2/27/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Discrimination against athesits, part II

A few weeks back, CNN's Paula Zahn put together a panel of so-called experts to discuss whether or not atheists are discriminated against in the US. Apparently CNN was flooded with emails about the panel not including an atheist, so Richard Dawkins was invited to speak on the topic. Enjoy! To view the short articles leading up to this interview with Dawkins, click here: Discrimination against atheists.

This video is about 3.5 minutes long.

11 comments:

Left of Center said...

I was one of those that wrote about the panel without an atheist. Glad they brought Richard on.

Anonymous said...

... And the congregation said, "Amen."

Anonymous said...

I was good that Dawkins got a chance to speak on atheism but I feel he fell short when he responded to the reason atheism is viewed as a threat to theism. Everyone must understand that atheism is definately a threat to theism and will rouse strong emotion as those who feel that somehow they have a winning lottery ticket in the percieved fact they will live forever. Imagine losing that winning that lottery ticket and then you will understand.

Anonymous said...

Maybe what is happening to people of faith is that they fear death as well as life. This "not knowing" what is going to happen to them whether they are honest about it or not, may just be one of the reasons they resist atheism. If you read Biblical texts, they are full of scarey stories about what happens to "bad" non-obedient people and their families if their faith wavers. Because this fear of eternal damnation, they have to be steadfast. I'm not saying that this is right, but, it's certainly a way to see things from a believer's point of view. Fear is a very ugly thing. It can make the most rational person act without ration. God did not write the texts of the faithful...people did. There has been thousands of years to instill these stories into the minds of humans and many of them borrowed from Sumerian and Egyptian cultures. Any natural occurrence can be eskewed as God's punishment. For whatever reason God deems. Humans are the interpreters of what God is and what he is doing. If one were to really believe in God, then they would not think God needed anyone's help. God would write his own books, kill whoever without help, destroy places without help, be able to "save" anyone without a blood sacrifice, cure any disease, feed everyone, etc. It really makes me wonder how much faith people do have. For it has been evident to me, people of faith say God directs them to do what I consider, horrible things. Why would God have to do that? Isn't God, God? Couldn't he snap his fingers and resolve human problems?

TastyPaper said...

I sent the following to CNN concerning the first video:

"I am very hurt by your panel coverage and debate concerning atheism, that aired January 31, 2007. First and foremost, that it was a panel debate about atheism, yet there was no atheistic representation on the panel. Second, that clearly false assertations and representations were stated and upheld as truth, such as the statement that this is a Christian country, or that freedom of religion does not include Freedom from religion. It was also suggested in a fairly childish way, that atheists should "shut up." As an American atheist, I was very upset, and saddened by this broadcast, especially after viewing the prior report about the discimination against those other hard-working Americans."

TastyPaper said...

I think he did an awesome job with this. They may have left out a few key points, but he managed to easily answer all of her questions efficiently.

tigg13 said...

I don't like the way they introduced him - referring to his book as a work that not only questions religion but also suggests that it might be dangerous.

This was really irrelevant to the topic being discussed and, in some ways, cast Richard in a negative light before he even had a chance to speak.

It may have only been a dramatic effect, but it still showed CNN's unfair stance towards atheism.

Dave8 said...

I think the fact that Dawkins was personally presented, had influence in a positive light. Notwithstanding, that the newscast might not have enjoyed the airing of the topic as a follow up.

Dawkins didn't attack Christianity; he stayed focused on the human side of the word Atheism. That was very intelligent. To have attempted to discuss the numerous implications of the word Atheism, its historical meaning, belief association, etc., would take a documentary.

He was able to put a gentle human face, to a name. The ploy of some religious leaders/followers is to dehumanize Atheism, which in effect paints all Atheists with those colors. It becomes accepted by followers over time, because they had no other evidence to suggest that Atheists "aren't" evil... and to provide a contrast to what they had been taught.

Dawkins presented that contrast, and the human side to the word. When religious leaders attempt to attack atheism, they have to accept that they are in fact, attacking another human's dignity.

He brought out the contrast of the religious leader who has dehumanized and attacked innocent people via a name. He has presented the opportunity to cast light onto the hypocrisy of religious leaders, who are intolerant of "humanity", and their "golden rule" and self-proclaimed moral authority.

People, learn through contrast (not exclusively), and it was good, that Dawkins was able to show that contrast--it causes people to think, and thinking is the beginning of the deprogramming process.

The more humanity can be brought to the word Atheism, the harder it is for religious leaders to prey on the ignorance of a society, so they can get a following... Once a gentle human perspective is placed on this word, the religious leader is moved to seek other non-contradictory messages to pass or to leave the topic alone.

Some would consider that a winning situation; either leave others alone or present a logical argument for a belief. I'm quite certain that no religious leader is comfortable with either of those choices, but, surely... remaining quiet on the topic, removes them from the responsibility of trying to make a logical case for their god.

dano said...

Anonymous wrote:
"If one were to really believe in God, then they would not think God needed anyone's help. God would write his own books, kill whoever without help, destroy places without help, be able to "save" anyone without a blood sacrifice, cure any disease, feed everyone, etc. It really makes me wonder how much faith people do have. For it has been evident to me, people of faith say God directs them to do what I consider, horrible things. Why would God have to do that? Isn't God, God? Couldn't he snap his fingers and resolve human problems?"

Dan here: The next time you post hit the other button and call yourself "Asking the fucking obvious"

Why do people always dance around this glaringly obvious fact? What is it about God, if he is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and everywhere, and he, it, she can do anything, anytime it wants, THAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND?????

Dano (I don't even believe in God and I give him more credit than the Christians do.)

madbuni said...

I just saw the series of videos. I shouldn't let this kind of drivel get the best of me, and
this is why I don't watch main stream news (except to see how they are manipulating the public). Bubble headed bleached blonds or Ken doll clones delivering "fair and balanced" news? I am afraid so, and sadly, people are often more satisfied to see who's wearing the best and worst on the red carpet, or when Anna Nicole will get planted. (are they ever going to bury the woman?)

I agree with Dave8 (hello btw) Dr. Dawkins was as ever calm and professional, and they did choose the perfect person as an example of atheism. He didn't disappoint me. I did think Paula Zahn was rather rude to him and I wonder if she did any homework about him before the interview or if she understands his level of intelligence. Of course I will defend him to the end because he is my favorite atheist.

Hey Dano, thanks for the nice comments the other day! Peace

Dave8 said...

Hello Madbuni, good to see your post, as always :-) Take care