Bill Maher and Mike Huckabee Discuss Religion November 2, 2008

Bill Maher and Mike Huckabee Discuss Religion

Bill Maher spoke about his movie Religulous on Mike Huckabee‘s new show on FOXNews.

Pretty entertaining for both sides of the religious spectrum:

Maher still wrongly defines atheist as someone who categorically denies God’s existence (in other words, saying “There is no God” instead of “I don’t believe in God”). But it’s good to see this type of civil conversation about religion on TV.

(via Atheist Media Blog)

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  • It’s a shame so many people don’t think Bill Maher’s view of atheists is that big of a problem, otherwise I’d have written a letter a while ago. It really is bad enough with all the bad (and wrong) press we get from the religious. We don’t need Bill Maher against us as well. I’m fine with him if he wants to refer to himself as an “agnostic” (even though it says nothing about his actual beliefs), but he shouldn’t talk about something he evidently hasn’t even read the definition of.

  • Pseudonym

    That was indeed entertaining. Thanks for that.

    (I also found the mixed metaphor “both sides of the […] spectrum” quite entertaining, BTW. The point of a spectrum, surely, is that there isn’t just two options.)

  • charfles

    Huckabee stumbles upon pretty much every standard argument for god and fails at each one.

  • Always like Bill Maher. Asking simple questions, Huckabee seems to lack some confidence when answering. It’s as if he’s trying to justify his beliefs.

  • Good video. Huckabee highlights several problems with believer’s logic. That some good deeds could wipe out a history full of religious violence and strife, for example. Or that someone who claims that everyday instances are an invisible deities method of speaking to him should somehow not be classified as delusional or mentally imbalanced.

  • Huckabee crashes and burns on the problem of evil, proving Maher’s point about people not questioning their religion.

    Huckabee strangely implies it is up to others to do the questioning. Why can we not find one fundamentalist Christian who is not intellectually lazy to present their case?

  • Aj

    “True” religion, “blind” faith, it’s “doubt” that drives us to faith, “real” faith always “questions”. Lots of contradictions, nonsense that gets parroted from theologians but doesn’t withstand a moments reflection. No one questions their own faith, it’s impossible. Huckabee realises this half way through, when he considers whether he could question his faith in Jesus, then decides to redefine questioning faith as people questioning others faith. Sorry, belief doesn’t work like that.

    He also changes positions throughout, several times taking the position of “belief in belief”, ignoring that religions make mutually exclusive claims, and defining “true” religion not by the claims, but whether they commit violence. Basically it’s OK to believe whatever you like as long as you don’t act immorally. What’s immoral? Well, you see, morals come from God, and God said… Don’t get caught by this facade of relativism, like almost all “relativists” they’re only adopting it at times when it is conveniant.

    Bill Maher knows full well that most self defined atheists don’t claim to know the non-existance of any deity. Maybe he’s just using language his audience, many religious, will understand. Alternatively, he’s a dick.

    I think Maher might be overstating the atheism in Western Europe. Also, while they may not believe in Gods some places, that doesn’t stop them believing in elves and trolls (Nordic), energies and auras (hippies), and witchcraft (pagan/wiccan).

    Fun fact: Cannabis isn’t legal in Amsterdam, it’s decriminalized (unpunishable) in licensed coffee shops.

  • Loren Petrich

    Bill Maher seems to me like a militant agnostic:

    I don’t know and neither do you!

  • That was indeed entertaining. Always liked Bill Maher. Thanks for video.

  • PrimeNumbers

    Bill spoke pretty good. The “problem of evil” is not a simple problem to solve, and not one that Huckabee, who sounded like he was trying to parrot some apologist, has the ability to do so.

    The point being that God doesn’t just let us have the choice to follow him or not, but actively hides and obfuscates his own existence. He doesn’t want you to follow him because you have objective evidence of his existence and like what you see, but you’ve got to follow him without evidence and without any idea of which of the many choices of God he actually is. That’s not just keeping the “follow or not” decision unbiassed, but it makes it a “which God? roulette wheel, where you gamble your life against eternal hell. Nice.

  • RBH

    You wrote

    Maher still wrongly defines atheist as someone who categorically denies God’s existence (in other words, saying “There is no God” instead of “I don’t believe in God”).

    In fact, Maher doesn’t define atheism that way in the clip. Around 04:25 he says

    [This movie] is not saying I know what the truth is and that there is no God. That’s not what I’m saying because I feel that would mirror the kind of certainty that I think is so wrong about religion. What I say is ‘I don’t know, and you don’t know either.’

    That’s very different from the view attributed to him.

  • Aj

    Hemant was right.

    I think Maher says:

    This movie is not an atheistic screed, it’s not saying I know the true, and there is not God.

    And it’s not the first time, he’s used atheist to mean that a few times now.

  • Spurs Fan

    The answer in this clip that bothered me the most, especially since Maher didn’t hammer it with a follow-up question, is Huckabee’s answer to “Have god ever spoken to you”. Huckabee then gives the pat answer of “god speaks to me in this way”, etc. First, this is a logical problem: when Maher said “speak”, we know the context he used it in, but Huckabee (and many religious folks) change the context to worm their way out of the question by using “speak” in a different sense, such as I might use it in saying “That movie was great. It really spoke to me.”

    Back in my Christian days, this troubled me as well. I would read the Bible, and though it happened in strange, miraculous contexts, god still spoke to people in the conventional sense. Moses saw a burning bush, but still, quite literally, heard god speak. Jesus had the dove, but god still said, apparently in a loud, booming voice, “this my begotten son with whom I am well pleased” (paraphrased). I would read these pasages and still believe that “god spoke to my heart”, yet wonder why god had given us the silent treatment for 2,000 years.

    Despite Huckabee’s troubling answers and Maher’s flawed perspective of what it means to be an atheist, I’ll agree that it is refreshing to see the civility and kudos to the Governor for having a level of respect that wouldn’t have been found with many of his FOX news counterparts.

  • I love the differences in body language.

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