Saturday, March 07, 2009

Thoughts on Religulous

I have always been somewhat of an agnostic, a doubter. I respect a lot of the traditions and the history associated with religion, but I have never really been able to accept that which has no proof, no physical evidence. It's gotten worse since my mom died -- I tell people that I am "off god." Still, sometimes I wish that I had faith -- that I was able to shut off my rationality and my doubt and just believe in some greater power that is more substantial than the mere feeling that putting out good, positive energy will serve me better than negative energy.

That should give you a sense of the playing field with which I went in to watching Religulous. To me, it seemed like an interesting concept: Comedian Bill Maher taking a critical look at religion and calling it out on some of its irrationalities. And the movie worked for me, right up until the end, where Maher took everything he presented over the past 90 minutes and quickly proclaimed his thesis: Religion will destroy the world.

I felt like I had whiplash. Going from "doubt is healthy" to "organized religion is going to destroy the world" is too great a leap, even for me. Don't get me wrong: I can see the absurdities in a lot of religious concepts, and I can agree that there is a level of fundamentalism that is dangerous -- particularly when people follow leaders blindly, without thought. And I guess that's the best explanation of why I disagree: It's not religion per se that's the problem; it's a lack of critical thinking.


Justin S. said...

I haven't seen it. I'm somewhat curious, but I don't think I could put up with Bill Maher's smugness long enough to watch it.

dara said...

There was a lot of it that amused me, but I didn't go into it having strong negative feelings about Bill Maher. And his smugness at the end was overwhelming.

Bianca said...

I haven't seen this movie yet but LOLZ at Bill Maher.

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