Bill Maher Syndrome

I listened to an interview with Bill Maher online a couple of days ago. The interviewer was the comedian Marc Maron. Maron has a popular online podcast called WTF that I listen to once in a while.

Maher is a very funny and very intelligent guy. He’s been in the comedy biz for a long, long time. He has a unique voice and a sharp wit.

He also has a certain annoying tendency which I’m officially dubbing Bill Maher Syndrome. Although, we could certainly also call it Sean Hannity Syndrome.

A lot of people, left and right, who are into politics are afflicted with this condition. Hopefully this article will help them recognize their illness and seek out help.

A person has Bill Maher Syndrome when they proclaim themselves to be hard-boiled, steely eyed realists, while at the same time believing in the most fanciful illusions.

To start, Bill Maher hates religion. He thinks that all people who believe in religion are hopeless rubes. They believe in old books and allegories that have no grounding in reality. In short, they’re idiots who deserve to be ridiculed and scorned whenever possible.

Further, Maher sees religion as the driving force behind most of the world’s wars and atrocities. Religion is always used as a justification for doing the most horrible things. Ecclesiastical leaders instruct their parishioners to commit heinous crimes against humanity in the name Jesus, who preached a religion of love and acceptance.

Religion is garbage and needs to be abandoned. People with faith in God are morons and hypocrites.

It should be said here that I personally am not religious. I’ve read the Bible. I like some of it. Some of it, I find impossible to accept. I believe in a creator or creators, but don’t think humans can have a personal relationship with that being. I’m not sure if God actually cares about humans. I don’t think humans can know God’s true nature. In some sense Maher’s belief system and mine are probably pretty similar, even though I’m not an atheist.

However, I have to reject wholeheartedly Mahaer’s assertion that people who believe in the bible are idiots. The names Tolstoy and Newton come to mind immediately. I know three or four devout Christians personally who would make Maher look like a total intellectual lightweight. Some of my favorite writers are Christians and Catholics. Compared to those scholars and intellectuals, Maher comes off as quite childish.

But here is where Bill Maher Syndrome comes into play. He prides himself on dealing with the hard facts. There is no heaven. We’re all going to die. Humans are insignificant. Religion is rubbish. All wars and human suffering have been perpetuated in the name of god.

His solution: hard core atheism. Atheism is right. Its just. Atheists are peaceful and benevolent.

Total nonsense.

Atheists, truly, have been the world’s worst murderers. Communism is explicit in its promotion of Atheism. Stalin ended up wiping out about 20 million people. Mao Zedong was responsible for 40 million deaths.

Granted, many millions of people have been killed in the name of Christianity, Islam, and various other now-forgotten religions. But Atheism has oceans of blood on its hands as well.

This is the crux of Bill Maher Syndrome. You bash one belief system only to replace it with something just as awful.

Lets take a look at another example.

In the interview, Bill Maher made the comment that low taxes caused the recent financial crises. Implicit in that remark is that more taxes should be collected. This, of course, means that Maher wants the government to have more and the citizens of the country to have less.

He’d probably say that he only wants the rich citizens of the country to have less. This is text book Bill Maher Syndrome. He has somehow convinced himself, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the government will spend money better than rich people.

As long as the wealthy make their money via voluntary market exchanges, I don’t personally see the problem. But just for the sake of argument, let’s say that something does need to be done about rich people. Their money needs to be redistributed.

How can anybody argue that the money should go to the government? If there is one agency sure to squander any and all money it receives, it is the government.

To think that government will do anything good with money is more naive than believing in tiny cherubs playing harps and fluttering around singing lullabies.

In fact, in government we find a common ground between Atheists and Christians. Regardless of religion or creed, governments throughout history have been completely rotten.

Think of the wars, the conquest, the raping, the pillaging, the waste, the corruption, the oppression, the serfs, the slaves, the empires, and the politicians. It all comes from government.

And this is who Maher wants our hard in money to go to? Give me a break.

If we want to get money from rich people, which I personally don’t, lets shame them into donating to charities. Let’s insult them in the streets. Let’s all chip in and buy airtime to tell them what greedy bastards they are.

Anything else is better than giving the money to the government.

I know from seeing Maher on TV that he believes in a whole litany of government programs. Government healthcare. Government paid university tuition. More welfare for the poor. More money for green technology. An on and on.

To think that the government can do a better job than private individuals at providing those services is beyond naive, its downright absurd.

Of course, this is the essence of Bill Maher Syndrome. Those afflicted criticize others for being schmucks while making proposals that border on lunacy.

Religion sucks, replace it with Atheism. Rich people suck, replace them with government.

And this is supposed to be facing the facts?

If you have this horrible disease, do yourself and the world a favor and repent. Atone for your sins and start practicing logical consistency, for crying out loud. You will be a better, and happier, person for it.


2 Responses to Bill Maher Syndrome

  1. Anton Jarrod says:

    Greetings. Your article made me think about dichotomized thinking and approaches to the world more generally. Life just does not seem to fit into the blanket categories that people sometimes assume are actual. I think real, serious thought does not lead to going around in circles.

  2. Fair enough. But surely it is not too much to ask that an argument not contradict itself on its own grounds. If you tell me that your an atheist because there is no proof that god exists, I have not problem with that whatsoever. But, if you’re an atheist because you think that religion has caused a ton of violence, I cannot accept that. Atheistic philosophies have done the same on a massive scale. I would only ask that people would not insult others when their philosophy suffers from the exact same faults.

    On a separate note, thank you for reading and commenting. I’ve been spending sometime on your blog as well.



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