There is something for everyone on our list of the 11 Best Religious/Atheist Documentaries on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Whether your faith is strong or you don’t believe in a higher force, it is always good to know what the other side is thinking and remain open to new ideas.
Let’s quickly go through the differences between theism and atheism. Theism is a belief that there is a higher force, be that a God or Gods, controlling our lives, or some aspects of them. There are three monotheistic religions that teach that there is only one God to whom we should pray; they are Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Each of these religions has some fundamental differences although there are some similarities between them. On the other side, there are polytheistic religions that teach that there are multiple Gods to whose will we should commit. Among these religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.
Atheism is having none of that. Atheism is the belief that there are no Gods (or the lack of belief in the Gods that have been put forth; interpretations of its meaning vary) and that humans are on their own (maybe not in the universe, but at least from some divine, all-seeing entity that knows everything you’re doing, which seems kind of intrusive doesn’t it). People who share these beliefs (or lack of beliefs) are called atheists. This would be putting it plainly, but things are much more complicated than that. There are different kinds of atheism and even philosophers have a hard time determining what atheism is in general and the range of the term. Atheism shouldn’t be mixed with agnosticism. Those who declare themselves agnostics believe that we can’t know anything about the existence or not of Gods or any other higher power. Hence, they simply throw up their hands and declare the subject impossible to answer.
I am an open-minded person and I respect anyone’s beliefs. If you think a big spaghetti monster is controlling humans, great. If you think we are all going to become dust and there is no greater purpose in our lives, fine. The thing I do not respect is people shoving their opinions down other peoples’ throats. To some degree I understand religious people doing so, since it is at the core of almost every religion to spread it. I don’t understand spreading religion with violence though, which has often been used as a method of spreading religion in the past. I am also bothered by some atheists. I have met some cool ones, but the majority of atheists I know are in a big rush to show everyone who believes in something that he/she is wrong and that they are right. Maybe that’s simply the result of being a small minority (in America at least), or maybe they’re just full of themselves.
Even if there isn’t anything bigger than us, people should be able to believe in the things they find fitting. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that more than 80% of the world’s population is wrong for believing that there is something bigger than all of us (although in a literal sense they could be). If you think religion is a conspiracy to control the masses or you just happen to like conspiracy documentaries, also check out our list of the 8 Best Conspiracy Documentaries on Netflix Hulu and Amazon Prime.
The battle between the three video platforms continues to intensify on the documentary front, in terms of original content, and in other areas. A joint venture of Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX), Hulu was founded in 2006 and launched in 2007. It’s a free service that also has a subscription model. The service is used by about 12 million people as of late in 2016. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)‘s Prime Video is now included in its Prime Membership, which also offers shipping perks. Prime Video is now available in more than 200 countries. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) remains the streaming service to beat for many, with a wide range of documentaries and loads of original content. Netflix has 93.6 million subscribers worldwide as of the end of 2016.
In order to figure out our list of the 11 Best Religious/Atheist Documentaries on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, we embarked on a search for documentaries dealing with these subjects and took recommendations from Reddit, PBS, and News Max, among others. Each title was then checked for its availability on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Those available on either of those streaming platforms were then checked for their IMDb rating. The most successful documentaries in terms of rating made it onto our list. So let’s get it started, beginning on the next page.