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T. Colin Campbell
Part one of Jonathan Miller's documentary, A Rough History of Disbelief, aims to expose atheism's past and explore the reasoning behind it with help from Greek philosophers such as Epicurus to Sigmund Freud. Even though Miller's voice is droning at times, I still managed to remain focused because of the interesting content and although the subject matter could potentially be quite controversial, Miller narrates the documentary without putting any religion on the spot. Theism, anti-theism, and atheism are all discussed and are used as stepping- stones to guide the audience through how atheism first came about as a tool used by those in positions of power to what it is today.
I liked that although this documentary discusses religion along side atheism, it does not go out and attempt to change peoples' beliefs. Instead, it's obvious that Miller's goal was to introduce a fresh new way of looking at atheism by walking the audience through his own beliefs while interweaving it with concepts thought of by past and current philosophers along with concepts taught by the five major religions. Ultimately, I thought that Jonathan Miller successfully presents a rational and respectful story of what atheism is and I learned a lot about how it came about and how it has changed over time.
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