Sunday, March 18, 2007


Click here if the embedded video does not work.

This simple but compelling video documents in 5 mins, some of the most brilliant scientists, thinkers, actors, intellectuals, political activists, writers, and philanthropists of our time. They all share one common faith...or the lack thereof: they are all atheists, a group that has been so marginalized in the US, that Americans consider them to be the least "patriotic" of people. This is in spite of their enduring contributions of every kind to humanity and their country, and the fact that none of them has ever harmed a human being, foisted his dogmas upon others, or even been a self-centered bigot, all of which are features shared by many extreme religious people.

The video quotes the Bible which calls atheists 'fools' and then runs us through a gallery of fools...including Richard Dawkins, Marie Curie, Noam Chomsky, Thomas Edison, Christopher Reeve, Isaac Asimov, James Watson and Francis Crick, Mark Twain, Susan B. Anthony, Carl Sagan, Jodie Foster, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and...well, watch. For once, it's extremely reassuring that 'fools' tread in where 'angels' fear to tread.

And it is positively frightening and despicable to see George H Bush say that he does not know if atheists should be regarded as true citizens or even patriots. The only conclusion I can reach is that he has been living in a vacuum, oblivious of the decidedly patriotic contributions that these fools have made to progress and development of every aspect of his country's past, present, and future. If George H Bush is unaware of the contributions that these fools made that turned his country into a superpower of knowledge, progress, and technology, then it is only fair to ask who exactly is unpatriotic and who is the fool.

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Blogger Sumedha said...

A very well-made video. Thanks for drawing attention to it, Ashutosh. Atheists definitely need some good PR.
On the other hand, there are atheists who refuse to acknowledge spirituality of any kind. My advisor thinks that 'man is a spiritual being' and that's what I believe :)
The definition of spiritual I want to use here is:
"of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature: a spiritual approach to life."

3:07 PM  
Blogger Krishna said...

Excellent video.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

I agree with you :) The point is, there is definitely something beyond oneself. We all feel it. There is no need to accept it as "true" or "false", but I agree that it makes no sense to deny the feeling as being real on a personal level if we experience it.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Nikhil K said...

Great video...
Though I wonder (call it intellectual arrogance) how much the actors and actresses have really pondered before turning atheists. It is a bit difficult to picture Jolie and Chomsky at the same time.
Also, I was wondering, if America abhors its atheists so much, how did Dawkin's God Delusion stay on for so much time in the NYT Non Fiction list?

11:27 PM  
Blogger Ashutosh said...

I echo your sentiments...staggering to see Jolie and Chomsky in the same pantheon!...but also heartening and perhaps not surprising. After all, it does not take great intellect (only some courage) to not believe in god because there is no evidence. It probably also should be quite easy to have a disdain for religion based on what's happening in the world today.

As for the God Delusion, you ask an interesting question. One of the reasons Dawkins himself enunciated was that after six years of Bush, people are ready for it, whereas earlier he was reluctant to publish it. Also, there are many closet atheists (possibly outnumbering those of Jewish faith according toone source) in the US. Many of them would have bought this book. Then there are those who call themselves agnostics...they are on the fence. It is precisely these people that the book is mainly targeted for. So many of these also would have been interested in the volume.

7:12 AM  

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