So, I think I can sum up your reaction to what you know of "Religulous" fairly simply:"Bill Maher is being a jerk."No disagreement there. I've never been able to understand how mockery and derision are sensible actions to take in support of your beliefs or lack thereof. Perhaps my mind is insufficiently advanced.I haven't seen the film either, and I don't intend to. I certainly hope that you don't think that the world has two types of atheists, but I admit that most public displays of atheism (PDAs?) are less than fully civil. I think part of the issue is the fact that atheism is still unacceptable to the public at large, and atheists tend to either 1. Keep their views to themselves, 2. Share their views with other atheists, 3. Make public but non-pushy statements in support of their views, or 4. Be as flamboyantly nontheistic as possible.Hopefully, things will change IF and when America starts treating atheists like humans, but, until then, the only atheists you're likely to hear from are commenters on this and other blogs and rather boorish public figures.I'd offer apologies if I could, but I can't really speak on behalf of anyone. Eh?
I am calling upon you to assist me in getting the scoop on this Mr. Maher’s endeavor.Sorry, I couldn't care less about Maher, you'll have to research that one on your own ;)About your rant on abiogenesis, I wish you had read the Kauffman article that I linked for you in the other topic, before writing this post. There's also the lipid models and metabolism models that you don't seem to be aware of, but most importantly: self-reproduction of polymers has been achieved experimentally in the lab already. So calling it "utterly failed materialistic theories" was perhaps a bit premature (or wishful thinking?)But that's how theists always operate, isn't it - something that science can't explain or demonstrate today, well they'll never be able to do that, so therefore [insert explanation from religious belief]. Over and over we see this pattern repeating itself..
Mariano "How is the concept of a virgin birth any more preposterous than the concept of life coming from a swamp being struck by lightning?"What? What cartoon version of abiogenesis is that? Even Wikipedia's not-great page on the various shaky hypotheses of it is more in-depth than that (and notice how it mentions "controversial" and "may" a lot). Anyone who posits any one of the many variants thereof as truth is either delusional or a liar."On the one hand you have the claim of a divine miracle and on the other, the claim of a materialistic miracle, which Prof. Richard Dawkins prefers to term “luck.”"Look at the chain of events that lead to you. If any of the, by human standards, practically infinite number of steps that resulted in you changed you, in all likelyhood, would not be here. That's luck (for you, at least. It's unluck for the many other possible not-yous that don't exist. I'm sure we would hear no end to their bitching if they were here to do so)."atheist, scientists and atheist scientists fill the gaps in our knowledge with time, chance, matter and even imagination, luck and yes, even faith."Read The Making of the Fittest. It's an amusing and light book on how the study of genetics supports ToE. Plus, it's got pictures of monkeys. Everybody loves monkeys, right? If nothing else, the title of chapter two, "The Everyday Math of Evolution: Chance, Selection, and Time" will give you deja vu. No, I'm not going to tell you what it's about. Your Inner Fish is good, too. (I should note that I'm not finished either of them, yet). But those are both about ToE. Abiogenesis is on a far less-stable foundation."Well, there is something to be said about pandering to the tastes and intellectual capacity of your audience."You know how well that fits Expelled as well, right?"“Religulous” is really Borat part II since Borat was a movie about a man pretending to be interested in learning new things about other cultures (the USA in this case) but was really only interested in pure mockery."Actually, if memory serves, there's a kernel of "smart" in that character. It's but a kernel, IMO, surrounded by slop, unfortunately. The "Throw the Jews down the well" bit is particularly illuminating. I don't know about you, but I know few people who would sing along...and those people I try to avoid, generally."For example, he states that he does not know what happens after we die and then extrapolates from himself to everyone of the 8 billion people on earth. He fallaciously reasons thusly: I do not know and since I do not know no one knows and anyone who claims to know is somehow in error."But he's right. You don't know. You believe. I don't know, either. As with abiogenesis, anyone expressing an absolute truth about what happens after you die is either delusional or a liar. Since, as far as I'm aware, "I" am in some sense my brain, once my brain ceases its brainy brainening, "I" ceases as well. That's the conclusion I reach, based on a long an hard discussion with my brain. It would've been a longer talk, but it started to dry out, and I had to put it back in my head."The difficulty will be to take this documentary seriously."Or, at all. I don't like Bill Maher."If the alternative is to take of the worldview that characterizes the neo-atheists then I think that I would choose the consoling delusion."Luckily, it's not a false dichotomy. Most of us are just like most of you. When cut, do we both not bleed? When itched, do we both not scratch? When farted, do we both not blame the guy that didn't notice?Incidentally, if you knew it was a delusion, I doubt it would be very consoling. That's how it's been for me on occasions of that nature, anyway. The idea of Santa Claus turned out to be less consoling than the reality of my parents in the end, to pick one example. Atheism isn't nearly as comfortable (it does get better once you have an incident that drives home the inescapable fact that you will die. Mine was rappelling. Almost getting hit by a car works too). Plus it's not tax-exempt and the gift shop is depressingly lit and poorly organized."Why would I give up my perfectly good morals and love for my neighbor to become a belligerent, belittling and arrogant bully who makes a living by besmirching people?"Sorry to disappoint you, but Jerry Falwell is already dead, and the Phelps family is full up. Also, Hagee is busy shilling for McCain and the many hydra-like heads of the Gospel of Prosperity are too busy stealing from the old, the desperate and the gullible to fit you in. There are jerks on both sides, remember."He thinks that incestuous pedophilia is hilarious (see here)"Now read the comments for that page, if you haven't already. I can't help but feel that we're running around in circles."he rejoices when people such as Jerry Falwell die"If the false dichotomy for that one would be to mourn his passing, I, for one, would mow my lawn. That said, the world is a fractionally better place without him."My heart truly does go out to Mr. Maher because he is obviously a very, very troubled man."His ego exceeds than his talent. I've seen a couple of his standup shows, which generally go "valid point, foul, stupid, mean, valid point, ab hominem, etc". In short, he's no Stephen Colbert."I want to know who is funding the documentary.I want to know who is funding the advertising."It's distributed by Lion's Gate. Does that help?"I want to know what music they used and whether they violated copyright laws."No idea. Does that help?"I want to know under what pretenses people were interviewed."Probably some true, some false, some people just like to hear themselves speak."I want to know if any of the interviewees have complained about being mislead."I'm guessing yes, although being asked to be interviewed by Bill Maher is a lot like being asked to be interviewed on The O'Reilly Factor."I want to know if the documentary was creatively edited."Oh, definitely. The "new-style" documentary is all about showing the other guy to be stupid, rather than showing evidence to support your own side."I want to know everything that can possibly be known, dirt and all."One: Bill Maher is kind of a jerk.Two: He will raise some valid points.Three: In between those scattered bits of "smart" will be more "dumb" than you can shake a stick at. I saw you at the Olympics, by the way, and you can shake a lot of stick. You got screwed out of the Gold, IMO.
Hold up. Wait a minute. Time out. First, I keep seeing this mistake over and over again. Bill Maher is not an atheist. Bill Maher is a theist. He just thinks religion is absurd. And can you really blame him? Talking snakes, the earth is 6000 years old, virgin birth, the ten commandments and so on. C'mon, surely you can see the humor there?Bill Maher in an interview with Peter Sciretta:“I’m not an atheist. There’s a really big difference between an atheist and someone who just doesn’t believe in religion. Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don’t need. But I’m not an atheist, no.” I believe there’s some force. If you want to call it God… I don’t believe God is a single parent who writes books. I think that the people who think God wrote a book called The Bible are just childish. Religion is so childish. What they’re fighting about in the Middle East, it’s so childish. These myths, these silly little stories that they believe in fundamentally, that they take over this little space in Jerusalem where one guy flew up to heaven...no, no, this guy performed a sacrifice here a thousand million years ago. It’s like, “Who cares? What does that have to do with spirituality, where you’re really trying to get, as a human being and as a soul moving in the universe?” But I do believe in a God, yes.”So much for the christianist tactic of dismissing Maher because he is an atheist apologist. Not so fast my fundie friends. He's one of you. Ha! I love the smell of irony in the morning.
Not so fast my fundie friends. He's one of you. Ha! I love the smell of irony in the morning.No, he's nothing like "us" at all. I hate the smell of moron in the morning.
Um, there's a significant difference between being a Christian fundamentalist and a Deist, which is what Maher seems to be.He believes in "God," but does not believe that any religions are at all accurate. Diggler, sir, you overreach and overassume.
Vigilante "No, he's nothing like "us" at all. I hate the smell of moron in the morning."feste "Um, there's a significant difference between being a Christian fundamentalist and a Deist, which is what Maher seems to be."So...deists are atheists now? Is this blog Deism Sucks or Deism is Dead? Are we going to see more pages asking "if Mr. Maher will tackle his own religion, atheism"? Whose overstepped the bounds, again? Is "Our goal is to promote intellectual responsibility and to counter the fallacious and manipulative attempts of atheist apologists to revive their failed belief system" meant to be ironic?If not, is it meant to be unintentionally so? Is this a question? And this?
When you hear "i just don't..." before an explanation then you must question it. "Life force" what is that?. Does he mean societal guilt if you goof up? Yeah, I feel that too when fearing getting fired from a job.Still so called strong willed Maher is playing into naysayers. With his own unique "atheism" he already messed that up. What else to do but to deny that you are one, claim that you are not one, or use a different term? After he goofs up that new term, what will he use next..."Humanitarian"?
Des,Why so obsessed with placing labels on people? What are you? What am I? Some people might call you something you disagree with, and I’m sure the same goes for me. We like placing things neatly into our own categorised system, labelling people as this or that. But we don’t like to be labelled by other ourselves do we?Is there one universal truth for all of mankind? I don’t think so, but that’s just my opinion (or my truth). You are entitled to yours and I’m not going to assert that I’m right and you’re wrong on a social level. However, on my personal level, I am right.
*Why so obsessed with placing labels on people? What are you? What am I? Some people might call you something you disagree with, and I’m sure the same goes for me.*__Some people will call me something that I do agree with. Labels are used to describe a description or characteristic of someone. A label isn't inherently bad. It is bad when you lie and label people falsely, and if you label a person who you have never met. I believe that atheist is a perfect label for Maher, if Maher isn't an atheist then I guess Dawkins is the Pope. As far as knowing Maher he puts himself out there for the public to judge him.* We like placing things neatly into our own categorised system, labelling people as this or that. But we don’t like to be labelled by other ourselves do we?*___Psychologist label people all the time. People are who they are, denying your inherent label isn't going to change that.*Is there one universal truth for all of mankind? I don’t think so, but that’s just my opinion (or my truth). You are entitled to yours and I’m not going to assert that I’m right and you’re wrong on a social level. However, on my personal level, I am right.*_____Um excuse me if you are an atheist there is only one truth. Remember that atheism is suppose to based on facts, scientific facts. If you think that there is no God, then that means that there is no God for everyone, personal feelings need not apply. Personal feeling cannot apply when you are talking about science. Science makes no bearing on personal feelings.I bet you are?______________________Maher is a poor representative for atheists, he has Dawkins for company. Don't blame christians for seeing them for the way that they present themselves.
I suggest that Maher change his attitude. This can be done without being passive. Changing what he classifies himself as isn't going to help. He is being a jerk, because he doesn't care. He has no obligation to care what you or anyone thinks. He only has to please himself, friends, and family. Everybody else can just....well you know.
*A label isn't inherently bad. It is bad when you lie and label people falsely, and if you label a person who you have never met.*_____Have you met Bill Maher? Just felt like asking…*As far as knowing Maher he puts himself out there for the public to judge him.*_____Even so, I thought Jesus said ‘judge not’… Am I mistaken? *Psychologist label people all the time.*_____They most certainly do not! They diagnose people. Do I need to explain the difference?*People are who they are, denying your inherent label isn't going to change that.*_____I do not understand what you mean by “inherent label”. Is that something you’re born with, something ‘inherited’? The only inherent label I can think of that is still being widely used today, is the one used for Jews: Apparently, you’re a Jew if you’re born by a Jewish mother or have converted to the religion. It seems quite unfair to me. Never the less, I’m not sure if this is what you’re referring to here?*Um excuse me if you are an atheist there is only one truth. Remember that atheism is suppose to based on facts, scientific facts. If you think that there is no God, then that means that there is no God for everyone, personal feelings need not apply. Personal feeling cannot apply when you are talking about science. Science makes no bearing on personal feelings.*_____You’re missing my point here. What I’m arguing is that it does not matter for you whether I think there is a God or not (and vice versa). People have always, and will always, disagree one way or another. For example, why do you think we have so many different churches within Christianity? Some religious communities even assert that others are ‘false’, and people still kill each other over it in Northern Ireland.However, disagreement does not, in itself, constitute a conflict. The conflict arrives when we do not respect other opinions or are incapable to say ‘lets agree to disagree’. Seems quite simple but apparently it is not. I believe that righteousness should be handled with care. Do you?*I bet you are?* (An atheist)_____So now you want to judge me as well? *Maher is a poor representative for atheists, he has Dawkins for company. Don't blame christians for seeing them for the way that they present themselves.*_____OK, let me challenge you on this one instead of arguing against you. If Maher and Dawkins are poor representatives for atheists, then there must be others that are good representatives. Further, you must be aware of some better representatives since you can assert that these two are poor in comparison. I wonder who the good representative might be? Alister McGrath?
That is a great question. Well.....