Religion plays an important place in the life of many people; it guides them and influences their behavior. Bill Maher’s movie ‘Religulous’ is a documentary, in which he mocks religious people, by showing that their religions are ridiculous. The thesis of Maher’s movie is that religion makes people believe in absurd things. He believes that it is better to doubt something than to believe in things, which do not make sense, because by believing in something ridiculous, such as the end of the world, people can make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Bill Maher claims that people are afraid of dying, so they need something to help them to conquer this fear. Thus, they invent religion, which gives them hope for life after death. Maher questions that if religious people believe that after death they will be in a better place with God, then why they are not killing themselves, in order to get to that better place sooner. Bill Maher states that people often start believing in God, because they think he is making their wishes come true. For example, Ex-Jew for Jesus claimed that when he prayed for rain to Jesus, it started raining, so he decided that Jesus exists. Maher believes that the story of Jesus, which is described in the Bible, is not unique, because there was an Egyptian god, called Horus, which was born by a virgin on the 25th of December, performed miracles, was killed, and resurrected on the third day after death. In addition, like Jesus, Horus was also baptized in the river, by a man who got beheaded after that. Moreover, he used to heal the blind, sick people, and brought dead people to life. Horus also had 12 disciples, and was crucified. This information puts the truthfulness of story about Jesus to doubt.
Maher questions why God is not speaking to the whole world, if He is so powerful. Why he is always picking the prophets in secrecy, which have to deliver His will. For example, religious people believe that Moses was speaking to God, when he was hearing voice from the burning bush. However, if nowadays a person came to a doctor, and said that he/she was speaking to God, who was in the burning bush, a doctor would say that this person is crazy.
In addition, Maher claims that Jesus had nothing against gay people, because he never spoke about homosexuals. Maher claims that people, who are gay, are born this way, because they do not have any sexual interest in the opposite sex. Thus, they cannot become heterosexuals only because they would like to do it, so God cannot have something against gay people.
Maher claims that buildings in the Vatican look like palaces; they contradict to the idea, which Jesus Christ had in mind. Maher also points out that priests, church ministers, and other religious figures are dressed in the special costumes, like movie and music stars, which are specifically designed to attract people’s attention. In addition, costumes of the religious figures are made on the money, which are donated by the church parishioners. Religious figures also wear too much gold, so Maher compares them to pimps.
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The issue at hand is significant nowadays, because religion does not have only a positive impact on the world, and does not only bring peace. Muslims and followers of other religions kill innocent people since they are not the followers of Islam. Islamic people were trying to conquer the world to spread Islam. Maher claims that religious figures, which speak about the end of the world, are making this a self-fulfilling prophecy by making people believe that the end of the world is coming.
Bill Maher’s argument is convincing, because all the evidence he is presenting, is structured in the best possible way to convey his message. The argument is structured as series of interviews with various religious figures and people, who belong to different religions. Maher puts his argument together by asking interviewees the questions, to which they cannot answer, or their answers are ridiculous. He is asking those questions with an attitude of the comedian in order to highlight how absurd are some things in which religious people believe.
Maher is prejudicial about the religion in general. For example, even the name of the movie ‘Religulous’ comes from the words ‘religion’ and ‘ridiculous’. Thus, Maher views religion as the ridiculous thing. Maher is being ambiguous in the movie, when he questions the fact that Jesus was born by a virgin, because it was mentioned only in two Gospels. However, it is obvious that even if all Gospels would describe the birth given to Christ by a virgin, Maher would not believe in it, because he does not believe in resurrection of Christ, even though it is mentioned in all the existing gospels.
The movie contains fallacies, because the author interviews people, who do not occupy the highest positions in religion. Thus, those people do not possess all the required knowledge to answer Maher’s questions. For example, the Pope would have presented religion in a better way, than Dr. Francis Collins, or Father George Coyne. The movie also includes false information. For example, the author claims that the fact that Jesus really existed has not been proven. However, the existence of Jesus from Nazareth has been proven by scientists and historians (Lowrance 115). In addition, Maher claims that people, who wrote about Jesus, have never met him. Thus, they are not the eye witnesses, and they cannot prove that he existed. However, this information is not true, because disciples of Jesus met him in person.
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