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Playlist: Are you there, God?

9 talks · 2h 59m · Curated by TED

Are you there, God? (9 talks)

For as many people as there are on Earth, there are as many answers to the question: Are you there, God? These talks offer personal perspectives on faith from all ends of the spectrum, from ardent Atheists to devout believers.

  • 1.
    16:32
    Now playing
    Julia Sweeney (God Said, "Ha!") performs the first 15 minutes of her 2006 solo show Letting Go of God. When two young Mormon missionaries knock on her door one day, it touches off a quest to completely rethink her own beliefs.
  • 2.
    21:02
    Now playing
    Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, reflects on his own crisis of purpose in the wake of his book's wild success. He explains his belief that God's intention is for each of us to use our talents and influence to do good.
  • 3.
    24:45
    Now playing
    Philosopher Dan Dennett calls for religion — all religion — to be taught in schools, so we can understand its nature as a natural phenomenon. Then he takes on The Purpose-Driven Life, disputing its claim that, to be moral, one must deny evolution.
  • 4.
    9:33
    Now playing
    Lesley Hazleton sat down one day to read the Koran. And what she found — as a non-Muslim, a self-identified "tourist" in the Islamic holy book — wasn't what she expected. With serious scholarship and warm humor, Hazleton shares the grace, flexibility and mystery she found, in this myth-debunking talk. (Filmed at TEDxRainier.)
  • 5.
    19:20
    Now playing
    What aspects of religion should atheists (respectfully) adopt? Alain de Botton suggests a "religion for atheists" — call it Atheism 2.0 — that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence.
  • 6.
    26:20
    Now playing
    Speaking at TED in 1998, Rev. Billy Graham marvels at technology's power to improve lives and change the world — but says the end of evil, suffering and death will come only after the world accepts Christ. A legendary talk from TED's archives.
  • 7.
    29:10
    Now playing
    Richard Dawkins urges all atheists to openly state their position — and to fight the incursion of the church into politics and science. A fiery, funny, powerful talk.
  • 8.
    17:11
    Now playing
    Journalist Mustafa Akyol talks about the way that some local cultural practices (such as wearing a headscarf) have become linked, in the popular mind, to the articles of faith of Islam. Has the world's general idea of the Islamic faith focused too much on tradition, and not enough on core beliefs? (Filmed at TEDxWarwick.)
  • 9.
    15:53
    Now playing
    The term "compassion" — typically reserved for the saintly or the sappy — has fallen out of touch with reality. At a special TEDPrize@UN, journalist Krista Tippett deconstructs the meaning of compassion through several moving stories, and proposes a new, more attainable definition for the word.