Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bill O'Reilly interviews Richard Dawkins

Here's Dawkins talking to Fox News' right-wing Catholic Bill O'Reilly.

Interestingly, O'Reilly plays the relativist card, "Well, it's true for me that Jesus is God", as well as aiming a blunderbus-full of crap [typical Fox style] in Dawkins' direction, including atheism is just as much a faith position, and (paraphrasing) "Well, how do you explain why the universe exists, then? Until you come up with an answer, I'm sticking with Jesus!"

Not surprisingly, Dawkins struggles a bit to cope with it all. My question is, what would have been the best responses to O'Reilly?

9 comments:

Alex said...

Stephen,
Not sure if I want to laugh or cry. What was the point of that???

"Let's try and steam-roll the soft spoken British intellectual with a healthy dose of arrogance and bluster!"

That little exchange had nothing to do with an engagement of ideas and everything to do with a sensational confrontation to grab ratings. Yish.

Jeremy said...

Alex I couldn't agree more.

How one could actually call it an interview baffles me, since O'Reilly (the host!) talked for approximately 75% of the time!

At one point O'Reilly seems to say that since science doesn't necessarily have a complete minute by minute understanding of "how it all got here", he's "throwin' in with Jesus" (!).

But of course one doesn't have to have the correct answer to recognise an incorrect one. (For instance, I'm not sure when I first heard of the O'Reilly interview, but I'm pretty damn sure it wasn't the year 2384 B.C.!)

As for the (rather unexpected) reference to the relativity of Jesus' divinity, it's such a bad argument that it's acutally hard to answer. You could make an argument for moral relitivity I suppose, but to suppose that the universe external to you is also relative (at least in the crude sense)... well that's nonsense. Perhaps Dawkins should have kicked O'Reilly in the shin - when O'Reilly starts shouting "Ow! You kicked me!", Dawkins could always reply, "Well, that may be true for you, but..."

P.S. I particularly liked Bill's reference to the "physiology" (sic) of the tides and sun.

Quite the scholar, Bill.

The Barefoot Bum said...

I have to go with Alex and Jeremy. You go on O'Reilly to get your face on TV, not to try to exchange views. O'Reilly is well known for simply shutting anyone up if they try to stand up to him.

Steelman said...

O'REILLY: You know, I know what he did. And so I'm not positive that Jesus is God, but I'm throwing in with Jesus, rather than throwing in with you guys, because you guys can't tell me how it all got here. You guys don't know.

DAWKINS: We're working on it...

O'REILLY: When you get it, then maybe I'll listen.

He'll listen once science comes through with that final, grand unified theory of everything...maybe. I get the feeling that O'Reilly is one of those people who like to read the last few pages of a novel first. He doesn't like surprises. No loose ends in a story. No doubts, just simple, straightforward, complete, irrevocable explanations that agree with his ideology. Of course, the world doesn't quite work that way, but perhaps if we pretend really hard that it does we'll feel better inside.

As an atheist, I agree with O'Reilly about not being sure that Jesus is God. However, if Bill is throwing in with whoever has the best explanation of "how it all got here," he might want to reread Jesus' explanations of biology and cosmology vs. what Dawkins has written. Not sure JC had much to say on those subjects. As Richard Carrier said in Sense and Goodness, you'd think Jesus would have had a kick ass science education, considering that his dad created the universe.

Dawkins went on O'Reilly's show for the same reason he appeared on the silly (but amusing) Colbert Report; free publicity for his book. Sitting there while Bill rattled on was a way to include the neocon demographic in his effort to reach the "fence sitters" he's after.

Freethinker said...

My question is, what would have been the best responses to O'Reilly?

Dawkins would have done better in a formal debate.

Christians always bring up Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot etc.,

Christians like to tell us that Hitler was not a christian, but evidence would show us otherwise.

See the following website for some information.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

The Founding Fathers were not christians. You can read some info here.
http://skeptically.org/thinkersonreligion/id9.html

O'Reilly did have a point though, he is quite entitled to believe whatever he wants. He did come across as the type of person that would switch sides if the evidences pointed to the non existance of a creator god.

Jeff said...

I'd've turned it around and said, "until you can prove to me that God exists, i'm sticking with objective science."

KellyR said...

We can make up anything and believe it. It's not even worth trying to educate someone like O'Reilly who's that much of an idiot. Perhaps he could have said that O'Reilly's mother's arse created the universe. 'Prove me wrong, children! Prove me wrong!'

stormshadowcult said...

cant believe the nut is still on TV.

Mark said...

Why is everyone so blinded by their hatred for bill O'reilly? Intellectually laziness abounds in these comments. Can we not disagree with someone without insults? Guess not.