Bill Maher is a very confused atheist. On one hand he mocks religious people for believing in God, but on the other hand he gives interviews with PETA where he laments the fact that Liam Neeson favors crushing the “spirits” of horses in New York City. Horses have “spirits,” according to the guy who thinks that humans are all just a bunch of atoms and molecules and random electrical impulses that just-so-happen to collide in ways that make life (and the illusion of free will) possible.
Mediate reported Thursday:
HBO’s Real Time host Bill Maher is no longer a fan of actor Liam Neeson. In a new video posted Wednesday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Maher railed against Neeson’s support for New York City’s controversial horse carriage business.
“My life-long Liam Neeson fandom has ended, I can’t stand to look at him,” Maher said. “Why a guy would go out of his way to champion animal abuse, I have no idea. […] If anyone has ever seen a horse run wild, even in movies or whatever, you know that’s the furthest from the way these animal should be,” he concluded. “I mean they have a wonderful spirit and to get them to do that job, you have to completely break it.”
Someone needs to inform atheist Bill Maher that for guys who believe we’re all just a bunch of random electrical signals following a program we can not control, words like “should” and “spirit” are a no-no. If we’re all essentially running on a computer program that will end in black, why does he care what Liam Neeson advocates for or against? In fact, if the Real Time host wasn’t so intellectually confused he would say that Liam Neeson has no choice but to advocate for horse-and-buggy rides in New York City because that’s what his computer program is telling him to do.
Dinesh D’Souza puts Mr. Maher’s problem in perspective in his amazing book “What’s So Great About Christianity.”:
“We are moral beings. We have moral concepts like “right” and “wrong” and “good” and “evil.” We “ought” to do this and “ought not” to do that. Try as we can, we cannot avoid this way of thinking and acting. Morality is an empirical fact no less real than any other experience in the world. Kant argues that for these concepts to have any meaning or applicability whatsoever, it must be the case that we have a choice whether to do something. Ought implies can. This is not to deny that factors both material and unconscious might influence our decision. But even so, we are at least sometimes at liberty to say yes to this option and no to that option. If we never have such a choice, then it is simply false to say I “should” do this and “shouldn’t” do that because there is no possibility of deciding one way or the other. For anyone to recommend one course or action instead of another is completely pointless. If determinism is true, then no one in the world can ever refrain from anything that he or she does. The whole of morality — not just this morality or that morality but morality itself — becomes an illusion.” — (Dinesh D’Souza. What’s So Great About Christianity. 248)
Are we just a complex computer program that luckily wrote itself with the creation of the universe, or do we have free will? If we have free will, then Maher is in for a whole new load of headaches.
I’ll let Stephen Hawking describe it for him:
Now if you believe that the universe is not arbitrary, but is governed by definite laws, you ultimately have to combine the partial theories in science into a complete unified theory that will describe everything in the universe. But there is a fundamental paradox in the search for such a complete unified theory. Our ideas about scientific theories…assume we are rational beings who are free to observe the universe as we want and to draw logical deductions from what we see. In such a scheme it is reasonable to suppose that we might progress ever closer toward the laws that govern our universe. Yet if there really is a complete unified theory, it would also presumably determine our actions. And so the theory itself would determine the outcome of our search for it! And why should it determine that we come to the right conclusions from the evidence? Might it not equally well determine that we draw the wrong conclusion?” — (Stephen Hawking. A Brief History of Time. 12-13)
Perhaps we should cut Bill Maher some slack, since even Stephen Hawking finds himself aimlessly wandering around inside a paradox — or perhaps not since Bill Maher regularly says really mean things about people who believe in spirits, the soul and a non-local consciousness that directs and guides us.
The point is this: Bill Maher might want to think twice the next time he mocks religious individuals, given the fact that he now finds himself defending the spirits of horses, which his atheism demands he must deny.