When his staunch libertarianism isn't getting in the way, Penn Jillette exudes the qualities all skeptics should admire: thoughtful of other people's beliefs, absolutely reasonable, unimposing, and not in the least bit condescending to non-skeptics. Oh, and keeping a debate from devolving into the usual shouting matches on cable TV doesn't hurt either. After reading some of the comments, I get the impression that's what Piers Anthony was hoping for—either a screaming match or a joined attack on his own religion.
While Penn & Teller's Bullshit was a great show as long as you were already part of the choir they were preaching to (and you took their more libertarian episodes with a grain of salt), Jillette's public appearances elsewhere are becoming considerably less cringe-inducing to watch. Level-headed debate may do nothing positive for ratings, but it's what all sides of any argument needs to make an actual point.
I don't know. I find this video noteworthy simply because I'm so sick of negativity and arrogance in the main stream media. I think we need less people like Bill Maher (who's far from being an actual skeptic, but seems to claim the title anyway) and Richard Dawkins (too arrogant), and more nice guys like the new and improved Penn, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Bill Nye.
Video courtesy of the following tweet:
Absolutely stunning: Atheist @pennjillette intelligently defending Catholicism from Piers Morgan's ignorance ow.ly/it0HU
— Aleteia(@AleteiaEN) March 6, 2013