The Story of God, Episode 2: No God, but God
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The Story of God, is a three-part video series produced by Dangerous Films featuring physician, Professor and British Lord Robert Winston. The series explores the origins of religion. The documentary focuses on the three Abrahamic faiths, and discusses belief in God in a scientific age. It a number of interviews with scientists including Dean Hamer,atheist Richard Dawkins, and members of the CERN program. Robert Winston acknowledges that there is something deep within us that seems to be crying out for God. He says 'However you define God and whether you believe in God or not, the world that we live in has been shaped by the universal human conviction that there is more to life than life itself. There is a God-shaped hole at the centre of our universe. We have come up with many different ways to fill that hole with many gods or just one; with gods of hunting, gods of farming and gods of war; with gods of sea and sky. We have imagined God as a stern father figure or a fertile mother; We've pictured a jealous, angry, punishing God and a God of justice, wisdom and infinite love.' But, he asks, 'why did mankind start believing in God at all?' He suggests that the answer can be found in many places, ultimately in the human desire to be united with something bigger than ourselves, something outside us, beyond us or, perhaps, even deep within us. Winston believes that we have an instinct for the divine. Winston goes on to say that, historically speaking, mankind has preferred to believe in many gods. This relies on the assumption of the first episode that there is a progression in religious ideas through human history. Starting with animism and moving on to the monist religions of pantheistic Hinduism and later atheistic Buddhism, the suggestion was that spiritual beliefs become more specific over time. The program finished by introducing a radically different idea which came to a Brahmin (priest) called Zoroaster as he stood knee-deep in icy water. He suddenly realised, Winston tells us, that the various rituals to keep on the right side of many gods were a waste of time, and that there is just one God. Zoroastrianism may be a very minor world religion now, but it has been very influential in the past. By concluding the first episode with this monotheistic religion, Lord Winston seemed to be implying that this was the origin of the three great monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam which are the focus of episode two.
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