Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Survey and Nature of Existence
Wow. Busy last couple of days. Did a random emergency roadtrip for a friend so now I have to recover all my lost sleep. I'm also very controlling, basically an only child, a little OCD, and so I rarely let anyone else drive my car for me ... my own fault but bllaaaaaaa tired.
Anyways. For those randomly finding my blog through certain searches - our generation, of about 16-30 year olds, is over 25% secular. And is growing. Well, secular/non-believing numbers are growing across the board. I think it goes people over 65, then 30-40, then 18-25, then teens, with 40-60 or so being the smallest growing region. At some point I may link sites and surveys, but for now take my word or simply put some damn work into it and look it up! Also, Mormons have a hard time understanding atheism and have an even harder time approaching it so, no, there are not many books dealing with atheism in Mormonism. For those trying to find those books. I read a book on faith, Holding Fast I believe, and that was the closest I came to a book dealing with atheism ... and it really didn't help me much. Back then I was really trying to believe so I speak from experience.
Also, talking about surveys, I took this one which atheists ''won.'' Got 31 out of 32 so I'm pretty dang smart, yeah? I linked the survey questions to the atheist group of Utah valley and most of us got above a 24. A couple did get 100%. I got one of the Jewish questions wrong ... mean it dealt with the Judaic faith not that it was-nevermind. I also did guess on 2 others, but since I since I thought my answers were the right ones and was right I guess I wanting guessing as much as I thought, lol. Overall, in our group, we averaged like 29-30 out of a dozen. We agreed that the survey itself was skewed for post-mormon atheists to do well. I think this is fair to say.
That's all on that. There was a big to-do about the survey a while back. It was geared towards Americans so it mainly talked about Christianity, with an oversampling of Mormonism questions, and only a couple atheistic questions. Very general overall though.
So, this little post is my plug for The Nature of Existence. I watched this with my gf a few weeks ago. I thought it was pretty good, not great, but definitely worth a watch. If you like seeing crazy people in Religulous then you will enjoy this one. I have interviews with Nygard about his film on Irreligiosophy and Point of Inquiry. Maybe Freethought Radio as well, and he seems like a pretty cool guy. He seems very agnostic and pretty atheist so it is tilted towards atheism, accounting for a third of the interviews probably, but my gf and I felt the video was pretty objective as well. From him we get some jokes, but overall he treats people and their beliefs with a lot of kindness, whereas most hard punches are thrown by other people on the show. I enjoyed seeing how even the douche preacher, Jed, showed a soft side here and there, where he says no matter what race we're all God's family, or his comments on love. I use him as an example, for those who haven't seen it, cause he is absurd in how he gets in people's faces on college campuses and tells people they are going to hell, because he literally believes in what he teaches, but he also seems to literally care about the people he's talking to. Dangerous yes, though he seems like a person who disdains violence, but I thought the film did good with showing several sides to the people involved.
In the end the film doesn't get too deep, I mean, Nygard had 100s of hours of footage to use and put it all into 90 minutes which felt about right. A lot is just speculation on the interviewees parts, but it is enjoyable. He has people like Richard Dawkins, Irvin Kerschner, Carl Sagan's wife (forgot her name, lol), an interesting guy named Aha, and even Orson Scott Card. Plus many others like his neighbor, a pre-teen atheist girl. It skips around a lot but generally it follows a path with the types of questions being asked. If you like seeing interesting people, like wrestlers for Jesus, then you will love this film.
Theology and philosophy, as I said, are, however, not that deep. If you've read plenty of books, looked at world religions, and asked lots of questions then you won't receive too much new information. I still have the Mormon mindset of going into something and trying to apply it to my life, so for this film I did gain some personal insights and gems. I tend to think happiness is pretty vital in life, and for some of the people in the film they seem to just be trying to find happiness.
Overall, I recommend it to people who think they might like it. If you're not interested then visit the site and watch a couple videos. If you like those then you will like the film. Happy huntings.