History Main / HollywoodAtheist

10th Jun '17 5:20:21 PM DeckardCanine
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* Atheists are somehow simply unaware of religion, and [[EasyEvangelism will happily convert on the spot]] when informed of the rudiments of whatever dogma the work is endorsing. Expect them in an AuthorTract (despite the name this shows up as early as the book [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayy_ibn_Yaqdhan Hayy ibn Yaqzan]], making this trope OlderThanFeudalism).

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* Atheists are somehow simply unaware of religion, and [[EasyEvangelism will happily convert on the spot]] when informed of the rudiments of whatever dogma the work is endorsing. Expect them in an AuthorTract (despite AuthorTract. (Despite the name trope name, this shows up as early as the book [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayy_ibn_Yaqdhan Hayy ibn Yaqzan]], making this trope OlderThanFeudalism).OlderThanFeudalism.)
25th May '17 11:25:36 AM Dimensio
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* As a parody of evangelical Christian films, ''Film/JesusBro'' exaggerates this trope for comedic effect. The main character is a brash and arrogant Youtuber known for his caustic rants against Christianity, going so far as to lobby for ''Film/AChristmasStory'' to be renamed ''A Holiday Story'' and advocating hedonistic behaviors such as sex with monkeys (because we evolved from them). He also becomes violently ill, to the point of vomiting, when he notices a man in a restaurant quietly praying before a meal. After he converts to Christianity, he repeatedly suffers violence from his former followers.
22nd May '17 7:58:50 PM Fireblood
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* ''Series/AmericanGods'': Laura, who didn't believe in God or an afterlife, and was depressed with her life despite having Shadow (whom she cheated on while he was in prison). After she dies, Anubis claims she "believed in nothing".
22nd May '17 7:10:28 PM Fireblood
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* Subverted, however, with Nichols in ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent''. If anything, he was brought up somewhat spoiled (at one point, he attributes some of his ego issues to being praised too often as a child). He was simply raised atheist by atheist parents.



* In ''Series/FatherTed'', Father Dougal [=McGuire=] is shown in a number of episodes to have no belief in God or any other aspect of the Catholic faith. At one point he discusses the matter with a bishop having a crisis of faith, [[EasyEvangelism who ends up resigning his post and becoming a hippie]]. Of course, he wasn't ''trying'' to encourage him to leave the clergy. But this is Dougal we're talking about.
-->'''Ted''': Dougal, how exactly did you become a priest? Was it a "collect 10 crisp packets and become a priest" promotion?



* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** In "Grilled Cheesus" with Sue and Kurt: while Kurt expresses dislike of religious ''institutions'' because of what he considers their sexist, homophobic and anti-science attitudes, the arguments he uses in his conversations with the other Gleeks about god and faith are mostly the same as those used by intellectual atheists, including Russell's teapot and a brief reference to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It's also implied that his atheism is of long standing - his speech about his mother's funeral makes it clear that even as an eight-year-old he had no belief in any sort of after life. On the other hand, he does try to [[WhatTheHellHero stop people from praying for his father when he's in the hospital]], despite the fact that his father is religious and would most likely ''want'' people to pray for him. [[StrawmanHasAPoint Probably because they were making an obnoxious production of their prayers despite almost none of them knowing Burt personally]].
** Sue, on the other hand comes off as mostly angry at God for giving her sister Down syndrome and tries to stop the students from singing about their religious beliefs - though to be fair, this is also at least partly because their insistence on doing so is causing Kurt, whose father is in a coma after a serious heart attack at this point, considerable stress. Even better, while they both make their peace with the religious (or bow to religious privilege), neither is converted by the end of the episode.
** Meanwhile, Finn sings a song about losing faith and the episode treated it in a very cool manner. It's still rare to find a show that's not afraid of sending the message "some people lose their faith; that's ok". Finn's emotional distress at losing his faith in his Grilled Cheesus is not in itself made light of. It's just presented as the logical consequence of a certain rather shallow and opportunistic sort of faith being challenged. The editing of the song sequence does, however, imply that Finn thinks Kurt, as an atheist, feels the same confusion and isolation Finn is experiencing ''all the time'' - while making it clear that actually, Kurt doesn't, and that his sympathy for Finn's situation is, for various reasons, not great.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** In the Christmas episode "[[Recap/CommunityS1E12ComparativeReligion Comparative Religion]]" we learn that Britta is an atheist and Jeff's agnostic, but neither is particularly bitter or obnoxious about it. Both go out of their way to politely accommodate Shirley's overtly Christian holiday plans, and Shirley's actually the more obnoxious when it comes to other people's beliefs here. As the series has progressed, however, Britta has gotten a bit more in-your-face about her atheism, especially when mixing it up with [[TheFundamentalist Shirley]].
** The clash between this trope and TheFundamentalist was played with in [[Recap/CommunityS3E07StudiesInModernMovement Studies in Modern Movement]]. After Shirley insinuates that Britta doesn't have a moral code because of her lack of religion, Britta picks up a hitchhiker specifically to show the opposite. This backfires on Britta when the hitchhiker is himself a staunch Christian. It then backfires on ''Shirley'' when he's also a big supporter of legalizing weed, and believes himself to be Jesus. They finally come together with the reveal that he's ''incredibly racist'' and doesn't think blacks and white should mix. Oh, and he drinks human blood.
* On ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Dean used to be an atheist, at least until he met Castiel and other angels. And later God himself. Now his believing in God is rather pragmatic, not really motivated by faith. ''Supernatural'' is interesting in the regard that his atheism seemed only to apply to the Christian god. A couple of MonstersOfTheWeek were, in fact, pagan gods.
** Granted, given how many of those pagan gods they've killed it's not hard to imagine they were just more powerful-than-usual monsters that some people used to worship/placate.



* ''Series/TheGoodWife'': The show's got a pretty good track record for averting this and portraying atheists as no more or less sympathetic than theists.
** Alicia is an open atheist but isn't shown to be a worse person for it. In fact, although her daughter Grace is a born-again Christian, these different beliefs never affect their relationship. "Dear God" has Alicia needing help dealing with a venue change to a Christian arbitrator rather than a courtroom, and she goes to Grace for advice on how to use the Bible as a legal document. Overall it's refreshing to see it treated in this manner instead of being a damaging character flaw.
** This was first revealed when Eli planned to use a video of Maddie Hayward refusing to take part in a public prayer against her gubernatorial campaign (she's one of Peter's opponents and Eli's just doing his job as campaign manager), but she short-circuits him by telling a reporter who catches all four of them at a dinner that she felt it would be hypocritical of her to go through the motions as an atheist. Peter tells the reporter he respects that, though he doesn't agree with her. The reporter then queries Alicia, who states she's an atheist as well.
** Alicia herself invokes this when she's involved with a custody case against a philosophy professor. She uses the fact that he doesn't believe in an afterlife, free will or anything immaterial as evidence that he would be a worse parent to his son than the child's mother. However, the professor defends himself against her accusations ably (which seem to partly stem from the recent loss of her friend-the professor's opinion that [[CessationOfExistence existence ends at death]] upsets her).
** It comes back to bite Alicia when she's running for State's Attorney, as many people in the US believe this trope to be true. She's advised that open atheists are unelectable. Thus, she's forced to backtrack on her admission of being one into calling herself "questioning" after Will's death and her daughter's influence. She's obviously very uncomfortable with this, as is Grace when her prayer group leader gives thanks for her supposedly getting through to Alicia, highlighting the very real prejudice many American atheists encounter (especially in doing things such as running for public office).
* Played with in ''Series/VeronicaMars''. After a bus driver apparently kills himself by driving his bus (full of kids) off a cliff, his last acts come under scrutiny. Specifically, when he stopped at a convenience store shortly before his end, he bought a number of things, including a cheap little Christian keychain, which he then shrugged and tossed in the trash. Everyone assumed that this was a sign he was turning his back on God, and thus planned to kill himself. When Veronica investigates, she finds that the store has a large sign proclaiming "NO CHANGE (don't even ask!)." So he was just buying the cheapest thing he could to make change, and threw it away because it was a cheap little keychain that wasn't worth keeping. It is eventually discovered that he didn't actually kill himself; there was a bomb on the bus. Though in fairness, the fact that he left a note saying he was leaving his wife for another woman, but which was vague enough to be mistaken for a suicide note, ''really'' didn't help.

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* ''Series/TheGoodWife'': The show's got a pretty good track record for averting this and portraying atheists as no more or less sympathetic than theists.
** Alicia is an open atheist but isn't shown to be a worse person for it. In fact, although her daughter Grace is a born-again Christian, these different beliefs never affect their relationship. "Dear God" has Alicia needing help dealing with a venue change to a Christian arbitrator rather than a courtroom, and she goes to Grace for advice on how to use the Bible as a legal document. Overall it's refreshing to see it treated in this manner instead of being a damaging character flaw.
** This was first revealed when Eli planned to use a video of Maddie Hayward refusing to take part in a public prayer against her gubernatorial campaign (she's one of Peter's opponents and Eli's just doing his job as campaign manager), but she short-circuits him by telling a reporter who catches all four of them at a dinner that she felt it would be hypocritical of her to go through the motions as an atheist. Peter tells the reporter he respects that, though he doesn't agree with her. The reporter then queries Alicia, who states she's an atheist as well.
** Alicia herself invokes this when she's involved with a custody case against a philosophy professor. She uses the fact that he doesn't believe in an afterlife, free will or anything immaterial as evidence that he would be a worse parent to his son than the child's mother. However, the professor defends himself against her accusations ably (which seem to partly stem from the recent loss of her friend-the professor's opinion that [[CessationOfExistence existence ends at death]] upsets her).
** It comes back to bite Alicia when she's running for State's Attorney, as many people in the US believe this trope to be true. She's advised that open atheists are unelectable. Thus, she's forced to backtrack on her admission of being one into calling herself "questioning" after Will's death and her daughter's influence. She's obviously very uncomfortable with this, as is Grace when her prayer group leader gives thanks for her supposedly getting through to Alicia, highlighting the very real prejudice many American atheists encounter (especially in doing things such as running for public office).
* Played with in ''Series/VeronicaMars''. After a bus driver apparently kills himself by driving his bus (full of kids) off a cliff, his last acts come under scrutiny. Specifically, when he stopped at a convenience store shortly before his end, he bought a number of things, including a cheap little Christian keychain, which he then shrugged at and tossed in the trash. Everyone assumed that this was a sign he was turning his back on God, and thus planned to kill himself. When Veronica investigates, she finds that the store has a large sign proclaiming "NO CHANGE (don't even ask!)." So he was just buying the cheapest thing he could to make change, and threw it away because it was a cheap little keychain that wasn't worth keeping. It is eventually discovered that he didn't actually kill himself; there was a bomb on the bus. Though in fairness, the fact that he left a note saying he was leaving his wife for another woman, but which was vague enough to be mistaken for a suicide note, ''really'' didn't help.



* In ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode [[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS2E65TheObsoleteMan The Obsolete Man]], the Chancellor (and by extension the State) are pretty extreme examples, given that they not only declare God does not exist, but run a murderous totalitarian dictatorship which outlaws religion entirely, along with killing anyone whom they deem "obsolete" (people who believe in God presumably are included) especially in contrast with the saintly Christian character Wordsworth. Given this was in the Cold War era, it may have been a TakeThat regarding the officially atheist communist states, who persecuted religious people... and everyone else who didn't obey them.
** It's even better than that, they not only claim that God doesnt exist, they also claim that the State has ''proven'' that he doesnt exist. They dont say HOW they did that, but presumably few people are going to argue with them.

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* In ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode [[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS2E65TheObsoleteMan The Obsolete Man]], the Chancellor (and by extension the State) are pretty extreme examples, given that they not only declare God does not exist, but run a murderous totalitarian dictatorship which outlaws religion entirely, along with killing anyone whom they deem "obsolete" (people who believe in God presumably are included) especially in contrast with the saintly Christian character Wordsworth. Given this was in the Cold War era, it may have been a TakeThat regarding the officially atheist communist states, who persecuted religious people... and everyone else who didn't obey them.
** It's
them. They even better than that, they not only claim that God doesnt exist, they also claim to have ''proven'' that the State has ''proven'' that he doesnt exist. They dont say HOW they did that, but presumably few people are going to argue with them. Naturally, Wordsworth denies they can prove such a thing (at this point he's been sentenced to death anyway).



* ''Series/MalibuCountry'': Nicely averted when June admits she's an atheist. Reba respects this, along with her desire to not attend church anymore.



* Averted in ''Radio/OldHarrysGame'' with the Professor who is one of the kindest characters in the series and is only in Hell because he is an atheist - he points out that he's hardly his fault for not believing in God if He refused to openly prove his existence, but God is shown to love blind faith. The Professor's wife is very much the same. PlayedForLaughs as both [[UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} the Buddha]] and [[Creator/FriedrichNietzsche Nietzsche]] are in Hell too.



** The TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} campaign setting also had the Athar faction, who's big thing was that they believed the gods weren't really gods, just really, really powerful mortals with huge egos, as evidenced by the fact that the gods could be killed. Like the ur-Priest Prestige Class, they had the ability to muck up divine magic but lacked the "must be evil" restriction on their alignment. They were frequently portrayed as being JerkAss characters, however. An interesting twist with the Athar is that more than a few of them weren't actually ''atheists'' as we'd see it -- they believed in a divinity of sorts, they just didn't agree that the beings generally called gods were really divine. The Athar's ''leader'' is a subversion. While most Athar join the faction due to being betrayed or disillusioned from their gods and are generally bitter and angry, Factol Terrance simply woke up one morning and realized that he simply did not have faith in his god any longer, so he left his clerical position and joined the Athar. Terrance is also one of the most stable, sane and generally pleasant leaders of any of the Planescape factions.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' default setting of Golarion has several examples that fall into a blend of this and FlatEarthAtheist, but perhaps the best fit is the nation of Rahadoum: after the Oath Wars, a three-way religious war between the faiths of Norgorber[[note]]NeutralEvil god of murder, poison and secrets[[/note]], Nethys[[note]]TrueNeutral god of magic[[/note]] and Sarenrae[[note]]NeutralGood goddess of healing, redemption and the sun[[/note]] ravaged their country, the secular survivors finally rose up and violently expelled the religious. Afterwards they founded a new philosophical creed condemning the gods as demanding too high a price for mortal worship and declaring religious faith illegal -- not so much atheism as a blending of "informed alatrism"[[note]]"there are gods, but they are not worth our time or attention"[[/note]] and [[GodIsEvil maltheism]]. Zigzagged in that they are displayed in the setting as being optimistic, well-educated, and generally having strong, positive attitudes towards making life comfortable for everyone; as they know they can't expect any special attention or reprieve from Pharasma[[note]]TrueNeutral goddess of birth and death[[/note]] when they die, then the logical thing to do is make the world worthwhile to live in, individually and collectively.



** The BigBad was one of these, telling the heroes: "[[ShutUpKirk There is no goddess]], [[IHaveComeTooFar so I will continue to pursue]] [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill my ideals]]." Which is kind of ironic when you consider that he's the closest thing the world has to a PhysicalGod; even more so when you realise that [[spoiler:the sister he set up as a false deity becomes the closest thing to an actual goddess]] - and the [[ItMakesSenseInContext "sequel"]] ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' reveals that some sort of afterlife does exist.

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** The BigBad was one of these, telling the heroes: "[[ShutUpKirk There is no goddess]], [[IHaveComeTooFar so I will continue to pursue]] [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill my ideals]]." Which is kind of ironic when you consider that he's the closest thing the world has to a PhysicalGod; even more so when you realise realize that [[spoiler:the sister he set up as a false deity becomes the closest thing to an actual goddess]] - and the [[ItMakesSenseInContext "sequel"]] ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' reveals that some sort of afterlife does exist.



* In the wii SurvivalHorror game ''VideoGame/CursedMountain'' Frank Simmons is a total intolerant jerkass about the Tibetan religion; this attitude towards their beliefs and rituals (along with not doing them properly or not doing them at all before climbing their sacred mountain) leads to a very, VERY angry goddess and basically starts the plot of the game. Eric Simmons, the protagonist, while more respectful to religion, steadfastedly refuses to accept that there might be a supernatural explanation for what's going on, instead insisting that he's suffering things like hallucinations from lack of oxygen with the desperation of a drowning man clinging to a lifebelt.

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* In the wii SurvivalHorror game ''VideoGame/CursedMountain'' Frank Simmons is a total intolerant jerkass about the Tibetan religion; this attitude towards their beliefs and rituals (along with not doing them properly or not doing them at all before climbing their sacred mountain) leads to a very, VERY angry goddess and basically starts the plot of the game. Eric Simmons, the protagonist, while more respectful to religion, steadfastedly steadfastly refuses to accept that there might be a supernatural explanation for what's going on, instead insisting that he's suffering things like hallucinations from lack of oxygen with the desperation of a drowning man clinging to a lifebelt.



* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', Morrigan fills the role of the Hollywood Atheist: She's the only outspoken non-believer in your party and also the closest thing the game has to an 'evil' character with an ItsAllAboutMe attitude. She even has a PartyBanter moment with the religious Leliana where they both make good points for and against religion. In fairness to Morrigan, she's a rogue mage in a setting where the dominant religion heavily regulates magic users and would be marked for death just because she was raised outside of the Chantry, so it's more than just a philosophical point for her. Sten, who follows the Qun religion/philosophy, also takes occasional shots at the local faith from more of a "Qunari have OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions" angle.

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* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', Morrigan fills the role of the Hollywood Atheist: She's she's the only outspoken non-believer in your party and also the closest thing the game has to an 'evil' character with an ItsAllAboutMe attitude. She even has a PartyBanter moment with the religious Leliana where they both make good points for and against religion. In fairness to Morrigan, she's a rogue mage in a setting where the dominant religion heavily regulates magic users and would be marked for death just because she was raised outside of the Chantry, so it's more than just a philosophical point for her. Sten, who follows the Qun religion/philosophy, also takes occasional shots at the local faith from more of a "Qunari have OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions" angle.



* In ''VideoGame/CivilizationBeyondEarth'', Samatar Jama Barre is an aversion. While he's not religious, and he has a very low opinion of religious figures, he fully supports his brother when he hears that he's visiting the mosque again. He's also probably the [[NiceGuy nicest]] of the faction leaders, as well as the most tolerant.



* [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with the bartender in ''Webcomic/JesusAndMo'', who's an AuthorAvatar and depicted positively, in contrast to the eponymous duo's backwards, stupid ways.



* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbfFAYn8bgc The Secret Lives of Atheists]] by ''WebAnimation/DarkMatter2525'' lampoons every negative stereotype about atheists under the sun.



* ''WebVideo/FiveSecondFilms'': Parodied in ''Film/TheArtist'' spoof "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9nlcppSH7E The Atheist]]", in which the main character declares that there is no God [[EvilStoleMyFaith after his dog dies]] and is immediately overtaken by nihilistic despair.



* Averted by ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'', who has explained that she doesn't believe in God because she hasn't seen any evidence, but at the same time hasn't seen any evidence disproving God either. She simply believes you should treat people the way you want to be treated and believe what makes you feel best. This only plays in one or two episodes, so it isn't a big facet of the show. Though Jane suggests that Daria just doesn't want to believe in a higher power because if one exists, it means that there's an actual predestined reason why the two of them are outcasts and idiots run the world, and nothing they do can change that. [[MadeMyselfSad She then admits that's horribly depressing]].



** Homer flip-flops with this trope, mainly because he hates attending church and only bothers at all because Marge forces him to.

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** Homer flip-flops with this trope, mainly because he hates attending church and only bothers at all because Marge forces him to. He isn't shown to really disbelieve so much as simply not care however.


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* Subverted with Nichols in ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent''. If anything, he was brought up somewhat spoiled (at one point, he attributes some of his ego issues to being praised too often as a child). He was simply raised atheist by atheist parents.
* In ''Series/FatherTed'', Father Dougal [=McGuire=] is shown in a number of episodes to have no belief in God or any other aspect of the Catholic faith. At one point he discusses the matter with a bishop having a crisis of faith, [[EasyEvangelism who ends up resigning his post and becoming a hippie]]. Of course, he wasn't ''trying'' to encourage him to leave the clergy. But this is Dougal we're talking about.
-->'''Ted''': Dougal, how exactly did you become a priest? Was it a "collect 10 crisp packets and become a priest" promotion?
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** In "Grilled Cheesus" with Sue and Kurt: while Kurt expresses dislike of religious ''institutions'' because of what he considers their sexist, homophobic and anti-science attitudes, the arguments he uses in his conversations with the other Gleeks about god and faith are mostly the same as those used by intellectual atheists, including Russell's teapot and a brief reference to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It's also implied that his atheism is of long standing - his speech about his mother's funeral makes it clear that even as an eight-year-old he had no belief in any sort of after life. On the other hand, he does try to [[WhatTheHellHero stop people from praying for his father when he's in the hospital]], despite the fact that his father is religious and would most likely ''want'' people to pray for him. [[StrawmanHasAPoint Probably because they were making an obnoxious production of their prayers despite almost none of them knowing Burt personally]].
** Sue, on the other hand comes off as mostly angry at God for giving her sister Down syndrome and tries to stop the students from singing about their religious beliefs - though to be fair, this is also at least partly because their insistence on doing so is causing Kurt, whose father is in a coma after a serious heart attack at this point, considerable stress. Even better, while they both make their peace with the religious (or bow to religious privilege), neither is converted by the end of the episode.
** Meanwhile, Finn sings a song about losing faith and the episode treated it in a very cool manner. It's still rare to find a show that's not afraid of sending the message "some people lose their faith; that's ok". Finn's emotional distress at losing his faith in his Grilled Cheesus is not in itself made light of. It's just presented as the logical consequence of a certain rather shallow and opportunistic sort of faith being challenged. The editing of the song sequence does, however, imply that Finn thinks Kurt, as an atheist, feels the same confusion and isolation Finn is experiencing ''all the time'' - while making it clear that actually, Kurt doesn't, and that his sympathy for Finn's situation is, for various reasons, not great.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** In the Christmas episode "[[Recap/CommunityS1E12ComparativeReligion Comparative Religion]]" we learn that Britta is an atheist and Jeff's agnostic, but neither is particularly bitter or obnoxious about it. Both go out of their way to politely accommodate Shirley's overtly Christian holiday plans, and Shirley's actually the more obnoxious when it comes to other people's beliefs here. As the series has progressed, however, Britta has gotten a bit more in-your-face about her atheism, especially when mixing it up with [[TheFundamentalist Shirley]].
** The clash between this trope and TheFundamentalist was played with in [[Recap/CommunityS3E07StudiesInModernMovement Studies in Modern Movement]]. After Shirley insinuates that Britta doesn't have a moral code because of her lack of religion, Britta picks up a hitchhiker specifically to show the opposite. This backfires on Britta when the hitchhiker is himself a staunch Christian. It then backfires on ''Shirley'' when he's also a big supporter of legalizing weed, and believes himself to be Jesus. They finally come together with the reveal that he's ''incredibly racist'' and doesn't think blacks and whites should mix. Oh, and he drinks human blood.
* On ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Dean used to be an atheist, at least until he met Castiel and other angels. And later God himself. Now his believing in God is rather pragmatic, not really motivated by faith. ''Supernatural'' is interesting in the regard that his atheism seemed only to apply to the Christian god. A couple of MonstersOfTheWeek were, in fact, pagan gods.
** Granted, given how many of those pagan gods they've killed it's not hard to imagine they were just more powerful-than-usual monsters that some people used to worship/placate.
* ''Series/TheGoodWife'': The show's got a pretty good track record for averting this and portraying atheists as no more or less sympathetic than theists.
** Alicia is an open atheist but isn't shown to be a worse person for it. In fact, although her daughter Grace is a born-again Christian, these different beliefs never affect their relationship. "Dear God" has Alicia needing help dealing with a venue change to a Christian arbitrator rather than a courtroom, and she goes to Grace for advice on how to use the Bible as a legal document. Overall it's refreshing to see it treated in this manner instead of being a damaging character flaw.
** This was first revealed when Eli planned to use a video of Maddie Hayward refusing to take part in a public prayer against her gubernatorial campaign (she's one of Peter's opponents and Eli's just doing his job as campaign manager), but she short-circuits him by telling a reporter who catches all four of them at a dinner that she felt it would be hypocritical of her to go through the motions as an atheist. Peter tells the reporter he respects that, though he doesn't agree with her. The reporter then queries Alicia, who states she's an atheist as well.
** Alicia herself invokes this when she's involved with a custody case against a philosophy professor. She uses the fact that he doesn't believe in an afterlife, free will or anything immaterial as evidence that he would be a worse parent to his son than the child's mother. However, the professor defends himself against her accusations ably (which seem to partly stem from the recent loss of her friend-the professor's opinion that [[CessationOfExistence existence ends at death]] upsets her).
** It comes back to bite Alicia when she's running for State's Attorney, as many people in the US believe this trope to be true. She's advised that open atheists are unelectable. Thus, she's forced to backtrack on her admission of being one into calling herself "questioning" after Will's death and her daughter's influence. She's obviously very uncomfortable with this, as is Grace when her prayer group leader gives thanks for her supposedly getting through to Alicia, highlighting the very real prejudice many American atheists encounter (especially in doing things such as running for public office).
* ''Series/MalibuCountry'': Nicely averted when June admits she's an atheist. Reba respects this, along with her desire to not attend church anymore.


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[[folder: Radio]]
* Averted in ''Radio/OldHarrysGame'' with the Professor who is one of the kindest characters in the series and is only in Hell because he is an atheist - he points out that he's hardly his fault for not believing in God if He refused to openly prove his existence, but God is shown to love blind faith. The Professor's wife is very much the same. PlayedForLaughs as both [[UsefulNotes/{{Buddhism}} the Buddha]] and [[Creator/FriedrichNietzsche Nietzsche]] are in Hell too.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* The TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} campaign setting also had the Athar faction, who's big thing was that they believed the gods weren't really gods, just really, really powerful mortals with huge egos, as evidenced by the fact that the gods could be killed. Like the ur-Priest Prestige Class, they had the ability to muck up divine magic but lacked the "must be evil" restriction on their alignment. They were frequently portrayed as being JerkAss characters, however. An interesting twist with the Athar is that more than a few of them weren't actually ''atheists'' as we'd see it -- they believed in a divinity of sorts, they just didn't agree that the beings generally called gods were really divine. The Athar's ''leader'' is a subversion. While most Athar join the faction due to being betrayed or disillusioned from their gods and are generally bitter and angry, Factol Terrance simply woke up one morning and realized that he simply did not have faith in his god any longer, so he left his clerical position and joined the Athar. Terrance is also one of the most stable, sane and generally pleasant leaders of any of the Planescape factions.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' default setting of Golarion has several examples that fall into a blend of this and FlatEarthAtheist, but perhaps the best fit is the nation of Rahadoum: after the Oath Wars, a three-way religious war between the faiths of Norgorber[[note]]NeutralEvil god of murder, poison and secrets[[/note]], Nethys[[note]]TrueNeutral god of magic[[/note]] and Sarenrae[[note]]NeutralGood goddess of healing, redemption and the sun[[/note]] ravaged their country, the secular survivors finally rose up and violently expelled the religious. Afterwards they founded a new philosophical creed condemning the gods as demanding too high a price for mortal worship and declaring religious faith illegal -- not so much atheism as a blending of "informed alatrism"[[note]]"There are gods, but they are not worth our time or attention."[[/note]] and [[GodIsEvil maltheism]]. Zigzagged in that they are displayed in the setting as being optimistic, well-educated, and generally having strong, positive attitudes towards making life comfortable for everyone; as they know they can't expect any special attention or reprieve from Pharasma[[note]]TrueNeutral goddess of birth and death[[/note]] when they die, then the logical thing to do is make the world worthwhile to live in, individually and collectively.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/CivilizationBeyondEarth'', Samatar Jama Barre is an aversion. While he's not religious, and he has a very low opinion of religious figures, he fully supports his brother when he hears that he's visiting the mosque again. He's also probably the [[NiceGuy nicest]] of the faction leaders, as well as the most tolerant.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with the bartender in ''Webcomic/JesusAndMo'', who's an AuthorAvatar and depicted positively, in contrast to the eponymous duo's backwards, stupid ways.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbfFAYn8bgc The Secret Lives of Atheists]] by ''WebAnimation/DarkMatter2525'' lampoons every negative stereotype about atheists under the sun.
* ''WebVideo/FiveSecondFilms'': Parodied in ''Film/TheArtist'' spoof "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9nlcppSH7E The Atheist]]", in which the main character declares that there is no God [[EvilStoleMyFaith after his dog dies]] and is immediately overtaken by nihilistic despair.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Averted by ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'', who has explained that she doesn't believe in God because she hasn't seen any evidence, but at the same time hasn't seen any evidence disproving God either. She simply believes you should treat people the way you want to be treated and believe what makes you feel best. This only plays in one or two episodes, so it isn't a big facet of the show. Though Jane suggests that Daria just doesn't want to believe in a higher power because if one exists, it means that there's an actual predestined reason why the two of them are outcasts and idiots run the world, and nothing they do can change that. [[MadeMyselfSad She then admits that's horribly depressing]].
[[/folder]]
22nd May '17 6:43:11 PM Fireblood
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* {{Averted}} by Roronoa Zoro in ''OnePiece'', who was revealed to be an atheist during the Skipeia arc, but not due to his tragic past, and has no problem at all with faith in general. It's just that BECAUSE he's seen so many strange and outlandish adventures that he considers it more likely that anything the can't explain is just another super power they haven't heard of yet as opposed to something caused by an actual God. Being able to rain down lightning on a whim doesn't look as divine after your crew has already spent time fighting a living sand storm and riding geysers into the sky. Furthermore, he also stated that if god did exist, he would like to meet him because he or she would be a WorthyOpponent. He's just that badass.
* Foh from ''Anime/BtX'' is an aversion of this. Having given up on the idea that gods exist due to witnessing war from a very early childhood, he eventually came to realize that does not mean he can be a jerk. [[spoiler:The fact he's responsible for getting one character's sister killed, an issue he's willing to let himself get killed over in spite of the fate of the world hanging in the balance, is possibly a driving factor.]] He strongly believes in mercy and compassion, vehemently hates fighting because it brings only tragedy to people, and runs an orphanage and raises kids ''right''. He even wears a religious memento from [[spoiler: his friend's dead sister.]] It helps that Masami Kurumada, the series' author, is himself an atheist.



* Baran the Emperor of Light, a villain from the final chapters of the ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' manga, whose disbelief in God comes from the fact that his dead sister died from a curable disease because she refused to take the medicine he stole for her. His non-belief later drove him to start his own evil cult.

to:

* Baran the Emperor of Light, a villain from the final chapters of the ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' manga, whose disbelief in God comes from the fact that his dead sister died from a curable disease because she refused to take the medicine he stole for her. His non-belief nonbelief later drove him to start his own evil cult.



* The Kree from the Franchise/MarvelUniverse claim to have mathematically disproved the existence of God and teach it to kids just after toilet training. The fact that AllMythsAreTrue in the Marvel Universe means they're crossed with FlatEarthAtheist

to:

* The Kree from the Franchise/MarvelUniverse claim to have mathematically disproved the existence of God and teach it to kids just after toilet training. The fact that AllMythsAreTrue in the Marvel Universe means they're crossed with FlatEarthAtheistFlatEarthAtheist.



* In Creator/MarvelComics, the Uncreated are an alien race who ''know'' themselves to have been created by a "god" (this being the Marvel Universe, it's unclear whether this was a PhysicalGod or a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien). This gave them an overwhelming inferiority complex, and so they murdered this being. They then became ScaryDogmaticAliens and launched a genocidal reverse-crusade to exterminate all civilizations who worship any sort of deity. The [[SpacePirates Starjammers]] defeated their fleet by tricking them into believing their god had returned. They killed themselves.

to:

* In Creator/MarvelComics, the Uncreated are an alien race who ''know'' themselves to have been created by a "god" (this being the Marvel Universe, it's unclear whether this was a PhysicalGod or a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien). This gave them an overwhelming inferiority complex, and so they murdered this being. They then became ScaryDogmaticAliens and launched a genocidal reverse-crusade atheist crusade to exterminate all civilizations who worship any sort of deity. The [[SpacePirates Starjammers]] defeated their fleet by tricking them into believing their god had returned. They killed themselves.



* Averted in the one-shot comic ''A Momentary Lapse of Unreason''. A main character begins to question God because his parents died in a car crash, but through questioning he begins to base his atheism on logic and theological arguments rather than misery.



* In "Fanfic/TheRoadNotTaken" Brigadier General Ro Laren is mildly derisive to her fellow Bajorans' reverence for the Prophets. (This is borrowed from the Franchise/StarTrekNovelverse, where Ro is established as an atheist, and wears her earring on the wrong ear to keep clergymen from trying to feel her ''pagh''.)
* In ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert'' Subverted with Trisha, Ishvala turned his back on her long before her life turned sour. Despite her lack of belief she participates in many traditions for social reasons but doesn't believe in Ishvala otherwise. [[spoiler: She even refuses to pray when she's dying.]]
* A downplayed example in ''[[Fanfic/HarmonyAndValor Cultural Differences]]'', Flash Sentry tells Sunset Shimmer and Princess Twilight that he is an atheist and doesn't believe in any gods. This causes him to have a small argument with Twilight, who believes entirely in her own god, Queen Faust, over how it is possible to not believe in gods and how you can be sure that everyone in your world believes the same as you. Sunset eventually calms them both down and explains to them that the [[NatureVsNurture instinct that ponies have that has them believe in Queen Faust isn't shared by humans.]] Flash for his part says that he is more an Agnostic these days due to all of the magical events he has witnessed first-hand and is more willing to believe in things than he was previously.

to:

* In "Fanfic/TheRoadNotTaken" Brigadier General Ro Laren is mildly derisive to her fellow Bajorans' reverence for the Prophets. (This is borrowed from the Franchise/StarTrekNovelverse, where Ro is established as an atheist, and wears her earring on the wrong ear to keep clergymen from trying to feel her ''pagh''.)
* In ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert'' Subverted with Trisha, Ishvala turned his back on her long before her life turned sour. Despite her lack of belief she participates in many traditions for social reasons but doesn't believe in Ishvala otherwise. [[spoiler: She even refuses to pray when she's dying.]]
* A downplayed example in ''[[Fanfic/HarmonyAndValor Cultural Differences]]'', Flash Sentry tells Sunset Shimmer and Princess Twilight that he is an atheist and doesn't believe in any gods. This causes him to have a small argument with Twilight, who believes entirely in her own god, Queen Faust, over how it is possible to not believe in gods and how you can be sure that everyone in your world believes the same as you. Sunset eventually calms them both down and explains to them that the [[NatureVsNurture instinct that ponies have that has them believe in Queen Faust isn't shared by humans.]] Flash for his part says that he is more an Agnostic these days due to all of the magical events he has witnessed first-hand and is more willing to believe in things than he was previously.
''[[OurSoulsAreDifferent pagh]]''.)



* Averted with the hero of ''Film/DraculaHasRisenFromTheGrave'', who just happens to be an atheist, with no tragic past. He eventually converts by the end because he sees Dracula getting repelled by a cross and it gives him reason to believe in God.



* Creator/JohnFord, despite being a Catholic himself, provided an aversion in his final film, ''7 Women'', where Anne Bancroft, an atheist doctor working in a religious mission, ends up performing a HeroicSacrifice. The film makes the religious characters deeply unsympathetic while Anne Bancroft is presented as John Wayne's DistaffCounterpart. In the film, while her character's atheism is implied and stated, she is fairly good-natured (if an alcoholic) about it and doesn't seem to have trauma. John Ford explained her simply:
--> '''John Ford''': She was a doctor--her object in life was to save people. She was a woman who had no religion, but she got in with this bunch of kooks and started acting like a human being.



* Slade Craven, the main character of ''Film/Turbulence3HeavyMetal'' and a Marilyn Manson {{expy}}, is never stated to be a satanist, but has implied atheism. At the end of the film, having gone an incredible distance on nothing but his own competence, he has to convert to Christianity, in a "No Atheists in Foxholes" moment before he can resolve the plot.

to:

* Slade Craven, the main character of ''Film/Turbulence3HeavyMetal'' and a Marilyn Manson {{expy}}, is never stated to be a satanist, Satanist, but has implied atheism. At the end of the film, having gone an incredible distance on nothing but his own competence, he has to convert to Christianity, in a "No Atheists in Foxholes" moment before he can resolve the plot.



* Fairly stereotypical example with Creator/JackNicholson's character in ''Film/TheBucketList''. He's bitter, cynical, extremely unpleasant to most people he interacts with, and claims to envy people of faith even if he doesn't understand what it's about.

to:

* Fairly A fairly stereotypical example with is Creator/JackNicholson's character in ''Film/TheBucketList''. He's bitter, cynical, extremely unpleasant to most people he interacts with, and claims to envy people of faith even if he doesn't understand what it's about.



* {{Subverted}} in ''Film/PitchBlack''. The imam thinks that Riddick is one of these. Riddick is in fact a NayTheist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misotheist misotheist]] - one who believes in God, and hates Him.
--> '''Riddick:''' "Think someone could spend half their life in a slam with a horse bit in their mouth and not believe? Think he could start out in some liquor store trash bin with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and not believe? Got it all wrong, holy man. I absolutely believe in God... and I absolutely ''hate'' the fucker."
* {{Averted}} in ''Film/TheIdesOfMarch'': George Clooney's character is openly non-religious and states he cannot know if God or an afterlife exist, but also acts non-bitter, is entirely respectful of others' belief and states in the film that even if he doesn't share your religion, he'd fight to the death for your right to hold it.



* The filmmakers of ''Film/TheLedge'' deliberately wanted to avert this trope for the protagonist, who is an openly atheist man that didn't come to his lack of belief due to trauma, leads a fairly happy life and doesn't convert in the end. Unfortunately, the hero becomes unsympathetic [[DesignatedHero for other reasons]].



* ''Film/TheSoloist'': Steve seems to have this view of them. Early on in the film, he attempts interviewing an atheist charity group, and one of his lines is “So do you non-gather in your non-worship?” The film itself doesn't agree with him on that issue however.



* ''{{Film/Spartacus}}'': Gracchus states that privately he believes in none of the gods, but realistically when in public of course he believes in all of them. He is not portrayed as worse for this, and in fact comes off better than most of the politicians by the end.



* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': Quickly subverted in the first book of the series (''Literature/TheWayOfKings''):
** POV character Shallan expects Jasnah, a famous atheist scholar she's seeking out an apprenticeship under, will be this, but while Jasnah's a bit of an InsufferableGenius, she turns out to be overall a likable, charismatic person and one of the smartest people in the novel. Jasnah is always respectful of Shallan's religious beliefs, though she will occasionally roll her eyes at the more ridiculous things.
** Jasnah's uncle Dalinar (who is himself devoutly religious) respects her greatly, partly because she chose to be honest and explain her lack of belief rather than pretending for the sake of appearances.
** One of Jasnah's most precious possessions is a book that a religious scholar used to ''almost'' successfully convert her. One of her biggest PetTheDog moments is when she gives it to Shallan following an apparent suicide attempt.
** When Shallan tells an ardent that Jasnah is researching the Voidbringers (ancient demons assumed to be myths at best), he assumes Jasnah is trying to disprove their existence, and thus disprove religion as a whole. Jasnah scoffs at this, saying that trying to prove a negative is a fool's errand, and destroying religion wouldn't really improve the world at all even if she could do it.
--->'''Jasnah:''' Let the Vorin believe as they wish--the wise among them will find goodness and solace in their faith; the fools would be fools no matter what they believed.
** [[spoiler: At the end of the book, it's revealed that the setting ''does'', in fact, have a god, but [[GodIsDead he's dead]].]]



* Averted in the [[Literature/InheritanceCycle Eragon]] series. The Elves do not believe in or worship gods. Their reason is simply that there is no evidence for them existing and [[ElvesVersusDwarves have fun arguing with Dwarves]] on the matter (who devoutly believe in their god-and might also be right that he exists).



* ''[[Creator/DavidGemmell Hellborn]]'' had Batik, who describes his stance on religion as "no", but still manages to be the sanest, happiest and most emotionally stable character in the book. Not bad for an author who has never been shy about his own Christian beliefs.
* {{Discussed}} in ''Triggers'', where the US President is a closet atheist. Following numerous terrorist attacks in the US, culminating with his own near-assassination, he decides to destroy Pakistan with nuclear missiles for harboring terrorists. An old woman finds out about his nonbelief and this plan, trying to convince him that doing so will not only cause him to be viewed as a monster, but later people would say only an atheist could have done such a terrible thing (he had planned to admit his atheism after leaving the White House). Also averted by Caitlin and her dad in his earlier ''Literature/{{WWWTrilogy}}''. Both are simply nice, ordinary people. Author Creator/RobertJSawyer is himself an atheist, and thus averts this in his works.
* ''Literature/KnowledgeOfAngels'': Discussed. Palinor does not fit the stereotypes, surprising the Christian characters, who believe an atheist has no reason to be moral.
* ''Literature/ArcOfFire'': Averted. Myrren's doubts about Vraxor finally culminate in her disbelief that he exists, along with the other gods. The series itself has revealed she's wrong, as Vraxor and Nimrod appeared at the start of ''Literature/DarkHeart'', while Shial personally has encountered Shayna, though Myrren doesn't know this. Vraxor's holy book however may well be wrong, as she argues. Vraxor and Nimrod having both been [[HaveYouSeenMyGod gone for a very long time]] doesn't help to show that they exist of course. The author is himself an atheist activist, and thus explores this with more nuance than most, rather than just the usual negative stereotypes.
* Partly averted in ''Literature/ElmerGantry''. Jim Lefferts is cynical and sharp-tongued, to be sure, but he's also the one man to be fair to Gantry after his disgrace and downfall.



* ''Series/AllInTheFamily'': Mike Stivic is agnostic, and is frequently belittled for his beliefs by his father-in-law, Archie Bunker, who-though rarely going to church himself, despite claiming he is a devout Christian-confuses Mike's beliefs for outright atheism. Indeed, in the pilot episode Mike declares there is "no scientific proof" of God's existence, although his actual beliefs in several episodes later in the series reveal he is more agnostic (this view would also be compatible with agnostic atheism). The perfect case in point was "Edith's Crisis of Faith," where Edith renounces her deep Christian faith after witnessing a deadly robbery; Mike helps her reaffirm her faith by saying God would not want such a horrible thing to happen. Interestingly, Mike also loved Christmas, since the time celebrated the birth of Jesus, to him a kind, wise and benevolent philosopher, while viewing the idea he was the "son of God" as ridiculous.
* ''Series/GoodTimes'': Toward the end of the series' fourth season (1976-1977), Michael becomes friends with a strong atheist named Carl Dixon (Moses Gunn), something that irritates Florida. Ironically, by the season finale, Florida and Carl are wed and move to Arizona as a way to explain Esther Rolle's departure from the series (due to her extreme dissatisfaction with the series' turn). Rolle also criticized the way she was being axed off-a devout Christian (Florida) marrying a hardcore atheist (Carl)-and when she returned to the show a year later, the producers agreed to her wish that Carl be {{retcon}}ned from the show.
* ''Series/{{Blossom}}'': Although no episode focused on religion, the Russo family's lack of religion does make it into several scripts. In one episode, where Nick is dating Sharon Lemure, he remarks that-after noting all the historical conflicts based on religion-only atheists seem to be truly happy and at peace.
* Lindsay Weir from ''Series/FreaksAndGeeks'' is an atheist simply because in her view there is no rational reason to believe in god(s), though her atheism is also explained in the first episode as a reaction to seeing her grandmother die and hearing her say how there was no light and she was alone.



* The 2000s' ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' features prominent atheist characters, all different.
** Admiral Adama, a humanist who views mankind as flawed but inherently good, and ultimately accountable to nobody but themselves for their mistakes in life. While Adama explicitly states a few times that he's an atheist, he sees no problem with using humanity's faith as a rallying cry (such as in the infamous "So say we all!" scene) and accepting some of Roslin's more irrational endeavors (though he's opposed to them early on and nearly topples her government over it). He comes off as more of a pragmatist - seeming to accept that faith is necessary for people to have even though he doesn't share it himself.
** Gaius Baltar, an egocentrist who ultimately comes to consider ''himself'' [[AGodAmI a god]] (or at least, a prophet). Baltar thinks of himself as an instrument of God (incidentally, the Big G hates it when you call Him that)-he was an atheist, but begins to believe there is something in "Hand of God"- with the apt final shot of the episode.
** The Cylon Brother Cavil/Number One Model, the only model to reject both the Cylon god and the Lords of Kobol, and the most sadistic and genocidal Cylon model to boot. While Cavil doesn't believe in God, he has no problem with using "God's will" and the "divine plan" to justify [[TheChessmaster a grand agenda]] which turns out to be based on little more than petty vengeance.
** In a deleted scene we find out that Billy Keikeya was also an atheist, despite being Laura Roslin's aide and most devoted supporter. By then Roslin was having prophetic visions and some people thought she was the messiah; Billy didn't believe in the gods, but he believed in Roslin. Though both scenes which were shot featuring Billy explicitly "confessing" his atheism to Roslin were deleted, you can still pick it up by observing his actions through the show (it's easier to see it once you've been told Billy is an atheist). It's mostly non-verbal-you see him sort of staring down and looking a little ashamed whenever Roslin rambles about Pythia, and in a couple of his scenes with Dualla, she implies her faith and he awkwardly changes the subject, his facial expression stuck somewhere between tolerance and pity.
** Gaeta's atheism is presented matter-of-factly, if mostly by implication: he has trouble taking Roslin's 'visions' seriously, and acknowledges to Adama at one point that he is 'not a man to look for religious explanations' of natural events, however convenient those events might be. His lack of faith in any gods is not considered a problem by other characters at any point.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'' has Temperance Brennan, who argues with Seeley Booth (a strong Catholic) all the time about his faith and her lack of it. This is strong because they both make good points, and neither is instantly converted to the other's viewpoint. She is probably one of the most well-treated atheists on television. She frequently states her rationale for why she doesn't believe in a God in a calm manner - unsurprising, considering she's an anthropologist above all else - and nothing has ever been made of her being "wrong". She and her Catholic FBI partner get into frequent arguments over her atheism, but over the seasons, he's come to tease her affectionately over it. The arguments usually aren't "over Brennan's atheism", though. They're usually started because she'll occasionally come close to picking a fight with him over some aspect of his belief. This stands in contrast to how she's shown to not only be knowledgeable but openly respectful of pretty much every religion but the Jesus-as-savior ones. She tones it down later as she seems to realize she's antagonizing Booth for no particular reason, and it's [[WildMassGuessing entirely possible]] there's a FreudianExcuse for why she has issues with Catholicism. In early episodes, it is clear that Brennan chafes at the idea of faith as being in opposition to reason. Over the years she herself starts demonstrating faith, specifically in her partnership with Booth. [[spoiler: This character development came to a head in the 8th season finale "The Secret in the Siege". After Brennan proposed to Booth, and he subsequently broke off their engagement (in response to serial killer Pelant's SadisticChoice), Booth and Brennan's relationship seemed to be in serious trouble. At the end of the 9th season premiere "The Secret In the Proposal", Brennan assured Booth that she still had absolute faith in him and believed that he would make things right between them.]]



* {{Inverted}} in ''Series/{{Moonlighting}}''. The snarky, somewhat dark, cynic David is a devout believer in God, while his life-affirming, successful partner from a good, loving family, Maddie, is an atheist.


Added DiffLines:

----
!! Aversions and Subversions
[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* {{Averted}} by Roronoa Zoro in ''OnePiece'', who was revealed to be an atheist during the Skipeia arc, but not due to his tragic past, and has no problem at all with faith in general. It's just that BECAUSE he's seen so many strange and outlandish adventures that he considers it more likely that anything the can't explain is just another super power they haven't heard of yet as opposed to something caused by an actual God. Being able to rain down lightning on a whim doesn't look as divine after your crew has already spent time fighting a living sand storm and riding geysers into the sky. Furthermore, he also stated that if god did exist, he would like to meet him because he or she would be a WorthyOpponent. He's just that badass.
* Foh from ''Anime/BtX'' is an aversion of this. Having given up on the idea that gods exist due to witnessing war from a very early childhood, he eventually came to realize that does not mean he can be a jerk. [[spoiler:The fact he's responsible for getting one character's sister killed, an issue he's willing to let himself get killed over in spite of the fate of the world hanging in the balance, is possibly a driving factor.]] He strongly believes in mercy and compassion, vehemently hates fighting because it brings only tragedy to people, and runs an orphanage and raises kids ''right''. He even wears a religious memento from [[spoiler: his friend's dead sister.]] It helps that Masami Kurumada, the series' author, is himself an atheist.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Averted in the one-shot comic ''A Momentary Lapse of Unreason''. A main character begins to question God because his parents died in a car crash, but through questioning he begins to base his atheism on logic and theological arguments rather than misery.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert'' it's subverted with Trisha. Ishvala turned his back on her long before her life turned sour. Despite her lack of belief she participates in many traditions for social reasons but doesn't believe in Ishvala otherwise. [[spoiler: She even refuses to pray when she's dying.]]
* Averted in ''[[Fanfic/HarmonyAndValor Cultural Differences]]'', Flash Sentry tells Sunset Shimmer and Princess Twilight that he is an atheist and doesn't believe in any gods. This causes him to have a small argument with Twilight, who believes entirely in her own god, Queen Faust, over how it is possible to not believe in gods and how you can be sure that everyone in your world believes the same as you. Sunset eventually calms them both down and explains to them that the [[NatureVsNurture instinct that ponies have that has them believe in Queen Faust isn't shared by humans.]] Flash for his part says that he is more an Agnostic these days due to all of the magical events he has witnessed first-hand and is more willing to believe in things than he was previously.
[[/folder]]


[[folder: Film]]
* Averted in ''Film/HotFuzz'' with protagonist Nicholas Angel, who says he's open to religion, though not entirely convinced in a brief conversation with the town vicar (leading the vicar to label him agnostic instead), and is the most morally upright person shown, to the point of following ''every'' rule to the letter.
* Averted with the hero of ''Film/DraculaHasRisenFromTheGrave'', who just happens to be an atheist, with no tragic past. He eventually converts by the end because he sees Dracula getting repelled by a cross and it gives him reason to believe in God.
* Creator/JohnFord, despite being a Catholic himself, provided an aversion in his final film, ''7 Women'', where Anne Bancroft, an atheist doctor working in a religious mission, ends up performing a HeroicSacrifice. The film makes the religious characters deeply unsympathetic while Anne Bancroft is presented as John Wayne's DistaffCounterpart. In the film, while her character's atheism is implied and stated, she is fairly good-natured (if an alcoholic) about it and doesn't seem to have trauma. John Ford explained her simply:
--> '''John Ford''': She was a doctor--her object in life was to save people. She was a woman who had no religion, but she got in with this bunch of kooks and started acting like a human being.
* {{Subverted}} in ''Film/PitchBlack''. The imam thinks that Riddick is one of these. Riddick is in fact a NayTheist [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misotheist misotheist]] - one who believes in God, and hates Him.
--> '''Riddick:''' "Think someone could spend half their life in a slam with a horse bit in their mouth and not believe? Think he could start out in some liquor store trash bin with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and not believe? Got it all wrong, holy man. I absolutely believe in God... and I absolutely ''hate'' the fucker."
* {{Averted}} in ''Film/TheIdesOfMarch'': George Clooney's character is openly non-religious and states he cannot know if God or an afterlife exist, but also acts non-bitter, is entirely respectful of others' belief and states in the film that even if he doesn't share your religion, he'd fight to the death for your right to hold it.
* The filmmakers of ''Film/TheLedge'' deliberately wanted to avert this trope for the protagonist, who is an openly atheist man that didn't come to his lack of belief due to trauma, leads a fairly happy life and doesn't convert in the end. Unfortunately, the hero becomes unsympathetic [[DesignatedHero for other reasons]].
* ''Film/TheSoloist'': Steve seems to have this view of them. Early on in the film, he attempts interviewing an atheist charity group, and one of his lines is “So do you non-gather in your non-worship?” The film itself doesn't agree with him on that issue however.
* ''{{Film/Spartacus}}'': Gracchus states that privately he believes in none of the gods, but realistically when in public of course he believes in all of them. He is not portrayed as worse for this, and in fact comes off better than most of the politicians by the end.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': Quickly subverted in the first book of the series (''Literature/TheWayOfKings''):
** POV character Shallan expects Jasnah, a famous atheist scholar she's seeking out an apprenticeship under, will be this, but while Jasnah's a bit of an InsufferableGenius, she turns out to be overall a likable, charismatic person and one of the smartest people in the novel. Jasnah is always respectful of Shallan's religious beliefs, though she will occasionally roll her eyes at the more ridiculous things.
** Jasnah's uncle Dalinar (who is himself devoutly religious) respects her greatly, partly because she chose to be honest and explain her lack of belief rather than pretending for the sake of appearances.
** One of Jasnah's most precious possessions is a book that a religious scholar used to ''almost'' successfully convert her. One of her biggest PetTheDog moments is when she gives it to Shallan following an apparent suicide attempt.
** When Shallan tells an ardent that Jasnah is researching the Voidbringers (ancient demons assumed to be myths at best), he assumes Jasnah is trying to disprove their existence, and thus disprove religion as a whole. Jasnah scoffs at this, saying that trying to prove a negative is a fool's errand, and destroying religion wouldn't really improve the world at all even if she could do it.
--->'''Jasnah:''' Let the Vorin believe as they wish--the wise among them will find goodness and solace in their faith; the fools would be fools no matter what they believed.
** [[spoiler: At the end of the book, it's revealed that the setting ''does'', in fact, have a god, but [[GodIsDead he's dead]].]]
* Averted in the [[Literature/InheritanceCycle Eragon]] series. The Elves do not believe in or worship gods. Their reason is simply that there is no evidence for them existing and [[ElvesVersusDwarves have fun arguing with Dwarves]] on the matter (who devoutly believe in their god-and might also be right that he exists).
* ''[[Creator/DavidGemmell Hellborn]]'' had Batik, who describes his stance on religion as "no", but still manages to be the sanest, happiest and most emotionally stable character in the book. Not bad for an author who has never been shy about his own Christian beliefs.
* {{Discussed}} in ''Triggers'', where the US President is a closet atheist. Following numerous terrorist attacks in the US, culminating with his own near-assassination, he decides to destroy Pakistan with nuclear missiles for harboring terrorists. An old woman finds out about his nonbelief and this plan, trying to convince him that doing so will not only cause him to be viewed as a monster, but later people would say only an atheist could have done such a terrible thing (he had planned to admit his atheism after leaving the White House). Also averted by Caitlin and her dad in his earlier ''Literature/{{WWWTrilogy}}''. Both are simply nice, ordinary people. Author Creator/RobertJSawyer is himself an atheist, and thus averts this in his works.
* ''Literature/KnowledgeOfAngels'': Discussed. Palinor does not fit the stereotypes, surprising the Christian characters, who believe an atheist has no reason to be moral.
* ''Literature/ArcOfFire'': Averted. Myrren's doubts about Vraxor finally culminate in her disbelief that he exists, along with the other gods. The series itself has revealed she's wrong, as Vraxor and Nimrod appeared at the start of ''Literature/DarkHeart'', while Shial personally has encountered Shayna, though Myrren doesn't know this. Vraxor's holy book however may well be wrong, as she argues. Vraxor and Nimrod having both been [[HaveYouSeenMyGod gone for a very long time]] doesn't help to show that they exist of course. The author is himself an atheist activist, and thus explores this with more nuance than most, rather than just the usual negative stereotypes.
* Partly averted in ''Literature/ElmerGantry''. Jim Lefferts is cynical and sharp-tongued, to be sure, but he's also the one man to be fair to Gantry after his disgrace and downfall.
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[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'': Averted. Piper is an atheist, but this isn't shown to affect her character.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Averted. Davos growing up in Flea Bottom and being told of some new "true god" in each new port he docked in made him consider that gods were something people made up to give themselves hope. This is in clear contrast to the Book canon, where Davos is the odd man out in Stannis's court not because he is an atheist, rather because he remains a firm believer in The Seven. Meanwhile, Thoros of Myr believed the gods were just something made up to scare children into being good. Thoros came to believe again after his prayer [[BackFromTheDead raised a man from the dead]], while Davos is more reluctant, though Stannis argues it would make no sense to disbelieve after what he's now seen Melisandre do. We're not shown what he thinks after this.
* ''Series/AllInTheFamily'': Mike Stivic is agnostic, and is frequently belittled for his beliefs by his father-in-law, Archie Bunker, who-though rarely going to church himself, despite claiming he is a devout Christian-confuses Mike's beliefs for outright atheism. Indeed, in the pilot episode Mike declares there is "no scientific proof" of God's existence, although his actual beliefs in several episodes later in the series reveal he is more agnostic (this view would also be compatible with agnostic atheism). The perfect case in point was "Edith's Crisis of Faith," where Edith renounces her deep Christian faith after witnessing a deadly robbery; Mike helps her reaffirm her faith by saying God would not want such a horrible thing to happen. Interestingly, Mike also loved Christmas, since the time celebrated the birth of Jesus, to him a kind, wise and benevolent philosopher, while viewing the idea he was the "son of God" as ridiculous.
* ''Series/GoodTimes'': Toward the end of the series' fourth season (1976-1977), Michael becomes friends with a strong atheist named Carl Dixon (Moses Gunn), something that irritates Florida. Ironically, by the season finale, Florida and Carl are wed and move to Arizona as a way to explain Esther Rolle's departure from the series (due to her extreme dissatisfaction with the series' turn). Rolle also criticized the way she was being axed off-a devout Christian (Florida) marrying a hardcore atheist (Carl)-and when she returned to the show a year later, the producers agreed to her wish that Carl be {{retcon}}ned from the show.
* ''Series/{{Blossom}}'': Although no episode focused on religion, the Russo family's lack of religion does make it into several scripts. In one episode, where Nick is dating Sharon Lemure, he remarks that-after noting all the historical conflicts based on religion-only atheists seem to be truly happy and at peace.
* Lindsay Weir from ''Series/FreaksAndGeeks'' is an atheist simply because in her view there is no rational reason to believe in god(s), though her atheism is also explained in the first episode as a reaction to seeing her grandmother die and hearing her say how there was no light and she was alone.
* The 2000s' ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' features prominent atheist characters, all different.
** Admiral Adama, a humanist who views mankind as flawed but inherently good, and ultimately accountable to nobody but themselves for their mistakes in life. While Adama explicitly states a few times that he's an atheist, he sees no problem with using humanity's faith as a rallying cry (such as in the infamous "So say we all!" scene) and accepting some of Roslin's more irrational endeavors (though he's opposed to them early on and nearly topples her government over it). He comes off as more of a pragmatist - seeming to accept that faith is necessary for people to have even though he doesn't share it himself.
** Gaius Baltar, an egocentrist who ultimately comes to consider ''himself'' [[AGodAmI a god]] (or at least, a prophet). Baltar thinks of himself as an instrument of God (incidentally, the Big G hates it when you call Him that)-he was an atheist, but begins to believe there is something in "Hand of God"- with the apt final shot of the episode.
** The Cylon Brother Cavil/Number One Model, the only model to reject both the Cylon god and the Lords of Kobol, and the most sadistic and genocidal Cylon model to boot. While Cavil doesn't believe in God, he has no problem with using "God's will" and the "divine plan" to justify [[TheChessmaster a grand agenda]] which turns out to be based on little more than petty vengeance.
** In a deleted scene we find out that Billy Keikeya was also an atheist, despite being Laura Roslin's aide and most devoted supporter. By then Roslin was having prophetic visions and some people thought she was the messiah; Billy didn't believe in the gods, but he believed in Roslin. Though both scenes which were shot featuring Billy explicitly "confessing" his atheism to Roslin were deleted, you can still pick it up by observing his actions through the show (it's easier to see it once you've been told Billy is an atheist). It's mostly non-verbal-you see him sort of staring down and looking a little ashamed whenever Roslin rambles about Pythia, and in a couple of his scenes with Dualla, she implies her faith and he awkwardly changes the subject, his facial expression stuck somewhere between tolerance and pity.
** Gaeta's atheism is presented matter-of-factly, if mostly by implication: he has trouble taking Roslin's 'visions' seriously, and acknowledges to Adama at one point that he is 'not a man to look for religious explanations' of natural events, however convenient those events might be. His lack of faith in any gods is not considered a problem by other characters at any point.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'' has Temperance Brennan, who argues with Seeley Booth (a strong Catholic) all the time about his faith and her lack of it. This is strong because they both make good points, and neither is instantly converted to the other's viewpoint. She is probably one of the most well-treated atheists on television. She frequently states her rationale for why she doesn't believe in a God in a calm manner - unsurprising, considering she's an anthropologist above all else - and nothing has ever been made of her being "wrong". She and her Catholic FBI partner get into frequent arguments over her atheism, but over the seasons, he's come to tease her affectionately over it. The arguments usually aren't "over Brennan's atheism", though. They're usually started because she'll occasionally come close to picking a fight with him over some aspect of his belief. This stands in contrast to how she's shown to not only be knowledgeable but openly respectful of pretty much every religion but the Jesus-as-savior ones. She tones it down later as she seems to realize she's antagonizing Booth for no particular reason, and it's [[WildMassGuessing entirely possible]] there's a FreudianExcuse for why she has issues with Catholicism. In early episodes, it is clear that Brennan chafes at the idea of faith as being in opposition to reason. Over the years she herself starts demonstrating faith, specifically in her partnership with Booth. [[spoiler: This character development came to a head in the 8th season finale "The Secret in the Siege". After Brennan proposed to Booth, and he subsequently broke off their engagement (in response to serial killer Pelant's SadisticChoice), Booth and Brennan's relationship seemed to be in serious trouble. At the end of the 9th season premiere "The Secret In the Proposal", Brennan assured Booth that she still had absolute faith in him and believed that he would make things right between them.]]
* {{Inverted}} in ''Series/{{Moonlighting}}''. The snarky, somewhat dark, cynic David is a devout believer in God, while his life-affirming, successful partner from a good, loving family, Maddie, is an atheist.
[[/folder]]
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