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Pastafarian's Avatar Joined about 7 years ago
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Go to: US TV Commercial for The God Delusion during Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Pastafarian's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Pastafarian

I TiVo Olbermann every night, and always zap through the commercials. I actually had to rewind back to this ad to make sure my eyes weren't deceiving me. I do not know if Keith Olbermann himself has any say over the ads run during his program, but this is certainly in keeping with the overall tone of his show. For those of you unfamiliar with Olbermann, he is the loudest voice of reason on the American airwaves against the Bush Administration, and if you look up any of his "Special Comments" on YouTube, you will quickly see what I am talking about. Anyway, it's good to see a commercial certain to get the believers' panties in a wad on a prime time broadcast. Let the fallout begin...

Tue, 20 Mar 2007 11:08:00 UTC | #24289

Go to: When They Came for the Homosexuals...

Pastafarian's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Pastafarian

I completely agree that religious discrimination against homosexuals, as well as any other group, like us, is a serious problem for any society and it could lead to a far worse situation. However, I am somewhat heartened by a couple of studies I read about last year. I do not recall the specifics, but one study showed that an overwhelming majority of American students accept their gay and lesbian peers, and seem not to have inherited the bigotries of their elders. The other study was even more uplifting, as it detailed evangelical Christianity's trouble recruiting more kids than adults. Evangelical leaders who were quoted seemed very worried.

Perhaps I'm needlessly optimistic, but despite the overt religiosity I deal with every day, I see signs that the tide is slowly turning. If our children reject the hateful religious worldviews of their parents, perhaps there is hope.

Thu, 15 Mar 2007 06:03:00 UTC | #23541

Go to: Atheist Apostle

Pastafarian's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Pastafarian

The first thought that comes to mind whenever I read or hear criticism of Harris or Dawkins is that they are attacking the messenger and ignoring the message. Even if Sam Harris, whose work I admire greatly, were the worst sort of person, (unethical, uncaring of others, etc...) it would have no effect on the validity of his argument. Nor does tearing him down somehow make religion's claims any more compelling. An article like this highlights the type of thinking (or, non-thinking, I suppose) that passes for reason in the religious mind. It speaks of an entrenched, "fortress Christianity" worldview in which any thought not enclosed within the walls of faith is an enemy and a threat. Professor Dawkins is spot-on in calling attention to childhood indoctrination into religious belief. We have little hope of getting a grown adult to reconsider their worldview, no matter how much reason one hits them in the face with. A child, however, is a natural skeptic, and with only the encouragement to use their powers of reason, would almost certainly not entertain the wild beliefs of their parents.

Thu, 08 Mar 2007 06:10:00 UTC | #22483

Go to: Daggers Drawn

Pastafarian's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Pastafarian

I realize that I am "preaching to the choir", as it were, but I would like to make a couple of observations:

1) Professor Dawkins was asked about Fundamentalist Atheists, and his response was, naturally, spot on. He said that he knows what it would take to change his mind. (Literally an act of God, I presume). Try finding a religious apologist who'll admit to certain parameters which would cause them to change their minds. Yeah, good luck with that.

2) Once again, believers cannot tolerate even the slightest hint of criticism. How many times has someone like Professor Dawkins been portrayed as boorish and rude? Why not attack his arguments, and not him? I really believe that deep down most believers realize, perhaps subconsciously, that their faith would crumble under the pressure of critical scrutiny. Attack the messenger seems to be their only defense.

3) If they aren't vilifying anyone who dares besmirch their precious faith, the believers distort and misrepresent what is said. No one I know of seriously talks of banning religion. The money in my wallet assumes that I trust in God, yet I do not feel compelled to not use it to defend some atheistic principle. But the faithful must rile up the rest of the faithful, and demonizing non-believers is a pretty good way to do it.

But, for all that, at least those of you in the UK are able to listen to a show like this. In America we're stuck with Anna Nicole Smith, Fox News and American Idol. Oh, and on behalf of most Americans, sorry about that whole George W. Bush presidency thing. At least it's nearly over.

Sat, 03 Mar 2007 21:32:00 UTC | #21768

Go to: William Crawley meets Richard Dawkins

Pastafarian's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Pastafarian

If only television in America had the testicular fortitude to devote so much time to Professor Dawkins, or Sam Harris, in such a civilized forum. We Americans are so afraid of having our happy fantasies challenged in even the slightest way that a show like this would be impossible to air today. It is that aversion to honest debate that leads so many believers to think of Professor Dawkins as an arrogant, malicious attacker of their faith. They are very unlikely to ever read any of his books, or listen to him speak, and so will likely never develop a true sense of the message he is trying to convey. Yes, the message is a tough pill to swallow, but critics who attack the messenger both ignore and confirm Dawkins' point simultaneously.

Tue, 27 Feb 2007 18:43:00 UTC | #21132

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