Atheists and religious folks often clash, but do they have more in common than meets the eye? There are many ways in which both communities respect one another - from the music, to communities, to asking questions that provoke deep thought.

Anathoth1994 asked atheists of Reddit, what is one thing you admire about religion? Religious people of Reddit, what is one thing you admire about atheism?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.


10. It's really not that hard.

As a devout Christian, I admire that you never see atheists who are only acting like decent people because they think it's the only way to get to heaven or avoid hell. They will just be good people.

poetofsomesort

9. God's music is really something.

A lot of religious music is absolutely, hauntingly beautiful. I will gladly sing along even though I don't believe in God.

Averant


8. Faith without evidence or reason is blind.

As a Christian, I admire Atheists' need for logical explanation.

my_future_wife

As an atheist, I admire religious people's ability to have faith. I sometimes wonder what being able to have faith is like as I'm a person that needs a logical explanation for everything. Faith brings people (or at least it seems like it does to me) great comfort and ease of mind.

CaptianSwoon

Having faith is essentially hope without regard for the outcome. A Christian mother and an Atheist mother both desperately want their stillborn to be birthed alive. An atheist mother might hope that doctors got it wrong and the baby is infact alive, while the Christian mother might have faith in god stepping in.

Dvrksn

7. Architecture is quite breathtaking.

As an atheist I admire the passion and effort that went into the great religious buildings of the world.

spiderbabyinapram

Yep, as an atheist I was really sad to see what happened to Notre Dame - and was super relieved when I heard the damage to the rose windows and the organ were minimal.

Tasgall

6. Religion provides few real answers, though.

I appreciate atheists' willingness to ask questions and work through the things that challenge them about faith. I'm a believer so obviously we don't come to the same conclusions, but I think too many of my brothers and sisters bury the stuff about their faith that they struggle with. That can both hurt their walk and make them come off as sanctimonious. I say that because that was me, once upon a time. Some days, it still is. It's a work in progress.

Matthew 7:7 says "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Too often believers don't want to ask tough questions, but I think it's important to do so. If the Christian God is who He claims to be, I have to imagine He can handle honest questions from someone seeking to understand.

FarseerTaelen

5. Doing good doesn't require faith.

Christian here. I really admire the fact that many athiests try to do good things for the community (like service projects, volunteerism, fundraisers) because they truly care and want to be a good person all on there own. To clarify further, many Christians are also like this, but I feel a good majority are like this because their church told them they should do it because it pleases God, or they want to go to Heaven, or their small group was doing it and they want to fit in. Granted some Athiests do good things to pat themselves on their back via social media, but many others do it because they feel its the right thing to do snd aren't trying to benefit themselves in some way. Thats the sign of a truly good person.

bestprocrastinator

This. So much of this. I find that an atheist, that does what needs to be done to help the poor, the weak, the vulnerable and the sick, is far more of God than the people who show up to Church every Sunday and do nothing more than that. If God is just --and I believe Him to be-- He will let those Atheists in to heaven far before any self-righteous yet un-righteous Christians faster than I can say "Bob".

That people who believe the world to exist by happenstance and to mean nothing in the end still strive to do the Lord's work, well, that's beyond admirable.

el_pobbster

4. There's still no *proof* of an afterlife, but hope can't hurt.

I'm atheist and my grandma was extremely religious. My uncle (her son) died a few years ago and it about killed her. She ended up getting diagnosed with leukemia and given a slim chance to survive. She was 100% fine with it because in her mind she was going to see her son and sisters in heaven. I wish I could have that.

iiitsbacon

The only time my lack of religion has bothered me is when my mom died. Suddenly I was jealous of those people who believe in an afterlife where they will see their loved ones again. I didn't have that luxury. And it was painful.

Flinkle

Thats absolutely beautiful, the peace some religious people can find as a result of their beliefs is something I actually admire.

CherryPokyJuice

3. End of life bonanzas.

Funeral rites.

Some religions have elaborate death/ funeral rites that last for about a month, followed by a prayer to mark the first year of death.

Close family, as well as members of the community are required to attend these.

This results in a situation where the grieving family is constantly surrounded for at least a month before they can resume their normal life.

I personally would rather have something like this, than have 1 memorial service and then be immediately be left alone.

Bobozett

On the other hand, coming from a religious family whilst not being religious makes funerals really hard. When everyone else is talking about heaven and singing songs and making prayers they all take pleasure and solace from while you're standing alone feeling worse than ever it's not great.

PlausibleApprobation

2. Art.

The arts resulting from religion.

bomenkap

This is a huge one. Also, the sheer preservation that came from it. People only learned to read so they could read the Bible, and since they were the only people who could read, they were the only people who could write, and so we have them to thank for a good amount of documented history from the middle ages.

Tenglement

1. Religions' senses of community.

As an atheist, I admire that religion can provide a source of strength, community, and hope for people. Through religion, people find the courage and hope to continue a mundane or excessively taxing existence. People also develop life-long friendships and support communities through church groups and other religious organizations.

I believe these aspects are important to have in one's life. If religion can provide that for some people, then I think that's a great thing.

_composite_

That's the reason my aunt who was a lifelong atheist joined a church in her later years. She had moved to a small town and even though I recall she had always been an atheist during my growing-up years she joined a church in that town.

She never mentioned her atheism, and I suppose they never asked. I suppose they simply assumed she believed.

I think she joined purely for pragmatic, mental and emotional health, and social safety reasons. And by all accounts it was extremely good for her on all those fronts.

LauraMcCabeMoon

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I may not be popular for saying this, but I think comedy is the best form of entertainment.

However, it’s not always easy to find great comedy.

There are lots of comedians who make me smile or even make me laugh at a joke or two. Yet, it’s really hard to find a comedian who can keep me laughing through their whole set.

If you’re having trouble finding those kinds of comedians, or are just ready to find a new comedian to enjoy, Redditors are here to help.

Probably hoping to find a great comedian themself, Redditor Plastic_Ad_6179 asked:

"Who's the best comedian of all time in your opinion?"

Sean Lock

"Sean Lock"

"For many reasons, but mainly for being the undisputed champion of the world in...Carrot In A Box:"

– Rymundo88

"What a HUGE talent. Luckily he left a lot of great footage. Terrible loss."

– Pan-tang

"The comedians comedian"

– FrederickBishop

George Carlin

"George Carlin."

"Honorable mention to Bill Burr."

– gobigred3562

"When I turned 21, my mom took me to Vegas. We saw Carlin perform and we laughed solidly for 90 minutes. I don’t remember any of the jokes, but I have never laughed like that since. He was a true master of the art."

– drCrankoPhone

"Carlin is the only correct answer. Nobody will ever touch that level of wit, wordplay, satire, and social commentary."

"Nobody."

– reflUX_cAtalyst

Mike Birbiglia

"I went to a Mike Birbiglia show at Zanies in Nashville back in 2008. Guy killed…got up on stage, told 1 story. Took him 90 minutes to get through that story. The whole time, he’s veering off on tangents that seemed completely natural, conversational even. Each tangent was a tiny hilarious story itself. The show seemed so smooth and flowed so naturally, that I could hardly believe it was written. It was masterful. Sure, he doesn’t tell jokes that leave you breathless with laughter, but he does tell jokes that get 90% of the way there with such consistency that I’m actually more impressed with that than the former."

– mavol

Norm MacDonald

"In terms of:"

  • "Being at the top of his game for a long period of time"
  • "Being perfect at timing and execution"
  • "Understanding comedy to a degree that other comedians notice and respect"
  • "Being clever and witty on the spot"
  • "Having memorable jokes and killer standup routines"

"Norm MacDonald"

– warpus

"My favorite story about Norm MacDonald I've heard is that when he was coming up if he bombed he'd wait in the back of the club after the show to shake everyone's hand in their way out. If he killed he wouldn't. What a legend."

– SixPieceTaye

"If you asked a group of comedians who their favorite comedian is I'd bet Norm would be near the top of the list. So much of his material was a deconstruction of comedy itself. If Norm MacDonald tells you a bad joke, and you laugh, is it still a bad joke? Why is it funny? Are you laughing at him or is he laughing at you?"

– foldingcouch

Mitch Hedberg

"Mitch Hedberg. RIP."

– onepotatotwopotato3

"I used to love that guy. I still do but I used to too."

– ChefHannibal

""I got in an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That’s a bad place for an argument, because I tried to walk out, and had to slam the flap.""

""F**k you, zzzzzzzzzzip""

– StarktheGuat

Monty Python

"Monty Python, as a group."

"I don't think there's been a single more influential comedy act than Flying Circus."

– EarlyBirdsofBabylon

"I agree with it just because it’s one of the few non-American mentions here. People seriously think that humor ends on American Stand Up and television…"

"Also Monty Python is ALWAYS funny"

– RockThePlazmah

Robin Williams

"Robin Williams."

– Flicksterea

"Live on Broadway stands as one of the most memorable things I have ever watched."

– Grimlock64

"Idk why he isn’t higher on this list or mentioned more often. Robin Williams had absolutely insane improv skills. Watch the episode of Who’s Line with him as the guest star, the rest of the cast can’t keep it together."

– _xXmyusernameXx_

Lucille Ball

"Lucille Ball"

– LusciousofBorg

"Scrolled this far to find a female comedian! Love Lucille Ball"

– boonybun

"I saw I Love Lucy was streaming a couple months ago. Having watched it as a kid, I figured I’d put it on for a nostalgic chuckle. I was not ready for that show to be so, so funny—I nearly passed out I was laughing so hard."

– mypantsareawesome

"She was a comedic genius."

– DrWorm_DD

Rowan Atkinson

"Rowan Atkinson (John Cleese closely second)"

– DarkFluids777

"Atkinson is such an amazing physical comedian that it’s basically overlooked that he’s a first-rate stand-up, as well."

– HilariousSpill

Eddie Murphy

"Eddie Murphy"

– onterrible1

"He saved SNL. They wouldn't be on air today were it not for Murphy"

– Blackgurlmajik

"Goat of comedy"

– IndependenceScary644

Comedy may not be everyone’s favorite form of entertainment, but it is a can’t miss, so long as the comedian in question is a good one.

Luckily, we’ve got some great suggestions above.