about his existence.
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]
Spider-Man 2099 (Miguel O'Hara Peter David, Rick Leonardi Miguel O'Hara doesn't believe in God, but still calls on Him.
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]
Colossus/Piotr Rasputin Len Wein, Dave Cockrum member of the X-Men, originating from a Communist Russia, hence, his atheism.

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 the underwater city of Rapture as a refuge from a world consumed by government, altruism and religion. "I believe in no God, no invisible man in the sky." [15]
Sibrand Assassin's Creed In his last words to Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad after the latter dealt with the Teutonic knight with his Hidden Blade and said that he would be safe in the arms of God soon enough, Sibrand replied that there was nothing waiting for him in the end, not even God or the afterlife, that they did not even exist and that it was the one thing what he feared most.
Rodrigo Borgia Assassin's Creed II During his duel with Ezio Auditore da Firenze at the Vatican Vault, after failing to activate the Vault door because he did not have any First Civilization DNA in him, Rodrigo told to Ezio in the middle of the duel that he looked for God in the vault, shocking Ezio, which led to the latter to ask whether God was really in the Vault. Rodrigo replied that God being in the Vatican vault was a more logical answer and far more interesting than God being in the sky with angels singing cherubim all around. Ezio then asked what God would do once Rodrigo entered the vault. Rodrigo replied he was only after power, which Ezio asked whether God would give it up easily. Rodrigo then told that whatever lay beyond the Vault wall would not be able to resist the Staff and Apple and that they were made for felling gods. Ezio, being already a believer, replied that God was omniscient and omnipotent, and that mere artifacts could not harm Him, to which Rodrigo falsely accused Ezio that he took up the image of God from other men. Ezio was shocked to learn of Rodrigo's atheism and rejection of the Bible, despite his papacy. Rodrigo then scoffed that Ezio was still too naive. Rodrigo then replied: "I became Pope because it gave me ACCESS. It gave me POWER. Do you think I believe a single god-damned word of that ridiculous book? It's all lies and superstition. Just like every OTHER religious tract written over the past ten thousand years."
Al Mualim/Rashid ad-Din-Sinan Assassin's Creed (2007 video game) During his final fight with Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad in Masyaf and brief talks about the Apple of Eden while the latter was bound by the Apple's powers, Al Mualim confirmed that Altaïr was immune to the effects of the Pieces of Eden, to which Altaïr asked what illusion it was. Al Mualim said: "That's all it's ever done, this Templar treasure, this Piece of Eden, this word of God. Do you understand now? The Red Sea was never parted, water never turned to wine. It was not the machinations of Eris that spawned the Trojan War, but this! Illusions, all of them!" Altaïr argued that what Al Mualim had planned was no less than an illusion, to force men to work for him against their will. Al Mualim then denies the existence of any God whatsoever, by saying: "Is it any less real than the phantoms the Saracens and Crusaders follow now? Those craven Gods, who retreat from this world that men might slaughter one another in their names? They live amongst an illusion already. I'm simply giving them another, one that demands less blood." Altaïr then said that that they were safer choosing these "phantoms", confirming that it was better to believe in some higher entity than believing in nothing at all. Al Mualim was disappointed, claiming that logic had left Altaïr's mind and was replaced with emotion. Still unconvinced, Altaïr was released from being bound to the Apple's power, after which he swiftly defeated Al Mualim in combat with some difficulty, finally ending his Mentor's life by plunging his Hidden Blade into his throat. During Al Mualim's final moments, he tells Altaïr to take the Apple, to which Altaïr replied to his Mentor that he held fire in his hand, which should have been destroyed. Al Mualim was not convinced even then, believing that the Apple could end the Crusades and create true peace and that he would never destroy it. Altaïr then promised him that he would destroy it, with the latter dying after challenging his student to truly destroy it.
Mario Auditore Assassin's Creed II When speaking of the Auditore Villa Pastor to Ezio, Mario says "The prete (priest) seems a nice enough fellow, but I've never been much of a believer.". [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, however, in reality, he does not agree to this point and constantly shouts out to God to bless Liberty City. He states that because of his firsthand experience of seeing what human beings are capable of, he does not believe humans have souls. However, he did say that only barbaric creatures did not have any souls and that he did not know whether God is complicated or not. [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". When finding treasure however, Marston may exclaim "Perhaps there is a god!" [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 [16][better source needed]
Jetfire Transformers In a few episodes of Transformers G1 and some G1 comics, due to his scientific nature, Jetfire openly states that he is an atheist, that he does not believe in Primus. However, after his face-to-face contact and conversation with Primus, he became an agnostic atheist, and has stated that proving the existence of Primus is beyond him.
Edward Elric Fullmetal Alchemist Elric shows an express disbelief in gods in his trip to Reole, and challenges 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, contradicting this assertion.
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. At one point in the episode "Not all Dogs Go To Heaven", Brian says, "You’re barking up the wrong tree. I am an atheist." 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.
Pope Francis Brickleberry In Brickleberry, Pope Francis is parodied as a homicidal trash-talking con artist who is only interested in making money off of high church attendance having claimed that religion is just a "made up fairy tale". Because Woody Johnson grew a hemorrhoid that looked like Jesus, people stopped coming to church and started rushing to see his hemorrhoid, which made Pope Francis try to kill Woody.
Professor Hubert Farnsworth Futurama In the Simpsons/Futurama crossover, Simpsorama, it is revealed that Professor Farnsworth is an atheist, and he goes even as far as to make an atheist prayer. [17]
Ash Ketchum Pokémon Although Ash acknowledges he has met some powerful Pokémon that can be considered worthy objects of reverence and adoration, he politely dismisses the suggestion that there is a personal god as he has neither encountered any compelling evidence nor had any experiences that would warrant such a belief. He also notes that there is no obvious personal practical utility in such a belief by saying that his relationship with his friends and Pokémon are sufficient to give him purpose in life.
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".
Rick Sanchez Rick and Morty

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]
Dr. Norman Goodman Sphere Dr. Goodman refers to himself as an atheist, but is "flexible".
Paul Paul An alien who deconverts a fundamentalist Christian
Bill Williamson Rampage and Rampage: Capital Punishment He has stated "You still think god exists because they want you to spend your hard earned money on stupid churches? I’m gonna tell you something: there is no god, and there’s never a god, and there will be no fucking god ever." He is played by Brendan Fletcher
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]
Ra.One Ra.One played by Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Tom Wu

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: |access-date= (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 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. ^ Lahti, Evan (December 18, 2012). "Interview: Ken Levine on player movement, Disneyland, and how BioShock Infinite's villain". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2016-02-23. 
  16. ^ Television show’s "Daria"- the first openly atheist character in popular culture? | Ruby Soup with Pearl Juice
  17. ^ In the Simpsons/Futurama crossover, Simpsorama, it is revealed that Professor Farnsworth is an atheist.
  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. ^ [1]
  29. ^ Season 1, episode 17.
  30. ^ [2]
  31. ^ 'X-Files' And Dana Scully v. 'Bones' And Temperance Brennan | ThinkProgress
  32. ^ Episode 15 of the second season.
  33. ^ "Thirteen", episode 4 of season 4, and other hints of rationalism and scepticism throughout the series.
  34. ^ Brenda Chenowith#During the series
  35. ^ [3]
  36. ^ "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? 
  37. ^ "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.
     
  38. ^ season 2, episode 3 "Local Zero", quote: "You believe in a god, do you?! [...] There is no evidence for god [...]"
  39. ^ "My No Good Reason", Scrubs, ABC, March 22, 2007
  40. ^ Ostrow, Joanne (2011-07-03). "Ostrow: New shows get religion — of all stripes". Denver Post. 
  41. ^ TV Character Bios: Madeline Hayes
  42. ^ Season 3, Episode 2 The Sign of Three
  43. ^ Billy Keikeya Biography
  44. ^ Dawson's Crock
  45. ^ Main/Hollywood Atheist - Television Tropes & Idioms
  46. ^ Background Chatter: Ricky Gervais’s hilarious Extras
  47. ^ a b Short Lived Series With Passion Makes For Best Possible DVD Release
  48. ^ Community: "Comparative Religion"
  49. ^ "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," Grey's Anatomy, ABC, December 11, 2005
  50. ^ "It's a matter of 'Perception' for Eric McCormack and Rachael Leigh Cook". Zap2it. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 
  51. ^ The Mentalist - The Restaurant Scene [Pilot Episode]. Youtube.com. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  52. ^ Season 4, Episode 14: "Rest Her Soul"
  53. ^ Brave Acts of Bravery - Part 1. Youtube.com. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  54. ^ The Walking Dead Episode Scripts N/A - Infected. springfieldspringfield.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  55. ^ Congressional Prayer. Youtube.com. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2014-06-14.