Segments in this Video

Belief and the Gods: Meet the Panelists (01:37)


"Prospect Magazine" editor Jonathan Derbyshire introduces theologian and Radical Orthodox Movement founder John Milbank, University of London philosopher Stephen Law, and "Contesting the Saudi State" author Madawi al-Rasheed.

John Milbank: the Pitch (06:30)

Milbank distinguishes divine beings from God. Since the Enlightenment, people have tried to claim irrefutable evidence of God; scientific discourse cannot be absolutely proven either. Without religion, human culture would collapse.

Stephen Law: the Pitch (04:46)

An atheist, Law argues that God hypothesis can be refuted using empirical observable evidence. He believes there exists neither an all-powerful malevolent nor benevolent being. He encourages questioning the existence of the universe.

Madawi Al-Rasheed: the Pitch (05:21)

Al-Rasheed takes an anthropological approach and frames the debate along a continuum between fantasy and reality. She advocates distancing oneself from personal beliefs and those of other religions and studying the divine role in society.

Theme One: Can We Only Grasp Parts of Reality Through Faith? (08:47)

Milbank argues that rational systems cannot be self-completed; religious belief cannot be subjected to observable hypotheses. Law raises the question of how to explain evil in the world. Al-Rasheed says religion has always been with humanity, and cannot be proven or disproven.

Theme Two: Have We Evolved to Believe in the Divine? (13:41)

Milbank refutes the idea that God is a human projection. Law argues that no one can believe in an evil or benevolent God; Milbank asserts that Law cannot be atheist. Al-Rasheed says religion's claim to truth is divisive; interpretation is individual.

Theme Three: Will There Always be Religion? (08:01)

Al-Rasheed points out that secularization predictions have been unfounded. Law discusses the hyperactive agency detecting device as explaining belief in the paranormal. Milbank discusses religion's concern with agency; he believes evil is a distortion of a good reality.

Credits: Belief and the Gods (00:20)

Credits: Belief and the Gods

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There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of faiths and gods. Yet each religion believes theirs is the true account. Is this because belief in the divine is a fantasy humans have evolved to hold? Or does it indicate something essential about the character of the world? The Panel Philosopher and author of The War for Children's Minds Stephen Law, Zizek collaborator John Milbank and anthropologist of religion Madawi Al-Rasheed debate the origin of belief. Sponsored by Mostlymaps.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: FPT145265

ISBN: 978-1-64347-138-9

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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