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Bill Maher on Larry King Live - Comments

dazzjazz's Avatar Comment 1 by dazzjazz

Well spoken, Bill, esp the line about how jesus would handle it. I just wish there was more from LKL.
Looking forward to the film.

Darren

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 12:18:00 UTC | #119264

mbabbitt's Avatar Comment 2 by mbabbitt

Bill Maher's a nice atheist face to have in the media, but the other day I heard him talking about his conspiracy theory about prescription drugs. He seemed to think we'd all be better off without modern medicine. Hopefully none of that nuttiness makes it into the movie, especially if it's widely viewed as an atheist manifesto of any kind.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 12:19:00 UTC | #119265

HourglassMemory's Avatar Comment 3 by HourglassMemory

I really hope his film loosens people up a little bit.
It's about time religion and faith got LAUGHED AT.
Perhaps this inspires other directors and screenwriters to write films that are critical of religion.
Perhaps one day, we'll have a major film that takes place during the Inquisition, and then gets an Oscar for best wardrobe or something.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 12:20:00 UTC | #119266

toddaa's Avatar Comment 4 by toddaa

Bill Maher denies Germ Theory. Stop holding him up as a paragon of rationality. He's as bat shit insane as Tom Cruise.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 13:10:00 UTC | #119286

ChrisMcL's Avatar Comment 5 by ChrisMcL

Bill Maher is a deist, not an atheist. He has explicitly said that he is not an atheist and that he believes that there is a single god.

Still, I gotta love the the guy if only for the way that he goes after religion.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 13:12:00 UTC | #119288

crich83's Avatar Comment 6 by crich83

After his latest comments on medicine in fridays show, Im starting to question his assertion that he's a rationalist. I agree with him on religion, but he needs to stay away from medicine because he's beginning to sound like an irrational scientologist.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 13:15:00 UTC | #119290

Gustaf Sjoblom's Avatar Comment 7 by Gustaf Sjoblom

I don't care much if someone calls himself a deist, it doesn't really matter.

I like him because he really knows how to make religion look exceptionally stupid, I think he does that better than any other comedian including others I normally find funnier such as Izzard, Black and Carlin.

Here he is very straigtforward and clear and gets the message across. Props to him for that.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 13:27:00 UTC | #119292

sarah95's Avatar Comment 8 by sarah95

This little clip is now on my youtube account:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqo1a1CTf8w

for those of you who have trouble with QT.
enjoy!

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 13:53:00 UTC | #119299

Teratornis's Avatar Comment 9 by Teratornis

I'd give a lot to overhear Bill Maher and Ann Coulter having phone sex.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 14:17:00 UTC | #119309

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 10 by Gymnopedie

There is a grain of rationality to his criticism of prescription drugs, but he totally jumps off the deep end. Sure, people take way too many drugs and lack basic health education... but the drugs companies don't get together to scam every average Joe out of his pay check and poison his body.

On religion, though, he is pretty rational, although on the same show he went batshit on evidence based medicine he praised that complete and utter fucking nut case who practiced transcendental meditation to the Beetles and tricked people into a dangerous diet of water, berries, and nuts (or whatever the hell it was).

A very hit and miss guy, I think. His show is interesting every once in a while.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 14:18:00 UTC | #119311

FreeThink25's Avatar Comment 11 by FreeThink25

but the other day I heard him talking about his conspiracy theory about prescription drugs. He seemed to think we'd all be better off without modern medicine.


Not quite the same. Modern medicine doesn't necessarily imply prescription drugs. If anyone doesn't think there's a problem with the current state of medicine, then they're not very informed. There's no money in healthy people who eat right and don't take prescription drugs. Go read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell..or anything by Dr. John McDougall. Most diseases of affluence can be turned off and reversed simply by diet and lifestyle (vegetarianism mainly). But these are cheap fixes and no one makes money off them. I think Bill Maher is right to draw attention to this. Prescription drugs reduce symptoms, but do not address causes of disease...that is his point. And when you consider the tremendous amount of money to be lost by doctors, big pharma, and the beef and poultry industries, it makes sense why people want to attack anyone who voices this theory.

And this....

He's as bat shit insane as Tom Cruise.


...is just foolish.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss his opinions on medicine until you're better read on the subject.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:13:00 UTC | #119332

Mango's Avatar Comment 12 by Mango

The entire interview is worth watching, if you are able to find it somewhere on the Web.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:14:00 UTC | #119334

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 13 by Steve Zara

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss his opinions on medicine until you're better read on the subject.


I have a BSc in Biochemistry, and a PhD in Biology. I believe I have read enough.

Prescription drugs reduce symptoms, but do not address causes of disease...that is his point.


This is just nonsense. I just need to mention one word. Antibiotics. If it were not for such drugs, we would not have the luxury of considering primarily "diseases of affluence" in the Western World.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:20:00 UTC | #119338

toddaa's Avatar Comment 14 by toddaa

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss his opinions on medicine until you're better read on the subject.


Right. He denies the efficacy of vaccinations because he denies Germ Theory and you're telling me I need to do research. He's just as batty as Tom Cruise railing against psychiatry. In short, he is anti-science.

It's one thing to be critical of the pharmaceutical industry and it's political power, but to deny the efficacy of science based medicine is irrational.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:28:00 UTC | #119344

Adam Morrison's Avatar Comment 15 by Adam Morrison

I haven't heard Maher's comments on medicine, so I can't judge that, but I liked his view of religion and will probably see the movie.

Hopefully this is a sign of secularism getting more attention. I know that more of my generation are atheists than most believe. Let's just hope people apply rational thought to everything, not just religion or faith.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:43:00 UTC | #119353

BaronOchs's Avatar Comment 16 by BaronOchs

sarah95 cheers as ever! I can't get quicktime to work on my PC.

Great shall be your reward in heaven!

. . .wait oh this is the other site scratch that . . .

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 15:51:00 UTC | #119357

Gustaf Sjoblom's Avatar Comment 17 by Gustaf Sjoblom

" [...] to deny the efficacy of science based medicine is irrational."

Couldn't agree more. Turning away from real medicine and turning to pseudo-science is very dangerous. Its like cherrypicking the worst of religion and just go with it.

I must say that I as a non-american have no good picture what is really going on over there on these issues, but it really seems like you need to get things under control over there. :(


"Most diseases of affluence can be turned off and reversed simply by diet and lifestyle (vegetarianism mainly). But these are cheap fixes and no one makes money off them."

You are not really trying to blame the healthcare industry for Americas obesity are you? And I'm sure that you are not trying to say that they say that people shouldn't lose weight? If people don't know that its bad for you to eat fastfood and don't exercise then you have an educational problem.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:04:00 UTC | #119360

FreeThink25's Avatar Comment 18 by FreeThink25

I didn't really have antibiotics in mind. And I don't think Maher did either. Infectious diseases are not really on the radar anymore when you're talking about disease-related death. It's the chronic ones...the ones of affluence...that are the focus. It's cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes.....

If Bill Maher specifically stated that antibiotics are bullshit, then I missed that, and would disagree. My point is that there are better alternatives than prescription drugs for the biggest causes of disease that I just listed.

Steve, I'm sure you're very well-read. In fact, I didn't ever say you weren't.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:06:00 UTC | #119362

GSP's Avatar Comment 19 by GSP

To say that antibiotics address the cause of disease is nonsense. And to have a PhD in such a subject is to say little more than you have been indoctrinated into the common "wisdom" of the discipline at the highest levels. It is sort of like a divinity degree; so you know a lot about god, does that make you right?

The fact that Western medicine has grown in the last few hundred years to see disease as something than can be cured is to reveal its irrationality as a discipline. Disease is something that cannot be cured, and modern medicine has utterly failed to reduce the number of diseases. It has had its victories in the elimination of certain diseases, but the number of disease has grown overall, not been reduced. And as the example of antibiotics has shown, evolution will always win out, given the opportunity.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:18:00 UTC | #119365

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 20 by Steve Zara

Steve, I'm sure you're very well-read. In fact, I didn't ever say you weren't.


Well, the challenge for people who responded to you was there.

I didn't really have antibiotics in mind.


You did broadly mention "prescription drugs".

And I don't think Maher did either. Infectious diseases are not really on the radar anymore when you're talking about disease-related death.


They are. Many elderly people die of flu, against which why flu jabs are an important defence. (Maher disagrees, apparently)

It's cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes.....


My family has a tendency to develop cardiac disease - atrial fibrillation. Fortunately I don't suffer. However, this requires drugs to keep under control. It is not related to lifestyle. There are also many cancers that aren't lifestyle-related, such as childhood leukaemia, which can usually be treated effectively these days.

Maher may be not be against antibiotics, but he is anti-vaccination in general, which is, to be honest, nuts.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:20:00 UTC | #119366

Gymnopedie's Avatar Comment 21 by Gymnopedie

Maher also brings up an interesting point about the chlorination of our water supplies. I am unfamiliar with the subject, but I am curious as to how poisonous it is to our bodies and how effective the small doses are at killing bacteria and viruses in the water supply. I think reverse osmosis would be a much healthier alternative to dumping chemicals into the water supply, although far more expensive. Likewise, I am curious as to whether the fluorination of the water supply actually lowered the rates of tooth decay or it was the widespread oral hygiene movement that emerged at about the same.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:27:00 UTC | #119368

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 22 by Steve Zara

To say that antibiotics address the cause of disease is nonsense.


If you have ever had a tooth abscess, like I have, you may end up with a prescription for very strong antibiotics. Trust me, you will be grateful.

Antibiotics work in many ways. Some disrupt the biochemical processes of bacterial growth. The penicillin-based ones ihibit the cross-linking of polymers in the cell walls. This weakens the structure of the walls, destroying it, and exposes the "naked" bacterium to hazards such as osmotic pressure.

The bacteria are the cause of the disease. The antibiotic kills the bacteria. Case closed, I would say.

And to have a PhD in such a subject is to say little more than you have been indoctrinated into the common "wisdom" of the discipline at the highest levels.


In science, it shows you are able to follow the strategies of science - to devise hypotheses, and experiments to test them. It shows you can perform those experiments, and analyse the data. It shows that you can discuss your ideas and your results verbally. It is hard, and many fail.

The fact that Western medicine has grown in the last few hundred years to see disease as something than can be cured is to reveal its irrationality as a discipline. Disease is something that cannot be cured, and modern medicine has utterly failed to reduce the number of diseases. It has had its victories in the elimination of certain diseases, but the number of disease has grown overall, not been reduced. And as the example of antibiotics has shown, evolution will always win out, given the opportunity.


I would be interested to know of what your agenda is here... what is your background? Before responding, I would be interested to know if it is worth it.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:29:00 UTC | #119371

crich83's Avatar Comment 23 by crich83

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdOjKiXIuYM&feature=related

Here is a video of Bill Maher talking about prescription medicine and antibiotics on his show this past friday. its about 2 minutes in after the steriods talk.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:30:00 UTC | #119372

GSP's Avatar Comment 24 by GSP

I don't know that I necessarily have an agenda, and my background is a life-long critic of methods, ideologies, and practices, especially those that are culturally specific, that claim a monopoly on truth. My comments are generally in the interest of questioning supposed authorities on certain subjects. Nothing more.

Now I am interested. Do you, Steve (my middle name by the way, good name...), believe disease is something that can be cured?

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:35:00 UTC | #119374

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 25 by Steve Zara

I don't know that I necessarily have an agenda, and my background is a life-long critic of methods, ideologies, and practices, especially those that are culturally specific, that claim a monopoly on truth.


Well, I would claim that biochemists have a pretty significant monopoly on the truth of biochemistry. And a huge number of diseases and the methods of treating them are biochemical.

Now I am interested. Do you, Steve (my middle name by the way, good name...), believe disease is something that can be cured?


Some diseases can certainly be cured. I find that a very strange question. If you want specific examples of the biochemistry of certain diseases and how these problems can be fixed, I can tell you.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:37:00 UTC | #119375

B12's Avatar Comment 26 by B12

I'm new here and want to say hello to everyone.
If everyone enjoys the comedy of Bill Maher (aside from his crazy rants about medications), you would thoroughly enjoy a comedian named Bill Hicks. He's brilliant with his takes on religion, politics, and rationality.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:38:00 UTC | #119376

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 27 by Bonzai

Maher is not even funny, just comes across as a smart ass IMHO.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:47:00 UTC | #119380

LorienRyan's Avatar Comment 28 by LorienRyan

Thanks Sarah95 for the link.

If anything Bill Maher is encouraging free speech and debate on important issues.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:47:00 UTC | #119381

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 30 by Steve Zara

If anything Bill Maher is encouraging free speech and debate on important issues.


I happen to think some of his views are dangerous. People will die if people start to share his dislike of vaccinations, and an insufficient proportion of the population is immune to certain diseases.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:49:00 UTC | #119383

GSP's Avatar Comment 29 by GSP

As opposed to the reductionist education you undoubtedly received, I supposed I am asking if you believe disease as a phenomenon can be cured.

BTW, toddaa, I just watched the youtube video put up by crich83 and Maher does seem to believe in germs.

Mon, 11 Feb 2008 16:49:00 UTC | #119382