Mike Huckabee and Bill Maher discuss religion and faith

Youtube user VOTERSTHINKdotORG posted this video of Bill Maher and Mike Huckabee talking about religion and faith on Huckabee’s show:

And Mike Huckabee is a moron.

At about 6:11, he excoriates blind faith, and says that “real faith always questions, real faith is not blind, it’s eyes wide open, it’s the lights on, not the lights off.” and “…real faith is always willing to be challenged,” but then when Maher asks, “You think it’s up for grabs whether Jesus Christ really lived, or was the son of God, or that God had a [son],” Huckabee comes back with this:

Oh no! I believe He lived, I believe He died, I believe he rose again, you know I truly believe that, but I don’t think it hurts my faith if you, or anyone else questions it. I think real faith is so confident and comfortable in its essence, that you want it to be questioned, because, as it’s questioned, you dig deeper to find, that in fact, your roots are running deep.

Hmm, so he welcomes questioning because he “knows” that questioning will lead to him finding out more reasons to believe what he already thinks is true. So, he’s not really questioning, then, is he? He essentially will filter out all information which does not lead to the conclusion which he’s already leapt to, and which I’d bet he’d already been made to leap to by his parents when he was just a little kid.

At about 4:54, he goes into a little spiel in which he explains that he cannot understand why people would do wonderful things (like feed starving children, found charitable hospitals, etc.) without faith, or if they were “just delusional.” This makes no sense in several ways. Delusional people really believe the things which they are delusional about. Delusional beliefs have exactly as much influence on a person’s behavior as beliefs which happen to be true. If you believe something to be true, you act in a way that is consistent with believing that thing is true. It doesn’t matter if the thing really isn’t true, if you believe, you will behave as if you thought it were true. Here, Huckabee is just idiotic for not seeing that. The second point I want to make about this is that even if it were the case that charitable acts were not explicable absent faith, this is in no way a good argument for the truth claims made by faith, or for the claim that faith is a good way of finding out what’s true. It is (that perennial favorite of Christians everywhere) yet again the logical fallacy known as appeal to consequences. Huckabee is essentially trying to make a point along the lines of this: “without faith, we wouldn’t have these wonderful effects of faith — feeding starving children, charity hospitals, etc. I wouldn’t like that. I can’t believe that faith is bunk, because I don’t like what I perceive to be the consequences.” That’s like saying, “I can’t believe it’s raining outside because I don’t like getting wet.”

He also claims (at 5:17) that Martin Luther King found a sense of justice, and was motivated by his faith… it may be the case that he was partly motivated by his faith (and again, this is a terrible argument for the validity of faith) but I’d say that being a black man in the United States during the time he lived was a hell of a lot more of a motivation than his faith was. Faith, as a motivator at best will amplify what you’re already motivated to do. I’m sure that every KKK member out there at the time would have considered themselves to be a Christian, and I’m sure their faith motivated them as well. To credit faith for motivating Martin Luther King is to forget that the Southern Baptist Convention has its origins in Augusta, Georgia, in 1845, when it split from northern Baptists over the issue of slavery. The Southern Baptist Convention finally formally renounced their past support of slavery and racism only as recently as 1995!. Faith, if it is a motivator, is an equal opportunity motivator, amplifying whatever motivations the faithful person already has. So when Huckabee credits faith for motivating Martin Luther King, he fails on two counts: faith was not the primary motivator, the fact that MLK was a black man was much more likely to be the primary motivator, faith just amplified (at best) this already existing motivation, and if we were to grant for the sake of argument that faith was the primary motivator of MLK, this only allows HUckabee to once again engage in the logical fallacy known as appeal to consequences.

It is depressing that he’s so fucking dumb, because he’s probably smarter than at least half the people on the planet. So depressing.

~ by scaryreasoner on November 27, 2008.

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