Oprah: You Can't Be an Atheist If You 'Believe in the Awe and Wonder' of the World

Oct 15, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Mediaite.com

Diana Nyad is a truly remarkable woman. She made four unsuccessful attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida, but persevered and actually accomplished her goal on the fifth try.

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#1
Oct 15, 2013
 

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To be amazed by the awe and wonder of the world and the universe one has to believe in a god?

What a ridiculous notion.

Oprah should expand her worldview...
Amused

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Oct 15, 2013
 

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I was going to reply, but Just Think captured the essence of the response I was going to make for this non-argument. "it is wonderful and amazing, therefore goddidit' is just a non-sequiter.

“you must not give faith”

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Oct 15, 2013
 

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"ďIf you want to be awe inspired, ladies and gentlemen, and let me say, let me just tell you that those of us who do not believe we are divinely created, let alone divinely supervised, are not immune to the idea of awe and beauty and the transcendent. Let me invite you to look for a moment at the pictures taken by the Hubble telescope. Some of you may have done it. If you havenít done it now, or yet, do it soon.

The extraordinary revelations of swirling yet somehow beautiful, new galaxies in color and depth and majesty, like nothing, I think, the human eye has ever seen. Turn away from that if you wish, and gaze at a burning bush, in an illiterate desert part of the middle east, and say that thatís where revelation comes from. I donít believe youíd be able to do it.

Or read a page of Stephen Hawking on the absolute magnificence and consistency and underlying beauty, as Einstein says the great miracle of physics is there are no miracles, it all carries on holding together all the time. There are no interruptions in its order. There are no suspensions of it just to please Joshua, or just to please some sect or tribal group. No. Itís much, much, much more impressive than that.

Hawking has a colleague who looked at the event horizon of the black hole. If you could travel towards a black hole, not yet possible to do, if you could, in theory, the event horizon is the point at which the black hole is pulling everything into itself. So, over into the black hole goes light, itself. Itís so strong it can pull light back into itself. Itís really awe inspiring. A lot more, say, than a crowd of pigs, infested by devils, running down a hill, into the sea, which is a piece of sorcery, and cheap magic of the sort that shouldnít impress any thinking person. Think about a black hole instead, pulling the light into itself, the event horizon just reorganizing nature, so that if you could get to that lip, the lip of the event horizon and fall in, and go in, you could in theory see the past and the future stretching before and in front of you. You would see time, except you wouldnít have the time to do it, of course, if you were a mere primate as we are, but Hawking has a colleague who says if he knew he was dying of a terminal illness, thatís how heíd want to go out, is over the lip of the event horizon. That would be majesty, that would be magnificence, that would be awe inspiring, that would be apocalyptic.

So itís in the natural world, itís in the world of science and the world of innovation, and discovery, and doubt. We wouldnít have discovered any of these things if weíd taken the religious story for granted to begin with. We would have said we already know enough. We know. God made this. God wants it this way. Whatís the need for inquiry? We already have all the information we need. The big difference between this side of the house, mine, and the other, is this, I am absolutely certain that I do not know, but that it might be possible to find out and that doubt and skepticism and innovation and inquiry are the only means by which wonder and beauty and awe and symmetry will be discovered, and beyond those peaks we can yet see new, more wonderful peaks will arise. Whereas, on the Wilson side of the house it is said we already have the certainty, we know that God created us, and we even claim to know his mind and what he wants of us. And I just invite you to open your minds to the possibility that the skeptical and the inquiring and the doubtful will be better than anything that calls itself faith, because anything that calls itself faith calls itself certainty and for certainty I think there is no place in an institute of intellectual mentation and higher education, and Iím very grateful to you all for giving me the chance to say so.Ē
From Christopher Hitchens the self described anti-theist! If that isn't enough to show that we believe in awe and that awe is not God, but in fact against it I don't know what is...

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

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#4
Oct 15, 2013
 

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What else could she say without the risk of alienating a majority of her die-hard viewers?

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

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#5
Oct 15, 2013
 

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TerryL wrote:
What else could she say without the risk of alienating a majority of her die-hard viewers?
She could have said "tell me about being an atheist". "Why are you, and how did you choose to be an atheist?"

“Handsome white and black men”

Since: Jan 10

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#6
Oct 15, 2013
 

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Oprah is a smart lady, but her opinion is stupid in this area.
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Oct 16, 2013
 

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emperorjohn wrote:
Oprah is a smart lady, but her opinion is stupid in this area.
Everyone has certain "blind spots" no matter how generally intelligent they may be. If you grow up in a family where church is a big thing, in a community where church is a big thing, where no one ever questions what the preacher says, you can become so indoctrinated that you never even realize that there is another side to consider.

No doubt I have my own blind spots, you have yours, etc. Of course, the size of people's blind spots differs, generally being inversely proportional to the amount of thinking, questioning and travelling each given person does. The more time you spend in one place, surrounding yourself with those who see things the same way as you. who were brought up on the same ideas as you, read the same books as you, watch the same TV shows as you, the bigger your blind spots will become.

Even though Oprah does travel, read, etc., the nature of her wealth, fame, etc. means she lives inside a bubble. When you have as much wealth, power, etc as she does, a circle of yes-men almost inevitably grows around you.In their desire to 'protect' you from unpleasant experiences, they may tend to keep people with other viewpoints away from you.
Cujo

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#8
Oct 16, 2013
 

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Awe and wonder of the world is what led us to the scientific knowledge we have today, much of it discovered from atheists. If Awe and wonder meant you believed in god, we wouldn't have progressed as much as we have. People would have just accepted that god did it, end of story.

“Handsome white and black men”

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Oct 16, 2013
 

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Amused wrote:
<quoted text>
Everyone has certain "blind spots" no matter how generally intelligent they may be. If you grow up in a family where church is a big thing, in a community where church is a big thing, where no one ever questions what the preacher says, you can become so indoctrinated that you never even realize that there is another side to consider.
No doubt I have my own blind spots, you have yours, etc. Of course, the size of people's blind spots differs, generally being inversely proportional to the amount of thinking, questioning and travelling each given person does. The more time you spend in one place, surrounding yourself with those who see things the same way as you. who were brought up on the same ideas as you, read the same books as you, watch the same TV shows as you, the bigger your blind spots will become.
Even though Oprah does travel, read, etc., the nature of her wealth, fame, etc. means she lives inside a bubble. When you have as much wealth, power, etc as she does, a circle of yes-men almost inevitably grows around you.In their desire to 'protect' you from unpleasant experiences, they may tend to keep people with other viewpoints away from you.
Excellent post. Could not have said any better.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

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Oct 16, 2013
 

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Amused wrote:
<quoted text>
Everyone has certain "blind spots" no matter how generally intelligent they may be. If you grow up in a family where church is a big thing, in a community where church is a big thing, where no one ever questions what the preacher says, you can become so indoctrinated that you never even realize that there is another side to consider.
No doubt I have my own blind spots, you have yours, etc. Of course, the size of people's blind spots differs, generally being inversely proportional to the amount of thinking, questioning and travelling each given person does. The more time you spend in one place, surrounding yourself with those who see things the same way as you. who were brought up on the same ideas as you, read the same books as you, watch the same TV shows as you, the bigger your blind spots will become.
Even though Oprah does travel, read, etc., the nature of her wealth, fame, etc. means she lives inside a bubble. When you have as much wealth, power, etc as she does, a circle of yes-men almost inevitably grows around you.In their desire to 'protect' you from unpleasant experiences, they may tend to keep people with other viewpoints away from you.
Agreed,

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

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#11
Oct 16, 2013
 

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Cujo wrote:
Awe and wonder of the world is what led us to the scientific knowledge we have today, much of it discovered from atheists. If Awe and wonder meant you believed in god, we wouldn't have progressed as much as we have. People would have just accepted that god did it, end of story.
and agreed.
True Christian witness

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Believing in Jehovah God or His son Jesus does not make you a Christian or even acceptable to the one true God of the Bible, Jehovah the God of Noah, Moses, Abraham and Jesus.
John 14:31

There are many people who sit in Church and do not believe there is a God in heaven, or there are those who think maybe there is a God, but I'll take my chances and just live a good life, don't hurt anyone or get caught stealing. Then if there is a God, he won't ever kill me or if I die I will go to heaven. Believing lies was the thinking of the Jews before Jerusalem was destroyed. Now all the nations and all the ungodly on earth will be destroyed at Armageddon.
2Peter 3:7

You can adjust your thinking and repent and become a subject of Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords in God's heavenly Kingdom government, all you have to do is obey the Law of Christ as taught by Jesus and the Apostles and now by imperfect Jehovah's witnesses.
Matthew 28:19,20
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Oct 17, 2013
 

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True Christian witness wrote:
Believing in Jehovah God or His son Jesus does not make you a Christian or even acceptable to the one true God of the Bible, Jehovah the God of Noah, Moses, Abraham and Jesus.
John 14:31
There are many people who sit in Church and do not believe there is a God in heaven, or there are those who think maybe there is a God, but I'll take my chances and just live a good life, don't hurt anyone or get caught stealing. Then if there is a God, he won't ever kill me or if I die I will go to heaven. Believing lies was the thinking of the Jews before Jerusalem was destroyed. Now all the nations and all the ungodly on earth will be destroyed at Armageddon.
2Peter 3:7
You can adjust your thinking and repent and become a subject of Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords in God's heavenly Kingdom government, all you have to do is obey the Law of Christ as taught by Jesus and the Apostles and now by imperfect Jehovah's witnesses.
Matthew 28:19,20
There's that need for a "Judge it" icon of a bat pooping again. This is just Bat. Sh*t. Crazy.
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Oct 18, 2013
 

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I wonder if Oprah has really thought through all of the implications of her statement. I doubt it, as it was unscripted, and sounds like just another one of those things that pundits throw out on TV because it appeals to the audience's prejudices.

If you accept Oprah's premise that there is a god and that that god is responsible for all the beauty in nature, then it follows necessarily that the same god is also equally responsible for all of the destruction and havoc wrought by nature. People, including elders, children and infants swept out to sea in a tsumani? Goddidit. People buried in a mudslide? Goddidit. Hundreds killed by Hurricane Katrina? That's on your god also. Earthquakes, wildfires, floods? Goddidit, goddidit, goddidit.

So< if you really believe Oprah's goddidit, newscasts covering natural disasters should not lead off with "Today, an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 killed X people today in ...". Instead, in the interest of accuracy in reporting, the lede should be, "Today, god killed another X people by means of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in ...". Perhaps, in the interest of fairness and balance in reporting, we can rotate the blame among the various deities currently in vogue, to the next story could start off, "Meanwhile, allah wiped out an entire village in a flash flood in ...".
True Christian witness

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Oct 18, 2013
 

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Amused wrote:
<quoted text>
There's that need for a "Judge it" icon of a bat pooping again. This is just Bat. Sh*t. Crazy.
Too bad you can't see what the Bible is really teaching people today, you can have a beautiful future in God's new world of peace and happiness.

Please be as happy as you can be, for your time on this earth is running out.
Matthew 24:14
Proverbs 2:21,22

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Oct 18, 2013
 

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True Christian witness wrote:
<quoted text>
Too bad you can't see what the Bible is really teaching people today, you can have a beautiful future in God's new world of peace and happiness.
Please be as happy as you can be, for your time on this earth is running out.
Matthew 24:14
Proverbs 2:21,22
The bible teaches us its ok to lie and hate on people while having no proof of god or that your cult has any basis in reality.
Thinking

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#17
Oct 18, 2013
 

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Oprah just makes pap for the masses. I wasn't aware the Oprah had written her own Principia Mathematica.
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Oct 18, 2013
 

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True Christian witness wrote:
<quoted text>
Too bad you can't see what the Bible is really teaching people today, you can have a beautiful future in God's new world of peace and happiness.
Please be as happy as you can be, for your time on this earth is running out.
Matthew 24:14
Proverbs 2:21,22
I will settle for an OK future in the real world, without imaginary friends. Your god is just a drug to keep you comfortably numb.
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Oct 18, 2013
 

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Thinking wrote:
Oprah just makes pap for the masses. I wasn't aware the Oprah had written her own Principia Mathematica.
You don't understand contemporary America. Real ideas and thinking are out of fashion here. Americans are fascinated with celebrities. Anyone who is on TV or whose picture is on the cover of the National Enquirer is automatically an expert on everything, far more expert than people who actually study and do research. The opinions of Kim Kardashian or Brad Pitt are accorded far more weight than those of a Nobel Prize winner. Oprah is on the TV and in movies, so she is automatically a theological genius to the average American.
Bill O Really

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Oct 18, 2013
 

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tide goes in tide goes out

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