are there many regular characters on tv programs who are openly atheists or skeptics? i only know of one i can think of offhand - house - then again i don’t watch much tv outside of pbs or the history channel.
Temprance, the forensic anthropologist on Bones is also an atheist. I don’t recall any others specifically, and the topic is usually addressed obliquely, but I’ve seen a number of mentions of it recently on TV.
It reminds me of the late 60s when everyone would come running from all over the house to see an(y) African American (or for that fact, any minority) actor, being featured in a television program or commercial as a ‘regular’ person. One would hope that with time, it would be as common and uneventful as finding minorities in the same positions!
And on House, Cameron is also an atheist. Some of the others may be, too. Including the dead Amber. When she was dying, she said that she didn’t want last feeling she had to be anger. So, she knew that she wasn’t going to have any more thoughts or feelings after she died. And Wilson, her boyfriend, didn’t contradict her by saying she’s going to the other side or something like that. This implies to me that he is an unbeliever, too. Subtle, but a great moment.
Did love it when Brian on Family Guy came out as an atheist.
Elaine from ‘Seinfeld’ often gets mentioned as well when this question comes up…
Has Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s character on “Old Christine” ever doubted a
god? Heh, her character is funny, Julia looks good on that show. Her
character usually seems to be sad about and avoids when society expects
her character to fit in the mold that it prepared for her. I think that
I’ve seen an episode about the son character expecting her to go to
church, and she didn’t want to go, but my memory is very cloudy about
that. Did anyone else see an episode about going to church?
There was an episode in the 1st season of Babylon 5 where Sinclair had to come up with something about the religion of Earth. He got together a line of people to introduce to say their religions. The first person in the line was a atheist. Not a regular character though.
Geribaldi, the security man, was stated to be an agnostic. But that is almost as rare as atheists on television. They mostly say nothing about the subject unless the character is supposed to have some religion.
I don’t know about characters, but believe it or not, the few times I’ve seen “Psych” on the USA channel, it seems pretty skeptical. It’s also brilliant the way the detective uses cold reading to pick up leads from the people he questions.
Arguably, all of the main characters from Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation were atheists. Roddenberry was an atheist, and made a strong point in leaving religion out of his original vision of Star Trek, except in the context of ancient or primitive civilizations encountered (if anything, religion portrayed in a negative context). That started to change a little after his death when Rick Berman took over - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the Bajorans come to mind - don’t know much about the newer Star Treks since then.
I am a big fan of the show LOST, which has throughout its seasons tampered with the ‘science versus faith’ dichotomy to where it appears that the character Jack Shepard is an atheist, if not simply a denier of the role of ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’. The same could be said for many of the other characters.
The fact that its hard to say for the most part is, actually, kind of a good thing, in the sense that religion is not made into the crux of these characters and the story lines.