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The Ten Commandments are stupid. Bush thinks the basis of democracy is monotheism, forgetting the Greeks were polytheistic. John Fund thinks monotheism must be right since it's popular, name that fallacy. Dan Savage reveals that the evangelicals believe the Mormons think Jesus and Satan are brothers that 'do it,' oh my. There are lots of laughs in this segment from Real Time with Bill Maher

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Real Time w/Bill Maher
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wow...that wall street journal guy sure came off as a complete tool...

Monotheism as a psychological evolutionary advance. Premise: [for Bill] Polytheism as Polypharmacy "sickens" humanity/humans. Proposition: [for the Panel] The belief system of numerous (make one up) Dieties allows social/political manipulators to cast multiple "variables" into the structure of peoples lives. Thus requiring the "non-preists" among use to pay hommage/tithe/tax to the numerous idols. Please take it from here and recognize the psychsocial impact of the unity present in monotheism. Not perfect but clearly an evolutionary advance in brain development. Don't stop reasoning!

What do moronic personal beliefs have to do with anything? What many religious lunatics fail to realize is that the wall of separation of church and state protects religious people's beliefs as well as those of no faith. They, however, are not content with that and want a monopoly on everything.

By the way, Christianity is a monothesitic religion? LOL!!!

The (sort of) fun part was watching the "faithful" majority put up a half-hearted fight against the non-believing minority (Bill and Dan). It's clear that the non-believers have thought about their position a lot more than the believers have. Of course, this is what I would normally expect to see. The vast majority of... the majority don't think much about the question "is there a god?" because they are very rarely forced to do so.

-- Furry cows moo and decompress.


Right on with that. Hinduism is as monotheistic at it's core more than Christianity. Hindus believe that god is so vast the concept can only be explained in infinite variations of said greatness, whereas Christianity has a "Holy Trinity" which is seprate and the same. Basically, it's a fallacy to call Hinduism a polytheistic religion if judged on the same standards as Christianity. It just goes to show that the more religious a person is, the less they understand their religion.

xian "monotheism" is certainly a misnomer. One one had you have dozens, maybe hundreds, of sects that have different versions of that supposed one god. Satan and the angels are at least demi-gods as well.

On another had, you have the doctrine of the Trinity. What the hell is that? Back in the 4th century, there were xian doctrines that opposed it and at the time were even the majority opinion, that is until Constantine decided otherwise.

As Ambrose Bierce said in his Devil's Dictionary(must reading by the way),

"The Trinity is one of the most sublime mysteries of our holy religion. In rejecting it because it is incomprehensible, Unitarians betray their inadequate sense of theological fundamentals. In religion we believe only what we do not understand, except in the instance of an intelligible doctrine that contradicts an incomprehensible one. In that case we believe the former as part of the latter."

Judaism and Islam also have angels - good and bad.

Scientifically (factually) there is no religion, so in my opinion it makes you pretty incompetent if you still believe it's a fact. But I can accept the fact that an atheist would not therefore make a nicer president. And since I'm a minority atheist in America I'll have to compromise with someone who looks like they will take the furthest step from using religion in politics (or use it the less). That way we can at least gradually move to a secular country.

So I think it's great that there is beginning to be a movement to secularize America. The way it looks, I wouldn't be surprised if a majority of Americans were atheists in the next 50 years. It just sucks that many atheists (not to mention liberals) have no faith in voting, so they don't get anywhere. If you don't believe that voting works, just ask the evangelicals, they have more faith in voting than anyone in the US, and that's why they have all the political power right now.

"...I wouldn't be surprised if a majority of Americans were atheists in the next 50 years."

I would.

Doc - if monotheism is an evolutionary advance from polytheism, then surely the next advance would be to atheism?

Buddhism shows that many people can exist believing, but without a God.

According to this:

the "great monotheistic religions" count for less that 55% of the world population - hardly a huge majority.

Sorry - should have been "less than..."

If Adkins wants to believe in God "just in case" I would like to know which one he would choose - Allah, Jehovah, Jesus, Mithras, Zeus.....? I suppose we are back to the numbers game again- but science has often proven that the fact that most people believe something to be true doesn't make it so. I have carried out numerous Physics demonstrations showing well educated Arts graduates that their beliefs about the world are often false. If they don't understand a simple effect such as, e.g. , gravity, how can they understand the infinite?

I guess it is no big surprise that the president who went to war claiming that he was guided by God forgot to mention that that one of the foundational pillars of modern democracy is repudiation of the Divine Right of Kings doctrine. That democracies cannot endure without respect for the rule of law isn't one of the slogans mouthed by the president who once declared, “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” Long live the king!

Religion by "ratings", what a sick and twisted world that man must live in.

Adkins was remarkably truthful about why he is religious. Fear of death/hell, and because he was raised that way.

And i'm glad Maher called the "10 commandments" silly (half of em), and put Fund in his place, "well, they needed a better editor". What a maroon.

Re Christianity as polytheism. The Saints! They're basically demigods who watch over you and answer your prayers etc.

I just love how Judaism is constantly mentioned, even though its very small on a global scale... there are more Sikhs then Jews, even (or Hindus, for that matter.)

Great clip. Dan and Bill are spot on. The rest just aren't read up on it. Haven't done the research even a little. What about with the stupid popularity fallacy from the guy in the suit?

I've read many spokespersons from the LDS church after Huckabee made the comment about Jesus and Satan being brothers and many of them dodged the statement entirely. So I did some digging and found a link by the LDS church website where they explicitly make the sibling connection. Here it is. You'll have to scroll down to the next entry.

I was disappointed with the way this conversation went since I find Savage to be a very interesting person. I find all this talk about how Christianity is really false, etc. to be irrelevant. I don't agree with Bill, and many of the people here about religion, but so what. I believe and you don't and that is fine with me. I do have a problem with how religion is used by those in power, opportunists and the rest. There is a danger when people follow blindly a human leader in the name of God. Time and again in history we have seeing the consequences of this. On the other hand, good things have been done in the name of Christ but I do regret that these are not reported often since helping poor people is not news worthy.

One more thing, the reason why I believe in separation of church and state is that it ensures the right of the minority. While Christians might be the majority right now, you never know when it might become the minority. I just hope those of you here remember me in case you take over and start sending us believers down to Guantanamo. (I'm kidding of course).

One more thing, the reason why I believe in separation of church and state is that it ensures the right of the minority.

I hate to break it to you christians, but you're all the minority already. If Huck-a-bible tried to make the word of god replace the constitution, it would take 1000 years for you christians to decide which word of god he was talking about. Evangelicals (and the subsets thereof), Assembly of God, Mormons, Baptists, Lutherans, Protestants, Calvinists, Jehova's Witnesses etc etc. None of these groups are alone 50% of the population.

There is a danger when people follow blindly a human leader in the name of God. Time and again in history we have seeing the consequences of this. On the other hand, good things have been done in the name of Christ

I don't want to come off as combatative, but What is religion if not following the inerrant word of a leader of a church? Granted, some (few) religions are not this way, but any religion who goes into the public sphere to change public policy to match the word of god is (almost) always following a dogmatic, infallable leader.

Also, as taken from the athiest handbook: Name a good deed that a religious person can do that an athiest cannot also do.

I just hope those of you here remember me in case you take over and start sending us believers down to Guantanamo.

Of course we would. All athiests i know support human rights, regardless of the human. This is usually what lead the athiest (again, only those i've met) to be an athiest, is the selective moral outrage religion gives people. The fat lady in the other Dan Savage clip says it all "this isn't about a particular person, it's about a lifestyle". She doesn't have the audacity to say to Dan's face that he's going to hell for sinning, but she sure as hell will take away his human rights, and his persuit of happiness because of his "sins".

And @ the link posted by Erick:

According to the LDS, we're all "brothers and sisters", everyone, even jesus and satan, so it's not seen as such a big deal inside the LDS faith. It's kinda like how xtians freak out that LDS might think that god and jesus are 2 separate people, rather than a hideous mash up of body, spirit, mind, all powerful, talking to himself in the third person megalomaniac.

Something interesting though, At the bottom of that link, the "united order" refers to the time when the LDS were (gasp!) Communists, which failed miserably, even though the prophet said the time was right for communism, uh, I mean the "united order", to be restored.

nelgom, good on ya. Despite appearances, I don't actually hold it against people who "believe", provided their belief is a result of their own thinking and not just a sheeplike adherence to whatever the local institutionalized dogma is. I do confess a contempt for believers in most mainstream dogmas, though: the silly shit like thinking certain books or people are infallible, for example. But I digress.

Freedom of Thought means Freedom of Belief, even if that belief is stupid.

However, that very Freedom is threatened by any institution that says that certain dissent is not allowed, that certain criticism should be censored, that facts contrary to certain thinking should be suppressed...

And you hit the nail on the head, nelgom, with regard to separation of church and state being beneficial to the non-secular as well.

Because, what goes around comes around...

On the other hand, good things have been done in the name of Christ but I do regret that these are not reported often since helping poor people is not news worthy.

Poor people are no longer "newsworthy" at all, are they? Other than events related to hurricane Katrina and the occasional report about homeless veterans (and damned little of that), it seems as if I see little news about the poor. Not entertaining enough. I could be wrong - I haven't watched an entire "network news" show more than a few times in the past several years. Such shows became so nauseatingly stocked with happy featurettes and 'news you can use' that I tuned it out.

This clip ends with a good question; I would like to know the panel's answer.

Does God (if it exists) value genuine doubt over insincere faith?

My God does.

Scientifically (factually) there is no religion . . .

Well, of course, that's bullshit.

Dan Savage should have his own TV show. He's brilliant and unflappable and funny. Post as much of him as you can find, Norm.

And, may I ask my allies on the atheist/agnostic/humanist side of the fence to dispense with puerile name-calling? It's a cheap way of (failing to) score points against adversaries you don't respect, and I'd like to entertain the fantasy that the people on my side of the issue are at least more mature, if not always as relevant and perspicacious, than the opposition. If, on the other hand, you are a boor with whom I happen to agree as regards matters of theism, well, so it goes. I once thought liberals were less judgmental and intolerant, as a whole, than right-wing nutjobs, so it's only a matter of time before this fantasy is eroded, too.

"I once thought liberals were less judgmental and intolerant, as a whole, than right-wing nutjobs, so it's only a matter of time before this fantasy is eroded, too."

People on the left can be dogmatic and close-minded, too, there's no doubt. But when I think of all the bone-fide liberals I know, they can be open-minded to a fault. It's the classic Obama voter--after 7 years of having Bushisms shoved down their throats in the most divisive, partisan way, they're running to a politics of unity and acknowledging that maybe the other side has a point.

That's attractive to me, but it's not attractive to most of my smarter conserative friends. They're civil and respectful, but they spend more time debating about whether this or that idea or person is truly conservative than they do wondering whether liberals have a point. It's been said before, but being a liberal means you sometimes find it hard to take your own side in an argument. Being a conservative at times means not worrying whether you have a good argument, because you've got history and authority on your side. This is all politically incorrect to say, because open-mindedness is the public good that no one wants to be denied. But the most important conservative thinkers basically admit it and celebrate it.

crikey - doesn't anyone consider context? bush was in the ME. Using the term monotheism is clearly a bid to build bridges to the muslim world. Of course, they consider christians to be polytheists, but the word wasn't chosen lightly

Magnolia Electric…so you got my back when is time to go to Cuba, right?

Frenetic, I'm glad we agree on that very important point of the constitution. I know that the a large number of people in the church I go to to believes the same way I do.

Oh, and one more thing. Hucklebee's remarks about the constitution and God's law are very scary. Isn't that what Osama believes?


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