I bought the DVD of The God That Wasn't There and didn't think much of it as a documentary. I had hoped to see a more scholarly explanation of the nonexistence of Jesus. The life of Jesus section was amusing and well edited but I felt there needed to be more interviews with scholars to address the FAQ about Jesus' existence. Also, I get that some Catholics really get off on the crucifixion but it went on too long and seemed beside the point of the film. I was also very uncomfortable with the filmmakers ambush of his old school principal. It really seemed like he set the guy up under false pretenses about he purpose of the film.

There was lots to like, and I haven't seen all the extras. As an atheist I want to support such efforts but I can't help thinking that this film is not going change many minds. Am I being too critical?

Tags: God, atheist, criticism, documentary, there, wasn't, who

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It wasn't great, perhaps, but I thought it was decent. Some of the stuff regarding the historicity of Jesus was pretty interesting I thought, but mostly because I hadn't read much about it before.
We need more blatantly honest documentaries and books about religion. I don't want to hear someone's angry rantings, and I don't want to feel like I'm getting bias lies from an unworthy source without proper citation. So as of now, I really haven't seen too much documentary, film, literature, etc on atheism or religious theory.

Also, if this guy ambushed his principal, how cruel. You wont change minds that way. You really have to be civil.
it was pretty terrible in my opinion. as an atheist having taken a basic biblical criticism class, i didn't learn anything new.
I bought it too. Not anything new to me. It wont change any minds. Still, sometimes it's good top preach to the choir, and I enjoyed it.

Anyone who has been abused by religion might want a chance to return to the abuser and say, "this was wrong". That's my take on the principal.

NOt arguing with what others say, just my take on the CD. I'll probably watch it again.
I just rented this from Netflix and watched it last night. My one-word review: Ugh.

My lengthier review....

I agree with most everything Brent said. But my main criticism is that there was no flow or point to this movie. It seemed like lots of disjointed sections tossed together. The section that actually dealt with the historicity of Jesus was decent. The confrontation w/ his principal was a bit painful to watch. It's not clear to me that he set the guy up, but it didn't seem to tie in to the rest of the movie either. The section where he took The Passion of Christ to task for its violence seemed to have absolutely *nothing* to do with the historicity issue.

So basically there was about 1/3 of the movie that actually dealt with the supposed purpose of the entire documentary. I was disappointed.
I was feeling bad that an atheist's work was being criticized but I changed my mind. Just like minorities who say they have to be better than the majority group in their endeavors, so do atheists. We must be producing high quality documentaries that can communicate our views. Religulous was a better, if also flawed, attempt to show the silliness of supernatural beliefs. Theism and its concomitant behaviors is inherently funny (see Life of Brian); atheism has an easy target to hit. TGWWT has its moments of persuasion but got lost without a consistent narrative.

I want to encourage more films of this sort but we also need to learn from our mistakes.
Thanks for the reviews,I'll give it a miss.
You aren't being too critical. Frankly I found it so boring I couldn't even finish watching it. Just because the material addresses atheist themes doesn't automatically make it good.

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