Oct. 14, 2008, 7:54 p.m. CST
by Spacker Dave
Larry Charles is a fave of mine.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8 p.m. CST
If you're an non believer than you'd watch this to see people make fools of themselves and if you're a believer then you most likely won't give it the time of day. Love the toast poster though. Inspired.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST
Maher makes his point so much more effectively than Christopher Hitchens, who Maher seems to like so much. Too many people who don't believe in God come off as smug and hateful as many of those who do.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:25 p.m. CST
by riding that tidal wave of atheist sentiment the movie-going public has been clamoring for.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:30 p.m. CST
"SORRY, I'm not a BELIEVER". "I'm on TV" whaaaa!
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:32 p.m. CST
When the "greatest generation" assholes finally die off, we can put a lot of simplistic ideas behind us. Younger generations aren't nearly as strident, and many consider the whole religion thing to be complete horseshit. Can't wait.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:39 p.m. CST
by Goon Bighead
That's why your on a site with cartoon graphics and will ever write for a real publication.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST
... it's that we're all going to turn into trees when monkeys overthrow cancer. Yeah, fuck Jesus.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:42 p.m. CST
What do you want DNA? You could probably say that of any historical figure B.C.E. (Before Common Era)I think if people started writing and talking about some dude with these wild new theories and got executed by Rome, the Romans would call bullshit and say the dude never existed.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:42 p.m. CST
The historical Jesus of Nazareth did exist. The Gospels were written within a lifetime after his death, so people would have known who he was at their first writing. The locations and timeframe are all accurate and the ancillary characters in the New Testament are all real historical figures. It's much easier to argue over the divinity of Jesus than it is to argue over his existence. Or his greatness for that matter.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST
I know the census happened at some point between 12 and 6 BC. This is because the calendar created by The Church is wrong. Not hard to believe since their calendar also indicates that the Earth is 10,000 years old.
Oct. 14, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST
who thought Maher (and the film) did come off as smug and condescending? And I'm a fan of Maher and an agnostic. I just thought he still came off as the same old arrogant Bill Maher, which is not a problem necessarily, I just wish people would stop touting this as a more balanced, less vitriolic film than it is. He's consistently arrogant and occasionally downright mean to many of the folks in the film. I really think the film will alienate most of the religious people its message is aimed at.
Oct. 14, 2008, 9:16 p.m. CST
Ok, so congrats Bill, you've gone through all the religions, the 'crazy' idea of the man in the sky that you plead with when you're in trouble, but I wouldn't be so condescending because you still don't know - WHY AND HOW THE FUCK ARE WE HERE? <p>Once you get beyond all the bullshit, there's still the fundamental question lingering over everything we see. There's still the fact of occasional breakthroughs in the way we see and understand the universe. What is that saying? The most insane thing about it is that it makes any sense at all?<p>I just can't stand people who strut around proclaiming disbelief in anything God-related because when you look up at the vastness of space, I can't think of anything BUT God or at least a God concept. It's very likely that SOMETHING or some being far beyond our comprehension set things in motion and made it so that it all makes sense. To me, it's more likely that there is something than there isn't, because the latter leads to the conclusion that we very likely wouldn't even be here if it were that void of a God concept. It would mean that it's all just here and very likely wouldn't make that pesky 'sense' that it does. THAT'S the simplest explanation, NOT the explanation that it all just is here with nothing setting anything in motion. Then you come up against the pesky infinite universe (I guess one that has continuously expanded and collapsed? or one that is one of many that we're unaware of? both are possible, no?) or a universe that has a definite beginning. In that case, what was on the outside of that spec of matter and energy before the big bang? What did it expand into? How long was it sitting there? <p>I realize the quesitons of 'what was on the outside?' are brushed aside by physicists as unimportant to understanding THIS universe, the one we were given, but the question is still there, isn't it? And does anyone know the answer? Huh, Bill?<p>It just REALLY bothers me that he struts around yet doesn't address those questions that NONE of us have the answer to, and are the reason that a non-personal God concept still exists and must linger and always will until the true nature of the origins of the universe present themselves. I truly feel he has no idea about the intersection of religion and science, as many agnostics do not. They put the Christian, the Islamic, and the Jewish idols to sleep and think that the question is over, when really, it's only just begun.
Oct. 14, 2008, 9:24 p.m. CST
Your argument is interesting. The main problem many of us have with religion though is: Why does anyone need to *worship a 'god'* I think we can all agree that no one has the answers. The blind insistence of most religions that they have the key, when it is glaringly obvious that they are completely ignorant, is what makes agnostics like myself so angry. I'm all for SCIENTIFIC investigations into the origins of our universe and our species. Pretending that there is a mystical 'answer' that depends on 'faith' is where ALL religions are flat-out WRONG.
Oct. 14, 2008, 9:25 p.m. CST
Even with the fuck-up you are holding this site up like a pair of crutches lately. ☺
Oct. 14, 2008, 9:34 p.m. CST
by The Ringwraith
Since when was the Talpiot tomb nothing? I know there is no consensus about it, but I'm pretty sure its still a very valid, if controversial, theory. Simca Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino are very respected scientific journalists not prone to shock tactics, and if there's anyone I trust not to put his name to absolute bullshit its James Cameron. So I'd be careful before labeling the Talpiot tomb as "nothing". Espeically since we all know how good Christians can be at fabricating counter-arguments to scientific discoveries not compatible with their doctrine.
Oct. 14, 2008, 9:34 p.m. CST
their opinion on religion... Wow man, whoever you are, you Sir/Mam are a loser! Do you also buy diet books written by fat people who are still fat? <P> That Larry Charles Quote on him hoping the film Changing a few opinions. Those people who's opinions it would change are wastes of life! If they can't come to that type of conclusion without a hand holder- I mean fuck it! I just wouldn't want to know that person. What else could a film make them change their minds on, or become focused with. Imagine that sad fuck who always says yeah "That Religious movie... man it changed my life." <P> And Quint I haven't seen the movie but what is up with this "There is no money" quote you said???? Please tell me that wasn't said somewhere in the film. This is that sheep shit I'm talking about. Is that a Eric/Quint quote from his mouth? Or is it a quote he thought was cool and he tossed it out there trying to impress his idol. <P> People, you need to believe in whatever it is you believe in, not because someone else tells you to, but because it's what you believe in, and the only one who should challenge you and you're belief system is yourself. <P> I don't believe in Any Man Made/Documented version of God, and I'm not weak or simple enough to let a movie educate me or change my opinion on such a subject. <P> It's a sad world we live in. Arm chair critics, people who follow trends to fit in, or simply because they lack a brain and it sounds smart or intelligent to them!
Oct. 14, 2008, 9:40 p.m. CST
Ironically, in making a movie about religion being didactic and oppresive and narrow-minded, the film itself turned out to be didatic and oppresive and narrow-minded. Good chuckle here and there, though. Just a shade of neutrality would have been nice.
Oct. 14, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST
on all you haters
Oct. 14, 2008, 10:10 p.m. CST
you sound like morons. please, are you really preaching on a talkback?? about religion?? PHYSICS?! haha, your lack of a life humors me greatly. no wonder your losers. bill maher sounds MUCH smarter in every 90 minutes of this movie than both of you sound.... oh wait, you dont have a forum to speak in. im guessing cuz what you have to say interests nobody
Oct. 14, 2008, 10:10 p.m. CST
Oct. 14, 2008, 10:11 p.m. CST
i was talkin bout you
Oct. 14, 2008, 10:20 p.m. CST
by Dapper Swindler
"Why doesn’t God, who is all powerful, get rid of the devil? Why doesn’t he just obliterate the devil and be done with it? Why are we having this game? Why doesn’t he just tell us all what the skinny is on him and religion and the world instead of always going through prophets?" Ask some better questions and this documentary could have been more though provoking.
Oct. 14, 2008, 10:27 p.m. CST
Admit it is preaching to the converted, but this movie like well written books by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris are important in making this subject more open to discussion.
Some good points made here. I did see the movie, and agree that it came off as condescending. He told people that they were wrong when he himself had no alternative answer to offer. With that said, the movie did make me laugh. In the end, people should ask questions. It's healthy. However, doing so in a way to try and discredit someone else when none of us have the right answer just doesn't seem right
Oct. 14, 2008, 11:11 p.m. CST
"He told people that they were wrong when he himself had no alternative answer to offer." <p> <p> How about this: We don't know yet. Is that so hard to say? Why make up myths and fairytales to explain shit around us, and then kill each other over them?
Oct. 14, 2008, 11:15 p.m. CST
"Why are we here?" is not very sensible.<p> It assumes there "must" be a reason, or a purpose, or an objective.<p> Why assume that? Nature just happens. You live, you have powerful and interesting experiences, you stop living.<p> It doesn't "mean" something. It just happens for a while.<p> Doesn't make it any less enjoyable and important for you.<p> Imagining a super-powerful entity (somehow excused from the laws of physics) which has a brain which allocates a "purpose" or "meaning" seems hard to justify as a matter of logic.<p> But you're perfectly entitled to think that if you like. There's nothing "wrong" with thinking like that. It doesn't matter much what anyone "thinks" about these things, including Maher. <p> The problem comes when people cause harm to others who don't share their beliefs. Like the Inquistion, or the Taleban, or Al Quaeda or the Nazis. <p> They're the people to watch out for.
Oct. 14, 2008, 11:20 p.m. CST
You don't answer the 'mystery' of why 'god' doesn't just defeat the 'devil' Why is that a stupid question. Why should we worship such an apathetic being? Religion simply doesn't make sense.
Oct. 14, 2008, 11:25 p.m. CST
Reason #1156 why I don't bother to post most of the time. 'irritable' thanks you sum it up better than I could possibly.
Oct. 14, 2008, 11:46 p.m. CST
But then I'm a Bill Maher fan, and basically got what I expected. A funny "overview" of religion as seen through the eyes of a sarcastic agnostic. Personally, I could have done without the last 5 minutes where Maher gets all serious and tells us to "grow up or die".Take out that last bit and you'd encourage more debate or discussion by folks after the lights come up. It just ends the film on such a harsh and negative tone and could be off putting to a lot of folks. I still recomend it though. A very good film that could have been great. Now when is this site going to cover I.O.U.S.A.? I'm very curious to see it, but it seems to be getting a very limited release.
Oct. 14, 2008, 11:58 p.m. CST
growing up with a jewish education, ive always been taught that the "devil" should be thought of more as a metaphor for the human desire to sin, and not as an actual, living figure. one of the hebrew names for satan is actually yeitzer harah, which translates to the evil inclination. the reason this is a stupid question because the whole idea of being pious or a sinner is that we as human beings have the choice to do either. "killing" the devil would essentially mean removing from man the desire to do wrong, and thereby stripping him of free will. and that would just suck
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:14 a.m. CST
that Batman needed the Joker? Not the Riddler. Whatever, I'm seein this movie tomorrow, and I think Bill Maher is great. My opinions won't be changed. I just want a chuckle.
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:43 a.m. CST
RELIGULOUS opened at #10 on its opening weekend (grossing a dimunutive $3 million; on its subsequent weekend, it slipped off the map). Meanwhile, it's low budget Christian counterpart,FIREPROOF, sustained legs (it's star. Kirk Cameron, donated his salary to charity.). Poor li'l Maher probably double his coke dose upon reading the figures; Lion's Gate blew $$$ on commercials that drew flies ). Maher fancies himself an intellect; but its an artificial intelligence. As evinced by ratings, Maher is no Jon Stewart. He's a Stewart wannabee. Flashback: my former colleagues confused wit with smugness; they're now either saddled with Grendel-type spouses or selling lawn mowers at K-Mart. Since Mr. Maher is bereft of sex appeal or popularity (sample Towson College's female students, who opt for George Clooney's "hunkiness"; few of are aware of Maher's "puppet show"), I'll buy Black 'n' Decker hardware from the poor man. And, like his beleagured colleagues, I'll pretend to actually listen to him!
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:54 a.m. CST
Religulous per screen average is higher, it has been out for a shorter amount of time. You are full of shit and you are certainly aware of it. Proof is right here http://tinyurl.com/3o3zqb (I used tinyurl for your tiny little brain)
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:57 a.m. CST
...if most of us could actually SEE 'Religulous' we certainly would. 568 screens doens't exactly allow the possibility. I will certainly give props though to 'Fireproof.' There is an audience there that deserves to be catered to. Comparing the two is just an inflammatory bunch of shit and you know it.
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:03 a.m. CST
This movie was a bit hateful, but made some good points along the way. It was very funny stuff. If you want, you can check out my review at http://www.robertkent.net/robertkentnetmoviereviews/id10.html
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:15 a.m. CST
I'm in a hospital (2:05 AM) as a result of a collision handicap. You're defending this poor soul because--you have nothing better to do. Maher's film has equally handicapped Lion's Gate, the company that admitted the film would "tank" on DVD. Now I have to sleep (your thread has therapeutically abetted this goal). Maher, not unlike his low-rated series (HBO? Cinemax? Adult Swim?), and film failure (Michael Moore is chuckling), is looking for compassion. Do the best you can. The zip feedback to this thread is testament to the film's folly (a flop). No doubt, Lion's Gate is prepping rotten horor films to compensate for the loss. G'night--and try a hobby (aside from watching TVLand).
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:23 a.m. CST
Kirk Cameron's invisble quickie was fueled with zip p.r. Now perform your hula lessons (formerly forced upon you by your high school superiors in front of the girls' gym class) and cry to your mom. Maher is a Moore/Stewart wannabee who miserably flopped. Time to retire, I'm switching threads. This one is empty (not unlike theatres).
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST
I love the fact Bill Maher tore embedded belief systems a new one using the simplest of approaches: asking basic questions. It's funny how these monolithic systems crumble when even their most basic premises are called into question. In my opinion, it makes them that much more transparent.<p> I'm happy Maher did it with his dry sense of humor. I've not always been his biggest fan, but I respect his incisive approach.<p> Anyone interested in a decidedly more scientific and laugh out loud take on this subject should check out:<p> http://www.rifters.com/real/crawl.htm (Scroll down to: "Understanding Sarah Palin: Or, God Is In The Wattles"). This is scientist and science fiction writer Peter Watts's blog, and it's well worth reading. If you think Bill Maher's take on religion is unsettling, Watts will open up a whole new can of worms on the subject. Great stuff.<p> "Religulous" might not do that well at the box office, but I don't really care. The fact it got made gladdens me. Thanks, Bill.
Oct. 15, 2008, 2:11 a.m. CST
thegreatewhatzit- what are you smoking? Its already quadrupled its budget. In terms of money per theatre it opened in second place, and is currently (like 2 weeks out) still in 5th place. No, it didn't open number 1 overall, but that would be unreasonable considering its only in like 500 theatres. Overall its doing very well and I wouldn't be surprised if it hit 20 million in theatres (which would be a massive profit for lionsgate)
Oct. 15, 2008, 2:40 a.m. CST
by The Dum Guy
Is he pandering?
Oct. 15, 2008, 3:41 a.m. CST
1) i find it intellectually dishonest for people like dawkins to complain that religious people set up the argument in such a way that they win through definition. Certainly they (we) do do that (though i don't actually do it to win arguements with him but rather because it is what i belive) that is he really hates the idea that religious people don't require proof and claim that infact faith is proof without belief. The dishonest thing is that he does the same. I think it is faith to describe 'god' as a supernatural unquantifiable being (whether you believe or not) Science, which by definition confines itself to observable quantifiable phenomenon is simply not equipt to examine the theory that there exist something that is unquantifiable. So the the idea that science disproves religion is like saying 'only those things that can be observed are real, thing x can not be observed and therefore is not real' or another, equally dishonest statement: 'god created the earth, there is an earth therefore god exists'<p>i myself think that religious texts should be taken with a grain of salt, but the statement (incorect) that there are not secular accounts of the life of jesus is like saying, 'there are no accounts of the life of jesus, except for all of those other thousands of accounts' and there are shit loads of contempory accounts (not thousands) there is here a presupposition that it is not real that colours the argument. what about this presuposion: the reason that there are very few secular accounts is that jesus was real. since he was the son of god people he interacted with belived him to be the son of god and consequently the only accounts of his life are non secular due to the reality of his divinity. I am not saying any of these arguments are suppior or more honest. I am saying that that it is dishonest of some to say that one or another of them is more intellectually honest. anyway i'm looking forward to this, even though i realise it's main idea is 'you are stupid'. here one for anyone shaking their head saying this guy is an idoit. tell me the classical proof that the earth travels around the sun. or for that matter why life is more abundant near the equator. Or the annual turnover of the worlds largest secular charity. Or why world vision and the red cross are active in almost every country despite the evil nature of their origins
Oct. 15, 2008, 3:43 a.m. CST
it is all rhetorical, my only point here is that you need not be stupid and or evil to have faith. I know many will disagree with that.
faith is belief without proof. hmmmm
Oct. 15, 2008, 4:34 a.m. CST
100% of the things discussed in your interview have for decades been addressed and refuted by apologetics. The fact that these guys still believe in the copycat thesis that Christianity derives itself from Ancient Egyptian beliefs just solidifies how ignorant they really are. Here's what you should've asked them Quint... How about for their next comical documentary they approach the experts hmmm? You know, kind of like how Ben Stein was brave enough to do in his 'Expelled' documentary? Funny how nobody on this site has even discussed or reviewed that one, at least from what I've seen. In Expelled, atheism's frontmen and women exposed themselves for the buffoons that they are and how much hocus pocus there is in their whole 'intellectual' movement. Sorry Quint, those of us who believe in Christianity and the Bible as the absolute truth do so with full conviction and good reasons. It is often atheists and agnostics and the anti religious who prefer to simplify the world into something they're more comfortable with. An easy answer, and a target to blame, in this case religious people. Perhaps someone ought to inform Bill and co. that the worst atrocities and regimes in history have been those that rejected religion and formed their party philosophies on the state and social Darwinism. This film is only preaching to the choir so they can pat themselves on the back and be comfortable knowing that a few random religious people on the street being confronted out of nowhere like this for the first time weren't able to satisfactorily defend their beliefs from Maher. Although I'd be intrigued in knowing what sort of things were cut out of the film that they aren't telling us about. How about next time you ask them to do better and start trying to interview people who know their shit? Which should really serve as a lesson for religious people everywhere too... You better start asking questions and considering what people like Maher and Charles are accusing you of being and why they think your faith is nonsense. And once you've done that you better seek out the answers in order to justify your faith, otherwise why do you have it at all? There are plenty of resources. The damn internet is one! Libraries and book stores are another. Use them! Spend some time to study your faith. Or suit yourselves to become wimps at Maher's behest and ridicule. Quint, I recommend you do too, least you also risk being categorized in the same ignorant vein as Maher and Charles. Perhaps next time you can even call them out on some of their asanine comments and beliefs.
Oct. 15, 2008, 4:53 a.m. CST
Yeah, maybe Carmilla was unnecessarily vitriolic while responding to you, but that doesn't mean what he said didn't have any merit. You can't expect someone who doesn't have a lot of name recognition to make a boffo box office. And you DO have to look at how many screens it's playing at. I have you to see the flick, and am an agnostic, but will hopefully see it this weekend with my very religious girlfriend. I want to see what she has to say about the whole thing. But anyway, you can't say that Fireproof has had zero marketing because Kirk Cameron has a built-in base with the people who attend churches that are associated with his, I'm guessing connected nationally, and basically any church because this is a religious movie. Same concept as the Passion of the Christ but on a smaller scale. <p> So to defend Bill for a second, he was unfairly criticized and taken off of his successful ABC show after what he said about the 9/11 terrorists. And I'd argue that his HBO show is probably a lot more interesting (I was too young to really get into Politically Incorrect at the time) </p>
Oct. 15, 2008, 5:29 a.m. CST
by The Ringwraith
"It is often atheists and agnostics and the anti religious who prefer to simplify the world into something they're more comfortable with." This is very true, however it works both ways. I tend to think of it like this. Lets say 15% of religious people are so because they are informed and because their faith works for them for whatever reasons. 15% of atheists/agnostics are so because they are equally informed but their reasoned opinion differs from people of faith. The other 70% of people, whether they consider themselves religious or atheist, are probably not informed enough either way to form valid opinion. It is from that pool, the people who just assume the beliefs of their parents or the people around them, that Maher hopes to rescue people as it is the pool evangelicals recruit from. There is as much ignorance coming from one side of the fence as the other.
Oct. 15, 2008, 5:53 a.m. CST
Maher came of as incredibly smug and ill-informed. No proof Jesus of Nazareth existed? Um... thats funny because there is plenty of proof of most historians will agree he did. Whether or not he was the son of God is one thing... but to say no proof he is existed is just plain stupid. But thats not the best part. He wants to stick with that incorrect and idiotic statement because there is no DNA evidence (as someone above said, I mean I can only think that really is what he wants) then fine. But he also said the first 4 commandments were all about God. The first 4 were all about how to worship him and love him, etc. Forgot the exact thing he said, but he definitely said first 4 were God related. #4 - Honor Thy Father & Mother. Hmm... first 4... but thats 4... hmmm...are my parents God? Also the testiments do provide for most crimes, including rape, if you read them correctly. But no he wants to take them word for word. "Hey Maher....do not steal... can't you say that rape is a form of theft,of theft of a persons body without their consent" NO NO ABSOLUTELY NOT YOU CAN'T SAY THAT. But if he was taking the other end of the arguement, then that is exactly what he would say. Please, him, Michael Moore, all ignorant idiots who just make themselves look stupider then usual doing movies like this. Its one thing to have a belief, quite another to laugh (constantly) and others who have that belief, and do so right in front of their faces, saying stuff like "jeez.. you look like a smart man... you can't honestly believe that!" Insinuating anyone who believes in Religion, miracles, etc is not smart. Well I'm mostly Catholic (don't believe every single thing they teach) and I'm in Mensa so... I guess Mensa is accepting Stupid people now too.
Oct. 15, 2008, 6:07 a.m. CST
If I wanted anti-christian stuff I'de listen to some bloody amazing Slayer records! The idea of having to see this movie makes me sleepy.
Oct. 15, 2008, 6:09 a.m. CST
were eligible for Densa?
Oct. 15, 2008, 6:31 a.m. CST
(ie religion falsely masquerading as science).<p> It's hard to imagine any sensible adult, whether with religious beliefs or not, considering that religion should be taught as if it was science.<p> Certainly, in Kitzmiller v Dover Area School Board the (impeccably conservative) Judge thought that pretending that religion is science involves "breathtaking inanity". [http://tiny url.com/48mqoy]<p> As "Expelled" is only a promotional advertorial for the fraudulent activities of the Discovery Institute, it's hardly comparable to "Religulous" - which is just a documentary.
Oct. 15, 2008, 7:01 a.m. CST
It is ironic to hear how mean spirited and unobjective both Larry and Bill come off as in this interview while the whole time they seem to believe they are completely even handed. Amazing.
Oct. 15, 2008, 8:01 a.m. CST
...he's an asshole. Why would any superior being design bone cancer or allow children to be raped or people destroy each other in his name. No one can prove there is a God, but if there is, he(or she) has a lot of explaining to do (and apparently isn't going to).
Oct. 15, 2008, 8:40 a.m. CST
I've read a fairly interesting book called "The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus" and its pretty good. Even if you are a believer, or ultimately disagree with it, the book is pretty convincing in showing that there is no historical basis for Jesus. It isn't about lack of DNA either. If nothing else, go to Amazon.com and check out the reviews. If you read all the reviews you'll find plenty of Christians saying that the book had some really great points. Of course, I'm not saying people haven't tried to refute the book, but it does a darned good job of showing that the claim that there isnt any historical evidence is actually one you can't immediately discount (anymore).
Oct. 15, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST
Interesting. I never knew that. I'm seeign this tonight. Really lookign forward to it.
Oct. 15, 2008, 9:16 a.m. CST
Q: How many MENSA members does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A: One to screw in the lightbulb, and the rest of the membership to tell you that they are members of Mensa because no one else cares.
Oct. 15, 2008, 9:39 a.m. CST
You dopes who contradict this statement...let's see your evidence. Cite ONE SOURCE that is not the discredited forgery from Josephus, which most CHRISTIANS even admit is false. You are like the "scientists" who clung to the idea that the earth is flat, etc., etc., because you're too cowardly to go out and do the research. <p>I used to be a very sincere, truth-searching Christian. One day, it hit me just how insane the whole idea of eternal torture in hell really is...then I began to question other things...then I thought, "OK, let me at LEAST be convinced that Jesus existed AS A MAN and I'll go from there." <p>Guess what? No evidence whatsoever. And it has NOTHING to do with lack of DNA evidence. There is NO MENTION OF HIM from the people who kept the records of that time. If the stuff in the New Testament was true, if someone existed named Jesus who caused so much turmoil and such an uprising in Israel, wouldn't SOMEONE have kept a record of it? They didn't. <p>The thing is...I WANT someone to prove me wrong...so do it. But as you do the research, you'll realize you can't. And then YOU'LL have to go from there.
Oct. 15, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST
Did they bury him? Burn him? Was he taken aloft by God? There's nothing in Egyptian history to show that he existed or of a slave uprising... wha happened???
Oct. 15, 2008, 9:50 a.m. CST
Maher's film is dead; consult IMDb (meanwhile, God is well and alive and prompting debates). God's name recognition sustains popularity; only insomniacs are aware of Maher's existence. Who's the asswipe who insisted that Kirk Cameron still kindles some sort of popularity? I forgot this guy was cast in some ancient sitcom. I really doubt "Kirk Cameron, star of ??" was plastered on theatre marquees. The bottom line is a low budget, pro-Christian film is minting money (zip publicity, zip marketing) while Maher's vanity project is six feet under. Maher is a dick, confusing smugness with intellect (think Eddie Hascal). Grossing only $3 million, his home movie is no blessing to Lions Gate (the company spent more than $3 mill on commercials, prints, et al). The distributor will, no doubt, be eager to buy more amateur horror movies for direct-to-DVD firesales as compensation. Anyone on this site, saddled with a $10 quickie, should consult the company ASAP. Okay, I'm bored and stuck in a hospital (will be discharged later today). This thread is more dead than the ER "out patients" (morgue meat). I'm outta here (the good news for Maher; this thread has prompted more attendance than his TV show...is it still broadcast?).
Oct. 15, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST
Do you want God to rule your will, to not give you a choice? <p>Vices are products of humans, not what God allows. <p>You have free will. Do whatever you want to do. But here is where most people, religious or non-religious forget. There is accountability. Don't think you will rape a child and get away with it. I think there would be serious injustice if people get to commit murder and not go to hell for it. And I am hoping the first ones are the suicide bombers.
Oct. 15, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST
The company pays an average of $10,000 to $25,000 for trainwrecks (amateurish horror movies); they just wrap it in an extravagant DVD jacket (cool art, sometimes a hologram). Now is a good time to unload some crap (I work with these guys).
Oct. 15, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST
The Romans have no record of Jesus and they kept great records. The men who wrote the conflicting gospels of the New Testament never met Jesus. The whole thing is pretty silly when you consider its modern day incarnations.<p>Maher is a hero for bringing these ideas to this great film.
Oct. 15, 2008, 10:40 a.m. CST
A sleezy, angry little man.
Oct. 15, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST
In the next interview, how about you go interview a guy at Jiffy Lube and discuss how the space shuttle works. Nothing entertains me more than reading what people think about subject matter to which they have no informative opinions to share.
Oct. 15, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST
I think you're looking at this argument in the wrong way. <br>Maher asks why God allows the Devil to exist. Others ask why things like tornadoes, mudslides, tsunamis, and other non-manmade disasters are allowed by God to happen (I think this is part of Maher's question, too). I think these are good points, and the "free will" argument doesn't have anything to do with them (although one TBer mentioned kids getting raped, which is a manmade occurance and does have to do with free will). <br>I would like to know, personally, why God allows natural disasters. The whole idea of punishing man's wrong-doing just seems archaic to me because most of the people who are impacted by these events probably lead good lives. <br>So let's ask the question a different way. According to the stories, God made this planet for man to live on. So why did he construct a planet which has a surface that grinds upon itself, causing entire areas of ground to shift violently and rivers of deathly lava and smuthering ash to belch forth or creating gigantic waves that smash the land and surge over dry areas, wiping out many living things in its path? Why create a weather system that brings with it violent storms that literally destroy everything in their path, leaving scars on the earth, and create cold and hot stages that decimate the planet's flora and fauna? Why create a universe with huge projectiles that fly around at tremendous speeds and every so often fling themselves upon an inhabited planet, killing off entire species, or even worse stars that explode when they die, swallowing planets in their last act? Why create creatures who must take the lives of others on a daily basis in order to just survive? <br>That's pretty sadistic.
Oct. 15, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST
Oh, please. <br>You don't go to an idiot at Jiffy Lube to talk about space shuttles because space shuttles are quantifiable and when you go to an astronaut, you can be just about 100% certain that they know more about space shuttles than a grease jocky at Jiffy Lube. <br>But no one knows for absolute certain (in the true sense of the word "knows") whether or not God exists. In this case, the idiot has just as much actual information as the "expert". The only difference is that the expert has studied the beliefs of people. So what? I'm only interested in what other people believe A) out of a scholarly and poetic curiousity and B) because their beliefs significantly influence my country's politics. Because it is the "idiots" and not the "experts" who vote in droves, I'm really interested in what compels them to vote in the manner that they do (with regards to both parties).
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:16 p.m. CST
The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems! -Homer Simpson (but replace religion with beer lol)
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:28 p.m. CST
I am just saying....
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:38 p.m. CST
or maybe it just doesn't exist...<p> Just sayin...
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST
One thing I always hated about Mahr is when he is asked a question that he can't answer, he cracks a joke instead of answering it. He's just an Atheist fundamentalist- he believes all problems stem religion. He is the inverse of those he lampoons, with the same flaws and blindness. If he'd stop and think, all problems stem from people.
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:44 p.m. CST
Actually there is more evidence for Jesus than almost anyone else alive during the early A.D. years. If you exclude governement authority figures you don't have near the ammount of evidence for any other person in history from that time. So I guess if you wish to exclude Jesus as a historical figure you would also have to exclude the bulk of humanity as ever existing. That is an interesting point of view, but not very logical.
Oct. 15, 2008, 12:50 p.m. CST
"A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." Maher and his supporters definately have a little philosophy. Perhaps someday they will gain some depth in the subject.
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST
I guess my theological degree from Princeton doesn't count for much. I have now been set straight, thanks to their informed dialogue. I kneel at the altar of their theological insight.
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:25 p.m. CST
He only acted like a dick half the time in this case. He did bring up quite a few valid points, the whole Horus montage I'm definitely looking into, but at the same time he seemed more interested in ridiculing his subjects rather than interviewing them. I also found his concept of a God to be rather simplistic. If you think of God in a primitive, storybook way then of course its going to come off stupid. His view of most Christians is pretty similiar in that he basically believes most don't practice Christ's morality which is really unfair. If you use only the fanatics to make your point it's easy to ignore all of the really good people. Case in point, I think the Mormons believe in some really silly, stupid things, but every single Mormon I met have done more charity work than the average person, including me. I look like a selfish asshole next to these people. I guess my point is that Bill Maher is throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to abandoning religion.
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST
I am pretty much a solid atheist/agnostic type, and didn't think a comedic film by Bill Maher/Larry Charles was really going to be an earth-shaking philosophical document. Basically, I look at the title and understand that its mostly a film about sillier side of religion (why, people keep asking, are there no religious moderates in the film? Well, they're not really all that religulous are they?)<br><br>So anyway, I was already in agreement with Maher and willing to accept the film for what it is. But a few things kind of troubled me, the biggest perhaps being that I thought Judaism gets a surprising pass in the film. He rags on the ex-jews for Jesus guy... but is converting from one made-up religion to another really much more stupid than just staying put? The only Jewish guy who takes any heat is the Holocaust denier guy, who admittedly is an annoying asshat, but so far from any other Jewish religious thought that he hardly even qualifies as a token represenation. He actually seems pretty sympathetic to the elderly (Rabbai?) who demoans that the Muslims have erected a building over the former temple area. Seems like the joke is at least equally on the Jews for not letting it go after all this time. I mean, its not like I went to the movie to really see him beat up on Jewish people, but sometimes the movie seemed almost pro-Jewish where it was definitely anti- Christian, Muslim, Mormon, etc. I really can't figure out why this would be, unless its just because its a smaller religion than the other ones. He also doesn't address any Asian religions, I guess since they're not much of a force in America, but it might have been interesting to hear his take on em since their philosophy is pretty different than the monotheistic religions he goes after. <br><br> My other main problem is, of course, the end, which (as others have noted) is unfunny and completely unrelated to the rest of the movie. Religion will destroy us all? Please. There are plenty of reasons Religion should go away, but I think we're much more likely to destroy ourselves with nuclear weapons for other reasons (greed, hatred, fear, insanity... religion doesn't have a monopoly on em). There are much better arguments against religion that more directly stem from the rest of the film, and I wish he had used them instead.
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:43 p.m. CST
Does anyone know how accurate he was or can at least point me to some texts on this? I'm curious about that one for some reason.
Oct. 15, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST
by Snowed In
...was when Erik Estrada knocked him out on "Pictionary". It's been all downhill since then.
Oct. 15, 2008, 2:22 p.m. CST
I remember reading in one of those Strobel books a pretty interesting argument for Christ's divinity. The question is: why would you die or martyr yourself for something you KNOW for a fact is a lie? Jesus's disciples all knew whether he really resurrected or not and all of them ended up executed exiled or otherwise. Assuming this is true, why would they do this? What did they have to gain? Thoughts?
Oct. 15, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST
Oct. 15, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST
Oct. 15, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST
People don't seem to understand Maher's point. We DON'T know ....nobody does so to believe 100% in anything is ridiculous. His jabs are really just to underscore the point that Christianity, Islam and others are intended to be the ultimate truth but there is simply no concrete evidence. Just F'ing say you don't know but I hope X is true. Frankly I personally refuse to believe there is a being as deeply cruel, selfish and insensitive as God/Johovah/Yaweh. If there was such a being I would never serve him. F him, you thought Hitler was bad....Billions sick, murdered, etc over the course of world's existence, some tortured in a fiery pit for all times cause they don't agree with him and he is supposed to be the GOOD GUY. Hopefully such a being can't exist...... If someday I am wrong hopefully I will be able to spit in his and satan's face for using us as puppets.
Oct. 15, 2008, 4:19 p.m. CST
Just wanted to get your attention.<p> I believe the question stated above was: Why and how the fuck are we or anything else here?<p> Well, as it turns out, the simplest answer is not that some creature or lifeform beyond us set it all in motion billions of years ago. The simplest answer is in fact that the initial question is misleading in the fact that it presupposes an answer. We've learned a lot about our universe. It's 13.7 billion years old, and is around 14 billion lightyears wide. We know about relativity and quantum mechanics and string theory, and its cousin, loop-quantum gravity. We also know about BBNS (Big Bang Nucleosynthesis), and how it explains why a lot of the chemicals that make up your body cannot be manufactured by any process on Earth, but instead in the hearts of stars older than our sun. We know about the evolution of stars and more importantly, of man.<p> But, not one single answer as to "why" or "how." Perhaps the simplest answer to the query is this:<p> There is NO why or how. There is NO over-arching, cosmic "reason" for us to be here other than the words, "Shit happens."<p> But human arrogance isn't satisfied with that. No, human arrogance demands more. Feels it has a right to more. Alas, there ISN'T more, as far as we can figure, and we've figured out a LOT of shit. Instead, it's better to ask this question:<p> WHY do WE feel we NEED that big, overarching meaning, and all of the dogma that it entails?<p> If it's because we feel we "can't handle" being nothing but scurrying pieces of meaningless cosmic dust, the leftovers from some process far more ancient than us, then humanity need to grow the fuck up. I know I have. I do not need a bogeyman in my closet to make me stay in my bed. I do not need a "battle for heaven" to explain cosmic furies in the sky. I do not need archers in the stars nor saviors on crosses, nor do I need promises for an afterlife. This life will do me just fine, thanks. No need for an eternal paradise or neverending pain here. Nope. I'm fine.<p> All I need are my friends, my family, and the people and things that bring me fleeting pleasure as I hurtle around on this tiny, TINY globe in space, for whatever 50-80 years I get to be here. And when I lay down, and my eyes close, and the neurons in my head stop firing their electro-chemical impulses, I will smile. Because I will have lived. And I will have done it without the headfull of horseshit known as Christianity or Paganism or Islam or Judaism.<p> Nope, I'll die happier for not having to have dealt with all that shit, at least in my own life.<p> What others do is their own damn business.
Oct. 15, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST
The smoking gun against Christianity? Hardly. The idea that the deity would take on human form in order to teach us and lead us into the light was (is) embedded in the souls of all humanity so that we would be (are) more inclinded to it when it happened. The Christian good news does not point backwards to these myths as its origin. Rather these myths are signposts pointing forward to the Christian truth.
Oct. 15, 2008, 9:16 p.m. CST
by Billy Goat
It's based on fundamentally backwards concepts of love, truth, morality, and justice.<p>Christianity depends on the following premises:<br>1. It is possible for a perfect Creator to be displeased by His own handiwork.<br>2. A displeased Creator can be pleased again if you murder something.<br>3. Anyone who doesn't see how perfectly sane and reasonable 1 and 2 are, deserves punishment.<p>I mean, it's not like beliefs are choices. To believe, means to think something is true. When something looks true, you believe it. When it doesn't, you don't. There's no choice involved.<p>Now we all know that it is unjust to punish people for things beyond their control, including beliefs. Even the Catholic church admits that it was wrong... MORALLY wrong... to punish Galileo for his sincere thoughts. But isn't that what Hell is? A punishment for sincere thoughts? What does that tell us about the morals of the God who created Hell? And the people who love Him?<p>Christian often tell me, "you can't get to Heaven by being good." Which makes me wonder: Why would someone who wants to be good, care about Heaven? Why would someone who wants to get to Heaven, care about being good? And, which one of those two desires would God prefer people to have?<p>Just some stuff to think about.
Oct. 15, 2008, 9:21 p.m. CST
I tend to agree with Subtlety. I thought the religion wil ldestroy us all mushroom cloud/zealot montage at the end wa heavy handed. <p> I also agree that Maher seems to give the Jews a pass. Most notably in his interview with the Rabbi who attended the Iranian Holocaust conference. He attacks this man, and maybe he deserves to be, but what does the fact that this man denies the Holocaust have to do with religion? Maher used it soley as a way to ONCE AGAIN pledge support for Israel. Apparently Maher doesn't see the hypocrisy in this sentiment--supporting Israel, a religious-based, and therefore undemocratic, state in a fil about doubting religous faith? Huh?
Oct. 15, 2008, 9:25 p.m. CST
not "Koran". Just FYI. ;)
Oct. 15, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST
I think the point Maher was making was that if one of the other religions is right then there WOULD be consequences for a devoted Christian or a devoted anything. Given the sheer number of belief systems in history and the infinite number of possibilities that have never been articulated, the odds that any one person of any individual denomination chose the right one are very slim. Now I think the "playing the odds" argument is a disingenuous reason for choosing a religion in the first place but one could say the odds of a higher power showing mercy on an agnostic who chose not to believe anything are greater than the odds He would show mercy on someone who was devoted to a false god. Maher isn't telling you not to believe, he's asking you to admit you don't know for sure. Just as he admits he doesn't know. If you do question your faith as good people do then he's not targeting you. He's only targeting people that refuse to allow any doubt in their beliefs. He thinks the same of atheists who do this as he does of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Scientologists, Mormons, etc...
Oct. 15, 2008, 11:44 p.m. CST
All I see are three individuals with the most tenuous grasp of the complexity of the subject of religion trying to disprove it. It's laughable at best, the movie will make hundreds has a previous talkback pointed out.
Oct. 16, 2008, 12:06 a.m. CST
get off your high horse, you don't value logic at all. It's fucking ridiculous. Why don't you share your incredible grasp of the complexity of religion Mier1? Because I see very logical and intelligent discourse being presented from the non religious types then from the religious ones who spew the same moronic bullshit that hasn't changed in 2,000 years. Alanmoore, i'm impressed man, just well put. Why don't you bible thumpers read his post, and also think about the very real possibility that you might be wrong, either because you chose the wrong side or that their is no higher power OR that if there is, it doesn't give a shit about you to begin with...
Oct. 16, 2008, 6:18 a.m. CST
I don't usually take much interest into what people in these talkbacks have to say, mostly because of my own arrogance. I admit, most of the time I think anybody who has any sort of contradictory opinion to mine is someone who is 'wrong'. This mindset implies that I know what is right, which I will admit, with a slight amount of chagrin, is selfish and mistaken. For reasons that are far too personal, I wanted to check back on this talkback. Like every other human being, I am not only bound, but destined, to make mistakes throughout my life. Such mistakes may or may not be considered 'serious' at the time, like my ability to quickly discredit any of you for your opinion on who might be the next Captain America, or to the extent to which you preach your faith in your particular God or religion. Admittedly, reading what a lot of you had to say, it is VERY easy to see why in my generation, someone like Bill Maher would make a movie like this. Then I came across what the talkbacker alanmoore had to say. Something struck a chord when I read those last couple paragraphs. "All I need are my friends, my family, and the people and things that bring me fleeting pleasure as I hurtle around on this tiny, TINY globe in space, for whatever 50-80 years I get to be here. And when I lay down, and my eyes close, and the neurons in my head stop firing their electro-chemical impulses, I will smile. Because I will have lived. And I will have done it without the headfull of horseshit known as Christianity or Paganism or Islam or Judaism. Nope, I'll die happier for not having to have dealt with all that shit, at least in my own life. What others do is their own damn business." The world is a very inconceivable place, full of mystery and wonder, as well as ideas and beliefs. Man (and Woman) have the unique ability to recognize their consciousness which undoubtably pushes most of us to look for answers for the unexplainable. Most of you have reasons, just like me, for believing what you believe; your upbringing, your personal obstacles, etc. There is, however, a very volatile notion that comes with succumbing to what is force fed into your mind. If we, as HUMANS, and not just people of different faiths, or religion, or race, or sex, or ideologies, or WHATEVER, would just search a little deeper within our own minds, and more importantly our hearts, and just learn to LIVE, and NOT DIE, with one another, I truly believe an answer might present itself within your personal mental awareness. Life is not lived just to be right, then die; Be wrong, it takes more integrity. Opinions, beliefs, ideas, hypotheses, conceptions, proposals, visions, suggestions- they all bear the same weight when arguing. If you possess even the slightest ounce of sympathetic, tolerant bone in your body, as a Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Jew, Mormon, Scientologist, Buddhist, (sorry if I left you out, I highly doubt you're reading this anyway), you might take a second to recognize your fellow HUMAN BEING and his freedom on this Earth to believe in whatever he or she may believe in. The world is far from perfect, as is man in all his arrogance of validity in the universe. But maybe, just maybe, we can all learn to appreciate the mistakes of our lives, instead of making excuses for why we make them. "True uncertainty scares me far less than being falsely certain" Now, go out and live and let live, and who knows, maybe even love.
Oct. 16, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST
So tired of this. Agnosticism is a religion only if not stamp collecting is a hobby. Think about it.
Oct. 16, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST
Well, I don't know about agnosticism but atheism is very much like a religion. For lots of reasons. Think about this, I know that "Not Stamp Collecting" is not a hobby, but how many web sites are about "Not Stamp Collecting"? How many are there out there promoting atheism?
Oct. 16, 2008, 5:34 p.m. CST
Well, there would be a lot more if Stamp Collecting was a major part of the reasons our leaders declared war and a significant influence on the way the country is governed. In the absence of religion, there would be no need for Atheist websites/books/etc.
"If an Atheist is wrong, that person is doomed. For eternity." <p>Really? I guess I'm in trouble. I don't know if there is a god but I also don't know if Pink Unicorns exist either. By your logic, the atheist should just accept the nonsense of the bible (written back when people had all the answers) to ensure that they will fly with the angels in the make-believe afterlife. <p>If god punishes intelligent people who question his existence in a fiery hell, then he’s just a big asshole. And if you read the bible, you will find the god character to be a vengeful, divisive prick. I don’t need any of that ancient crap in my life.
Oct. 16, 2008, 8:52 p.m. CST
You believe something with certainty without any proof. That's religion.
Oct. 16, 2008, 9:10 p.m. CST
A tired argument at best. You assume the world would have less war and violence and more peace if political leaders were atheists? I see nothing in the human heart or mind to suggest that. In particular I would offer Stalin and Mao. Moreover, the fact that you suggest there is a need to eliminate religion implies that there is an ideological and political agenda that atheists are promoting--in this way then atheists become the very thing they criticize--people who would push their ideas on all--except, of course, their position is the correct or superior one. Oh, the irony. Finally, your argument is in a long line of very tired one--the world would be great only if we could get rid of [BLANK] people. What should we use to fill in the blank? It depends upon whom you ask. It could be captalists, communists, feminist, men, blacks, whites, the rich, the poor, gays, Muslims, Christians, atheists or in your case and the case of Maher and his crew--the religious. More irony.
Oct. 16, 2008, 9:34 p.m. CST
are exactly the type of person Bill Maher criticizes. I don't think it's pushing a politcal ideology to say the world would be a better place if there were no genocidists or suicide bombers or child molestors. Bill Maher is calling out anyone who believes with absolute certainty something that no evidence.<p>TallBoy66, agnosticism is the belief that absolute truth as to the existence of a higher power is, by definition, unattainable.
Oct. 16, 2008, 9:46 p.m. CST