Is Benedict Cumberbatch an atheist?

As with my previous post on Tom Hiddleston’s religion (or lack thereof), the standard disclaimer applies: I don’t know for sure, and this is my speculation. I would lean towards “yes” but unlike the my many ambiguous tidbits of evidence for Tom Hiddleston, I have one convincing quote from Benedict Cumberbatch. In particular, during his Harper’s Bazaar interview he says (in response to the question “Do you have any irrational fears?”):

No, I’m quite a rationalist. I’m not superstitious. I think life is too full of natural wonders and logical complexities to worry about illogical things.

What convinces me that he’s an atheist is his word choices. References to “natural wonders” and to logical versus illogical make him sound very much like Richard Dawkins, one of the world’s most prominent atheists. That argument — that the world is too full of natural wonder to go worrying about illogical things — is actually the theme of one of Dawkins’ books (The Greatest Show on Earth).

It’s also interesting that when he says “illogical things” he bites his lip and smiles like a boy who has just said something naughty — as if he knows that he’s making fun of religion and he knows he might get in trouble for it.

Now, I know that many will argue that he worked at a Tibetan monastery during his gap year. There is also evidence that he meditates, or that he once did. However, here is his description of it:

There’s an ability to focus and have a real sort of purity of purpose and attention and not be too distracted. And to feel very alive to your environment, to know what you are part of, to understand what is going on in your peripheral vision and behind you, as well of what is in front of you. That definitely came from that.

This sounds more like the analysis of a clinical psychiatrist than a religious adherent. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he calls himself a buddhist “at least philosophically” — but none of this conflicts with atheism.

It appears that he has a feeling that there’s something bigger than him in this world, but the first quote seems to put him in the camp of Richard Dawkins. The “something bigger” is the natural world and its scientific intricacies.

One thought on “Is Benedict Cumberbatch an atheist?

  1. WELL, I’m not saying he’s not an Atheist, as I don’t know., but what I do know is that if you looked at things I’ve written or said, some of them may lead you to the conclusion that I’ an Atheist. After all, I’ve spoken about the need to be Rational in all our affairs, and that Reason should guide us rather than Passion, and I’ve said in the past that there must not be Logical inconsistency, for the Universal Laws do not contradict. I could have said pretty much the same thing as CUmberbacht in the above, and thus been in the same camp as Richard Dawkins in your Mind. However, I am a Christian.

    Atheism doesn’t have a Monopoly on Rationalism or on Logic, and despite the claims we see often, “Religious people” are not really devoid of it, even considering their oen Religions.

    Indeed, everyone is Religious, for Religion is just another term for Philosophy and we all have beliefs about the World we live n.

    I’d question making such assumptions bad on limited Data. He may well be an Atheist, but that isn’t demonstrable here and you add too much to his words.


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