Penn Jillette: All You Have to be Able to Say is “I Don’t Know”.

Just Say I Don't Know

"You don’t have to be brave or a saint, a martyr, or even very smart to be an atheist. All you have to be able to say is “I Don’t Know”."

- Penn Jillette

Quote Source: God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

Sammy Shazaam's picture
Hmm... I thought that

Hmm... I thought that qualified as agnosticism, not atheism? There's been discussion on the forum as to exactly what the definition of each word is, if there's an overlap between the two... or if that even matters at all. Anyway, I love the spirit of this quote and I concur!

Zaphod's picture
Yeah me too! To both points!

Yeah me too! To both points!

Zaphod's picture
For some saying I don't know

For some saying I don't know takes a tremendous amount of courage though it shouldn't!

's picture
LOL i love the simplicity of

LOL i love the simplicity of this one but its so true also. There are many things that complicate the whole idea of atheism, but at the end it's just to acknowledge that you dont know.

Lauren's picture
When I spoke at a Religious

When I spoke at a Religious Understanding gig in my community as the Atheist/Humanist representative I was on a panel discussion. Someone from the audience asked 'What happens after death?' and all the other speakers were able to give a descriptive response, I was the only one to say, "I don't know."

efpierce's picture
The idea of being able to say

The idea of being able to say "I don't know" is something that is very difficult in today's society. We are either afraid of being labeled as stupid and becoming less of a person or we are so set in our old ways that we don't want to know about something whether it is new or old.

cookymonster's picture
I once read something saying

I once read something saying that the wiser one gets, the more one realizes what s/he doesn't know, or something to that effect.

I agree that, like the quote states, that it doesn't necessarily take courage or smarts to admit not knowing. I think, however, it takes the ability to swallow one's pride instead

firebolt's picture
This quote makes so much

This quote makes so much sense. If more of us could say I don't know every once in a while, we might all learn something.

mattyn's picture
I don't know a lot of things,

I don't know a lot of things, none of us do and I think the fact that we ask questions, makes us dangerous to the religious elite in our world.

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