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Maher's New Rule: Atheism And Religion Are 'Not Two Sides Of The Same Coin'


 

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Release the Kraken! (It came up organically).

Yep, evolution and climate chage are just like religion - except for the evidence stuff. Dead on.

This segment has been doing the rounds, and of course, a lot of commenters (rightly) point out his alt-med stuff.

But what really makes me cringe a bit when I hear Maher rant on rationality and evidence, is thinking about when he had Deepak Chopra on and they were making fun of The Secret (well of course Maher started and Chopra just went along). That was a huge facepalm for me.

Its one of his best New Rules he has done lately.

I hope his thinking has evolved on vaccines etc, but I also would note he mentions that even atheists aren't "perfect thinkers"

That's not a bad thing to say... he even mentions pony tails and Ayn Rand!

While Maher didn't mention his shortcomings on medicine, I think Reed's point is that Maher was adding this as a part of his rhetoric that he just might make a mistake every so often.

Yeah, I liked that he said that because atheists do resemble the religious at times when they require everyone be a purist. There are lots of scientists that are religious, and we don't hold that against their science. If some atheists hold science challenged beliefs, or politically conservative beliefs, like Maher and Hitchens, I think we should challenge them but not ostracize them from the respected voices for atheism

Ah sorry, I clearly see now that I took your comment the wrong way.

But I don't think that Maher was being self-aware there, or even pulling an excuse for his medical beliefs. He purports to be a "rationalist" even more than "atheist" from what I've seen, and thus he must think his views on medicine are rational.

I think people like him think they have rational questions about the bias in corporate research and profit based systems. They do, unfortunately they ask a question that can only be answered by the biased system they don't trust. It is indeed an intellectual dead end, I think it starts out with some reasonable questions and a lack of perspective on how much a bias can really bend science.

re: Red Seven "I think people like him think they have rational questions about the bias in corporate research and profit based systems. They do, unfortunately they ask a question that can only be answered by the biased system they don't trust." ..."and a lack of perspective on how much a bias can really bend science."

what you said.

Unless, of course, we actually lived in a country that still supported higher education. Remember those great land grant colleges that, funded by taxpayers, had the option of doing research that was not politically motivated by corporate funding. Just like magic! the intellectual dead-end opens back up again. Or, more accurately, the baby back hoe built by a affordable education scrapes right through the rubble of self interested greed.

re: unbaptism. Awww. Loved the hat, but MAYBE Romney's dad-in-law is now REALLY BUMMED!. Ya just never know. Personally, I always thought baptism of the dead was a pretty cool loophole.

I know that within days of my marriage to a heathen, Grandad trotted down to the Temple to make it all right. 'Course, I like Jesus Jammies too, specially on cold winter nights.

Let's say for some reason someone in the future (maybe a descendant, or you're posthumously famous!) decides to dig up some info about you for a book or whatever. Would it be cool if they pulled up records that you "are" a Mormon?

Well, even if postumously famous I'd not be offended. I mean, like, I'd be dead! More to the point, was my husband's grandfather offended to suddenly find himself transported to Mormon heaven when my Grandad did the temple rites for him? Who knows. Since I understand that polygamy is alive and well in the afterlife, perhaps he was pretty pleased to find himself once gain with the 3 concubines and a wife he had before. Shucks, he might feel right at home with all the other polygamists in the family.

I take your point however. I think it is an issue of 'standing'. Who has standing to make the choice?

I think this the same issue as that currently swirling about with respect to the requirement that contraception be offered as a basic service in health insurance plans offered by employers, even Catholic universities and hospitals (tho not churches). I understand the US Council of Catholic Bishops claims damage to their consciences if they are forced to offer female employees the choice of using contraception.

If I were a Supreme Court Justice and this case came to me, I'd say: "Where are the female Bishops on your Council? YOU HAVE NO STANDING on this issue. For that matter, given your vows of chastity, even without a female bishop, you have no need for contraception. Therefore your conscience is not, in any way affected. You have no standing on this issue. Come back when you have a female Bishop who needs contraception, and we'll talk again."

heh heh.

Read a sci fi novel once where the Pope and Archbishops woke up one day finding themselves with heavy with child. Turned their heads right around.

"I understand the US Council of Catholic Bishops claims damage to their consciences if they are forced to offer female employees the choice of using contraception. "

That's not quite their argument. They're arguing they shouldn't be forced to PROVIDE their employees (male or female) with contraception. Doctors, clinics, and pharmacies don't care if they're paid by an insurance company, employer, employee, or the employee's daughter's boyfriend's mom as long as they get paid, and most of it isn't all that expensive.

well, this is about non church employees. Universities, schools, and hospitols...

Why should churches be able to run those types of institutions if they discriminate?

How are they discriminating?

From The Observer:

the Obama administration's recent so-called "mandate" contains no constitutional conflict that exempts churches but requires religious-affiliated employers to provide contraception at no cost to their female employees. He notes that in fact, nearly two-thirds of the states already require such a mandate or do not provide any specific exemptions even for employers such as churches and other places of worship whose primary purpose is imparting religious beliefs.

Susan Wood, a health professor at George Washington University's Jacobs Institute of Women's Health sums it up, "This is an employee benefit issue. This is not the Catholic Church having to provide a service directly. No Catholic hospital is going to be required to write a prescription or provide a pack of pills."

From :

Recent Polls Show Majority Of Catholics Support Insurance Plans That Cover Contraception ...

Ahhh! Oops on the Media Matters link.

Even Chris Matthews sees through that one Sister.

For me, the constitutionality issue is not the church vs. state issue, but the federal vs. state.

I know the 10th amendment has been largely ignored for the last 100 years or so, but that shouldn't make it irrelevant. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Where in the constitution does is say anything about healthcare or insurance?

It's kind of a moot point by now, since Obama comprimised, but I'll link to this article:

In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn't provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don't offer prescription coverage or don't offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and women equally—but under the EEOC's interpretation of the law, you can't offer other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too.

That's the deal - except it's a different deal now.

Anyway, sorry for the delayed response, I got booked at work, followed by yummy (blech) stomach flu.

What actually upsets the Council of Catholic Bishops is the lack of respect for their bloated vanity. They are trying to recapture the days when they could impose their bizarre repressed notions of sexuality on the populace - they so want to be the village witch doctors again. They so want to dictate the minutae of other people's lives. That's all it is, no matter what "argument" they offer. When it comes to child-raping priests, the documents of the Catholic Church clearly show their disdain for secular authority. They will respect secular authority and the Constitution only when it suits their purposes.

so Huckabee gets all inspired at CPAC and announces to the cheering throng that "We are all Catholics now!"

wtf. Huckabee's not Kennedy and I'm no Catholic.

I watch in awe as the Republicans fall all over themselves to join the most retro, misogynist archaic institution in the history of the Western world,in their attack on women's access to birth control.

Were someone to have told me in 1964, (a pregnant teenage high school drop out at the time), that in 2012 we would still be fighting for ACCESS to BIRTH CONTROL!! well, I don't know what I woulda done. I sure don't want to go back to those days, no nor do I want the grand girls to live in times like that. We women suddenly find ourselves back to the days before Kotex. It's like deja vu all over again.Good Grief.

And they say, with straight face, "this is not about women, it's about conscience!" AS IF, some old men's 'consciences' are of so much greater social value than the health of 50% of the population, that their consciences should be protected even far far beyond what they choose to do with their own bodies. They demand protection of their right to refuse birth control, to deny choice to women because they don't like it themselves. These celibate old men.

Wait wait! How is it again that the Catholic Church gets to dictate what basic health service OPTIONS are provided in women's health insurance ? I mean, like, don't we have laws agin' Sharia law around here? What's wrong with expecting that institutions working in the public space comply with secular law?

Because you have a right to buy something means you have the right to demand someone else buy it for you? That's your idea of freedom?

Buy me a Glock (I'd like the 23, but any will do). I have the right to buy one, so you should buy it for me, or my rights are being trampled on.

Syngas: The administration wants birth control to be included apart of the basic insurance package offered by employers. - The cost of which is included in the health insurance package paid for by employer and employee as opposed to be it being a considered a pharmaceutical on a different schedule with an additional copay or, worse, not being offered. Insurance co pays by employers are considered legit business expenses and are deductible from the employer's taxable revenue. Insurance is considered a part of the compensation package. Employees of Church operated hospitals and universities are paid for their labor, in part by the benefits package they receive - sick days, health insurance, workman's comp, life insurance, company 401k contributions, all are part of the return they receive for their work. It isn't charity.

This fuss is not about money any more than it's about conscience.

If you need contraception, and work for a business owned by a church or mosque, you oughta be able get it from health insurance. If you really need a weapon, buy the Glock your own self.

It has nothing to do with the money. Providing contraception probably saves the insurance provider money overall.

Syngas's comments make it clear that what he and the Bishops are concerned about is people having sex without consequences.

I want the Glock mostly for fun - pretty much the same reason people want contraception. Sex is fun, and sex without consequences is really fun.

I suppose I could come up with some convoluted argument that the Glock would insure my safety and health against attackers, and use that argument to justify my demands that you pay for my Glock, and there might even be a little truth to that, but we both know I just like to blast away 2 liter soda bottles.

"Sex is fun, and sex without consequences is really fun."

Make some minor attempt to consider what it must have been like - married at 16, dead at 35, leaving 14 children without a mother. Thus was the life experience of one of my great great aunts, and millions of other women like her. Being denied the ability to control one's own reproductive system is a pretty fundamental loss of freedom, Too often such denial comes with loss of life, or at least, a sentence to a life of poverty, for oneself and one's offspring. Providing birth control to poor women is one of the most effective ways to help families pull out of poverty.

a Glock? really?

Hmmm....it's tempting to take this bait, but last time I responded to one of your personal stories, I got to hear how mean I am.

I don't have any personal experience with Glocks, but I've heard they're very well built, and reliable. I'm open to suggestions. Would you prefer to buy me an American-made product? I think most of those are union-made, so at least some of your money will end up going to the Obama campaign.

Are you mean? Do you lack an empathy gene? Do you really believe that society functions well without rules and regulations? Is your world view so black and white that you can't honestly take a position without worrying about offending someone.

The guy's favorite GOP candidate is Rick Santorum. So, yes, I'd say his world view is deeply fucked up.

I don't think I'm all that mean, but you can't refute someone's personal stories without offending them at least a little.

I don't think society functions well without rules. I'm perplexed you would even ask that question given your firm grasp of informal fallacies, Norm. I'm sure you're familiar with the false-dichotomy fallacy. Are there rules that are beneficial to society? Of course. Are there rules that are not beneficial to society? Of course. Are there rules that are destructive for society? Yep. I'm sure we can all come up with multiple examples for each of these categories.

You of all people should know I don't mind offending people, but she is the first to specifically tell me not to offend her because she is a grandma, and I'm okay with that. Why should you fault me for that?

I saw no refutation that included any evidence that could be verified. All you did was expressa personal opinion that god exists and doesn't want people to mess with the reproductive machinery.

Huh? In this thread?

Think how much worse it could have been for your great great aunt. She could have been having fun, consequence-free sex whilst condemning her soul to eternal damnation.

re: Syngas: "I'm open to suggestions"

Well then, I suggest that you consider a Freedom Arms Colt 45. and I suggest you consider supporting women's reproductive choice.

I do indeed appreciate civility and note your self restraint.

re: Tim: "She could have been having fun, consequence-free sex whilst condemning her soul to eternal damnation."

I know, right.

its all about choice isn't it? Oh wait, they call it 'free will' when applied to men.

Just heard an interview with a priest from Georgetown University Law school, who laid out one defence of the Church's indefensible position. He said that the FUNDAMENTAL problem was that the Church considers health care to be what one does to CURE A PATHOLOGY. Since fertility is not a pathology, the church asserts, it's management doesn't fall into the definition of necessary health care.

So now we know. Guess they were so busy being pure, they missed the whole concept of wellness, preventive care, the avoidance of pathology. Thus we see the effect of medieval shackles on a modern world.

...laid out one defence of the Church's indefensible position. He said that the FUNDAMENTAL problem was that the Church considers health care to be what one does to CURE A PATHOLOGY. Since fertility is not a pathology, the church asserts, it's management doesn't fall into the definition of necessary health care...

Sure, he laid out this defense. He knows, you know, I know, everyone knows that is not the real reason. There's nothing new in preists who lie for for the greater good: in this case to be sure that no sperm will be wasted - except the sperm these pathetic, frustrated. pseudo-eunuch's testicles, of course.

the FUNDAMENTAL problem was that the Church considers health care to be what one does to CURE A PATHOLOGY

The number of ways these people can convince me that they shouldn't be running hospitals really knows no bounds. Willing to throw all prevention in the crapper to protect gods plan to kill us all through overpopulation? Great thinkers.

The fertility rate in the US is 2.06/woman. You can rest at ease. We're barely maintaining equilibrium.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_fertility_rate

It's clear that his commentary was a huge FU to the claims made by that moron Kennedy last week. She made the claim that Atheism was a religion but Maher didn't have time to correct her stupid assertion (yet she claimed to be a philosophy major).

Shame though that he also didn't rip into her moronic claim that climate change is caused by sun spots. Needless to say, Kennedy writes for Reason magazine. Has there been a more poorly applied title to a magazine?

Norm

Are you mean?

Syngas

I don't think I'm all that mean

lol

re: Red Seven "Willing to throw all prevention in the crapper to protect gods plan to kill us all through overpopulation? Great thinkers.", and re: syngas "The fertility rate in the US is 2.06/woman. You can rest at ease. We're barely maintaining equilibrium."

Saw a show about some coastal community, their fishery was dying out from over fishing (their primary food source). They got a contraception access program going. The family size dropped, the general health of the population improved, the fishery recovered, and they can now afford to sell some of their catch instead of needing it and more just to feed the babies. So now, they have cash to use to send some of the kids to school, AND they are able to conserve their fishery. Funny thing about that. IT's a lot easier to birth and care for 3 kids than it is to care for 12. Who'd a thunk. Family sizes dropped dramatically as soon as parents had the opportunity to plan their families.

Yet the church opposed the program. Interestingly, the Pope visited Brazil preached and preached against it. The Pope left and within days Brazil passed their free access to birth control program.

"With all respect", they said, "Brazil is pro-living. We want our children to be wanted, and we want their parents to be able to feed and educate them. A better Real Life is more important than your retro fantasies of female subjugation, priest!"

Well, the church did oppose it. I don't know that's actually what the Brazilians said. I made that part up.

What with all the talk about poverty, and the undeserving poor, and the DEFICIT! and TOO MANY ENTITLEMENTS! we've feasted upon during this Republican Primary, the UNENLIGHTENED SELF INTEREST demonstrated by the Republican Party in supporting this Catholic Church driven attack on birth control is truly out there. Encourage birth control and family planning and make access to both affordable and accessible, and it reduces welfare, food stamps, poverty, health care costs, abortions, and improves outcomes (education levels, employment, etc etc.)

Such a simple thing. Yet Indiana now has passed it's "Personhood" amendment. You know, the one even MISSISSIPPI threw in the trash in their referendum.

These folks actually seem to LIKE Malthus. They are so engrossed in the inevitability of it all, they're so invested in the thrill of an apocalyptic future, that they will do nothing to prevent it, indeed will actively attempt to bring it about.

I better stop. I'm gettin' all het up about this agin, might be rude (for no good reason)to Syngas if I continue.

Probably ought to clear up my own position on this issue lest Norm continue to make stuff up about me.

I don't have a problem with anyone preventing pregnancies by preventing fertilization. There are many easy, cheap, and reliable ways to do this - one permanent method of which I had done myself. It only hurt for about a week, and not really that much.

I disagree with the Catholic Church's position on birth control, but I don't think they should be forced to do anything they find morally objectionable. I always wince when I hear terms like 'for the greater good', or 'for the good of the children' because it's nearly always used as an excuse to limit our freedoms.

Consider for a second your request that I 'support women's reproductive choice' which I do, just not to the extent that you do. Say a woman wants to have a baby, but for some reason cannot. Do you support her reproductive choice to have a baby if that means your little farm must pay for her fertility treatments with zero out of pocket for her?

As far as I know, nobody is forced to work for the Catholic Church or any of their entities, and like many Catholics, their employees are free to buy birth control on their own, or even with the help of many charities.

I believe Viagra is covered, just so you know.

Yes, so 60 year old men men can have a choice in child birth ;)

Yup, you men can sire away for along time!

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