Ron Liddle on TV: The Trouble with Atheism

Its on Channel 4, tonight at 8pm. A documentary by Rod Liddle entitled “The trouble with Atheism”, which inspects and challenges atheism. [See Leyton for more info]. Bede’s Journal has some thoughts also. I guess i will have to watch it.

Related: The Skinny on The New Atheism.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • The Trouble With Channel 4

    This evening has involved huddling up against the fire watching The Trouble With Atheism on Channel 4. For those that watched Root of All Evil? with Richard Dawkins on Channel 4 earlier this year, this is exactly the opposite: a

  • Johnny Laird says:

    ..watched it, and found it to be pretty good, with the odd comic moment.
    Must admit, Liddle doesn’t normally float my boat, but it was good to see a programme that wasn’t fawning over Dawkins, who’s not actually such a bad guy in person. The other dude, who’s name escapes me as I write, was far more arrogant.
    Overall, though, it seemed reasonably fair, and was quite effective in exposing some of the extremes of Atheism that appear to be making more of a noise these days.

  • emma says:

    Ah, missed it!

  • andrew says:

    i saw it and really liked Ron – he did a GREAT job!!!

  • Johnny Laird says:

    ..I just liked the little “isn’t that just a tad arrogant?” leitmotif. Hilarious!

  • Neil says:

    Saw it. It was witness nonsense from start to finish. He trotted out all the usual logical fallacies including “atheism/science is just as much a faith as religion”. He attibuted Nazism to a belief in evolution. Really weak stuff.
    I think he was trying to counter Richard Dawkins programme but Dawkins is a cambridge professor whereas Lidle is a junk reporter. No contest.

  • janet clarke says:

    good to see public alerted to the fact that atheism/evolutionism is as much a religion as religion with all tha dogma, predjudice and faith (maybe even more faith needed) than mainstream religion. it all depends on your worldview and biases.

  • Mr T says:

    On the whole, the scope of the investigation looked quite promising, but the end result was a totally bias, flawed comparison.
    Liddle’s rational that Stalin=atheist therefore lack of religion creates as much suffering, if not more that a totalitarian religion is school yard journalism.
    Liddle’s pompousness is evident as he says this, using this revelation to try to beat the ‘arrogant’ atheist.
    But Little has not even established what an atheist is.
    Liddle’s inability to decouple morals from belief systems, and his complete misunderstanding of Darwin was embarrassing and irresponsible.
    Firstly : Atheism does not rely on Darwin’s theory. There were atheists pre Darwin. It just happens to currently be the most correct theory which describes the diversity of life on earth.
    Secondly: Darwin spent a huge amount of time researching his subject. His work is evidence based and if the brains and documents of humanity were all wiped and we started, the same conclusion would be reached again and again from the evidence – that’s what makes it science.
    Part of the reason why Darwin’s work is so complete and so compelling was that Darwin had to first convince himself of the results. He was brought up as a devout Christian, and died an agnostic.
    He posed some ideas about religion as a tribal survival strategy, but at the same time didn’t reject the presence of the hand in the spark of life.
    Atheism is simply absence of belief in deities.
    As an atheist myself, I might say that I believe that the fungus and bacteria are the true rulers of the world, and we serve only to carry them around in our guts. It might not match what another atheist’s view of the world.
    No one can refute evolution. It can be demonstrated now and is repeatable in experiments.
    Darwin introduced the notion of natural selection, not the concept of evolution.
    Specifically people who “don’t believe in evolution” generally mean they do not believe that humans evolved from animals via natural selection.
    It might seem pedantic to highlight the distinction. But it’s important.
    Liddle completely misses this point and starts to look like an idiot.
    The only interesting spark from Liddle was his note to Dawkins that perhaps religion is a tribal survival strategy, perhaps humans are not designed to have no belief, to which Dawkins replies that it’s quite possible.
    If Liddle had continued this trail of thought it might have been an insightful documentary.
    I think Liddle does know better, but as with all self-publicising journalist saw the gap in the market for this sort of show and jumped right in.
    As I said, I’m all for the scope of the discussion, but this was just bad journalism.

  • andrew says:

    i have seen much worse, Mr T, and have also seen some very poor responses to atheism from Christians. But Liddle’s was a great effort.

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