A.C. Grayling on the Colbert Report

by Greg Mayer

English philosopher and humanist A.C. Grayling was interviewed last night on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.  The interview highlighted Grayling’s new book, The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism, which Jerry has noted here at WEIT.

Grayling started with a nice definition of humanism that was appreciated by the audience. Colbert then tried Pascal’s wager on him, as Grayling had mentioned the multiplicity of gods, but it’s sometimes hard to produce a concise but thoughtful response in in these very short and comedic interviews.

The full interview is available here on Colbert’s website and via hulu.

Colbert is rebroadcast the next day (i.e. today, Thursday) at 6 PM Central time; check your local listing.

[JAC note: I just watched the short Hulu clip and was quite pleased. Grayling seemingly wasn’t attuned to Colbert’s schtick, but he answered very well, made as many good points as I think are possible in such a short time, and, most important, it looked as if the audience was on his side (note the applause when Grayling claims that religion does more harm than good).]

17 Comments

  1. darrelle
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I tried to stay awake, but I faded out and came to again just as Colbert said good night.

  2. Posted April 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    What is it that Hulu has against Europe?

    • Kevin
      Posted April 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Buncha cheese-eating surrender monkeys?

      • Posted April 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Classy.

        /@

      • pktom64
        Posted April 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Hey! Zat is djust us, not all ze Europians!

  3. Paul S
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    It is a shame he had to point out that religion does more harm than good. Once the harm religion does is brought to light, nothing else should matter. The claim some people make that the good religion does out weighs any of the bad has always puzzled me. That’s like saying its ok to beat your spouse if you take your kids for ice cream.

    • jimroberts
      Posted April 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      It is important to note that religion does more harm than good, but to me it is more important that, so far as we can tell, no religion is true. If we had overwhelming evidence that, for example, Jesus exists and is a being of inconceivable power, I would have to believe that some version of Christianity is true, in spite of the manifest harm that the various church’s teaching do to human society. The situation would be similar to what we now have with diseases such as cancer; we accept their existence but strive to mitigate their ill effects.

      • Paul S
        Posted April 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        I should have said that the good a religion might do doesn’t matter instead of nothing else matters.

  4. Posted April 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I went to The Colbert Report link from here in the UK where I see this amusing message:

    Sorry, but this video is unavailable from your location.

    It’s one of the detriments of living under a monarchy.
    But in case you can’t give up your silly accents and move to America,
    Watch clips from the Colbert Report at comedycentral.co.uk

    🙂

    P.S Viewing via comedycentral requires a payment to iTunes of £1.89/episode

  5. Malky
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    If you want to watch the Colbert Report or the Daily Show from Europe you need to use a US proxy server. Mano Singham at Free Thought Blogs has instructions.

  6. harrync
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Too bad Grayling didn’t give the quick answer to Pascal’s wager: But what if god rewards atheists with heaven, and punishes believers with hell? After all, that is possible, since god works in mysterious ways.

  7. Marcoli
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I think A.C. Grayling handled Colbert well, because he can be challenging. I also once again find myself admiring Colbert for how well he does his schtick. One of the better shows on regular TV in my opinion.

  8. BillyJoe
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    In Australia we get this amusing comment:

    Sorry, but this video is unavailable from your location.

    It’s one of the detriments of living under a monarchy.
    But in case you can’t give up your VEGEMITE and move to America,
    Watch clips from the Colbert Report at comedycentral.co.uk

  9. Paulus Beemster
    Posted April 5, 2013 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    This does only concern the Dutch:The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are broadcast on Comedy Central Extra,always a day later and(!)very well subtitled.

  10. Kelton Barnsley
    Posted April 5, 2013 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    I had the privilege of seeing Prof. Grayling speak in person at my university yesterday. It was a great talk!


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