"I'm here to rob you."
"Let me tell you about Jesus, I'm a Christian."
"I am too and I hate doing this, but I still need to rob you."
"Do you have a family?"
"That's why I'm doing this."
"I can help you get a job."
"I've got a job."
"Then why do this?"
"I need $300 or I'll get evicted."
"I'm sorry, I have to take every cent."
"Well, they'll charge me for this."
"They'll charge you for the money I'm stealing?"
"I'm the one responsible."
"OK, I won't rob you. And, hey, it's a BB gun."
The dishonesty-in-reporting brigade ignores the fact that he didn't stop until he thought he'd be robbing her...and it gets chalked up to a robbery stopped by faith.
Are people more willing to steal from a corporation than an individual? Yes.
Are people less likely to victimize people once some personal connection is established? Yes.
Did a shared religion help establish a connection? Sure.
Would this robbery have been averted by almost anyone else letting the gunman know that they would have to personally pay back what he stole? It seems likely to me.
The claim that she'd have to pay is also, as far as I can tell, a lie. Essentially, she talked him out of robbing the place by explaining how he'd be robbing her, and not just the store.
So, why doesn't the headline read "Compassionate Woman Stops Reluctant Robber With Lie"?
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
We have lately gotten a number of emails from viewers bringing Rich Allen's YouTube bullshit to our attention, and who haven't gotten the memo that Jen essentially exposed the guy for the pathological liar he is more than a week ago. They seem to think we need to address Allen's falsehoods as a matter of some desperate urgency. These viewers need to realize that this is exactly what Allen wants you to think: that he is important and that his ravings have some bearing on our own character and credibility.
There are two kinds of people in the world: honest and dishonest. And among each, but especially among the dishonest, there are multiple levels of severity, from the inconsequential dishonesty that comes from mere ignorance, to the truly malevolent levels of douchebaggery that come from a sense of self-importance inflated out of all proportion to any actual achievement or substance to back it up. Because Rich Allen belongs to the latter group, it is senseless to engage him or any of his little pals beyond the level we already have.
There are plenty of sincere Christian apologists out there genuinely interested in having a two-way conversation, in which actual ideas are exchanged, for us to waste our time with the kinds of people who (as happened earlier tonight with one of Allen's doucheposse) send us emails simply repeating Allen's little content-free shifting-the-burden fallacy (which Matt thoroughly disposed of today) and, regardless of whatever answer they receive, respond with such delightful bon mots as (as our correspondent called Jen) "you stupid fucking cunt." Guys like this are just bad people, and there was never even the hint of a desire on their part for an honest exchange of ideas. Their pattern is infantile in its simplicity: taunt the atheist to get him riled up, then declare victory no matter what is actually said by whom. Like their idols in the lunatic fringe media (Glenn Beck seems to be the template here), the principle in play is "Just say anything!" The bigger the lie, the better, because you can guarantee the target you wish to smear will get angrier, and all you have to do is get them angry.
So, you know, fuck these guys. Seriously. Don't keep emailing us about them, because you're giving them the credibility and attention they crave.
There's a scene in the classic movie Casablanca that sums up the situation beautifully. Peter Lorre plays a small-time hood who is desperate for the attention and admiration of Rick, Bogart's character. Bogart has his number and basically dismisses him as the wannabe poser he is. At one point Lorre, with wide, expectant canine eyes, says to Bogie, "You despise me, don't you?" And Bogie, without even looking up from his work, calmly replies, "If I gave you any thought, I probably would."
So there you have guys like Rich Allen, our little Peter Lorre*, forever seeking the attention of the atheist community despite a total absence of any real cred to shore up his bluster. He almost surely does deserve to be as despised as he wants to be, because bad people are despicable by nature. But really, should we give him any thought? What has he brought to the table to earn it? Beyond his oft-repeated lies, I mean? Nothing? Well, sorry, but nothing earns you nothing here. So let's hear no more of Rich, then, okay?
* Naturally, I am speaking of Lorre's Casablanca character here. Lorre himself is someone I'd have loved to have known!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Matt's post today is getting a lot of responses, but it would appear some commenters aren't reading the notice that comment moderation is on, nor are they noticing the window that pops up after leaving your comment, informing you that comment moderation is on, and that it will appear on the original post after it has been approved by an admin. Considering that these notices are all but accompanied by a parade of elephants and a 40-piece brass band, I find the phenomenon curious. But still, today one guy submitted his comment no fewer than seven times, and another at least four. While it's no trouble to delete the extras in the queue, still, among intelligent adults I really don't feel like I should have to remind people to read the notices.
Moderation has been more or less permanently activated due to the activity of trolls like Dennis Markuze/David Mabus (who's still around) and the rise in Asian porn spam (not even good porn either!) that is the inevitable consequence of our increasing readership. It has not been activated to censor views we do not like, including Christian views. So if you don't see your comment right away, please, don't keep clicking the button like a monkey with Down's Syndrome going "Why not it work?" It is working. Don't panic. Okay? So: group hug! Now, thank you all for reading and participating here, and we return you to your regularly scheduled blasphemy.
"What proof and evidence can you provide that atheism is accurate and correct?"
Atheism is not a world view or a philosophy, it does not assert claims that could be viewed as accurate and correct - it is the rejection of theistic claims. It is disbelief of the claim "some god exists" - there is no requirement that one believe that no gods exist in order to be an atheist.
The question, as phrased, represents a misunderstanding of both atheism and the burden of proof. It's an attempt to frame atheism as if it is asserting that no gods exist and it does so in order to shift the burden of proof. It's not only hand waving...there's a big, rotten, fallacy-ridden, red herring in that hand. Why phrase the question that way? Because, to those who don't understand the burden of proof or the subjects at hand, it sounds so much more clever than "can you prove that there are no gods?"
In my case, I reject theistic claims because they have not met their burden of proof. That's it. I'm an atheist because no one has been able to provide sufficient evidence to support their theistic claims. They've failed to answer a question similar to the one they aim at me...and after being called on that failure they're desperately trying to point the finger in any direction except where it belongs.
If you believe you can read minds, why would you ask a non-believer if they can provide proof and evidence that you can't instead of simply demonstrating the truth of your claims? The simple answer is that you can't, and you know you can't.
Consider the following:
I get e-mails from Christians on a regular basis. Many of them are convinced that the Holy Spirit has instructed them to contact me and give me valuable evidence that will change my mind. These people believe that their god is real, that he wants me to know that he's real and that he's charged them with providing me with the evidence.
We can, via reductio ad absurdum, demonstrate that these people are simply wrong:
If their god exists, then it knows precisely what information they'll need to convey to convince me and it would communicate this information to a person who is capable of accurately presenting it in a way that achieves the stated goal. (I'm not going to draw out a syllogism for this...it's all from the definition of the god that they believe is real.)
Why then do these people consistently present the most obviously flawed arguments and absurd anecdotal evidence? Why then do these people often say the very thing that confirms that they have no clue what they're talking about?
Are they just inept at communicating the needed information? Then their god has made a terribly stupid mistake, inconsistent with the character of the god they believe in.
Is their god incapable of accurate communication? Not according to their beliefs. Their god is perfectly (or nearly) wise, intelligent, capable, powerful, etc...and clearly directed them to present the information.
No matter how you break this down, the god they believe in simply doesn't exist. There may be a god, and it might even be the one that they're trying to represent, but they're clearly wrong about its desire and ability to demonstrate its existence. At best we're left with something that is, to a third party, indistinguishable from delusion.
Is there something that you're really good at or knowledgeable about? Perhaps you're a bit of an expert at a game, or at repairing cars, or you're a trivia wiz about a certain show. Perhaps you're highly educated in a particular scientific discipline or you've been doing a particular job for many years.
If so, then you'll have some idea of how easy it is, in many cases, to determine (roughly) how skilled someone else is in that same area. You probably also have some sense of the extreme frustration you feel when someone who clearly has no clue what they're talking about is trying to "educate" someone else. It's almost as frustrating as when they're trying to "educate" you. You can spot the bullshit from a mile away and it's almost physically painful to watch someone get away with poisoning another mind with nonsense.
That's what I feel like when I read many of these e-mails. That's what I feel like when I see apologists videos or blogs.
I'll continue to take on all callers, including (especially?) the overly-glib bullshit artists who willingly lie to promote their beliefs...because it's something that I find important and something that I'm pretty good at.
The phone lines are open.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Courtesy my bud Chris Conner, I am made aware of the company Food for Life Baking Co., Inc.
They name their products after Biblical verses, and I believe I've seen their Ezekiel 4:9 bread at the grocery stores.
So what's wrong with this? Oh, nothing. Free enterprise and all that. But it does make for a gloriously funny example of what happens when you quote-mine the Bible. Ezekiel 4:9 itself is fairly benign, and sounds exactly like the sort of thing organic foodies would love.
Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself...
Now that's not all of 4:9, of course, but it's all Food for Life sees fit to quote. But the amusing part happens if you read on in Ezekiel 4. It gets, er, a little weird. And gross. Have a look at Ezekiel 4:9-17. As they say, context is everything.
Now, there are hints that Food for Life may very well have baked their bread according to God's command. After all, they take care to mention how it was baked "from freshly sprouted organically grown grains" (emphasis added)...and they recommend you "try it served warm to release its exceptionally rich nutty flavor."
Yeah, that's enough for one day.
I received a response from the Catholic who spawned the last item I posted. Since she wasn’t interested in visiting the blog to see what people thought, I went ahead and issued a full response. Below is her initial note back to me today, along with my reply below that:
Her note from today:
Hey, thanks for the response. I knew when I first wrote you that we would most likely not be coming to an agreement or anything close to it, and I hope you realize that was not my point. I understand how this can look like bigotry because I used to be an atheist and felt the same way you do. I just want to share with you a short explanation of my perspective and only ask that you try to imagine my point of view (as hard as it may be) for the time being. I've been studying Theology now for a while and it only finally came to me when I saw the whole picture. First, I would ask you to accept the claim that those who truly, that being the key word, try to live out there faith, sincerely and genuinely, really believe what their religion teaches. Whether it is out of ignorance, or a great deal of investigating and researching to see if there is truth behind it is irrelevant. The sincere and genuine person truly believes in the good and beauty of God and their faith and that is why they desire and choose to participate in it. There are of course exceptions to this and people who are not in religion for the right reasons, and although this does not contribute to my point, I want to acknowledge it. So, if we can say that a person genuinely believes the Church's doctrine, and is sincere in their belief in it, we can say that their belief in a certain teaching is sincere as well. When they agree with a teaching on, lets say, loving your neighbor as yourself, it is because they genuinely believe with all their being that loving your neighbor as yourself is the right thing to do. Now shift the gears to a not so fuzzy sounding topic such as homosexuality. Regardless of what your opinions are, when someone holds a belief that to you might seem like it is out of hate or discrimination, (I know right now you are thinking BECAUSE IT IS HATE AND DISCRIMINATION, and I would ask you to bear with me), if they are, as I keep reiterating, sincere in their desire to want what is good, true, and beautiful then their support of this teaching is also out of sincerity. The sincerity in the belief that they feel it is false form of compassion (keep in mind this is the believers perspective) to find fulfillment outside of the will of God. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that the motive here is not hate, but one of love from their point of view as a result of their sincere beliefs. It contains no benefit for the individual, but is solely because of love for the other simply because of the fact that they are a human being with dignity. Whether the person agrees or not, in the believer's opinion, the truth remains whether it is accepted or not. For example, if a girl with a eating disorder sees nothing wrong with her problem, the response of concern from her friends and family will remain even against her will, because they believe what they feel to be an objective truth and it is a result of their love for her. Even if they are seen as ignorant or stupid for their beliefs, it does not change the fact that they are wholehearted. Now of course this analogy falls short and in no way am I comparing homosexuality to an eating disorder, but you get my point. I only wish to express this to you because, and I wont go into it, this is a very personal and important topic to me and I value all people so greatly it breaks my heart to see all this confusion going on in so many people's lives right now. I respect our difference in beliefs and would only ask that you understand mine to be one of sincerity and love if you refrain from judging the heart and dig a little deeper.
Thanks for reading.
Peace my friend.
Thanks for writing back:
>I understand how this can look like bigotry
You fail to understand, however, that it is bigotry. That’s where the breakdown is happening. Calling something wrong that isn't wrong for no good reason is pure prejudice in action.
>I used to be an atheist and felt the same way you do
Atheism has nothing to do with homophobia or lack of it. Some atheists are homophobic, some theists aren’t. You, unfortunately, have aligned yourself with theists who are. And you are causing needless harm to good people by doing so.
>Regardless of what your opinions are, when someone holds a belief that to you might seem like it is out of hate or discrimination, (I know right now you are thinking BECAUSE IT IS HATE AND DISCRIMINATION, and I would ask you to bear with me), if they are, as I keep reiterating, sincere in their desire to want what is good, true, and beautiful then their support of this teaching is also out of sincerity.
You seem to have a mistaken impression that it’s your attitude, and not your ideology or actions, I have a problem with? It’s the results you reap I oppose. Homophobic bigotry is harmful and wrong, whether it comes from horribly misguided ‘concern’ or open hatred. I hope that helps you better understand my position. Doing harm, but meaning well, is still harm. And I will continue to try to stop it and speak out against it.
>Therefore, it is reasonable to say that the motive here is not hate
Fine. Your motive is not hate. But your actions are still misguided, harmful to others, and based on prejudice, lies and fallacies.
>Now of course this analogy falls short and in no way am I comparing homosexuality to an eating disorder, but you get my point.
Yes, I agree. Gay is demonstrably not a disorder. And it’s not wrong, harmful or a problem. It’s also not your business or anything you need to be ‘concerned’ about. But you seem to think it’s loving to say it’s a ‘sin’ for fallacious and false reasons. I understand you think it’s sin. I think that’s ill, and I oppose it just as I would oppose bigotry from the KKK or any other brand of unwarranted prejudice from any group or authority.
Please understand that if All-Mighty God himself came to me and told me to call homosexuality a ‘sin,’ I would not agree to it. No authority can simply label benign action as wrong and make it so without justification. It would be immoral for anyone, and that would include a god, to require such a thing as ‘bigotry’ from his/her followers. And I am really not sure you understand that.
I’m sure KKK members are very sincere. I’m sure they think their views are positive and helpful and would be good for society overall to adopt. But they’re clearly wrong, just as you are. And they’re harmful, just as you are. And I will oppose that sort of immorality from the KKK or the Catholic church.
>it breaks my heart to see all this confusion
I assure you we’re not “confused” at AE TV. In fact, the more you try to explain, the deeper you dig yourself in. You’re only demonstrating that a well meaning person can be taught to do evil in the name of religion. And the fact you’re blind to what you’re doing only makes it all the more tragic. You seem to think I think you think you’re motive is hate. What I’m really saying is that I don’t care what your motive is. Your view, and your promotion of that view, is flatly harmful and wrong. You’re causing harm to people who aren’t causing harm to you. I don’t particularly care why you do it. It’s wrong to do it, because you’re hurting people for no good reason. You are on the side of evil when it comes to this issue.
I encourage you, again, to visit the blog.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Here is the intro:
Hi to whoever reads this. I've been watching some of your show for a while now and have noticed a lot of misconceptions held about God and especially religious viewpoints. I understand that many people who call in are well intentioned at explaining the faith, but many are not very equipped or knowledgeable enough to respond to you with answers that are representative of what we believe is the truth about our faith. I, as a Catholic, do not have the authority to speak for anyone else's viewpoint of a different religion, but I can say that there is certain truths and doctrine that are universally excepted as what we would believe to be truth. Unfortunately many of us have not invested in learning the "why" behind the "what", and this perhaps inhibits many of us from responding articulately and intelligently to opposing views, and for this I apologize. I would just like to respond very quickly to the view of atheists and even many Christians on the misunderstanding of our view on homosexuality. Because I care so much about it (and them) and have many friends that have same-sex attractions, it is this misunderstanding that bothers me the most. Rather than restate something that I believe can be said more fully and eloquently through the words of the writer of this article, I would like to share with you the real position of the Catholic Church on same-sex attractions. I know you will not agree with much in this article, but my hope for you is that you will understand better our position of love for them as persons. And it is because of this love that we hold the teachings that we do.
I hope you have a nice day!
The intro itself seems mild enough. However, the article provided was atrocious. Due to copyright considerations, I won’t post the entire article that was shared, but I am giving the link. Please read it. You’ll be amazed this is supposed to "clear up" our negative misconceptions of religion as a backward, dehumanizing, irrational belief system:
It only convinces me further of whatever negative views I held previously about the church’s stance on homosexuals. I don’t believe any further commentary is needed. Once you read it I have confidence you’ll see what I mean.
What I'm saying is that anyone who accepts Johns assertions before they've been successfully defended is being a shitty skeptic on that subject...and that's what's going on. Those who uncritically accept John's claims and those who attempt to shield John's views from critical thinking are being decidedly non-skeptical.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Those of you who enjoyed hearing Gia and Chris on the recent Non-Prophets the three of us did will be pleased to know they have started a little talk show of their own called The Skeptical Eyebrow, which is apparently a Hitchens quote. This isn't a podcast but a YouTube channel, so go subscribe. They've only started, but their first discussion has to do with the recent "Should skeptics walk on eggshells around theism?" kerfuffle Matt has been addressing here. I suspect they'll refine their little show as it goes along (like, both audio and video together). They'll be bringing more folks into the conversations in future too. So go check them out and give some constructive feedback if you have it.
"Tested the proposition that ridicule is an effective educational corrective by including 1 of 3 motivators (ridicule, insult, gentle reminder) or 1 of 3 controls in a handout of course reading assignments. Sex of Ss was included as an independent factor; 180 undergraduates participated. Scores on an unannounced test on the assigned readings, administered during the next class, provided a measure of information acquisition. Although the gentle reminder and insult increased test scores somewhat, relative to the controls, only ridicule produced a significant increase on information acquisition. Sex differences were found for the insult vs ridicule conditions: Males scored higher than females when insulted; females scored higher than males when ridiculed."
Monday, July 19, 2010
But let's get to the point.
"Let me ask you a question: how many of you here today used to believe in something — used to, past tense — whether it was flying saucers, psychic powers, religion, anything like that? You can raise your hand if you want to. [lots of hands go up] Not everyone is born a skeptic. A lot of you raised your hand. I’d even say most of you, from what I can tell.Now let me ask you a second question: how many of you no longer believe in those things, and you became a skeptic, because somebody got in your face, screaming, and called you an idiot, brain-damaged, and a retard? [Very few hands go up]"
'In times of war, we need warriors. But this isn’t a war. You might try to say it is, but it’s not a war. We aren’t trying to kill an enemy. We’re trying to persuade other humans. And at times like that, we don’t need warriors, what we need are diplomats."
"What I see [in the skeptical movement] is that hubris is running rampant. And that egos are just out of check, and sometimes logic in those situations falls by the wayside."
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Sorry most of the week was quiet around here, gang. I'll try to have some good posts for you in the upcoming. For now, we'll open this one up as a general thread on today's show, the highly anticipated Episode 666. There have been hints that hijinks, tomfoolery, and shenanigans of some nature will ensue. Then again, it could just end up being a normal episode of taking calls. Or Matt and Jeff could stun us all by converting to Zoroastrianism and sacrificing a life-size gummy bear, not that the two things have anything to do with one another. Nothing for you to do but watch and find out, is there?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
"To me, skepticism applies to testable parts of my life. Through science, I can test ideas and make predictions. As a skeptical thinker, when I'm confronted with data I have to be willing to change my ideas about reality, and if the predictive powers of science fail me, I have to admit my science is wrong. A belief in God is a belief in something frustratingly untestable. I can make no testable predictions using religion, but instead find myself faced with having to make an opinion-based judgement. I have made the choice to believe. I admit I have doubts - I am not so strong a person as to say my faith is complete and that in the dark of night I don't worry that I'm wrong. But in the absence of data, I have made the choice to believe in a God."
"Someone who compartmentalizes their life - placing religion in one box and skepticism in another - is tearing themselves apart"... yet she tries to claim that her religious beliefs are untestable and immune from skeptical examination. How is that not compartmentalization? If her beliefs are untestable, why believe? If her beliefs are not untestable, why claim they are...and why believe? How is this different from someone who makes any other untestable woo claim?
I've got to think that the latter is a gross conceptual error about what skepticism is, if we're going to distinguish it from simply "being skeptical".
"There is currently a philosophy that “skepticism is a proper subset of atheism: that is, not all atheists are skeptics but all skeptics are atheists.”" [snip] "This is false logic. Being a skeptic does not preclude a belief in a God. Being a skeptic simply means I have to admit that there are things I know are scientifically true and based on evidence (such as the age of the universe), and there are things that in the absence of sufficient data I may choose to believe in or not believe in (such as God)."
"I do not believe that skepticism is a subset of atheism. I believe, and I wonder why it isn't obvious to everyone, that atheism is a subset of skepticism."
Saturday, July 10, 2010
What's immediately obvious to anyone who's ever watched or listened to an episode of The Atheist Experience is that this isn't us. Of course, that doesn't stop Shockofgod, whose real name is Rich Allen, by the way. Rich, who is known for his YouTube videos in which he mounts a camera to his helmet and rides his motorcycle in traffic while spouting bad apologetics, truly knows no shame. He not only posted the clip above, he posted the following on Yahoo! Answers:
Note the answer he chose as the best answer, and the fact that he totally misrepresented what Michael was saying to him. He dismisses all the other gods, because no one has presented sufficient evidence to support their existence. Likewise, we dismiss his god for the same reason.
Now, you could argue that maybe Rich is just so dumb that he didn't realize what Michael was saying. I'd think that too if he hadn't chosen this answer after I posted the following response to him:
So now that Rich has so thoughtfully provided written evidence of his dishonesty, feel free to call him on it whenever you can. Of course, you can't do that on the video above. He's disabled comments. So now which one of us is terrified again?
I guess we could all hope that he really does call the show tomorrow, but I won't be holding my breath.
I found Atheist Experience on Youtube when browsing on the web. I am writing in reference to the statement in one episode that the journey from theism to atheism can, for some people, be long and painful. It was long for me, about 75 years, but not painful. I just stumbled gradually toward atheism over the years as I read a great deal and thought more about my religion. During my early 30s I left the Lutheran Church for the Unitarians, where I remain, but I gradually changed my belief from the traditional Unitarian position that God is one to that of the agnostic, and eventually to what I understand is a strong agnostic. But, by watching the episodes of Atheist Experience I realized that I was not intellectually consistent to require evidence for either that God exists or does not exist while maintaining that I do not believe in Santa Claus because here is no evidence that he exists. I don't require evidence that he does not. You provided the final argument to convince me to become an atheist: that it is irrational to believe something for which there is no evidence.
Your program does two marvelous things: (1) It helps people like me, who have a stumbling block in their reasoning, to think more clearly. And (2), and this is most important, it demonstrates that persons such as I was, who are on their journey towards atheism, need not be alone on that journey.
I am approaching my 86th birthday. My only regret is that I do not expect to be here when the atheist position will no longer be detrimental to a person's social position or employment, nor considered a factor in determining a person's qualification to hold public office.
My best wishes for you and the ACA.
Positively made my day!
Friday, July 09, 2010
Gia, Chris and I had a blast doing this. As there was no live chat involved, we'll just make this an open commentary thread about the show. (Also, here is a much lower bitrate version, as I didn't take into account just how huge the higher quality version is and I didn't know at the time what bitrate the guys usually use. So choose this one if you just want a faster download and don't mind some loss of fidelity.)
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
During the lengthy and ongoing hiatus that has frustrated NPR fans for months and months, Russell and Lynnea recently recorded their own stop-gap, "renegade" episode to help mark time until the regular show hosted by Denis, Russell and Matt is able to resume. Which they're saying may be September. Which would be better interpreted as "wait and see." But as fans were happy with Russell and Lynnea's effort, there's no reason not to keep this up, especially as magical internettical computerifical technological magic makes it so easy.
Tomorrow afternoon, I will be recording yet another of these renegade shows, and it should be available on the NPR site by Friday. (It won't be a livecast though, so no simultaneous chat.) One of my guest hosts will be my dear friend, the beautiful and snarktacular Gia Grillo, aka PamAnnJett, whom most of you will recall from the post here not long ago, in which she recounted her little saga about walking boldly up to a pair of squeaky clean sidewalk proselytizers and mercilessly emasculating them in front of everybody! Hey, she may be small, but she packs a wallop. Joining us also, from the misty forests of northern California, will be our mutual friend, Chris Conner. Mostly our topic will involve how the Internet has played such a powerful role, both as a resource for atheists and a way to forge a sense of community among us that atheists never had before. The rise in atheism's profile globally; the popularity of shows like AETV and blogs like Pharyngula; the ability for there even to be such a thing as million-selling atheist books; and finally, the many connections of simple friendships open to us — the Internet has done more for the spread of reason than anything, and we'll talk about how it's impacted our lives. The Young, Godless, and Fabulous today live in a much different world than the one that afflicted Madalyn O'Hair's generation. But in many ways, not much has changed and there's still so much to be done.
All this and other stuff. Look for the new show to be downloadable by the weekend, gang. I'm very much looking forward to it myself.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
The response I received was actually cordial, and I thought all was well (although apparently not):
I called Matt immediately, and he advised that I post this as the one and only response necessary to such obvious slander. I am sure my record speaks for itself, and that punative lies will not be taken seriously by anyone who knows me and/or my views.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Now, bear in mind that the page leads off with a very stern warning about ballot stuffing, although they don't specify how they interpret that. However, they are asking for all your contact information before submitting the ballot, so it might be for the best if only locals (or at least Texans) vote. I know there's a lot of you here, so let's get to votin'.
Hi. My name is Jeremy and I am a student at the University of Missouri. I would just like to thank you for helping me convert to being an atheist. I have always been confused trying to find the "right" religion to practice and how to worship. I have studied all the monotheistic religions and just never seemed to really get it. However for the past year or two I have discovered shows like yours and have read/watched the new atheists (Hitchens, Dawkins....). For the first time, I can just set back and say that everything now makes more sense. Also, I seem to be at more peace with myself and have a greater understanding and respect for others. I am less hateful and appear to understand others more. I no longer feel the need to discriminate against others for reasons that do not make sense to me (a problem I always had with religion). I understand that this will be the only life I will get and that I should live it the best I can.
I understand that you may have a lot of email for the show so if you do not respond back to me I will understand. However, please show this email to all that work in front of the camera and behind the scenes. I wish for everyone who works at the the show to know that you have made a difference and have helped me (and I am sure many others) become better people just by using reason and a little common sense. Thank you!
Thanks, Jeremy, for letting us know. Really, it makes our day!
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Hey. Guess what Matt and I have done today that you haven't...?
Heard the newly-completed full-length version of Bryan Steeksma's "Listen to Reason," that's what. Verdict: Damn!
Patience, grasshoppers.... (In the meantime, you can still buy Residual Soul.)
As has been noted, the full-length song is available for download now.