I Think I Hate David SilvermanSep 06
I’ve recently heard a lot of hyped up talk about the American Atheist President David Silverman. I was compelled to click on this video of David on The O’Reily Factor going head to head with Bill O Reilly. Now granted, not much intelligence ever emanates from Bill O’ Reilly, so I’m generally not interested in hearing many of the debates that he sets up, but there have been a few amusing times when people like Richard Dawkins and Jon Stewart have come on his show and really ruffled his feathers, so this video kind of intrigued me.
Bill is really good at talking down to people and his main arguments usually stem from calling his debate opponent a “pin-head” and dismissively changing the topic whenever he’s cornered. He usually ultimately resorts to (usually misreported) statistics insinuating that the majority of the world is in his corner, so he must be right. (Argumentum ad populum).
Now, I’ve already written a whole other article talking about how I think that any organized groups are a bad idea, including those built around Atheism. I even referenced atheists.org in my links as an example of what I’m talking about. But hey, I’m an open-minded guy, and I also appreciate efforts to spread truth around, so I decided to give this guy a shot especially since he’s representing Atheists and I happen to fall into that category.
O’Reilly invited David onto the program because David stirred up some controversy by purchasing billboards stating that religion is a scam. Okay, I’m intrigued. Let’s hear more…
So O’Reilly simply asks why he’s insulting him, which is a fair question. Silverman tries to save face by explaining that he’s not insulting O’Reilly. The fuck you’re not! Come on Silverman! Grow some balls and own up to your condescension. You were being an asshole when you bought those signs. I’m an asshole every time I write an article on this site, but I don’t cower down and say “Oh, well I’m not calling you stupid or insulting you!” when somebody calls me out on it! Of course I am. I’m usually writing articles in response to somebody being a moron. Maybe if David stood his ground and just owned up to what he was actually trying to say, he might have driven his point home harder. Some people need tough love dude!
So the conversation progresses to O’Reilly dropping what is apparently one of the most perplexing mysteries of the universe: “The tides go in and the tides go out”. He says this a few times as if it’s one of the most profound points he could ever make about this topic. He goes on to explain that nobody can tell us why the tides go in and out, and that’s clearly proof of god. Holy shit, Silverman! O’Reilly just threw you a big fat creamy softball. I was clamoring with anticipation waiting for this guy to knock it out of the park.
His response: “Ah, maybe it’s Thor on top Mt. Olympus who’s making the tides go in and out”.
Are you fucking kidding me? O’Reilly just told you that the WHOLE reason he believes in god is because nobody ever explained the fucking tides to him! Not to mention, Thor doesn’t even live on Mt. Olympus! I can only imagine that the only reason he didn’t take the opportunity to school O’Reilly on hard science is because he didn’t know it himself. I can’t even begin to explain the disappointment I felt as an Atheist with David Silverman speaking on my behalf. This guy shouldn’t be president of the science club in his local high school, let alone an organization that relies on science to rationalize their beliefs about the origin of humanity and the universe. Silverman probably couldn’t figure out how to make a volcano if you handed him a bottle of Diet Coke and a Mento.
Silverman goes on to explain that a scam and a myth are the same thing. It’s pretty clear Silverman failed science class, but apparently he didn’t do too well in English either. In a scam, the people selling you the product know that it doesn’t fulfill its intended purpose, or there’s some kind of intentional manipulation going on. Trust me. Nine years of Catholic school has more than convinced me that these people whole-heartedly believe every word of their religion.
Enter more bullshit about whether or not Silverman is being insulting, and Silverman being a pansy and claiming he’s not. Then we move on to another topic point…
Of course O’Reilly doesn’t come out of this one stupidity-free. He goes on to state that Atheists make up about 1% of the American population. (Again, Argumentum ad populum. That’s a fallacy in case you’re wondering. It basically states that O’Reilly is full of shit.) While this may have been true in 1960, the numbers have changed a bit. O’Reilly’s statistics, much like his politics, are clearly stuck way in the past. Again though, another softball for Silverman to call O’Reilly out on his bullshit! The anticipation builds once again…
Of course, Silverman completely fails to deliver. Instead of calling O’Reilly out on his made-up statistics, he proceeds to carry on with his stupid argument that religion is a scam, and that Americans are gullible. Furthermore, (despite being gullible) everybody knows it’s a scam, but they still attend church. Additionally, he didn’t know why. What the fuck? People attend church because they’re uninformed you asshole. Most religious people I’ve ever had the pleasure (or displeasure) to debate with don’t understand the first fucking thing about Evolution, Science, or Humanity, so it makes complete sense to them to blindly believe in a god over a bunch of shit that’s Greek to them. The problem is proper education, not gullibility you idiot.
This is essentially another example of what pisses me off about these organizations. A lot of fellow atheists may have felt compelled to join this group to add numbers, and in turn, add strength to the notion that a growing portion of this country now believes that there is no such thing as god. The problem though, is that we have this ignorant asshole at the wheel speaking on behalf of Atheists everywhere who’s just as much an uninformed puppet as O’Reilly is. This is a huge problem because potentially open-minded uninformed viewers at home are presented this argument as if this is the best both sides have to offer.
First of all, religion is not a scam. It’s real. It’s very real. It’s scary and it’s bad. Pretending it’s a “scam” and watering down the underlying meaning and thoughts behind religion doesn’t make it go away or weaken its influence on Americans. Religion is so powerful because it hits on the human condition in a very sensitive area. It explains why we’re here. It explains why we’re good, and it explains what happens after we die. These are three very important questions that people seek answers to. Religion offers a very simple answer to all of these questions. Granted, the answers are primitive Bronze-age fairy tales, but they’re still answers, and until recently, science hasn’t been able to offer anything better.
According to a news article published by Fox News (the news station of the same fucking network that O’Reilly airs on), Atheism in up to at least 7% of the American population. Now, I’m being VERY generous using Fox news as a source for this information, and I specifically targeted what Fox had to say about it, because they tend to be very biased in favor of conservative America. So they’d naturally report the lowest possible number they can find on the issue. Other sources put Atheism as high as 16% amongst Americans.
The reason for the regularity of the tides (and most people know this to a degree) is the moon. The moon is a large mass in the sky and naturally has its own gravity. As the earth rotates and the moon orbits it, the ocean is pulled up toward the sky, causing the oceans to swell on either side of the earth. As the earth rotates, the bulge of water remains in line with the moon creating… you guessed it… fucking tides!
Bill O’Reilly is an over-opinionated uneducated asshole, and I’d expect this shit from him, but David Silverman, you’re the fucking president of a group of Americans who take pride in their education and logical approach to the world. it’s great that you agree with our philosophy, but if you don’t understand why, then you’re just as ignorant as the other side. Take a science class, do some research, and stop playing the same media games that these idiot religious apologists play because they don’t have a fucking clue.