Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Russell's interview on Ask an Atheist

When I went to Seattle and joined the team of Ask an Atheist, I also stuck around for another half hour or so while Casey interviewed me. It was fun for me and we got to touch on topics that I don't usually get to talk about on The Atheist Experience

As this clip contains some politics talk, I expect that many of our core audience will have some disagreement. Assume the disclaimer applies: My opinions are my own and do not represent those of either TV show.


  1. Interesting.

    I think Russel hit the nail on the head when he noted that mainstream religious folk tend towards authoritarianism whereas atheists tend away from it; and this same divide is a driving force in the separation between the American political right and left.

    I tend towards the left myself although there is too much humanism on both sides for me feel that either is a true representation of my personal philosophy. Many a leftist will take pride in declaring themselves to be a "secular humanist"
    while I see myself as more of a "pacifist misanthrope".

  2. @ChaosSong

    I think Russel hit the nail on the head when he noted that mainstream religious folk tend towards authoritarianism whereas atheists tend away from it;

    To be clear, this is one of those things that isn't exactly due to atheism. As people would point out, there's plenty of totalitarian/authoritarian atheists out there. It's just that in our (American) society, in particular, we tend to emerge from totalitarian religions, and that we've already learned the error in it.

    And of course, we get accused of being authoritarian quite a bit, for some fantasy reason that only exists in the minds of some of these people.

    Stalin had a beard... and YOU have a beard, so...

  3. Oh, and I loved the Star Trek analogy. I've heard it in bits and pieces, but not as one cohesive explanation.

  4. It was tempting to try to write something witty about not needing a leader but I didn't know where to start. If anyone has any ideas...?

    I too particularly like the Star Trek Rule.

    I've noticed that some theists think we dismiss things because they come from the Bible, rather than just not giving them added weight because they come from the Bible. Whilst, usually, the Star Trek Rule doesn't make a difference (they think I am comparing the Bible to Star Trek, which I wouldn't dream of doing - the literary merit of Star Trek is far above and beyond that of the Bible) it has, occasionally, helped me explain why a Bible quote doesn't immediately woo me.

  5. Since I see that the Star Trek Rule's source is new to many posters, here is the original post where I coined it:

  6. hey kazim, have you seen jon stewart's interview with rachel maddow? i highly recommend it. and if you have, i wonder what your thoughts are.


  7. I'm a big fan of both John Stewart and Rachel Maddow, and in this case I side completely with Rachel Maddow. I disagree with the false equivalence of putting shows like hers or even Olbermann's in the same realm as what Fox does. I don't think it's a principled stance to abstain from picking a side in all cases, and IMHO the great majority of the crazies are stacked on one side.

    The Daily Show expresses viewpoints I agree with in about 85% of their material, Rachel probably more like 95%. But I think Maddow is being more honest when she states where she stands instead of trying to be neutral.

  8. ah i see. i was hoping we'd have some common grounds here but guess not. i sided rather completely with stewart on this one. it was amusing to see what in my opinion was the only real solution to easing the cultural tension (that is, media tension) in america was proposed by an american comedian.

    i give props to maddow, she's a very intelligent woman. but i must say i disagree with her methodology.


  9. *prostates himself towards the south* ALL HAIL MATT ALL HAIL MATT.... :P

  10. I really didn't need the mental image of Harker kneeling on the floor with his prostate gland pointing toward Austin.


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