Monday, October 13, 2008

Commentator challenges "Religulous" documentary producer to a debate

Dinesh D'Souza has a look at Bill Maher's documentary, Religulous:
Maher’s stance in the film alternates between feigned investigative neutrality and unconcealed anti-religious bigotry. At times he says he is an agnostic, who simply holds the rational position that he doesn’t know what comes after death. But if you don’t know whether there is an afterlife, and even if you have no reason to believe in one, it hardly makes sense to attack those who hold a different view. After all, you yourself are in the dark and they might very well be right.

By way of analogy, I don’t believe in unicorns, because there is no evidence for them, but I haven’t written any books called “The Unicorn Delusion” or “Unicorns are Not Great” or made any documentaries denouncing unicorns. Maher’s agnosticism is clearly a pose. Like Christopher Hitchens, he is an “anti-theist” who hates the Christian God. And the main reason seems to be, as Maher himself says at one point, that this God has rules that interfere with Maher’s sex life.
Truth has a way of leaking out, too:
Maher talks to some blue collar guys worshipping at a Trucker’s Chapel in Raleigh, North Carolina. They are overweight and poorly dressed and they cannot answer all his questions, but one says that he used to be a drug addict and “I gave all that up when I got saved.” At the end of the discussion, just before Maher’s triumphant exit, the truckers hold hands and pray for Maher. This is the sole moving moment in the film, and in a way that Maher doesn’t realize, it raises these simple people entirely above his snide sophistication.
D'Souza thinks that Maher is only comfortable with weak opponents he can embarrass, so it will be interesting to see if the latter takes up his challenge to a debate.

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