Tonight’s Silent Witness is doing its bit for a sensical worldview. The editors of a philosophy magazine fell out over differing religious opinions; one a Christian who writes articles about the astonishing philosophical impact of the resurrection, the other an atheist who writes articles saying that the universe is indifferent to us all. Christian guy turns up dead, and the pathologists figure it must be the atheist because in an indifferent universe why should he adhere to any kind of moral values? They’re right – we’ve seen the guy committing at least one murder. The female pathologist is having something of a religious awakening and keeps coming out with pithy comments about the interconnectedness of things etc.
It’s pretty awful. I keep expecting Judge John Deed to turn up. For an attitude that’s so utterly stupid ‘atheists have no morality’ does turn up with amazing frequency.
40mins left. Can’t decide whether the rest of the show will be about pinning the murders on the guy, or there’ll be another twist…
Update: there was a slight twist. Evil Atheist was being manipulated by Psycho Atheist, who was secretly desperate to check there wasn’t anything in the afterlife. His final explanation backed up earlier hints that he was also trying to do something completely random to confuse people obsessed with reason, since there’s really no such thing. So he was more of a Psycho Postmodernist. That makes much more sense – postmodernists really are crazy people 🙂
Update 2: A couple of reactions from the BBC website:
“I feel like not watching this series any more, after the offensive Christian propaganda masquerading (crudely) as drama that we were presented with in this episode. Frankly I am amazed that this script was approved by the BBC, with its grotesque caricatures of bloodythirsty killer atheists (including the absurd remark that they ‘believe in nothing’) and the clunking message throughout that all good guys – even scientists – are open to the message of Christianity. It even ended with a Mary Magdalene and Jesus tableau at the hospital bed, just in case we hadn’t got the message. Imagine the uproar if it had been written the other way round, with the bad guys as Christians – something tells me that would NOT have made it to production. The dialogue was laughable throughout, and the plot was full of holes and non sequiturs. It was a sorry departure from the usual high standards of this series. Don’t make this mistake again – stick to decent writers with no agenda.”
Gary King, Heathfield, East Sussex
“At last! A crime drama that didn’t portray religious people as either fanatics, psychopaths, terrorists or lily-livered weaklings who need a crutch to survive. Well done BBC for swinging the balance back where it belongs. The villians were pathological nihilists who were just the right side of cartoonish and managed to show where the logic of such an extreme belief system will lead. The dead Christians demonstrated how belief in an afterlife brings great comfort to the dying, and the glorious irony of seeing one of the nihilist killers trapped by a fingerprint on an icon of Jesus was extremely clever. This is by far the best Silent Witness yet. Any chance the BBC could break the ‘no repeats’ rule and show it again?”
Paul Downie, Hamilton, Scotland