Post "nightline" musings

gregfl
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Post "nightline" musings

We had tried to have this conversation in chat last night but the lag was horrible. Anyway, watching the debate it was clear that while Brian and Kelly made some moderate mistakes which are normal to people new to debate...the match was a slaughter and Ray and Mikey, er Kirk...were left bleeding and wounded.

 

So what happened when Nightline condensed and packaged the story for national TV? Many things to be expected and some not. First, the understory became about Kirk Cameron, his website, his career. When it came time to introduce Comfort, he was only mentioned briefly. Then, when Mentioning sapient, he set the tone early..."Runs the so called Rational Response Squad". This is a disparagement, pure and simple. Why?

 

Then, we are shown clips of the debate that are designed to lead the viewer to believe that there was actually a match. No deer in the headlight moments, no obvious audience support towards RR, nothing...just a run of the mill Debate. Next, we are told "the were no clear winners". WTF??????????? There was, as anyone who has EVER been around any debate activity knows, a clear winner. WOTM had a premise, that they could prove scientifically that god exists, and to that end they failed miserably and embarassingly. One would have to ask why Bashir would spin it like this???

 

After the debate, we are treated to signs of Shrill Friel and Sapient arguing outside, etc. T he scenes shown of the atheists seem disorganized and confrontational. Then we are shown Cameron calmly saying he hoped that something happened to change Kelly and Brian because he cared about them. Then this "EVEN the atheists seemed concerned about the tone..."

Even the atheists? Try that with "even the blacks, Jews,Catholics,protestants, etc. Nightline was showing their cards...again.

 

Then we are shown Bashir, comfort and Cameron sitting comfortably backstage and Bashir commenting that their work was "thankless". Comfort was making excuses, and Cameron, with his hair tossed, his frustrated look on his face, and his lack of ability to coherently comment, looked like someone just beat him up for his lunch money.

 

So why would Nightline spin the debate like this? A quick perusal of Wiki's page on Bashir......

He worked for the BBC until 1999 on programmes including Songs of Praise, Public Eye and Panorama and then he joined ITV, working on special documentary programmes and features for Tonight with Trevor McDonald. Bashir has also appeared in the film Mike Bassett: England Manager, where he played himself. He is a devout Christian[1].

 

 

So Bashir had a hidden agenda it seems.

Bashir was also accused of spinning the Michael Jackson intervew, leaving out pertinent information and statements.

 

what does Bashir's countrymen think of him?

 

 

In May 2003, he was voted the 5th worst Briton in Channel 4's poll of the 100 Worst Britons.

 

 

 

And so it goes in the world of being an atheist. Even when you get invited to a debate and embarrass the competetion, hands down demonstrating that the affirmative could not even begin to demonstrate their case...the debate is spun into a draw, the atheists are accused of being nasty, and the national television network doesn't even try to impartially judge the event.

 

Congratulations anyway to Brian and Kelly. The debate was a one sided slaughter, You made us proud, and I am sure you will learn from this encounter as you move forward.

 

 


The Patrician
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Bashir is a journalist,

Bashir is a journalist, it's his job to get as many bums on seats as possible.  Since America is 75& Christian what did you expect?

As for the 100 worst Britons.  Please.  That's just a daft poll conducted by Channel 4.

Here's the top 10:

  1. Flag of Scotland Tony Blair (* 67th)
  2. Flag of England Jordan
  3. Flag of England Margaret Thatcher (* 16th)
  4. Flag of England Jade Goody
  5. Flag of England Martin Bashir
  6. Flag of England Gareth Gates
  7. Flag of Scotland Alex Ferguson
  8. Flag of Wales Ian "H" Watkins from Steps
  9. Flag of England Geri Halliwell
  10. Flag of England Queen Elizabeth II (* 24th)
It's whoever the public hates at that moment in time.  Bashir got it in the neck for his somewhat unflattering portrayal of Michael Jackson.  The list shows how ridicuous it is to take it seriously.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


gregfl
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What did I expect? A

What did I expect? A journalist conducting a debate to be honest about the outcome, to not try to spin it in one direction,  and to report it without a tinge of yellow.

 

Moderating a debate requires that you leave your personal bias at the front door. Your premise seems to be that we should have expected nightline to spin it.  This belies your ignorance about debate and the expected conduct of a moderator. When the moderator is given editorial power, his responsiblity is increased dramatically.

 

Bashir has discredited himself to moderate any future debates.  If you don't understand why, then I suggest you start here....

 

http://www.idebate.org/thepeoplespeak/documents/TPSToolkit2006.pdf

 

 


razorphreak
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Anyone know if they are

Anyone know if they are going to post the full, unedited, version of the debate online?  What ABC put on TV last night was almost a waste of time as it gave the impression there was "no clear winner" but that shouldn't be the job of a moderator to indicate - let us see the full debate and make up our own minds.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire


The Patrician
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gregfl wrote: What did I

gregfl wrote:

What did I expect? A journalist conducting a debate to be honest about the outcome, to not try to spin it in one direction, and to report it without a tinge of yellow.

 Then you're naive beyond belief.  TV programs are about ratings, nothing else. 

Quote:
Moderating a debate requires that you leave your personal bias at the front door. Your premise seems to be that we should have expected nightline to spin it. This belies your ignorance about debate and the expected conduct of a moderator. When the moderator is given editorial power, his responsiblity is increased dramatically.

No, son.  It belies your ignorance about TV and the way the world works. 

Quote:
Bashir has discredited himself to moderate any future debates. If you don't understand why, then I suggest you start here....

http://www.idebate.org/thepeoplespeak/documents/TPSToolkit2006.pdf

Do you really live in la la land?

I understand the principles of deabte.  I also understand that don't get a level playing field a lot of the time.  Considering this I thought the RRS guys did pretty well.

So, please, spare us the wounded democracy bollocks.  This is real life.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


HealingBlight
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Bash did actually hit on the

Bash did actually hit on the WOTM lads a bit hard during the debate, and RRS to a lesser extent, however, you should realise that once over, he was back doing his job as a reporter for a major news channel in a highly competitive industry. If he were to say or cut in the a way that said flat out that the atheists kicked their ass, the amount of people interested in the debate would of dropped and so would the channels fundy viewership. Ok, so it was christian appeasement, but that was almost to be expected, it was no CNN farce, the full thing is still up there. I'm still disgusted on how WOTM tried to ignore the fact they lost and bring attention to how the atheists were not quiet little submissive puppies. It felt like one huge post-debate ad hominem if I get the concept correctly. ‘Lets completely ignore our failure and not listen to the big bad atheists, we should have our ass-backwards ideas respected and not questioned! ‘

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I'll get back to you when I think of something worthwhile to say.


gregfl
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The Patrician

The Patrician wrote:
gregfl wrote:

What did I expect? A journalist conducting a debate to be honest about the outcome, to not try to spin it in one direction, and to report it without a tinge of yellow.

 Then you're naive beyond belief.  TV programs are about ratings, nothing else. 

Quote:
Moderating a debate requires that you leave your personal bias at the front door. Your premise seems to be that we should have expected nightline to spin it. This belies your ignorance about debate and the expected conduct of a moderator. When the moderator is given editorial power, his responsiblity is increased dramatically.

No, son.  It belies your ignorance about TV and the way the world works. 

Quote:
Bashir has discredited himself to moderate any future debates. If you don't understand why, then I suggest you start here....

http://www.idebate.org/thepeoplespeak/documents/TPSToolkit2006.pdf

Do you really live in la la land?

I understand the principles of deabte.  I also understand that don't get a level playing field a lot of the time.  Considering this I thought the RRS guys did pretty well.

So, please, spare us the wounded democracy bollocks.  This is real life.

 

 

 First, don't call me 'son' you smarmy little prick. I am probably old enough to be your father.

 

Wether TV's bias reflects 'real life' or not isn't the point which again flew right over your head.

 

 Any debate, whether televised or not, REQUIRES that the moderator act in a certain fashion. That tv journalists violate this requirement is not a surprise, but I felt it important enough to point out and discuss. That the debate was such a one sided victory and was portrayed as at best a draw on nightline, is a very good topic for this forum. Bashir did an okay job of moderating the debate until he got into editorial mode, where he dropped the ball, reflected his personal bias, and ultimately lied about the outcome.  This wasn't a draw by anyone's assessment.  Bashir wasn't just spinning when he stated that, he was lying....  Even sworn enemies of the RR squad are declaring it a victory  for Brian and Kelly. 

 

 

Lastly,  You haven't earned the right to come on here and be condescending...so stick it up your arse.


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I was so pissed when I

I was so pissed when I watched that on TV.


HumanisticJones
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My partner was shocked to

My partner was shocked to see the way that they edited the debate for general consumption.  Having watched the bits on their web site she and I were out right dumbfounded when they did everything they could to make it seem like Ray and Kirk hadn't been solidly trounced.

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What would one expect of the

What would one expect of the American TV? I'm so glad we live in a time were we have the internet to inform ourselves!

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


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her cleavage is distracts from your message

the debate sucked. not many seats and not many of them filled. i'm sure the atheists won convincingly, they always win debates, and it's too bad nightline made it look "close."

 

 

what was the deal with cameron's pictures of bullfrogs and other conjoined animals? was that supposed to be a sincere argument against evolution? nightline must have shown it out of context because it made no sense.

 

 

i'm confused, are the two atheists really named sapient and (i forget her weird dungeons and dragons name)? i hope not.

 

 

her cleavage undermines the atheist point of view in the same way a gay guy in a g string at the pride parade ruins it for the normal gays. her red hair and overall goth/suicide girl look is not helping things. i don't care if that's who she is, if that's who she is, then pick someone else to be the face of atheism.

 

 

and the atheist guy seems creepy. there is something kind of joe francis about him. and he dates the goth chick, right?

 

 

i resent these two. no one was willing to step up and be THE atheist, so we are left with these two zeros. kind of like how blacks are stuck with jackson and sharpton. (it was funny when goth/cleavage chick got tongue tied in the debate and tried to work her way out of it and ended up stammering something about "....you know, history.&quotEye-wink

 

 

maybe ricky gervais, christopher hitchens, bill maher or david cross will decide to put you guys out of business one day and make a better website. one that doesn't ask people to donate money to it, which by the way is one of the more unattractive aspects of religion.

 

 

you guys are creepy.


The Patrician
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gregfl wrote: First, don't

gregfl wrote:
First, don't call me 'son' you smarmy little prick. I am probably old enough to be your father.

I doubt it unless you're close to 60.  As for little, I'm 6'4" and weigh 240lbs.

Quote:
Wether TV's bias reflects 'real life' or not isn't the point which again flew right over your head. 

Any debate, whether televised or not, REQUIRES that the moderator act in a certain fashion. That tv journalists violate this requirement is not a surprise, but I felt it important enough to point out and discuss. That the debate was such a one sided victory and was portrayed as at best a draw on nightline, is a very good topic for this forum. Bashir did an okay job of moderating the debate until he got into editorial mode, where he dropped the ball, reflected his personal bias, and ultimately lied about the outcome. This wasn't a draw by anyone's assessment. Bashir wasn't just spinning when he stated that, he was lying.... Even sworn enemies of the RR squad are declaring it a victory for Brian and Kelly.

Good.  It shows they can go against the odds and win.  That kind of makes it even more effective.

L

Quote:
You haven't earned the right to come on here and be condescending...so stick it up your arse.

After 10 years debating this crap I can be condescending wherever the hell I feel like.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


Pile
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I see both sides here.

I see both sides here. The bottom line is that this was a tv show, and as such, cleavage (or what I prefer to refer to as "heavenly firmament&quotEye-wink is just as appropriate as Kirk Cameron's appearance and their duck-and-crocodile show they trotted out. There was a fair amount of farce in play. Both sides took things seriously, but each side didn't take the other seriously, and I personally found that wildly entertaining.

I'm not sure what people expected.... Brian and Killy to convince Comfort to abandon religion? IMO, the show was incredibly helpful regardless of who "won" -- it is helping push the debate on religion and its value into the mainstream. This is ultimately the best we can hope for at this point (since atheists are such a minority). We don't really even need to win the argument to score a huge victory. Any time scrutiny is applied to mythology, rationality wins.

In reality, the ONLY way Comfort and Cameron could have won is if they would have been able to convert Brian and Kelly to christianity on live TV.  Anything short of that was a failure.  And ironically, their ego; their need for attention and power and influence has served as the key to open the door to shine light on the fantasy that is religion.  Let them think they won.  Let them invite more atheists into the spotlight to debate issues.  This is a win-win situation for free thinkers.

 

 


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The Patrician

The Patrician wrote:
gregfl wrote:
You haven't earned the right to come on here and be condescending...so stick it up your arse.
After 10 years debating this crap I can be condescending wherever the hell I feel like.

Fuck no you can't, not while I'm paying for the posts.  Don't backtalk greg again.   

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If this post is a

If this post is a duplicate, my apologies.

If we consider only the initial focus of the debate which was ostensibly for Ray and Kirk to prove the existence of God then the mistakes made by Killy and Sapient were excusable because the godbotherers failed. However the debate was not restricted to the initial focus. The vast majority of the debate was Killy and Sapient defending themselves against the Kirk and Ray show. Instead of pressing their advantage, Killy and Sapient let Kirk and Ray take the offence. This was a mistake.

Most of the comments made by Kirk and Ray were opportunities missed to show how dishonest creationists such as Kirk and Ray really are. Kirk made a number of quote mines, expressed some obvious scientific disinformation, and made claims that have been debunked so frequently they are famous. Both Killy and Sapient showed a horrible lack of science knowledge.

Please, people, before you take on any more slick, skilled con men such as Kirk and Ray, take the time to hone your skills at places like talkorigins and RichardDawkins.net. People like K&R will always focus on evolution, it is important that everyone, including you, learn as much about evolution and how to counter creationist arguments in that field as possible. They are as much anti-science as they are anti-atheist, they will alway bring science into the argument. If you do not have a command of the subjectyou will come off looking like you are unprepared and out of your league, which is exactly what happened during the last half of the debate.

You have available many resources on the web, including hundreds of scientists and lay people with years of experience debating YECs and IDiots. Use those resources.

 

 {mod edit: deleted double post}

 

Science rationally modifies a theory to fit evidence, creationism emotionally modifies evidence to fit a specific interpretation of the bible.


Iruka Naminori
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The Patrician wrote:

The Patrician wrote:
After 10 years debating this crap I can be condescending wherever the hell I feel like.

You've been doing this for ten years?!? Gee, maybe it's time to admit debating ain't your thang...son.

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Actually, most of us here

Actually, most of us here consider ourselves "agnostic atheists" because we don't know if a god exists or not.

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I will think for you. 


Hambydammit
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Slander is a spoken,

Slander is a spoken, malicious falsehood, so it is unlikely anyone here will slander you, and if they do, you are unlikely to hear it. Libel is also unlikely, since you are probably not famous, and would have a hard time convincing a judge that your career was damaged by anything written about you here.

Having said that, you should notice that there are lots of forums here, and each has a description of what content is appropriate. This forum is not for discussions of atheist vs. theist. I wonder which forum that discussion would fit best in...

Which one could it be?

hmmm...

Anyway, I hope to see you post in a more appropriate forum, where I promise, my job as moderator is to make sure nobody commits libel. I can't do much about slander, though. You're on your own there.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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American Atheist
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Iruka Naminori wrote: The

Iruka Naminori wrote:

The Patrician wrote:
After 10 years debating this crap I can be condescending wherever the hell I feel like.

You've been doing this for ten years?!? Gee, maybe it's time to admit debating ain't your thang...son.

Indeed. Laughing 


The Patrician
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Ok, first of all apologies

Ok, first of all apologies to Greg - I was out of order.  Of coure, calling someone a "smarmy little prick" isn't going to endear you to them.

But, yeah. Could have handled it better.

 

Secondly, Iruka and AA -  Me being an arsehole from time to time doesn't remove the validity of my points nor does it make me a poor debater.  If you want to test that theory then feel free to engage me in one.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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The smarmy prick comment

The smarmy prick comment came after your condenscending remarks, only after I pointed out you seem a bit ignorant on how debate works.

FYI, saying someone is ignorant about something is not an insult to an educated person.  We are all ignorant...calling someone stupid is an insult, but ignorant only denotes that you haven't been exposed to whatever is being discussed.  I still think you are either ignorant of how debate works, or you missed my point entirely.


That being said...apology accepted.    Your opinions are as valid as anyone else's here, but we all have a long history together and coming to a new board and insulting people is not a good way to gain crediblity.  Why don't we start over?


The point I was making, again..is that Bashir slanted the outcome of the debate with creative editing, that Bashir has a background in creative editing and also is a 'devoted' christian, ...and that it sucks that he did that, and it really disqualifies him from holding himself out as a debate moderator.  Hell, he didn't even have a cross examination period in the debate.  His editing and final product was a horrid hack job and clearly he was doing damage control for 'his' side...the christians.

 

He should in the future just call them discussions.  That would be more appropriate.  The original debate was moderated okay (I wouldn't say  good because again..he didn't do it right) but to call the final product that ended up on nightline a debate is an insult to the entire debating process.


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Fair enough.  I'm not

Fair enough.

 I'm not ignorant of the rules of debate, honest.  It's just that this particular debate was never going to be played by the rules.

 Consider:

Bashir is a TV anchorman on a network that is predominately watched by Christians.  The purpose of an anchorman - and editor in this case - is to put together a package that will appeal to his audience and the show's sponsors.

If I'm being honest I don't think it was ever Bashir's intention to present an impartial show.  As has been mentioned, he kind of has a track record of manipulating his subjects to give a watchable outcome - the Jackson documentary was an example of this although he did get his fingers burnt there. 

 If I'm being cynical - which let's face it, I am - I would even say that he selected the protagonists specifically to set up a scenario where it could appear that militant atheists were 'bullying' poor Christians.  After all - and no disrespect to the RRS crew who minced them - Comfort and Cameron aren't exactly heavyweights.

As it was RSS did really well with no serious own goals.

In summary: This was never going to be a fair debate by the rules but RSS won anyway. It's all good.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Since when is "Kelly" a D&D

Since when is "Kelly" a D&D name?  Is there a fifth-level orc named Kelly that I'm not aware of?  I shall have to consult my husband's vast D&D library and find out.

 

FYI, Brian "Sapient" and Kelly don't use their real names because asswipe Christians who follow Jesus's gospel of love and acceptance like to threaten them with physical harm because they don't believe in the living Christ.  Nice.  I'd use a pseudonym, too. 


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Pile wrote: IMO, the show

Pile wrote:

IMO, the show was incredibly helpful regardless of who "won" -- it is helping push the debate on religion and its value into the mainstream. This is ultimately the best we can hope for at this point (since atheists are such a minority). We don't really even need to win the argument to score a huge victory. Any time scrutiny is applied to mythology, rationality wins.

 

Exactly.  The very fact that it's now viewed as "okay" for such an event to take place is an enormous victory for reason.  The fact that nobody was portrayed as saying, "Well, clearly Christianity won again, as everybody knew it would" is reason to celebrate.  The fact that this was broadcast on national television and that the media paid so much attention to it means that the job is just starting, and that more opportunities will arise in the future.  

V IS FOR VICTORY.  I ought to crack open a bottle of champagne, now that I think about it.  Seriously - there was no "winner" (even though Cameron and Comfort's arguments were utterly crushed) and Brian and Kelly clearly need more experience in debating before they're going to be free of criticism, but reason won just because it happened. 

Quote:
In reality, the ONLY way Comfort and Cameron could have won is if they would have been able to convert Brian and Kelly to christianity on live TV. Anything short of that was a failure. And ironically, their ego; their need for attention and power and influence has served as the key to open the door to shine light on the fantasy that is religion. Let them think they won. Let them invite more atheists into the spotlight to debate issues. This is a win-win situation for free thinkers.

 

Exactly again.

Kirk and Ray, please do again.  We want a rematch. 

 

 


gary7infiltrator
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The Patrician wrote:

Edited:  Since everybody's friends again, no need for a sassy comment from gary7.

 

I'll just say, INTERNETS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS. 


The Patrician
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gary7infiltrator

EDIT:  Err... yeah.

 

Look!  A tree!

 

*Runs* 


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Brain and Kelly definitely

Brain and Kelly definitely won the debate. Hands down I can say that.

The premise of the debate was to prove the existence of god through scientific evidence--no biblical evidence can be provided.

First of all, Kirk and the other christian man contradicted themselves by saying that they would prove the existence of god without the bible. The first point in their argument, they made reference to the ten commandments. I mean common on----that is all they had.

I did not agree with the way Nightline introduced both sides in the beginning. It is really misleading to the average "sheep-like" person. They showed Kirk side as the evangelistic side, and that RRS was the rebellious controversial side. It's my opinion, and I don't know if anyone else saw that.

Another thing, in Kirk's closing arugment---this man has no idea what he is talking about by the way---He says that Albert Einstein was a christian. WTF, Albert Einstein wrote books speaking about how he was an atheist. Does Kirk only read the bible and no other books?

Once again, kudoes to Kelly and Brian. They are very articulate----I admire them; they are more patient than I would have been to debate Christians like Kirk Cameron anyways.

Peace!!


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Hear me out....please!

Before you totally slander or attack me, please hear me out.  I saw the debate on ABC and was fairly disappointed with the bias of the moderator, Mr. Bashir.  As a fair moderator, he should have remained neutral, which he clearly did not, as evidenced by his questions presented.

Like Kirk, I also am a former non-believer, recently born again.  I can tell you that I did my best to emphathize with both points of view during the debate.  It was clear that you (atheists) believe in your cause and have convinced yourselves that there is no God.  Well, to put it bluntly, you are wrong.  I also truly believe that you know this to be true as well.  You see, the essence of "atheism" is simply a rationalization.  You have forced yourselves into believing there is no God in order to accomodate acceptance of your own sinful behavior.  Simple as that.

I will pray for you, that you and everyone of your followers will accept the existence of God and accept Jesus Christ as their own personal savior.  I'm not a preacher.  Just a new Christian who wants everyone to go to heaven, and not perish in hell's eternal torment.

If I've reached any one of you, this message will be worth all of the slanders I'm sure it will receive.  God Bless all of you.


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American Atheist

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I will pray for you

I will think for you.

 

LOL! Dammit, just when I had decided to stop making avatars and icons for today, and I had to see this... This would be a good one. It's also quick and to the point... It'd work for an animated AIM icon. Grrr... FOR LATER. I will do that LATER... 


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gregfl wrote: Next, we

gregfl wrote:

Next, we are told "the were no clear winners". WTF??????????? There was, as anyone who has EVER been around any debate activity knows, a clear winner. WOTM had a premise, that they could prove scientifically that god exists, and to that end they failed miserably and embarassingly. One would have to ask why Bashir would spin it like this???

 

Maybe it's not spin. Cameron and Comfort claimed they could prove god exists. Saying that there were no clear winners means that they failed to prove their case, but, at the same time, it was not demonstrated that 'god' could not, or did not, exist.

 

Seeing as Comfort claimed his proof came with a 100% guarentee, that means he's refuted. 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


lao tzu
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The "crew" is free to call

The "crew" is free to call anyone a "smarmy little prick?"

Brian, this is why so many infidels avoid your site. Ad hominem attacks are not "rational." Neither is playing the capitalist card. Anyone reading this response is going to assume you're censoring opinion. It's a natural inference.

Congratulations on your national exposure.

Overall, your performance was good, though it was obvious you don't have the "camera" feel of a professional actor like Cameron. As a suggestion, you might want to watch your performance again, but this time with the audio turned off. I agree with those who feel Kelly should have considered more substantial attire. Sure, she's a hottie, but when we're transixed by her breasts we're not listening to her presentation. This is one of the very first lessons women learn in a corporate environment.

Facial expressions on television must be practiced as carefully as you research your positions. Keep in mind that your audience is not on the stage. When you show annoyance with your debate opponents, it will be seen as annoyance toward the audience.

These are intended as constructive criticisms.

I've "seen" your encounter with WTF radio as posted on the WTF site.  I'd describe it as unfortunate.  It pays to keep in mind that the battle is not over until you're back within the castle.  You let him get you angry. Don't worry, we're sure you'll do better next time.

The "Jesus Myth" position is unnecessarily controversial, hence the groans. It relies on too much that must be taken on "faith."  While it may be correct, it is not parsimonious.  I say "unnecessarily" because there are far simpler and more pointed criticisms of the Jesus portrayed in the bible, just as rational but not subject to airy dismissals.

Rather than pushing evidence for a total fabrication, it is enough to point out the more blatant evidences of individual fabrications, those that do not require extensive scholarship. The same death that can come at a single blow can also come from a thousand cuts.

People don't walk on water. *slice*

Stars don't hover over villages. *slice*

Humans are not gods. *slice* (My personal favorite, by the way.)

These are lines that become more powerful with repetition, *slice, slice, slice*, expressing home truths that require no substantiation. 

You can't educate people in an on-air debate. For that we have classrooms. That's not how science is done either. For that we have laboratories and professional journals. The best you can hope for is to remind them of things they already know, but haven't put together with their religious faith in order to spot the contradictions.

A public debate is an exercise in public relations. You have to be friendly! Smile at the camera. Paste concern for fellow humans on your pan. Tell the WTF dudes a joke. Never let them see you sweat. Exude confidence without arrogance. Make us proud. You're not just there for yourself, you're representing our entire community.

Good luck on your future campaigns.

 

As ever, Jesse

 

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gregfl
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Him and I have worked this

Him and I have worked this out between us, and I think he would agree he doesn't need you to defend him.

Truth is, he jumped, and I over-reacted.   Two wrongs. 

 

However, Jesse makes a valid point.  There is no place for ad hominems in this forum, and to that end I apologize directly to "the patrician" and to the forum participants.  I am guilty of participating in derailing my own thread.  Bad move on my part.

 

 

 

 

 


lao tzu
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No worries, Glenn, though I

No worries, Glenn, though I object to the suggestion I was defending anyone. For all I know, you're both smarmy little pricks. *insert smiley* I chose to respond to Brian's post so as to avoid that suggestion.

I defend the principle that we should "write for the lurkers." I introduced that principle primarily to segue into my more general point, that debates are primarly for the audience, and should be approached with that overall objective in mind.

It's a point that was not lost on the WTF jock. Do you think he gives a crap about facing down an atheist, personally? No, he's looking for a reaction that will play well when broadcast. That's what he got, too. It was a pro move. The last we see of Brian on the WTF video is an angry man in retreat muttering threats.  That was unfortunate.

Understand these are intended as positive criticisms. 

Imagine if Brian, when braced by WTF dude, had instead reached over and extended his hand for a shake, with an implacable smile plastered across his mug, complementing him on his tie, asking him where he got his hair done?

That's how you play hostile interviewers.

 Speaking of hostile interviewers, I'm due back to respond to the latest round from the Cameron Fan Club.  He's posting Christianity Today interviews now.

*smacks head*

 Some other time, then.

As ever, Jesse 

 

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gregfl
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lao tzu wrote: No worries,

lao tzu wrote:

No worries, Glenn, though I object to the suggestion I was defending anyone. For all I know, you're both smarmy little pricks. *insert smiley* I chose to respond to Brian's post so as to avoid that suggestion.

I defend the principle that we should "write for the lurkers." I introduced that principle primarily to segue into my more general point, that debates are primarly for the audience, and should be approached with that overall objective in mind.

It's a point that was not lost on the WTF jock. Do you think he gives a crap about facing down an atheist, personally? No, he's looking for a reaction that will play well when broadcast. That's what he got, too. It was a pro move. The last we see of Brian on the WTF video is an angry man in retreat muttering threats.  That was unfortunate.

Understand these are intended as positive criticisms. 

Imagine if Brian, when braced by WTF dude, had instead reached over and extended his hand for a shake, with an implacable smile plastered across his mug, complementing him on his tie, asking him where he got his hair done?

That's how you play hostile interviewers.

 Speaking of hostile interviewers, I'm due back to respond to the latest round from the Cameron Fan Club.  He's posting Christianity Today interviews now.

*smacks head*

 Some other time, then.

As ever, Jesse 

 

 

We are all human, Jesse, and as such are prone to leading with our emotions from time to time. (BTW, its GREG). 

 

I understand why Brian feels hostility towards Friel.  This is the reall smarmy guy...He invites people on his show with bad intent.  He twists, he is arrogant, and he continually, using the benefit of the Mike, does the things you say people shouldn't do in an interview or in a debate.

 

So could have Brian handled that better?  Yes.  Did he lead with his emotions?  Yes. 

 

I look at the debate as a first effort that went reasonable well.  It was definitely a victory, but Brian knows mistakes were made.  I can't speak for him, but I imagine he knows this was one of them.  I viscerally understand why he felt he needed to put Friel in his place.  Friel had been (and still is) attacking him on the mike without benefit of rebuttal, and attacking strawman versions of his arguments, asserting things that were not true, and trying to paint Brian as a 'jesus hater', totally attempting to discredit all of his efforts.


Maybe Brian can pipe in at this point.   


lao tzu
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Uh, whoops! Sorry about

Uh, whoops! Sorry about that, "Glenn,"

Damn, and I'm usually so careful about that.

The temptation is to gloss over mistakes, do a few high fives and pop some beers, and I can't say that's not justified. C&C were slaughtered. But they came over more likable. So at the end of the day, what score goes up on the board?

Brian and Kelly have had a couple days to unwind now, so I think it's time to look forward and figure out how to do better. As English speakers, unless we're working out of Sweden, the chances are any country we're in is going to be predominantly christian. That's the "environment" we need to recognize. Check the sales figures between "Letter to a Christian Nation" and "Left Behind, part 217, Thunderdome" or whatever their latest is.

We've got two audiences. Forgive me if I talk like a media wonk, but five years as a research director for Telemundo/Chicago have left their mark on how I look at television. Worse, everything goes through the "market" filter. The natural growth market for atheist activists are those who are already atheist, but inactive. (For Telemundo it's Hispanics who don't watch Spanish TV.) The "blasphemy challenge" was brilliant from a targeting perspective.

I really liked the "I am not afraid" tagline.

But the largest potential market by a salivation factor are the christians who'd like to cast off the cobwebs of supernaturalism without having to give up their, I don't know, call it "moral" character. (For Telemundo it's ... well, it's dubiously analagous, but it's there.) Nightline should have been perfect for that. I think there'll be other chances. We did get a second chance at Paula Zahn, didn't we? They can't ignore us if we don't let them.

Friel? Never heard of him before, but it didn't take much to catch the smarmy. I'd have gone for the hair. That's got to be one of his weak spots. Fucker's too vain by half. That's an advantage. These guys can be played. Find out his favorite sports team and hand him a team ballcap. Get the names of his kids, and ask him how they're doing in school.  Schmooze.

Did you see O'Reilly's last performance on Letterman? Like him or recognize him for the loofah-wanking seat-cover sniffer he is, it was brilliant. He came in cracking jokes; every barb from Dave was played off as locker-room towel-snapping from his barbecue buddy. He couldn't be cracked.

That's how you handle a hostile interviewer.

This isn't just about Brian and Kelly, either. So long as we're surrounded by a hostile culture, we can't crack either. When your boss gives you crap in the hallway, letting the whole office know you're an atheist, be ready. "Atheist? I believe in more gods than you do! I just don't think they're real." Yes, that really happened. And I got away with it, too, made him crack a grin. Your girlfriend's folks want to have a "talk" with you about your religion, prepare. Turn it to your advantage. Talk them into a book-reading exchange.

I'm not talking about getting by, I'm talking about winning.

Speaking of winning, it looks like the shreds of that Christianity Today puff-piece need stirring. Fan Club's trying to tape them back together.

As ever, Jesse

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Beside what you put up I

Beside what you put up I thought watching what I did see that it seems like he was trying to be uh equal in letting people talk but he cut Brian and Kelly off way too much and *sighs* that made me SO MAD and I felt he had a little bit of a hidden agenda too and that made me say as I watched ugh they could've gotten someone else....someone better at this and giving both equal shots and keeping on topic.

Quote:
Religion at BEST - is like a lift in your shoe. If you need it for a while, and it makes you walk straight and feel better - fine. But you don't need it forever, or you can become permanently disabled.

---George Carlin---