The Big Think: Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry produced this Big Think video titled The Importance of Unbelief.

Here it’s broken into two clips. In the first he considers philosophy, in the second he considers religion. A transcript is available at the Big Think page.

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  • Teleprompter

    I like that last sentence from the second video: “Really, it’s just not good enough.”

    That does a better job of summarizing why I became an atheist, after being a Christian, than almost anything else can. The answers I got from Christianity simply weren’t good enough for me, when I looked at the world in all its conflict and disagreement and turmoil. It suddenly became easier, much easier to understand the world without an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful god.

    I saw a world where indifferent natural forces created complexity, a world where human beings struggled and still struggle to piece together meaning and identity for themselves, and I began to see the development of religion as a process of identity which individuals use to recover some sense of purpose from an indifferent environment.

    Why are there so many religions? Why are they so different and often mutually exclusive, yet seem to universally provide some baseline of moral answers and some baseline of cultural and community support? Once you understand why humanity would need religion in a world of indifference, rather than accepting the doctrine of one religion unquestioningly, the world becomes much clearer.

  •!/RustyBertrand rustybretrand

    Reminds me of: The fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity is to hold a belief because it’s useful, not because its true. “Really, it’s just not good enough.”