Shermer vs Fr. Jonathan Morris

“We’re not just like the other animals…we recognize that we are different from other animals”

Says you. What exactly makes us so different? Is the soul located in our frontol lobes? Walking upright and having improved thinking capabilities is fine and all, but that just proves we’ve exploited an evolutionary neiche that our ape cousins haven’t. You want a fucking prize or something?

“There’s something special about us”

Man, I hate that kind of speciest talk. We always claim to be so awesome, so damn special. These are all self appointed titles, and nothing more. His evidence includes:

1. The fact that we love others
2. Knowing that you love someone

I hope this isn’t the best debater the other side has, because it’s just sad. Spank this loser, Shermer!

(second video after the jump)

Comments (11)

  • avatar

    Canadian Secularist

    So, Shermer doesn’t believe because he doesn’t have an open mind?

    Open-Minded = believing in god without any proof or evidence. Not willing to accept any other option.

    Closed-Minded = analyzing all options (no matter how stupid) and drawing conclusions based on fact, observation and proof.

    I guess this is just another thing that believers are ass-fucking-backwards with.

    And, I never understand how during these “conversations” about belief vs. atheism the believer always brings up The Big Bang, the origin of matter and Evolution. What the fuck do any of those have to do with not believing in their goddamn fairy tales?

  • avatar

    Michael Beares

    Anyone else notice when the guy asked about historical figures and pointed out the Nazis, China, and Russians. Shermer stated that most Nazis and Hitler were Catholic, while father Morris interrupted with that’s a historical lie.

  • avatar


    That’s a frustrating interview to watch. Shermer should have bitch-slapped that asshole Morris but instead it was like a mild-cat fight. Shermer let Morris talk over him and make all kinds of stupid woo-woo points.

    I think Shermer might have started off with saying that atheism is not certainty that god does not exist — the burden of proof is on Morris who is making the arrogant claim about Yahweh to demonstrate that it is true.

  • avatar

    Noah Sandler

    I would’ve interrupted Stossel at the start, let him know that he’s been taught a straw-man definition of atheism, and that he is actually an agnostic atheist himself.

  • avatar


    I’m glad to see speciesism addressed on an atheist site!

    As an ethical vegan I’ve been pointing out for years the obvious logical fallacy in thinking that humans are somehow “different” or “better” than other species. And the only logical step once that fallacy is realized is to adopt a vegan lifestyle.

    It’s simple logic — all sentient beings are capable of suffering and have a conscious desire to continue their life. Therefore, it is unethical to treat these sentient beings as property.

  • avatar



    Have you been watching the Atheist Experience? I think their technique of stopping theist woo-woo in its tracks is a great way to fly. As soon as Stossel spewed his straw man about atheists being “certain” there is no Yahweh you are bang on — stop him immediately and explain that atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. I love the Atheist Experience’s definitions: Atheism is essentially a binary question — do you believe in god(s) or not? Agnosticism refers to the certainty about knowledge. Do you know that god does not exist or do you think it is even knowable? If you answer NO you are, like most of us, an agnostic atheist. Most believers fall into the camp of agnostic theists.

  • avatar



    There is no one logical step or another toward adopting a vegan specific diet, Alan. We all have different metabolic needs. While I can wholeheartedly agree with you about the downsides of speciesism (and all the negative environmental/social impacts of intensive agriculture), making the jump to not consume other forms of life because they are conscious doesn’t cut the mustard. Living things eat living things. To play the ethical consumption card to the degree of not consuming any sentient beings, we’re imposing a false sense of ethical superiority on our species.

    If you want to be a vegan, that’s your choice. But don’t start waving your own “logical” conclusions around to support your lifestyle over that of others because that ship just won’t float.

  • avatar


    I’m just surprised this was on Fox News, and they actually let Shermer finish a sentence… Maybe Stossel isn’t an asshole…

  • avatar



    What on earth does “Metabolic needs” have to do with veganism? Are you seriously implying that there are humans who cannot survive on a plant-based diet? Because that’s scientifically ridiculous.

    You seem to have failed to grasp the simple logical conclusion I was pointing out.

    If one things that causing unnecessary suffering to a sentient being is unethical (which, in avoiding speciesism, is a necessary consideration) then veganism is the only logical conclusion.

    Pointing out that animals in the wild eat other animals is a naturalistic fallacy. As humans, the only NEED to exploit non-humans is for pleasure. Taste, convenience, cost, etc. There is nothing dictating that humans “need” to eat other animals. What other animals do in the wild has no bearing on our actions as humans living and interacting in our society.

    So yes, if you reject speciesism then veganism is the only logical conclusion.

  • avatar

    The Big Blue Frog

    Isn’t this the same priest who says that people shouldn’t have invisible friends.

  • avatar


    Shermer’s continuous look of mild amusement at the boy-priest is priceless, you know he’s thinking, “If I just had an hour on a stage with this smug little shitbird…damn you, Stossel!”

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