Weekly Buzz: 12/15/14

The Daily Show

Why is an atheist organization upset with The Daily Show? Which Star Wars actor is playing Jesus in a new movie?

Find out in this week’s buzz.

“Unbelievable? Keith Ward and Michael Ruse debate the evidence for God”

In the latest Unbelievable? podcast, theologian Keith Ward debated atheist Michael Ruse about God’s existence. As I’ve explained before, Ruse is a hilarious and thoughtful philosopher.

“Seven Things Atheists Get Wrong”

In The Federalist, David Marcus made seven points:

  1. Religion Is About Morality, Not Creation Myths
  2. Religion Is the Foundation of All Morality, Not Merely an Expression of It
  3. Religion Was the Foundation of Society, Not an Addition to It
  4. Atheists Do Believe
  5. Science Can’t Teach Us Right from Wrong
  6. Religion Complements Science, It Doesn’t Oppose It
  7. Ignorance of Religion Is Ignorance of History, For Atheists and Everyone

For the full article, and Marcus’s reasoning behind each point, click here.

“Behold! Ewan McGregor as Jesus in Last Days in the Desert”

That’s right, the guy who played young Obi-Wan is now playing Jesus. The film, Last Days in the Desert, explores Jesus’ 40 days in the desert following his baptism. Fun fact: McGregor also plays Satan in this movie.

Exodus: Gods and Kings Opened Last Friday

Jonathan Merritt interviewed the film’s version of Moses, Christian Bale, and its director, Ridley Scott. (For a trailer of this movie, and a great scholarly resource about the historicity of the exodus, see this post.) Christianity Today also looked at depictions of Moses throughout cinematic history.

On Wednesday, I’ll publish a guest post that analyzes the new film. 

The Daily Show Mocks Atheist Dan Barker

Last week, The Daily Show covered a dispute over a controversial North Carolina diner. The controversy? The restaurant offers a discount for praying patrons. The show mocked atheist protests of the diner, and skewered Dan Barker, co-president of The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). Needless to say, Dan’s group wasn’t thrilled with the segment. FFRF released a statement about the incident:

As the terms of being interviewed, Dan and other “Daily Show” interviewees sign away any rights, including giving the “The Daily Show” the right to edit the interview any way they want, such as showing Dan answering one actual question with another answer. It’s comedy, not news. Dan was interviewed by an in-your-face host for almost two hours. The spin on the segment, aired last night, was not just unsympathetic, but this time, frankly, not very funny.

I’m not really a huge fan of The Daily Show because of these kinds of tactics. I do appreciate John Oliver, though. For more on how satirical news shows affect public discourse, check out an incendiary Federalist article: “Why Jon Stewart Is Bad For America.”

What do you think of this Daily Show piece, and the rest of this week’s buzz?

2 thoughts on “Weekly Buzz: 12/15/14

  1. I think most viewers of the Daily Show understand how those interviews are done. And the demographic is very unlikely to be unsympathetic to atheists. Don’t sweat it.

    Like

  2. David Marcus’ list I found neither too concise and obvious, or too developed. At least half of his points are actually just slant readings or valid takes on what the relationship between science and religion is (“Religion is about Morality”, “Science Can’t Teach Us Right From Wrong” for example). I would have appreciated either more concise facts for the list (“Different Type of Fact Require Different Types of Justification”), or more involved discussion of why his readings are useful and valid on these tough questions.

    Liked by 1 person

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