Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Atheism Tapes

In 2003 Jonathan Miller began filming Atheism - A Rough History Of Disbelief. Several months ago I saw this series broadcast on PBS. I found it to be quite interesting. It was originally produced for the BBC. Mr. Miller had much more material than was originally broadcast on that series. More of it can now be seen on The Atheism Tapes. The Atheism Tapes features six 30-minute programs spread across two discs. Unfortunately Atheism - A Rough History Of Disbelief is not available on DVD.

From Atheism Tapes by Chris Neilson:

The Atheism Tapes spends only a few minutes on the well-worn arguments against God. These are handled by the British philosopher Colin McGinn, while Miller and he are kicked back on his overstuffed couch in his New York apartment. McGinn goes through the No-Evidence Argument, or as Bertrand Russell put it, why there's no more reason to believe in the God of Abraham than the Greek Gods (or to give it a more modern twist, the Flying Spaghetti Monster). After detailing that, McGinn makes short work of the medieval Ontological Argument for God (In short, God is perfect. Existence is more perfect than non-existance, therefore God must exist), before settling on the problem of evil which many regard as the strongest argument against belief in a loving God.

McGinn, like British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and American physicist Steven Weinberg embraces the antitheist label. "Antitheism is opposition to theism. I am an antitheist, because I believe that religion is harmful in human life. So I am an antitheist. I'm not just an atheist . . . . I'm actively opposed to it", McGinn exclaims.
Read the rest of the review here.

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