Religulous gets Expelled?

God. War. Religion. Intelligent Design. Evolution.

Just a few issues that everyone agrees on.

Riiiiight…

ben stein

Two documentaries came out in 2008 grappling with these from differing perspectives on religion, evolution, atheism, and the source of human conflict. Comedian Bill Maher is so adamant about the views in his film Religulous that he had to continue taking potshots at God during the Oscars (or maybe just using the platform to further promote hisDVD sales).

Dryer in delivery but equally passionate, Ben Stein interviews Richard Dawkins and leading men in the scientific community with his film Expelled. While not targeting the same subject, they definitely spiral around many of the same debatable questions. How did we get here? What is the primary source of human conflict? Is life random and meaningless, or designed and destined?

Archimedes said “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.”  Today, I think Archimedes might have added “Give me a camera and full editing rights and I will make ANYONE look the fool.” There is something to 21st century documentaries that seems less like documentation and more like reality television. Still, when Maher interviews theme park Jesus, and Stein interviews Dawkins, they do manage to provoke some thoughtful questions in the viewer.

  • Which film is better?

  • Which one makes the more cogent argument?

  • What if one notable film reviewer praised one of these films for the EXACT same reasons he condemns the other one?

  • What do these films reveal about preaching to the choir?

Lots of meat to chew on in this audio review that pulls apart both films. I had the chance to weigh in as we watched each film in its entirety at a Mars Hill event in Seattle.

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