Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's Not Just Me

As it turns out, I'm not the only one who noticed Bill O'Reilly's bizarre argument for theism – Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report did as well. Colbert summarizes O'Reilly's argument beautifully: "God must exist because I don't know how stuff works." He even has astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on to explain the tides, which was a nice touch.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bill O'Reilly Proves God's Existence - Neil deGrasse Tyson
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogMarch to Keep Fear Alive

And it also turns out that this isn't the first time O'Reilly has used this reasoning on his show. The video shows him the exact same argument (with the addition of "sun goes up, sun goes down") on several other occasions.

This is somewhat worrying to me. He didn't just unthinkingly blurt this out once in conversation. The fact that he's used this argument before means he's had time to really reflect on it, yet he still finds it compelling. From what I've seen of O'Reilly, he seems at least as intelligent as the average believer. So is this argument representative of the sort of reasoning that the average believer would accept? If their standards for accepting theist arguments are really that low, it seems that nonbelievers truly have their work cut out for them.

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