Roy Abraham Varghese: New Atheists’ refuse to engage real issues on question of God’s existence (Ricky Gervais on Science and History with transcript)

 

Ricky Gervais on Science and History (with transcript)

Published on Apr 20, 2012

The comedian offers a preview of the stand-up routine, Science.

Question: What do you make of smart people?Gervais:    Yeah.  I was talking to Karl Pilkington about Einstein.  And he went, “What was so great about him?”  I said, “Well, you know, he formulated these amazing theories, obviously, relativity.”  And he went, “Yeah, I sort of read about that.”  He said, “Thing is, E equals MC squared is you should have never used that in my life.”  He said, “The bloke who invented the video recorder…” He said, “I watched one week.”  Brilliant.  Nailed Einstein, slammed.
Question: What will the stand-up routine Science be like?Gervais:    Yeah.  Well, it’s… it’s an exploration to everything rational and non-rational.  So I look into things like, you know, racism, homophobia, the Bible, you know, all the classic… all the classics there, Hitler.  Yeah.  And I just… I got to talk to people for an hour or so, so… I mean, it’s… it’s sort of classic observational comedy, done with a little twist, really.

Question: What do you make of smart people?Gervais:    Yeah.  I was talking to Karl Pilkington about Einstein.  And he went, “What was so great about him?”  I said, “Well, you know, he formulated these amazing theories, obviously, relativity.”  And he went, “Yeah, I sort of read about that.”  He said, “Thing is, E equals MC squared is you should have never used that in my life.”  He said, “The bloke who invented the video recorder…” He said, “I watched one week.”  Brilliant.  Nailed Einstein, slammed.
Question: What will the stand-up routine Science be like?Gervais:    Yeah.  Well, it’s… it’s an exploration to everything rational and non-rational.  So I look into things like, you know, racism, homophobia, the Bible, you know, all the classic… all the classics there, Hitler.  Yeah.  And I just… I got to talk to people for an hour or so, so… I mean, it’s… it’s sort of classic observational comedy, done with a little twist, really.

 

Jesus’ Resurrection: Atheist, Antony Flew, and Theist, Gary Habermas, Dialogue

Published on Apr 7, 2012

http://www.veritas.org/talks – Did Jesus die, was he buried, and what happened afterward? Join legendary atheist Antony Flew and Christian historian and apologist Gary Habermas in a discussion about the facts surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join the third and final debate between Flew and Habermas, one that took place shortly before Flew admitted there might be a God, just before his death.

Over the past two decades, The Veritas Forum has been hosting vibrant discussions on life’s hardest questions and engaging the world’s leading colleges and universities with Christian perspectives and the relevance of Jesus. Learn more at http://www.veritas.org, with upcoming events and over 600 pieces of media on topics including science, philosophy, music, business, medicine, and more!

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The God Debate II: Harris vs. Craig

Uploaded on Apr 12, 2011

The second annual God Debate features atheist neuroscientist Sam Harris and Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig as they debate the topic: “Is Good From God?” The debate was sponsored in large part by the Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters: The Henkels Lecturer Series, The Center for Philosophy of Religion and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.

_____________________

_____________

THE “NEW ATHEISM,” OR POSITIVISM REDUX
In the light of this historical progression, the sudden
emergence of what has been called the “new atheism”
is of particular interest. The year of the “new atheism”
was 2006 (the phrase was first used by Wired magazine
in November 2006). From Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the
Spell and Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion to Lewis
Wolpert’s Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Victor
Stenger’s The Comprehensible Cosmos, and Sam Harris’s
The End of Faith (published in 2004, but the sequel to which,
Letter to a Christian Nation, came out in 2006), the
exponents of a look-back-in-anger, take-no-prisoners type
of atheism were out in force. What was significant about
these books was not their level of argument—which was
modest, to put it mildly—but the level of visibility they
received both as best sellers and as a “new” story discov-
ered by the media. The “story” was helped even further by
the fact that the authors were as voluble and colorful as
their books were fiery.
The chief target of these books is, without question,
organized religion of any kind, time, or place. Paradoxically,
the books themselves read like fundamentalist sermons. The
authors, for the most part, sound like hellfire-and-brimstone
preachers warning us of dire retribution, even of apocalypse,
if we do not repent of our wayward beliefs and associated
practices. There is no room for ambiguity or subtlety. It’s
black and white. Either you are with us all the way or one
with the enemy. Even eminent thinkers who express some
sympathy for the other side are denounced as traitors. The
evangelists themselves are courageous souls preaching their
message in the face of imminent martyrdom.
But how do these works and authors fit into the larger
philosophical discussion on God of the last several decades?
The answer is they don’t.
In the first place, they refuse to engage the real issues
involved in the question of God’s existence. None of them
even address the central grounds for positing a divine real-
ity (Dennett spends seven pages on the arguments for God’s
existence, Harris none). They fail to address the issue of
the origins of the rationality embedded in the fabric of the
universe, of life understood as autonomous agency, and of
consciousness, conceptual thought, and the self. Dawkins
talks of the origins of life and consciousness as “one-off”
events triggered by an “initial stroke of luck.” 3 Wolpert
writes: “I have purposely [!] avoided any discussion of con-
sciousness, which still remains mostly poorly understood.”4
About the origin of consciousness, Dennett,a die-hard
physicalist, once wrote, “and then a miracle happens.”5
Neither do any of these writers present a plausible world-
view that accounts for the existence of a “law-abiding,” life-
supporting, and rationally accessible universe.

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