Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Bill vs. Bill
After seeing this video, I thought this would be a great opportunity to show how to defend the faith when talking with skeptics and agnostics, such as Bill Maher. I will dissect the dialog point by point.
First, I want to say that personally I am a fan of O'Reilly; however, in this interview, I think he lost big time and we as Christians, should see the importance of studying Apologetics and learn how to completely annihilate these silly arguments.
Maher says that most Americans, who believe in religion, are stupid. Then, immediately brings up Noah's Ark as an example saying that 60% of Americans believe this really happened.
Let me respond by saying a few things. First and foremost, Maher never gives an actual argument as to why Noah's Ark could not possibly be true, but instead, he turns to mockery and saying people who believe that are stupid. Mockery and ridicule are not arguments!!! I could easily dismiss Maher's beloved theory of evolution by making wise cracks about lizards turning into birds, but that would not mean that evolution therefore is false.
If we are going to have meaningful dialog, then Maher needs to do more than just engage in name calling and ridicule. He needs to present an actual argument.
If God exists, then miracles are possible. If he created the universe, then Noah's flood is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility. Ministries like Answers in Genesis have repeatedly answered critics about the Ark and I think very convincingly.
Here, O'Reilly shows that he really does not have much of a defense for the attack that Maher is making. O'Reilly says that Noah's Ark is allegorical and is not to be taken literal. At this point, Maher presses O'Reilly hard as to why he does not believe what is in the Bible if God is the Author.
O'Reilly should be prepared to defend the Scriptures and he is not. Jesus said in John 3:12: "If I tell you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe when I tell you heavenly things?" If we can not trust our Lord to get it right when it comes to Creation and Noah's Ark, the things we can put to the test, then how can we believe him when he talks about spiritual things which we can not see?
Maher brings up Exodus 35:2 which says: "Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death." He then hammers O'Reilly and unfortunately O'Reilly has no defense. It should be noted here that Israel was a theocracy, meaning God himself was ruling them. The context of this Scripture is for a specific people at a specific time. Jesus fulfilled the civil and ceremonial laws and America is not a theocracy so the answer to Maher's question is: "NO, we should not stone our neighbor because that command was given to a specific people at a specific time".
The fact that Maher does not like that and feels that it is immoral, does not mean therefore that the Bible is false. That is exactly what he is relying on when he brings it up and Bill falls right into the trap. Had I been asked this same question, I would have said something like: "So what if you don't like it. How does that make it not true?
Bill tries to distance himself from the Old Testament instead of giving a perfectly reasonable answer like the one given above. This leads down the slippery slope of outright rejecting the Bible and could cause his viewers to start to doubt the Bible. Folks, this is why we need philosophy and good apologetics. There is no reason Maher should be defeating O'Reilly other than the fact that O'Reilly has not done his homework when it comes to defending the faith.
Maher goes on to say that: "Killing your neighbor is immoral". I would love to ask Maher why that is the case? In his worldview, how does one get objective moral values of rightness of wrongness? In Maher's worldview men have no freewill, but we are all just molecules in motion and the laws of physics and chemistry run our brains. If we are nothing but evolved animals, then why is the lion killing the zebra so different from a man killing his neighbor? In the atheistic worldview, what exactly is evil?
Maher says that we "ought" not kill our neighbor, but the problem is to say that we "ought" to do something, implies that there is a way or a standard that things are supposed to be. However, you can not get a prescription of the way things SHOULD be without a prescriber! A moral law demands a moral lawgiver; thus, Maher has to sit in God's lap in order to slap His face.
O'Reilly brings up Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes and Maher's responds: "And I am the bad guy for saying people are dumb". Again, Maher has no arguments other than ridicule and mockery. He has presupposed that miracles can not happen so anyone who believes in miracles are stupid. If God exists, then miracles are possible. If God exists, then acts of God certainly are possible and Maher needs to do more than name calling and ridicule. He would need to demonstrate that God does not exist. In all the times that I have heard Maher interviewed, I have never once heard him give an actual argument against God's existence. It is always mockery and ridicule which some may find cute, but again this is not an argument.
This is where they get into a bit of an argument over God's existence. O'Reilly should have layed out some good arguments here and had Maher deal with them instead of appealing to blind faith. Maher is great at cracking jokes but again, this is in no way evidence that God does not exist and that the Bible is false.
In conclusion, I would just say that the reason that this blog exists is to help people defend their faith and to equip them to do so when these type of attacks come.