September 30, 2008

Shocker of Shockers: NYT Movie Critic Loves Bill Maher's Anti-Christian Polemicals in Religulous; the Ones About Other Religions, Not So Much
— Ace

I knew if I clicked on this review I wouldn't be disappointed.

“Religulous” is directed by Larry Charles, whose credits include “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” and many episodes of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” And the movie has the same loose, on-the-road structure as “Borat.” Much of Mr. Maher’s film is extremely funny in a similarly irreverent, offhanded way. Some true believers — at least those who have a sense of humor about their faith — may even be amused. But most will not.

In a small journalistic coup Mr. Maher interviews a Roman Catholic priest in front of the Vatican, who laughingly agrees with him that the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church are nonsense that are not to be taken literally. Mr. Maher, unfortunately, doesn’t press him on why he wears priestly vestments and presumes to exert religious authority.

...

His strategy is to coax most of those subjects who are true believers to appear foolish as they offer stumbling, inarticulate responses to his friendly interrogations. The majority of his subjects are easy targets. One such sitting duck is José Luis de Jesús Miranda, a nattily dressed Miami preacher who declares that he is the second coming of Christ and claims that his Growing in Grace ministry has 100,000 followers. Like the fulminating televangelists whose ministries the film glosses over, he comes across as a greedy, self-satisfied charlatan with a fondness for gold.

When Mr. Maher asks Senator Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat and fervent evangelical Christian, why faith is good, he stumbles for an answer. Returning later to Senator Pryor, Mr. Maher suggests that many evangelicals look forward to the end of the world, when it is prophesied that Jesus will return. The senator doesn’t dispute him.

John Westcott, a former homosexual who is now married and the director of Exchange Ministries in Winter Park, Fla., an organization whose mission is to reorient sexuality, can only smile when Mr. Maher reminds him that Jesus never addressed the subject of homosexuality. At a Christian theme park where the passion of Christ is re-enacted in a tacky musical pageant, the actor playing Jesus compares the Holy Trinity to the three states of water: liquid, ice and vapor.

When “Religulous” turns from evangelical Christianity to Judaism and Islam, its tone becomes uncertain and its rhythm choppy. An attitude of glib condescension is inadequate to address clashing religions that have turned the Middle East into an ideological cauldron. Jihadism and Orthodox Judaism are red-hot topics that Mr. Maher addresses too sketchily to convey the same authority he brings to Christianity.

Ah. Such glib condescension was adequate for Christianity, but not Islam. Which must be taken seriously and displayed reverently.

And have no doubt: the author is playing coy here, but it's only the impieties cast at Islam that bother him.

Posted by: Ace at 11:04 PM | Comments (159)
Post contains 518 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I figured it would be like that.

Smarter than thou Bill vs thousands of years of religion.

Not sure what he really wanted to point out with this film, except that Jews and Christians are the same as radical Islamists, but never really point out how different Islam is to the others.

Posted by: JarvisW at September 30, 2008 11:10 PM (8yPsP)

2 Hmmm.  I hereby denounce and condemn myself for merely finding Kat-Mo's post unfunny, and not offensive.


Posted by: Ed at September 30, 2008 11:11 PM (YO0WU)

3 What did Jesus say about malignant dwarfs?

Posted by: A Balrog of Morgoth at September 30, 2008 11:14 PM (wgLRl)

4

Because the Left will use anything at hand to bash our culture.

 

Posted by: Molon Labe at September 30, 2008 11:15 PM (kYpqT)

5

They're afraid to offend Islamics: they might kill them. They're afraid to offend [American] Jews (Israeli, not so much): they might not vote for or fund them.

...and since they mostly are animists or neo-paganists, they're hardly going to go after Taoists, shamanists, Wiccans, Hindus or whatever: they're sympathetic.

Which leaves ...clingers (as they so condescendingly label us).

Because they know that Christians ...will pray for them. Quietly. It's so safe for those brave little children to rage inchoately at The Other ...when there will be no consequences ...except a prayer.

Posted by: davis,br at September 30, 2008 11:17 PM (zewwG)

6

Imagine random gibberish here.  Sans paragraphs.

 

Posted by: Diderot's dog at September 30, 2008 11:24 PM (wgLRl)

7 Ace, go to bed.

Anyway, why is the world's tiniest hack interviewing the easy marks?  If he's such a super-duper SMRT guy, why not try to ridicule a theologian of some repute.  After all, Little Billy is so superior, right?  Interviewing televangelists and lay members of the evangelical side of things?  I mean, why interview someone who could cogently explain the basis of faith as metaphysics?  (I guess Platform Bill would have to be able to grasp the concept of metaphysics first, and that might be an insurmountable barrier)

Shit, put Islamic Rage Boy up for that matter.  Maybe the stupid muzzie pederast who married the 8 year old a while back, too (I'm sure lil'hackey could even find a white one of those at the playboy mansion).  Fuck all, how about a toothless Tibetan to make fun of Hollywood's Holy "Buddhism", huh?

Ha ha it is so funny, ho ho it is to laugh.




Posted by: moronizer at September 30, 2008 11:35 PM (OeLz9)

8 "the same authority he brings to Christianity"

Authority. The kind of authority that can only come from reinforcing the prejudices of the simpletons who write for and read the New York Times.

Posted by: bgates at October 01, 2008 12:17 AM (CFjXn)

9 Yeah, notice he dosn't go after Scientologists or Kabbalists.

Posted by: JarvisW at October 01, 2008 12:26 AM (8yPsP)

10 Hah - Maher is useful for something!

Posted by: Arthur at October 01, 2008 12:30 AM (LhPLL)

11 #5 Because they know that Christians ...will pray for them. Quietly. It's so safe for those brave little children to rage inchoately at The Other ...when there will be no consequences ...except a prayer.

Unless of course its a doctor's surgery offering abortion. Then the crazy christian fuckers will bomb it and kill as many atheists as they can.

Posted by: Deathly at October 01, 2008 12:57 AM (Q9Quj)

12 Don't get out much, do yez? I'll pray for you  ...you stupid fuck.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 01:11 AM (zewwG)

13 Evangelical christians make an easy target because the Bible teaches them to turn the other cheek.  Peckerheads like Maher take advantage of their beliefs to make themselves feel better about being a peckerhead.

Posted by: Steve L. at October 01, 2008 02:04 AM (o0YD+)

14

Saw Maher on Conan and he is a major douchetool. 

Calling Governor Palin a stewardess and then saying he isn'tcondescending in his film, only honest and straightforward and then yucks it up about how condescending he is...

So why does he get blown at he Playboy mansion?  What is the deal with that? 

Posted by: blaster at October 01, 2008 02:12 AM (KpEAZ)

15 "the same authority he brings to Christianity"...? Since Maher is half-Jewish, half-Irish, it's hard t osee how he would be an "authority" about Islam.

Posted by: sierra at October 01, 2008 02:21 AM (MdjRD)

16 Deathly, that's just a lie. Clinic bombers are universally condemned in Christian churches. That sort of thing has no support.

Posted by: bgates at October 01, 2008 02:29 AM (CFjXn)

17 Dickli(ck)

Piss poor trolling. 

No cookie, no discussion.

Like my crusty anus, whorebag.

Posted by: moronizer at October 01, 2008 02:43 AM (OeLz9)

18

Haven't seen the film, but Christianity has done more help than hinder human development IMHO.

Islam, oth, really is the religion of stagnation, corruption and death.   Let us never forget that Christians stopped slavery.

 

 

Posted by: Jack at October 01, 2008 02:50 AM (Ss83y)

19 The more fundamental point to keep in mind is this:  Maher is the star of his little opus.  If anyone handed him his rhetorical ass, it was left on the cutting room floor.  If anyone made a solid point, it was left on the cutting room floor.  If anyone didn't come off bad enough, it was edited like a Charlie Gibson interview until they did.

This 'film' comes from Michael Moore's outfit.  It's just another crockumentary.

Posted by: Stinky Esposito at October 01, 2008 02:52 AM (MMC8r)

20

That Bill Maher is still drawing breath is either proof of God's great mercy, or nonexistence. I pick the former, and thank Him for the mercy He (God) has shown me as well.

That said, Maher really is an asshole, isn't he?

Posted by: John F Not Kerry at October 01, 2008 02:54 AM (HF2US)

21

"When “Religulous” turns from evangelical Christianity to Judaism and Islam, its tone becomes uncertain and its rhythm choppy. An attitude of glib condescension is inadequate to address clashing religions that have turned the Middle East into an ideological cauldron. Jihadism and Orthodox Judaism are red-hot topics that Mr. Maher addresses too sketchily to convey the same authority he brings to Christianity."

Translate as:  Christians are stupid.  Muslim and Jews are scary. 

Posted by: huerfano at October 01, 2008 02:54 AM (knHvu)

22 Unless of course its a doctor's surgery offering abortion. Then the crazy christian fuckers will bomb it and kill as many atheists as they can. Except, the clinic bombers often aren't actually Christians (shocking, I know), aren't supported by any churches, and the folks who receive and perform and support abortions may be sinning in the practice, but they aren't all atheists. And when, exactly, was the last clinic bombing? And how many have their actually been? More folks die in convenience stores getting robbed in an average weekend in DC that have been killed in all the clinic bombings put together.

Posted by: Dr. Medical at October 01, 2008 03:01 AM (NZfvn)

23 I haven't seen the film either. I assume Maher really takes in to Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Wiccanism, The First Church of Climate Change, and agnostics (because they are too stupid to know they aren't supposed to believe than any of this stupid religious stuff is even possible). Because, you know, it's about religion. Not an attack on Judaism and Christianity. I think it might also about Maher having a very, very small penis. Or being very insecure is his religious non-beliefs.

Posted by: Dr. Medical at October 01, 2008 03:07 AM (NZfvn)

24 Hey, Maher's just trying to avoid losing his head over these religious issues, IYKWIMAITYD.

Posted by: sherlock at October 01, 2008 03:16 AM (ojW85)

25 That said, Maher really is an asshole, isn't he? He's a weepy asshole, too. When he got his tit in the ringer post 9/11, he toured all the radio shows crying. In 2003, he filled as a host on a local radio show as a trial period, and got weepy and whiny when callers who were more knowledgeable than him would challenge him on his b.s.

Posted by: Booben at October 01, 2008 03:19 AM (EbsDB)

26 Since 1973, approximately 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States.

Seven abortion providers—3 doctors, 2 clinic employees, 1 security guard, 1 clinic escort—have been murdered.

Posted by: Frostee at October 01, 2008 03:22 AM (Ggdox)

27 Any time these simpleton whores make movies about religion they end up making bigger asses of themselves than previously.  Take that turd Kevin Smith; after making some passably entertaining flicks on a low budget like "Clerks" (which I thought was hilarious when I first saw it but not so good on rewatching it) and "Chasing Amy" (which got reaaaallllyy stoopid at the end which, because it starred Ben Afleck, may have been a reflection of his input) along with unwatchable shit like "Mall Rats", he then gets some funding to put out a rancid bag of pus like "Dogma", which did the extremely difficult job of making Chris Rock awkwardly unfunny.  It's pretty fucking bad when you have to haul a boring fossil like George Carlin out of comedy rehab to try and salvage something that was beyond the skills of geniuses like Afleck and smartest person in the history of the world Matt Damon!!!!

So Maher, in addition to being a pock-infested, ugly, stoopid gnome is also boringly unoriginal.

Posted by: Captain Hate at October 01, 2008 03:32 AM (m2sQh)

28 Maher is garbed in the mantle of MSM superiority to cast that aura of authority, a high priest of high arrogance.  The priest is right: Catholicism is absurd (and I say this as a Catholic), from the perspective of our quotidian and secular "reality."

Posted by: Dan Collins at October 01, 2008 03:33 AM (SohFK)

29 I'd like to say for the record that I loathe Kevin Smith.

I thank you for the opportunity to say so.

Posted by: Stinky Esposito at October 01, 2008 03:35 AM (MMC8r)

30 In a small journalistic coup Mr. Maher interviews a Roman Catholic priest in front of the Vatican, who laughingly agrees with him that the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church are nonsense that are not to be taken literally.

This is hardly a coup. Maher didn't have to go to Rome to do this, he could have just hit up St. Sabina's in Chicago, or St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis, or the local Jesuit college. I guess he wanted the awesome background. Religion: it sucks so bad that it brought us horrors like, y'know, the Sistine chapel.

Posted by: Angry Beaver at October 01, 2008 03:40 AM (lFbsc)

31 Mosques in key states are registering and getting the vote out for Obama.  A stupid movie that makes BM rich is a minor irritant.

October 2008 is a tough month.

Call your Senator today, and say no to Paulson bill. 

Posted by: free at October 01, 2008 03:42 AM (cFwGO)

32

I am beginning to understand the rage against the out-of-touch aristocrats that led to the storming of the Bastille and the horrors of the French revolution.   

 

Today the elites play with fire in the middle of a ammo dump. 

 

 God save them if one of those sparks they are gleefully tossing around ignites something.

 

Then the elites will remember the power of the howling mob.  But by then will be too late.

Posted by: ArandomPerson at October 01, 2008 03:47 AM (MSMPS)

33 As a concerned Islamic citizen I have to say that what goes on in the NYT movie reviews or Bill Maher's movie doesn't really bother me.  I'm too tired from cutting off heads and making bomb vests to really give a crap.

Posted by: Sandy at October 01, 2008 03:49 AM (XFyLb)

34 On an uplifting note: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/5min/story/707023.html Man Saves Dog

Posted by: Booben at October 01, 2008 03:50 AM (EbsDB)

35 Screwed that up. But, the link still works.

Posted by: Booben at October 01, 2008 03:51 AM (EbsDB)

36 I've always loved the "Jesus never addressed homosexuality" comments from people. Jesus never addressed a lot of things considered sins during his earthly ministry but they are addressed elsewheres. Homosexuality for instance in Romans 1:26-27. Anyway I know most of you don't want to hear my rant on the subject so i'll leave it at Bill Maher and this NYT "reviewer" arecocksucking douchenozzles.

Posted by: Mfn G I M P at October 01, 2008 03:55 AM (DLvdS)

37 The only thing I care about is if this movie will break a million in box-office receipts - and I think it's possible it might fall short. 

Posted by: Francase at October 01, 2008 03:56 AM (nrLPb)

38 This movie, Mahr's continuous criticism, and other God-bashing media is all part of the liberal agenda to destroy faith and religion in this country. Our Founding Fathers were greatly inspired by a faith in God when establishing our Nation and people like Mahr want to strip that away. With this campaign to "secularize" our society, is it really surprising when a child walks into a school and kills his classmates with a hand gun? The war on God, especially Roman Catholics has begun. If you were to mock and ridicule Jews in the same way you would be labeled an anti-Semite.

Posted by: Coogen at October 01, 2008 04:01 AM (h4UWR)

39 Those"religulous christianists" deserve all the scorn Bill Maher can provide, with all their terrorist activities and bombings and all.  Leave the peaceful Muslims alone.

Posted by: dfbaskwill at October 01, 2008 04:02 AM (4L5Tl)

40

What a toad. Well, that's sort of unfair to toads. I like toads better than I like Maher.

What is sad is hordes of young people who haven't been exposed to good foundational teaching, will watch this and think this is a good example of why they should not bother with pursuing traditional faith. Shame on my generation for not doing a better job at this.

He's getting his chuckles now, but, I'm thinkin' that come the day he leaves this world (we all have to go some time!) he might be real surprised that his superior attitude and charming sense of humor are lacking credentials for a happy ending! Even his platform shoes won't be able to help him!

I for one, am looking forward to an American Carol!

Posted by: freetofly at October 01, 2008 04:11 AM (beQ7Q)

41 Maher is worthless as a truckload of dead rats at a tampon factory.

Posted by: Baron Von Ottomatic at October 01, 2008 04:14 AM (4ZOxD)

42 Bill Maher is a revolting piece of shit, and one of the ugliest motherfuckers I have ever seen.

Posted by: Reggie1971 at October 01, 2008 04:14 AM (b68Df)

43 That ugly, narcissistic bastard is so not funny.  He must be sucking a lot of cock in Hollywood to get things like this done.

Posted by: rdbrewer at October 01, 2008 04:15 AM (CrSOk)

44 If you really want to stick it to moonbats who think Maher is a genius, remind them that he and Ann Coulter are extremely good friends. When she is in LA, they usually have dinner together. That'll make their heads explode.

Posted by: Booben at October 01, 2008 04:18 AM (EbsDB)

45 could he now address the depredations unleashed on the world in the last century by communism (the far left).  Christians today are apparently responsible for all the depredations of religion from centuries past-why don't we apply the same standard to atheism, holding them responsible for Stalin, Mao and various lessers?

Posted by: ejo at October 01, 2008 04:21 AM (Urhve)

46

Maher's whole point is to show you how stupid you are for believing in God. That means a lot from a comedian who isn't remotely funny and who's biggest movie credit is Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death.

I almost fell out of my chair when I read #33. 

Posted by: Rob at October 01, 2008 04:34 AM (NFy4c)

47

Little known rumor: Andrea Mitchell is Bill Maher in drag.

 

Posted by: tcbevo at October 01, 2008 04:48 AM (inTsh)

48

Jihadism and Orthodox Judaism are red-hot topics that Mr. Maher addresses too sketchily to convey the same authority he brings to Christianity.

Cause.....you know.... bravery and shit only goes so far. Those crazy muthafucks will kill a bitch.

Posted by: pendejo grande at October 01, 2008 04:54 AM (L47wF)

49 Like big advances for lefty books that don't sell, these kind of films are just money laundering from the Sori to people that push the party line.

I think of them as Soros Idiot Grants.

Posted by: toby928: Caesarist at October 01, 2008 04:57 AM (evdj2)

50 NYT's hails "Religulous" as the metrosexual urbanite's  feel-good movie of the year!

Maher said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where "Religulous" played in advance of its theatrical release Friday. "It's the nature of the people who are not believers that they're individuals, they're individualistic. They don't join and all lock arms and say, `We all believe this and so it must be true because we have strength in numbers.'"


Excepting of course the rare occasions when the left "mans the barricades" or storms the G8 summit meetings and then hold candlelight vigils for world peace (not Georgia or Bosnia).



Posted by: 13times at October 01, 2008 04:59 AM (sDb9Y)

51

Bill Maher is a puss. He knows Christianity is an easy target because if you criticize their religion you won't get killed. Also, did he only tackle Abrahamic religions? I guess Hinduism, Buddahism, Taoism, Sikhs, Jains and others don't count as being "Religulous". If Maher thinks he so right with his movie he should show up at the premier of his movie in Pakistan and see how well recieved it is.

Posted by: fbundy at October 01, 2008 05:01 AM (/K5oT)

52

Islam beleives in big Authoritarian Govt., just like the Libs.

True Christianity, is about as Libertarian as it gets on paper.

of course the NYT is going to favor Islam and control

Posted by: jp at October 01, 2008 05:02 AM (DFDtC)

53 "It's the nature of the people who are not believers that they're individuals, they're individualistic. They don't join and all lock arms and say, `We all believe this and so it must be true because we have strength in numbers.'"

Has Bill ever heard of that 'communism' thing?

Posted by: Stinky Esposito at October 01, 2008 05:20 AM (MMC8r)

54 Sad that converted homosexual Christian didn't take him to the book of Romans which lays out how homosexuality is a sin, or all the passages in Leviticus that makes it clear that it's an abomination before God. You know, just because Jesus didn't come out and preach against something while he was on earth doesn't mean he was for it. He more or less said He came to fulfill the Law, and the Law condemns homosexuality. The whole Bible is the word of Jesus, we can't just focus on that little narrow part in the Gospels. From Genesis to Revelation, it was written by Jesus, don't ever forget that.

Posted by: Luke at October 01, 2008 05:22 AM (OTZkW)

55 did he tackle any, let's say, african american practitioners of christianity.  mock, for instance, Jeremiah Wright (I could handle that, as a christian, without launching a jihad).  he makes fun of some cranks while leaving some of the finest examples of the nonsense and fool branch of christianity unmocked, the urban democratic preacher/hack.

Posted by: ejo at October 01, 2008 05:32 AM (Urhve)

56

Maher....PUSSY!

 

Posted by: Russel Ziskey at October 01, 2008 05:32 AM (LlaBi)

57 Believe the new movie bitch slapping Michael Moore is out today.  Based on "A Christmas Carol".  Sorry, can't remember the name right now, stars Kelsey Grammer.  Looks hilarious.  Should absolutely smack the tofu based dog turds out of Maher.  We're goin' tonite...and it normally takes Mel Gibson, Bruce Willes or an out and out miracle to get me into a theatre with all those cell phone blue tooth wearin' morons.

Posted by: Captspaulding at October 01, 2008 05:36 AM (lWIm4)

58 Not having seen the film, I can still confidently claim that he interviewed no Lutherans for this.  He would've been reduced to a quivering blob of goo.

Yeah, you probably had to be at the overnight thread.  Let's just leave it at that.

Posted by: Chris at October 01, 2008 05:38 AM (SiJV8)

59 I'm never shocked when the world demonstrates its hate for Christianity. Jesus actually said that his followers would be hated because the world hated Him first. The gospel is an offense and a stumbling block because of human pride. The gospel tells us that we cannot save ourselves through our works. We are sinners who oppose a Holy God. The good news is that God's wrath is appeased by the blood atonement of Jesus Christ so we can be reconciled to Him. "We are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope — at the very same time." (Tim Keller)

Posted by: Lori at October 01, 2008 05:46 AM (9AI2n)

60

I wish he had interviewed me. I practice full contact Christianity. We think that peace and love stuff only apply for the people that are "in house." The rest of you get the "wrath of God" ass whipping part.

Our conversion efforts are a blend of relationship evangelism and MMA.We wanted to put the "submission" back into "submission hold." That way your decision is still free will based: convert or feel the pain.

I think we could have put Maher into the kids bracket because the 5th graders are making real progress with thier joint locks and choke holds.

Posted by: Rob B at October 01, 2008 05:51 AM (q32Ly)

61 I guess I'll chime in here for a US atheist perspective. I'm speaking only for me, not anyone else: - The reason I make fun of Christianity so much is because my whole extended family are ultra-old-school-the-bible-is-literal-types who continue to astound me with their stupidity. I was forced to go to church until I was 16 and heard all sorts of stupid shit. My favorite memories include the "the fossil record was planted by satan to test christians" line and the "Halloween is incredibly satanic and trick-or-treating is a slight against God" movie we watched in youth group. I lol'd so fucking hard at both which is about the time my youth pastor noticed I was an atheist and only there against my will. This lead to him constantly pestering me to be saved and saying he was praying for me and what not. So yes, that stuff annoys me and probably many other atheists. - I haven't seen the movie in question nor ever will because I don't need affirmation that religion is a joke, and also because Bill Mahr is not funny, like ever. Therefore, I don't know how hard he railed on Jews or Muslims or if it's fair to criticize Mahr for not doing so only because a movie critic is a complete pussy. - I think Islam is retarded and would voice this opinion if given a national stage. - The reason I don't make fun of other religions as much is because I don't know shit about them and I don't know of anyone who practices any of them. I do make fun of Wiccans via the internet but most of them are 14 y/o girls so it's not like they are seriously into it. Yeah, I don't know if that answered any questions because I forgot what we were talking about halfway through.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 06:02 AM (BX9uS)

62 Mr. Maher interviews a Roman Catholic priest in front of the Vatican, who laughingly agrees with him that the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church are nonsense that are not to be taken literally. Mr. Maher, unfortunately, doesn’t press him on why he wears priestly vestments and presumes to exert religious authority.

He selectively interviews apostates, but ignores the multiple thousands of faithful priests and pastors who have given their lives for their communities.  This is pure slander, nothing more.  Congratulations Maher, you left-wing goof.

Posted by: Richard Romano at October 01, 2008 06:06 AM (kycO9)

63 The pagans do what the pagans do.  Always have.

Posted by: toby928: Caesarist at October 01, 2008 06:10 AM (evdj2)

64

AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 11:02 AM (BX9uS)

If you make an effort to make fun of Christianity I suspect you are somewhat arrogant and believe yourself to be smarter than others in many other things besides Religion.  That seems to be the MO of people who make this conscious effort.

Funny many of these same people have no problem being treated at a St. Lukes or Methodist or whatever religion based hospitals or taking relief from the Salvation Army during catastrophes or having themselves or others become sober at AA.  I can name a lot of other Christian based services you probably use but whats the use you would just make fun of me.

Posted by: polynikes at October 01, 2008 06:20 AM (m2CN7)

65 I don't see why anyone brings this film up at all in the press other than as a favor to someone. They have spent a lot of money advertising this turd and it won't make it back.

I think this was originally made for cable and promoted to the theaters when it started to look like "An American Carol" would get some traction.

This is counter programming for Liberal Kool Aiders, nothing more.

Posted by: Rocks at October 01, 2008 06:24 AM (Q1lie)

66 Posted by: polynikes at October 01, 2008 11:20 AM (m2CN7) Why yes, of course. Without religion, there would never be a hospital, never be any substance abuse programs, hell, there woul never be any love, man! By the way, when I broke my leg last year, I was treated Lancaster General, not St. Joes. Suck on that! Also, 717 represent. If you make an effort to make fun of Christianity I suspect you are somewhat arrogant and believe yourself to be smarter than others Yep. And everytime someone like you posts something retarded, it affirms that suspicion. You're not helping. Also, assuming you're a Christian, you obviously believe you are smarter at religion than a Jew, Muslim, Wiccan, etc. You arrogant prick.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 06:26 AM (BX9uS)

67 You have to figure that the NEW YORK SLIMES would praise a liberal socialists peice of trashy antichristian propeganda like this I HOPE IT BOMBS BIG TIME

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at October 01, 2008 06:28 AM (pUbG0)

68 "Credo quia ineptum est." (I believe it because it is absurd.)
-- Tertullian

See you in hell, AndrewGurn, Bill M, et al. I'll be the one with the canteen.

"He'll be squattin' on the coals givin' drinks to poor damned souls,
And I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din."
-- Kipling

Posted by: Milesdei at October 01, 2008 06:33 AM (ACHxk)

69 Oh, and can any of you enlightened atheists explain to a superstitious simpleton like me why your belief in the non-existence of God is NOT an act of faith? Without whining about how it's almost impossible to prove a negative, or how absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, or some other such lame rhetorical douchery, I mean.

Posted by: Milesdei at October 01, 2008 06:42 AM (ACHxk)

70 Also, assuming you're a Christian, you obviously believe you are smarter at religion than a Jew, Muslim, Wiccan, etc.

I didn't see anything in his comment that would infer that; in fact he threw in enough qualifiers that it should be regarded as inoffensive to a reasonable person. On the other hand you seem to have issues that preclude you from not ridiculing those who differ with your opinion.

Posted by: Captain Hate at October 01, 2008 06:43 AM (m2sQh)

71

 AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 11:26 AM (BX9uS)

Does your gyneocolgist practice our of Lancaster hospital too?  

Posted by: polynikes at October 01, 2008 06:43 AM (m2CN7)

72 God either exists, or He does not. So, the choice of choosing to follow religion is a simple choice of betting on black or on red at the roulette table.

As a Believer, I have bet on red. If I win, I gain everything. If I lose, I've lost nothing.

The atheist, on the other hand, bets on black. If he wins, he gains nothing. If he loses, he's lost everything.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 06:50 AM (d2fuu)

73 Maher should try something new.  Like being funny.

Posted by: Reiver at October 01, 2008 06:51 AM (Yi1Sk)

74 polynikes at October 01, 2008 11:43 AM (m2CN7) Oh! You got me. I have a vagina and I have it inspected routinely. You truly have a keen eye for these things. Well played sir. Well played. Milesdei at October 01, 2008 11:42 AM (ACHxk) Oh, and can any of you enlightened atheists explain to a superstitious simpleton like me why your belief in the non-existence of God is NOT an act of faith? Hey, I never said atheism wasn't a belief. It's a just a belief that doesn't include the unlikely event of an all powerful deity making an expansive universe by snapping his fingers together, but then only populating a single tiny rock and leaving the rest uninhabited (or maybe.. CHRISTIAN ALIENS. OH SNAP). Also, worship him or die.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 06:51 AM (BX9uS)

75 Appropriately, this was among the readings for today's Divine Office. Your act is OLD, Andrew. Way old:

Why do you take pride in your malice,
you expert in evil-doing?
All day long you plan your traps,
your tongue is sharp as a razor –
you master of deceit!
You have chosen malice over kindness;
you speak lies rather than the truth;
your tongue is in love with every deceit.

For all this, in the end God will destroy you.
He will tear you out and expel you from your dwelling,
uproot you from the land of the living.
The upright will see and be struck with awe:
they will deride the evil-doer.
“Here is the man who did not make God his refuge,
but put his hope in the abundance of his riches
and in the power of his stratagems.”

from Psalm 51

Posted by: Milesdei at October 01, 2008 06:54 AM (ACHxk)

76 Milesdei at October 01, 2008 11:54 AM (ACHxk) Pointing out that I'm a dick does not make god real.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 06:55 AM (BX9uS)

77 Well put, Socky. I'm all in on red as well.

Posted by: nikkolai at October 01, 2008 06:57 AM (G8d+5)

78 AndrewGurn:
Hey, I never said atheism wasn't a belief. It's a just a belief that doesn't include the unlikely event of an all powerful deity making an expansive universe by snapping his fingers together, but then only populating a single tiny rock and leaving the rest uninhabited (or maybe.. CHRISTIAN ALIENS. OH SNAP).

Ohhhhhhhh...riiiiighttt. That all of this just appeared spontaneously is like, well, LIKELY.

You really need to do some boning up on probability. Ever heard of the Anthropic Principle?

Also, Roman Catholic teaching does not reject evolution nor is it hostile to the possibility of sentient life existing elsewhere in the universe. See http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/05/14/news/vat.php.

Please, educate yourself before beclowning yourself further.

Posted by: Milesdei at October 01, 2008 07:03 AM (ACHxk)

79 as an professed atheist, I hold Andrew responsible for all the depredations in the last century of his ideological brethren, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc.  Please provide an explanation for how you can cling to your beliefs given the blood spilled by the practitioners of atheism, your belief system.

Posted by: ejo at October 01, 2008 07:04 AM (Urhve)

80 Nor does your dicklickingness (or Maher's for that matter) prove that God is evil.

I probably don't believe in the same God you don't believe in, but amazingly, I'm still a devout Catholic. 

Making a strawman out of religion is easy, just like it's really easy to say that the small, lonely cramped and pathetic mind of the village idiot atheist is proof positive that man descended from  lower forms of life.

Pathetic, tool.

Posted by: moronizer at October 01, 2008 07:06 AM (OeLz9)

81

Pointing out that I'm a dick does not make god real.

 

 

No it merely confirms you are a douche. I'm the Dick here.

Posted by: Dick_Nixon at October 01, 2008 07:07 AM (kaOJx)

82 Ha! What a tough guy, Maher. Such courage to take on those hostile, hateful, violent Christians.... Radical Islam however - well, that's just their culture and we can't dare question that. What a gutless coward.

Posted by: whatthecrap? at October 01, 2008 07:10 AM (OW1jF)

83

61 AndrewGurn - I'll take a shot at this  

1 my whole extended family are ultra-old-school-the-bible-is-literal-types who continue to astound me with their stupidity

Fair enough. I'm a devout Christian ...and I actually do understand the emotion behind that statement (especially since it was one I used to make during my agnostic period from age 14 to 42, and for pretty much the exact same personal experience: let alone the pure annoyance, there are some pretty stupid fucks - who do more fucking harm than good - in their particular profession of their Christianity). But.

Your sample is too limited and way too anecdotal to base an intellectual  rationale upon. By your reasoning, you'd be making fun of practically every damn field of every damn thing humans participate in than, wouldn't you?

But you do not base your view of all science upon the fucking idiots who've participated in it, or your view of finance by the fucking idiots who've participated in it, or your view of entertainment by the mutha-fucking who've participated in it ...etc., etc., etc. than, do you?

No: if you have an opinion on anything at all in the diverse subjects that interest you, you base it upon the intelligent and admirable people who've done and/or written and/or advanced that field and are the very best examples of that human activity.

I'll list one example only. Go out read what Albert Einstein had to say about politics sometime. You'll find he was an astonishingingly inept fucking idiot when it came to political shit (a veritable lefty moonbat, indeed). Even one of the brightest humans ever can make a piss poor example.

I don't frickin' care if you want to continue wallowing in your insular attitude toward Christians (and am both amused by it and sympathetic enough to give you a pass, actually: been there, done that) based upon your anecdotal reality ...but that does NOT make your thoroughly uninformed (and smugly anti-intellectual) opinion any more of a valuable foundation for someone else's view of Christianity than it does your presumably in-bred relatives' equally - and equally obviously - uninformed performance of Christianity.

In your own words: The reason I don't make fun of other religions as much is because I don't know shit about them and I don't know of anyone who practices any of them. You don't know shit about Christianity, either kiddo ...because you've made the elementary error of a typical freshman and based your observation on too small a sample.

...don't [continue to] compound the error with a smug and offensive attitude of elitest inherent superiority: your shit smells as badly as everyone else's. Including the brutish idiots who turned you off to one of history's few shining moral philosophies by spouting such inept nonsense. Please.

Start by Googling "anecdotal evidence" ...and get back to me in a few years when your public opinion doesn't make you come off an uninformed boor grasshopper.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 07:13 AM (zewwG)

84 Whats the over/under on this film?

$9 million seems a reasonable guess.

Posted by: 13times at October 01, 2008 07:14 AM (ZvNJR)

85
Just to throw in 2 cents: there are republicans who are atheists.  I am one.

Posted by: dandoz at October 01, 2008 07:28 AM (WULfn)

86 ...not sure if you meant that to be a very droll and apt witticism, dandoz ...but it was anyways. Heh.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 07:41 AM (zewwG)

87 "It's the nature of the people who are not believers that they're individuals, they're individualistic."

Yes!  We're all individuals

Posted by: Big crowd of "individuals" chanting in unison at October 01, 2008 07:58 AM (2jQGY)

88 A. Gurn,
Wanted to weigh in.  
Fortunately just watched davis,br absolutely devour your lunch, ravish your date and eat every fortune cookie in the restaurant.  Following that, I got nuthin'.

Posted by: Captspaulding at October 01, 2008 08:10 AM (lWIm4)

89 Milesdei at October 01, 2008 12:03 PM (ACHxk) Come on man. The Anthropic principal is a piece of crap. I'd explain, but why restate what has already been so well said?: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CI/CI301.html davis,br at October 01, 2008 12:13 PM (zewwG) So what you're saying is that there are good and bad and I know that. I do know some Christians who don't get in my face about it and I don't ridicule them for their religion. I generalize on the internet because I'm lazy.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 08:17 AM (BX9uS)

90 Why did he do this and not PizzBoy Part2?

Posted by: SHark at October 01, 2008 08:18 AM (M7Awp)

91

The roulette argument is not credible. You assume that there can only be a infinite positive outcome or a neutral outcome for the true believer of a particular faith. Let's say instead that not only are you wrong, but your religious decision offends the mighty Sponge God who takes his wrath out on you for all eternity. But in this stupid example Sponge doesn't mind the atheist or even rewards him because he likes being ignored. So your outcome is infinitely worse. You can make up an infinite number of scenarios none of which are any more valid than any other and all of which can have outcomes of whatever arbitrary value you assign to them.

You can't make an expected value calculation in your example without making the same kind of assumptions that you are trying to prove. So while you might be right, the betting example doesn't prove it and doesn't even seem like believing on that basis is the kind of thing that the typical person's concept of God would reward anyway.

And I don't think I'm smarter than everyone. I'm smarter than some, not as smart as others. Clearly, smart people and dumb people can be religious or atheist. You don't have to be arrogant to not believe in religious or supernatural powers outside of our existence. I think it is impossible to know about something that exists or doesn't exist outside of the obserable universe. Especially when you have so many examples of others around you who are equally certain that their different beliefs are the only true way. While the fact that you can't all be right doesn't prove that a specifical faith is wrong, it does mean that at least some possessing the very strongest faith are completely wrong about everything and are leading others onto the same wrong path and away from whatever the correct path is. I think the saving grace here is that good things can come from people whether relgious or not.

 

 

Posted by: Prindle at October 01, 2008 08:19 AM (2Ynt1)

92

#25 Booben rightly points out that Maher is a "weepy asshole."

After reeling in horror from the image those words conjured, I decided to do the good-Samaritan thing, so I suggest that Maher try this time-honored remedy for a weepy asshole:

"Go pound salt up your ass."

The salt's dessicant properties will not only stop the weeping, but repeated and vigorous application of this remedy should preclude a reccurence of the condition.

Posted by: doc_benway at October 01, 2008 08:21 AM (o1jjp)

93 ^ Or even a "recurrence."

Posted by: doc_benway at October 01, 2008 08:22 AM (o1jjp)

94 Why are we mad?  Are we mad at Mahler for glibly making fun of Jews, Muslims, and Christians?  Or are we mad at the NYT critic for commenting that Mahler's glib style in making fun of Jews and Muslims (BOTH, not just Muslims as Ace wrongly suggests) is a out of place given the depth and seriousness of the disagreement in the Middle East?

Doesn't really make much sense to be mad at both.  Mahler seems to be an equal opportunity offender here.  So what is the beef with him?

Help a brother out.

Posted by: Seattle Slough at October 01, 2008 08:36 AM (H5l9d)

95

Mahler seems to be an equal opportunity offender here. 

No he is not. That's the point.

Posted by: polynikes at October 01, 2008 08:48 AM (m2CN7)

96 Seattle: I mentioned that in my first post before every fucking poster decided to turn against me for my religious (non)beliefs. Mahr does suck, but it's the critic who's the pussy in this case, not Mahr.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 08:53 AM (BX9uS)

97 Oh, and atheism is not a belief system and is not an act of faith.  We wouldn't say that those who don't believe in Big Foot share a belief system.  Us Big Foot deniers (and we are legion) do not refuse to believe in Big Foot as a matter of faith. 

We do so because there is absolutely no proof whatsoever (outside incredible eye witness testimony) that Big Foot exists.  None.  And extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  There is none that Big Foot exists and therefore, it is rational to believe that he is imaginary.

Additionally, although many of us share this disbelief in Big Foot, there is nothing inherent in this disbelief to bind us together.  There can be no shared ideology between us due to the fact that we think Big Foot is a myth.

Now replace Big Foot with your or anyone else's God and you get the point.

I don't not believe in God because I choose not to.  I don't believe in Him because He is imaginary.  I don't take it on faith that He isn't there.  He simply isn't there, I don't need to believe anything.

Posted by: Seattle Slough at October 01, 2008 08:58 AM (H5l9d)

98 Polynikes:

How so?  What are you basing this on?  Did you read ace's post?  Or did you just see the name Bill Maher and assume he was picking on Christians.  Because ace's beef was that the critic (not Maher) took umbrage with Maher's treatment of Jews and Muslims, but was fine with his treatment of Christians.  Ergo, he took shots at all and the critic holds an Anti-Christian bias.  Not Maher.

Posted by: Seattle Slough at October 01, 2008 09:01 AM (H5l9d)

99

Here's a cartoon by David Horsey that will get you blood boiling.  Did you know that the Governor of Alaska is an idiot and Joe Biden is a fucking genius?

In the comments to the cartoon, lots of libs say that "Palin believes the earth is 6000 years old because her church does".  I guess that means Joe Biden thinks the Pope is infallible, and Barack and Michelle Obama hate America then right?  That's what their churches say, dammit!!  And I don't buy the crap about how Obama renounced his church - he did nothing of the kind - he ran from it after 20 years when its true nature accidently came out!

David Horsey is a POS.

Posted by: sherlock at October 01, 2008 09:11 AM (cq3pU)

100 Seattle Slough,

Not bad, but your comparison between belief in God and "belief" in Big Foot is specious. Big Foot may or may not be real. Like the universe, the house I live in is real. I have never seen the architect or the builder of the house, but the very existence of my house strongly suggests that "architects" and "builders" are not merely functions of the imagination.

Could the universe have built itself? Ex nihilo? Maybe. There are theories that suggest the possibility. But in the absence of any evidence that such a phenomenon is possible, you are reduced to believing in it, over and against the competing belief that the Architect and Builder is none other than God Almighty. And what, my friend, is faith, if not belief in the absence of evidence?

Posted by: Milesdei at October 01, 2008 09:18 AM (ACHxk)

101 Milesdei at October 01, 2008 02:18 PM (ACHxk) Your understanding of the term theory in a scientific context is off. You seem to imply that theories are nothing more than guesses, while the true definition is that a theory is a group of coherent facts and principals used to explain a certain phenomenon. In other words, it's an explination based off collective human knowledge. As opposed to how your ilk explain things, which is, "LOL GOD DID IT".

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 09:24 AM (BX9uS)

102 Also, many theories continue to prove themselves again and again in practice. But hey, to you, gravity is only a theory, same with germ theory and atomic theory.. so I guess they don't count. Go sit in a nuclear reactor for a while.. you'll be fine. Stupid scientists and their theories.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 09:26 AM (BX9uS)

103 Whats the over/under on this film?

$9 million seems a reasonable guess.

$9 million for what? How much it cost to make, how much it's going to earn, or how much it's actually worth?

Posted by: OregonMuse at October 01, 2008 09:41 AM (FO+YO)

104 Andrew,
What did I tell you about educating yourself lest you beclown yourself?

In other words, it's an explination based off collective human knowledge.

I never said that theories are nothing more than guesses. If you read my post, which is clearly beyond the sixth-grade level at which you seem to be mired, I acknowledged the possibility of a self-creating universe, which possibility I acknowledge because mathematical models reasonably suggest the possibility. But a theory, sirrah, is only a possible explanation, and in the absence of proof, cannot be admitted into the realm of FACT. You seem to be confusing the two.

For example, and I will keep this simple for your benefit, "collective human knowledge" "explained" the apparent motion of the sun around the earth by theorizing that the earth is at the center of the universe. No proof that it was so: the theory was based solely on observation. And it was wrong. So, theories can be based on (not off) facts, or what appear to be facts, but until the theory is proven by means of repeated experimentation, you take it on faith that it is true, or not. Now, my theory that God exists based on my observation of the universe is just that--a theory--which I believe in the absence of any compelling evidence to the contrary. That is faith. You and your ilk believe otherwise, also in the absence of compelling evidence, and that, poor fool, is also faith.

Posted by: Milesdei at October 01, 2008 09:47 AM (ACHxk)

105

SS - Oh, and atheism is not a belief system and is not an act of faith

That was simply moronic (if hardly unexpected, given the source). A "belief" in Big Foot isn't a valid analogy to introduce about a cosmological argument that essentially centers around a difference in Beginnings. And atheism is of course a fucking non-ecumenical belief system that requires inherent faith to believe its tenets ...and the observation that atheists may indeed have differing "doctrinal" differences: what a surprise (not).

...like the "philosopy" of science as far as that goes.

Every damned thing people profess requires some degree of faith. The only real difference between belief systems is that some of us know we're sitting in a pew and listening to a fucking sermon ...others are so absolutely clueless it's almost painful. 

Don't try to teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

_____________________

AndrewGurnSo what you're saying is that there are good and bad and I know that.

No. That's precisely not what I said. I said there is stupid and there's smart, and/or valid and invalid, knowledgable or ignorant ...and at least intimated that there's rational and irrational. I wasn't changing your argument to some stupid moral observation on the behaviour of good Christians vs. bad Christians (which has so many levels of oxymoronisms that it boggles). You either missed the whole damn point, or you're being both facile and evasive. I've no idea which, yet.

I do agree with  your statement about yourself that I generalize on the internet because I'm lazy.

Obviously.

I, uh, think that's all I was pointing out originally, actually.

But I didn't "turn" against you (I've never heard of you before, dude) because of your lack of religious belief: no, I simply pointed out that the basis of your stated critique was idiotic.

I don't fucking care what you base your belief on. This is AoS, after all. We like pointing out when someone is acting like a clueless fuck. Thanks for the opportunity.

 

Hmm. You were all preachy and self-righteous too, now that I reflect on't. Disappointed that I originally missed that, I am. 'Spect it was caused by one of my many character flaws actually.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 09:48 AM (zewwG)

106

Milesdei,

Your house argument doesn't make sense to me. What strongly suggests that architects and builders exist is the fact that you can see them, read about them, talk to people who know them, see the schools they come from, tax them, and that the house itself would be filled with millions of pieces of evidence that architects and builders exist and all of these things would corroborate each other. In this case, belief is more akin to seeing the house and all the evidence of its human erection (heh) but believing on faith that the architect and builder don't exist and that the house was created miraculously through an otherwordly force.

Hey, anyway, is there any good reason to believe that the original state of things was nothingness rather than something? Perhaps nothingness is a fictional, fundamentally impossible state to exist or achieve. If matter and energy can't be destroyed and we have matter and energy now, isn't it possible that they always existed and didn't need to be created because they always were? The answer to what existed before the big bang? Something else that led to the big bang going on and on infinitely back through time because there was no way for it to be otherwise. Or maybe the answer is 42.

Posted by: Prindle at October 01, 2008 09:51 AM (2Ynt1)

107 The thing about acausal cosmologies (a.k.a, theories about Creation of the Universe without God) is that they are ultimately unverifiable. So, believing there is no God is an act of choosing to believe in that which is unverifiable.


Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 10:00 AM (d2fuu)

108 Bingo.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 10:02 AM (zewwG)

109 Also, atheism does well among those with short attention spans. Understanding God requires a hell of a lot of study and contemplation, a lifetime, really. Atheism apparently requires only the mouthing of a few glib slogans. It's always easier to dismiss that which requires effort to understand.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 10:09 AM (d2fuu)

110

Nothing give me greater giggles than when atheists trot out their "I don't BELIEVE God doesn't exist, he simply doesn't exist! DUR!" argument, then sit back like satisfied three-year-olds on the pot for the first time.

Because, you know, no believer has ever said "I don't BELIEVE in God, God is real. In fact, He is the only thing that really is real." Us dum clingers cain't master sech rhet-oh-ricul deftness *spit*.

 

Posted by: Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 10:12 AM (V0QP1)

111

Hey, anyway, is there any good reason to believe that the original state of things was nothingness rather than something? Perhaps nothingness is a fictional, fundamentally impossible state to exist or achieve. If matter and energy can't be destroyed and we have matter and energy now, isn't it possible that they always existed and didn't need to be created because they always were? The answer to what existed before the big bang? Something else that led to the big bang going on and on infinitely back through time because there was no way for it to be otherwise. Or maybe the answer is 42.

In other words, you have no fucking idea.  Therefore, there is no God.

Am I missing anything?

 

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at October 01, 2008 10:12 AM (bu0Ek)

112 davis,

I don't profess to understand the "Beginning" of the universe.  I don't profess to understand whether the universe even has a "Beginning." (stick that in your pipe and smoke it). 

Being an athiest doesn't mean I have an alternate belief in how the universe began to say nothing of sharing such a belief with another athiest, who might believe we are living in the fucking Matrix for all I know.  Others might think that the universe always was and simply cycles through time forever.  Still others, like me, might think, who the fuck cares, it is unknowable and why waste time thinking about it.

Doesn't matter.  I haven't taken it on faith to accept some ancient explanation for the beginning of the universe.  You have.  That is the difference between you and me.  You swallowed something.  GULP!  I didn't. 

Posted by: Seattle Slough at October 01, 2008 10:20 AM (H5l9d)

113

SS I don't profess to understand the "Beginning" of the universe.

Dude. That's so obvious.

You know you just changed the subject - again - to All About Seattle Slough, right? - Why you'd think I'd find that a fascinating topic is beyond me.

And even tho' from the rest of your comment it's equally obvious the effort will be wasted, I'm going to suggest try googling "agnostic" to get some insight into yourself.

Scary thought, that.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 10:28 AM (zewwG)

114 Socky at October 01, 2008 03:09 PM (d2fuu) The thing about acausal cosmologies (a.k.a, theories about Creation of the Universe without God) is that they are ultimately unverifiable. So, believing there is no God is an act of choosing to believe in that which is unverifiable. That's a derp answer if I've ever seen one. Of course, nothing can ever proved beyond of a shadow of a doubt, it's simply impossible. That doesn't mean we should ignore it. That is why we take in all the knowledge we can and take a shot at figuring it out.. and ultimately, that knowledge can be applied to things we can measure and observe in the present. Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 03:12 PM (V0QP1) I have nothing to add to the discussion so I'll make some ad homonym attacks in the snoottiest was I can. oh hai i fix'd your post

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 10:29 AM (BX9uS)

115

EofJ In other words, you have no fucking idea.  Therefore, there is no God. Am I missing anything?

Yes.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 10:30 AM (zewwG)

116

"The answer to what existed before the big bang? Something else that led to the big bang going on and on infinitely back through time because there was no way for it to be otherwise. Or maybe the answer is 42."

Except the real answer is "There is no BEFORE the Big Bang, because there is no TIME before the Big Bang, merely all matter and energy condensed into a single spot smaller than an atom. Given Heisenberg's demonstration of the fact that the location of an electrion is impossible to verify, what could have been going on with that infinitesimal pre-Universe is by defnition an Unanswerable Question.

Also, given that at low enough levels, matter ceases to be have like matter and becomes indistinguishable from energy, we find ourselves wondering if there really is any there there at all.

Also, since all matter and all energy = the Universe, the cause of the Big Bang must be some force that from outside that Universe, unless we're prepared to throw the Laws of Thermodynamics out the window. And if we are, the whole something out of nothing thing seems a lot less implausible."

Just trying to help.

Posted by: Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 10:31 AM (V0QP1)

117

Heh.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 10:34 AM (zewwG)

118

BTW, it's "ad hominem" unles you think I was argining against words that sound the same.

Because if so, hey, more giggles.

Posted by: Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 10:34 AM (V0QP1)

119 Billy Maher hates religions that say he ought not to yank his wee-wee.

Billy will fight for the rest of his life for his inalienable right to yank his wee wee.

That's all this is really about.

Posted by: OregonMuse at October 01, 2008 10:35 AM (FO+YO)

120 Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 03:34 PM (V0QP1) That was auto-spellcheck doing that. You really aren't going to stoop to that level, are you? :/

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 10:37 AM (BX9uS)

121 Andrew the Noisy... some physicists think quarks are nothing more than vibrations in space-time. Which would mean everything in the material universe is made out of nothing.

And Seattle Slough eminently proves my points about atheists and short attention spans. He has no interest in studying cosmology or theology, but he is ever willing to assert that those who *have* and have reached different conclusions than he are stupid.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 10:38 AM (d2fuu)

122 I like the Book of Job during arguments like this:

"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to Me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

We are all fools for a day, and then disturb our fellow men no more.

Posted by: toby928: Caesarist at October 01, 2008 10:40 AM (evdj2)

123 "argining" should be "arguing". So, there's a free pass on the "ad hominem" thing. I have seen the pwnage, and it was me.

Posted by: Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 10:41 AM (V0QP1)

124 Socky at October 01, 2008 03:38 PM (d2fuu) some physicists think quarks are nothing more than vibrations in space-time Keyword highlighted. Show me a link or something. I seriously doubt any credible physicist contends this, since quarks rotate and have an electrical charge. So much for studying.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 10:43 AM (BX9uS)

125

 some physicists think quarks are nothing more than vibrations in space-time. Which would mean everything in the material universe is made out of nothing.

Exactly. And what holds "nothing" together? Why, it must be something Beyond Nothing (Nietzche, call your office)!

Gosh, that whole Baltimore Catechism thing about the Universe being kept in existence by The Will of God suddenly sounds way less silly than it used to. But I will studiously ignore it. Oldthinkers unbellyfeel science.

Posted by: Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 10:49 AM (V0QP1)

126 davis:

re:  all about Seattle Slough

My subject (which I have not changed) is that atheism is not a belief system.  You stupidly and presumptuously called this statement "moronic."

And regardless of whether you agree with this statement or not, since I do not believe atheists share a belief system (outside of single obvious non-belief) I can't rightly speak for "atheists" and what "they" believe, now can I?  No, I can ONLY speak for myself.  And by speaking for myself I can attempt to demonstrate ways in which my pathetic understanding of the "Beginning" of whatever it is you pathetically claim to understand has a beginning has no connection to the understandings of other atheists.  Therefore, we do not share a belief system.  See how that works?

Socky says:  "believing there is no God is an act of choosing to believe in that which is unverifiable." (to which you say "Bingo").  WRONG.  You do not have to have a cosmological belief (and may even be agnostic as to such beliefs) to be an atheist.  I specifically avoid believing in things which are unverifiable.  Like God. 

And Socky, it is neither easy nor difficult to be an atheist.   One's understanding of any aspect of our existence may be as studiously learned or left utterly undeveloped as one wishes. Unlike religion which hands one a pat answer for all of life's difficult questions (even life's impossible ones).

Posted by: Seattle Slough at October 01, 2008 11:00 AM (H5l9d)

127 AtN the bigger question is why should anything exist anyway? Logic would suggest that a Cosmology, absent a force of creation, would be biased toward nothing rather than everything.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 11:01 AM (d2fuu)

128

AG But hey, to you, gravity is only a theory

i can haz theory of gravitee? who knew. must tellz ceiling cat.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 11:02 AM (zewwG)

129 Unlike religion which hands one a pat answer for all of life's difficult questions (even life's impossible ones).

A statement like that proves your ignorance of religion. People have devoted lifetimes of study within the framework of religion to resolve difficult questions. It is, in fact, atheism, that has the easy pat answer, "There's no God," which requires absolutely nothing in the way of study, devotion, or discipline.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 11:03 AM (d2fuu)

130 SS ...well, I was right. The effort was wasted. Buh-bye SS. Yawn.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 11:05 AM (zewwG)

131 Technically, gravity is a theory, because even though its properties are well documented, there is still much dispute over exactly how it works. Super string theory, which I alluded to earlier, is one attempted explanation.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 11:06 AM (d2fuu)

132 Socky at October 01, 2008 04:03 PM (d2fuu) "There's no God," which requires absolutely nothing in the way of study, devotion, or discipline. Wow. How about the last 2000 years of scientific progress to explain the nature of the universe without the argument from incredulity that is god? davis,br at October 01, 2008 04:02 PM (zewwG) You are the cancer that is killing /b/.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 11:09 AM (BX9uS)

133 Socky at October 01, 2008 04:06 PM (d2fuu) Technically, gravity is a theory That was my point: calling something a theory does not invalidate it.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 11:11 AM (BX9uS)

134

It is, in fact, atheism, that has the easy pat answer, "There's no God," which requires absolutely nothing in the way of study, devotion, or discipline.

Worse: there's no recognition at all of the inherent lack of internal consistency to its rationale by the supplicants ...which is truly annoying.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 11:13 AM (zewwG)

135 Wow. How about the last 2000 years of scientific progress to explain the nature of the universe without the argument from incredulity that is god?

Only atheists are arguing that one precludes the other. Science is useful for understanding the mechanics of the universe. But it is woefully inadequate in addressing meaning or morality.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 11:15 AM (d2fuu)

136 OK, only atheists and radical Muslims are arguing that one precludes the other. The bishop of my ward is the lead researcher on a project to develop advanced artificial limbs for soldier amputees? Is he ignorant of science? Another member is a multi-lingual trauma surgeon. Is he ignorant of science?

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 11:17 AM (d2fuu)

137

Technically, gravity is a theory, because even though its properties are well documented, there is still much dispute over exactly how it works.

Perhaps I've not been paying attention. I had no idea that we'd already arrived at an accepted Theory of Gravity ...I certainly didn't think string theory was quite that far along. It is falsifiable than? My sincerest apologies to Ceiling Cat.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 11:20 AM (zewwG)

138 Touche.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 11:24 AM (d2fuu)

139 Socky at October 01, 2008 04:15 PM (d2fuu) But it is woefully inadequate in addressing meaning or morality. Not really. Humans evolved as social creatures. Interaction = benefit. Morality is an offshoot of that. Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 04:17 PM (d2fuu) OK, only atheists and radical Muslims are arguing that one precludes the other. The bishop of my ward is the lead researcher on a project to develop advanced artificial limbs for soldier amputees? Is he ignorant of science? Another member is a multi-lingual trauma surgeon. Is he ignorant of science? You're either misunderstanding me or I you. You said, ""There's no God," which requires absolutely nothing in the way of study, devotion, or discipline.", which to me implied that you were saying that wothout god, science would never be studied.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 11:25 AM (BX9uS)

140

"the argument from incredulity that is god?"

This is the worst of all. The argument isn't from incredulity, it's from philosophy: "the Universe would seem to be like this, therefore what?"

We've had an explosion of data in the last few centuries, so the first part of that statement has needed refining. But the basic argument of causality isn't destroyed by Darwin or Hubble or anyone else, merely expanded.

Posted by: Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 11:27 AM (V0QP1)

141

Sorry Socky, I didn't mean to sound snarky ...I was hoping that something actually had happened along those lines, and I have not been paying close attention lately, hence the question.

...been quite enjoying this, y'know. And I know I shouldn't enjoy it quite so much ...

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 11:29 AM (zewwG)

142

"Humans evolved as social creatures. Interaction = benefit.Morality is an offshoot of that."

So morality is nothing more than the calculated benefit of social stability.

All hail the General Will, then.

Posted by: Andrew the Noisy at October 01, 2008 11:31 AM (V0QP1)

143 In the world of the internet argument, whoever sticks around the longest wins. And since I'm about to leave work, my nightly ritual of touching myself and drinking till I pass out is about to start. That leaves little time for debate. So enjoy your victory. Also, davis. Stop being an "I can has cheezburgr" fag. Long cat > "Ceiling cat". In the words of the internet, you fail.

Posted by: AndrewGurn at October 01, 2008 11:31 AM (BX9uS)

144 Yeah, you better run!

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 11:41 AM (d2fuu)

145

Long cat is greater than Ceiling cat? How droll very kind of you to point it out. But do enjoy yourself this evening AndrewG (pun, as always, intended ...but the sentiment equally so).

/thread

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 11:55 AM (zewwG)

146

EOJIn other words, you have no fucking idea.  Therefore, there is no God.

Am I missing anything?

Yes, you are missing something. I don't think you'll find such a "therefore" in my post. You are correct that I don't believe there is a God but I certainly wouldn't use the questions I posed about nothing / something as an argument. I would say that you have no fucking idea (or at least proof of any kind) either but choose to believe in a very precise, narrow solution to the exclusion of all others.  Am I missing anything? Oh yeah, you're a douche.

Socky Also, atheism does well among those with short attention spans. Understanding God requires a hell of a lot of study and contemplation, a lifetime, really. Atheism apparently requires only the mouthing of a few glib slogans. It's always easier to dismiss that which requires effort to understand.
Being new here, does the name Socky mean SockPuppet and you are intentionally being this arrogant? I don't have trouble understanding your belief. I got it. I have trouble believing the supernatural part of your belief. I would not challenge that as a philosophical and intellectual pursuit one could spend a lifetime contemplating it, receiving value and understanding from it. But I don't think you have to believe in religion to have purpose or engage in intellectual pursuits.

AndrewtheNoisy - thanks for the point on there not being any time before the big bang. The part of my post you referenced though was meant more as a question. For me, its hard to conceive of something from nothing (whether in the context of being religious or being an atheist) so the latter half of my post was meant to ask if nothing must precede something. I guess if there is no such thing as before the big bang though than there wasn't ever nothing and there was always something?

I hate that we'll never know (yes, according to my beliefs).

 

 

Posted by: Prindle at October 01, 2008 01:29 PM (2Ynt1)

147 Yeah Maher is such a tough guy - go to Gaza, Ramallah, Rawalpindi, Khartoum, Jakarta, Tehran and try to ask questions about Mohammad's (Piss Be Unto Him) sex life.

Posted by: Scipio at October 01, 2008 01:48 PM (bePn5)

148 Some true believers — at least those who have a sense of humor about their faith — may even be amused. But most will not.

Irony.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at October 01, 2008 01:57 PM (0+Ggj)

149 What's ironic is that human experience over generation as warm gregarious herd animals has produced an abundance of social wisdom, wisdom which religion embraces and secularism rejects:

Monogamous commitment really is the optimal arrangement, it creates a stable environment in which to nurture children and prevents the spread of STD's.

Delayed gratification and self denial are good practices both for individuals and for society is a whole. Much of the economic trouble we have now is because some politicians got the idea that home ownership would lead to social responsibility, when it really needs to be the other way around.

Care for each other, care for your neighbors... works immensely better than relying on government bureaucrats.

Don't steal, don't lie, don't cheat, don't kill if you don't have to... good advice. Lying, cheating, and stealing are a big part of our problems. Secularism teaches that these are only problems if you get caught. Religion teaches that sooner or later, you will always be caught.

Posted by: Socky at October 01, 2008 02:33 PM (d2fuu)

150 Yeah, and to answer Maher's "tough" journalism with just as toughness, I'll tour colleges and ask militant atheists about their deep thoughts about why they're atheist. I'm sure that will make equally as "stimulating" film.

Maher made sure to only interview "Christians" that had wiffle bats, and perhaps non-existant faith. Come ask me you douchenozzle dwarf.

Posted by: Greg s at October 01, 2008 02:55 PM (x47Ed)

151 The discussion is long over, but I just want to point out that Kevin Smith happens to be a devout Catholic. No, really.

Posted by: kaz at October 01, 2008 04:57 PM (auJZJ)

152

The discussion is long over

Odd, that. Devout Catholic? Hunh.

The "discussion" is over. But I feel I owe Prindle a civil response (after totally screwing the pooch there, at least), and so I've spent the last two hours writing him what's turning into a stinking novel, so I'm sure as hell gonna post the thing. When I'm done. No, it might not get done tonight.

And I don't care if he reads it; that's not the point. It won't be any snark, and it won't break any new ground in the Beginnings debate ...but he asked and I missed the point entirely. So it's an apology of sorts.

Posted by: davis,br at October 01, 2008 05:28 PM (zewwG)

153 Ceiling Cat rulz!!!11!!one!!

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