I thought to let you know that the 4 part series I have been making is now finished and available in most parts of the world (including, it now seems, the UK) on Curiosity Stream.
The series is called “Why are We Here?”
Roughly the series asks if ideas of meaning and morality are compatible with a purely reductionistic view of our material universe? I co-present the series with Prof. Ard Louis who is a physicist at University of Oxford. He is a believer and thinks the only way to honestly hang on to meaning and moral absolutes is to believe in God. I, as a non-believer, tried to explore if meaning and morality can be defended by searching for a different, less reductionistic, but still purely material world view.
The people we interviewed are a who’s who of great thinkers from physics, biology, mathematics and philosophy. And so far the feedback we’ve had from them is that they all, both sides of the argument, believers and non-believers, really liked and respected what we have done. So in case any of you are interested, there are some links below.
You might also be interested to know that none of the UK or US broadcasters took the series. They all said it was too highbrow. It isn’t. It’s just thoughtful. What it doesn’t do is pretend that there are easy answers to any of the questions. The series doesn’t provide easy certainties and glib answers. At least I don’t think it does. Our aim was not to convince either side but hopefully to engage in a far more nuanced and interesting conversation than the usual Television fare.
The series was funded by the Templeton Foundation. Which might concern some of you. Initially, before I took the job, it concerned me too. But the Foundation said they would give us (read me and Ard and the production company Tern Television) complete editorial control. And they were as good as their word. The gave us the funding and not one word, not an email nor a phone call came from the foundation. They saw no cuts of the series nor any scripts before it was finished and delivered.
Ard and I, David Strachan and Mark Tanner, who were the production team set out to make a series in which all sides were given the chance to fully put their argument. And given that Ard and I disagreed from the outset about God, I think we managed.
Perhaps some of you will agree. I hope so.
The four films are:
1) Meaning Seeking Beings
2) The Reality of Ideas
3) The Animal Within
4) The Moral Compass
There is also a brilliant web site that contains all the complete, raw interviews broken down by person and topic. It will be on-line in a couple of weeks. It’s still being finished off. So anyone interested in any of the people we interviewed or wishing to hear more of what was said on any particular topic will be able to find it all at their finger-tips on the web site.
I’ll post the link to the website as soon as it’s online.
I would be glad to hear any reactions or thoughts you might have about the series, good or bad.