Sunday, October 17, 2010
Bill O'Reilly recently interviewed Bill Maher and the topic of religion came up. If you ever want to see to people totally missing each other’s point this the interview to watch.
Maher’s point was basically anyone who takes the bible literally is a fool. There are people who do believe every word of the bible was written by God even the parts that say they weren’t. It takes a huge suspension of disbelief, or faith, to take that position.
Bill O’Reilly, a Catholic, countered by stating the view of most Catholics I know have. That the bible is a collection of parables written not to be taken literally, but to convey a moral message on how to live a good life.
Bill Maher went on to quote from Exodus, which he mistakenly said was from Deuteronomy, about one of the violent rules in the Old Testament.
O’Reilly didn’t go into the views that I have heard most Catholics tell me about the Old Testament which is that it was also a collection of parables but it was frozen at a time when the Jewish Religion was at its most corrupt and it reflects that corruption and intolerance.
At this point Bill O’Reilly actually was making a point that Maher would probably agree with if he were listening that you can’t group the 90% of moderate Christians who take their religion’s message of love and understanding with the 10% who look at all the messages of hate and intolerance that is in both bibles and use it to justify their own hatred.
Then O’Reilly had to totally go against everything he just said by saying Atheist’s believe that an asteroid hit Earth and made humans. It is hard to believe O’Reilly really believes that this is what evolution is, or if he does it means he never listened to the most elementary explanation of evolution.
When Maher asked him if he truly believed this dumb statement O’Reilly went on to say that scientists can’t explain how the Earth was made.
Yes they can. It is a fairly simple interaction of gravity and nuclear forces, just on a huge scale. If he meant to say that we don’t know how the universe was made he has a weak point, we can mathematically trace the universe back to the first few milliseconds after the big bang before our current understanding of physics breaks down. As we learn more about nuclear interactions that occur near the level of Planck’s Constant, basically the level of resolution of the universe, we will be able to understand those first few milliseconds.
Maher pointed out that even if we don’t understand this completely that’s not an excuse to throw out everything we know and make up fairy tales.
Watching this whole exchange it showed what is wrong with our media. Bill O’Reilly took a stance that was not typical of him, he was the moderate in this exchange and Bill Maher tried to pin the beliefs of the extremists onto him without bothering to listen to what he was saying. Bill O’Reilly showed the arrogance of ignorance by totally misunderstanding a concept and mocking that perception.
So to both Bill O’Reilly and Bill Maher, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, in order to have a meaningful discussion on anything you can’t just say your point of view and pin everything on the other person, you actually have to listen to what the other person is saying. Why bother being on at the same time if you are going to totally ignore each other? The whole purpose of airing different points of view is so the viewer can gain a greater understanding of the issue. Ignoring each other only reinforces peoples preconceived ideas and closes their minds to new information the exact opposite of what even fake news is supposed to do.”
Bill O’Reilly might have well ended this segment with Glenn Beck’s catchphrase, “I apologize America for wasting your time.”
By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts