Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"The Story of God" (BBC video)

The Story of God (Parts 1-18)

(BBC) Prof. Robert Winston presents a definitive three-part documentary series from the BBC on the history of mankind's quest to understand the nature of God.

First aired in 2005, "The Story of God" is an epic journey across continents, cultures, and eras exploring religious beliefs from their earliest incarnations through to the development of today's major world faiths.

Among many highlights, the series examines the roots of religious beliefs in prehistoric societies and the different ways in which humanity's sense of the divine developed. It takes a look at the divergence between religions that worship a range of deities and those that represent strict monotheism.

[Buddhism, although often thought of as atheistic, is also discussed in the human search for the divine. Buddhism is nontheistic. The term has come to mean different things to different people. In Buddhism it means that neither God nor gods are depended on for enlightenment. Buddhism is also polytheistic, acknowledging many devas, brahmas, and supernatural spirits (yakkhas, nagas, petas, maras) both good and bad.]

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are explored in order to understand the ideas they share about God and the issues that divide them. The question as to why mankind started to believe in God at all is investigated, as is another question: If God really did create humanity, why does God allow humanity to suffer?

Finally, the series examines how belief in God has been challenged by modern, secular ideas, even presenting a mathematical formula that can be used to calculate the probability of God's existence.

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