Animal-rights activists are the danger to animals »« End-of-term madness descends

Dawkins & Krauss in a new movie

I’m looking forward to The Unbelievers, too…although I suspect there is no way in hell it will ever be shown at the Morris theater. When I can get it on DVD we’ll have to have a screening for the godless folk around here.

Is every CNN announcer now required to bring up the Boston bombing at every occasion? My wife had it on yesterday while she was working out, and it was intolerable — everything was Boston, Boston, Boston, with talking heads yammering about the horrible Mooslims. I think Dawkins addressed it well here, though.

Comments

  1. Randomfactor says

    As soon as the bombs went off, I guessed that the perpetrators would be young, male, white, and religious. The only wildcard was WHICH religion.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Is every CNN announcer now required to bring up the Boston bombing at every occasion?

    Yep. Just as their sister network HLN (which does NOT stand for Headline News Network) is required to be all Jodi Arias, all the time. Except this morning, when they’re covering a hearing for George Zimmerman. The Arias trial is supposed to be wrapping up so I guess they’re beginning a segue.

  3. mattand says

    My wife had it on yesterday while she was working out, and it was intolerable — everything was Boston, Boston, Boston, with talking heads yammering about the horrible Mooslims. I think Dawkins addressed it well here, though.

    On the bright side, CNN went with Dawkins and not Sam Harris.

  4. michaelraymer says

    The best part of that clip was when the CNN anchorwoman tried to wrap things up while scoring a parting shot for the religious. She was pointing out that religious people help others and do good, and was about to end the interview there. Of couse, Dawkins didn’t let that slide by pointing out we don’t need religion to do good and help others. The thing I always find amusing about the “it makes people good” argument is how it’s almost a tacit admission that religious beliefs are not true. Because if they were true, the religious would focus on arguing that (and I know that many of them do). But when those arguments fall flat, they seem to resort to this Santa Claus argument – we’ll all behave better if we believe in this imaginary thing, and it clearly doesn’t matter to them if it has any basis in reality or not.

  5. RFW says

    This is typical of the degraded state of American journalism. It’s basically the old yellow press of Hearst given new life. Real journalism is so rare in the US media these days as to be remarkable, with even the grand old lady of NYC, the NY Times, having sunk to chasing eyes at the expense of actually reporting “all the news that’s fit to print.”

    Google “churnalism”.

  6. 24fps says

    I was at the premiere of the film in Toronto last night – it’s a good, if uncritical, look at the work that Krauss and Dawkins are doing in promoting atheism and science. There’s certainly not a lot about atheism as it informs social conscience and that sort of thing, and there were some questions about that at the Q&A afterward. I recommend the film, it’s good, but it needed a little better development of conflict to make it more interesting to people who, unlike myself, aren’t already fans of Dawkins and Krauss.

  7. 24fps says

    PS – Any mention that atheism isn’t exactly a homogenous group with no important differences in approach was also carefully avoided. That piqued my interest as well.

  8. says

    Yes, the talking heads who insist they’ve got something meaningful to add to any and all news. Bullshit. Just shut the fuck up with the goddamned empty headed observations and report the news already! Comedy Central=News. Fox News=Comedy. And so goes the Republic. BBC is the last bastion of real news reporting, how much longer will that go on I wonder?

    There is no stand up news reporting anymore. It’s 500 channels of tits and ass and opinion and speculation, all very badly informed.

    Take a real close listen to Anderson Cooper fer chrissakes. The poor shmuck sounds like he’s fighting an Alien Facehugger with every inhale. Fool needs some remedial speech classes. And who knows? Once he learns how to talk, he might just make a good journalist. But I’m inclined to doubt it.

    Said it before and here it is again: Ed Murrow nailed this one right to the wall back in the nineteen fifties. With shit like this passing for news reporting, the Republic cannot stand. When the electorate becomes as well informed as the nearest piece of asphalt it all falls down. We’re halfway there already, perhaps closer.

    How fucking depressing………………….(where are my happy pills???)

  9. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I don’t mean to kw*k this thread up, but I worked as a technician at Case Western Reserve University when Krauss was the chair of the physics department. He was already famous on that campus for knowing more about Star Trek than Rodenberry and Nimoy combined. Or at least widely known amopng people who cared about that kind of thing.

  10. Sastra says

    At the end there the reporter seemed to be channeling the popular Shut-Up argument of “well, you see it one way but WE see it another way so that’s that KTHXBAI;” I was pleased to see her corrected not just to see her error of thinking the Golden Rule was exclusive to religion corrected — but to see the Shut Up argument shut down.

    The most controversial thing in this movie is not going to be the arguments against religion themselves: it’s going to be the idea that we ought to have a dialogue about the value of faith. The spiritual privilege surrounding “matters of faith” is very, very thick. You’re not supposed to question religion unless you do so only in order to find a way to either keep it yourself or admire it in others. Most religious people are like this reporter, blinking in exaggerated astonishment that the sacred is not seen as not just sacred, but obviously so.

    And they really, really do not want to have a dialogue. They don’t want to hear alternatives and they certainly don’t want to have to defend their views. Playing the faith card is supposed to make them immune. The idea of debating the wisdom of playing the faith card sends them into an uncomfortable tizzy. It’s not supposed to work that way. It’s supposed to shut us up.

    No, there’s no way this movie is going to play in Sheboygan — but I can rent or buy the dvd. Like Religulous, The Unbelievers is significant just because it is out there and aimed at the mainstream. I hope it is also good.

  11. duane says

    Well, I look forward to watching this film. I’m not an atheist, and will probably never be one, but I love science, and I greatly admire both Dawkins and Krauss.

  12. Sastra says

    duane #14 wrote:

    I’m not an atheist, and will probably never be one…

    Okay — let’s have that dialogue then.

    Why do you think you will never be an atheist, duane?

  13. md says

    Radicalization of unnamed religious beliefs. Could be radical Amish, could be radical Jains.

    The FBI is yammering on, also. 30 out of 31 are not Animal rights activists.

  14. duane says

    Sastra, I think we both hit ENTER at the same time; my comment was a response to what Antiochus was saying, and about how much I look forward to the film.

    As far as the dialog goes, I don’t have a response for you that will satisfy. There is no testable, independently verifiable existence of any Supreme Being, anywhere. But I don’t look to the physical universe for a testimony of whatever religious/theistic/deistic beliefs I might have.

  15. Sastra says

    duane #127 wrote:

    But I don’t look to the physical universe for a testimony of whatever religious/theistic/deistic beliefs I might have.

    Where do you look?

    Does it matter more to you if your religious/theistic/deistic beliefs are actually true — or only that they are personally satisfying, regardless of whether they’re true or not?

  16. Rich Woods says

    @duane #17:

    But I don’t look to the physical universe for a testimony of whatever religious/theistic/deistic beliefs I might have.

    So which non-physical senses do you use? Are you really sure that you don’t derive that convincing testimony from your physical senses?

  17. nurseingrid says

    michaelraymer: “The thing I always find amusing about the “it makes people good” argument is how it’s almost a tacit admission that religious beliefs are not true. ”

    Not only that, with which I heartily agree, but I would question the truth behind the argument itself. Where is their evidence that religious people actually are any more “good” than the rest of us?

  18. says

    As far as the dialog goes, I don’t have a response for you that will satisfy. There is no testable, independently verifiable existence of any Supreme Being, anywhere. But I don’t look to the physical universe for a testimony of whatever religious/theistic/deistic beliefs I might have.

    As a physical being residing in a physical universe with all of your sensory modalities and cognitive abilities using physical phenomena to observe and think, where do you look, and how?

  19. Lofty says

    As a physical being residing in a physical universe with all of your sensory modalities and cognitive abilities using physical phenomena to observe and think, where do you look, and how?

    In your imagination, with your eyes closed, silly.

  20. notsont says

    The whole using faith to make people behave themselves always struck me as being like Frodo trying to use the ring of power to make the world a better place.

  21. erik333 says

    Any idea if religion can work for keeping sociopaths in line, if you manage to indoctrinate them into believing they’ll get caught (and punished) if they misbehave?

  22. MetzO'Magic says

    Sastra sums it all up perfectly, as usual. This will be a great film for preaching to the converted (heh), but those with vested interests in the get-em-young-and-keep-em-dumb BAU nonsense will do their best to dissemble. Can’t fault them for trying, though. Have to keep trying to hammer the message home.

  23. Ichthyic says

    The whole using faith to make people behave themselves always struck me as being like Frodo trying to use the ring of power to make the world a better place.

    faith is worse.

    it isn’t a physical object you can simply drop into a pool of boiling lava.

  24. Buzz Piersol says

    Dawkins and Krauss were interviewed on a Canadian morning show, and the hosts were much less smug than that CNN clip.

    Wow thanks. Talk about night and day. The Canadian folks actually presented interesting questions and allowed them to respond. Not just a 30-second sound bite.

  25. Ragutis says

    Yep. Just as their sister network HLN (which does NOT stand for Headline News Network) is required to be all Jodi Arias, all the time.

    And here’s me, all worried about what they were going to do after the Casey Anthony thing.

    Zimmerman? You know a producer is screaming “Find me something with a hot white chick!”

    Thanks for the link to the Canadian vid.

    Duane, if you’re not open to changing your views based on the evidence, you’re in the wrong place.

  26. marinerachel says

    #9: Dawkins’ wife paints some of his ties. Maybe that’s one?