Why Ricky Gervais wants to drown everyone
Just before Christmas I saw a couple of comments by Ricky Gervais on Facebook concerning animal welfare. They really piqued my interest as they raised deep questions about the value of human life and judgement on evil human behaviour.
Something to make you angry?
The first post was why the death of a man should cheer you up. The second post came a couple of days later about another animal welfare story.
Judgement of wickedness?
What caught my eye was a comment made by Gervais himself commenting on the morality of such an act:
I’m so ashamed of my species. I wish God really did exist so he drown us all like it says in that mental book. I fucking would. [18.551 likes]
It was fascinating that Gervais, a convinced and celebrated atheist, wanted an ultimate judgement! This is something that atheism can never achieve, but it does resonate deeply within us and was precisely the purpose of the great flood of Noah.
Gervais has spoken about Noah in his stand up comedy. In his routine he was critical of the God wanting to wipe out humanity, accusing him of ‘going straight to genocide’. He was critical of what he thought were petty crimes instead warning God of ‘anger management’.
Yet his recent Facebook comment suggests that maybe God does have a case after all?
Gervais seems to have understood and empathised with God who looked out and ‘saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was full of pain’ (Genesis 6:6-7).
Gervais looked out and saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, he was grieved and ashamed.
Perhaps if Gervais’ children’s book on Noah had a picture of a hunter next to a dead animal and a man playing with a dying wolf he’s about to kill, then maybe Gervais might not be so quick at making jokes about the ‘petty’ nature of God’s anger on human wickedness.
Many atheists, including Gervais, criticise the flood of Noah as being an awful, unnecessary, genocide. Yet deep down it appears that when faced with dreadful human behaviour Gervais has acknowledged that we really do want judgement – and 18,551 people agree.