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Atheism Tapes (2005)

Richard Dawkins , Colin McGinn  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Dawkins, Colin McGinn, Arthur Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alive Mind
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00175GAIS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,957 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Atheism Tapes" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In these off-the-record interviews, playwright, filmmaker and self-described atheist Jonathan Miller filmed conversations with six of today's leading men of letters and science: the biologist and New York Times best-selling author Richard Dawkins, philosophers Daniel Dennett and Colin McGinn, distinguished playwright Arthur Miller, theologian Denys Turner and Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg, who discuss their personal intellectual journeys and offer an illuminating analyses of nontheism from a wide range of perspectives.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Six Challenging Conversations August 8, 2008
Jonathan Miller's "Atheism Tapes" consists of six 30-minute interviews with various scholars regarding religion and atheism. The interviews were to provide material for Miller's BBC documentary "Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief," which is regrettably not available for sale in the US.

Before offering my thoughts on this DVD set, here is a brief descriptioni of the interviews.

**Richard Dawkins (Cambridge zoologist and atheist): MIller and Dawkins talk about what led Dawkins to disavow belief in God in light of the theory of evolution and why he thinks religion is a dangerous mindset.

** Daniel Dennett (American philosopher and ahtiest): Dennett ruminates on why religion should be studied as a naturalistic phenomenon, like any other belief and why the theory of evolution is simulteneously elegant and threatening.

** Colin McGinn (British philosopher and atheist): Miller and McGinn discuss why reasons for believing in God are unsatisfying and why it may be best not to believe. In this, they discuss whether morality can be rooted in natural principles.

** Denys Turner (Cambridge theologian and Christian): Miller and Turner argue over whether there is evidence for God's existence, whether anything can be said about God (if it does exist), and whether atheists are simply "dodging the quesiton" of explaining how something can come from nothing.

**Steven Weinberg (American Cosmologist and atheist): Weinberg talks about whether physics/cosmology gives good reasons for believing in God, why physcists don't seem to care much about the quesiton, and why Weinberg - a physicist - does.

**Arthur Miller (American playwright and atheist): I confess not to fully understand what the point of Miller's interview being included here was.
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68 of 79 people found the following review helpful
When you watch "The Atheism Tapes" by Jonathan Miller, be sure and find a copy of "A Rough History of Disbelief" also by jonathan Miller. It is also know for some strange reason as "A Short History of Disbelief", but "A Rough History of Disbelief" is the correct title. At the time of this writing, (you should probably check), "A Rough History of Disbelief" is not available on DVD. Which is backwards because "A Rough History of Disbelief" came before "The Atheism Tapes". (Shame on you BBC ).

The Atheism Tapes are 6 video recorded conversation with well know atheists who explain their point of view on the subject of atheism. These recording were meant to be included in some form in the documentary of "A Rough History of Disbelief" but due to time constraints they were not included.

These recorded interviews were so good, that Mr. Miller and his producers decided to make and release these interviews as, "The Atheism Tapes".

I have seen The Atheism Tapes by Jonathan Miller and they are my favorite DVD on the subject of Atheism. Jonathan Miller is a well educated man that speaks plainly, easily and clearly about the subject of Atheism. He does not believe in God but he is not preachy about the subject when he talks about it. You can tell he is thoughtful and genuinely wishes to understand how how people can believe so firmly in something that has never been show to exist.

I would highly recommend them for all people to watch. Atheists should watch it to see how others atheists think about the subject. Those that "believe" can watch it and learn what atheism is all about, not what they have been told which may be wrong.
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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even for believers June 3, 2008
By Zeno
No idea has any true merit without its being tested, and though the idea of faith is not based on facts, acknowledgement of facts-- clear and undistorted-- is necessary nonetheless. As much as science is villified, when done properly and tested according to rigorous methodology, it offers evidence for all manner of scientific, medical, and technological progress; who can really doubt that, despite occasional drawbacks-- our lives would by-and-large be significantly worse without it?

For those with little background, these tapes are easily understandable, and whether you agree with the scientists and philosophers presented here or not-- the ideas they present make for provocative viewing. There is interesting history in these interviews; interesting philosophy; and interesting debate.

Should you still choose to believe, even after viewing Dr. Miller and his interviewees, at least you will also know the reasons why others choose not to-- and that their lack of belief does not make them immoral, selfish, and without hope. (They are often just the opposite, in fact.) There is nothing more empowering than having an open mind; and nothing more oppressive than having a closed one. Faith is ultimately a feeling, after all; but having that feeling doesn't mean you should abandon thinking as well.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth Uncovered August 7, 2008
"The Atheism Tapes" are truly an eye opening experience for all, whether you are already an Atheist, or don't really know or a firm believer in God, these tapes will surely give you some very interesting insights into the beliefs and scientific rational thought behind why one might be an Atheist. I highly recommend this film to all; the speakers interviewed are both highly intellectually stimulating, as well as extremely good humored. This movie even from a non-Atheist point of view is something I regard should be viewed by all especially those who are not Atheist. It is always good to challenge your own beliefs so that you can truly understand and know if those are the beliefs right for you and "The Atheism Tapes" does precisely that. The interview with Arthur Miller is especially good and very thought provoking, if nothing else you should get this collection just to watch his interview, it is extremely intellectually stimulating. Again don't let the title of this film disswayed you in any way, it is an extremely thoughtful film for all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a counter to the The Screwtape Letters?
I think the title was based as a joke and a counter in a way to the The Screwtape Letters (which are fun read). Read more
Published 5 months ago by MVW
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch this unless you can handle the truth.
I'm glad to know that there are people who think like I do. People look at you like you are crazy when you tell them you don't believe in god.
Published 10 months ago by Jim Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars Less an argument for atheism than an examination of peanut minds and...
Given the distinguished panel of brilliant men who are interviewed, I nearly expected to hear some extremely convincing arguments against the idea of the existence of a creator. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Quadro Sinead Summer
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
Very scholarly presentations. Unusual. Thought-provoking. I was riveted to every word. Highly recommend it, regardless of religious views. I have watched each interview four times.
Published 20 months ago by jackie david corbin
1.0 out of 5 stars Is it imperative?
A flaming atheist hurtles across the sky. Sand Rock Arizona is a nice town. Miller the author has done it again! There is an explosion when the flaming atheist crashes. Read more
Published on June 20, 2012 by Rick Wainio
5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom Abounds
Although these episodes do show clear bias to atheistic views the insights offered will benefit anybody that considers intelligence and well spoken conversation virtuous.
Published on March 18, 2012 by coverdrums
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and "high brow" sans snobbery
This is a great bunch of conversations. And I feel like Miller in that, I don't try to be an atheist, I just am one. It is not an act of effort on my part. Read more
Published on July 25, 2011 by John Gray Hunter Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent in every way
This was very good and I love how he talked to a variety of people. Very entertaining and enlightening. Read more
Published on November 3, 2010 by Lisa Houserman
5.0 out of 5 stars Religion teaches you WHAT to think, not HOW to think.
Wonderful series, I wish these interviews had been available 30 years ago. I agree with physicist Steven Weinberg that liberal believers are harder to deal with, "self" has... Read more
Published on October 20, 2010 by P. Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christian's View
I think this is a wonderful set of interviews. It really helps understand the views of atheists in a comfortable environment. Read more
Published on August 24, 2010 by S. Mills
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