Some Atheism Videos
Links to some videos imparting perspectives and
history on disbelief in gods / supernaturalism and
contributions of disbelievers in gods / supernaturalism ...
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Famous atheists and their accomplishments juxtaposed against
the bible calling such folks "fool"s and stating that they "have
done abominable works" and that there are "none that doeth
good" (as Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 do). Unmentioned in the video,
Matthew 5:22 which states that whoever wrote Psalm 14:1
and 53:1, and "whosoever says 'Thou fool' shall be in danger
of hell fire."
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Dawkins talks atheism
Richard Dawkins appears on a CNN segment titled "Atheists
in America", interviewd by Paula Zahn, followed by a discus-
sion between Ellen Johnson (former President of American
Atheists), news host Rachel Maddow, a preacher, and a
CNN news anchor.
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The Rise of Atheism - ABC plus Christopher Hitchens
Atheism convention in Virginia + an interview with Christopher
Hitchens, author of "God is Not Great, How Religion Poisons
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Christopher Hitchens: God Isn't Great
Hitchens reminds us that we should appreciate the separation
of church and state in this country, and relates how there is
less separation of church and state in England or Germany.
He also points out that disbelief is probably much higher than
most realize in America, and is, in fact, the largest growing
segment (related to religious stance) in this country.
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Atheism : A Rough History of Disbelief
After watching the 18 videos on this topic (originally produced
by BBC Four) which are present on the internet, I selected the
best 8 of those, linked to below. All-in-all, a series which pro-
vided helpful information on the views of some of the doubters,
skeptics, atheists, and near-atheists in European history.
It fell short of the mark in its failure to appreciate the degree
to which science and religion are polar opposites, in its lack
of historical revelations regarding an overwhelming majority of
the devastating anti-human impacts of religion in the dark ages,
in the degree to which it provided little more than religious apol-
ogetics in some of the videos I chose to exclude from the fol-
lowing list, in its shortsighted all-but-accusation that atheism
was to blame for the anti-humanism of communism, and in its
less than enlightened views regarding death, which failed to
recognize naturalistic possibilities which envision dramatically
expanded life-spans / dramatically improved health and ways
of living far beyond present-day limitations -if- the views of
some of the progressive futurists are actualized in the coming
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Atheism : A Rough History of Disbelief - 1 - Shadows of Doubt (1/6)
How the doctrines and dogmas of religious belief have been
called into question. A few comments from Epicurus, Daniel
Dennett (philosopher), Arthur Miller (playwright), Richard
Dawkins (biologist), Pascal Boyer (anthropologist). 9-11 at-
tack based on religion, a forceful reminder of the destructive
power of the -3- monotheistic religions which have dominated
the world for the last 2,000 years.
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Atheism : A Rough History of Disbelief - 1 - Shadows of Doubt (2/6)
A few comments from Sir Geoffrey Lloyd (historian), Polly
Toynbee (journalist), Gore Vidal (author), Steven Wein-
berg (physicist), Colin McGinn (philosopher). Host Jonathan
Miller's Jewish upbringing.
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Atheism : A Rough History of Disbelief - 1 - Shadows of Doubt (5/6)
Early U.S. Presidents were considerably less than devout Chris-
-- George Washington used to walk out of religious services
before the end; then, he stopped attending church altogether.
-- John Adams: "God is an essence we know nothing of; until
this awful blasphemy is got rid of there will never be any
liberal science in the world"
-- Thomas Jefferson: "The clergy believe that any power con-
fided in me will be exerted against their schemes, and they
-- James Buchanan: "I have seldom met an intelligent person
whose views were not narrowed and distorted by religion"
-- Abraham Lincoln: "My earlier views on the unsoundness
of the Christian scheme of salvation have become clearer
and stronger with advancing years."
Host Jonathan Miller discuss disbelief with some likeminded
Americans, as well as discussing the Anglican religion in England,
and visits Cambridge (a university he once attended).
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Atheism : A Rough History of Disbelief - 1 - Shadows of Doubt (6/6)
Visit to the Elgin Marbles of British Museum, with statues
that were defaced after emperor Constantine established
Christianity as the state religion of Rome.
Historical review of early Greek philosophers:
-- Democritus: first atheist?
-- Epicurus: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able but not willing? Then
he is malevolent. Is God both able and willing? Then whence
cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call
-- Lucretius: "Fear is the mother of all Gods. Nature does
all things spontaneously by herself, without their meddling."
-- Aristotle: "A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncom-
mon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of
a legal treatment from a ruler whom they consider God-fearing
and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against
him believing that he has the Gods on his side."
-- Cicero: "In this subject of the nature of the Gods, the first
question is 'Do the Gods exist, or do they not?' It is difficult
you will say to deny that they exist. I would agree if we were
arguing the matter in a public assembly. But in a private dis-
cussion of this kind, it is perfectly easy to do so."
-- Seneca: "Religion is regarded by the common people as
true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."
The thousand years that followed the closing of the Greek
philosophical schools have come to be known as the 'dark
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A Rough History of Disbelief - 2 - Noughts and Crosses (6/6)
The religious environment inhibited the open expression
of skepticism. In August, 1770, 7 books were burned
by the official executioner. Among them, 3 of them were
published under a pseudonym, books by philosopher
Paul Henri Thierry Baron D'Holbach, the first to write
an unarguably 'atheist' book. Unlike Hobbes and Hume,
he rejected all supernaturalism.
A quote from D'Holbach: "If we go back to the beginning,
we shall find that ignorance and fear created the Gods,
that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned them, that weak-
ness worships them, that credulity preserves them, and
that custom, respect, and tyranny support them in order
to make the blindness of men support their own interests.
If the ignorance of nature gave birth to Gods, the know-
ledge of nature is calculated to destroy them."
D'Holbach is the first person since classical times at least,
to openly and in writing attest that there was no God and
no supernatural dimension to the universe. D'Holbach's
book, The System of Nature, became known as the
Atheist Bible. His home is rightly regarded as the birth-
place of modern atheism. Another D'Holbach quote:
"It is only by disspelling the clouds and phantoms of
religion that we shall discover truth, reason and morality."
The System of Nature, Volume 1
The System of Nature, Volume 2
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A Rough History of Disbelief - 3 - Final Hour (1/6)
By the end of the 18th century, a more popular, and
some would say subversive, form of atheism began to
appear. And although, to begin with, it didn't take the
form of explicit atheism, the argumentative deism of
lower middle class publicists such as Thomas Paine
set the stage for a much more radical form of religious
Thomas Paine quote: "Of all the tyrannies that inflict
mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst. Every other
species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in,
but this attempts to stride beyond the grave and seeks
to pursue us into eternity."
Thomas Paine was one of the most influential thinkers
that England has ever produced.
Thomas Paine quote: "All churches, whether Jewish,
Christian, or Muslim, appear to me no other than
human inventions set up to terrify and enslave man-
kind, and to monopolize power and profit."
It's not altogether surprising that the first and most
enthusiastic people to embrace Tom Paine were the
dissatsified colonists in North America. Paine's elo-
quent advocacy of independence proved to be inspir-
ational, and it was he who first coined the phrase that
dignified their revolutionary ambitions, the "United
States of America."
Paine went to live in America. His book, "Common
Sense", was addressed to the colonists of America.
In the "Age of Reason", he attacks orthodox beliefs,
and advocates people developing their own rationality,
their own moral sensibilities and their natural ability
to interact morally with one another.
Thomas Paine quote: "A belief in a cruel God makes
for a cruel man, and the Bible has a history of wicked-
ness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind."
Another Thomas Paine quote: "The most detestable
wickedness, the most horrid cruelties and the greatest
miseries that have afflicted the human race have had
their origin in this thing called religion."
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A Rough History of Disbelief - 3 - Final Hour (2/6)
Due to his views opposed to religion, in America Paine
ended up living out his days in a rather ostracized way,
unappreciated and generally unrecognized for the
dramatic inspirations he had provided to the American
Inspired by Paine, an atheist -- Richard Carlisle, had
distributed Paine's pamphlets in England. He, his wife,
his sister, and 150 people went to jail for publishing an
atheistic and politically subversive journal called "The
Republican". The crime? Blasphemous and seditious
The host, Johnathan Miller, after graduating from Cam-
bridge, attended University College in London, an institu-
tion founded in 1826 to allow *all* students, regardless
of religion, to attend. Until that time, you had to be a
"communicating member of the Church of England"
to attend a British university. That restriction excluded
Catholics, Jews, non-conformists, and non-believers.
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A Rough History of Disbelief - 3 - Final Hour (3/6)
Christianity had reluctantly relinquished its contention
that Earth was the center of the universe (and, in fact,
the Catholic church didn't issue an official apology to
Galileo until very recently -- per the host, that occurred
in 1984). However, its contention that Earth and all
that is were created by God (in 6 days) remained
steadfast until shaken by other science discoveries,
most notable among them being in geology and in
Darwin's theory of evolution.
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