Monday, June 13, 2011

Open thread on Episode #713

Oh, looks like people are piling onto the #712 thread because they have no outlet to discuss Jeff and Matt on episode #713. Here you go! Matt and Jeff discussed cosmology, a lot, and decided to give EvolvedAtheist / self-styled homophobic rapper hero Charlie Check'm, another round.

For people writing to request that Charlie never get on the air again: We heard you, and agree.


  1. Blocking Charlie is a strawman!

  2. Yes, I think we've all had quite enough of Charlie.

    Not that being confrontational is necessarily bad, but his attitude is particularly annoying. For example, challenging the hosts on niggling details that are tangential from the focus of the discussion; also interjecting "strawman fallacy" after hosts make any attempts to understand Charlie's point of view, or worse yet, after Jeff Dee explains his OWN perspective.

    Here's my favorite part of the exchange (paraphrasing):
    Matt: Jeff didn't use a strawman fallacy.
    Charlie: You're cornered aren't you!
    Matt: I'm cornered? Shut up! Listen, I'm not cornered you tool!

  3. Did someone call in and say that Matt is the cause of the big bang?

  4. Charlie is so disappointing. The real stuff is him going on about his disgust and its puny scientific justifications. All this marriage stuff is so so lame. And wooly.

    I do kinda sympathise with him a little. I can recall thinking to myself once upon a time that somehow the community definition and tradition of marriage was a little bit protected and maybe the man-woman thing is fundamental to the concept and the concept might be bigger than the people involved in it yadda yadda (the word on the tip of tongues grappling with this concept is 'sacred' btw. Which ought to tell you all you need to know as an atheist, or most of it).
    But then you say (or I do)- well homosexuals want the same thing and I really don't have a problem with it so maybe they can have something legally and functionally the same but...

    At this point what happens is brain goes 'Now, wait a minute...". It's when the two poles of an idea are held close together at last and can't be held part any longer, matter meets anti-matter etc. Snap.
    The sheer energy and spirit of prevarication that Charlie puts in to fighting his "Now wait a minute" moment is impressive. I mean one legged marathon runner impressive. God is a nebulous enough of an idea that when people are faced with the il-logic of their position I can understand them not being able to see it. But marriage is a human construction, fairly easily grasped as a socio-legal entity that's been a whole lot of things and involves a whole lot of lapsed precedents. Without some higher power telling you it's sacredly not gay it does take somewhat more industrial strength cognitive dissonance to keep it as a problem for you.

    So good work Charlie. You've out done the religious yet again

  5. Did someone call in and say that Matt is the cause of the big bang?

    There were several points during Charlie's call that this was about to be proved.


    The thing about strawman fallacies is that they're typically used to misrepresent to others, not back to the person who one is currently talking to. That wouldn't even make sense, as that person knows you're wrong.

    If I go to McDonald's, and the person at the register asks, "Sir, you wanted fries with that, correct?", and I don't, I don't stamp my foot and start screaming about strawman fallacies.

  6. Since the idea of discussing Charlie's view point anymore makes me want to eat aluminum foil and drink drano and see what happens, I was wondering if people had any thoughts on another topic, that is somewhat related.

    For awhile I've been wondering if it should be illegal to force minors into ex-gay therapy? I've been thinking about this recently as my bf's mom is trying to get him to go to one. Fortunately, we are adults, so she has absolutely no power over us.

    But what about minors? I've read way too much about the problems they cause, but I don't know if a causation could be demonstrated in court versus just a correlation. Also, how in the U.S. can we outlaw a parent's decision to raise a child they way they see fit. I know we've done that a few times when parents deny access to medical resources that would directly save a child's life. However, with the case of a suicide, is it even possible to connect (legally) that suicide to the ex-gay therapy?

    Curious to see if others have an opinion on this.

  7. I wonder if this guy has ever heard of a red herring logical fallacy.... that's what it is when you try to distract people from the actual argument by throwing out irrelevant points. It is not a straw-man to point out his red herring nor is it a straw-man to disagree with him. I agree he should not be given air-time.

  8. @Nathan:

    Another blog I read recently posted some video from CNN doing an investigative report on the "therapy to make your kid straight" business. Most of these therapies base themselves on one study back in the 70s, with a five year old boy that was a "sissy". The man committed suicide when he was 38 and his family says he was never the same after the "therapy," that he was broken. I found it interesting although they don't go too deeply into it (it IS CNN after all).

    One hopes that as homosexuality becomes more accepted, which it is, these "therapists" will dwindle in numbers and eventually vanish. But I wouldn't hold my breath, yo.

  9. @ Alukonis

    Yes, I have been watching those videos, Box Turtle Bulletin has been doing an in depth investigation into Kirk.

    I don't think they are as bad as when he was a kid. This could just be a guess, since many therapies have gotten more humane over the years. I still worry about the young kids that have to go through the modern day versions of ex-gay therapy. I know it sounds dumb, but even reading sights like rightwingwatch, joemygod, or goodasyou the constant barrage of anit-gay statements start to get to an individual, I try not to care but their statements do make you feel like an awful person.

    I can't even understand what it feels like to be a young kid thrown into one of these programs.

    Still, what are your thoughts about the legality of ex-gay programs for minors.

  10. Well personally, considering that homosexuality is no longer classified as a mental disorder, I think the "ex-gay" therapies are tantamount to child abuse and it should be illegal for parents to force their children into treatment for something that isn't a disease. In reality the logistics are a lot more complex, especially since these "treatments" tend to be mostly within certain communities (typically fundamentalist religious communities) so it seems to fall under the sort of "it's like Bible Camp" mentality. The pass that religious institutions get with indoctrinating children is pretty appalling, but I'm speaking as someone who had almost no indoctrination at all.

    The problem is that parents have a lot of control over their children, so unless you can PROVE that these treatment centers are abusive, there isn't much you can do legally, and there's enough ambient homophobia in this country (USA) that I bet a lot of kids DO want to go to these places because they DON'T want to be gay. Who can blame them? I certainly don't, considering the insane amount of bullying that targets gay kids. Who hasn't, as a teenager, wished they could just be "normal"?

    It's worst for those that are gender nonconformists, though, and that seems to be what these treatments mostly focus on. Holding kids to arbitrary standards of masculinity or femininity and punishing them if they don't fit, well, that's just parental discipline! It seems hard to legislate against that, considering that everyone is subject to gender policing, though not to that extent. It seems to fall under the "this is just how I want to raise my children" umbrella, and it's so much harder to put limits on that when the abuse is all verbal and emotional, not physical.

  11. I was an atheist until I heard this episode.

    Now I worship the cosmic bigfoot!

  12. Um... last comment still applies, but new god. It's Dillahunty insted of cosmic bigfoot now.

    "I'm not cornered, you tool!"

  13. Now, if we can just get rid of Evolved Atheist or, at least, not let him take up nearly half the show, we'll be set.

  14. My favorite part of the show was Jeff muttering "I'm begging you to get rid of this idiot".

    That's a strawman fallacy. That's my hypo-thesis.

  15. I know you acknowledged this but...

    Protip: Charlie should be banned from TAE.

  16. I'm listening now, but I post this wonderful quote by Charlie: "There hasn't been any studies on it yet, so it's sorta like a hypo thesis...".

    Seriously, a hypo thesis? How do you wash the dumb off?

  17. As a wannabe physicist I give a big shout out to Jeff for pointing out that the net energy of the universe is equal to zero.

  18. So... in the beginning was the Dillahunty? This would be a great concept for a t-shirt

  19. @ Alukonis

    I must say I agree with everything you've said. I can see the viewpoints on parent's rights and how our countries laws work. However, I still feel bad for so many LGBT youth. It's a very complicated situation, and I wish a couple more people would chime in.

    I suppose in some ways this breaks down to the rights of minors versus their parents.

  20. I find it strange that Charlie is attacking other atheists, calling them "pro-gay atheists" in a derogatory manner, when he is also in support of gay rights. I'm pretty sure in a previous episode he admitted that the only difference between his thoughts on gay rights and the host's was that he supported not letting them use the word 'marriage'. I'm sorry Charlie, but it sounds a lot like you are also a pro-gay atheist if that's your biggest complaint.

    It has been 1 second and no response from Charlie. Cat got your tongue, Charlie? You're cornered, aren't you?

    What an ass.

  21. Charlie comes across like someone who thinks he is an expert in literature because he sat down and memorized the dictionary.

    It is the difference between ignorance and stupidity, between knowledge and understanding. He knows a few facts (apparently mostly word/term definitions), but seems to be unburdened by any sort of insight.

    His constant "that's a straw-man fallacy" would be less annoying if he wasn't able to provide a coherent definition of the term. Then he could be written off as merely an ignoramus who is parroting terms he's seen other people use in arguments. Instead, every time he misidentifies an analogy or contradictory argument as a straw-man it is doubly annoying because not only is he wrong, but he ought to be able to tell for himself that he's wrong to call it a straw-man.

    And to top it all off, he's BORING. All of his calls go the same way:
    1) I'm an atheist.
    2) I oppose gay marriage on dictionary definition grounds.
    3) That's a straw-man! [repeat as needed]

    At least Mark from Stone Church, who was an equally bad communicator, brought a different topic to each of his calls.

  22. This is what Charlie doesn't understand. It's not that atheists are automatically pro-gay and if you aren't pro-gay you are at odds with the atheist community. It's that if you are a bigoted asshole you are at odds with good human beings. Charlie could be in a random martial arts class and start spewing some of the stuff he said on here and he would be largely disagreed with. It's not that the martial arts community is pro-gay, charlie is just an asshole no matter what group he tries to prove himself to.

  23. @Timothy...OHHHH!! The RED HERRING Fallacy!! See, my fiance and I were eating lunch and discussing a pigeon and how far Dan could throw it...we like to argue banal issues with the theistic fallacies...we have no lives...whaddaya want. Anyhow, Dan was LOSING, although he may tell you differently, and instead of responding to my comment, he said "You have ketchup all over your face." We decided this should be the Non Sequitur Fallacy...but I did think it sounded rather familiar. Now I know! Thank you.

  24. That Charlie guy, brrr. A simple answer to his weird arguments about rights and word definition could be this: I think black people should have all the rights white citizens have. But when thinking about citizens, people think of white people. In every civilization that used the word "citizenship", the citizens were white. Therefor black citizens should not be called citizens, but they should enjoy the same rights as actual citizens. Now that's a strawmen fallacy.

  25. Is Charlie a member of the Black Atheists of Atlanta??

  26. Just have to get off my chest--

    1) When somebody finds your rantings to be unintelligible and repeats them back to you for clarification, that is not a straw man fallacy. (It's a basic communication technique.)

    2) When somebody takes your unintelligible rantings and applies them to something else to illustrate their foolishness, that is not a straw man fallacy. You should take the hint.

    3) When somebody points out that your unintelligible, foolish rantings are completely idiotic and fractally wrong, that is not a straw man fallacy. That's an accurate perception of reality.

    4) A straw man argument is not, strictly speaking a logical fallacy at all.

    Like I said in the last thread, Charlie is so quick to mash the "Strawman Fallacy" button at inappropriate times that he is basically arguing on the level of "my hair looks like a bird; your argument is invalid."

    OK, I feel better now.

  27. Charlie probably won't be getting through to the show any more when I'm on.

    The stupidity of "let's give them all the rights of 'marriage' but they have to call it something else" is just sad. It always baffles me when people, especially African-Americans make these sort of appeals to tradition.

    When we finally started giving blacks equal rights, the separate-but-equal nonsense was a failure.

  28. This Charlie, also fails to realize that, the meaning of words changes over time. His atitude of trying to avoids changes on english, its so useless that is sad.

    Its almost like someone looking down on a river and yelling:

    "Dont dare to change your course".

    And how he would be able to aprove same-sex union with all the same rights, when he doesnt want to gave up something as simple as the meaning of a single word?

  29. I so much wanted to commit an argumentum ad baculum against Charlie.

    People are not atheists purely so that they can be pro-gay, I daresay most atheists (with the spectacular exception of Charlie) are so because they are RATIONAL. And every single anti-gay argument falls flat on it's face after being shown some evidence.

  30. "People are not atheists purely so that they can be pro-gay"

    That would make no sense, any cristian can be pro-gay as well as any atheist, if iam not mistaken, Jesus said something in the lines as :

    "Love your neighbor as yourself"

    And thats all the justification a cristian need to do so, if he wants.

  31. The most aggravating thing about Charlie's call is that he just spewed the exact same crap that he did two weeks ago. He has no point, he just desperately needs attention.

  32. Matt,

    Glad to hear you survived ER.

  33. Methodskeptic:
    Perhaps another way to put it might have gone "how can I misrepresent your argument when all you have done up to this point is bluster and gibber?"

    Its hard to misrepresent the incomprehensible.

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Nevermind, I paused the video after he hung up, and you explained it after just fine. I have no complaints.

  36. Charlie is just sad. I am wondering if he's gonna try and call in under some pseudonym to "prove that evolved atheist guy is on the ball!"

    He called into monday's "black atheists" show with the same ignorant bilge he's been spewing here. I just had to indulge my curiosity after hearing it talked about, and those guys simply are racist bigots. This weeks episode tries to explain why whites are atheists...poorly.

  37. I hear poor Charlie was, Flashed by a Pervert dressed as a Scarecrow.Charlie responded by shouting,"That's a Straw mans phallus see!"

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Last weeks show of the Black Atheists of Atlanta:

    The ignorant buffoon opens his mouth on Matt at 5:20.

  40. I had to listen to it three times to make sure I got what he was saying. His argument against Matt's (and everybody elses criticism):

    1. "Atheism is against two things. God and Greek culture. How did I come to this conclusion? Some atheist in Ancient Greece was against Greek gods and therefore by extension against the whole Greek culture that happened to be very tolerant toward gays."

    2. ???


  41. Being able to recognize argumentative fallacies is good. However, when someone starts using accusations of argumentative fallacies (in other words, playing the "argumentative fallacy card") in order to discredit the opponent's view, that's when things get south fast. Constantly explicitly accusing your opponent of making argumentative fallacies (especially if you do it without or with flawed justification) is as bad as making them in the first place. (In fact, it could be considered even worse, because it can be seen as simply nitpicking rather than presenting rational arguments.)

  42. @petr

    He's kind of a mind blender. I swear that if the topic of rainbows had showed up in that discussion, he'd now be weaving some kind of story in his head about how those gay-tolerant greeks were scared by rainbows, which is an evolutionary disgust mechanism, which proves that gays using rainbows as an icon today proves they're bad.

    The topic of greeks was a peripheral mention.

  43. If you somehow manage to watch parts 5 and 6 of that episode the question reappears again and this time they pull up THE 42 NEGATIVE CONFESSIONS OF MAAT as a basis for their black culture and the reason why they reject homosexuals (in addition to that mythical law of reproduction).
    So not only are they racist bigots because any counter-argument is necessarily motivated by your 'white, liberal, European viewpoint' they cite religious texts to defend their position as an atheist.

    They are all a bunch of TOOLS! If there ever was a reason for me to feel my "white liberal supremacy" (their own words) it's now, after watching their show.

  44. The problem with Charlie is that he acts like word definitions don't ever change, nor ever should, when that has never been the case and never will. The English language has ever been a work in progress, changing to meet the needs of the people. This is obvious because we don't speak ye olde english, unless we want to. Charlie needs to get evolutionary and learn to adapt.
    Personally, I really wish homosexuals had not stolen the word "gay"( why doesn't he have a problem with that word def?) , now I have to write 3 extra letters to say i'm happy, but I bow to society and an extremely effective campaign that changed it. Actually, I thought it was rather amazing that they accomplished it!
    I'd have thought being a black atheist would give him enough to worry about without inventing excess trauma about the definition and use of a word. It doesn't help that he expresses himself poorly. Charlie, I recommend taking speech classes repeatedly (like I did to help combat shyness). At least you would sound intelligent.

  45. Just listened to that episode on my drive up to college. While I enjoy listening to homophobic, arrogant, faux logic cry babies like Charlie get his ass pwned (as well as seeing him get pwned on the blog), I really hope that we never see him on again. His ignorance can be painful at times.

  46. Are you guys going back to 90 minute shows at sometime? These 60 minute shows are just too short!

  47. Technical notes: 11:00-11:40 or so, the switch from Jen to Jeff was well done. The zoom in to Matt, the monologue, and the segueway required a rewind-rewatch (and then it was much more noticeable..), but for a quick one-time play-through, I think it was really well ad-libbed, with good camera work. Good job, Matt, Jen, Jeff, but mostly the unlauded but dedicated control room team for catching the hints.

    No one has complained this time around (remembering the sound issues from recent months), but I recommend anyone who thinks this is easy to go sign up for a producer's license to your local public access show and put together a show or two. It's much harder than it seems.

    Dunno where the chroma-key went, though.. :-(

  48. Charlie was on The Infidel Guy show a couple years ago. Here is his stupidity, in all it's glory....

    Here is a show description of that show:

  49. Really! No mention of my, "phallus joke". I thought it was the Christians who were no fun.:(

  50. @TonyD I admit, I chuckled.

  51. That guy's issue with gay marriage stems from his false idea that marriage is defined as a union of a man and a woman. This definition is something I hear all the time, and it simply is not true. He wants them to have the same rights, he just thinks that it is a deductive arguments like this:

    1) Marriage is the union of a man and a woman

    2) 2 men or 2 women getting a union is not a union between a man and a woman

    Therefore, gay people getting a union is not marriage.

    He needs to justify #1. I think that this would involve anachronistic history-writing.

  52. "That guy's issue with gay marriage stems from his false idea that marriage is defined as a union of a man and a woman."

    No. His problem with gay marrige stems from his homophobia. He made it very clear on the show, in his songs and on other shows such as The Infidel Guy.
    He is just trying to find ad hog rationalizations for his attitudes.

  53. The one good thing that came out of that call...we all have a new atheist neologism. Hypo-thesis: A supposed argument that is only a handful of quibbles about words, paper mached together with accusations of fallacy. eg "That's my hypo-thesis" or "Don't strawman my hypo-thesis".

  54. Or should that be hyPOEthesis?

  55. Listening to Charlie gives me the David Silverman WTF face

  56. Wow.

    I had thought that this guy was simply moderately bigoted until I read the Infidel Guy link. Whatever respect I might have had at all has evaporated. The level of bile and hate this guy spews is just repugnant.

    However, I'm not one to hold a position simply because it's acceptable so, Charlie, I'll make you a deal. I'll take your side, and defend your perspective if:

    a) You demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt, via accepted medical research standards, that homosexuality is in fact a psychological/neurological disorder and not (as all evidence seems to suggest) a naturally occurring orientation like being left-handed, and that this necessarily causes each and every individual to be driven to a singular goal.

    b) That there is in fact such a thing as the "Gay Agenda", how it works, what the agenda actually is, and that it is necessarily insidious. Also, if you could demonstrate how every homosexual is a part of a massive global conspiracy to "spread the gay" that would be helpful to.

    c) How it's anyone's business what two consenting adults do.

    d) What difference it makes if there were more homosexuals, and (assuming your probable response) how someone "catches the gay".

    e) Demonstrate that you're not just a bigot who's trying to spread his hatred on the interwebs by spewing stupid all over public-access tv shows and podcasts.

    As you may (or may not, considering the level of narcissism you've shown) have noticed that I'm most likely not going to side with you as, even if you were capable of mustering the resources to attempt the first requirement, you'd likely find that it was a wasted effort and that you are as everyone here likely considers you: A narcissistic hate-monger who can't seem to grasp that no-one actually respects your opinion.

  57. Charlie's harping on definitions isn't an indication of his basic position. His basic position is that he hates and fears gay men, and he encrusts this position with semantic and naturalistic fallacies in order to justify his beliefs. He is a bigot, a true homophobe, through and through.

    It's also not impossible that he's so deep in the closet he's halfway to Narnia, but that's pure speculation.

  58. The best part is what happened in the chat room after the call ended. It all culminates in "fuck you all, im gonna go play grand theft auto and fuck up some gay bitches trying to get married and you cant stop me thanks to the constitution you dirty fags... fuck you all for being racist bigots, your just hating cus im black." No, there's definitely no HATRED of gay people there at all.

  59. hey, MikeTheInfidel, thanks for bringing this "jewels" to the light XD.

    I just loved this part:

    " my acnestors worked on plantations to keep the definition of marriage


    that's it, show's over, evolvedatheist is a complete fucking idiot"

  60. “ my ancestors worked on plantations to keep the definition of marriage between a man and a woman, taking that away would be violating the constitution”


    Wtf, I knew he was stupid but that’s just freak’n crazy.

  61. (on a campus computer, forgot my email password :P)

    "fuck you all for being racist bigots, your just hating cus im black"

    Talk about compounding absurdity with hypocrisy...

    At what point did anyone say anything about his arguments with regard to his race.

    On another note, it's interesting to see how bent out of shape people get when defending untenable positions. I wonder if at some level they realize that their arguments don't make any sense.

  62. <- Daemon6

    Also, I've always found manipulation via guilt to be particularly contemptible. Disregarding for a moment the absurdity, the fact that he would use the suffering of others to further his own perspective is just revolting. It's made doubly offensive by the fact that said atrocities were fueled by the very same type of hate that he's trying to promote.

  63. Did someone call in and say that Matt is the cause of the big bang?"

    Well Matt Smith IS

  64. Re: the Infidel Guy show notes -- Charlie is wearing a large latin cross in his picture. While that could be intentionally ironic, or a cultural artifact of growing up in a largely Christian community (like his homophobia probably is), I thought it was interesting. So I googled Charlie Check'm.

    It seems he's been trolling, I mean participating in discussions, on atheist and secular forums for years. He's been banned or chased away from several, usually for his style and method of communicating. Big surprise.

  65. Funnily enough, watching that Black Atheists of Atlanta video, those guys tip very close to some weird form of pantheism or implicit Gaia worship and a mishmash of all sorts of vaguely new-agey stuff really.
    The supposed gnu-atheists are accused of making a god of science quite a bit ( and wrongly). But these guys seem to actually be doing it with their version.

  66. I laugh my New York ass off whenever EvolvedAtheist calls.

  67. Laughed out loud at Jeff Dee's description of the cosmic bigfoot as "the ground of all being". This is sophisticated bigfootology!

  68. The guy may not understand evolution. Languages evolve over time much like life depending on climate and adaptation. Which is why we speak English and not Latin.

  69. EvolvedAtheist makes me miss Mark.

  70. The chat transcript was hilarious. Props to Jen for dropping the banhammer on this asshat.

  71. As for the post show chat room discussion. How disingenuous of Charlie is it to wield the fact that his family had their civil rights impinged on in order to reduce the civil rights of others?

  72. @Dhvanit,thanks for the recognition of my attempt at humor.I know realize that with everyone so involved with Charlie,I slipped my, "phallus" in where it was not wanted.

  73. I like this:
    i "failed" because you didnt give me a chance to talk

    The guy has had air time on two shows. He was in the chat room. His ideas were the main topic of literally the longest thread on this blog.

    And now he's whining that he's not being allowed to speak.

  74. @TonyD i loved your joke - just read it too late after scores of other comments written to be able to reply.

  75. Thank you for no more Charlie. It’s not that I think he shouldn’t be allowed to have his say, it’s that he has, abundantly, and he’s squandered it. To illustrate...

    If Charlie was to speak his mind, if Charlie was able to express himself, if Charlie was free to address the people, if Charlie was not denied the ability to expound on the things closest to his heart, because because because because – are you ready for this? Because studies show that if Charlie could say what he has to say, and if Charlie wasn’t interrupted so he could enunciate on his thoughts, if Charlie was to give vent to his feelings, because because because...

    Charlie just needs to learn one word: “then”... and how to follow it up with an independent clause.

    Oh, wait... I’m sure that’s a straw man fallacy. Somehow.

  76. I still say Charlie should be allowed on for the episode that Matt is in drag...if he agrees to watch the feed while he talks to Matt. From what I've read of him he won't last long and it'll shatter that weak ass smilely happy (i'm for rights for gays) facade he puts up.

  77. I do wish the call screeners would try harder to screen out callers like Charlie and that the on air personalities would more quickly and ruthlessly shut them down when they do get through. They're a huge waste of time on an already short show. Believe it or not, I'd rather have more Ray Comfort types on the show. Maybe we could invite Ted Haggard to call in?

  78. Question on episode 712:

    Jeff D stated "great majority of physicist are not christian or not theist."
    and later Matt D restated that same idea.

    Could these statements be considered "Appeal to Authority?"

  79. @Ugzog

    I don't think so. If memory serves, it was said in connection with an argument that physics somehow provided evidence for god.

    In response to that, it's entirely reasonable to point out that physicists, who know physics best and so are most qualified to judge such an argument, are less religious than average. This implies that the arguments for god made from physics are bullshit and rely more on the intimidation of difficult concepts than actual evidence.

    I don't think anyone would claim that this is an absolute argument against any argument from physics (that would indeed be a fallacy), but it does give us good reason to be a little skeptical of such claims, especially when made by people with no training in the field. Chances are they simply misunderstood something.

    Personally, I see it not as much as a matter of formal logic, but rather a case of "since I don't have the knowledge to judge this for myself, who am I going to believe? The consensus of the scientific community or Billy-Bob who called in after reading Quantum Physics for Dummies?"

  80. "Personally, I see it not as much as a matter of formal logic, but rather a case of "since I don't have the knowledge to judge this for myself, who am I going to believe? The consensus of the scientific community or Billy-Bob who called in after reading Quantum Physics for Dummies?""

    Well said.

  81. @ugzog

    "Could these statements be considered "Appeal to Authority?" "

    No, because its a simple fact, if physics could prove that a god exists, the greate majority of cientists of that area, would agree with that.

    Just like the greate majority of biologists agree with the evolution theory.

  82. @MikeTheInfidel

    Thanks for the capture.

    It's like a huge roaring fire of stupidity. You want to try to put it out, but your little garden hose just has no effect. All you can do is stand there in awe, marveling at it.

  83. At least Charlie changes his tactics. He went from claiming straw man fallacies to claiming Matt was cornered. Never a dull moment with Charlie! But, seriously, I think that we heard enough from that guy.

  84. I dunno. He seems to consider himself the undisputed world champion of logic and reason. Before his argument has even hit the air, you're beaten.
    I think if his topic was different every week it'd be perversely entertaining to have him as a regular caller.
    Entertaining for me of course, not for our poor hosts.

  85. Re Appeal to Authority, this recently came across my facebook feed:

    Eugenie Scott: A very nice piece by Karl Giberson on why listening to experts isn't a horrible "appeal to authority", as too many Americans think. The title isn't really representative of the article; not Karl's fault:

  86. Strawman fallacy! Red herring invalid argument!

    Charlie is the best. Charlie is the best. He needs his own show for us to laugh at.

  87. Before I forget, this topic needs a healthy dose of Louis CK.
    (contains rude words)

  88. Charlie seems to be more interested in the debate, than the actual topic, which is why he is quick to throw down 'straw man' and 'cornered'. I think that Charlie needs to take some time to cool down, write down his thoughts, organize himself and present his case in a well-thought out manner. So far, he has just been shotgunning his topic in an attempt to steam roll over the show's hosts (who have the patience of a saint).

  89. I wonder what Charlie would think about this: Homophobic Men Most Aroused by Gay Male Porn.

    I'm sure it would all be "this study is flawed" and "that's a fallacy" and "the only reason I'm not having sex with dudes is because they're so disgusting, so disgusting that I spend all my time talking and thinking about how disgusting it is, amirite?"

  90. I've found this happens in debates with Christians, ironically: they'll keep interjecting 'Fallacy of the x!' after you've said something. Then the conversation gets diverted into you explaining why it was NOT actually a fallacy, and the original topic gets (not so) quietly forgotten about.

    Look, if you think the other person has misrepresented your argument, rather than barking "Strawman fallacy!" at them, simply say "I think you've misunderstood my position, allow me to clarify". You've a much better chance of a) getting your point across that way, and b) not coming over as a tool.

    markgnoinski: "Charlie seems to be more interested in the debate"

    Absolutely. He was just trying to score points.

    On his actual point, I think that he'd been told by atheists in the past "There are no decent secular arguments against gay marriage", and he had heard that as "If you're against gay marriage then you can't be an atheist".

    At any rate, if you complain to me that other atheists have made a bad argument to you, I can't do much more than tell you that I don't agree with that bad argument. And the idea that someone is 'interested in atheism' in order to be able to make arguments for gay marriage is absurd. You're either an atheist or you're not. You might as well say that you're only 'interested in not believing in flower fairies' because it makes it easier to do landscape gardening.

  91. Let's see if I can re-kajigger Charlie's statement. I'll just substitute a few terms.

    "I think black people should have the same right to drink from water fountains as white people do.

    BUT, since water fountains have historically been reserved for white people, black people should have separate water fountains so as not to spoil the original intent of the fountain manufacturers."

    Well, hey! Now he's just a negrophobe. Perfectly acceptable.

    I fear that this post has just become a straw man fallacy.

  92. Well, obviously he's right, so any argument which shows him to be batshit insane necessarily is a misrepresentation of his position. *That*, more than any actual argument he made, is the reason why nobody should ever waste time on him ever again.

    @Tom Foss--the study was brought up to him several times during the course of the hideously bloated thread prior. He pooh-poohed it for small sample size and lack of replication, then jumped right back onto his thesis about blood donor eligibility proves we evolved to eschew teh buttsecks because gay men are all festering disease farms. (Please avoid turning on your hypocrisy/irony/total bullshit detectors in his vicinity.)

    Random Dr Who quote that popped into my head: "This is my timey wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff. Also can boil an egg at 30 feet...whether you want it to or not--I've learned to avoid chicken coops. It's not pretty when they blow."

  93. @Shamar -Read your link to the InfidelGuy forum,I think others should go read that too so that they hear the real Charlie. He is not just upset over gay marriage or the def. of marriage he flat out hates gays, referring to them as "faggots & dykes" He straight up hates gays and just softened his stance when on TAE show.

    Though he is already banned, Matt & rest of TAE crew should read Charlie's shocking comments

  94. Method Skeptic,

    "BUT, since water fountains have historically been reserved for white people black people should have separate water fountains"

    That's false and you're spewing a faulty analogy fallacy, false premises and a false concludion..Also, it's a sad attempt to use the struggle of blacks to deceitfully appeal to emotions

    Water fountains isn't an identity like African AMerican and marriage.

    Another name for water fountains has never been white people's water in any dictionary on the face of the earth or even on another planet for that matter. ON the other hand, husband and wife is a well known term for marriage

    so as not to spoil the original intent of the fountain manufacturers."

    Water fountains aren't identities and they have never been identities

  95. I'd rather have TAE spent time on something that at least tries to make more sense.

  96. 1) All analogies are faulty. The point is typically to make a mental connection with something the other person already knows, as an initialization to understanding a new argument.

    2) Pointing out your hypocrisy isn't an appeal to emotion. It's again, trying to mentally connect you with something you should already know. And your pointing this out is a you-don't-have-a-clue-what's-going-on fallacy.

  97. @EvolvedAtheistUYS - Don't come at us talking about the dictionary definitions of marriage again, like thats your only problem with gays. Anyone who reads the InfidelGuy's forum can see that you have a hatred of homosexuality and are against everything about them

  98. No shit, is it really Charlie? Time for another ride on the semantics roller coaster!

    aagallim's point was that it's all the same "separate but equal" BS.

  99. Hey Charlie, no one fucking cares about what you have to say. That's why you were banned. You are stupid, incoherent, and a horrible debater. Even the assholes at the Black Atheist(sic) of Atlanta had to cut you off because you annoyingly repeat the same arguments over and over.

    Oh yeah, you suck as a rapper.

  100. JT said...

    He's back!

    His identity keeps evolving to tell us how language and the law stays the same forever. A dastardly strategy!

  101. "ON the other hand, husband and wife is a well known term for marriage"

    No it isn't. If you take a sentence with the word 'marriage' in it and substitute it for 'Husband and wife' then it either changes the meaning of the sentence or ceases to make sense at all:

    "We have a happy marriage" - "We have a happy husband and wife".
    "I now pronounce you husband and wife" - "I now pronounce you marriage".
    "Do you enjoy your marriage?" - "Do you enjoy your husband and wife".

    Regarding your quibble about waterfountains not being 'an identity', if it makes you feel happier, change it to 'ability to vote'. For most of world history, the right to vote did not include women. This cannot be used as a justification for not allowing women to vote now. We're talking about a clearly defined legal right, being extended to include a larger section of the population. This did not mean a new word for 'vote' was required.

    And appealing to traditional phrases like 'man and wife' is no different to appealing to the phrase 'One man, one vote' as a justification for denying women's suffrage.

  102. We're talking about a clearly defined legal right, being extended to include a larger section of the population. This did not mean a new word for 'vote' was required.

    Yes, it did and the fact that women were given the "vote" is a vicious crime against all dictionaries.

    In fact, I think that's where the world went wrong. And if you say I'm wrong, then you're a bigot against crazy people.

  103. Oh yeah, has anyone pointed out that dictionaries do no more than reflect common usage of a word? You can't use a dictionary to do any more than argue how are words are currently used.

  104. Charlie's "are you ready to feel stupid" is an apt catch phrase. I have "atlas shrugged" "crime and punishment" and several other books I haven't read. I need to learn about git and work out a plan for my next project at work...but I read the entire thread...

    I feel pretty stupid, right now.

  105. has anyone pointed out that dictionaries do no more than reflect common usage of a word?

    Only three or four times. But go ahead, say it again. Maybe Charlie'll actually listen this time.

    Fat chance.

  106. Not to start rumors or anything but anyone complaining this much about the gay community is not straight. I have horrible gaydar and my gaydar is going off on this guy. Charlie has got to be gay or curious. The dude has an "album" called "Straight Pride". You know what I do to celebrate my straightness? I keep it to myself and have sex with my girlfriend. I don't whine and complain about it in song.

  107. Well, it's possible that he's really straight. But you're right, one does have to wonder. Especially considering how many vocal homophobes have been caught with their pants down in the men's bathroom. I mean, it's almost a cliche, it's so common.

  108. ...with their pants down in the men's bathroom

    You know what I mean :(

  109. 'The dude has an "album" called "Straight Pride".'


  110. @EvolvedAtheistUnderYourSkin
    "faulty analogy fallacy" ...really?

    How is the premise "false", you're actively promoting intolerance, and hiding it behind a quibble about a dictionary definition. You may or may not know this, but dictionary definitions can be modified when common usage does not match the text. "Atheism" was once defined as someone who stated that no god(s) could exist, now it is more clearly defined.

    "Also, it's a sad attempt to use the struggle of blacks to deceitfully appeal to emotions"
    Wow, what a monumentally outrageous comment. Lets go back and look at comments you've made...

    " my acnestors worked on plantations to keep the definition of marriage"
    " fuck you all for being racist bigots, your just hating cus im black"


    Just for clarity, the color of your skin, gender, or sexual orientation is not an indicator of character or capability, but on that same note it's not a shield you can hide behind either. Frankly, you've shown yourself to not only be a bigot, but a hypocrite as well.

  111. Can we please not get sucked back into this again? I'm so bored of Charlie, spent far too much time one day last week arguing with him on the other thread, and we just end up going around in circles.

  112. Did anybody else read the Album Notes from the link estevan carlos benson left

    “The tracks "No Gay Marriage", "Controlled By The P_ssy", "Christian and a Homo", "Dyke Chick", ect. speaks for itself. Google "Charlie Check'm" and you will see he's a controversial rapper. He has received death threats, ect. because of his lyrics. The gay and Atheist community have tried to boycott his music. They have created Charlie Check'm hate pages for the sake of trying to convince people to hate Charlie Check'm but Charlie Check'm lives up to his name "Charlie Check'm" He's Checking them on this album entitled ‘Straight Pride‘.”

    Poor Charlie, martyr for the anti-gay bigots of the world; What an ego and how many times does he have to repeat his name.

  113. This should have a twofold benefit of pissing of anti-gay bigots, and making everyone else happy! :)

  114. I know I shouldn't but...

    Hey Charlie, here's an "identity" for you. "Citizen." For centuries the definition was "white landowning male." What do you think, should we have stuck to that just because it was always defined that way? The identity of "citizen" is at LEAST as culturally significant as "marriage."

  115. Continuing the theme of flogging the deceased equine, marriage's definition has drastically changed over time. 100 years ago, it was limited to same race relations. 500 years ago, it was a contract made by parents of kids for the sole purpose of combining family assets. Charlie is totally oblivious to this. The consolation is that the gay rights movement is advancing, and bigots like him are a dying breed. In a few decades, people like him will be akin to museum relics.

    On a side note, it is my personal strawman red herring circularly logical opinion that charlie is so deep in the closet, he's finding christmas gifts from the 90's.

  116. I think someone tried that already. That's an ahistoric analogy fallacy, or something. Marriage has still always meant 'husband and wife', even if wife meant 'furniture'.

    Of course we could point out (again) that as individual rights developed, prevailing practice had to be questioned. But I think that still leaves "Everything else has been questioned and changed BUT husband and wife" (which probably isn't true, but anyway..)
    It's some sort of conceptual grandfather clause. It's lasted this long, therefore it cannot be undone.

  117. Just got back from a comedy gig in Manchester, UK where one of the questions to the audience was "How many people here follow organised religion?"- the response?

    Silence. Then lots of laughter. Weird to think this wouldn't be the response in America.

  118. "Marriage has still always meant 'husband and wife', even if wife meant 'furniture'."

    So really the question remains, if 'wife' can mean 'furniture' why can't it mean 'someone of the same sex'?

    Hell, someone even married the Eiffel Tower once, but suddenly when it comes to homosexuality Charlie tries to defend tradition. It's clear he's just a bigot.

  119. I just gotta say, hopes of getting Charlie to listen to reason died two blog entries ago.

    At this point, he's just trying to come up with anything to say that sounds somewhat argumentative, pointing out pseudo-fallacies, and ignoring his own fallacies.

    You know who does that, Charlie? CHRISTIANS!

    *rolls eyes*

  120. I'm just amused that he's so frothing-at-the-mouth that he can't even keep straight who he's replying to.

  121. It's next Sunday. WHY was this guy allowed on again?!

  122. This Evolved Atheist guy reminds me of a Christian I had a conver- argu-... e-screaming match with a few weeks back about reasons why homosexuality is wrong other than "because god says so." He started off with the "fact" that homosexuality is unnatural, then, when shown it's naturality, proceeded to point out that eating shit is natural since flies do it - do I support eating shit too??!?!?
    Yes, I know that's not the same thing that he was saying, just in case he's in here, but it's the same kind of weasely goalpost shifting nonsense.

    It's unnatural!
    So are cars and clothes, and no it isn't.
    Yeah... well... eating shit is natural!
    So is eating strawberries.

    It's just starting with the assumption that it's wrong and arguing from there.
    I'm not a "pro-gay atheist," I'm just an anti-bigotry atheist.
    Homosexuality doesn't harm me or anyone. Yes, if everyone was gay then we wouldn't be able to reproduce naturally, but so what? Not everyone is gay, it's possible to reproduce through unnatural means and so what anyway? My girlfriend is infertile, if everyone behaved like I did, fell in love with someone they'll never be able to have kids with and put love ahead of the possibility to reproduce then we would have the same problem, should I then be forbidden from following my heart?

    I think I went off on a tangent there...
    Anyway, regarding the omg don't call it marriage issue, it's called equal rights, not seperate-but-equal rights, as I believe one of the hosts pointed out during one of his rants.
    Sorry for rambling.

  123. Just listened to the latest episode. Stop letting him on. I know everyone knows that he won't change his mind, and usually it is more to have a conversation to change the minds of people on the fence. But there is no point discussing this with him. I doubt you will get Bryan Brown or Peter Sprigg to call in, but someone with views like that would be so much more helpful in this discussion.

  124. Why oh why was this guy allowed on the air again?
    Every time he opens his mouth an endless stream of stupidity just comes out.
    Gay infertile polygamous incest? What?

  125. Please stop the gay marriage discussions week after week! This is not "The Gay Experience", it's "The Atheist Experience". If the topic is not religion or atheism, let's move on quickly.

  126. On another gay note: in my country (Liechtenstein) gay marriage has just been approved of by a 2/3rd majority yesterday.
    I guess our society is doomed now. Why didn't we listen to evolved atheist?!

  127. Spoondoggle: Yes, I know that's not the same thing that he was saying, just in case he's in here, but it's the same kind of weasely goalpost shifting nonsense.

    Actually, from the previous Charlie thread: "Avoiding eating your own feces is instictive because of the bad smell. So are you willing to move beyond that and eat your own shit??"

    So you're basically right on target.

  128. Ok so after saying you wont let Charlie the idiot homophobe on again, you let Charlie the idiod homophobe on again?

    Its amusing to hear you absolutely destroy his stupid arguments, but hes just... Soooo freaking annoying. He doesnt shut up, yammer yammer bla bla bla... That, plus the horrible phone quality and his aggressive tone made it nearly unlistenable.
    Hes right though, i think, if you make gay marriage legal, you should make incest legal, and probably polygamy although like Matt i havent come to any position on it yet. Basically i think he shot himself in the foot by making the argument, because he obviously dont want polygamy or incest to be legal or he wouldnt have made the comparison. When Matt said "yeah make incest legal" there wasnt much left to argue about it, but like the idiot Charlie is he went off on a tangent, that didnt even exist except in the disarray of madness that is his deranged mind...

    Please dont have him on again, you wont change his mind on this as he doesnt seem to listen to any rebuttals you make, and although you might change others minds i think youve beat this horse carcass enough for the moment. (i realize that i cant tell you what to do and i wouldnt, i just think its a waste of time.)

    Good episode though, love the show.

  129. I think it makes great sense to debate other atheists, especially when they hold unreasonable opinions. It emphasizes two points:

    1) We don't all agree on everything. Atheists are a diverse group.

    2) We don't just focus on theists. We criticize anyone we disagree with, even within our own group. It's not about adherence to dogma, it's about well-reasoned arguments.

    That said, I think Charlie's had his shot. He's gotten more time than anybody else and has utterly failed to back up anything he's said.

    So, enough with this idiot. While "debating" with morons like this can be fun, I don't think you should waste any more airtime on him. The show is short enough with the one-hour time slot. No need to spend the precious time on this asshat.

  130. Ok so after saying you wont let Charlie the idiot homophobe on again, you let Charlie the idiod homophobe on again?

    To be fair, he didn't identify as Charlie. The hosts can suspect someone is a prank caller, for instance, but still try not to let their assumptions dictate their behaviors/decisions on the show.

    It should be more of a question of whether the topic is relevant to atheism, as others have pointed out.

    Some of us are masochistic enough to want to keep engaging him. Maybe an intervention is needed.

  131. @spoondoggle:

    Human beings do not need to justify their existence and I do not wish to capitalize on the sorrow of others...

    __BUT__, as long as there is a single unwanted child in the world, I see no reason to begrudge a couple for their inability to pop out a few more. If some gay couples choose to adopt, then they are doing the world a favor and deserve respect for it.

    Again, I do not wish to trivialize something that may have brought your S.O. grief, but the human race is going to be OK. We're not running out of children, and any stigma based on the unlikelihood of conception is cruel and counterproductive.

  132. @Thomas:

    I think you missed my point, that was probably my fault though since I was rambling. My point was basically that the "if everyone did that" argument is also an argument against infertile marriage, a matter in which I am very much interested.

    Personally, I have no interest in bringing more tiny humans into the world - they smell, ick.
    (Disclaimer: the last three words there are a joke... although it is true.)

  133. Oh you sourpusses. Charlie's call was hysterical. The way he was keeping himself in check just barely for half the call. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for that first fallacy. He went half the call without even mentioning one! I thought he might make it to the end.

    Amusingly, Matt might be making a false analogy fallacy (ok, he's not but whatever). But the only reason he was doing it was to try and illustrate Charlie's Slippery Slope Fallacy.
    Also, have you noticed Charlie spends most of his time telling you what he's going to tell you?

  134. I miss Mark from the Austin Church. He was an interesting character. You guys should let him back on if he calls again, and encourage more members of his church to give you a call. Maybe you can spark a quiet revolution among the youth there.

  135. It's the faulty analogy fallacy fallacy.

  136. Charlie the Atheist Homophobe was on Episode 714 as "Truthhurts"? Please shut him off, I think he calls in so he can hear himself talk. As soon as I hear his voice and the "let me explain where you're wrong" blah blah blah I know it's him. I totally agree with Lukas: "I don't think you should waste any more airtime on him. The show is short enough with the one-hour time slot. No need to spend the precious time on this asshat." Keep up the good work, Karen

  137. I once saw a game on the original UK "Whose Line is it Anyway?" where one player was doing the improv and the other player had the script to an obscure play. The player with the script was to simply say every other line of dialogue in order, no matter what the improv-er said, and the improv-ing player's objective was to try to catch on and make a coherent scene.

    That's what it's like when I listen to you guys talking to Charlie. He's got a script in his mind that he's rehearsed, and when he asks you a question, he's not listening to your answers, he's waiting to say his next line. He genuinely doesn't hear what you're saying and probably has himself convinced that you said exactly what he imagined you would say. He's basically the atheist Ray Comfort.

    I personally don't see any good objection to polygamy other than the pragmatic issues of property rights, next of kin, custody in the case of a divorce, divorce itself, etc. Issues that are fairly cut-and-dried in a two-way relationship but complicated by three or more participants. If these issues could be satisfactorily worked out I see no sensible reason to object to multiple-consenting-partner marriages and I've never heard any. Although I really liked Matt's pointing out that we draw lines all the time, and moving one isn't the same as removing it.

  138. Please I beg you stop letting this guy on. I didn't have a problem with his first call, but he has called over and over for weeks and ends up taking up half the show.

  139. Matt, what the hell, man? I though Martin said, "no more Charlie on the show". The guy is a waste of time - he had THREE calls and a big discussion on the blog to make his point, and failed miserably. So, off with him already!

    By the way, on subject of gay marriage: here in Brazil the Supreme Court just happened to change the Constitution to allow it (because deep in the article two-hundreds-and-whatever said that "a marriage is the union between a man and a woman") based on the 5th article of our Constitution ("everybody is equal before the law"), because congressman are too involved with evangelical Christians to vote for it. But that set of a uneasy precedent: that the Supreme Court can change an article from Constitution without consulting Congress to do this (and Brazilian Constitution states that it can only be amended with 3/5 of the votes on Congress AND Senate). Christians conservatives are kinda squishing their opposition on this argument, that "Constitution should not be amended by the Supreme Court", and they kinda have a point.

    (Of course, the damn text should not say anything about "mand and woman" in first place, specially because it was made in 1988, so it should be a modern Constitution on first place)

  140. "For people writing to request that Charlie never get on the air again: We heard you, and agree."

    ...except he got on the show again this week. In the same way that recurring villains make a movie, show, comic book, or what-have-you stale, Charlie (and Mark before him) being allowed to filibuster every week gets monumentally tedious. I would honestly rather listen to one of the "I have no ability to think for myself, so please counter the argument of my theist friend for me," callers than either of these repeat offenders.

  141. Gays will be chased to hell. The perform the useless despicable act.Imagine a colony of gay lions.That colony will perish in no time.

  142. solomon, bringing some of that wisdom he's famous for.

    Why is it always animals they compare it to? People are supposed to be above animals in christian doctrine. But trees have all kinds of knowledge apparently. And they don't marry! They just waft their seed in any damn direction! Happy to go with any passing (that's poo-passing) bird, or vomiting bee, or even "shoot the breeze"!
    Trees are polymorphously perverse! Why is no one talking about the creeping social scourge to all life that is gay trees?!
    I tell you why. A secret cabal of fruity flora fans has infiltrated all of our institutions to shove the pistils and stamens of their back to nature agenda down our throats! And you thought gardening shows were just mild amusements for retirees. WRONG!
    And you know what else? Plants are atheists!
    Some people just become atheists to push their herbal agenda!

    The burning bush was the good lord telling us the fate of all plants at the hands of the righteous! Jesus took his sojourn into the DESERT! Go forth and burn down the grove! Take up the pruning shears of light!! Bring forth the holy weed killer! We will not let things vegetable deny our children's right to be taken up and sit by His right hand on judgement day.

  143. Solomon: If all the lions were male but straight, that colony would die out at the same rate.

    I'm always interested by how the really intent homophobes seem to think that if homosexuality were an accepted norm, everyone would be a homosexual. That's not how it works, Solomon. But maybe you're just confused by how desperately YOU wish you could just come out of the closet.

  144. The moral of the story....
    Even animals have the urge to make babies

  145. Muz,

    "Plants are atheists!"
    All you know is just blurting out silly words..
    without knowledge...just guessing...
    Plants are God abiding creatures.

  146. solomon: Actually, animals, like many human beings, usually just have the urge to have sex. Making babies is a side effect that they don't understand and can't prevent anyway, not having invented birth control and all.

    Imagine a pride full of lions on contraception. They'd disappear, but that doesn't make birth control wrong.

    More generally: I second all the people who say that Charlie really needs to get screened. He knew that you wouldn't let him on, so he changed his name to get on the show, because he's a dishonest petulant brat with a compulsive need to have his say while showing no real interest in what anyone else thinks. Surely someone there could have recognized him and just shuffled him off quickly.

    This is especially so because he has no ability to listen. Sure, he'll let you talk when he has to, to look slightly less unreasonable and to avoid being hung up on. But he gives every sign of just listening for keywords and waiting for his own turn to speak so that he can get back on script.

    Like during the interracial marriage bit, where he assumed that the argument being used was "we let people from different races marry, therefore we should let gay people marry", rather than "some changes that broadened marriage laws were good, so that's evidence that future changes to broaden marriage laws could potentially also be good". The first one would be a non sequitur (unless more fully fleshed out), but the second one makes sense and was what Matt was actually getting at. But the first one was the one that's addressed by Charlie's repertoire, so that's what he had to pretend was said.

    He's pretty much out of ammo though. I don't think there's the slightest benefit in rehashing the same stupid nonsense from him over and over, especially when he isn't making a serious attempt to understand you anyway.

  147. Dorkman,
    How come a lion colony is only made up of male lions.There must be some female lions & cubs as well. Don't pose a stupid example.

  148. solomon said...

    All you know is just blurting out silly words..
    without knowledge...just guessing...
    Plants are God abiding creatures.


    I never saw a plant in church of its own volition, have you?

  149. "Plants are God abiding creatures."

    Plants are not agents with minds or intent. So they can't "abide" by anything, actually.

    You can't actually believe this unless you think that plants can think and make decisions. Otherwise you have to either be lying or too stupid to understand the words coming out of your own mouth.

  150. Sean(quantheory),
    Saying animals have urge to make babies is just a figure of speech.The point is male lions have the urge to fuck their female lions, not like some male humans who like to fuck male humans. Despicable!!Lions know better than them.

  151. Sean(quantheory),
    Ah...ah...not too fast to label others stupid.
    Atheists are stupid is a fact...and condemned.
    Notice a Mimosa come they react in such a way when touched. Now don't try to give some weird explanation behind it.Everything that lives have souls, feelings, fears & emotions.The plants and other living creatures all praise the Lord almighty most of the time.I don't spout anything without knowledge.

  152. @Solomon

    You realize that lions are polygamists, right?

    Also, if a male lion takes over a pride, it will kill any cubs fathered by its predecessor.

    I guess there's a lot we can learn from the moral example of lions.

  153. @Solomon

    There's only one possible reply to your assertion that plants and animals praise the lord almighty... The response is in the following YouTube link. Enjoy!

  154. @Solomon
    Gay sex does occur in the animal kingdom. And even if it didn't, it doesn't matter.

    Animal behavior does not dictate our behavior. When a lion group gets a new leader, the leader kills all the cubs from the old leader. That's also behavior we do not and should not adopt. So even every lion was as straight as they can be, that does not mean humans are not allowed to be gay.

    In short: we do not care what lions do or don't do.

  155. In short: we do not care what lions do or don't do.


  156. @Solomon

    "How come a lion colony is only made up of male lions.There must be some female lions & cubs as well. Don't pose a stupid example."

    You're capable of realising that an example where the entire colony is male is ridiculous, but miss this fact in your own example of the entirely gay colony? How do you manage that?

    It's true, it doesn't matter that an entirely male colony would die out because that is not something that happens often, although we could point out occasions when drought, illness or combat have reduced such colonies to a small number of males.
    It is also true, which I suspect was the point, that it doesn't matter that an entirely gay colony would die out because that is also not something that happens often.

    It seems rather silly to me that you would point out how nonsensical one argument is when it is a carbon copy of your own argument. I believe it's called, "shooting yourself in the foot."

  157. "fuck you all for being racist bigots, your just hating cus im black"

    This is not me. This is someone pretending to be me...Queers are in fact deceitful

  158. I'm evoled atheist. I know I will be banned soon...Pro gay atheists are sore losers. They ban me before they lose

    "This is what Charlie doesn't understand. It's not that atheists are automatically pro-gay and if you aren't pro-gay you are at odds with the atheist community. It's that if you are a bigoted asshole you are at odds with good human beings"

    Opposing gay marriage isn't "bigotry" unless you want to claim everyone who opposes gay incest are bigots too..

    So is every atheist a "bigot" who oppose gay incest???

  159. Gays will be chased to hell.

    There's no such place as Hell.

    The perform the useless despicable act.

    So are you. What good is writing homophobic screeds online when you could be making babies?

    Imagine a colony of gay lions.That colony will perish in no time.

    Imagine a whole species of lesbian lizards. That species would...flourish?

    The problem, as has already been pointed out, solomon, is in your assumption. Yes, if everybody were exclusively gay (or old, or infertile, or various sorts of intersexed, or asexual, or the same gender with notable exceptions), then reproduction might slow or cease. Or might shift completely away from intercourse, since, you know, we've found other ways to reproduce.

    But not everyone is gay (or old, or infertile, or various sorts of intersexed, or asexual, or the same gender), and that doesn't seem likely to change. So the point is moot.

    Your premise rests on some assumption that if we fail to consider a thing immoral, then everyone will do it (or something similarly stupid). You didn't choose your sexuality, Solomon. You have almost no control over how your body responds to sexual stimuli--touch, certain odors, the sight of an attractive person. The response--a rush of blood to the genitals, tension of the scrotum and emission of pre-ejaculate in males, vaginal secretion and elevation of the cervix and uterus in females--is biological in origin. And you don't get to choose what causes those responses any more than you get to choose whether or not you like pickles or cilantro.

    Saying animals have urge to make babies is just a figure of speech.The point is male lions have the urge to fuck their female lions, not like some male humans who like to fuck male humans. Despicable!!Lions know better than them.

    Actually, they don't. In fact, this is so not even wrong that it's barely funny. Lions--particularly female lions--don't have the urge to fuck, except during estrus. During the females' estrous cycles, the males and females both will copulate with multiple partners, since 90% of lion sexual acts are unsuccessful. And lions, like most mammals, do sometimes engage in homosexual behavior.

    Notice a Mimosa come they react in such a way when touched. Now don't try to give some weird explanation behind it.Everything that lives have souls, feelings, fears & emotions.The plants and other living creatures all praise the Lord almighty most of the time.I don't spout anything without knowledge.

    Actually, it sounds like that's all you do. "Don't actually tell me why a mimosa responds to physical stimulation, I want to believe it's because it has feelings and a soul!"

    You argue from a position of absurd ignorance, and you want to maintain that ignorance because the gaps in your knowledge are the only places where your absurd beliefs can survive. Mimosa pudica is a truly awesome plant--I've had a couple myself--but the mechanism of its movement is well understood and not magical or supernatural in any fashion.

    Fucking mimosas, how do they work?

  160. How come a lion colony is only made up of male lions.There must be some female lions & cubs as well. Don't pose a stupid example.

    I was only going off your equally stupid example of a lion colony made up of gay lions. Follow your own advice.

  161. @Captain Moron (BanMeOrLose)

    "So is every atheist a "bigot" who oppose gay incest???"

    Why do we have a taboo against incest?
    Siblings have incredibly similar genes, these means that any offspring of incestuous couplings have a very small gene pool, meaning that any genetic flaws in the parents are likely to be exacerbated, meaning that they are more likely to suffer from birth defects and genetic diseases.
    As you like to point out, them ebil gays don't make babies.
    So... what's the problem?

    Is there a sensible reason to oppose incest beyond the ickiness and the risk to the offspring? If there is no reason then yes, anyone who opposes gay incest is a bigot.
    That's not to say that there is no reason, there may be one, but I can't imagine what it would be. No, that's not an argument from ignorance, I'm not claiming that there is no reason because I can't think of one, I'm just saying that it would need to be shown.

  162. I'm evolved atheist,

    Mat was faced with two choices

    1. Support gay incest
    2. be destroyed

    He chose to support gay incest. As for polygamy, he sat on the fence because that way, he didn't have to worry about getting challenged either way.

    According to your FLAWED logic, everyone who oppose gay incest (including atheists) are,

    1. bigots
    2. intolerant
    3. equalavant to racists
    4. irrational
    5. illogical
    6. stupid
    7. like the kkk

    I got you pro gay atheists in a bad position. You have to either support gay incest or be labeled hypocrites

    So you want a society where twin brothers can get married??? That's just sick

    If we want to base marriage standards on the claim "it wouldn't hurt anyone". gay incest and polygamy should be legal

    If you base marriage standards on "let's draw thte line", you're faced with the problem of unreasoned bias and unfairness.

    The best way is my way and that's the identity argument. Marriage is the established indentity of unrelated one man and one woman in the USA....

    Also, an "established by the majority" doesn't mean "ruled by the majority" so its not appealing to the majority. There was never a vote or contest on rather marriage should be for man and woman or not.

    Also, an identity alone is not appealing to tradition because a word by itself is not a tradition.

    Ban Me or Lose

  163. spoondoggle,

    "Why do we have a taboo against incest?
    Siblings have incredibly similar genes"

    This is a STRAW MAN FALLACY.

    I specifically mentioned GAY incest. Gay incest couples can't reproduce so your STRAW MAN FALLACY is MOOT


  164. Pro gay atheists are sore losers.

    Charlie, the fact that you keep saying "pro gay" and then claim that you think gays should have the same rights as everyone else except for a few words here in there makes you either an idiot, a liar, or -- my vote -- both.

    They ban me before they lose

    I and many other listeners have notice that they've actually failed to ban you despite how completely you've failed to add to the conversation.

    BTW, if you think this conversation is a zero-sum game where you have to win and they have to lose, you've got some real issues.

    Opposing gay marriage isn't "bigotry" unless you want to claim everyone who opposes gay incest are bigots too..

    I know you don't understand what a false analogy is, because you keep slapping that label on things that aren't false analogies, but you're actually making a false analogy here.

    If there are people who oppose gay incest but think that straight incest is allowable, then yeah, I'd call them bigots. But if they have an opposition to incest regardless of the participants' genders, then that is not bigotry.

    So is every atheist a "bigot" who oppose gay incest???

    Am I to understand that you do not oppose straight incest?

    That might explain a lot, actually.

  165. From what I studied on my Ethics class at college, a moral agent is defined as someone with intent, free-will and capable of evaluating the meaning of his/her own acts. So:

    1) Animals are NOT moral agents (they cannot evaluate the meaning of their acts, and don't have free-will, only instincts)
    2) A person that is forced to take some action (by physical threat, for example) also is NOT a moral agent, by the lack of free-will
    3) A small child also is NOT a moral agent, because the kid probably cannot evaluate his/her acts). So, if Meg Simpson shots Mr. Burns, she will not be held responsable for this (well, if she is in Texas...)

    So, comparing humans with animals and FUCKING PLANTS on moral grounds is very, very stupid.

  166. "Opposing gay marriage isn't "bigotry" unless you want to claim everyone who opposes gay incest are bigots too.."
    Faulty Analogy

    "So you want a society where twin brothers can get married??? That's just sick"
    Begging the question, I think.

  167. Charlies likes to throw "fallacies" a lot, but have he heard of an ad-hominem before? Calling others "losers" and whatnot is the childiest form of debating, you know.

    Please ban him.

  168. BMOL

    Errrm... exactly?
    Gay couples can't reproduce, therefore the reason for the taboo is irrelevant, therefore what the hell is your opposition?

    Wait, how can I communicate this to you...
    I've got it! FALSE ANALOGY FALLACY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAFFLEGUM!!

  169. "So you want a society where twin brothers can get married??? That's just sick"

    If they are consenting adults, why should anyone care? It may sounds icky for everybody else, but... that's what living in a fre society is about: icky behaviors that are not illegal should not only be tolerated, but protected. Because nobody knows what may be in need of protection tomorrow.

    (For example, I don't know, the right of being an atheist, that sounds so icky and wrong for some people)

  170. Spoondoggle,

    "they are more likely to suffer from birth defects and genetic diseases"

    I don't think you want to go there

    Gay men are more prone to contracting diseases just by the very nature of their sexual orienation

    "beyond the ickiness"

    The ickiness is disgust and many disgusts are a disease avoidance behavior. So downplaying the ick factor is not a good idea because the "ick factor" in many cases in one of the reasons why humans have survived and sustained existence.

    So you should worship the 'Ick factor' in many cases like it's a God. Many times it gives us important clues regarding what's good for us when science hasn't figured it out yet. So the 'ick facor' regarding gay men is in fact good for humans.

  171. Ah, that's his problem... he need something to worship instead of God. I think that's all we need to know.

  172. So you should worship the 'Ick factor' in many cases like it's a God.

    So, not at all, then. Done and done.

  173. By the way, Martin, you should run for office. You promised us "no more Charlie" and yet we keep getting more Charlie. Now that you are breaking promises you can be a politician!

  174. Oh, Many disgusts now. Huh.
    Bet you can't explain how to separate the many from the whole.

  175. "Commenters will only be banned when they've demonstrated they're nothing more than trolls whose behavior is intentionally offensive to the blog's readership."

    That describes someone, but I can't grasp the true form of Gyigas attack...

  176. By the way, Martin, you should run for office. You promised us "no more Charlie" and yet we keep getting more Charlie. Now that you are breaking promises you can be a politician!

    Let's be fair, Russell said he wouldn't get on the air. Russell wasn't on the show this week and the blog is a separate beast.

  177. @Dorkman

    Yeah, I can see your point. My bad.

  178. I'm evolved atheist

    "Am I to understand that you do not oppose straight incest?"

    I oppose straight incest and gay incest. You pro gay atheists spew straw man fallacies like it's breathing.

    So now you pro gay atheists are telling me that any "rational" person should support twin brother marriage???

    Look what you've gotten yourself into????

    There is something called STANDARDS for marriage that should be valued in The United STAtes of Ameria

    I oppose gay incest, straight incest, gay marriage, polygamy and gay polygamy because Marriage is the established indentity of the ultimate commitment between unrelated one man and one woman in the USA. Yes, it can change but the few states that allowed gay marriage can change too.

  179. BMOL

    STDs and inherited genetic conditions are not equals. For someone who seems obsessed with calling people on fallacies, you're quite good at using them.
    A gay couple are capable of using protection to keep themselves from contracting diseases, the child of siblings can do nothing to avoid being born with genetic conditions.

    I get an icky feeling from talking to you... is this because I can catch a disease from reading your words?
    The ick factor from incest is made irrelevant by making sure you don't have kids, like by using birth control methods or being a gay incestuous couple. As mentioned above, gay couples are capable of avoiding the contraction of diseases... so... the rational reason to oppose either, assuming such precaustions are taken, is...? (this is where you get to shine!)

  180. Once again, Charlie shows that he just needs a good deep-dicking. And with his attitude, he'll never get one. Well, maybe, but it'll be from some other "straight" guy, most likely a Republican politician.

  181. BMOL

    "There is something called STANDARDS for marriage that should be valued in The United STAtes of Ameria"

    A fine argument. A fine argument indeed, but I'm British, you can't pull on my patriotism strings that way. So... rational arguments?

  182. "If they are consenting adults, why should anyone care?"

    This is not good for atheists.

    Imagine people saying "those crazy atheists actually support twin brother marriage..That's what happens when people dont' believe in God"

    If you had your way, people would think atheists have no standards for supporting twin brother marriage

  183. Don't make me start kicking people who are responding to Charlie as well as Charlie himself.

  184. 'Imagine people saying "those crazy atheists actually support twin brother marriage..That's what happens when people dont' believe in God"'

    Imagine people saying "those crazy atheists actually refuse to knee-jerk oppose anything that they might not like without a rational cause to do so. That's what happens when people don't believe in God"

    Do you have any arguments beyond "crazy people will think you're crazy!!!!" and "ew!"?

  185. But he's funny! :(
    Oh well. I promise not to feed the troll.

  186. "A gay couple are capable of using protection to keep themselves from contracting diseases"

    This is a straw man fallacy. I never said gays can't use condoms...My point is, statistics shows even if gay and straight men use an equal amount of protection, gays are still MORE PRONE to contracting std's compard to straight men

    Many gay men CHOSE to be bug chasers (try to contract hiv)...Gays are so deceitful, many have become victims of their own deceit

  187. kskskskskskksksksksksskksksskksks

  188. I was going to add that his suggestion of "What will people think if atheists (maybe) approve of letting anyone marry ?!?!"
    That's gotta be Appeal to Consequences and Appeal to Emotion at the very least. And some other one I'll coin now in cod latin as Argumentum ad Politicum or Appeal to Bad PR, The Argument from Unpopularity, the "What will people think?" Fallacy, a particular Red Herring.

    We can rack up a pretty good tally for ol' Chuck this time around.

  189. At this point he's just harassing. The hairy ass fallacy.

  190. Yay, finally.

    "And the Lord did grin, and people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large --"

  191. Maximilian: Get your facts straight before assigning blame. Not only was I not the one who made the promise that we'd take no more calls from Charlie (though I supported that promise), but I was as livid as anyone when he was allowed through a fourth time. The trust Atheist Experience has built up with its viewers over 14 years is not something that should be so lightly squandered, and being the one person involved in AETV who is in fact a film/TV professional, I felt such a betrayal was acutely unprofessional. Sure, maybe the hosts didn't suspect the caller would be Charlie because he chose a different nickname this time. But that little stunt is not something you have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out, and frankly, I think we should have a policy in place of not accepting any calls from people not willing to give a real name, as such a call is almost certain to be trollish.

  192. EvolvedAtheist just sent me a personal message on youtube after I left a comment under this episode's upload, asking me to debate him, which basically was one long insane copied and pasted rant citing study after study linking homosexuality to everything evil in the world and he even tries to link it to pedophilia at one point. Incredible. Just the same old copied and pasted schtick he pulls every single time, also on the AE forum here. The exact same thing and he hasn't learned or changed a single thing since the 600 comment blog post before. One long desperate attempt to affirm his bigotry with pseudo-science, but eventually it's just him invoking special rights to discriminate because he thinks it's icky.

  193. Its very interesting that this last episode, Don was talking about the hypocrisy that exists between a theist's beliefs and their actions.

    My grandmother passed away last week and its the first funeral I've been to since I deconverted. I think being the lone atheist in a christian family made it a lot harder on me than it had to be.

    The thing that I think was the hardest for me was that while I was trying to deal with her passing realistically (accepting that she was just gone), my family made all kinds of speculations about what she was doing and where she was (like wondering what she was doing in heaven, assuming that she would now be my niece's guardian angel, assuming when the phone rang once and then stopped with no number recorded on the caller ID that it must be her trying to call from the other side...).

    I can see that it would comforting to think these things to be true instead of looking at it that she's just gone, and if it helped, I could almost tolerate it. But the kicker is that I realized that their beliefs didn't even seem to offer them any real comfort. They were still just as upset, if not more upset than I was.

    I wanted to be angry with my family and tell them to pick a position. Either you actually believe she she has in fact, moved on to a better place, totally happy and at peace, (in which case, your only real reason for being upset would be the mild disappointment at the 50 or so years that you'll have to wait until you see her, but still, its a drop in the bucket when you consider the eternity you'll then get to spend together.) or, you believe that she doesn't exist anymore (in which case, the extreme emotions are justified).

    It does make me wonder how beliefs and actions can seem so contradictory.

  194. I have a test the screeners can use to test for the presence of Charlie. Ask every caller to say "hypothesis". If they pass, they can get on the air.


PLEASE NOTE: The Atheist Experience has moved to a new location, and this blog is now closed to comments. To participate in future discussions, please visit

This blog encourages believers who disagree with us to comment. However, anonymous comments are disallowed to weed out cowardly flamers who hide behind anonymity. Commenters will only be banned when they've demonstrated they're nothing more than trolls whose behavior is intentionally offensive to the blog's readership.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.