In response to Mr. Steger’s G+ post
Just watched it (Maher’s Religulous) on Netflix.
I’m no Maher fanboi, but the fruitlessness of the project is not a function of anything _Maher_ is doing.
The fruitlessness is a function of religion’s memetic auto-vaccination against critical thought and standards of evidence. It’s also a function of religion attracting, as do the lottery and smoking, a demographic not generally known for introspection, education, or an ability to reconsider opinions when presented with new information.
I’m not anti-religion any more than I am anti-lottery or anti-smoking. Consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t externalize its costs onto others (hate crimes, bullying, moral/theological legislation, subsidy via tax exemption, blowing things/people up, knocking on my freaking door despite the NO SOLICITORS placard, pushing their chosen god on people at work like an MLM of the afterlife, etc). Why would I care if someone worships Apollo, or Ahura Mazda, or Ganesh, the FSM or Betrand Russell’s teapot as long as they keep it off my porch, out of my face, and out of my wallet?
Maher is very close to understanding the nature of the issue when he asks “why is faith good”? He nails it when he says that faith makes a virtue of not thinking.
Some stray thoughts:
1. That ex-gay guy was in complete denial about being gay.
2. I’ve been in the Vatican, the Dome of the Rock, and at the Western Wall and felt welcome in each.
3. I appreciated the apparently genuine way Maher asked for prayer in the truck stop chapel, and the genuine way in which it was given. A rare gentle moment in a provocative movie.
4. Maher is very close to understanding the nature of the issue when he asks “why is faith good”? He nails it when he says that faith makes a virtue of not thinking.
5. The interview with the Orthodox rabbi was a high point. Maher needed a fiece strong opponent.
6. Maher does the project a disservice with the comedy one-liners.
7. Maher looks Oldman’s Dracula in the closing shots.
Verdict: Solid B as a documentary.