Not sure where else to put this, so...

 

Since I tend to have knee-jerk reactions, I won't post my thoughts about this right now, except to say I'm mad... and disappointed. I think Jon utterly and completely missed the point... in fact, it's almost as if he misses the point intentionally.

But that's just me...

 

Culture War Update - The Dividening of America - American Atheists ...

 

(If you can't see it, I don't know how to help you. I don't know how to download video clips from the Daily Show website. If I did, I'd put this on YouTube. If you know, please... tell me...)

Tags: American, Association, Atheists, Daily, Jon, Show, Stewart, The

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I respectfully disagree. My general feel of theists' impressions of us is already rock bottom to begin with, and not going higher, no matter what we do. One of the more public faces of atheism is Christopher Hitchens. No question that his style is, "in your face." Dawkins (admittedly not the pit bull that Hitchens is) nevertheless does not mince his words when he refers to theists as delusional. These and others have, in my estimation, done a great deal of good in 1) educating the public as to why we don't believe in sky fairies, and 2) exposing the bigotry, sometimes vicious and violent, of those take exception to our position. True, a good strategy is picking ones' battles. Also true that no one ever wins every battle in a sustained conflict. However, that doesn't mean you don't try. And, even if you lose, there is still possibility that the other side didn't win. That doesn't mean you refuse to try.

I posted the following on another thread, but I think worth viewing as to why (in my own personal opinion) I think Silverman does a good job.


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/07/22/this-is-why...
Yeah I'm going to side with Silverman rather than Stewart on this one. I too am a huge Daily Show fan, I watch it religiously (mah!) and I think JS is great. I think he also has his flaws and I don't agree with him on everything. This was one point I disagreed with him on more than others. Silverman wasn't being a dick, he was being honest. I don't necessarily agree that Silverman is the best PR guy either, and I often find myself thinking that I would have said things very differently. Still, it was kind of a shock to have JS up there not just poking fun at us atheists, but practically insinuating that all atheists are jerks. And how hypocritical of him too, since he is admittedly a "terrible Jew", one who eats pork and cares not a whit for Jewish practices, but is still not an atheist. If you believe something, then I think you should stick to your convictions and actually act on your beliefs, not just hold them but consciously act against them. And, he did seem particularly offended on behalf of Christians, and didn't get that Silverman was making a philosophical point, albeit a somewhat undiplomatic one. It simply wasn't a funny bit, and it did make me somewhat uncomfortable, but I had quickly forgotten it and forgiven it and was in fact just watching The Daily Show as usual when I came across this post, so although it was bothersome to hear even someone I like as much as JS talking badly about atheists (though not nearly as badly as most others do), I let it roll off my back.
I think that is a succinct point Wanderer.  I agree with you there about JS and the daily show and Silverman.  It is water under the bridge.  Nicely put.
Well thanks a lot Tom! I appreciate it.

Actually, Jon Stewart has more than once referred to himself as a Secular Jew, and in his semi-recent interview with fundy Christian and US History Revisionist David Barton, JS seems to imply that he's a Secular Humanist (at least, that's what I got out of the interview). I don't think I've ever met a Secular Humanist who believes in God (which, I grant, can't even be considered a sample size), so my guess is that JS would probably identify as an agnostic if you asked, but is technically an atheist.

 

Here's the entire interview with David Barton:

Part 1

Part 2

Extended (Parts 3-5)

Yeah I had seen the same interview, and I had gotten precisely the same impression. I don't know that he considers himself a Humanist, which does imply that he would also then be an atheist (technically, by definition, though many who misunderstand the term consider themselves both humanists and yet still religious), but he certainly considers himself to be secular, and therein lies the hypocrisy as I see it, or at least the downright lack of conviction. I agree that he most likely is agnostic, but to be an atheist you must have convictions of the sort, which he apparently lacks. I really admire the guy, I think he's brilliant, but it is so unnerving to me that there are so many incredibly bright people out there who simply haven't given enough consideration to such an important question as "what are your metaphysical beliefs?" I think this is owed either to the fact that doing metaphysics, and philosophy in general, is so boring to most people, or, more likely, that metaphysics is simply considered unresolvable and therefore irrelevant. I dunno.

I agree that he most likely is agnostic, but to be an atheist you must have convictions of the sort, which he apparently lacks. I really admire the guy, I think he's brilliant, but it is so unnerving to me that there are so many incredibly bright people out there who simply haven't given enough consideration to such an important question as "what are your metaphysical beliefs?"

 

I have to disagree because I do not subscribe to the idea that agnosticism is a middle-ground between atheism and theism. Atheism deals with belief (the lack thereof), and agnosticism deals with knowledge (the lack thereof). Knowledge and belief are not the same thing. This is why I hate it when someone is asked whether or not they believe in God and they say they are agnostic.

 

Okay. That's great. But they weren't asked whether or not the know if God exists. They were asked whether or not they believe God exists.

 

I generally say that people who answer the question "do you believe in God" with "I'm agnostic" are technically atheists and either haven't really given that much thought to it or are, for whatever reason, interested in avoiding the atheist label.

 

Hence why I say that Jon Stewart may say he's agnostic, but is technically an atheist.

I agree with everything you've said here Wanderer.  I thought Jon was an Atheist though.  So disappointed. :(

My understanding is that he actually is one, but identifies himself more as a cultural Jew or an "agnostic".

 

He doesn't seem to realise that unless he has a belief in God, he is an atheist.

Thanks booklover, yeah I was disappointed too. Here I was thinking we might have one of our own up there on that amazing soapbox. And Colbert is another one. Someone asked him if he was a Catholic, his response was "as much as the next guy"! He's another one that's hard to peg. He speaks about religion like an atheist would too if we were making fun of them while also pretending to be one (Catholic). But he really knows his shit. Colbert is a genius, and Stewart too, but I think Colbert is like a wizard. Anyway, I agree with you, Matt, that he (Stewart) misses his own hypocrisy. Maybe he's agnostic though. But that alo smeans he's not Jewish (unless you count in the fact that there are SO MANY people raised Jewish (and even on this website) who claim to be both atheists/agnostics and Jewish based solely on their cultural attachments. But that's another can of worms.
Yeah, I also agree Stewart and esp. Colbert are amazingly smart.  I have Jewish heritage on my moms side, but was raised with absolutely no religion, and I'm an Atheist through & through.  We do holidays just as fun things like a 'christmas' tree which is pagan and Santa Claus.  I also have an old menorah that was passed-down, but it's just a family 'decoration' to me.  We don't do any kind of prayers or rituals about anything.  We just have fun eating good food and opening presents.  Maybe winter solstice fun we could call it? lol.

Stephen Colbert is not only a practicing Roman Catholic, but a Sunday School teacher:

"If you are laughing, you can’t be afraid"

Colbert Seeks Rapport With GOPers

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