Originally posted by epiphinehas
I'm really interested in seeing Bill Maher's documentary, "Religulous." Real Time with Bill Maher is one of the best shows on television and as a Christian, strange as it may seem, I value Bill's comedic license to skewer and humiliate religious folk (it's a political thing).
That said, when I consider the vast universe, with its innumerable galaxies ion is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it."
I just saw the documentary earlier today. I really do not think your characterization is accurate -- if you think that his main premise is that ridiculous sounding propositions are thereby untrue. Of course he does think certain religious beliefs are ridiculous sounding, and he does think they are very likely untrue (and I have to say he's right on both accounts). As far as I could see, however, it is not his main thrust (or even a contention of his) that these propositions are necessarily untrue just in virtue of their sounding ridiculous. He just doesn't see why anyone should believe them; additionally, part of his effort (beyond making fun) is to show how groundless he thinks faith can be, in terms of lacking epistemic reasons; and to show how regrettable he thinks perpetuation of religion is.
That is, absolutely nothing from the documentary leads me to believe that he would disagree with you on this point of yours: that "not every proposition that sounds ridiculous is automatically untrue". Beyond his comedic aims, I took his main focus to be in showing (1) that at least certain aspects of religious faith are characteristically epistemologically irresponsible and (2) that the perpetuation of religion is by and large regrettable on many levels. His prescription is that people should intellectually mature ('grow up' he says toward the end) and get beyond taking too seriously myths and superstitions that have been handed down from the Bronze Age or thereabouts and have no good evidence in their favor (and some of which perpetuate intolerance). He doesn't seem to give much insight into how this should play out, other than saying that the non-religious crowd needs to get more vocal.
I didn't find anything groundbreaking in the documentary. But I did find it to be extremely funny.
Also, I would have to say: if one's response to an objector is "well, yeah my belief may sound totally ridiculous, but bear this in mind: the fact that it sounds ridiculous doesn't necessarily make it untrue", I cannot say that is much of a defense. That, in itself, sounds like a pretty terrible defense, actually.