One first wonders why he's even trying to have a reasoned discussion with me. According to Maher, I'm suffering from a mental disorder. Would MJ try to have a reasoned discussion with Charlie Cheswick?
So MJ's already helping us critique Maher.
Anyway, let's see what MJ has to say in defense of Maher:
Mr. Manata, I’ve read your movie review and was amused at your attempt to discredit Bill Maher’s intelligence. Last I checked, Cornell University doesn’t issue BA’s to the village idiot, which you slyly implied about him with your village atheist comment.First off, "Village Atheist" is a technical term. One can both be intelligent and a Village Atheist.
Secondly, universities do give degrees to village atheists. Sam Harris is recognized by many to be a paradigm case of a village atheist, yet he has a degree from Stanford. And I'm sure we don't need to discuss Dawkins's degrees.
Third, how come these atheist types don't like it when the shoe's on the other foot? MJ just got done watching a movie where he laughed at how stupid Christians were for an hour and a half. Now all of a sudden they don't like it when we call them religulous? This might be news to them, but I consider atheism to be irrational. See, I did laugh in the movie. I didn't laugh with Maher, I laughed at Maher. What really makes it funny is how smug and arrogant he is when his objections are such that my third grader could answer. When he walks around mispronouncing books of the Bible while mocking so-called ignorant Christians. When he shows he doesn't even understand some of the essential basics of the belief he attacks. Maher was funny because Maher was funny.
Fourth, MJ helps us, again, discredit Maher. Perhaps if he were more critical of what he swallowed from the New Atheists, he'd catch mistakes like these. See, Maher tells us that religious adherents are stupid. That they suffer from a mental disorder. That they are out to lunch if they believe the things they profess. That they are, well, "Religulous." But on MJ's own terms, Maher makes another boneheaded move here! How so? Let's look at some theists:
Marilyn McCord Adams Oxford
Robert M. Adams Oxford
William Alston Syracuse
James Anderson (degree from) University of Edinburgh, RTS
Jennifer Ashworth University of Waterloo
Harriet E. Baber University of San Diego
Deane Baker University of Natal, South Africa
Michael Beaty Baylor University
W. David Beck Liberty University
Francis Beckwith Baylor
Michael Bergmann Purdue University
Andrei Buckareff University of Rochester
J. Budziszewski University of Texas at Austin
Calvin College Philosophy Faculty
David K. Clark Bethel
Stephen Clark University of Liverpool
Matthew Clarke University of Natal, South Africa
Paul Copan Palm Beach Atlantic University
Winfried Corduan Taylor University
Jan A. Cover Purdue University
William Lane Craig Biola University
Charles L. Creegan
Thomas Crisp Biola University
George Cronk Bergen Community College
Richard Davis Tyndale College
Stephen T. Davis Claremont McKenna College
Scott A. Davison Morehead State University
Keith DeRose Yale University
Reinaldo Elugardo University of Oklahoma
C. Stephen Evans Baylor
Linda L. Farmer Wright State University
Alfred J. Freddoso University of Notre Dame
R. Douglas Geivett Biola University
Harry J. Gensler John Carroll University
Jonathan Gold West Liberty State College
Douglas Groothuis Denver Seminary
Stuart C. Hackett Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Glenn A. Hartz Ohio State University
William Hasker Huntington College
Kenneth Einar Himma University of Washington
Peter Horban Simon Fraser University
John Hawthorne - Oxford
Hud Hudson Western Washington University
Jim Kanaris McGill University
Robert C. Koons University of Texas at Austin
Jeffrey Koperski Saginaw Valley State University
K.D. Kragen KaveDragen, Ink.
Peter Kreeft Boston College
Norman Kretzmann Cornell University
Steve Kumar NZ Apologetics Society
Jonathan Kvanvig Baylor
Robert A. Larmer University of New Brunswick
William F. Lawhead University of Mississippi
Brian Leftow Oxford
Mark Linville Atlanta Christian College
Scott MacDonald Cornell University
Alasdair MacIntyre Notre Dame [ more ]
Ronald McCamy Moorpark College
Hugh McCann Texas A&M
Timothy J. McGrew Western Michigan University
Pat Manfredi Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
William E. Mann University of Vermont
Gary R. Mar SUNY Stony Brook
Christopher Menzel Texas A&M
Trenton Merricks University of Virginia
Scott H. Moore Baylor University
J. P. Moreland Biola University
Wes Morriston University of Colorado, Boulder
Paul K. Moser Loyola University of Chicago
Michael Muth Westminster College
Mark Nelson University of Leeds
Joseph Novak University of Waterloo
Timothy O’Connor Indiana University
Ric Otte University of California at Santa Cruz
Alan Padgett Luther Seminary
Alvin Plantinga University of Notre Dame [ more ]
Louis P. Pojman University of Mississippi
Alexander Pruss Baylor
Hilary Putnam Harvard [more]
Del Ratzsh Calvin College
Michael C. Rea University of Notre Dame
Bruce Reichenbach Augsburg College
Nicholas Rescher University of Pittsburgh [ more ]
Greg Restall University of Melbourne
Phil Ruetz University of Rochester
Thomas Senor University of Arkansas
Daniel Howard-Snyder Western Washington University
Francis Howard-Snyder Western Washington University
James S. Spiegel Taylor University
Eleonore Stump Saint Louis University
Michael Sudduth San Francisco State University
Frederick Suppe University of Maryland
William Sweet St. Thomas University
Richard Swinburne University of Oxford
Thomas Talbott Willamette University
Charles Taliaferro St. Olaf College
Gregg ten Elshof Biola University
William Tolhurst Northern Illinois University
Dale Tuggy SUNY Fredonia
Bas van Fraasen Princeton
Peter van Inwagen University of Notre Dame
Daniel von Wachter Oriel College (Oxford)
William F. Vallicella
Donald Wacome Northwestern College
William Wainwright University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Bernard Walker Bethel University
C. Robert Wetzel Emmanuel School of Religion
Barry Whitney University of Windsor
Phillip Wiebe Trinity Western University
Edward Wierenga University of Rochester
Peter S. Williams
Greg Welty (degree from) Oxford, SWBTS
Nicholas Wolterstorff Yale
David Yandell Loyola University of Chicago
Keith Yandell University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dean Zimmerman Rutgers University
Should I keep going?
And my guys don't just have "BA'S", they have "Ph.D's".
"I can’t speak for Bill Maher, but I know I agree with most of his observations."Wouldn't the fact that they are Bill Maher's "observations" mean that he agrees with them?
"I suppose it’s feasible the Wharton School accidently let me slide through their MBA program and that my intelligence should be eyed suspiciously, since I too have dared to question the legitimacy of all religious text."I have no doubt that both you and Maher are "intelligent." I never claimed otherwise. But when it comes to speaking on religion, I'm sorry, he just sounds ... well, friggin religulous!
"For the record, I’ve read them all: The Torah, The Bible and the Quran, as well as many books on Eastern religions."Good, then I assume you laughed right along with me at all of Maher’s blunders.
And, for the record, it's not a matter of simply "reading" the text, it's how you read it. But then I'm sure you knew that given your educational 'n all. Hermeneutics and exegesis matter, as I'm sure you know. So you'll understand why I'm never impressed when an unbeliever tells me, "I've read the Bible." And not merely because I rarely believe them. I mean, it's hard enough for Spirit-filled Christians to read through some portions of the Bible.
"And despite all my long thoughtful conversations with faithful and well educated Jews, Christians and Muslims, I’ve concluded that all religions do one thing: They require their believers to suspend logic and not question the contradictions or inconsistencies of their teachings."Well, anyone can make assertions like that. I might as well say the same about nonbelievers. And I'm sure you can make sense of normative claims like "People shouldn't believe contradictions," right?
"And they’ll all have you believe the reward for your self-imposed ignorance (or “faith” as we like to call it) is some mystical eternal after life and the punishment for thinking outside the box is fire and damnation."I'm sure you can document that the Bible teaches this ... emotive-laden words and question begging epithets included?
"I give credence to the possibility the seeds of these faiths may not have been planted as tools to manipulate their believers to do evil in God’s name, but history has shown that is exactly what their leaders have done; hijacked the faithful to fulfill their power hungry agendas."I refute this oversimplified view of the causes of evils in my post, you may want to interact with it.
So, you can nitpick Bill’s approach and presentation, both of which I found to be hilarious, but his argument that there is no proof outside of a holy text or in peoples minds that God exists is solid.Perhaps you can point me to where he argued that? The above theistic philosophers would disagree. And, by the way, are you saying that one is irrational if they don't believe something without proof? Do you believe that? Can you prove it? If you prove it, do you believe the proof? Then prove the proof. Ad infinitum... And, while we're at it, what is proof? How does one go about "proving" something in your worldview?
"You say the bible is based in history, and I do believe that to be true. But, have you ever read the American Indians version of how the white man came to rule the West? Not surprisingly, it’s very different than the white man’s version. The point being that just because someone wrote it down a long time ago does not automatically mean it’s the whole story or even the truth."Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's all rather a waste of your time considering the fact that the segment of my post you're referring to wasn't meant to be an argument. It was meant to be a correction and an explanation. The paragraph should have made that clear.
"We know there are books that were omitted from the Bible because a council of men decided that if they were included they would be too divisive. They decided what story to tell, and they manipulated the text to tell that story and that story alone. They even went so far as to try and destroy those texts, so no evidence of their existence could be found."Those are what's called bare naked assertions. Perhaps you can wrap your claims in some substance next time? For one so big on "proof," I, for one, would love to see the "proof" you have about the mental states of two-thousand year old men!
"So, since that’s all in recorded history, how does one believe beyond any reasonable doubt that the Bible is anything but the definitive word of the men who assembled it?"I reject your view of the history. Uh oh, now you have to actually defend your take on the events. You think you're the first person to raise these objections?
"Oh, that’s right; they don’t teach that part of the church’s history in Sunday school, so most Christians don’t know about it."No, actually, colleges and seminaries and Christian books address the very issue you're trying to raise. In fact, they go over it all in some detail. So it appears that you're the one who's getting spoon fed from only one side.