Friday, April 18, 2008

Bill Maher Needs More Guests Like Cornel West

I like watching HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, but I like the show even more when he has legitimate religious intellectuals like Cornel West to keep him honest in his "amateur atheism." West got Maher to concede tonight that rationalists can be just as dogmatic in their thought processes as religionists are in their theologies. Rationalist Maher looks a lot more reasonable when he has a loyal nemesis or two on his panels. His criticism of the papacy carries much more weight with me when he can also find a way to concede that there are progressive Catholics who work for social justice.


  1. I completely agree. Dr. West has a way of simplifying (without over-simplifying) Christianity as he practices it. Once you boil it down, what you have left is the desire to end the suffering of others. Yes, Maher needs someone like Dr. West on the panel every week.

  2. The desire to end the suffering of others has nothing logically to do with Christianity, which is fundamentally the belief that believing that Christ is the son of God is the path to heaven after death. Any humanist likely believes that ending suffering is and should be a central tenet of human ethics. Virgin births etc. are irrelevant to this understanding (and, frankly, irrational).

  3. The only problem with the "religionists" is that the shit is made up.

    You don't need religion to help anybody. You just have to have empathy. Yeah, the Christians want to help end suffering - and convert you in the process.

    Churches are in and of themselves but another structured culture who will surely shun you if you do not conform to their in spite of their glorious mission.

  4. Rationalists have their own made up "shit." Like for instance, metaphysical reliance on a seat of reasoning invisible to the senses. Oh, and an unwarranted faith that human reason can solve more problems than it creates.

    I agree that many, perhaps a majority, of Christians seek conversion from those they help. However, not all Christians want to use aid to convert people.