28 September 2023


Most committed atheists are presumably familiar with Bill Maher's documentary Religulous (2008), but many of us who are simply non-religious may not be; I hadn't seen it until a week ago.  If you're at all interested in the subject, though, it's well worth a viewing.  The film is available on DVD.

Most of the movie consists of Maher interviewing religionists of various stripes -- Christian, Muslim, Mormon, Jewish -- both "leaders" and ordinary believers.  His questions focus his usual cutting wit on the innate absurdity of religious claims; many of the believers obviously have never heard of or thought of such challenges before, and their responses mostly fall somewhere on a spectrum from befuddlement to anger.  Two Catholic representatives who appear are notably more rational, while two ex-Mormons Maher interviews give a strong sense of the psychological barriers to leaving a tight-knit, cult-like religion.

At one point Maher himself takes on the role of preacher, proclaiming the doctrines of Scientology to a bewildered crowd.  These doctrines sound obviously preposterous, but of course it's only the fact that more mainstream religions are so familiar to us that makes us think their doctrines any less absurd.

Maher finishes with a grim warning about the special dangers posed by religions obsessed with the end of the world -- the Apocalypse, the End Times, Islam's Last Day, and suchlike -- in an age of nuclear weapons.  Primitive thinking needs to be kept away from modern technology.

Thanks to Lady M for the opportunity to watch this.


Blogger Lady M said...

Seems like you enjoyed the film. That scene where Bill Maher is preaching the scientology tenets is pretty amusing.

28 September, 2023 20:30  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Oh yes. Maher is pretty consistently funny, and he got in some solid hits on an important subject with this one.

29 September, 2023 07:12  

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