# O'Reilley pwns Atheism

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Doesn't work quite like that Mr. T. The guy with a sign standing on the corner may have an IQ just above snail. You? You are an intellectual with remarkable skills and power. Someone other than he may have written the sign because of his inadequacy. Feel blessed, not angry. The playing field? Even scooped to basement level, is of our own choosing.

Then again, he might not. Why aren't we protected equally by our rights and laws?

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Tripolation,   So suppose nobody had yet figured out what caused the tides. Would atheism be unjustified for everyone i.e., is that a gap that only a god could fill? If not (I assume not), why not?

Does God need to exist for this to be the case. Or just the belief in God?     How about "I'm so sorry." Everybody grieves in their own way, and find comfort in their own way. "We sent Spot to

I suspect that the majority of the atheists you've talked to, didn't respond to your theism at all. It's not like being an atheist means that they automatically care what you believe enough to try to

Then again, he might not. Why aren't we protected equally by our rights and laws?

That would make our lives too easy. We can't have that now can we?

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The guy interviewed by O'reilley seems to be one of those atheists that doesn't know why he is one, he just knows he's right. The American Atheist Association should have sent a representative more akin to Dawkins or Hitchens. A no holds barred scientific or logical debater that wouldn't let O'reilley get away with a premature victory announcement. Any freshman STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] student could have "tool-bagged" O'reilley on the tides question and switched the tables of the debate to question O'reilley why he thinks a God is necessary to explain the tides.

I would've asked for a sheet of paper and continued on to write:

$F_{g}=\frac{-GMm}{r^{2}}\hat{r}$

Then asked O'reilly: I can explain the tides, can you? I guess that makes me God.

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I would've asked for a sheet of paper and continued on to write:

$F_{g}=\frac{-GMm}{r^{2}}\hat{r}$

Then asked O'reilly: I can explain the tides, can you? I guess that makes me God.

You're too late. Tyson already explained them; He's God.

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Then again, he might not. Why aren't we protected equally by our rights and laws?

I'm not disagreeing with you just for the sake of doing so. But suppose the guy has an IQ of +150? Does it reall matter? Naa! People write books, essays and papers to get their word out. I disagree with half of what I read and see. Even of the other half, I am very skeptical. When these guys preach doom and gloom as Elmer Gantry did, I have to laugh. And when I read some of the latest hypotheses, I still have to laugh. Edited by rigney
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And in any case, if you do make that restriction then you remove any support you offered on your position that atheists act like religious people.

How so?

The guy interviewed by O'reilley seems to be one of those atheists that doesn't know why he is one, he just knows he's right.

This was precisely my point. He just knows he's an atheist. He doesn't know WHY. If he can't answer such a simple question, he's not equipped to understand the maths that explain the universe, thus, he's denouncing the existence of god(s) without any reason at all. He's trusting the people that are smarter than him, he has blind faith in them.

Of course the scientists and engineers he's listening to are right to an extent; I just don't get how someone can repeatedly call religion a scam when they do not understand one of the most basic tenants of physics, eg, gravity.

Edited by A Tripolation
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Of course the scientists and engineers he's listening to are right to an extent; I just don't get how someone can repeatedly call religion a scam when they do not understand one of the most basic tenants of physics, eg, gravity.

I only very vaguely understand how my computer works, but I still believe that it does, and I know that there are people who understand it far better than I do. That's not "blind faith," because the proof that it works and that others understand it is right in front of me.

What does that have to do with religion?

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If he can't answer such a simple question, he's not equipped to understand the maths that explain the universe, thus, he's denouncing the existence of god(s) without any reason at all.

You don't have to be omniscient to show that a god does not exist; you just have to make a prediction via theistic theory and falsify it. There are several fact of the universe that falsify the traditional western concept of the deity. Things like humans, reasonable nonbelief, and horrific suffering.

He's trusting the people that are smarter than him, he has blind faith in them.
On some things, yes. But so does everyone(although, I wouldn't call it 'blind' faith). No one has gone through and thoroughly examined all the evidence for every theory ever. Have you gone through and proved transistor theory or do you believe that transistors work the way the smart people tell you?

We're standing on the shoulders of giants, as they say. It's not blind faith, it's trust based on the fact that science works.

"SCIENCE! It works, bitches!"-Randall Monroe

You cannot extrapolate that his apparent ignorance on one scientific matter means he has no valid reasons for being an atheist.

I only very vaguely understand how my computer works, but I still believe that it does, and I know that there are people who understand it far better than I do. That's not "blind faith," because the proof that it works and that others understand it is right in front of me.

What does that have to do with religion?

Damn, you beat me to it. Kudos.

Edited by ydoaPs
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I'm not disagreeing with you just for the sake of doing so. But suppose the guy has an IQ of +150? Does it reall matter? Naa! People write books, essays and papers to get their word out. I disagree with half of what I read and see. Even of the other half, I am very skeptical. When these guys preach doom and gloom as Elmer Gantry did, I have to laugh. And when I read some of the latest hypotheses, I still have to laugh.

That's the point, though. Why is it bad form for an atheist to "proselytize" (with or without disdain), but it's fine for any religious person or group to do so?

"Anti-God is Anti-American" is pretty disdainful, is it not? How about "Atheists Hate America?" Does that register on the disdain-o-meter?

I'm not making these examples up

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A man with a sign saying I will burn in hell isn't insulting me, he's just asserting his opinion.

Since I'm sure his opinion is wrong I don't worry about him.

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A man with a sign saying I will burn in hell isn't insulting me, he's just asserting his opinion.

Since I'm sure his opinion is wrong I don't worry about him.

And saying organized religions are scams is an opinion.

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A no holds barred scientific or logical debater that wouldn't let O'reilley get away with a premature victory announcement. Any freshman STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] student could have "tool-bagged" O'reilley on the tides question and switched the tables of the debate to question O'reilley why he thinks a God is necessary to explain the tides.

Hm, this suggests to me an interesting debate tactic. When someone is trying to pull a god of the gaps, let them. Imply you don't know the answer, and ask them what that means. Let them say that your not knowing is proof god exists. Then explain to them that actually you do know and that they look silly making this sort of argument. Playing along with the god of the gaps argument by trying to explain is a losing strategy, because eventually they will find something you don't know, and in any case it could waste absurd amounts of time off topic and lose ground with people who don't understand your explanations.

How so?

That's what you offered as support for your claim that atheists act like the religious. I've said the same thing too, but only about some atheists. I call them religiously atheistic or evangelical atheists, depending on whether they're being dogmatic or preachy. But more importantly, that's only true of some atheists. There's plenty who don't go beyond what evidence and rationality suggests, but they're not given the spotlight.

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That's the point, though. Why is it bad form for an atheist to "proselytize" (with or without disdain), but it's fine for any religious person or group to do so?

"Anti-God is Anti-American" is pretty disdainful, is it not? How about "Atheists Hate America?" Does that register on the disdain-o-meter?

I'm not making these examples up

I would be a hypocrite to disagree with you. Both sides should move forward and not with the type of scornful attitude that requires 10 foot high Neon signs to make their point. As soon as you resort to this type of scorn, it creates a psychological barrier in the 'opponent'. I am used to seeing a low key poster effect outside churches in Great Britain and did not realise that the Americans like to broadcast their views in such an OTT manner. I am against any billboarding of religious, or anti-religious sentiment in this way. Why should all of us not try something radical and address other humans in a way that preserves their dignity as well as ours?

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I would be a hypocrite to disagree with you. Both sides should move forward and not with the type of scornful attitude that requires 10 foot high Neon signs to make their point. As soon as you resort to this type of scorn, it creates a psychological barrier in the 'opponent'. I am used to seeing a low key poster effect outside churches in Great Britain and did not realise that the Americans like to broadcast their views in such an OTT manner. I am against any billboarding of religious, or anti-religious sentiment in this way. Why should all of us not try something radical and address other humans in a way that preserves their dignity as well as ours?

It's tough trying to figure out who's right or wrong, especially when most of us are biased. But it would be fantastic, regardless of how one believes or disbelieves if we could work it out along Satchmo's idea of fairness.

Edited by rigney
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Here's one of O'Reilley and Dawkins, I'm sure there's more, besides the other Dawkins interview. I'm sure most have seen this but someone earlier said they'd like to see it.
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I only very vaguely understand how my computer works, but I still believe that it does, and I know that there are people who understand it far better than I do. That's not "blind faith," because the proof that it works and that others understand it is right in front of me.

What does that have to do with religion?

You know that it operates on electrical pulses. That's more than this guy knows about physics. And I'm not saying that not understanding something completely means you can't be an atheist, or that you're stupid. I'm saying that showing a lack of knowledge on even the most rudimentary topics means that you lose your ability to tell Christians that they're being taken in by a scam.

That's what you offered as support for your claim that atheists act like the religious. I've said the same thing too, but only about some atheists. I call them religiously atheistic or evangelical atheists, depending on whether they're being dogmatic or preachy. But more importantly, that's only true of some atheists. There's plenty who don't go beyond what evidence and rationality suggests, but they're not given the spotlight.

I agree it's only true of some atheists. I understand some atheists are not dogmatic in the slightest, and really couldn't give a damn about what people believe. My apologies for not clarifying that.

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I'm sure that the guy knows how tides work now; he probably went home and googled it. He probably knew what it was before he ever heard of Mr. O'Reilley, but a question that random probably threw him off-guard.

But the fact of the matter is that atheists don't have to be smart or educated or know how things work. Like ydoaPs said, atheism is just the lack of belief in a god.

Well, yes. I do think I am right now, and I am zealous about it. If zealousness is a fault, then all preachers are guilty. If advocacy is good, it is good for all of us.

Just because someone likes to talk about religion or debates religious people or anything like that, doesn't make them religious. If it did, then that would mean everyone is religious about anything they find interesting. Even though you said you would only call atheism a religion because it talks about God, it could easily be said that anything a person holds of great importance is their god. (In fact, I've seen christians say this first-hand.)

Edited by caharris
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You know that it operates on electrical pulses. That's more than this guy knows about physics. And I'm not saying that not understanding something completely means you can't be an atheist, or that you're stupid. I'm saying that showing a lack of knowledge on even the most rudimentary topics means that you lose your ability to tell Christians that they're being taken in by a scam.

It's enough that one has knowledge that others understand it. Tides are not a mystery to science, even of they are befuddling to O'Reilly and not well-understood by Silverman. And that really has nothing to do with one's ability to exercise free speech. The credibility of the speech perhaps, but who has more credibility in this case? The guy who only vaguely understands tides, or the guy asserting that nobody understands them at all?

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DH, Evidently you are a great advocate of the Mr. Ed Show. You know, the "Horses A--" on MSNBC? Visceral hatred is hard to comprehend, coming from such a learned person. And he calls FOX NEWS folks a bunch of nut cases? C'mon! And really coach, you aren't showing me much, if you; (WE Scientists and Engineers") latch on to Bill's jargon? I'd love to have his money! Wouldn't you?

I can't even remember the last time I watched MSNBC, so no, I am not a great advocate of the Mr. Ed Show, whatever that is. I do however watch Fox quite often. Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Greta Van Susteren are pretty good. Things go downhill from there. O'Reilly used to be pretty good, but he has become a pinheaded patriot as of late. His penchant for arguing with atheists and the incredibly bad god of the gaps style arguments he uses in those debates are exemplary of his slide.

Whether O'Reilly has lots of money is irrelevant. There are lots of ways to make lots of money, and morality, legality, and correctness has little to do with it. If anything I suspect that a person with a penchant for morality, legality, and correctness has significantly reduced odds of making oodles of money compared to someone with no such scruples. I'm not saying that O'Reilly came by his money by being immoral or performing illegal acts. I'm just saying that the fact that he makes a huge amount of money is not an indicator of the correctness of his arguments.

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It's enough that one has knowledge that others understand it. Tides are not a mystery to science, even of they are befuddling to O'Reilly and not well-understood by Silverman. And that really has nothing to do with one's ability to exercise free speech. The credibility of the speech perhaps, but who has more credibility in this case? The guy who only vaguely understands tides, or the guy asserting that nobody understands them at all?

He can say anything he wants. I agree that it's the credibility of speech that is affected.

And you're right that Bill O' Reilly is an idiot with no credibility. I just also think that Silverman is an idiot as well. IMHO, they both adamantly believe in a religion. Silverman just glosses his up with claiming to be a critical thinker. Yet the concept of gravity eludes him...

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You know that it operates on electrical pulses. That's more than this guy knows about physics. And I'm not saying that not understanding something completely means you can't be an atheist, or that you're stupid. I'm saying that showing a lack of knowledge on even the most rudimentary topics means that you lose your ability to tell Christians that they're being taken in by a scam.

Why? If I didn't have any idea how computers worked, would it be blind faith to believe that they do?

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IMHO, they both adamantly believe in a religion.

That's one of the issues. If someone says they don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, nobody (no adult, at least) has a problem with that nonbelief. But if they say they don't believe in God, that's somehow different.

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That's one of the issues. If someone says they don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, nobody (no adult, at least) has a problem with that nonbelief. But if they say they don't believe in God, that's somehow different.

It is quite different. The difference is that one is rejecting a specific instance of a supernatural being while strict atheism rejects all instances. There is a huge gap between a specific quantifier versus a universal quantifier.

Edited by D H
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It is quite different. The difference is that one is rejecting a specific instance of a supernatural being while strict atheism rejects all instances. There is a huge gap between a specific quantifier versus a universal quantifier.

As compared to a typical Christian, an atheist only believes in one fewer gods.

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Why? If I didn't have any idea how computers worked, would it be blind faith to believe that they do?

No. But it would make you stupid if you called a programmer who was trying to use an odd esoteric language to build AI or such a fool. They can't explain their computer. Their arguments have no merit.

As such, Silverman is in no place to tell me that my God does not exist. He can't explain tides. He's not someone whose opinion I would respect.

That's one of the issues. If someone says they don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, nobody (no adult, at least) has a problem with that nonbelief.

Yes. But the people who do not believe in the existence of those things do not go around raising billboards and preaching about the easily manipulated Christians, or their lack of the cognizant capacity to think rationally. They disbelieve and that's it. They see no reason to go about attempting to change peoples' minds via ad hom arguments.

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Yes. But the people who do not believe in the existence of those things do not go around raising billboards and preaching about the easily manipulated Christians, or their lack of the cognizant capacity to think rationally.

As has already been pointed out to you, the billboards are not actually about religion. In fact, I've not seen or heard of one that is "about the easily manipulated Christians, or their lack of the cognizant capacity to think rationally".

Again, this is a small subset and I think you're confusing the billboards with the 'preachers'. Because we all know that all theists are Mormons.

They disbelieve and that's it. They see no reason to go about attempting to change peoples' minds via ad hom arguments.

Ad hom arguments? Horrific suffering is an ad hom argument? Divine Hiddenness is an ad hom argument? The Anthropic Argument is an ad hom argument? Or are you once again grouping atheists together in an invalid manner? Despite what you might think, not all theists are Mormons.

Regardless, the whole billboard thing is entirely irrelevant to the thread.

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