Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bill Maher and Stupid Atheism

I usually try to not make the mistake that I often observe among many of those who disagree with me and label people with different views than my own as intellectually inferior. However, there are times when really noticeable cases standout and must be mentioned for the sake of truth and for the sake of others.

Often there is talk radio playing in my house and I admit I like to listen to it because it is interesting. Radio host Hugh Hewitt played some audio clips from Bill Maher's late night show last week, in which Maher characteristically trashes religion in the most tasteless ways possible.

Here is what Maher said regarding the Pope's visit to the U.S. last week:
"Whenever you combine a secretive compound, religion, and weirdos in pioneer outfits, there's gonna be some child f*cking going on. In fact, whenever a cult leader sets himself up as God's infallible wingman here on earth, lock away the kids. Which is why I'd like to tip off law enforcement to an even larger child-abusing religious cult; its leader also has a compound and this guy not only operates outside the bounds of the law, but he use to be a Nazi and he wears funny hats. That's right, the Pope is coming to America this week..."

There are people who are wrong. Then there are people who are wrong and rotten. Bill Maher is the latter. I know that he is a comedian and that apparently the new trend in comedy is to be as grossly offensive, vulgar, and as unfunny as possible, but he's clearly expressing his true feelings as are most other comedians. Comedians merely get away with hate speech because they say it in a way that makes people laugh.

I am not a Catholic and I'd like to establish that right now. I do not agree with the Catholic Church's doctrine and tradition regarding the Pope, nor do I believe that the Pope is inherently more holy than any other devout follower of Christ. However, Bill Maher's remarks about the Pope and the Catholic Church are sadistically rude and offensive to millions of sincerely religious people. Not everyone in the Catholic clergy is having sex with prepubescent boys. In fact, the majority of priest molestation cases are more accurately described as homosexual acts, rather than true pedophilia because the "children" involved are teenagers with adult bodies. He's also twisting the facts by calling the Pope a "Nazi." Yes, the current Pope Benedict XVI was at one time apart of the Hitler youth as was practically every young male at that time. It was a part of school and cultural doctrine and it was popular. If you know anything about history, particularly the disastrous effects WWI had on Germany, you know why Hitler seemed like a shining light of hope to the bereaved Germans. The Pope did join the German military but he later left it after discovering what was really going on. His family was also openly against Hitler's regime and had to move constantly to avoid being caught. This is a man who turned away from Nazism. Labeling him and associating him with the same people who cast Jews into ovens and used Jewish babies for target practice is not only nonsensical, but downright shameful and disgusting.

Even though Pope Benedict XVI may look a bit like Darth Sidious from Star Wars except with a white robe, he is certainly no emperor of the Darkside, at least I hope not.

But, the moron, Bill Maher has much more to say: "Now I know what you're thinking. Bill, you can't be saying that the Catholic Church is no better than this creepy Texas cult? Well, for one thing, alter boys can't even get pregnant. But really, what tripped up the little cult on the prairie? Was it that they only abused hundreds of kids, not thousands all over the world. Cults get raided, religions get parades. How does the Catholic Church get away with all their buggery? Volume, volume, volume! If you have a few hundred followers and you let some of them molest children, they call you a cult leader. If you have a billion they call you Pope."

What trash. No class here. But wait! Guess who the special guest is on the show? Richard Dawkins! Excellent. Now we have one of the most idiotic of atheists joined by one of the most arrogant. One must read this most enlightening and engaging discussion about God and the universe between these two free-thinking geniuses as the challenge each other.

Maher: What I first want to ask you is, why is this book [The God Delusion] such a phenomenon? It was so much more than a best seller, it really changed the people talked about this subject all over the world. Why this book and why now?

Dawkins: Well, it has sold more than a million and a half copies now and similar sales have been posted for Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, so it looks like there is something going on...

Hewitt breaks in here to point out that the 1.5 million copies sold is menial compared to the best selling religious-based books, not including the Bible itself. If Dawkins is using the premise that book sales indicate changes in the culture, then all it tells us is that there are at least 20-30 times more religious people than there are atheists and that it is primarily atheists who read atheistic books. It's the atheist club. (I am happy to confess that I personally have been reading the very book being discussed here.)

Dawkins: ...I think people are getting a bit fed up with other people thrusting their imaginary friends down their throat. I think especially in America, there has been a tendency for God to rule the roost in a way that I think people are rightly getting fed up with and when a group of books come alone to challenge that, people warm to it.

Hewitt, almost chuckling, chimes in about Dawkins' arrogance by basically implying that the fact that he has sold 1.5 million books (mostly to atheists no doubt) somehow indicates that people are fed up with "faith" which is clearly not true. What a brilliant comment by the Oxford zoologist...

Maher: I notice you call it "imaginary friend," a phrase I enjoy because it's so, it gets at so what this is and yet I...

Dawkins: Yeah, did you coin it? Who invented that phrase? Did you coin it?

Maher: Well, I use to use it in my stand-up act... (Maher sounds like he takes great pride in the unparalleled wit of his amazing phrase)

Dawkins: Well maybe it's your phrase. It's very good anyway. (Does he really think calling God an imaginary friend is that creative and clever? If so that's really sad.)

Maher: And believe me, I've stolen many of yours so I think we're even. But I think that people would be interested to find out that in the book you establish a scale of 1 to 7 of atheism: 1 being someone who is utterly certain there is a god and 7 being someone who is utterly certain there is not, but you yourself say you're only a 6. Can you tell us why?

Dawkins: I think any scientist would be unwise to commit himself to saying that there is definitely not anything. I mean, I can't definitely commit myself to saying there are no fairies. Uh, I'm pretty sure there are no fairies. But I think it would be unscientific to do what the extreme religious people do and say "I know there is a God." I can't say I know there is no God. I can't say I know there are no pink unicorns. So a 6...maybe a 6.9 is reasonable.

Hewitt: You see, it's so self-indulgent. They're assuring each other of their absolute rightness about this when the vast experience of human kind is that they are wrong. That's just the vast experience of human kind and the key argument of Mere Christianity which is the essential moral consciousness as to what is right and wrong, "Tao" as C.S. Lewis called it, is the indictment of their certainty.

Maher: One reason why I think yourself and so many others are beginning to speak out against organized religion is...*starts some very forced laughter* BECAUSE IT'S RIDICULOUS! IT'S JUST RIDICULOUS! There's a talking snake in the garden of Eden and people fly up to heaven bodily! It's just ridiculous! How do you explain bright people, and there are many, come on we have to admit this. I talked to your friend, the scientist, Francis Collins (hardly anyone in the audience knows who that is) who discovered the human genome. How does a man go to the lab all day and then go home and believe in the talking snake? How do you explain that phenomenon?

Dawkins: Well, Francis Collins did not discover the human genome. He was head of the worldwide operation that discovered it, so he was an administrator. He's a very good scientist too, but don't say he was the one who discovered the human genome. It was a team effort and he was the administrator who organized it.

Maher: Okay, so he's a bright guy...

Dawkins: Well...yeah, I guess he's a bright guy. But (Dawkins is really hesitant and reluctant to attribute any intelligence to a Christian scientist, not surprising).

Maher: Okay, take another example: Tony Blair your former Prime Minister who just converted to Catholicism...

Dawkins: He's not a bright guy. *chuckles* He's not a bright guy. Francis Collins is a much brighter guy than Tony Blair is, I'll give him that much.

Hewitt points out that Tony Blair was an exceptionally gifted leader and was Prime Minister for more consecutive years than just about any other Prime Minister in history. But more importantly, he goes on to say this which I thought was particularly apt: 'My guess is that they are laughing at what they perceive to be the intellectual put down, which not actually very intellectual, because it's not something that serious thinkers do. Serious thinkers don't indulge in this stand-up dismissal of argument and this peptic hatred of the other side. They're curious, they engage, they talk, but that's not what the atheists are about. At least not these two atheists. They are about attempting to win through intellectual intimidation."

Hewitt has it dead on there. That is exactly what militant atheists do. They are just as bad any religious fundamentalists, just as close-minded, just as arrogant, and just as bigoted and hateful of the opposing side. Religious zealots love to call atheists "evil" and atheists love to label all people of faith as stupid and delusional which is strangely the same exact tactic leftists use against anyone who holds any conservative values. If you're not a socialist, a Democrat, or an atheist, you are stupid. That is the one absolute truth atheists cling to besides Darwinism. It is this elitist and sardonic attitude against theists, Christians especially, that I find infinitely irritating, not to mention monumentally hypocritical. Those who would claim sole reservation of reason, free thought, and objectivity but in actuality are ruled by highly irrational and prejudiced behavior and radically faith-based claims.

Here's another quote that is oh-so-revealing of Bill Maher's personal character, his insipidity, his moral depravity, and the kind of belief system that atheism tends to foster and produce: "I'm the guy who thinks religion is bad and drugs are good. I think children aren't innocent, god doesn't write books, and Jesus wasn't a republican. I think girls hate each other, no doesn't mean no and being drunk is funny. I'm for mad cow disease, how am I gonna win that? I'm against suing tobacco companies. I think abstinence is a perversion. I think Bush's lies are worse than Clinton's. I think Vegas was better when it was run by the mob. I think men are only as loyal as their options. I think stereotypes are true and rehab is for quitters."

And for the record, Jesus indeed, was not a Republican nor a member of any other political party and the Bible was not written by God directly but written by humans who were inspired by God. Please don't twist what we stupid Christians believe and then try to attack it. That's logically fallacious.

I am also amused by all the Darwinists who are foaming at the mouth over Ben Stein's documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. We sure don't like free speech, dissent, and alternative opinions that defy established naturalistic orthodoxy, do we? If atheism is not a religion, why are its proponents treating it like one?

Finally, for those who may accuse me of being hateful and cruel, I do not hate Maher or Dawkins personally, but I have little respect for the way they carry themselves and trash other people. I do NOT hate atheists. I know several atheists whom I cherish a lot. I also know that the best response is not to complain but to pray for these very misguided but valuable human beings. However, I will call nonsense where I see it and I will demand fair play when I believe it is called for and I am unapologetic about that.

God: Just Another Sky Pixie?

It has become a popular trend among atheists to compare all supernatural phenomenon and religious deities, including the God of Christianity, to other mythical beings such as pixies, fairies, or unicorns. The basic idea is that there is no scientific or logical justification for pixies and fairies and no evidence for their existence other than the fluid power of human imagination and the same is true of God. Of course, comparing the God of the Bible with pixies is not just silly but plain stupid as well. Anyone who makes this claim is surely attesting to their own ignorance of God.

The atheist may wonder why I, like other Christian theists, can believe in God but deny the existence of pixies and on what criteria I base my conclusion. Maybe I am being unfair. I suppose it is possible that pixies do exist.

Perhaps we should consider the possibility in which it might actually be rational to believe in such diminutive magical creatures. If it just so happens that there comes a book attesting to the existence of pixies that contains scientific facts about the earth and the universe thousands of years in advance of science, is confirmed by archaeological evidence, makes dozens of specific prophecies over thousands of years that have come true, advocates a moral and ethical conduct far advanced for its time of writing, and if millions of people throughout history and worldwide have claimed with sincerity that they've been touched and felt the presence of pixies and that most of those claims have integrity and continuity, and that there was at least one pixie who made itself physical for thousands of people to see and whose existence was well documented by honest, reliable sources and eyewitnesses who were willing to die to preserve the truth of the pixies, and I personally had felt the presence and seen the working of pixies in my own life, it might be wise for me to consider the possibility that pixies exist.

Unfortunately for the pixie enthusiast, we have not seen that kind of compelling evidence in favor of "pixieism" unless one wishes to insist that childhood fantasies, faerie tales, and drug induced hallucinations (perhaps the effect of abusing "pixie dust") constitute compelling evidence. However, such evidence does apply to the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the God Christians believe in.