Is Derren Brown a Christian or an Atheist?
If you ever wondered whether mentalist Derren Brown is religious or whether he’s an atheist, lets’ take a look.
Is Derren Brown religious?
It’s true to say that mentalist Derren Brown was once religious. It was when Derren Brown was younger and in his teenage years he turned to Christianity and became an Evangelical Christian. He used this to deal with his issues of self-esteem and his sexuality. At the time, he used his faith to present himself as confident and asexual.
But it was when Derren Brown got to his twenties when he decided that his belief in Christianity had no basis. It was then that he became a committed atheist. He addresses Christianity in his book “Tricks of The Mind“, in which he confirms he is an atheist.
Towards the end of his mentalism book Tricks of the Mind, he discusses Richard Dawkins and “The God Delusion.” In fact he refers to The God Delusion as his favourite book and that: “The God Delusion is a very important defense to atheism.”
Derren Brown goes on to say that:
“Any brave believer (i.e., not of the cowardly, deaf-blind variety) intelligent enough to want to challenge his faith would be advised to read this book.”Derren Brown – Tricks of The Mind Book
Judgement Day – The Guardian
In an article in The Guardian about Richard Dawkins and The God Delusion, they explain: “Creationists and believers in God are right to see him as their arch-enemy. In The God Delusion he displays what a formidable adversary he is. It is a spirited and exhilarating read.”
On Derren’s own website referenced “religious debate“, his talks about his discussions he had with philosopher Nigel Warburton. He recommends his book and in particular “Philosophy“, by Nigel Warburton.
Fear and Faith
Derren Brown also uses religion in his work. This was demonstrated in his show “Fear and Faith“, where in part 2, Brown convinces various people that they are having supernatural experiences using psychological techniques. This was to the point of convincing an atheist they were having a religious experience.
Derren Brown: Messiah
The concept of this show was to highlight the power of suggestion with regard to beliefs. It looked at people’s abilities and failures to question them.
In this show, which was aired in January 2005 Derren Brown’s conclusion was that people tend to hear only things that support their own ideas. People ignore contradictory evidence, which is known in psychology as confirmation bias.
In the section concerned with religious belief, he ‘converted’ people to Christian belief with a touch. Afterwards, he ‘deprogrammed’ them of any such belief. It was during the programme that Brown stated he wasn’t opposed to people holding religious beliefs and that he respected those beliefs. It was in this show that he made it clear that he had once been a committed Christian.
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