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delphine

Just want to point out that global warming is not proven...nor is evolution or even our existence really. The only thing we really know is that we don't really know anything.

Also, I'm referring more to the specific, often unspoken pressures. When people think that certain policies are the answer and if you don't agree then you are wrong. Never mind the nuances of politics, government and the world in general, no, clearly I just hate the starving children in Africa. (I have a lot of pent-up grumpiness over this due to attending a liberal college where not believing in certain causes would be very difficult)

hi

A lot of Christians don't realize that a lot of the moral tenets of this country that they take for granted are really directly transferred from their religion. The majority of Jews don't take a stance on either abortion or homosexuality, for example. It's just neither here nor there as far as the limits of what they see as being fit to judge. I was Jewish until my early teens when my mother decided atheism made more sense. Just wondering: has anyone else here been raised atheist? Because I am often surprised by what I see being bandied about as "family values" or "good, moral behavior."

Amanda is a teenager. Psychologically and developmentally, she is still a moral relativist, which is completely normal for her age. She feels uncomfortable stating absolute facts and instead feels compelled to see arguments from both sides, even if one side may legitimitely be in the wrong.

StickyKeys

I don't want to see this movie because I really could care less about what Bill Maher thinks about my religion. Problem is that he totally does and there is nothing more annoying than not caring about the subject matter that someone else is so adamant about.

You could show me a video of God saying "I'm not real" and I'd still be all, "yes You are God, come on!" It's been pretty ingrained in me to that point, so while I'll argue to a point, I'm not going to get belligerent over something that basically boils down to "Because I do, that's why."

I do get a bit on edge when people get all "I AM PERSECUTED FOR NOT BELIEVING AAAIIIIEEEE!!" but even then sometimes it's just easier to take a deep breath and remember that you believe in Heaven ;)

dk

@hi
"Amanda is a teenager. Psychologically and developmentally, she is still a moral relativist, which is completely normal for her age. She feels uncomfortable stating absolute facts and instead feels compelled to see arguments from both sides, even if one side may legitimitely be in the wrong."

I don't think you're being fair. How can anyone make a well-thought out, legitimate opinion if they don't consider all sides? For that matter, you can't know if one side is "in the wrong" unless you actually examine it.

That said, ditto to s2couto.

Jessica

"Just want to point out that global warming is not proven... nor is evolution or even our existence really."

...Really? Because I thought the general consensus was that climate change is real but opinions vary on whether or not we're the ones causing it. I thought people stopped thinking it was a myth years ago. Guess I'm wrong. I'm not going to go into the second half of that quote. It made my head tilt.

Lisa

I've seen the movie. I am also an agnostic. However, I do not feel that Maher stepped over the line in his questioning or the filmmakers in their techniques. If people are so solid in their faith, then it doesn't matter how you are questioned, you should still be able to express your self intelligently and with confidence in that faith. Yes, the movie takes some liberties with mockery, but most of that is done in editing and post-production. Anything stupid that comes out of the mouths of the people being interviewed is just indicative of the complete lack of logic being applied to religion and SHOULD be on display.

Since the ultimate message of the movie is that religion is extremely dangerous (and it is), I don't think being moderate would have been an appropriate approach.

Zombie

Delphine,

I'm curious: did you happen to graduate from Dr. Dino's alma mater with a PhD in the I Didn't Evolute From No Monkey Sciences?

I really hate to be the one that has to tell you this, but...well...your education is showing, cookie. You might want to safety pin it to your skirt to keep it from falling down so easily next time.

Naturally, I'd hate to see you pitching face first to the floor because your legs got tangled up in it, so I figured I'd better tell you. I'm a great humanitarian like that.

You're Welcome,
Zombie

matt

Amanda Lorber is sort of like the Barack Obama to Bill Maher's Rev. Jeremiah Wright, unfortunately I still think we're closer to the Rev. Wright/Bill Maher age than the premature optimism and "tolerance for intolerance" of the Obama/Lorber age. Under the American theocracy she just comes off as naive.

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torrinpaige

Debate of religion aside, I'm just happy that Amanda is in this world. I'm so happy to see someone of her age actually thinking about things and using her brain. So many people her age never even attempt to use it, and that makes me sad. So, yay, Amanda! Also, she really DOES look hot! Good for her.

Paige

As a disclaimer: I haven't seen Religulous, so my comment is solely directed towards this video and comments in the thread. Also, I am a practicing Jew.

1. "Faith is irrational."

Even as a fairly religious person, I completely agree. Faith is irrational. I have never seen a biblical level miracle, I have never heard the voice of God. But I still believe. There is no proof. I just do.

2. Religion is dangerous.

It can be, but only when people use their beliefs to justify making public policy, or even making decisions for others. Religion is a great positive force in the world: it helps band people together into communities (especially if you move to a new city and don't know anyone), helps give moral guidance, and, as someone said earlier, deal with scary realities, like death. Danger occurs only when religious people force their personal beliefs on everyone else.

J-Mo

I still have only one prayer that I recite daily, nightly and sometimes hourly... you can say it along with me if you like...

Dear Jesus. Please save me from Your followers. Amenz.

love, J-Mo :)

delphine

no really...nothing is proven. my bio prof drilled that into my head. The word proven was verboten in that class. I actually do believe in evolution and global warming. I was just making an anal point about the semantics of the word proven in relation to scientific theory.

Val

Paige and Delphine: Get thee to a dictionary and fast. Paige, look up dangerous and let us know if you still think that religion is only dangerous some of the time. (Here's a hint to help you along: try substituting the word "dangerous" with its synonym "risky".)

Delphine, look up the word "proof". While you're up, call your school and see if you can get a refund on that Bio class.

Just here to help!

Hugs!

ariana

delphine is actually right . . . even if she is explaining her point kind of lamely. as a student of biology (or professor, researcher etc.) a hypothesis is never "proven." instead, a hypothesis is said to be supported by the evidence. i'm currently in a class on evolution and this is a point my professor first made note of --- science does not prove anything, but rather it disproves. we don't "believe" in evolution in scientific language b/c that's like saying we believe in the tooth fairy . . we can instead say we agree with evolutionary theory b/c the current evidence strongly supports it. the more evidence we gather, the more confident we are about such statements.

in conclusion, delphine might still want to take up val's idea of a refund. please stop making biologists look bad.

ariana

delphine is actually right . . . even if she is explaining her point kind of lamely. as a student of biology (or professor, researcher etc.) a hypothesis is never "proven." instead, a hypothesis is said to be supported by the evidence. i'm currently in a class on evolution and this is a point my professor first made note of --- science does not prove anything, but rather it disproves. we don't "believe" in evolution in scientific language b/c that's like saying we believe in the tooth fairy . . we can instead say we agree with evolutionary theory b/c the current evidence strongly supports it. the more evidence we gather, the more confident we are about such statements.

in conclusion, delphine might still want to take up val's idea of a refund. please stop making biologists look bad.

hi

@dk.

People don't like taking a stance against another culture even if they're willing to speak out against their own. For example, feminine genital mutilation is WRONG. The way women are treated in the name of religion is WRONG. And yet some people will say that we shouldn't criticize it because it's a *culture*. I'm against fundamentalist Christianity because its adherents often use their religious tenets to justify keeping women out of the workplace and denigrating homosexuals to inferior status. What use is it to say, "Well, I can kind of see their side of the argument"? Anyone with a brain and a heart knows that that's bullshit.

Kelsey

Religion doesn't kill people, PEOPLE kill people!

Don't plan on seeing the movie. Don't feel like sitting through two hours of being called stupid. Let the fanatic athiests and the fanatic religious folk have each other to claw at - those of us who are Nice and Sane are going out for milkshakes later.

People don't kill people, global warming kills people!

Val

Ariana:

I would suggest you check on a refund too. What are they teaching the kids these days? As a doctoral student of epidemiology, I can assure you that to say that a hypothesis is proven and a hypothesis is supported by the evidence is absolutely the same thing in science terms and neither implies that the hypothesis is infallible. I understand the point your professors are trying to make, but it is they who are making it "lamely" by substituting the scientific idea of proof with the layperson's idea of proof. They are quite simply not the same thing. If you don't believe me, then simply type "proven" into a science research database. I found BioOne (I picked it to stick with the Biology theme) to prove my point nicely, but pick any one you like.

Anyway, carry on.

ariana

@ val

thanks for the reply (snide comments aside). it's neat you're working for your doctorate. my best guess is that perhaps curriculum has changed since you've been an undergrad, with more attention put on language. having never been told otherwise by own professors, students from other schools, or come across that in other research papers - still seems odd to me. but hey, always learning! we'll see what med school tells me. if you teach as a PhD, maybe you can tell the kids otherwise.

p. potter

Boy, I wish I had a Biology degree to throw around. Then I could sound self-important, too!

damn you Liberal Arts!!!!

BlameGame

Delphine's incessant need to keep asserting her opinion is proof that most religious people won't get out of your face until you tell them "there,there", give them cookies and milk, and send them back to their deep sleep.

My boy Willy Shakespeare said everything best:

The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.

Oh, and btw, no offense to anyone. I'm all about the One Love. Its unfortunate that most people of so-called faith ignore all the nice stuff in their religion and focus on their pride and self-righteousness. If there is a higher power, I'm sure whatever it is would value love, kindness, and respect for nature over FAITH. Only a god created by people would be so insecure as to desire worship over freedom and logic.

delphine

*sigh* I don't think that I will ever be able to communicate my opinion on this and my faith in a way that you would understand. That's really why this is so frustrating.

rivoli

Amanda looks great and thanks for posting. Her voice though, hmmm. Sounds like she's whispering and the "I'm going to go with 'wrong'" in the last bit is a strong statement but buried in a sea of lead-up. You have a strong inner voice, now get that confidence back that we loved in The Paper! Give it to us at the begining! :)

MDP

s2couto: I only disagree with you in one area. I don't believe the majority of people in the U.S. are right wing conservatives/evangelical types. I think most Americans are moderates in most things.
However, I think that minority wields a lot of power because most of us have better stuff to do like, work and earn a living rather than send 500 emails or letters a day about Janet Jackson or some other crap. In other words, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. But hopefully, it's the first to get replaced.

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