These three hour-long documentaries are shining examples of the historicity of reason midst the oceans of media absurdity and religious propaganda. So few representatives of atheism provide a compelling and earnest account for unbelief, let alone with the lucidity and intellectual vigour of Jonathan Miller. A sincere and moving attempt to explain and understand the origins of the truth of disbelief of religious superstition and faith.
PART 1 – SHADOWS OF DOUBT: Jonathan Miller visits the absent Twin Towers to consider the religious implications of 9/11 and meets Arthur Miller and the philosopher Colin McGinn. He searches for evidence of the first ‘unbelievers’ in Ancient Greece and examines some of the modern theories around why people have always tended to believe in mythology and magic.
PART 2 – NOUGHTS AND CROSSES: With the domination of Christianity from 500 AD, Jonathan Miller wonders how disbelief began to re-emerge in the 15th and 16th centuries. He discovers that division within the Church played a more powerful role than the scientific discoveries of the period. He also visits Paris, the home of the 18th century atheist, Baron D’Holbach, and shows how politically dangerous it was to undermine the religious faith of the masses.
PART 3 – THE FINAL HOUR: The history of disbelief continues with the ideas of self-taught philosopher Thomas Paine, the revolutionary studies of geology and the evolutionary theories of Darwin. Jonathan Miller looks at the Freudian view that religion is a ‘thought disorder’. He also examines his motivation behind making the series touching on the issues of death and the religious fanaticism of the 21st century.