Religulous

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Rating: 8.7/10 (78 votes cast)
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Early on in Religulous, Bill Maher throws up a bar chart illustrating the number of people in America who are non-religious. That number is 16%, more than blacks, more than Jews, more than numerous other minority groups who seem to have no problem making themselves heard and getting Congress to do their bidding. Maher wonders aloud why non-religious people are so underground, and why they aren’t having an impact on the national discussion. His film is aimed squarely at that 16% of the country, and almost no one else. His goal, and he clearly has one, is to give those people the motivation they need to come out of the closet and do something… before it’s too late.
Religulous begins with Bill Maher, standing alone in Israel at a place called Meggido; a worthless pile of rubble where many of the planet’s religions believe the end of the world will begin. From there, Maher pushes us into an intense, honest, and brutally funny discussion of blind belief, presenting the possibility that maybe we should all consider doubt instead. We follow him around the world, as he travels from place to place talking to religious people of different faiths on different continents. The surprising thing here is that even though Maher definitely has an agenda, his movie never skews into the realm of propaganda.
It’s not propaganda, because Maher isn’t running out and finding weirdos to use in smear tactics against the devout. Typically anyone trying to make a case against God goes right to the pedophile priests and the suicide bombers, but Maher makes it a point to focus on normal, reasonably sane religious people. He’s not stacking the deck in his favor, because he doesn’t need to. He talks to truckers in a roadside chapel, he chats with random, middle-class tourists at a Christian-themed amusement park.
He talks to religious shop owners, small town preachers, televangelists, Jews for Jesus, fundamentalist U.S. Senators, Vatican priests, religious scientists, secular Muslims, gay Muslims, people in America, Utah (come on, we all know it’s not really America), Europe, and even in Jerusalem. Though those fumbling for an excuse to discredit him may claim otherwise, these aren’t extremists or lunatics. These are for the most part sane, rational, even intelligent people who believe something which Maher believes is insane.

Religulous, 8.7 out of 10 based on 78 ratings

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  • md433

    The synopsis is a pretty good one.  I like Maher’s material and style on the whole.  I’m not an atheist, and I think that a conversation (as opposed to debate) about his favorite topic would be extremely interesting.

    If you believe the emergent, supremely pragmatic theory of evolution works – and I do – then surely there must have been some usefulness in the past in order for religulousness to be alive and well today.

    Religion is an amazing tool for self-motivation and psychological self control.  Other things can motivate people too – for sure!  But you can always ADD a religious motivation to others.  I do admit this motivation can be misused, has been misused, and is being misused today.

    Religion is a good tool to control stupid people.  Honestly.  As long as we have them, they should be kept docile, hopeful about a second life, and convinced that everything which happens is meant to be.  They should pray for death to meet Jesus sooner, and thank their God when their family members die.  I mean – that’s fine to me.  Why wouldn’t it be?

    These people who use spiritual beliefs to control others have EVOLVED for that purpose!  The Billy Grahams and the Popes of the world are like key neurons in the brain, signalling with one pulse the actions of billions of other cells.

    Not every cell in the human body can be a brain cell!  I’m okay with that, because I believe in evolution!  

    I know that psychologically I can believe in anything I want to, and I would rather use my evolved capacity for religious fervor than close the door on it.

    Anyone agree or disagree? This is a long post and you know how it sucks to type this much and get no reply.

    • Thomas Pachon

      I tend to agree with you. The problem is, these people do not know they are stupid, and are not content to let the intelligent do what they see as right. They enforce their ideals upon all. I am happy to let people believe in whatever works for them. But the problem with religion is that they feel compelled to force everyone unto their will.

  • Luna

    Bill Maher is not an atheist. In the movie he clearly says that he is agnostic. He’s only got problem with institution/concept of religion.

    • md433

      Yeah no kidding.  That’s exactly what I addressed.  The institution/concept and it’s relevance.

      I didn’t say Bill Maher was an atheist, I said I wasn’t.   I basically believe the same things that he does, and I draw different conclusions.

      That’s why it could be an interesting conversation, if people understood what I was actually saying.

      • Cmarkifu

        md433
        chill out, i’m a paddy and grew up with as much bull as religion can throw at ya. never look for a proper response as it can only come from you! the story keeps changing : like, why is it alright to eat meat on fridays now? non….sense…..
        WATCH Father ted. it’ll keep your head nice and warm! ha.

      • Cmarkifu

        md433
        chill out, i’m a paddy and grew up with as much bull as religion can throw at ya. never look for a proper response as it can only come from you! the story keeps changing : like, why is it alright to eat meat on fridays now? non….sense…..
        WATCH Father ted. it’ll keep your head nice and warm! ha.

    • md433

      Yeah no kidding.  That’s exactly what I addressed.  The institution/concept and it’s relevance.

      I didn’t say Bill Maher was an atheist, I said I wasn’t.   I basically believe the same things that he does, and I draw different conclusions.

      That’s why it could be an interesting conversation, if people understood what I was actually saying.

    • md433

      I mean you didn’t even reply to anything I said.

      I guess you disagree and don’t know why, or something.  Whatever.  Talking to people on the internet…. what the fuck am I thinking :)

    • md433

      I mean you didn’t even reply to anything I said.

      I guess you disagree and don’t know why, or something.  Whatever.  Talking to people on the internet…. what the fuck am I thinking :)

    • md433

      I mean you didn’t even reply to anything I said.

      I guess you disagree and don’t know why, or something.  Whatever.  Talking to people on the internet…. what the fuck am I thinking :)

    • Fannyshank

      You misunderstand the term Agnostic then. You can be an Agnostic Atheist, or a Nostic Atheist. You can even be an Agnostic Theist or a Nostic Theist. All Agnostic means is “No knowledge of a God(s)” and Atheism means “a belief that there are no Gods.” As opposed to Nostic meaning “having knowledge” and Theism being “the belief in God(s).” You can assert that you are a Nostic Atheist or Nostic Theist, but I think it would be ignorant to say you know there is/isn’t a God(s), because there is no evidence for God(s) and you can’t possibly know 100% that there isn’t. But based on probability, and being that I am an Atheist, I believe that there is a very low probability for God(s). 

    • Fannyshank

      You misunderstand the term Agnostic then. You can be an Agnostic Atheist, or a Nostic Atheist. You can even be an Agnostic Theist or a Nostic Theist. All Agnostic means is “No knowledge of a God(s)” and Atheism means “a belief that there are no Gods.” As opposed to Nostic meaning “having knowledge” and Theism being “the belief in God(s).” You can assert that you are a Nostic Atheist or Nostic Theist, but I think it would be ignorant to say you know there is/isn’t a God(s), because there is no evidence for God(s) and you can’t possibly know 100% that there isn’t. But based on probability, and being that I am an Atheist, I believe that there is a very low probability for God(s). 

      • http://www.facebook.com/NANDGated NAND Gate

        There are so many errors in the logic of this post it is too hard to respond to, suffice to say it makes no sense and misrepresents the basic definition of most of the terms used.

        • Anonymous

          Thats it?  Your trolling has become weak.

        • Anonymous

          Thats it?  Your trolling has become weak.

          • http://www.facebook.com/NANDGated NAND Gate

            Have you considered the possibility that I am not a troll? That explains why this is not a troll post, and why you “think” I am a troll – because you are troll, and you are just trolling again.

          • derevolutionary

            Trolls trolling trolls trolling trolls? Why, I never!

      • Globalblonde

        just shut your fanny, fanny

  • Anonymous

    What a great documentary. However, I’ll bet not many religious people will be converted. Beliefs in gods are psychologically powerful and take fortitude to be free from them. 

  • Guillermo 24

    Great video !!

  • The True Christ

    Fantastic Doco…Love me some Bill Maher.One gripe though…what’s with the backwards shit?

  • The True Christ

    Fantastic Doco…Love me some Bill Maher.One gripe though…what’s with the backwards shit?

    • derevolutionary

      It’s a way to confuse youtube into allowing the copyrighted material onto their site. It’s a great way to screw the system, unless you’re into foreign films, then it might not be as fun.

  • Delaneyftw

    Excellent documentary. Religion is blatant ignorance of facts. Just because you want something to be true, doesn’t mean it is. Also religion is the (so called) easy way out for many erational people. 

    • Globalblonde

      (btw: its “irrational” honey-  )   and the documentary IS brilliant.    religion has been misused and abused by too many, for too long.   you have a right to your own faith-  but not at the expense of discounting everyone else’s.

  • Horatio

    In this film Bill has a go at fundamentalist Christians… funny. He also has a go at Muslims… not as funny, but sure, why not. The only Jew he talks to is a Jew who is against Israel and Bill walks out on him. When he is in Israel it is to hear how crazy the Muslims are.

    But Israel is, in a large part, built on religious delusion. The Ashkenazi Jews who conceived and founded that country have no credible roots there outside of religious dogma. The country is in a large part founded on the crazy religious belief that god is the real-estate agent of a certain people. The fact that Bill avoids having a go at this nonsense proves that he is either brainwashed, like most Americans, or he is a hypocrite. 

  • Melvin

    Maher is a misogynist douche with a bunch of poorly though out opinions

    • Brighter than Melvin

      Melvin is clearly a hypocritical christian with a low IQ, who was educated in a pseudo-christian public school in America, Where most Geography students can’t find their own country on a world map

  • http://yahoo David

    I’ve studied religion, theoretical and quantum mechanics (schroediger’s cat), string and M theory, evolution, the ten commandments (eleven, if you add in Jesus), anthropology, archeology, paleontology, the Midrash, Carrollian Logic (for a snark is a boojum, you see), and approaching all of this with any epistomology I cannot see in any possibility how God can confirm MY existence, nor we the existence of Bill Maher. Your reality, in the end, at the finish of your life, is yours.

  • gallantgesture

    I wonder if Bill would be interested to know that God says that man’s righteousness is as dirty rags to Him and in Romans 10:3 is God’s own definition of what “religion” is to Him, “for they being ignorant of the righteousness of God and going about to establish their own righteousness have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God”. “…establishing their own righteousness…”, religion in God’s eyes is man made righteousness. Man uses religion as his vehicle to God as worship, where God says we are to worship Him in truth and spirit. The words “religion” and “faith” are 2 words used by anyone who worships a higher power, long before a dictionary was conceived as a book that had definitions for words God inspired man to record His definition of these 2 words directed to Him in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Now which definition of the word faith is more profound, man’s or God’s?

  • mikki

    REAL TIME man