Bill O'Reilly vs. David Silverman: You Know They're All Scams

by whereami 45 Replies latest jw friends

  • VM44

    Tuesday, January 04, 2011

    O'Reilly Debates Atheist Group President Over Religions Are 'Scams' Billboard

    O'Reilly Factor

    Special Guests: David Silverman

    BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: Just before Christmas, an atheist group purchased a giant sign outside the Lincoln Tunnel here in New York City that said belief in Jesus as God is "a myth."

    Then just last weekend, another sign appeared, this one in Huntsville, Alabama. The message says this about religion: "You know they're all scams," picturing Christian, Jewish and Islamic symbols on the sign.

    So, what's going on? With us now, David Silverman, president of the American Atheists group, which is responsible for both billboards. So, why the insults?

    DAVID SILVERMAN, PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Well, they're not insults. They are truths.

    O'REILLY: Wait, and we just heard Nancy Pelosi said that it's pay as you go, so let's try to get into to the truth going here.

    SILVERMAN: This isn't about pay as you go. This is about telling the truth.

    O'REILLY: Right. If you say…

    SILVERMAN: Because we're saying what we believe.

    O'REILLY: No, no, no.


    O'REILLY: Let's just be -- let's just be regular guys instead of I'm a Catholic and you are an atheist. We're just regular guys now, OK? You say something is a scam on a sign and then you come in here where millions of people are watching you and say that's not an insult. What does the word "scam" mean to you?

    SILVERMAN: Scam means deliberately misleading people.

    O'REILLY: That's not an insult?

    SILVERMAN: It's not an insult to the people. The people are just falling.

    O'REILLY: It's not an insult to the people?

    SILVERMAN: It's a statement to the people who are falling to the religion, and it's really attacking the people who are in the pews.

    O'REILLY: All right.


    O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait. Now, let's stick with the insult because this is certainly an insult in my opinion, and I know I'm not the smartest guy in town. But, OK -- so, religion is a scam. But it's not the people's fault. They've just been lured in.

    SILVERMAN: That's right.

    O'REILLY: Whose fault is it?

    SILVERMAN: It's the leaders of the religion.

    O'REILLY: The leaders?

    SILVERMAN: Of course.

    O'REILLY: All right. The pope.

    SILVERMAN: The pope, absolutely.

    O'REILLY: Right, all of these people.

    SILVERMAN: This is not brain surgery and this is not world news. Everybody knows religion is a scam. The only news here…

    O'REILLY: Everybody knows? I don't know, Mr. Silverman.

    SILVERMAN: Yes, you do.

    O'REILLY: No, I don't. I got to tell you…

    SILVERMAN: You sit here and you're skeptical every day and then you go to church and you get on your knees and pray to an invisible man in the sky and you don't think that's a scam?

    O'REILLY: No, I don't. You know, I'll tell you why.


    SILVERMAN: …with a man that was built by a man.

    O'REILLY: You know, I'll tell you why it's not a scam, in my opinion, all right? Tide goes in tide goes out, never a miscommunication. You cannot explain that. You can't explain why the tide goes in…

    SILVERMAN: Tide goes in, tide goes out.

    O'REILLY: The water, the tide comes in and it goes out, Mr. Silverman. It always comes in…

    SILVERMAN: Maybe it's Thor on top of Mount Olympus who's making the tides go in and out.

    O'REILLY: No, no, but you can't explain that.

    SILVERMAN: A scam and a myth. The myth and religion are the same thing.

    O'REILLY: You can't explain it.

    SILVERMAN: It doesn't matter if I can explain it.

    O'REILLY: It doesn't?

    SILVERMAN: That doesn't mean an invisible magic man in the sky is doing that.

    O'REILLY: And you're free to believe that, but when you insult -- all right.

    SILVERMAN: We're not insulting. Look, there are thousands…

    O'REILLY: And you're calling religion a scam and a myth.

    SILVERMAN: It is a scam and it is a myth. But that's a statement of fact.

    O'REILLY: It is not a statement of fact. It's a statement of belief.

    SILVERMAN: Invisible man in the sky.

    O'REILLY: That's what you believe.

    SILVERMAN: This country is filled with billboards attacking atheists and this country has several billboards.

    O'REILLY: Where -- all right. Show me -- tell me where there's one attacking atheists.

    SILVERMAN: Oh, just go all up and down the New Jersey turnpike and you'll see, we're going to hell. We're going to burn. Hell is real.

    O'REILLY: I have never seen one like that. You can tell me what exit that is? I'd like to go see it.

    SILVERMAN: 8A, go ahead.

    O'REILLY: All right. Who bought that?

    SILVERMAN: It doesn't matter. The point is they are allowed to say what they want to say, and we are allowed to say what we want to say.

    O'REILLY: And so are you. OK. So, what good does it do the atheist community in the United States, which according to Pew Religious Center is about 1 percent -- 1.6 percent of Americans. What good does it do you to insult 80 percent of the American people by saying they are too stupid to know what they're doing?

    SILVERMAN: We didn't say stupid.

    O'REILLY: No, but if you say that the people are duped and I can't possibly believe it.

    SILVERMAN: Gullible, that's the word.

    O'REILLY: You know, you are calling me a moron.

    SILVERMAN: I'm not calling you a moron.

    O'REILLY: Yes, you are.

    SILVERMAN: It's the greatest scam in the history of the world.

    O'REILLY: And then I fall for it.

    SILVERMAN: And you fell for it, yes.

    O'REILLY: So, I'm an idiot.

    SILVERMAN: No, I didn't say that, man.

    O'REILLY: Well, then how could I not be?

    SILVERMAN: You know, your teaser for this segment was atheists are attacking religious people in public.


    O'REILLY: If it's a fact, according to you, that there is no God, then I would to be a moron to believe in God. I'd have to be stupid.

    SILVERMAN: Well, we want you to think about that, and our position is that the churches are filled with atheists. Our position is that the churches are filled with people who know it's a myth.

    O'REILLY: Why do they go to church?

    SILVERMAN: We don't know.

    O'REILLY: You don't know! You don't know why it is.

    SILVERMAN: Well, Bill, the whole point is that there's a lot of familial and social pressure keeping people in the church. But that's a good question. Why?

    O'REILLY: What good does it do…

    SILVERMAN: They are writing checks and they know it's a scam. They are on their knees and they know it's a scam.

    O'REILLY: OK. Look, if you think that people go into church and they know that this is a scam and they write money to it, if you believe that, you are a loon, OK? There you go.

    SILVERMAN: Now, I didn't insult you, but you just insulted me. You just called me a loon and you are accusing we are assaulting believers in public.

    O'REILLY: The word if -- if you believe that, you're a loon. What good does it do two percent of the population to attack and insult 80 percent? It's not going to help your cause.

    SILVERMAN: We are not attacking and insulting the 80 percent. We are luring the atheists out of the pews.

    O'REILLY: You are luring them out.

    SILVERMAN: We are. We're telling them that this is not one percent…

    O'REILLY: So they're going to see your sign, you know what? That's right.

    SILVERMAN: Well, if that's the case, I'm not here on "The O'Reilly Factor" now, am I?

    O'REILLY: No, you are here because I don't understand what you're trying to get out of it. But now that you've explained it to me, that most people go to church are atheists…

    SILVERMAN: Many.

    O'REILLY: Just a few percentage of them.

    SILVERMAN: That's right.

    O'REILLY: And these signs are going to lure them out.


    O'REILLY: Now I understand it perfectly.

    SILVERMAN: It raises the awareness. It tells people that there's a place where they can go. People they can meet.

    O'REILLY: Where, New Jersey turnpike?


    O'REILLY: Is that where they can go?

    SILVERMAN: It's not about the New Jersey turnpike. This one is about the Alabama Huntsville meeting. Find out more at

    O'REILLY: Oh, all right.

    SILVERMAN: You got to put a plug in there, my friend.

    O'REILLY: Now, listen, we appreciate you coming in and taking the heat.

    SILVERMAN: Thanks for having me on.

    O'REILLY: You're welcome.

  • whereami

    This is HILLARIOUS!!!!

    I post a video that I thought was funny because of a comment or two, that apparently is Farkel's idol and he goes ballistic on me. Insulting me and others. Again, sorry Howdy, I didn't know good old Bill was related to you. Very funny indeed.

    Then you have people googling O'Reilly's education, lol, what a trip. How old are we? Maybe your his PR person? I don't know, I'm baffled.

    Hey Howdy, you might want to make one of these for your boy:

    Ah the good old days. Bill at his best:

    Come on Farkel you know you want to laugh.

  • VM44

    The transcript shows that the conversation really didn't accomplish much.

  • BizzyBee

    Perhaps we should define pertinent terms?

    There is a difference between knowledge, survival skills, intellect, education, and wisdom.

    I would say that, depending on your definitions, O'Reilly is strong in the area of education, and possesses superior survival skills, but is mediocre on knowledge, intellect and wisdom. Unfortunately, that is typical of the skill-set of FOX' commentators - long on street-fighting skills, short on informed analytical skills.

  • Farkel


    ;I would say that, depending on your definitions, O'Reilly is strong in the area of education, and possesses superior survival skills, but is mediocre on knowledge, intellect and wisdom. Unfortunately, that is typical of the skill-set of FOX' commentators - long on street-fighting skills, short on informed analytical skill

    Define your terms and be specific and give examples. You cannot draw your conclusions until you do. Horse before the cart and all that. You obfuscate as usual. Otherwise, you are just talking out of the place where the sun don't shine.


  • VM44

    What is the reason for "tides" being brought up in the conversation?

    There is a mathematical theory of tides, but so?

  • lisaBObeesa

    Oh, so you DO wanna go. ok.

    I guess it's on like donkey kong.


    You said:
    :Bill O'Reilly is a genius at making $$$$$
    Anything wrong with that? Should you have any problem with people who are a genius at making $$$$$? If so, why so?

    I don’t have any interest in continuing this argument with you since you continually mischaracterize what I say and personally attack me. This is pointless.

  • Amazing

    Whereami: "Then you have people googling O'Reilly's education, lol, what a trip. How old are we?" Your comment suggests that somehow it is immature to revisit someone's education. You Ex-JWs do this all the time in checking into the lack of education of the Watchtower leadership. Why is that immature? Farkel noted that O'Reilly is Harvard educated in response to someone alleging that he is stupid. Farkel's response is valid. A stupid person cannot get through college with honors ... especially a university like Harvard. I looked up O'Reilly's background because I wanted to see in what field he is educated. It seemed interesting, and I posted it. Like so many posters, you do not make any real or substantive argument, but you spout mere rhetoric in full false argumentation style ... it is unimpressive and does not inform or add to anything.

    BizzyBee: It is obvious that you do not like O'Reilly because of his views ... rather than making a solid presentation of your views and how they have greater merit, you resort to dismissing and belittling someone with whom you disagree. Fox commentators are no worse or better than any other network. I would love to see some example, some basic high school or first year college argument that has substance which would support your assertions. Worst of all, most of the comments by many are against O'Reilly, when in fact it was the atheist who made an ass of himself by asserting that all religion is a scam and that the majority who attend churches are also duped atheists ... he offered no data, no facts, no studies, no sources ... he fell flat on his face. In that segment, it is clearly O'Reilly who was reasonable, and Silverman who made flawed arguments.

    Overall assessment: Farkel made a powerful challenge to you two to do some real homework, get some facts, and make solid arguments and learn how to avoid false arguments. Instead you are the ones who resort to silly immature debate ... is that all you can do as ex-JWs? Has not your ex-JW life led you to want to obtain higher education and develop good critical thinking skills? Or, do you even have a clue as to how badly the JW world really crippled your ability to engage in rational discussion?

    VM44: You are correct about O'Reilly's use of tides ... I knew what he wanted to accomplish, but he used a poor illustration ... and it is the most detracting part of his side of the debate. Overall, O'Reilly did okay. Silverman is a nut case, even by atheistic standards.

  • BizzyBee
    Define your terms and be specific and give examples. You cannot draw your conclusions until you do.

    Well, I certainly can in this forum/format, as do you. If I thought for one moment that you would acknowledge factual evidence, I would laboriously present it.

    You obfuscate as usual. Otherwise, you are just talking out of the place where the sun don't shine.

    And your adolescent insults, as usual, discourage adult intellectual discussion, (where, one suspects, you fear serious confrontation). "the place where the sun don't shine" - uh, right, Mr. Informed Logic.

  • bohm

    A fundie atheist perspective: Bill absolutely floor Silbermann, and with good reason: Silbermann has managed to convince me he is a stupid jerk.

    why the heck did they choose a slogan which is blatantly untrue, and which try to appeal to emotions rather than logic?

    if your gonna fight something over their fallacies, you should not repeat them yourself.

    Whats next? "you KNOW Humans and Chimpanzees share a common ancestor, we got all the TRANSITIONAL FOSSILS".

    or for the reading impaired: "You KNOW I am right!"


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