Author Douglas Adams gives us his short, funny take on where the idea of God came from. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Philosophy, Spirituality, Consciousness, Stress-Relief
From the category archives:
One of the first ever programs to explore the history of Atheism. Very, very cool. Narrated by Jonathan Miller
Episode 1 – Shadows of Doubt – 60 Minutes
Jonathan Miller visits the absent Twin Towers to consider the religious implications of 9/11 and meets Arthur Miller and the philosopher Colin McGinn. He searches for evidence of the first ‘unbelievers’ in Ancient Greece and examines some of the modern theories around why people have always tended to believe in mythology and magic.
Episode 2 – Noughts and Crosses – 60 Minutes
With the domination of Christianity from 500 AD, Jonathan Miller wonders how disbelief began to re-emerge in the 15th and 16th centuries. He discovers that division within the Church played a more powerful role than the scientific discoveries of the period. He also visits Paris, the home of the 18th century atheist, Baron D’Holbach, and shows how politically dangerous it was to undermine the religious faith of the masses.
Episode 3 – The Final Hour – 60 Minutes
The history of disbelief continues with the ideas of self-taught philosopher Thomas Paine, the revolutionary studies of geology and the evolutionary theories of Darwin. Jonathan Miller looks at the Freudian view that religion is a ‘thought disorder’. He also examines his motivation behind making the series touching on the issues of death and the religious fanaticism of the 21st century.
Richard Dawkins is one of the most well-known and outspoken atheists in the world. He is also a evolutionary biologist at Oxford University, and a bestselling author of many books (including the The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene). He’s also famous for having coined the term “meme.”
This very controversial British documentary is a type of precursor to Dawkins’ book The God Delusion (which came out after the airing of this program). In the program, Dawkins argues that the world would be better off without religion of belief in God.
Note: Watch for the interview with disgraced pastor Ted Haggard. It’s pretty hilarious when he ends up chasing after Dawkins in a parking lot… I’ll leave it at that.
Regardless of your stance on religion, the program is very well done and interesting. It’s definitely worth watching. Enjoy!
The God Delusion – Part 1 – 47 minutes (video)
The Virus of Faith – Part 2 – 47 minutes (video)