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← Bill Maher Slams 'Extremist' Muslims On HBO's Real Time

Bill Maher Slams 'Extremist' Muslims On HBO's Real Time - Comments

Pete.K's Avatar Comment 1 by Pete.K

I like Bill Maher, he tempers serious messages with humour, making them more palatable.

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:19:00 UTC | #464581

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 2 by Richard Dawkins

This is the kind of thing that justifies the AAI in giving him that award last year. I know he doesn't always talk sense about medical matters, but this splendid little recital makes it all worth while. I am proud to have presented the award to Bill Maher. I especially like the sting in the tail where he makes as if to say something concilatory about decent, moderate Muslims: They only want to be left to subjugate their women in peace (or words to that effect).

Keep up the good work.


Sat, 01 May 2010 15:25:00 UTC | #464585

Stella's Avatar Comment 3 by Stella


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Also, what Richard said.

I wish more public personalities in Europe would take this stance. We will NOT undo the Enlightenment.

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:32:00 UTC | #464588

stanleygarden's Avatar Comment 4 by stanleygarden

I've always found inspiration in Maher. And although like you rightly point out, Richard, he has been, on one or two occasions, off track regarding some medical issues, when it comes to pillorying religion and defending free speech there is seriously NOBODY like him. (Except of course the Great George Carlin, RIP)

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:35:00 UTC | #464589

LWS's Avatar Comment 5 by LWS

Richard, Don't keep us in suspense, name names please that you are considering for the award this year.

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:36:00 UTC | #464591

SRWB's Avatar Comment 6 by SRWB

Fully agree - that was one of Bill's best.

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:40:00 UTC | #464593

TehSpamMan's Avatar Comment 7 by TehSpamMan

Great to watch, had mixed feelings about Maher but he gets a thumbs up from me for these comments.

Just one thing, when he says 'you can clap that'. You think thats because Christopher Hitchens said his audience will clap anything? Then some shows after Maher almost begged his audience to stop clapping. I dont know if its an ongiong thing he brings up now and then as i dont watch his show often.

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:42:00 UTC | #464594

Nairb's Avatar Comment 8 by Nairb

Great Video. I really like the messages that some things are not negotiable and that some cultures are not just different - some are better

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:50:00 UTC | #464597

lordpasternack's Avatar Comment 9 by lordpasternack

Richard - if by "doesn't always talk sense about medical matters" you mean "purposefully uses his position in the public arena to, in his own ignorance and paranoia, shamelessly poke fun at medical science and actively corrode public understanding and respect of it"...

But of course if you wish to present an award in your name - that has some connotation of some contribution to scientific understanding - to a person or persons solely on the merit of their contribution to anti-religious/pro-nonreligious public sentiment, and IN SPITE of their other activities CORRODING public understanding and respect of science - then that is entirely your privilege.

Sat, 01 May 2010 15:59:00 UTC | #464599

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 10 by Steve Zara

Maher promotes views that kill:
He's no friend of reason, and a dangerous ally.

Sat, 01 May 2010 16:14:00 UTC | #464604

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 11 by Stafford Gordon

I loved the punch lines vis freedom of speech et al; it is very important for us to keep those hard won principles in the very forefront of our minds all the time.

It's also high time we in the developed world stopped apologizing for our way of life; it was saved from Facism in the Second World War, it must not be allowed to fall under this current onslaught!

Apropos of Sharia Law an expression containing the words "inch" and "mile" springs to mind.

Sat, 01 May 2010 16:21:00 UTC | #464608

quisquose's Avatar Comment 12 by quisquose

Of course being an atheist does not prevent somebody holding other crazy ideas.

I never joined in with the criticism of the AAI because of Bill Maher's views on medical matters, since I thought they were irrelevant.

However, I was slighty puzzled because I have heard Bill Maher go on record a number of times to deny he is an atheist.

Sat, 01 May 2010 16:23:00 UTC | #464610

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 13 by the great teapot

To be fair Muslims can be pretty easy going too.
Take Frank Ribery a recent convert to Islam, and husband and father of two has just been down to see the gendarmarie for employing a 17 year old prostitute. I don't know if she wore a Burka, the media never said, but the point remains your average muslim is just as liberal when it comes to absolute morals as your average priest.

Sat, 01 May 2010 16:27:00 UTC | #464612

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 14 by TIKI AL

Good rant, but let's not forget that killing Dr. Tiller and bombing family clinics is alot more serious than threatening cartoonists.

Please don't sell our 'Mercan Christian Crazies short, Bill!

Sat, 01 May 2010 16:33:00 UTC | #464613

Abdul al-Hazred's Avatar Comment 15 by Abdul al-Hazred


You are right. His views on Islam are incidentally the same as many of ours. But he is no rationalist when it comes to his views on medicine.

Is it any better to hold these views than it is to believe in 7th Century Arab myth?

Sat, 01 May 2010 16:39:00 UTC | #464617

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 16 by mordacious1

Well Richard, you are the one who stuck his hand in the hornet's nest, so if you get a few stings...

Let's remember what the award states:

The Richard Dawkins Award will be given every year to honor an outstanding atheist whose contributions raise public awareness of the nontheist life stance; who through writings, media, the arts, film, and/or the stage advocates increased scientific knowledge; who through work or by example teaches acceptance of the nontheist philosophy; and whose public posture mirrors the uncompromising nontheist life stance of Dr. Richard Dawkins.

Now, if you draw a thick, bold, black line through "advocates increased scientific knowledge", then by all means, give him the award...he would deserve it then.

Sat, 01 May 2010 16:52:00 UTC | #464621

ridelo's Avatar Comment 17 by ridelo

Some things are not negotiable. Like what's happening here.
Maybe someday you also make a better distinction between Big Pharma and Big Placebo.
Keep it up, Bill!

Sat, 01 May 2010 16:53:00 UTC | #464622

bethe123's Avatar Comment 18 by bethe123

Can somebody please give a link/URL to show why they think Maher has anti-scientific views on medicine, if that is in fact the claim.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:08:00 UTC | #464625

LWS's Avatar Comment 19 by LWS

Maher was given the award for Religulous. The movie
fits the criteria:

"through work (writings, media, the arts, film) or by example teaches acceptance of the nontheist philosophy; and whose public posture mirrors the uncompromising nontheist life stance of Dr. Richard Dawkins."

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:12:00 UTC | #464628

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 20 by mordacious1

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:16:00 UTC | #464630

creator's Avatar Comment 21 by creator

At about 5:00 into this interview, Maher explains why he decided not to avail himself of the flu vaccine.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:18:00 UTC | #464631

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 22 by mordacious1


Btw, if you cursor down to the bottom of this blogger's post, he give links to expamples of Maher's woo woo beliefs.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:19:00 UTC | #464632

Hylo's Avatar Comment 23 by Hylo

Bill Maher did make a few comments last year on his show that made him seem like a vaccination skeptic (it was around the time of the Swine flu vaccine) but in fairness to him he did reclarify he position and his views actually aren't nearly as anti-scientific on that subject as I once thought.

Bill is very health conscious and I think he has a lot of valid points about the health perspective in the United States and the over-reliance on medications rather then healthy living.

To that extent I fully agree with him, I think it's simply a case that he has failed to articulate his position on the matter with clarity and it has caused a lot of people to understandably think he is a bit of an "alternative health"/anti-medicine nut.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:22:00 UTC | #464634

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 24 by mordacious1


The award does not state "OR advocates increased scientific knowledge"....

From reading the award, it's for people who promote nontheist views AND advocate increased scientific knowledge. Maher promotes woo woo, and as Zara says, it kills people.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:26:00 UTC | #464636

UncleJJ's Avatar Comment 25 by UncleJJ

Bill at is at his best when he's slamming religion. Yet another great clip of him doing what comes easy to him.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:32:00 UTC | #464637

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 26 by Bonzai

This guy just annoys me with his smug face and lame jokes. I think Pat Condell makes the same points much better.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:33:00 UTC | #464638

bethe123's Avatar Comment 27 by bethe123

Well OK, Maher is an easy target, because he is not a scientist.

Try taking on somebody like Linus Pauling who had alternative medical views and we will talk. It 100% true the pharma companies are not interested in making you healthy...only in selling you expensive drugs, which requires you to be sick.

Maher is on the right track, but because of his lack of training, he cannot objectively evaluate what is quackery (although plausible) and what is valid.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:35:00 UTC | #464640

LWS's Avatar Comment 28 by LWS

mordacious1 - I think (could be wrong) that Penn & Teller received the award too. Laughter is the best medicine.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:38:00 UTC | #464642

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 29 by phil rimmer

Comment #485390 by Steve Zara
Comment #485407 by mordacious1

I so have to agree with Steve and Mordy on this. It pains me to see the AAI award raised again but it is necessary. Maher's lapse in rationality on a matter so important to our society forever tarnishes the effectiveness of whatever else he may say.

His statements on Islam may well be driven by his rationality of thought. His statements here do appear rational to me, but the appearance of rationality is not, POLITICALLY, enough. He may arrive at a rational conclusion through a bigoted route, and as someone who has not demonstrated any great probity in the matter of rational thinking, his powerful statements here are politically compromised.

Richard is right to worry about this problem but wrong to think that earlier error can be simply lost under apparently rational subsequent statements.

I urge Richard to fix this problem properly. I think it is important enough to expend some effort on, so... I urge him, for instance, to do a further TV program on alternative attitudes to medicine, where you take Bill on a journey to meet medical experts. Where Bill can learn more hard facts on inoculation and the difficult balance of personal versus societal risks etc. His journey will be a public service to better inform people about the underlying science. I suspect that his opinions may change, but if not at least his opinion on the rightness (morality!) of voicing his opinion should end up changed. The responsibility of manipulating the public's actions in life or death decision-making is a grave one and should be left to experts.

If he ends up unchanged then at least he has been the cause of good information getting out to the general public. Maybe, if this actually is the outcome, Richard's view of Bill may end up being the one changed.

Whatever, the issue will have been honorably addressed and some good TV will have been produced.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:43:00 UTC | #464645

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 30 by mordacious1


Try taking on somebody like Linus Pauling...

I can't, he's been dead for 16 years. But he had some alt medicine views that have since been proven wrong. He believed, if I remember correctly, that you could treat cancer with large doses of Vit. C...of course he died of cancer so I'm not too sure that was effective.

Sat, 01 May 2010 17:47:00 UTC | #464646