April 24, 2007

Bill O'Reilly's Advice To Richard Dawkins: "You Should Run"

Here is Bill O'Reilly making sense. He actually dug himself a big hole that, lucky for him, his audience didn't get it. I think he got it though, right after he tried to work it in his analogy.

He basically said run from anyone talks about God or religion, including himself. I'm not sure if he knew from the onset what he was thinking when he started his reply. But one thing is for sure, he temporarily clued in about proof, evidence and the wilfully ignorant.

Looks like he forgot that whole conversation though. Here is his conversation last night with Richard Dawkins:

"Jesus was a real guy" "I know what he did"
Bill, there is no evidence that a historical Jesus ever existed. The only thing you know is that a story exists about what a most likely mythological figure supposedly did.

"I'm not positive Jesus is God, but I'm throwing in with Jesus"...'because Atheist can't yet conclusively explain how the universe began.'
Lets see Bill, you are saying that you believe because you want to believe. In other words: Run Richard, run.

'Catholicism helps me as a person'
Jew haters who can't pay the rent are helped if they believe Jews are somehow to blame. It doesn't mean there is anything rational about it, and remember you said to "RUN."

Obviously Bill didn't read Dawkins' The God Delusion (either have I, but I intend to). It is painfully obvious knowing what I know about the contents of the book. The debate was over when O'Reilly sluffed off the inability anyone has in proving Zeus is not God.

Atheism a bane to civilization?
Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot all confirmed atheists? Not Hitler. Show me one shred of evidence Hitler was an atheist. That is just a lie. There is no way of telling what anyone believes, but Hitler quoted Jesus and Christ hundreds of times. He was a creationist as well, believing that Aryans were specially created by God.
OK, I know he wasn't a good Catholic, but Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot weren't good atheists.

On the rest:

Yes, religion can be a moderating influence. It keeps morons who think they need fear of God to keep themselves from murdering, raping and stealing. Religion is also a way to control the masses, if the masses share the same religion. The Founding Fathers, were as secular as they come, and they had no knowledge of an ancient earth or evolution. Without knowledge of an ancient earth and evolution, one is almost compelled to have to believe in creation stories of some sort.

I would have argued about Atheism being a bane on civilization a bit more, but Dawkins didn't have very much time at all.

It was an atheist, Boris Yeltsin who eliminated Communism in Russia. When O'Reilly earlier brought up Sweden and Japan as being atheist majority countries, Dawkins should have flung it back in his face and ask, what exactly is wrong with those countries? Which country does he feel is better all around, Saudi Arabia or Japan?


  1. I have always had respect for Bill O'Reilly. I may not agree with some of his opinions, and he gets a lot of flak for them, but I think he is definitely a smart guy.

    As far as the Hitler point, I have to disagree with your take on him. I think he probably was an atheist, but merely played on the prevailing religious beliefs in Germany at the time. If the country had happened to be mostly Islamic, perhaps he would have spoken of Muhammad and quoted the Koran.

    I think the real question is why did so many Christians in Nazi Germany go along with this ideology. Certainly there were those who opposed it, Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a pretty prominent example, but many actually condoned the Nazi activities and allowed them to go on unimpeded. People will say atheists did the same thing, and they probably did, but it would also seem to say that there is really no great moral gulf between the two groups.

  2. Stalinism - not atheism, was a reaction againt the combination of chruch and state which kept the monarchy in power and the poor, poor.

    It is funny how religious zealots never mention that point.

  3. Flamingo, give me one shred of evidence that shows Hitler to be an atheist. Creationists bring out eugenics and the relation to evolution, but that doesn't have anything to do with being an atheist. And eugenics hardly has anything to do with evolution, but that is another matter.
    Why do you think he was an atheist?

    Beep, the religious don't usually bring up many things. O'Reilly sluffed off Al Qaeda like it was nothing. That is the first time he has sluffed them off like that.

  4. Religious zealots also fail to mention that what happened in Russia happened all over europe to varying degrees. The people wanted power invested in them, not in a monarchy which claimed authority through the divine will of a god. Religion always historically found its power base in the monarchy. One supported the other and each was happy.

    A modern democratic republic has much more in common with communism and socialism than it cares to admit. Both systems denied the authority of kings as attributed to them via god.

    The english monarchy was smart - it divested most of its power to a parliament. Thus saving itself from the fate of many of the monarchies in europe.

  5. RE: " but many actually condoned the Nazi activities and allowed them to go on unimpeded. People will say atheists did the same thing, and they probably did,"

    The biggest threat to the nazis in germany at that time was the communist party. One of the reasons that hitler gave the german people for his appointment was to stay the growing threat of communism.

    The brownshirts(nazis) and the commies were biffing it out in the streets of germany. There was much civil unrest. Hitler was as much an atheist as George Bush is.

  6. The Comunist Party in Germany did not vote for Hitler. Not once, not ever. The same cannot be said of the Catholic Center Party.

  7. It's interesting about all those ogres supposedly being atheists.

    You figure that true atheists would be hedonists. After all, if this is the only crack at life we get, why not enjoy it to the max instead of spending time making everyone else miserable by enslaving or killing them?

    And, flamingo, gotta disagree with you. O'Reilly is a moron of the first degree. I think Conservatives who support him are doing their own movement an injustice. There are way, way smarter representatives for the right than that putz.

  8. Southie, there are 30 million plus atheists in the US and another 5 million in Canada, and none of them to my knowledge want to go on a slaughter program.

  9. You are certainly right, that communists were Hitler's greatest enemy. Many fascist parties throughout Europe, but especially in the East, saw Hitler as a liberator who saved them from communism.

    None of that has to do with whether or not he was an atheist, however. As for hard evidence, I think it is going to be difficult, because Hitler made a lot of conflicting statements during his tenure.

    I am saying that I have a feeling he played to the beliefs of the masses, while privately holding very different feelings. In order to gain more support for his fight against communism, an atheistic regime, Hitler blew the religous horn, much like the United States did to bolster the nations spirits and present a united front during the Cold War.

    This link has some interesting quotes from Hitler on both sides of the issue. I tend to trust the statements made in private more than the public ones, but I must admit I haven't read the book he is referring to, although it might be interesting to check out.

    It is important to mention that Hitler's hatred of Jews most likely came from Christian theology that he was taught growing up. I see no other place for this type of anti-semitism to come from, and I wouldn't try to argue against that.

    I can't confirm that Hitler was an atheist, but I think he played the part of a Christian for the same reason he did a lot of things: pragmatism. He was evil, no doubt, but he wasn't dumb, Christianity helped advance his agenda, much like the non-aggression pact with Stalin, who was his sworn enemy. But much like Dawkins said of Stalin, Hitler didn't commit atrocities for the cause of atheism, but for other reasons, such as aspirations of world domination, ideas of German racial superiority, etc.

    Sorry that was so long, although I do enjoy topics that inspire debate.

  10. Southfield,
    You certainly aren't alone on the O'Reilly bashing boat. I'm definitely not in his fan club either, but I think he gets written off as a moron by his opponents far too often, when in reality he seems to have a good grasp of history and politics, although he may not see the political side in the same way you and I do.

  11. Flamingo, he may not have liked the institution of Christianity. That does not make him an atheist by default.

    Here are more quotes. He seemed to believe he was doing God's work.

    You seem to be saying that he was too smart to be a believer.

  12. Flamingo, check this out.
    Oh, and one more thing,



    Churches Establish Bureau to Win Back Worshippers

    In Freethinkers Hall , which before the Nazi
    resurgence was the national headquarters of the
    German Freethinkers League, the Berlin Protestant
    church authorities have opened a bureau for advice
    to the public in church matters. Its chief object
    is to win back former churchgoers and assist those
    who have not previously belonged to any religious
    congregation in obtaining church membership.

    The German Freethinkers League, which was swept
    away by the national revolution, was the largest
    of such organizations in Germany. It had about
    500,000 members on Hitler's outlawing of atheistic
    and freethinking groups in Germany in the Spring
    of 1933, after the Enabling Act authorizing Hitler
    to rule by decree.

  13. The only supposed contrary information concerning hitler and his religiousity appear in "Table Talk" a book which was edited by the anti-Catholic, Bormann. In other words, there are no originals and the copies were filtered and edited by Bormann.

    The table talk cannot be considered a first-hand recording of Hitler's words. There are no original copies.

    Two scribes recorded Hitler's conversations at the appointment of Martin Bormann. One was recorded by a civil servant in the Reich Ministry of Justice, Heinrich Heim from 5th July 1941 to 20th March 1942. Later, from 21st March 1942 until 31st July 1942, it was taken by Dr. Henry Piker.

    Dr. Picker regarded his own recording as authentic and insisted that "no confidence can be placed in Bormann's editing of it." Indeed, he writes, rather testily, of "Bormann's alterations, not authorised by me." [Trevor-Roper, p.viii].

    Unfortunately, we do not have the unaltered version of Dr. Picker's or Heim's recordings.

    Bormann was notoriously anti-catholic and an atheist. Table Talk is the ONLY source to claim that Hitler was an atheist.

    Bormann, however, was an atheist and he got to edit the transcriptions of both Picker and Heim.

  14. BEAJ,
    I wouldn't go so far as to say he was too smart to be a believer, rather that he knew how to appeal to the masses.

    It is interesting that all the quotes on the Stephen Jay Gould page come from either Hitler's addresses or Mein Kampf, which were meant for public consumption.

    I've always seen Hitler as more opportunist than religious. I don't think he cared too much for religion, at least not nearly as much as he did about advancing his own agenda.

    Probably the best evidence, from my point of view, is not his public comments, but rather his virulent anti-semitism. As I said, I don't see any other place for this to arise out of other than religion. And I don't think I've ever heard an atheist refer to Jews as "Christ killers".

    The other article that you mentioned seems to put at least some of the quotes I mentioned into question as being at best manipulated, and at worst fabricated. Perhaps Hitler wasn't a full on atheist, but I still think that he would have used whichever ideologies were present in Germany in order to advance his regime.

  15. Whether or not Hitler was an atheist, a fallen Roman Catholic or a pantheist, is really not that important: it's extremism that leads to the killing fields, whether Hitler's, Stalin's, Pol Pot's, Saddam's or any other megalomaniacal ruler's.

    What's more important is to look at the part Catholicism has played in centuries of anti-Semitism up to and including the holocaust. For a good sample I suggest reading David I. Kertzer's Unholy War - The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism, which describes in rather minute detail the involvement of X'tianity's Holy Men (the Popeys) in anti-Semitism. Here's an interview with David Kertzer.

    Now (post 9/11) it's become very bon-ton to refer to Western values as Judeo-Christian values but Christianity's appreciation of Jews and Judaism has, shall we say, been just a tad in short supply.

    Here's just a small appetizer from the interview:

    It is also true that the Church's battle against the Jews was not a war, nor was it, from the Church's perspective at the time, unholy. Quite the contrary, it was a holy battle, mandated by the most sacred teachings of the Church and canon law, holding that the Jews had been cursed by God and should forever live in degraded circumstances.

    BOR, in my opinion is an ignorant, hypocritical idiot.

  16. Flamingo, there is no evidence even in the questionable quotes that Hitler didn't believe in God. Lets say he thought Christians were idiots and Christianity was stupid...that still doesn't mean he was an atheist.
    A Jew can say the Ark story is stupid, there is no evidence that Moses crossed the Sinai, and that evolution is a fact....and yet he can still believe in God. He can even say that the Jewish ceremonies are ridiculous and the idea of going to synagogue is silly. Unless, that person actually says belief in God is stupid and/or God doesn't exist, there is no reason to call him an atheist.

  17. Oh and Flamingo, what about the 1933 closing of the Atheist Hall?

  18. Here is Bill O'Reilly making sense. He actually dug himself a big hole that, lucky for him, his audience didn't get [get what, dumbass?]. I think he got it though, right after he tried to work it in his analogy.

  19. I agree that it is not all that important whether or not Hitler was an atheist or a theist, but it is interesting to debate about.

    I just find it hard to believe that Hitler would have spoken to the Christian crowds about doing "God's Work" in public, despised Christianity in private, and the believed in a different God on the side. This of course isn't proof of his atheism, but I think it certainly deserves to be counted as evidence.

    As for the Atheist Hall, I think Hitler saw any "freethinkers" as a threat to the Reich. That was the whole point of propaganda, to keep people from thinking for themselves. My guess as he saw the Christians as an easier group to control, and I think they turned out to be that way. The Church offered very little resistance as a whole to Nazism, and Hitler even signed a Concordat with them that pretty much eliminated any political opposition from the church.

  20. I cringe whenever anyone says this "true for me" nonsense. O'Reilly provides yet another example of how relativist, pomo thought from has seeped its way into the common culture.

    A proposition is true when it corresponds to reality, not because the proposition is believed to be true. In other words, if a belief is true, ipso facto, it is true for all people.

    This should be obvious. If Bob believes P is "true for him," and John believes ~P is "true for him," it is obvious both beliefs cannot be true as commonly understood. For P and not-P contradict each other. which logically entails that at least one must be false.

  21. Oh, don't get me wrong, Flamingo...when it comes to foreign affairs and a distinct hatred of the politically correct movement, I'm very much a Conservative.
    I just think that people like O'Reilly and Ann Coulter do the movement a disservice because they are as shrill and ridiculous on their side as the lib-left morons are on their side.

  22. The essential problem is when someone belongs an ideologue. Once you have done that, you have submitted your reasoning power over to unshakable faith.

  23. To me, it does not matter if Hitler was an atheist, a Catholic, or a neo-Teutonic pagan. What does matter is that the majority of the people in Germany in the 1930's considered theirs to be a Christian country and their culture was steeped in anti-Semitism.

    Regarding Stalin and Mao, while I do not mean in anyway to minimize their crimes, they both came to power in countries that were both traditionally autocratic and insular. A lot of the deaths under their reigns came about because of their idiotic decisions to collectivize agriculture and implement the crackpot ideas of Lysenko, which resulted in massive famine. The irony for the USSR was that during the last decades of Tsarist rule, Russia was actually a food exporting nation.

    Regarding the O'Reilly Factor, it is not really a good forum for a meaningful discussion. Bill is a pompous blowhard, he obviously did not read Dawkins' book, and he wasted the segment throwing out tired, cliched anti-atheist arguments.

  24. Joseph Stalin was an atheist?

    The bloodiest communist - Josef Stalin went to CHURCH’S school and later to PRIEST’S SEMINARY in Tbilisi. STALIN HAS RELIGIOUS EDUCATION! What is funny... that Stalin WON stipend to seminary by this strong religious effort and proving himself as radical believer – I think it is not wide spread information between theists (especially in USA :). More... in French, Austrian, Germany and Russian documentary "Inside the Kremlin" (2004) Stalin’s bodyguard Jurij Solovjov (10 years) claimed that in WW2, when Stalin was alone, he went to small Kremlins CHURCH – interesting, for what? Maybe to meet and talk with Lenin’s soul :)? Stalin’s daughter Svetlana (in documentary about “Leaders kids” ) also said, that Stalin maybe was a believer, because swallowed answer to question “Does God exists?”. USSR was not an ATHEISTIC, but COMUNISTIC regime. It was not about GOD, but about COLLECTIVE PROPERTY. Church functioned and was not fully oppressed in USSR – maybe, because KGB very successfully used it to spy on people through confessions. Of course, Russians in communistic regime didn’t liked church very much. Why Russians hated church, especially after war? Because church was defended rich people in revolution time and was flirting with Nazi in World War Two. So it is normal, that Russians revenged to all who collaborated with Nazi. But in communist regime (Stalin’s time) communists even used some recommendations from the Bible. Like, it was popular and legal to decide to kill someone by three people group (“Troika”) as it said in New Testament (He 19:10:18). And of course... “All capital/property is evil and rich people must gift their property to poor – was not too far from The Bible and Christ teachings as want to present Christians. Likely, those ideas about defending poor people and that rich people will go to hell or at least for them will be hard to go to heaven... Stalin collected from his ...religious teachings. Second thing... statistics shows, that mostly in communistic countries there are less atheists, than in West Europe.

    Sweden 46%
    UK 46%
    Germany 44%
    Denmark 43%
    France 43%
    Belgium 42%
    Netherlands 39%
    Russia 24%
    China 8%
    Lithuania 14%

    It seems, that communist regime not destroyed religion, but preserved it. And other thing... collective property... and similar payment for job - Main Idea in USSR was CONTRADICTED Darwin’s Evolution theory!, because this destroyed natural selection - people who worked more were paid same as these who worked less.

    Adolf Hitler was an atheist?

    Theists like to lie, that he was an atheist, but Adolf Hitler clearly wrote in his book "Mein Kampf - Chapter II - Years of Study and Suffering in Vienna":

    "And so I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord".

    Oooohhh!!! I am sure it is look exactly like pure atheist's words :))). "Gott Mit Uns" ("God With Us") was on German's military uniforms. – It looks exactly like atheist's catchword too :))). In persecute and exterminating Jews Hitler borrowed many ideas from Popes and Bible. For example, to force Jews wear signs and live in ghettos was "brilliant" Popes idea in 1555 year's "Cum nimis absurdum". Hitler just repeated it.

  25. I also believe Poland has one of the highest if not highest theist belief in Europe (around 95%)