What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Penn Jillette: An Atheist's Guide to the 2012 Election (UPDATED WITH VIDEO)

November 15, 2011, 2:24 PM
Penn-jillette

If you visit The Family Research Council (FRC) website, you can examine the "Pro-family voting record of your Member of Congress." The FRC, a conservative Christian lobbying group, is not alone in providing so-called "scorecards" that rate politicians according to how well they mesh with the group's core beliefs. Many labor groups, women's rights groups, environmental groups and various business interests offer similar services to their members and constituents.

What you won't see very often, however, is a scorecard for atheists. Until now. Penn Jillette, the talking member of Penn and Teller, prominent atheist and author of God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales, sized up the major candidates in the 2012 presidential race in a recent interview with Big Think. Jillette's scorecard is unique in a number of ways. For one thing, it's decidedly non-partisan. Jillette directs his criticism at Democrats and Republicans alike. Another noticeable attribute: you'll be hard-pressed to find another voting guide out there that is quite so colorful, and so laced with profanity, as Jillette's.

Watch the video here:

A few highlights:

Bill Clinton is the most religious president we’ve had.

Penn Jillette points out that Bill Clinton attended more church services and made more references to the Bible than any other President, including George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

On Mitt Romney:

 Under his pants, he is wearing magic underwear. Magic underwear.  And he believes that a convicted con man got golden tablets that no one else could see, and sat with an angel to find out that the original Jews of the Bible were living in North America. Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy.

However, according to Jillette, Romney is "the same as Obama."

On Barack Obama:

You have two choices with Obama. You either believe that he is a man of Christ...or you think he’s a liar. And I’m surprised by the number of atheist free thinkers that support Obama and their argument is essentially, he’s lying about being religious ‘cause you have to do that to get elected. It’s a horrible reason to like somebody. I like him because he might be a liar. Horrible.

If Obama believes what he was being taught in that church in Chicago, okay, he is bat-shit crazy.  And Obama is demonstratively not bat shit crazy.   

On Michelle Bachmann:

I have tried with friends to say the most blasphemous sentence I can possibly say and it does not come close to the blasphemy of Michelle Bachman saying that earthquakes and hurricanes were the way God was trying to get the attention of politicians.

Follow Penn Jillette on Twitter @pennjillette.

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @DanielHonan

 

Penn Jillette: An Atheist's...

Newsletter: Share: