Thursday, October 02, 2008

The word is spelled "ridiculous", guys

Speaking as someone who considers Larry Charles' contributions to Seinfeld to be among the very best of an already flawless lot, I find it difficult to believe that the same man could have said the following about his latest creative endeavour:
The greatest controversy that could happen is that the people who are initially outraged and offended by the movie actually go see it and wind up being disarmed by it, laughing and enjoying it, and maybe end up asking a few questions themselves.
Jesus Christ, Larry! Did you lift this directly from Imagine? Talk about credulity! (Or should that be creligulity?) ... I mean: why stop there? Maybe, after forcing themselves to watch Religulous, all the fundamentalist militants will hammer their swords into ploughshares too! Maybe the world will finally be persuaded to sing in perfect harmony! Wouldn't that be the greatest conceivable, erm, controversy? (Or maybe I'm getting it confused with that controversy than which no greater controversy can be conceived. 'Really must bone up on my Anselm.)

He continues:
...[T]his movie could plant a seed, an idea, that might shift the current paradigm. Think about it -- we've been inundated for 2,000 years with one point of view, the pro-religious point of view, and it's now at the stage where you feel guilty and reticent about expressing an opinion that's against this. We've been preached to in one direction for 2,000 years, and here's just one little movie preaching the other way, pushing in the other direction. It's really a modest thing; we're just saying, here's another voice.
Man, I never thought of it that way! And it's just so true: not a single person has ever dared to question the, erm, "pro-religious" point of view! Ever! ... Well, no one in recent memory anyway. Move over single-direction preaching; there's a new paradigm in town!

Bill Maher chimes in:
What bothers me, is that there's so much selfishness masquerading as altruism. Any Christian will tell you, right to your face, that it's not about altruism, it's about personal salvation, and the good works and ethical aspects of religion are just an afterthought.
If Christians are admitting this to you, Bill, then their selfishness is self-evidently not masquerading as altruism. (Altruism, incidentally, is not a religious concept. It was developed by atheist sociologist Auguste Comte to describe something that (for, perhaps, obvious reasons) he was incapable of understanding.)
It's really about believing in this imaginary friend who'll save you when your life on Earth ends.
... How will religion ever recover from the acid tongue of this profound and learned man?