"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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Location: Australia

I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.


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Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Brief History of Disbelief


From the youtube description of the series: -

In this first ever television history of disbelief, Jonathan Miller goes on a journey exploring the origins of his own lack of belief and uncovering the hidden story of atheism.

Jonathan Miller visits the absent Twin Towers to consider the religious implications of 9/11 and meets Arthur Miller and the philosopher Colin McGinn. He searches for evidence of the first 'unbelievers' in Ancient Greece and examines some of the modern theories around why people have always tended to believe in mythology and magic.

With the domination of Christianity from 500 AD, Jonathan Miller wonders how disbelief began to re-emerge in the 15th and 16th centuries. He discovers that division within the Church played a more powerful role than the scientific discoveries of the period. He also visits Paris, the home of the 18th century atheist, Baron D'Holbach, and shows how politically dangerous it was to undermine the religious faith of the masses.

The history of disbelief continues with the ideas of self-taught philosopher Thomas Paine, the revolutionary studies of geology and the evolutionary theories of Darwin. Jonathan Miller looks at the Freudian view that religion is a 'thought disorder'. He also examines his motivation behind making the series touching on the issues of death and the religious fanaticism of the 21st century.

The other parts of the series can be viewed here:

A Brief History of Disbelief 2.

A Brief History of Disbelief 3.

A Brief History of Disbelief 4.

A Brief History of Disbelief 5.

A Brief History of Disbelief 6.

A Brief History of Disbelief 7.

A Brief History of Disbelief 8.

A Brief History of Disbelief 9.

A Brief History of Disbelief 10.

A Brief History of Disbelief 11.

A Brief History of Disbelief 12.

A Brief History of Disbelief 13.

A Brief History of Disbelief 14.

A Brief History of Disbelief 15.

A Brief History of Disbelief 16.

A Brief History of Disbelief 17.

A Brief History of Disbelief 18.

Each video is only about 10 minutes long. Watch them while they are available.

They can also be seen at this link should the other links become inactive. (Thanks for the tip Remy.)



Blogger Lexcen said...

Thanks,much appreciated. Is this scheduled for TV?

3/5/07 7:44 pm  
Blogger L>T said...

beep yes thanks!. I've started on them.

I really appreciate your blog, I get so much information here. :)

3/5/07 10:45 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...


I think so. (4 May) in the US.

3/5/07 10:47 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Thanks LT. I am not sure if many people take the time to watch videos, but this program is pretty interesting.

4/5/07 9:07 am  
Anonymous remy said...

KA gave me this link which also has the interviews that were not in the series. They are very good as well.
It probably won't work because I can't figure out how to paste into the comments.
The dot between huge and entity is supposed to be higher up - I can't even do that, but I'm sure you can figure it out.

5/5/07 5:34 am  
Blogger Chris Bradley said...

I just got done watching it. I was sorta disappointed at the unspoken and very Western bias to the series, but in general I thought it was pretty cool.

I particularly liked how he traced some of the non-scientific ways that disbelief grew in the church -- as disbelievers sought out church protection to study disbelief, hehe.

5/5/07 7:42 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...


Thanks. I have added that link to the post as well.

5/5/07 8:02 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...


Yes. It examined the history of disbelief from the greco-roman tradition on. They didn't get into so much why some people have always been disbelievers, but kind of how the greco-roman tradition and the resulting religion of christianity, almost ensured a place for disbelief.

5/5/07 8:05 am  
Blogger Keebo said...

I have been enjoying these videos very much.
Given that I live in The United States, I particularly enjoyed the following quote:
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."
-Seneca the Younger
Thank you!

5/5/07 4:25 pm  
Blogger Plonka said...

Excellent series Beep, thanks...:)

5/5/07 9:48 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...


Glad you enjoyed them.

You too ted. :)

5/5/07 9:51 pm  
Blogger The Alpha said...

I think the fact that the video aired in the states is great. Of course this video couldn't air in the states without a bit of controversy to go along with it. It is Jesusland after all. Here are a few choice quotes from an article I found.

"One has to wonder why it is so important to them for everyone to understand their 'disbelief,'" she said. "The program is not a dispassionate, positive voice - as they claim. Instead, it is clearly demagogic and propagandistic."

"When I first read about this, I thought, 'Oh, they're attempting some sort of objective history of atheism. That might be interesting.' But when I actually watched it, I realized that it's really an evangelistic piece for atheism," he stated.

and my personal favorite...
"If they really want to be objective, they need to have a three-part series documenting the evidence in favor of Christianity," he added. "If they present propaganda for Islam, if they present propaganda for atheism, I think it's only fair they present propaganda for Christianity, too."

6/5/07 8:00 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...


That's funny. When I watched the series, I thought how balanced it was. It certainly didn't seem like an appeal "to atheism" to me. It was very polite and decidedly english in its approach.

6/5/07 8:40 am  

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