1. Illinois
    Joined
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    20 Oct '08 03:11
    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, and the impenetrable mystery at the heart of Nature, I can't help but wonder, given the relative insignificance of our planet and its history within that infinite expanse, if any of us has the right to determine what can be considered too strange or too ridiculous to be true.

    The premise of Bill Maher's documentary seems to be that if a proposition is ridiculous sounding, it is untrue. I think this is implicit to the comic value. Of course, some propositions may be ridiculous sounding and untrue, but not every proposition that sounds ridiculous is automatically untrue. Quantum theory, for example, is almost as a rule counter-intuitive and mind-boggling, yet it demonstrates itself to be true time and time again.

    For this reason I do not take such criticisms seriously, regarding my own faith. G. K. Chesterton once said, "Truth must necessarily be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it."

    Any thoughts?
  2. Joined
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    20 Oct '08 04:122 edits
    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."

    Any thoughts?
    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.
  3. Joined
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    20 Oct '08 04:20
    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 ...[text shortened]... ion is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it."

    Any thoughts?
    Regardless of your religious persuasion you have to admit that there is a lot to make fun of out there in the vast world of religion. Then again, pick any human endeavor and you could say the same thing.

    Having said that, I find him humorous but he tends to get on my nerves a bit because he just seems REALLY full of himself at times. He is one of those people who seems to be an expert on everything but has not really mastered anything. Like Lemon has said, he saw nothing new in the documentary, rather, it was just regurgitated material fitted to his satirical perspective.

    As for seeing the documentary, I would not pay to go see it but if it was on TV I might watch it for a few laughs.
  4. Cape Town
    Joined
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    20 Oct '08 05:07
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Any thoughts?
    I fully agree that if something is ridiculous sounding it does not make it untrue. But I do think that if something is ridiculous sounding we should treat it with skepticism.
    If someone claims that your character can be determined by knowing which stars were in the sky at the hour of your birth, or if someone with no scientific training tells you he has found the cure for AIDS then you should take a skeptical position until you have reason to believe otherwise.
    We should be skeptical even when the person telling us is someone we respect.
  5. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
    Joined
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    21 Oct '08 00:33
    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 ...[text shortened]... ion is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it."

    Any thoughts?
    I've seen it and although I have no way of knowing for sure, I think most believers would find some entertainment value in the movie. Of course he doesn't reserve his barbs for christianity. He also skewers Islam, Judaism, Scientology, and Mormonism (if you consider that to be separate from chrisitianity). Although there is a fair amount of equating the ridiculous sounding with the untrue (as in the 'talking snake', etc.), I don't think that is the premise behind it. The premise is that, ultimately, religion is a divisive institution, and in the nuclear age, a rather dangerous one.
  6. Joined
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    21 Oct '08 08:06
    i believe one of the thoughts behind it is that religious people should stop being lazy and do some thinking of their own. no god intends his worshipers to stagnate , to do nothing towards progress. by not changing their views they are doing just that.
  7. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
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    21 Oct '08 08:341 edit
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    i believe one of the thoughts behind it is that religious people should stop being lazy and do some thinking of their own. no god intends his worshipers to stagnate , to do nothing towards progress. by not changing their views they are doing just that.
    Just shows you how much you know about your god. It looks to me like your god WANTS it that way. Make people with really fine minds then clamp them down with the blinders of religion. Oh yeah, that has to be right.
  8. Cape Town
    Joined
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    21 Oct '08 09:33
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    no god intends his worshipers to stagnate , to do nothing towards progress.
    How would you know that? How many gods do you know?
  9. Joined
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    21 Oct '08 10:07
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    How would you know that? How many gods do you know?
    well since god created us in his own image ie given us reason, why would he want for us not to use it?
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