Atheism, Faith, Lawrence Krauss, Religion, Richard Dawkins, science, The Unbelievers, USA

The Unbelievers

Two men that I admire greatly – not for their non-belief in a random deity – but their hard work, expertise & frankly under-appreciated strides forward in not only their scientific field, but in bringing the wonder of science back to the Zeitgeist. We need familiar faces and spokespeople to inspire the next generation of scientifically-literate children, and although there are one or two more, I would say one mustn’t look much further than these two men.

Professor Lawrence Krauss – (American Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, writer and converse wearer)

&

Professor Richard Dawkins – (British Ethologist, Biologist, writer and pisser-offer of unreasonable internet trolls everywhere)

Spent time documenting a recent tour aptly named  ‘the unbelievers’. The film had not been as provocative as the name would suggest, but that may be because I have such a high expectation of offence. Interesting enough; always a delight to watch these two scientific experts & staunch non-believers talk. Most importantly it garnered a good amount of discussion after the film had ended, and isn’t that the point?

With cameos from Sam Harris and a small clip of Ayaan Hirsi Ali – it tempted us with what could have been an outstanding piece of work. The film felt mostly like a rally cry for secularists, and why not? There needs to be an open discussion of faith, and an ownership of our humanistic values – sadly in my country this is a silent majority. I believe the documentary told me what I already knew, we shouldn’t be silent any longer.

I could sense the importance of their work throughout the piece, the crowds were numerous and they all laughed at the right theological and political jokes. Everyone seemed happy. Mostly it seemed to be an insight into the conference of like minded people; Instead of the normal anger and fierce hatred found in documentaries that have any snippet of anti-religiosity.

The intellectual honesty regarding scientific exploration and theoretical physics was played down, it almost seemed as if you were the third leg, hanging out with your favourite scientists, instead of just watching a bunch of youtube clips of them (which is basically what it is)

Some fantastic cinematography and speeches help to mould what was, all in all, a nice but comfortable film. I very much doubt Dawkins or Krauss will get an extra amount of death threats or vitriolic emails due to this, which in a sense is a shame as it means they aren’t speaking frankly enough. I won’t worry as I know their twitter accounts alone deal with this issue, but it would have been enjoyable to see them rip apart religiosity a bit more – especially from a scientific point of view.

I was lucky enough to speak through a google+ hangout to Professor Krauss earlier this year and question him about parts of his career that interested me (mostly the attacks he gets from the Christian American Right-Wing). I was lucky enough to also connect with him on twitter not long after, asking if he was a fan of The Beatles & if so – his favourite song. As a Liverpudlian his reply warmed my heart and only added to the high amount of respect I already held for him.

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It was a highlight of my recent work – and as usual his answers were as educated and brilliant as ever. A similar disposition can be expected within the film.

It begins and ends with celebrity endorsements of a sort, black and white interview clips specifically for this documentary, trying always to explain to people “It’s OK to be an atheist, and it’s OK to tell people”

On the one hand it may fall on deaf ears due to the right-wing Christian agenda in the US, but in other countries, especially mainland Europe I think this film and its message will be digested healthily and accepted gracefully; on my part I was disheartened as one of said celebrities was Cameron Diaz – truthfully it nearly shook my non-belief as I haven’t liked her since the Mask. But hey, that is the thing about being an Atheist – we don’t have to worship or hold any of our counterparts in any higher esteem than ourselves. So I forgive the scientists for using an actress I am not wholly a fan of.

Not as hard hitting as it could have been, but thought-provoking nonetheless. Surely preaching to the choir, but easily a film for any secularist to view with some amusement and fulfilment.

Go to Netflix and watch The Unbelievers, it is work the running time – whatever time really means, theoretically speaking.

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15 thoughts on “The Unbelievers

  1. Hailey Marie Ramey says:

    Reblogged this on Hailey's Comments by the Cosmic Authoress and commented:
    Recently I reviewed the Unbelievers, and I must say that this inspiring me documentary shone brightly not only as an atheistic documentary but as a masterpiece. The Unbelievers will pave the way for atheist and humanist organizations and inform people of dangerous religious dogma.

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  2. Lucy says:

    I agree with pretty much everything you said here. I watched it yesterday after having looked forward to seeing it since I heard about its production.

    I really enjoy listening to both Dawkins and Krauss, though I find Krauss to be a much more ‘personable’ individual and I like how this is even touched upon in the documentary. Richard is rather a ‘bull in a china shop’ when it comes to arguing religion and while that can be entertaining at times, I think Laurence provides a much more effective argument!

    Perhaps I fell victim to the same thing y

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  3. Lucy says:

    (Butter fingers)

    I shall continue!

    Perhaps I fell victim to the same thing you did, as I was so looking forward to seeing it, I maybe had expectations that were too high. I keep on look out for documentaries like these and I saw some Dawkins on Channel 4 (Sex, Death, and the Meaning of Life). I really enjoyed these and it felt much more substantial, content-wise.

    The Unbelievers felt more like a very very long advertisement (in clip form) of what Dawkins and Krauss had been up to and what we might be able to expect to see in an upcoming television series. It felt like once someone got going on a topic and once I was getting into it, it stopped abruptly for the process to begin again.

    It’s a shame.

    Thanks for posting about this, I enjoyed reading it 🙂

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    • I agree; I know Dawkins has put himself in a box now due to his fervour let’s say, but I still find him fascinating. In truth I am very much like Dawkins and Hitchens in that respect – I find an abrasive attitude against stupidity is best for me, though I understand this makes people less likely to like me.

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    • Well in truth, what else should I base my judgement of her on? Her personal attributes? her skin colour? I judge her based on her acting as she is an actress – I feel that is normal. But either way, I agree with what she said – but me not liking her as an actress is hardly a big deal.

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  4. THE FAVORITE PROOF-TEXT FOR INFANT BAPTISM BY STEVE FINNELL

    The most popular proof-text in support of infant baptism is Acts 16:33. The problem is you have ignore other verses, such as Acts 16:31, 32, and 34.

    THE PROOF-TEXT: Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. (NKJV)

    Does that prove that infants were baptized? No it does not.

    The Jailer asked Paul and Silas what he needed to do to be saved. (Acts 16:30) The answer was: Acts 16:31 So they said “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.(NKJV)

    The Jailer could not believe for his household. Salvation is an individual choice.

    Acts 16:32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in the house.(NKJV)

    Paul and Silas preached to all the household. Infants do understand the gospel. There were no infants hearing and believing the gospel.

    Acts 16:34 Now when he had brought them into the house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.(NKJV)

    The Jailer and all of his household believed before they were baptized. Infants are not capable of believing in God. Infants cannot understand the gospel message. Infants cannot believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The fact that the jailer and all of his household believed, eliminates the possibility of any infants being baptized that night.

    Jesus said in Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…”(NKJV)

    Paul and Silas did not the change the words of Jesus. Belief is required in order to be saved, as is baptism, and belief precedes immersion in water. There are no cases found in the Bible where an unbeliever is baptized. Infants are unbelievers.

    If God approves of baptizing unbelieving infants; then why not baptize unbelieving adults???

    You are invited to follow my blog.http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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