Monthly Archives: August 2011

Heckling Kat Williams

You probably know Kat Williams–the diminutive, caustic African-American comedian with a pimp swagger. If you have never heard of him, please do a YouTube search and listen to his stage performances. Well, here he is in Phoenix Arizona doing his thing  when all of a sudden a heckler decides to make himself relevant to the comedy session. Needless to say, the show went downhill from there as Kat Williams was only too willing, in his cautic and abrasive manner, to lay the figurative smack down on the heckler.

The sad part of this debacle is that it is going to open another vicious round of race wars between two of the biggest minorities in the US—Blacks and Hispanics. A lot of the things the heckler said was drowned out by the comic with the mic; a lot of his actions were not very clear and visible from this video. So it appears that for the most part, anyone who watches this is going to base their opinion mostly on what they heard Kat Williams saying as he responded to the heckler. For good or ill,  the question on many mouths is: Did Kat Williams go too far?

What do you think?

Heckling Kat Williams

You probably know Kat Williams–the diminutive, caustic African-American comedian with a pimp swagger. If you have never heard of him, please do a YouTube search and listen to his stage performances. Well, here he is in Phoenix Arizona doing his thing when all of a sudden a heckler decides to make himself relevant to the comedy session. Needless to say, the show went downhill from there as Kat Williams was only too willing, in his cautic and abrasive manner, to lay the figurative smack down on the heckler.
The sad part of this debacle is that it is going to open another vicious round of race wars between two of the biggest minorities in the US—Blacks and Hispanics. A lot of the things the heckler said was drowned out by the comic with the mic; a lot of his actions were not very clear and visible from this video. So it appears that for the most part, anyone who watches this is going to base their opinion mostly on what they heard Kat Williams saying as he responded to the heckler. For good or ill, the question on many mouths is: Did Kat Williams go too far?
What do you think?

FC Barca: A Tougher Path To Glory

What kind of season is FC Barca going to have with this new season? As a committed and passionate Barca fan, I find myself thinking about this a lot lately. You may be wondering why I would be worried or concerned about this judging by Barca’s superlative performance over the past 3 seasons. And of course, your musings would be justified. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that the journey for titles and trophies will be much harder for Barca this time around.

Let me start with their lack-luster preseason games. Based on their success last season, you might expect that the La Liga and Champions League victors would easily dominate their preseason matches. Having partied and rested for these games, you would expect them to show mental and match fitness that testify to their current dominance in this sport. But that was far from what actually obtained. Is it that the players are already burned out? Or could it be that having won 14 titles in three years, they now feel like they’ve done it all and so they now lack the fire-in-the-belly required to hunt for more trophies?

I know that the common retort would be to say that Barca was not really serious with these preseason games. Or that since many of our star players were away on international assignments or injured, we should be content with a result that wasn’t too dismal. But I have a different conviction on the matter. Please indulge me a little.

The preseason games would have provided an excellent avenue to assess the strength of the team overall so as to give valuable pointers on what positions in the Barca line-up needed to be reinforced. That would have helped determine what caliber of players to buy for what appears to be another grueling season. It seems to me that Barca appears slightly weakest in the back line/ defense line (I’m open to corrections by the way). Eric Abidal had an operation and is not yet at 100% capacity. Puyol was operated upon recently and is still recovering. Pique and Dani Alvez are also injured.  No matter how great your attacking line is, or how dominant your midfield is, you cannot expect to win games against strong teams if you have an underperforming backline. For Barca, their backline troubles were already there for everyone to see since last season. No wonder Mascherano is often deployed at the back. This is why I expected Guardiola to have gone for defenders as a matter of urgent priority instead of acquiring Fabregas and Sanchez.

I have nothing against Cesc Fabregas first of all. Unless Xavi is retiring at the end of this year, I don’t see why we needed to secure Fabregas when we already had Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara and Seydou Keita. Why did they have to spend all that money to get someone when we are already fully fortified at the position he normally plays?  The same thing worries me about the Chilean Alexis Sanchez. Do we not have able and competent strikers up front to take on the task of scoring goals? Of course we do.  Once again, I assure you that I realize how great these players are, and what a blessing their addition to the team is. For example, Fabregas and Sanchez just proved their worth in this first league match by scoring goals. I simply feel like Barca is better served securing every aspect of that formidable line-up—for me that means making important fortifications at the back line. I suppose we shall see if these new signings keep up this great performance. If they do, they’ll more likely snatch the starting duties from Villa and Pedro.

Anyway, we’ve seen Barca win the Spanish Super Cup, the Gampa Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup—a very impressive start to another title-chasing season. Messi, recently crowned the world’s best footballer, seems to be showing no signs of fatigue or depreciation as he continues to provide inspirational plays right when it is needed. I want to believe that Guardiola also has a secret desire to bag a few more titles in order to comfortably establish himself as the best football manager ever on this planet. If his drive and ambition to utterly crush all coaching records (even those set by Johan Cruyff) is matched by the same zeal from his players, then my worries will be assuaged for that can only mean that the tradition of glorious and excellent football by the Catalan giants will continue in these historic times. Truly, at no time ever has the world of football experienced the awesome beauty and majesty of Guardiola-era Blaugrana boys. If they lose focus or have too many injuries then I fear that their potential notwithstanding, they may not win the titles and the glory that is to come.

The season has just started, and as expected, the top 2 teams in the Spanish La Liga have kicked off their fierce battle for supremacy. Real Madrid started their season’s campaign to dislodge Barcelona from the helm by trouncing Real Zaragoza 6-0. Barca replied the challenge by demolishing Villareal 5-0—and just like that these two teams are first and second on the table; another cold war has started. Barcelona may have begun with a bang, but the real question is will they end with a bang or a whimper? What weaknesses are we going to discover about Barca this year? What sort of season lies in stock for them?

Mes Que Un Club—we’ll be watching and cheering all the way.

FC Barca: A Tougher Path To Glory

What kind of season is FC Barca going to have with this new season? As a committed and passionate Barca fan, I find myself thinking about this a lot lately. You may be wondering why I would be worried or concerned about this judging by Barca’s superlative performance over the past 3 seasons. And of course, your musings would be justified. But, I have a sneaking suspicion that the journey for titles and trophies will be much harder for Barca this time around.
Let me start with their lack-luster preseason games. Based on their success last season, you might expect that the La Liga and Champions League victors would easily dominate their preseason matches. Having partied and rested for these games, you would expect them to show mental and match fitness that testify to their current dominance in this sport. But that was far from what actually obtained. Is it that the players are already burned out? Or could it be that having won 14 titles in three years, they now feel like they’ve done it all and so they now lack the fire-in-the-belly required to hunt for more trophies?
I know that the common retort would be to say that Barca was not really serious with these preseason games. Or that since many of our star players were away on international assignments or injured, we should be content with a result that wasn’t too dismal. But I have a different conviction on the matter. Please indulge me a little.
The preseason games would have provided an excellent avenue to assess the strength of the team overall so as to give valuable pointers on what positions in the Barca line-up needed to be reinforced. That would have helped determine what caliber of players to buy for what appears to be another grueling season. It seems to me that Barca appears slightly weakest in the back line/ defense line (I’m open to corrections by the way). Eric Abidal had an operation and is not yet at 100% capacity. Puyol was operated upon recently and is still recovering. Pique and Dani Alvez are also injured. No matter how great your attacking line is, or how dominant your midfield is, you cannot expect to win games against strong teams if you have an underperforming backline. For Barca, their backline troubles were already there for everyone to see since last season. No wonder Mascherano is often deployed at the back. This is why I expected Guardiola to have gone for defenders as a matter of urgent priority instead of acquiring Fabregas and Sanchez.
I have nothing against Cesc Fabregas first of all. Unless Xavi is retiring at the end of this year, I don’t see why we needed to secure Fabregas when we already had Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara and Seydou Keita. Why did they have to spend all that money to get someone when we are already fully fortified at the position he normally plays? The same thing worries me about the Chilean Alexis Sanchez. Do we not have able and competent strikers up front to take on the task of scoring goals? Of course we do. Once again, I assure you that I realize how great these players are, and what a blessing their addition to the team is. For example, Fabregas and Sanchez just proved their worth in this first league match by scoring goals. I simply feel like Barca is better served securing every aspect of that formidable line-up—for me that means making important fortifications at the back line. I suppose we shall see if these new signings keep up this great performance. If they do, they’ll more likely snatch the starting duties from Villa and Pedro.
Anyway, we’ve seen Barca win the Spanish Super Cup, the Gampa Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup—a very impressive start to another title-chasing season. Messi, recently crowned the world’s best footballer, seems to be showing no signs of fatigue or depreciation as he continues to provide inspirational plays right when it is needed. I want to believe that Guardiola also has a secret desire to bag a few more titles in order to comfortably establish himself as the best football manager ever on this planet. If his drive and ambition to utterly crush all coaching records (even those set by Johan Cruyff) is matched by the same zeal from his players, then my worries will be assuaged for that can only mean that the tradition of glorious and excellent football by the Catalan giants will continue in these historic times. Truly, at no time ever has the world of football experienced the awesome beauty and majesty of Guardiola-era Blaugrana boys. If they lose focus or have too many injuries then I fear that their potential notwithstanding, they may not win the titles and the glory that is to come.
The season has just started, and as expected, the top 2 teams in the Spanish La Liga have kicked off their fierce battle for supremacy. Real Madrid started their season’s campaign to dislodge Barcelona from the helm by trouncing Real Zaragoza 6-0. Barca replied the challenge by demolishing Villareal 5-0—and just like that these two teams are first and second on the table; another cold war has started. Barcelona may have begun with a bang, but the real question is will they end with a bang or a whimper? What weaknesses are we going to discover about Barca this year? What sort of season lies in stock for them?
Mes Que Un Club—we’ll be watching and cheering all the way.

Planking And Owling: An Idiot’s Pastime

So you thought that people were tired of that internet fad called planking? Oh wait, you don’t know what planking means? That’s great—it means you are probably more productive than the rest of us and you’ve not had the opportunity to endure the torture inflicted on innocent web surfers by people who seem to have no jobs or real pastimes.  Planking was probably invented by one lazy slob who imagined that the best way to have fun or get a work out was to suddenly drop facedown onto any surface like a sack of potatoes, and lay as perfectly straight and motionless as possible. And boy, the planking videos hit YouTube and went viral. I could have put some pictures or video clips in this post, but I am not going to, so that the owners of the pictures or video clips do not feel particularly insulted. You can do a simple YouTube  or Google search to see what this insanity looks like.

Suddenly all over the place, perfectly normal and sensible people would for no reason collapse on whatever surface they could find, lay there like corpses for a while, and proudly post videos of this idiotic activity to YouTube.  Please can anyone tell me why people who do this do not deserve to have people walk on their heads? Some go to ridiculous lengths planking between two objects. And even when some planking deaths were reported, it seemed like that was not enough to deter cretins from lying around like tubs of lard in random public spaces and feeling a profound sense of accomplishment. What—you think I am a hater? Well, go and plank on a train track then you moose-knuckle. I hope you accidentally plank over a well, trip and find yourself at the bottom of a deep, dark well. Ok, I am sorry; I don’t want some village to lose its idiot yet. But seriously, if you really want to plank, wait till you are in the safety of your bedroom, climb into your bed and plank like it’s no man’s business.

Who is the cackling maniac living in a dark, stinky basement that comes up with these silly fads anyway? I can understand if we are talking about some hilarious and crazy new dance step; I can understand if it is one new and entirely retarded hairstyle; I can understand if we are talking about some new physical fitness activity (I love parkour by the way). Instead we have remorseless wastes of human skin lying like boards or planks on random public structures and torturing us with their clips of this dim-witted activity. It is probably a good thing that I’ve not physically seen someone do this before. I think if some ninny suddenly did that right in front of me, I’ll treat his skull like a foot mat and walk on through. Oh yeah—you think the person would fight me? Well, I wouldn’t be worried about people whose wobbly knees give out so often that they find themselves collapsing like felled trees in public. You don’t believe me? Well, come and plank right here in front of me and see if your spine wouldn’t gain an acquaintance with my boots, you oaf!

Anyway, planking seems to be disappearing now. In its place, we have a new madness called owling. And yes, you guessed right—perfectly normal people would mount some structure adopting a crouching position that attempts to mimic an owl’s posture, video-record or photograph themselves doing so and bombard you with video clips or pictures of their ‘spectacular’ feats. And that too has gone viral. Madness has now found new expression in crazy stunts that quickly go viral. Who knows what next these jobless ‘geniuses’ will come up with?

Planking And Owling: An Idiot's Pastime

So you thought that people were tired of that internet fad called planking? Oh wait, you don’t know what planking means? That’s great—it means you are probably more productive than the rest of us and you’ve not had the opportunity to endure the torture inflicted on innocent web surfers by people who seem to have no jobs or real pastimes. Planking was probably invented by one lazy slob who imagined that the best way to have fun or get a work out was to suddenly drop facedown onto any surface like a sack of potatoes, and lay as perfectly straight and motionless as possible. And boy, the planking videos hit YouTube and went viral. I could have put some pictures or video clips in this post, but I am not going to, so that the owners of the pictures or video clips do not feel particularly insulted. You can do a simple YouTube or Google search to see what this insanity looks like.
Suddenly all over the place, perfectly normal and sensible people would for no reason collapse on whatever surface they could find, lay there like corpses for a while, and proudly post videos of this idiotic activity to YouTube. Please can anyone tell me why people who do this do not deserve to have people walk on their heads? Some go to ridiculous lengths planking between two objects. And even when some planking deaths were reported, it seemed like that was not enough to deter cretins from lying around like tubs of lard in random public spaces and feeling a profound sense of accomplishment. What—you think I am a hater? Well, go and plank on a train track then you moose-knuckle. I hope you accidentally plank over a well, trip and find yourself at the bottom of a deep, dark well. Ok, I am sorry; I don’t want some village to lose its idiot yet. But seriously, if you really want to plank, wait till you are in the safety of your bedroom, climb into your bed and plank like it’s no man’s business.

Who is the cackling maniac living in a dark, stinky basement that comes up with these silly fads anyway? I can understand if we are talking about some hilarious and crazy new dance step; I can understand if it is one new and entirely retarded hairstyle; I can understand if we are talking about some new physical fitness activity (I love parkour by the way). Instead we have remorseless wastes of human skin lying like boards or planks on random public structures and torturing us with their clips of this dim-witted activity. It is probably a good thing that I’ve not physically seen someone do this before. I think if some ninny suddenly did that right in front of me, I’ll treat his skull like a foot mat and walk on through. Oh yeah—you think the person would fight me? Well, I wouldn’t be worried about people whose wobbly knees give out so often that they find themselves collapsing like felled trees in public. You don’t believe me? Well, come and plank right here in front of me and see if your spine wouldn’t gain an acquaintance with my boots, you oaf!
Anyway, planking seems to be disappearing now. In its place, we have a new madness called owling. And yes, you guessed right—perfectly normal people would mount some structure adopting a crouching position that attempts to mimic an owl’s posture, video-record or photograph themselves doing so and bombard you with video clips or pictures of their ‘spectacular’ feats. And that too has gone viral. Madness has now found new expression in crazy stunts that quickly go viral. Who knows what next these jobless ‘geniuses’ will come up with?

Atheists On The Run

In which a discussion is raised on the cowardly evasion of Richard Dawkins:

I don’t know A. C. Grayling‘s reasons for not wanting to debate, but, if I remember correctly, Dawkins doesn’t do debates anymore. There’s a reason he hasn’t done one for years. As far as I know, he declared himself out of debating theists even before Craig’s current clarion call for a head to head debate. If anyone knows better, I’m open to being corrected.

I’ll start out by informing the initiator of this discussion thread that the president of the British Humanist Association Polly Toynbee has pulled out of an agreed debate with Dr. William Lane Craig in October claiming as her reason that she “hadn’t realized the nature of Mr. Lane’s debating style.”

It will be useful to provide a little bit of backdrop to this story.

First of all, I’ll encourage you to disregard the duplicitous pretensions by Mr Dawkins in this matter. I’ll get to it later. Let’s just state that for brevity’s sake, Dawkins’ staunch and inflexible refusal to debate Mr. Lane Craig, a formidable apologist for Christian Theism, has lately begun to sit uncomfortably with his fellow university professors and other eminent personalities in the skeptical movement. When a lot of hullaballoo was made about his seeming cowardice on the matter, even as he continues to reap handsome profits from the sale of a God-bashing book, Miss Toynbee decided to toss her hat in the ring to protect as it were, the ‘reputation’ of atheism or secular humanism from charges of being intellectually incapable of defending their beliefs and convictions.

So, she signed up to debate Craig when he visits the UK this fall as he challenges the fallacious fulminations in “The God Delusion” and defends Christian Theism against the now-fashionable assault by many of today’s New Atheists. There had to be a reason why Dawkins was running scared of Craig, but of course at the time, it will be fair to say that poor Miss Polly Toynbee was not cognizant of this. So you’ll have to admire her guts or bravery for offering to take on Mr. Craig. But upon closer inspection, it quickly begins to look like that all-too-familiar arrogance and hubris that unfortunately affects a lot of these New Atheists. Who on earth could Mr Craig be anyway that one ought to think twice about a debate with him? What preposterous and laughter-worthy points is some so-called philosopher from America going to raise to successfully attack atheism or skepticism anyway? Why bother to do any research on this chap? It is not likely that he would be on the same intellectual footing as we fashionable God-abolishers with his mumbo jumbo about the existence of God, so why are some respectable academics in the atheism and skeptical movements apprehensive of a debate with the fellow? So with nary a thought, and of course brimming with her cocky self-assurance, she offered to debate Mr. Craig without as much as knowing anything about the man.

In hindsight, it is rather hilarious that the woman chickened out of the debate afterwards. In all honesty, I cannot blame her much. My guess is that not too long after she cavalierly threw her hat in the ring, her handlers apprised her of the formidable nature of her opposition. Now, I am not going to suggest that she was painted a flattering picture of William Lane Craig, but whatever she was told, she was made to understand in unmistakable terms what heavy intellectual and perhaps political toll would be her portion from a widely publicized debate in which her highfalutin secular humanism or atheism was intellectually, imperiously and conclusively dealt a devastating blow. The fact is that for all the bluster, or the haughty pretension to a superior knowledge on the God-question, many of these militant evangelistic atheists and secular humanists are shockingly and I daresay disturbingly under-informed on exactly what they are supposed to be against. She can thank her lucky stars that she got out of a very severe public embarrassment.

Now, concerning Richard Dawkins, I wish to make it absolutely plain that I think he deserves respect in the field of evolutionary biology. That’s his area of expertise. The man has a gift for metaphor and for explaining evolutionary concepts in very beautiful almost poetic language. Whenever he is speaking on the issue of evolution (that narrow field in which he specializes), one may be well-served to listen to him and take his words seriously as they represent perhaps the most current understanding of evolution we have today. I make this caveat here first of all, to assure you that I do not harbor some visceral distaste for the chief apostle of atheism.

So what happens when an evolutionary biologist leaves his narrow area of discipline, and then dabbles into Philosophy or Theology by writing a God-bashing best-seller? Should he be given the same deference as he might be given when he is speaking on evolution? Should his words be swallowed wholly and uncritically by a majority of the self-styled New Atheists seeing as this man was pronouncing entirely on a subject that he has at best, a rudimentary understanding? One doesn’t even need to be a theist to see that the answer is a vigorous negative.

This is why some Christian and Skeptical groups have on their own privately sought to sponsor a debate where Richard Dawkins’ expostulations in his book will be robustly challenged thoughtfully and intellectually. It makes sense, doesn’t it? For example, if some economist, with little or no training in Biology decides to write a strongly worded book vehemently criticizing evolution, it is normal to expect proponents of the evolutionary theory to challenge that economist’s understanding of evolution.  Notice here that I am not saying that Richard Dawkins, or the economist in this case, have no right to write a book on any subject or academic discipline they fancy. But if they want to be taken very seriously, they should be very open to a mature and robust challenge of their understanding on the matter. This is where William Lane Craig steps into the picture.

We have seen that Richard Dawkins apparently has no scruples about debating persons of religious faith. His duplicitous claims of not debating creationists is belied by the fact that he has on different occasions debated people who are not rigidly wedded to his Evolution by Natural Selection like Alister McGrath, or people who might be in favor of Intelligent Design (spitefully dubbed creationism by the willfully ignorant) like John Lennox or indeed people who are creationists! We have seen that Dawkins is happy to join issues with lay clergy, and ordinary believers and theists. So let us dispatch this lie at once. When he was caught flat-footed with that lie, he is famously known to have said that he would love debates but only with someone like the Pope, a cardinal, an archbishop or some other visibly high representative for Theism. All these pronouncements sadly seem to be devoid of any real commitment. Why then is he afraid of debating someone who is reputed to be the best or rather the strongest mouthpiece for the opposition? Why is he running scared of Craig?

I suspect that the simple reason is because Richard Dawkins knows too well what a debate of that nature may do to him and his influence with this rapidly expanding quasi-religious New Atheism. As one of the four horsemen for Atheism in these times he has an image and a reputation to protect. By the way, the arguments that these New Atheists offer are neither different from that of atheists of the past century nor are they any more sophisticated. Richard Dawkins has seen clips of Craig where the unscientific and sometimes patently illogical and irrational presuppositions of latter-day New Atheists were graciously laid bare. For now, Richard Dawkins maintains that he is too busy to debate Craig—even as he runs to the bank with the handsome profit that a sophomoric treatment of the God Hypothesis has earned him. LOL, let’s not begrudge the man the fruit of his labors okay? As things stand now, it  appears that none of the shrill and highly regarded mouthpieces of the UK atheist and humanist community is willing to stand up and be counted. Of course, it’s always easier and fashionable for belligerent New Atheists to cajole and to mock on various web fora and in YouTube videos’ comments section. I suppose when Craig is done and gone, they’ll emerge to attack and discredit whatever he might have said. Nonetheless, I can’t help wondering how the rest of the high church of ‘internet atheism’ feel about this sort of spinelessness from their much adored high priests.

Truly, far from being dead or a delusion, the God-issue is alive and well in the US, the UK and many other parts of the world. Unbelief it would appear is not really anchored upon the realization that there is no God; rather it seems to be a willful and concerted refusal to accept one higher than oneself to whom one must give account. It seems to me that this New Atheism isn’t so much as a result of a genuine failure to see glaring evidence that calls for a creator; it seems to be anchored on a desire to rid oneself of moral accountability to some superintending moral law-giver; or a petulant fist-shaking at a God who as it were, failed to prevent some personal calamity from befalling one.

Conclusively, I wish to point out with very earnest tones that the truth or the falsity of beliefs and worldviews are not decided by the outcome of a debate. Inasmuch as there is no doubt in my mind that a debate with Craig will expose the laughable superficiality and the gross misrepresentations in Dawkins’ best-seller, I would not take that to mean then that the existence of God for example, has been conclusively proven or established. Likewise, if Richard Dawkins were to somehow demolish Craig’s argument in that debate, it wouldn’t also mean then that the existence of God has been refuted. It will simply mean that one side has succeeded over the other in making a compelling case for their worldview. Nevertheless, it still falls on you to honestly and sincerely weigh the evidence and choose your own worldview in the teeth of mankind’s incomplete knowledge of himself, his surroundings and the universe on a grand scale.

Atheists On The Run

In which a discussion is raised on the cowardly evasion of Richard Dawkins:

I don’t know A. C. Grayling‘s reasons for not wanting to debate, but, if I remember correctly, Dawkins doesn’t do debates anymore. There’s a reason he hasn’t done one for years. As far as I know, he declared himself out of debating theists even before Craig’s current clarion call for a head to head debate. If anyone knows better, I’m open to being corrected.

I’ll start out by informing the initiator of this discussion thread that the president of the British Humanist Association Polly Toynbee has pulled out of an agreed debate with Dr. William Lane Craig in October claiming as her reason that she “hadn’t realized the nature of Mr. Lane’s debating style.”
It will be useful to provide a little bit of backdrop to this story.
First of all, I’ll encourage you to disregard the duplicitous pretensions by Mr Dawkins in this matter. I’ll get to it later. Let’s just state that for brevity’s sake, Dawkins’ staunch and inflexible refusal to debate Mr. Lane Craig, a formidable apologist for Christian Theism, has lately begun to sit uncomfortably with his fellow university professors and other eminent personalities in the skeptical movement. When a lot of hullaballoo was made about his seeming cowardice on the matter, even as he continues to reap handsome profits from the sale of a God-bashing book, Miss Toynbee decided to toss her hat in the ring to protect as it were, the ‘reputation’ of atheism or secular humanism from charges of being intellectually incapable of defending their beliefs and convictions.
So, she signed up to debate Craig when he visits the UK this fall as he challenges the fallacious fulminations in “The God Delusion” and defends Christian Theism against the now-fashionable assault by many of today’s New Atheists. There had to be a reason why Dawkins was running scared of Craig, but of course at the time, it will be fair to say that poor Miss Polly Toynbee was not cognizant of this. So you’ll have to admire her guts or bravery for offering to take on Mr. Craig. But upon closer inspection, it quickly begins to look like that all-too-familiar arrogance and hubris that unfortunately affects a lot of these New Atheists. Who on earth could Mr Craig be anyway that one ought to think twice about a debate with him? What preposterous and laughter-worthy points is some so-called philosopher from America going to raise to successfully attack atheism or skepticism anyway? Why bother to do any research on this chap? It is not likely that he would be on the same intellectual footing as we fashionable God-abolishers with his mumbo jumbo about the existence of God, so why are some respectable academics in the atheism and skeptical movements apprehensive of a debate with the fellow? So with nary a thought, and of course brimming with her cocky self-assurance, she offered to debate Mr. Craig without as much as knowing anything about the man.
In hindsight, it is rather hilarious that the woman chickened out of the debate afterwards. In all honesty, I cannot blame her much. My guess is that not too long after she cavalierly threw her hat in the ring, her handlers apprised her of the formidable nature of her opposition. Now, I am not going to suggest that she was painted a flattering picture of William Lane Craig, but whatever she was told, she was made to understand in unmistakable terms what heavy intellectual and perhaps political toll would be her portion from a widely publicized debate in which her highfalutin secular humanism or atheism was intellectually, imperiously and conclusively dealt a devastating blow. The fact is that for all the bluster, or the haughty pretension to a superior knowledge on the God-question, many of these militant evangelistic atheists and secular humanists are shockingly and I daresay disturbingly under-informed on exactly what they are supposed to be against. She can thank her lucky stars that she got out of a very severe public embarrassment.
Now, concerning Richard Dawkins, I wish to make it absolutely plain that I think he deserves respect in the field of evolutionary biology. That’s his area of expertise. The man has a gift for metaphor and for explaining evolutionary concepts in very beautiful almost poetic language. Whenever he is speaking on the issue of evolution (that narrow field in which he specializes), one may be well-served to listen to him and take his words seriously as they represent perhaps the most current understanding of evolution we have today. I make this caveat here first of all, to assure you that I do not harbor some visceral distaste for the chief apostle of atheism.
So what happens when an evolutionary biologist leaves his narrow area of discipline, and then dabbles into Philosophy or Theology by writing a God-bashing best-seller? Should he be given the same deference as he might be given when he is speaking on evolution? Should his words be swallowed wholly and uncritically by a majority of the self-styled New Atheists seeing as this man was pronouncing entirely on a subject that he has at best, a rudimentary understanding? One doesn’t even need to be a theist to see that the answer is a vigorous negative.
This is why some Christian and Skeptical groups have on their own privately sought to sponsor a debate where Richard Dawkins’ expostulations in his book will be robustly challenged thoughtfully and intellectually. It makes sense, doesn’t it? For example, if some economist, with little or no training in Biology decides to write a strongly worded book vehemently criticizing evolution, it is normal to expect proponents of the evolutionary theory to challenge that economist’s understanding of evolution. Notice here that I am not saying that Richard Dawkins, or the economist in this case, have no right to write a book on any subject or academic discipline they fancy. But if they want to be taken very seriously, they should be very open to a mature and robust challenge of their understanding on the matter. This is where William Lane Craig steps into the picture.
We have seen that Richard Dawkins apparently has no scruples about debating persons of religious faith. His duplicitous claims of not debating creationists is belied by the fact that he has on different occasions debated people who are not rigidly wedded to his Evolution by Natural Selection like Alister McGrath, or people who might be in favor of Intelligent Design (spitefully dubbed creationism by the willfully ignorant) like John Lennox or indeed people who are creationists! We have seen that Dawkins is happy to join issues with lay clergy, and ordinary believers and theists. So let us dispatch this lie at once. When he was caught flat-footed with that lie, he is famously known to have said that he would love debates but only with someone like the Pope, a cardinal, an archbishop or some other visibly high representative for Theism. All these pronouncements sadly seem to be devoid of any real commitment. Why then is he afraid of debating someone who is reputed to be the best or rather the strongest mouthpiece for the opposition? Why is he running scared of Craig?
I suspect that the simple reason is because Richard Dawkins knows too well what a debate of that nature may do to him and his influence with this rapidly expanding quasi-religious New Atheism. As one of the four horsemen for Atheism in these times he has an image and a reputation to protect. By the way, the arguments that these New Atheists offer are neither different from that of atheists of the past century nor are they any more sophisticated. Richard Dawkins has seen clips of Craig where the unscientific and sometimes patently illogical and irrational presuppositions of latter-day New Atheists were graciously laid bare. For now, Richard Dawkins maintains that he is too busy to debate Craig—even as he runs to the bank with the handsome profit that a sophomoric treatment of the God Hypothesis has earned him. LOL, let’s not begrudge the man the fruit of his labors okay? As things stand now, it appears that none of the shrill and highly regarded mouthpieces of the UK atheist and humanist community is willing to stand up and be counted. Of course, it’s always easier and fashionable for belligerent New Atheists to cajole and to mock on various web fora and in YouTube videos’ comments section. I suppose when Craig is done and gone, they’ll emerge to attack and discredit whatever he might have said. Nonetheless, I can’t help wondering how the rest of the high church of ‘internet atheism’ feel about this sort of spinelessness from their much adored high priests.
Truly, far from being dead or a delusion, the God-issue is alive and well in the US, the UK and many other parts of the world. Unbelief it would appear is not really anchored upon the realization that there is no God; rather it seems to be a willful and concerted refusal to accept one higher than oneself to whom one must give account. It seems to me that this New Atheism isn’t so much as a result of a genuine failure to see glaring evidence that calls for a creator; it seems to be anchored on a desire to rid oneself of moral accountability to some superintending moral law-giver; or a petulant fist-shaking at a God who as it were, failed to prevent some personal calamity from befalling one.
Conclusively, I wish to point out with very earnest tones that the truth or the falsity of beliefs and worldviews are not decided by the outcome of a debate. Inasmuch as there is no doubt in my mind that a debate with Craig will expose the laughable superficiality and the gross misrepresentations in Dawkins’ best-seller, I would not take that to mean then that the existence of God for example, has been conclusively proven or established. Likewise, if Richard Dawkins were to somehow demolish Craig’s argument in that debate, it wouldn’t also mean then that the existence of God has been refuted. It will simply mean that one side has succeeded over the other in making a compelling case for their worldview. Nevertheless, it still falls on you to honestly and sincerely weigh the evidence and choose your own worldview in the teeth of mankind’s incomplete knowledge of himself, his surroundings and the universe on a grand scale.

Golasoooo!

And now check out this football commentator in this match between Corinthians and Internacional:

First of all, if you have never played the exciting game of football (soccer) and you do not actively follow football, this may not make a whole lot of sense to you. But I present it to you all the same, perhaps, to see if I could elicit a chuckle from you.

You know, one of the things that make the game of football as exciting if not the most exciting sport ever is the antics of the commentators. For people like me who can enjoy a good soccer match regardless of commentaries, I’ll have to say that my experience is literally tripled or quadrupled when you have very passionate and committed commentators calling the game. It is the difference between a regular and possibly boring viewership, and one that literally holds you spellbound and glued to your seat in tense anticipation. And when, after much battle, a player manages to break the opponents’ defenses to score a gloriously majestic goal, some committed and talented commentators can literally make the blood rush to your muscles and the hair stand on your back as you scream with joyous abandon at what a talented player/team has wrought!

This is why I love to listen to Spanish and Arabic commentary when watching great games. I do not necessarily need the match info that people might glean from listening to boring English commentary. I am all about the passion, the energy and the beauty of the game—and when a goal finally comes through, I want very much to feel the supercharged and electrifying atmosphere in the stadium—I want that to come through from the energy and passion that the commentators bring to this beautiful game. So, at first, you may find this clip hilarious and that’s okay too. LOL. Just watch it a second time or possibly a third and imagine being on the field out there and witnessing this superhuman individual drive to goal-scoring excellence. Tell me it doesn’t give you goose-pimples watching that amazing goal! I’ll bet this commentator woke up the next morning and discovered he had lost his voice! 🙂

Please, if you have not watched a great soccer match with Spanish or Arabic commentary (Arabic commentary tops the list), you are missing some real excitement. Just try it and I want to guarantee that you’ll never be disappointed.  Please forget most of these dry English commentators—they can make you fall asleep watching the most exciting game of the year. It is a good thing that EA Sports, maker of FIFA 2012, have finally decided to listen to the wishes of the people, and with their next release, one can finally get that much desired passionate and ecstatic Arabic commentary.

Assalamu Alaikum!

If you have other clips of very exciting or funny football commentary, please do share! 🙂

Golasoooo!

And now check out this football commentator in this match between Corinthians and Internacional:

First of all, if you have never played the exciting game of football (soccer) and you do not actively follow football, this may not make a whole lot of sense to you. But I present it to you all the same, perhaps, to see if I could elicit a chuckle from you.
You know, one of the things that make the game of football as exciting if not the most exciting sport ever is the antics of the commentators. For people like me who can enjoy a good soccer match regardless of commentaries, I’ll have to say that my experience is literally tripled or quadrupled when you have very passionate and committed commentators calling the game. It is the difference between a regular and possibly boring viewership, and one that literally holds you spellbound and glued to your seat in tense anticipation. And when, after much battle, a player manages to break the opponents’ defenses to score a gloriously majestic goal, some committed and talented commentators can literally make the blood rush to your muscles and the hair stand on your back as you scream with joyous abandon at what a talented player/team has wrought!
This is why I love to listen to Spanish and Arabic commentary when watching great games. I do not necessarily need the match info that people might glean from listening to boring English commentary. I am all about the passion, the energy and the beauty of the game—and when a goal finally comes through, I want very much to feel the supercharged and electrifying atmosphere in the stadium—I want that to come through from the energy and passion that the commentators bring to this beautiful game. So, at first, you may find this clip hilarious and that’s okay too. LOL. Just watch it a second time or possibly a third and imagine being on the field out there and witnessing this superhuman individual drive to goal-scoring excellence. Tell me it doesn’t give you goose-pimples watching that amazing goal! I’ll bet this commentator woke up the next morning and discovered he had lost his voice! 🙂
Please, if you have not watched a great soccer match with Spanish or Arabic commentary (Arabic commentary tops the list), you are missing some real excitement. Just try it and I want to guarantee that you’ll never be disappointed. Please forget most of these dry English commentators—they can make you fall asleep watching the most exciting game of the year. It is a good thing that EA Sports, maker of FIFA 2012, have finally decided to listen to the wishes of the people, and with their next release, one can finally get that much desired passionate and ecstatic Arabic commentary.
Assalamu Alaikum!
If you have other clips of very exciting or funny football commentary, please do share! 🙂
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