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Richard Dawkins - Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly interviews Richard Dawkins author of The God Delusion . There were no real fireworks and Richard got the message out. Billo's arguments, design, Stalin was a bad dude, and I'm a Catholic and that's truth to me. Apparently Bill's only standard for truth is that he believes it. My only complaint, it was too short.




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It.s a 24 hour news network and they can.t devote more time to this? Oh, that.s right, gotta make time for all those flashy graphics...sheesh.

What a disgusting demagogue O'Reilly is. Please please please punch him, punch him hard.

Dear Mr. O'Reilly,

I wanted to respond to your recent interview with Mr. Richard Dawkins regarding Atheism. I was so excited to see him on TV as I am obviously a fan. Perhaps you should have read his book Sir. All of your rebuttals to Atheism were fully treated in his book and I feel that you are on the losing side.

For one, I do feel it is tragic that people such as yourself try to stereotype Atheists as immoral. This is a horrible argument for Christianity, in and of itself, but more importantly it is ridiculously false. I am an Atheist Sir. You will find no police record for me. No crimes, no violence, theft or tax evasion. You will find this in excess among Evangelical preachers, however. How dare you, Sir, pile all of us on a heap with the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. I think any honest Atheist would agree that bad men will be bad with or without religion. The sad thing about religion is it gives bad men a leg to stand on. When you can support your atrocities with scripture from Leviticus and Deuteronomy, you just may get more support.

My second point is to address how you feel that it takes Faith to be an Atheist. This is actually a joke Mr. O'Reilly. Deny for me that you were born an Atheist? The truth, as you and I both know, is that we are all born Atheists. We are indoctrinated to believe whatever beliefs are popular in our cultures regardless of any empirical, or objective evidence to support the ridiculous claims made in the Bible, or the Koran etc. It takes absolutely 0 faith, to see that there is no evidence for a god, and to conclude therefore that there is no reason for belief in one. Does it take Faith to believe there are no fairies, trolls, or a Lockness Monster Mr. O'Reilly?

The difference between men like you, at least in your religious preference, and Mr. Dawkins and myself, is that you accept a Truth merely because you desire it. It is definitely desirable to die and go to paradise. I'm sure thats what the 911 hijackers felt as well. And I mean no disrespect to compare you to them. You are most certainly not them. But the standard by which you determine your religious convictions is near identical. No Mr.O'Reilly, something is not True because it is Desirable. Something is True merely because it is. You may want Jesus to be you Lord and Saviour, and it may even be great if he is. But there is no logical reason to believe this is so. And you are left with scarred intellectual integrity.

Have a good day.

Sincerely,

James McDonald Miami, FL

Wow. That could have gone far, far worse. Dawkins came out looking a gentleman.

I'm sorry to say that but Dawkins looked insecure and slow when he is not any of those things.

Dawkins fell in the trap like a kid. He should have declined the invitation because you can not argue with a demagogue, being interrupted all the time and having just a minute to dismantle an idea tens of thousands years old .

O'Reilly never used any reasonable argument but he won the debate from an emotional point of view. I think that any believer not keen to think didn't doubt his faith, not even a mere second.

Wow... I waited all day for this. Roughly 4 minutes of Bill talking and Richard listening.

Don't the guests usually talk more than the hosts?

Bill is an even bigger ass now that I've learned that he's the, "Hey, if I believe it... It must be true." type.

Thanks for upping the video, Norm.

Nice letter, James.

Thank goodness I didn't watch this on broadcast and contribute to this moron's ratings. He even beat out my pathetic expectations.

Design? Pathetic.

More faith to be an atheist? Yeah, right.

Humility being a Christian moral? Please!

The cliche of "atheist" mass murderers? Even more pathetic.

And you're great clinching argument? The Founding Fathers used religion to cow the masses? That's supposed to mean anything but a cynical political move? Plus you even agreed they were secularists over anything -- so what's exactly your point here, or anywhere in this segment?

Ugh, total nonsense, as expected from Fox.

I made a thread on the interview at volconvo.com (an excellent debate site)

Come and debate!

Didn't realize that agnostics were defined as not having a belief in a higher power. In which case what is the difference between an agnostic and an atheist Bill? Obviously you name them separately which indicates a distinction, but then you lump them all together as non-believers - which does not fit with the definition I have always held for an agnostic - oh right, you wanted to bump your numbers. Tell you what, get a dictionary and figure it out and then come back to us and tell us how it all works out.

Wow, that was a let-down. Billow did his bit while his victim sat there and tried to get a sentence in edgewise. Business as usual. Dawkins tried speaking really quickly but that just made him look desperate.

People find this crap entertaining? What next, are they just going to watch a test pattern all day?

I didn't really expect Dawkins to come out looking victorious on the O'Reilly show, but I was at least a little bit surprised that there were no shouting matches. Bill used the same cliche arguments that have been rebuked to death: Hitler being an Catholic only early on in his life (nope, try again), Stalin was an atheist, faith consoles me, science has insufficient answers so Imma stick with Jebus, you can't disprove my beliefs, and then the rest was interrupting or just rambling nonsensical gibbrish while the guest sat quietly.

Old amateurish arguments put forth by O'Reilly.

I don't get it, why did Dawkins let O'Reilly's idiotic "well, you don't know how the world came to be, but my religion does" comment pass?

What was gained by that interview for Dawkins? I don't think a whole lot other than Fox News viewers got a chance to see that atheists are normal people just like everyone else. If that was the goal then fine. But O'Lielly talked for about 4 out of those 4 minutes and 40 seconds. Dawkins got no chance to explain anything or rebut anything that idiot said.

I dont understand this "atheism is bad because Stalin was a mass-murderer" shtick. Isnt the answer to that simply that Stalin didn't murder anyone in the name of atheism, while Christians and Muslims have and continue to murder people in the name of god or their religion?

I think Stalin and Osama are similar in that they both depend on a ridiculous and fundamentalist ideology to carry out their crimes, Communism in the case of Stalin, Islam in the case of Osama. One could even lump bush in there and say he has killed thousands of Iraqis in the name of another fundamentalist ideology I'd call Americanism.

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Richard Dawkins in one angry f*. :(

I thought Prof. Dawkins looked as if he knew precisely what his audience would be and how ill-tempered his interviewer could be. Thus he responded accordingly, making his point without awaking the hideous beast in O'Reilly or turning off any of the show's 60+ years demographic.

It was so predictable that O'Reilly would use post hoc ergo propter hoc since only the most ignorant would do so.

*Actually No Body, agnosticism is synonymous with non-belief according to the 2005 Oxford American Dictionary. I doubt seriously if O'Reilly actually knew what he was stalking about, it was on the TelePrompTer so he said it.

It sure was nice of Bill to invite Dawkins on to sit there and listen to him (Bill) babble.

O'Reilly is such a preening and sanctimonious jackass, without a doubt one of the most intellectually dishonest and vile sophists in major media. He would have made a great Jesuit orator in the Counter-Reformation.

His sneering and supercilious tone is such bad theater and fraught with a laughably chickenshit bravado that anyone with any sense can tell is as thin as his skin. The man is a buffoon and represents the ugliest attributes of so many quasi-literate Americans who suckle on the teat of right-wing sophistry simply because they are angry, ignorant, and frightened morons who will believe anything that panders so shamelessly to their ignorance, insecurity, and fears. They hate intellectuals because they can never be one. And it’s plainly obvious O’Reilly is the heroic über-boob of the boob tube for so many drooling anti-intellectual boobs.

Dawkins is obviously promoting his book, so he has nothing to lose matching wits with such a witless boob like O’Reilly. Maybe a couple of hardcore O’Reilly fans will actually buy The God Delusion despite their choking ignorance.

Dear Bill,

I'm not a Christian and even I know that Jesus is not God, as you said numerous times during your "interview". Jesus is acknowledged by multiple religions as a human, whether he be the son of god, a prophet, or just an average joe.

All my other points are included in the comments above.

I can do nothing but feel sorry for you sir. Your ignorance can only hurt you and those around you.

-B

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Dawkins was only identified as "Athiest," or as merely an author, but nowhere as an Oxford don.

That has to be the most civil O'Reilly interview of all time. No shouting matches, no cutting people off. I wonder if O'Reilly was freaking out inside "oh my god. He's completing his sentences. Somebody hold me."

"Jesus was a real guy"

I'm not so sure about that. With what I've heard about the Gospel of Judas as well as the rest of what I've learned about the early Christian church, I now think that the human Jesus is a myth.

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I am not a person who likes to make too greater judgements of others, but Bill O'Reilly..... what a pompus ass. The belittling attitude and ignorace he brings to all his 'discussions' just frustrates me. Regular viewers have either got to be there for a laugh or are the most depressing, mindless and authoritarian drones on the planet.

As a Christian, please no heckling, I am often confronted by atheist who are, put simply, morons. They adopt intellectual arguments which they have no understanding whatsoever of in an attempt to 'convert' me, which is incredibly frustrating. It is because of this that I was looking forward to this interview, Mr Dawkins always speaks with a degree of knowledge and clarity few can better, it is also why I regularly read this sites posts on the subject. I realise my beliefs may drop my credibility here to that of a 'Bushy' but I felt I needed to show that Christianity doesn't neccessarilly mean bigoted and closeminded opinions, as many posts by theists here and elsewhere may lead you to conclude.

"Being humble is a Christian virtue" -- coming from Bill O'Reily.... The irony abounds.

So Billo is basically saying that he wants the Atheists to do all the science and thinking and until then he's not going to think about anything and live in his fantasy world. Did Billo plan on making all believers look like ignorant dupes?

Billo fails to take note that Hitler was a Catholic, Stalin was Russian Orthodox and I don't know what the other two were but three out of four mentioned were Communists. Is Billo trying to make the argument that all Atheists are Communists? That's so 1950s.

For such a short interview Bill got a lot of things wrong but that's fairly typical with anything from the Fox Noise channel.

All I have to say is Richard Dawkins should have just gone on Stephen Colbert and saved himself some trouble.

'Truthiness' at its finest.

Mr. Mehoffer believes it, so it's true to him, and that's all that matters.

The lower third says 'Richard Dawkins : Athiest'

Shouldnt it have said 'Author'?

I thought that was funny.

one of the first really dumb things that Bill said was that Christianity is better because it provides more answers to life's questions than atheism does. however, that's really useless in none of those answers are right. i mean, a fortune teller will give you all the answers you want.. just not right ones.

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bill actually says he's not sure that jesus is god, he's just "throwing in" with his religion until dawkins and the science brigades can show him a more likely explanation for creation. (which dawkins seems fairly confident is just around the corner).

can't he be denied communion or something for showing such fickleness and religious oppurtunism on the air? i want to see him lose the smug so bad.

having said this, comparing the two mens beliefs based on this clip i think its pretty clear who more clearly resembles a religious man. bill is a mercenary and says as much, while dawkins comes off for all the world like a cleric with the deepest of convictions.

what an odd world.

and, as always, thanks for the post norm. i never would have had a chance too see this otherwise.

PLEASE PEOPLE~~!!

Stop calling that blotchy, rectal pustule "Sir"...

It only makes you look ridiculous ...at the same time you inflate that fetid zombies head...

He may very well have a pronounced trust, yet typically science produces this confidence from the repeatability of tests confirming hypotheses. What trust can Billo (or any theist for that matter) produce other than his wishful thinking?

Dawkins' "Moustache" counterexample was hilarious. Honestly, I think Dawkins outclassed O'Reilly, who-- despite monopolizing the conversation-- said some really outlandish stuff. I could tell Dawkins was getting frustrated with the nonsense... but that's what you get for going on Fox.

By the way, it makes me feel good inside to believe that my car emits rainbows and pixie dust instead of methane... so I guess that's true for me now and so I don't need to worry about global warming anymore. Hooray for intellectual relativism!

I'm just upset because I know a lot of dumb rednecks walked away from this one thinking that their boy scored another one for Jesus.

I actually think Dawkins handled this in the best way he could. The best that he could hope to gain out of this was allowing the fanbase of the Fox network to see that atheists aren't the frightening boogie men they've been told they are. And i really think he succeeded. His overall calm demeanor and attempts to explain rather than confront came off far better than if he had been as assertive as he usually is.

By actually arguing, he would have simply fit the stereotype and allowed himself to be demonized. I think he dealt with this brilliantly.

I actually think Dawkins handled this in the best way he could. The best that he could hope to gain out of this was allowing the fanbase of the Fox network to see that atheists aren't the frightening boogie men they've been told they are. And i really think he succeeded. His overall calm demeanor and attempts to explain rather than confront came off far better than if he had been as assertive as he usually is.

By actually arguing, he would have simply fit the stereotype and allowed himself to be demonized. I think he dealt with this brilliantly.

Isn't saying Stalin was Russian Orthodox a bit like saying Richard Dawkins is a devout member of the Church of England (or whatever else he might have been as a child)?

thanks for the post norm.

i for one am disappointed, but then again this is typical of the bill oreilly clips i see here...

i keep trying to imagine what his show looks like to those who already lean towards the christian right, how it affects their point of view. from my perspective bill is intelligent enough to sway them. i think he is actually quite influential.

i actually wish that thinking people simply boycotted fox tv and didn't legitimize it by their appearance on it.

I think Richard accomplished the two things we could reasonably expect from his appearance on O'liely. One that he is intelligent, reasonable, and an atheist, and two the promotion of his book. Some of Bill's audience will read it and benefit by the experience.

that was a pretty simple exchange that some of you knee jerks turned into a prize fight

Thanks Norm for the post. Doesn't matter than Bill proved Dick Dawkins wrong. He's still our infallible prophet to the most brillant insight of science, one that excludes heathen religion. Dawkins is sucha handsome aryan! Only smart people like us can understand god doesn't exist. Therefore, we should eliminate mentally-handicapped people who can't reason this.

Bean,

Is your post meant to be ironic in some way?

If not, you're clearly an idiot.

Would you like to clarify?

Bean, Maybe if you turned around and peered back out you would be able to see Bill's butt hair.

This sort of thing is what television has come to. I guess that is why I read my news online and actually read intelligent and well written books like the one produced by Richard Dawkins.

Of course Bean is being ironic, and clearly he is an idiot. He does have a point, though: many atheists tend to take a condescending attitude towards people who believe in a deity. The most urgent point, as I see it, is the question of secularism as regards government. Americans should never forget that their country was founded on the great principle of every man's right to believe in whatsoever he wants to beleive, and that this principle means both that any divine hypotheses should be kept out of politics and government, AND that outside of that sphere everybody is perfecly free to hold whatever beliefs he wishes to, and this without being ridiculed for it (although it is also true that religious tenets are open to the same criticism as any other tenet). Atheism is probably as open to the misuse in hands of crazed dictators as any theism, but the important thing to notice here is that it has always been used in this way only when the one using it has strongly believed in some other highly irrational and illiberal principle, such as historic materialism. In a word: let everbody live their own lives and stick to their own beliefs as long as they do no harm to others. On the interview: it was of course eminently uninformative, but who would have expected antyhing else? O'Reilly isn't a man who wants to engage in rational discourse about anything, so how could he be expected to be on a question as emotionally laden as this one? Dawkins did good, though. Thanks for providing the video.

Dawkins only 'feels' successful to those closed-minded sheep of his who cannot spot the weakness (sometimes non-existence) of his 'arguments'. An example of this is OReilly correctly explaining that Dawkins cannot 'disprove' Jesus as God. Dawkins might 'seem' to make a 'counter-argument' by correctly stating that OReilly cannot disprove Apollo or Zeus... but unfortunately thats not a 'counter-point'. Its really an agreement with OReilly. Dawkins fans (mostly teens role-playing 'online athiest' characters) they fall for the trick and actually 'think' they saw a good comeback but cant think it through for what it is. OReilly also confounds Dawkins by correctly pointing to the #1,2and 3 mass murderers of all human history being Atheists (arguably Hitler was more a 'Occultist') and the hollow and really pathetic apologetic that it was a coincidence is vaporised by pointing to their entire lack of any 'moral' foundation. Indeed their genocides happen BECAUSE of their Atheism whereas something like the 90 killed in the Inquisitions is in SPITE of their 'said faith'.

Do atheists have a position as to the reality behind our existence?

IOW if not Special Creation or via intentional design (ie intelliegnt design), what is left besides sheer dumb luck? (including the laws that govern this universe)

We exist, there are only so many options available and only one reality.

Haha, oh man. Where I live, I don't get Bill O'Reilly on tv (although I'm all too familiar with who he is and what he stands for), and I always forget how closely Stephen Colbert mimics him. Hilarious.

In any case, I think Dawkins did a great job of staying calm and shooting down one idiotic claim after another. Too bad there was zero substance to the interview..

El Proximo (ignoring all your childish insults):

If you want to make a claim that Jesus was God, it is up to you, the person making the positive claim, to provide evidence, not for someone else to disprove you. This is very basic reasoning.

If you go for the `disprove me' approach, then you really should commit yourself to believe in absolutely everything - fairies, pixies, underpants gnomes, the tooth fairy and Santa Claus - until someone completely proves they do not exist to you.

I'm willing to bet that you don't believe in any of those things or any other Gods. Why not?

Also, if atheism causes such a horrific lack of ethical behaviour, why doesn't Sweden have absolutely enormous crime rates? I think you'll find that they're much lower than America, a predominantly Christian country.

In the Eurostat survey, 23% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 53% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 23% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".

see:

Demographics of atheism

IOW the atheists of Sweden get their ethics from the non-atheists.

Argg, we waited patiently here in Germany till the clip is posted on ogm and now this 4min intermezzo, too short bill! If I were Dawkins I would have made clear that this is not sufficient time to even discuss the latest desperate houswife episode. It´s a shame but maybe these 4min will make some viewers buy his book and that´s better then nothing.

Thanks Norm for your great blog, i check it every day!

Greetz from Germany

Cedrik

Do atheists have a position as to the reality behind our existence? IOW if not Special Creation or via intentional design (ie intelliegnt design), what is left besides sheer dumb luck? (including the laws that govern this universe) We exist, there are only so many options available and only one reality.

What an old tired arguement. "I don't get it, it must be god!" They are finding that quantum mechanics are now starting to break what we know to be laws of reality http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/11/4/14 .

I bet you would use the same arguement as "you can't toss scrabble letters on the floor and form a sentance."

Bean was showing the how ridiculous the Hitler comparison looks when one sketches it out. I wouldn't be so hasty to start insulting him, chances are you just didn't get the sarcasm. There is room for comedy here right?

Hopefully Bill and his viewers goes an actually reads the book. Bill obviously didn't and lied wto comment on it.

Umm, ID does not require a belief in "God". And in the end we do exist.

Quantum mechaniscs? Max Planck offered the following during his Nobel prize acceptance speech:

"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this minute solar system of the atom together . . . . We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind."

And thanks for linking to a popularist article. However I prefer real science over the reporting of it.

Also just because quantum events appear random to us does not mean A) they are truly random and B) are not part of the over-all design.

IOW if you want to hold to the atheistic position you still need to explain how QM arose without guidance.

Or you can just admiit your position is nothing more than sheer dumb luck. But I am sure you can't live with that reality.

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Somehow I really feel the urge to put this video side by side to the interview with the Anglican bishop you posted a while ago. What a difference ... !

As a European I don't know much about O'Reilly, but does he have a journalistic background at all?! I mean I really don't know what to think of an anchor seems to be incapable to address persons other than "you guys", even when he's talking to the the most sincere, respectable person imaginable. Didn't he receive a proper education?

@El Proximo,

It is a perfectly valid counter point. If you believe God X is the one true God, why? In relation to other Gods? What makes your God special over the others?

Also generally it is considered illogical (fallacy) to try and prove a negative. If you believe that something exists it is up to you to prove it, not for others to disprove it.

ID does not require a belief in "God"

You may call the fabled "designer" what you will.

We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind

You can assume whatever you like, but that assumption isn't proven truth.

IOW if you want to hold to the atheistic position you still need to explain how QM arose without guidance

Darwin explained evolution sans ID, there's no evidence based reason to suspect an intelligent orgin of of QM.

That panned out pretty much as I expected. Falafelboy couldn't shout much because Dawkins was so calm. And that Dawkins barely got a word in shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone -- you don't get to say anything on that show unless you agree with the host.

I don't think Dawkins did well though, but again -- he never got to say much. And that was completely predictable. That show -- and Fox News itself -- is not a valid forum for rational, constructive debate. Dawkins should never have gone on, since he had nothing to gain from it except for a tiny bit of exposure for his book. Maybe a couple of Fox News viewers will buy or steal a copy in order to burn it, but that's it.

Fox on the other hand, had nothing to lose. They gain respectability whenever a decent person appears on their network, and there was never any chance at all, that Dawkins could have come out looking like he'd won the debate -- because if it seemed as if that might happen, Falafelboy would have shouted him down, cut his microphone, or generally have done what he always does...

In a fair debate, Dawkins would have made him look like the bloviating buffoon he is, but this wasn't ever a fair debate. He might as well have agreed to a chess match with a bully who insists on making four moves for every one of his -- and if the bully still started losing, he could always kick the board over and beat Dawkins up. Pointless.

Christopher Hitchens might have been an entertaining spectacle -- but I doubt Fox would dare expose the fact that one of the few pro-war Brits is an atheist, mind you.

JoeG:

For some reason, your link doesn't work on my browser - it may just be being screwy, though.

IOW the atheists of Sweden get their ethics from the non-atheists. That appears to be a completely unsupported assertion, and I suspect that those atheists would strongly disagree with you.

Anyway, assuming those stats are accurate, that only leaves 1 in 5 people in Sweden that should be consistent and unrepentant criminals.

Also just because quantum events appear random to us does not mean A) they are truly random and B) are not part of the over-all design. However, without any evidence to support this it's just a wildly speculative hypothesis.

Or you can just admiit your position is nothing more than sheer dumb luck. But I am sure you can't live with that reality. I'm quite happy to admit that my entire existence is a magnificent accident. Then again, if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't be here to wonder how amazingly improbable it was that I existed.

Atheists make their own meaning and purpose in life - they don't need to read it out of an old book, thanks very much.

Darwin explained evolution sans ID,

Without evidentiary support.

Here it is 2007 and we still don't know whether or not any mechanism can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed betwen chimps and humans!

BTW I am not a christian and really not religious at all.

And there isn't any scientific data that supports the premise of sheer dumb luck as the impetus of our existence.

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Joe G., To understand things in the U.S.A., one must invariably, "follow the money," in which case you will find that Intelligent Design (I.D.) is a front for the Christian God, not some Hyperdimensional Experimenter creating Universes in test tubes or what ever you are hinting at.

"Think"tanks such as the Discovery Institute (D.I.) are funded by conservative Christian Foundations such as the Ahmanson (Amen, Son), etc.

I.D., D.I., we know their true I.D., we know the tree by its fruits, so to speak.

I believe that the fact that the Homeland of Christendom, Europe, has largely wised up (become agnostic-atheist), and that Jews, God's Chosen, are mostly secular, modern, intelligent, etc. are "clues" that True Belief is a retrograde cultural fossil relict of the Hills and the Countryside, which, by the way, was the last area to ADOPT Christianity (as ever, behind the Times).

Clues.

Bill said, "you feel that religion has been a bane, b-a-n-e, to civilization." Thanks for spelling that word out for me. From the context, I wasn't sure which "bane" you were referring to. Could it have been B-a-i-n? Alexander Bain, the Scottish philosopher and inventor of the fax machine. Or maybe b-a-y-n-e? Actually, that's not a word. Anyway Bill, thanks for sharing your spelling abilities with us.

I was just surprised to hear Billo advocate for epistemological relativism. Since he also argued that morals come from religious beliefs, that must make him a moral relativist also.

I understand Billo a little better now.

Loved the subtitle graphic - "Richard Dawkins - Atheist": not one mention that he is one of the leading evolutionary scientists of his generation and the most well-known don currently at Oxford. Fox strikes again :-)

IOW the atheists of Sweden get their ethics from the non-atheists.

Which non-atheists? Buddhists? Muslims? Bahai'ans? The Church of the Subgenius? FSM?

Did anyone notice how O'Reilly conveniently omitted any mention of Richard Dawkins credentials? They simply had "atheist" and his name.

Hey Billo, physiology of the Earth? It's physics of the Earth yo!

I feel so much sympathy for Richard Dawkins, subjected to the opinions of a half-wit moron for the sake of getting the message out there... Come over to my house Richard, for a civilized and meaningful discussion.

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Bill O'Reilly is a giant sack of stupid...

I thought that Japan wasn't in Europe... thanks Bill!

Bill contends that all our founding fathers were Christian, then most were. Also states that our Constitution is full of reference to God, but it is known as a Godless document and was lamented for being so by the fundies for over 200 years. Bill has no idea what he is talking about on any subject and should occasionally shut up and learn something. Dr. Dawkins on the other hand is brilliant!

Bill contends that all our founding fathers were Christian, then most were. Also states that our Constitution is full of reference to God, but it is known as a Godless document and was lamented for being so by the fundies for over 200 years.

That's truth to him. Apparently this will suffice.

Norm -

Can you shorten and mix up the clip so that it's just Bill'O saying "Judeo-Christian philosophy : tide comes in, tide goes out, sun goes up, sun goes down", so we can post that ytmnd.com.

That would be fucking hilarious.

O'Reilly is not in the video when he says Judeo-Christian philosophy. Doing the audio would be simple enough, or perhaps a fixed image of Billo during that part.

Read Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell. In Jesus' Glorious and Holy name, Dean Berry

I was an ardent atheist until I saw Bill demolish Richard. Now I'm absolutely convinced that the Universe came out of Shiva's penis. Sorry Bill, I'm still not convinced about that Jesus fellow though. Come back when you have proof of his existence. Till then its Shiva's penis halleluya! All those penises banging away around the world prove to me that Shiva's penis was responsible for the original "Big Bang".

Did the man lump together athiesm with gnosticism? Oh, I guess he meant (and sorta stumbled over) agnosticism. Two very different things.

Billo: I'm throwin in with Jesus rather than throwin in with you guys, because you's guys cant tell me how it got here.

Dawkins: We're working on it.

Billo: Well when ya get it, come and tell me!

There-in-lies the problem with religion. People need to be told what to think, because thinking for one's self is just too darn hard.

O'reilly is a class A idiot. He deliberately interrupted and took the airtime off Richard Dawkins knowing full well he was going to be beaten to a pulp if Dawkins was allowed to speak.

O'reilly should be ripped off air for pushing his brand of crap over the distinguished air of reason presented so calmly by Dawkins.

Wow, Billo can be such a sweetie!

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No mention of other atheists: Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Ayn Rand, Albert Einstein, Galileo, Gene Roddenberry, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, etc etc.

What O’Reilly really seems to be espousing is a logical fallacy that I’ve always called "the fallacy of the default assumption. (I’m sure there is a more academically accepted term for this. Perhaps someone with a background in the philosophy of logic could provide a better one.) Essentially; I’ve chosen to believe something to be true -- so therefore it must be true -- failing to provide any evidence to the contrary. E.g. I assume x = 1, there is no proof that x is not 1, so therefore x must be 1. Just because science can’t provide an explanation as to the origin of life, does not me that "God must have done it". Perhaps a God did create all that we know, but O’Reilly’s argument is just purely nonsensical reasoning.

The other thing I found dumbfounding was O’Reilly’s idea of the "Christianity" of the Founding Fathers being somehow portrayed in the Declaration of Independence. Though the word "God" is used exactly once (in the form of Nature’s God) and "Creator" also appears exactly once, the words Jesus or Christian appear exactly zero times. (As for the Constitution, none of the above are mentioned.) Well... I guess the documents don't say that they weren’t Christian, so I guess -- by the above logic -- that’s proof enough that they were. :)

I'm sorry Sam, but Albert Einstein was no atheist. If you read some of his quotes you can deduce that he wanted to think like God, therefore he knew that there was a god.

http://www.some-guy.com/quotes/einstein.html

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To my understanding, Thomas Jefferson was an atheist, and most lot of our founding father's were masons anyways.

He may just as well have not invited Dawkins to the interview and just launched into that diatribe by himself. I don't think anythink Richard said would have made any difference to him, nor do I think that O'Reilly even listened.

To me this was a completely pointless excercise.

Albert Einstein, in a letter March 24, 1954; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 43.

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_einstein.html

About Swedes, lack of religion and "morality".

I'm from Sweden and never needed any christian indoctorination to know what I should think and feel about a whole lot of things. I have very early memories of thinking how absurd all those religious beliefs really are and become an atheist at a very early age. There are many surveys about beliefs in this country so don't take one of them as facts.

Here's one :)

Swedes Trust IKEA More than the Church What do Volvo, Ericsson, Saab and IKEA have in common? The people of Sweden have more faith in them than in the church.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,450254,00.html

"In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue." Ethan Allen Reason the Only Oracle of Man, pamphlet, 1784

"The point is not that all religious people are bad; it is not that all bad things are done in the name of religion; and it is not that scientists are never bad, or wrong, or self-deceived. The point is this: intellectual honesty is better (more enlightened, more useful, less dangerous, more in touch with reality, etc. ) than dogmatism" Sam Harris

intelligence vs stupidity. Thank you Mr O'Reilly you made yourself look like the idiot you are.

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What O’Reilly really seems to be espousing is a logical fallacy that I’ve always called "the fallacy of the default assumption. (I’m sure there is a more academically accepted term for this. Perhaps someone with a background in the philosophy of logic could provide a better one.) Essentially; I’ve chosen to believe something to be true -- so therefore it must be true -- failing to provide any evidence to the contrary. E.g. I assume x = 1, there is no proof that x is not 1, so therefore x must be 1. Just because science can’t provide an explanation as to the origin of life, does not me that "God must have done it". Perhaps a God did create all that we know, but O’Reilly’s argument is just purely nonsensical reasoning.

I believe it is the fallacy of Ad Ignorantiam. Assuming that p hasn't been proved false p must be true.

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would just one of you atheists out there explain to me who created the BIG BANG ??? which caused the Universe to exist in such a perfect manner. Also How did Nature originate from and with all the different varities that you see of trees, flowers etc ?? and the different varities of animals and sea life ??. Could just one of you atheists give me an explanation to these questions ?????. Did the BIG BANG create this ???? and if so how???

Hey William Cleary -- It's clear that you believe that God "created" the big bang. So who do you think created God?

As to you other questions, you'll need to study biology and anthropology and other sciences. There's no way that some answer in a little blog response will do the trick.

Our country, the U.S.A., is in bad shape these days. Religion has taken over the study of science and philosophy. So sad. So damned sad and depressing! But what to do about it? Blog? (sigh)

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Egg-zellent point about the Cosmic Egg, the Bib Bang (Baby Universe, get it?), Mr. Cleary, BUT:

Unlike evolution (in stark contrast) the Bang is more or less controversial, what it means, is more and more time packed closer and ever more closely, to infinities? Those Infinities are a bit of a sticky cricket wicket and their interpretation has led to such foolishness as the contortions of Steven Hawking, hawking his cosmic snake oil (Ouroboros is the snake in question).

BUT WHERE the hell do you come off tangling it up with God? Where is the God who creates Gods (who created Gods Who create gods Who... ...ad infinitum)? Fool! Pull your head out, and take a look around, you can always stick it back in if you don't like what you see. You can return to Plato's cave in time for Sunday service.

Interestingly, the idea of the Universal Big Bang was already ancient when it was discussed by early medieval Rabbis. Also part of medieval Judenmystizismus, was Freud's 3-part personality (6 parts for sufis), and many sayings attributed to for example Einstien, including "God doesn't play dice with the Universe". Of course not, dice are a vice. Nothing new under the sun.

That hasn't evolved from an earlier form.

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I can't believe someone totally monopolised a conversation with Richard to this degree! Who is this bigmouth? He doesn't let Richard answer his previous attack before moving on to the next!

I'm glad I don't live in American. I feel insulted the way he emphasised 44% of people IN GREAT BRITAIN don't believe in god. As if to say "our special allies should know better than that, I thought they were just as religious as us". Well in England, £10 notes have Charles Darwin on them, and in America you have "In God We Trust" on your dollars. If I lived in the states, I'd cross out "God" and write "Reason and Evidence" on every bill I got my hands on.

One more thing, when someone like Richard is being interviewed they usually put something on the screen like "Richard Dawkins: Evolutionary Biologist", not "Richard Dawkins: Atheist", as if they just dragged some heretic of the street. The man is a respected scientist.

If this man is representative of the US, they're worse than I feared.

Wow, this O'Reilly guy is a real jerk. It's the first time I see him and I'm quite stunned to see such dimness.

@JohnGalt76: Charles Darwin was NOT an atheist. In fact he studied to be a clergyman. Later in his life he lost faith, especially after the tragic death of his daughter, but he denied ever being an atheist. See here.

@miss puzzlebrain: Oh yes... and wikipedia is just known for it's honesty and being unbiased. /sarcasm

Hey, puzzlebrain, you left out some rather important points made in the wiki entry..

When asked about his religious views, he wrote that he had never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God, and that generally "an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.

His daughter, Henrietta, who was at his deathbed, said that he did not convert to Christianity

@miss puzzlebrain: Oh yes... and wikipedia is just known for it's honesty and being unbiased.

Obviously if you take everything on wikipedia at facevalue you will have a great chance of being tricked or fooled. I should point out that many of these articles have cites and references sources that you can check to compare the facts. Dismissing it entirely seems a little foolish to me.

Actually after reading Dawkins' book, I expected Bill O' to lose in 5 secs. I'd say he held up quite well and made a number of good points. Most probably he also prepared, e.g. the stuff about the founding fathers so he could engage Dawkins in what he's good at. Too bad the exchange was so short -- the fundamentalist and conservative viewers in the US are a bit afraid to have their beliefs challenged. I don't necessarily blame them.

Perhaps the argument from design was poor to put forth, since it is rather humans that adapted to their environment and not that the environment was created for them. But I felt it was more as a way to start Dawkins rebutting with his position. But the other stuff -- I disagree with you guys, Bill actually made a couple good points!

1) You can't disprove or prove that Jesus is God. So in the absence of evidence one way or the other, belief is a personal choice. There is only one truth, sure, but until it is known, different people may believe different things and that is what Bill meant by "the truth for me". He's not trying to make others share his beliefs about what the truth is, like Dawkins is. Many christians want to spread the Gospel, and now the atheists for some reason feel compelled to spread atheism/stamp out religion. Maybe someone should prove this is a good idea.

2) So on that point, Bill takes Dawkins into more familiar territory for Bill -- politics and history. Bill's point is NOT that atheism makes leaders inherently evil. If you watch the video, his point was that "Dawkins' view that religion is a bane on society is wrong". To support this point, he brought up the atheist leaders to show that ABSENCE OF RELIGION DOES NOT NECESSARILY MAKE THE WORLD BETTER. He doesn't say, as Dawkins seems to think, that these guys were evil BECAUSE they were atheists. He simply tried to support the point that removing religion doesn't necessarily make society or government any better.

Things are not so black and white as to say religion is counterproductive (we haven't even established if all religions are false!) Dawkins tends to like putting forth bold simple ideas (simple in the sense of eliding over the subtleties or relevant details in the relevant field) in the hope of raising public awareness. For example, he would speak of people evolving in a micro-world of atoms where we would detect submicroscopic phenomena. I think that saying religion is a bane on human society is a vast oversimplification and the nagging details include atheists such as stalin and mao, or the recent 50% divorce rate. Take religion out and different ideologies take root and direct the morality of the government. Take religion out and you have to work hard to establish a moral basis in a society with no absolutes. Atheist humanists always claim that they have a scientifically based explanation and prescription for morality, but the question is, would it work, and what will be its results?

Just because you're an atheist doesn't mean you have to believe religion is simply bad and should be banished. Daniel Dennett for example is an atheist as well but doesn't agree with Dawkins that religion is simply bad, he says we don't have enough evidence one way or the other, which seems to be a much more reasonable position to me.

what a depressing load of bullshit from o'reilly.

If reason is treated so disrespectfully in America, I say we all move to Sweden.

I love Dawkins. He didn't have to use the kind of aggression that O'Reilly used to deflect the truth. Dawkins has a way of letting idiots reveal their own ignorance. I'm glad he went on the show. The man's got real balls.

Yeah - atheists have no morals. What about all the religious people who supposedly have morals but do horrendous things anyway? "You can point to the Crusades, you can point to Al Qaeda..." Yeah, just brush those off, Billy, because they are so trivial. You can point to the child-molesting Catholic priests and the massive coverup that went on to protect their immoral behavior; you can point to the Witch Trials; you can point to the Inquisition; you can point to so many other evils that have been committed IN THE NAME OF religion, let alone simply by religious people who had non-religious motivations, as Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot had non-atheist motivations.

I am so sick of people insisting that atheists have no morals. Hey, Bill - do you refrain from rape and murder just because you think God is watching you?

I'm a Christian myself, but this is embarrassing. From the moment he opens his mouth to Dawkins on this segment O'Reilly looks like a total dimwit. He never should have invited Dawkins on his show if what he wanted to do was argue with him- O'Reilly may be politically knowledgable but it's obvious he knows zilch about philosophy or logic, and he's arguing with a man who has a degree in philosophy and has written a book full of valid arguments against religion. If anything, this interview only provides evidence for Dawkins's perspective that Christians are dogmatic, unwilling to listen to an alternative and have unfounded ideas of their opposition.

"Dawkins might 'seem' to make a 'counter-argument' by correctly stating that OReilly cannot disprove Apollo or Zeus... but unfortunately thats not a 'counter-point'"

Yeah, pointing out that the unfalsifiable and untestable god of ancient Greece is just the same as unfalsifiable and untestable god of the bible or the Koran isn't a counter point. I guess if that's not a “counter point” I don't know what is!

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