The Atheism Tapes

The Atheism Tapes

"The Atheism Tapes" is a 2004 BBC television documentary series presented by Jonathan Miller. The material that makes up the series was originally filmed in 2003 for another, more general series, " ", but was too lengthy for inclusion. Instead, the BBC agreed to create "The Atheism Tapes" as a supplementary series of six programmes, each consisting of an extended interview with one contributor.

The programmes

All six programmes were conducted in the form of interviews; the synopses below are summaries of the interviewees' responses to Miller's questions.

Also interviewed were Richard Dawkins, Arthur Miller and Denys Turner.

Colin McGinn

English philosopher McGinn speaks about the various reasons for not believing in God, and some of the reasons for. He gives a thorough treatment of the ontological argument. In addition, McGinn draws an important distinction between atheism (lack of belief in a deity) and antitheism (active opposition to theism); he identifies himself as both an atheist and an antitheist. Finally, he speculates about a post-theistic society.

teven Weinberg

He talks about the effectiveness of the Design Argument, both in the past and today. He also discusses the reasons that people become religious, including the varying influences of physical and biological arguments against religion. Miller connects this to a higher likelihood of biologists being non-believers than physicists, which Weinberg finds surprising.

Weinberg goes on to distinguish between harm done "in the name of" religion from that done "by" religion and states that both of these are very real and very dangerous. He goes on to discuss the difference between religious belief in America and Europe, and about how he doesn’t like the "character" of the monotheistic God. He ends by saying that science is very definitely corrosive to religious belief, and that he considers this a good thing.

Daniel Dennett

American philosopher Dennett explains why he called one of his books "Darwin's Dangerous Idea", and why many of Darwin's contemporaries, in particular, considered Darwin's theory of evolution to be dangerous. He goes on to deal with the question of consciousness (i.e., is the consciousness/soul distinct from the body), talking about Darwin's rejection of the soul and the possible origins and psychological purposes of a belief in an immaterial soul.

Next, he talks about his Christian upbringing and how he became an atheist. He goes on to ask why it is thought rude to criticise religious belief, and suggests that it is due to the influential status of the religions in question. He finishes by wondering whether we could live effectively in a post-theistic world.

External links

* [ The Atheism Tapes] The official BBC page for the series
* [ Transcripts] of the programmes
* [ Colin McGinn's blog]
* [ Secular Philosophy]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Atheism Tapes — (Les Cassettes de l Athéisme en français) est une série documentaire de la chaîne télévisée BBC présentée par Jonathan Miller. Les vidéos qui servirent à créer les épisodes furent initialement tournées en 2003 pour une autre série documentaire… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing —   …   Wikipedia

  • The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True —   …   Wikipedia

  • The God Delusion — For the documentary film, see The God Delusion (film). The God Delusion   …   Wikipedia

  • The Skeptics Society — Infobox Organization name = The Skeptics Society size = 200px caption = msize = mcaption = motto = formation = 1992 extinction = type = headquarters = location = Worldwide membership = 55,000 [cite news |… …   Wikipedia

  • Growing Up in the Universe — Cover of the DVD Written by Richard Dawkins Directed by Stuart McDonald Starring …   Wikipedia

  • Douglas Adams's Guide to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy — Douglas Adams s Guide to The Hitch Hiker s Guide to the Galaxy   …   Wikipedia

  • Les Cassettes de l'Athéisme — The Atheism Tapes The Atheism Tapes (Les Cassettes de l Athéisme en français) est une série documentaire de la chaine télévisé BBC présentée par Jonathan Miller. Les vidéos qui servirent à créer les épisodes furent initialement tournées en 2003… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Out Campaign — The scarlet A The Out Campaign is a public awareness initiative for freethought and atheism. It was initiated by Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell, Executive Director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and is endorsed by Richard… …   Wikipedia

  • Jonathan Miller — For other people named Jonathan Miller, see Jonathan Miller (disambiguation). Jonathan Miller Jonathan Miller at the 1986 Miami Book Fair International. Born Jonathan Wolfe Miller 2 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.