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Feb 14 2011

Open thread on episode #696

Matt and Jeff go through many calls, including the return of Mark from Austin Stone. Have at it.

149 comments

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  1. 1
    ßrono

    God Damn Matt, That was one of your best speeches!And Jeff jumping in at the right time, it was beautiful.When mark brought up the good deeds of churches, he basically accepted defeat.

  2. 2
    lonomoholo

    caller Mark = deer in headlights.It was a beautiful thing to watch. I think Mark called in fully intending to give you guys a piece of his mind and have you guys shamefacedly say 'sorry'. Instead we got spluttering and ambiguity. I think you may have planted a little pebble of doubt into his dogmatic foundation. He might mull it over and who knows, call back sometime as a deconvert.Won't hold my breath though.Nice jorb Matt and Jeff…nice jorb

  3. 3
    lonomoholo

    Matt and Jeff: rational reasoned response.Mark: *click*

  4. 4
    Stephen

    Why is it that when they get shut down on the "The bible is true" argument, they always fall back on the "Church is good because of the sense of community" line?

  5. 5
    Andy McBride

    Mark will be co-hosting within a year!

  6. 6
    Johannthecabbie

    Damn, is that speech on YouTube yet? Amazing work guys.

  7. 7
    ßrono

    FINISH HIM"Until you demonstrate faith is a good thing, how could you possibly convince someone? and btw how do you go about demonstrating faith is a good thing without evidence?It all comes Back to reason and evidence." FATALITY

  8. 8
    uncivlengr

    "sigh…." *click*I'd like to know how many members of Mark's church were watching the show, and what their reaction was to this performance.

  9. 9
    Mamba24

    Yeah well handled, I was hoping Mark would call in this time now that Matt and Jeff were on. And it turned out the way I expected it to. I hope Mark's church watches that episode.

  10. 10
    Kilgore Trout

    Excellent show. Well done. Thank you Jeff, Matt and crew! Jeff, you were remarkably well restrained. Matt, you were awesome as usual. Another totally unprepared self righteous theist gets verbally smacked upside the head. And no, I don't think you rambled on too much. I don't think you needed to give that caller more say. I don't think he actually had much to say really. He was effectively just whining about our having the nerve to think, speak, nay merely exist within eyeshot and earshot of his sheeple. Too bad there wasn't more time for Jeff to chime in with his thoughts on that. Man do I miss the longer show format.

  11. 11
    mjschmidt

    Ahhh!!! When will this be online for us to watch!? :-@

  12. 12
    Kilgore Trout

    The audio is already up. Listened to it last night.

  13. 13
    JT

    Now, if we were a religion, we'd be erecting a statue of Matt, pointing to the sky, with the words of his speech engraved on the base.

  14. 14
    Kestra

    I did wish that Mark had had more time to explain his position, but listening to it again, I don't think he had a position to speak of. Combining what he said this week with last, I think what he really wanted to say was, "Your show is causing our children to de-convert. Please stop."I wish he'd had the balls to say that outright, because then there could have been an interesting discussion about childhood indoctrination and parental rights vs. rights of children. There was a great episode in which I think Jen (?) talked at length about it, and it was very interesting. But Mark, I think, didn't want to admit to the Eeevil Atheists that they had made an impact on the minds of his young flock, which doesn't speak very well of his faith in the Bible as a source of all truth.

  15. 15
    Muz

    I was digging the hell out of that soul track on the audio version before Steeksma's thing cut in. Wondering what the hell I was listening to, but still…There's got to be some good (&cheap) skeptical soul around somewhere to use now and then.

  16. 16
    sans_Dieu

    If I had a wish, Mark would be on every week. This could be a long-term project. Maybe next time a little more understanding and finding out about his REAL reasons for his faith. But other than that – good job!

  17. 17
    Warren Grubb

    Typically, after listening to an exchange between the hosts and a theist caller I almost always feel at least a little frustrated that it wasn't handled better. Not to say I could handle it better myself, but you know what I mean- emotions get raw and rationality slips or unconfirmed assumptions about the theist are made, that sort of thing. But this time, after Mark hung up, I took off my headphones and just had to say "damn" because you two totally dismantled his arguments in a focused and reasoned manner that was totally satisfying.

  18. 18
    sans_Dieu

    The irony is, that he specifically called to "defend the faith".

  19. 19
    Tyler Olsen

    I'm very glad that Mark called back. I hope that more people from Austin Stone continue to call in.

  20. 20
    TheoHeretical

    I looked at the Austin Stone website, but I didn't see any elders or staff by the name of Mark. Naturally, this doesn't mean that Mark was lying about his identity – but maybe he just wasn't the head honcho of apologists from that church. By his performance – or lack thereof – I'd say this is very likely the case.I was surprised, however, to see an elder by the name of Jeff Mangum. That gives a new meaning to the words "I LOOOOVE YOU JESUS CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIST…"

  21. 21
    MikeT

    I really wanted to hear a response from Mark after that beautiful elucidation. But I haven't come up with an answer to the question of: what could he have said? What could he possibly say that would allow him to retain his position, yet respond rationally to the points that they laid out? Matt and Jeff's speech didn't leave much, if any, wiggle room, that I could perceive. Perhaps that is why he hung up. (That is, if he actually hung up. Is it confirmed that he did, or was it more technical problems?)

  22. 22
    Mike Haynes.

    I definitely heard a sigh from Mark, a click, and then Jeff, "I think he's gone again". Awesome! Well done guys!

  23. 23
    Error323

    Could someone from Axp please upload the video. I'm missing out on all the fun… :(

  24. 24
    BeamStalk

    The two call ins by Mark need to be cut together in one video. Make it so!

  25. 25
    Barbara_K

    Great job on the call with Mark. If he had started that conversation with me, I would have been off on some completely useless pedantic tangent about what exactly he meant by their church being "by the book".He's made it pretty clear that the impetus behind his calls is his concern about the effects that watching the show is having on some of the younger people in the church. Although Jeff didn't say much during the call, what he did say focused the conversation on the divisiveness of the beliefs underlying the fear that is driving Mark's objections to the content, or maybe even existence, of the show. Jeff's got quite the knack at getting straight to the heart of the matter. And Matt, I've been a fan of the show for a while, but this is immediately one of my favorite of your responses. You were calm and rational, honest and respectful, and your compassion for people came through – well done. "sigh… click" indeed. I'm very interested to see if Mark calls in again next week.

  26. 26
    Ricky

    I just wanted to jump in here and add my voice to the chorus… this week's show was pure, unadulterated WIN! I tip my hat to both of you.

  27. 27
    Strangelove

    While at first I was somewhat surprised by Jeff's mellow response to Mark's "You know you are all going to hell" tripe it actually gave Matt room for an absolute highlight of the AE show. Matt's response was so eloquent, honest and heartfelt that even I with my black atheist heart got choked up a little bit.If by any chance Mark or a member of his congregation reads this, please call the show again. "Sigh, click" is not what Jesus would do.

  28. 28
    Mario

    @TheoHereticalThere is no one on staff by the name of Mark, but there is someone listed under the name of Marcus with the title of Director of Operations, so that might be who called.

  29. 29
    minus

    There is some good that comes out of the Christian church. People can learn respect and concern for others – humility. They can learn to love one another. They can learn to study the bible. And then they can grow up, use their brains, and be like Matt.

  30. 30
    TroopDawg

    Ok OK, by now, i really believe that people call in(like Mark) in order to goad Jeff Dee into a tantrum by threatening hell… There are several Youtube clips where the host speaks with a caller until the caller threatens hell and Jeff Dee is there already waving at the camera "pardon me a moment but do you mind apologizing?" If I had $1 for every caller that threatened Jeff with hell…

  31. 31
    Lone Primate

    I want to chime in with praise for Jeff and Matt. Jeff caught me off-guard when he wanted to know why a caller immediately wanted to be enemies; why he would choose to define himself in a way that excludes others and damns them, when for the most part they're no different in how they behave in the world. If found that a fresh and powerful perspective.Matt's philosophical, and yet deeply human, discussion of how religion has compromised and affected his relationships with other people was also extremely satisfying, and something that ought to give all but the most strident theist pause.The Atheist Experience and the folks on it are unfailingly first rate in my book, and I'm really glad you guys are out there doing it, week in, week out. Thanks.

  32. 32
    RoBe

    Classic Dillahunty

  33. 33
    Collin

    Great show guys.Call me crazy, but Mark sounds just like Ed in Toronto, heard here in episode 680, 15minutes in:http://blip.tv/file/4292662

  34. 34
    scorinth

    "Matt D." sounds *awesome*. Too bad it'd probably get too confusing with Jeff *Dee* around. People might think you're married or something.

  35. 35
    KK_Me

    I hope that: 1. Mark calls again, he sets up for great rants and allows for a taste of victory when he simply gives up (did he really hang up?) 2. a member of his church calls in to continue the discussion and give us their perspective of Mark's performance and their reaction watching it 3. Jeff and Matt keep up the good-atheist-bad-atheist Spiel. It works incredibly well and is just gold to listen to.

  36. 36
    Sparrowhawk

    @Mario: This guy doesn't sound old enough to be director of operations…maybe of the youth group.Anyway, the guy still strikes me as a youth leader or something. I'll bet he overheard some kids in his youth group talking about the show, went to his pastor and the pastor told him to call into the show himself.I'm not sure what he was thinking when he decided it'd be nice to start calling into the show, but it's pretty clear he didn't "study" ahead of time. His response to everything that is brought up against him is to let out one of those *massive* patronizing sighs of his and start mumbling.And I'm sorry but the whole "I'm worried about you leading my flock astray" thing really pisses me off. It's not like Matt is a history teacher in a public school who is overstepping his bounds and trying to abuse his position to influence the kids. This is a TV show on a specific channel at a specific time. Hell, Mark, YOU'RE the ones with the oh-so-convenient ability to threaten your flock with something like eternal hell. The worst us atheists/skeptics can do is rudely tell the other person they're a "bad atheist" or a "bad skeptic".I have to say I honestly DON'T hope that Mark calls in again. He's nervous, has no idea what he's talking about and seems to have *nothing* prepared. It's like watching Mike Tyson fight Justin Bieber or something.

  37. 37
    Matthew

    I know like a billion people have already mentioned the Mark call, but I had to put in my 2 cents.Dillahunty off the top rope!There, done. Seriously, though, I had to pause the file about four or five times just because listening to Mark talk was starting to get to me. He sounded -really- friggin' nervous, to the point where he was making me nervous. While I think it was an awesome bit of oratory, I felt a little like Jeff and Matt were kicking a puppy. Oh well, serves the puppy right for calling in. Best of luck to him.Oh, and Jeff, you should totally get back on the NP, we've missed you.

  38. 38
    Ron Strelecki

    Matt D: "What kind of God requires faith instead of supplying evidence?"James K: "What does God need with a starship?"

  39. 39
    Wired For Sound

    "It all comes back to reason and evidence." CLICK. His silence at the end said it all.

  40. 40
    Muz

    The way Mark entered the conversation intrigues me the most. I feel like I recognise that zeal in his voice when he talks about how the guys are going to hell. I've seen it in other street proseltyzers and so forth over the years. They play it like it's such an ace too, as though it taps some deep seated knowledge which you won't be able to ignore now they've pointed it out to you (which is surely what they believe, if experience is any judge).That J.D can come back with, essentially, "Dude! WTF?" seems so shocking to the guy he's got pretty much nothing after that. The curious bit is that he really thought it would work and I venture that it has actually worked in the past, possibly on himself.As enlightening as that all was I expect Mark will only provoke another round of "Why don't you get some real apologists on, like Matt Slick or William Lane Craig, instead of dumbstruck sunday school teachers leaning absent-mindedly on their phone cradle".

  41. 41
    Eric Ross

    Matt, that was f'ing brilliant. I hope the clip sees wide distribution, because it just can't be done any better.I hope that viewers will also take note of the argument used — it's an argument that I think of as the "argument from non-obviousness" (similar to the more familiar argument from divine hiddenness). Basically the argument holds that if a religion were true and a god wanted us to know it, the religion would be obviously and demonstrably true, from the raw fact of the god's existence down to every significant detail of the religion. We would have no need for a holy book, because we would encounter the truth of the religion in our daily lives, and there would be little or no room for rational, reasonable disagreement. I really wish this argument had a higher profile, for I think it's the best in our arsenal, as Matt D. so ably demonstrated.On a side note, I'm not sure why many commenters think that Mark is a member of the church's clergy. I figure he's just a church member.

  42. 42
    Gods_misled_children87110

    Matt's speech makes you want to shine up his head and kiss it..lol. The click at the end of Mark's call is priceless and speaks for itself. The end of this episode is destined for greatness on youtube.

  43. 43
    MJ

    Like a lot of people already said, that speech was brilliant. Maybe the best speech Matt ever did.

  44. 44
    Justin B.

    One of the most eloquent, heart-felt, passionate shows I've heard. Almost brought me to tears. Great job, guys.

  45. 45
    Justin B.

    Damn. Had to go back and listen to that ish again. Brilliant!

  46. 46
    bel seslaf

    This was just beautiful, Matt and Jeff.I am so happy right now. Thank you.

  47. 47
    Donuts

    Bravo Matt and Jeff. Bravo!When Matt started talking about how it breaks his heart and is almost unbearable to watch people he loves be duped… I started to tear up.Youtube link anyone???

  48. 48
    EEGuy

    I am compelled to add my congratulations to what was an excellent speech by Matt D; that speech should be bookmarked by everyone.Another comment related to an earlier caller:You might save some time defining exactly what each individual person is defining as 'god' by referring to what is called the "Standard Model of God" as given in the "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" blog. Then all you need to do is assume any caller is using the standard model unless he/she declares otherwise. This model is explained in http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god3.htm.Again–excellent show and keep up the good work.

  49. 49
    Saul

    Other than Tracie's instant-classic dismantling of a Christian a couple weeks ago, this is the best handling of a Christian caller I've ever seen on this show. Well done Matt and Jeff.

  50. 50
    Permafrost

    That was completely off the charts brilliant. With his years on tAE, Matt has become so razor sharp that he can actually decide to be gentle.But one has to deplore the quality of callers sometimes. Mark was very ill equipped or prepared to deal with his own thoughts, let alone those of a well-honed first-rate intellect. I myself, who am not in any way a theist or deist or mystic, can think of two or three things in response to Matt's points. So come on, theists. Bring it on, otherwise Matt and Jeff and the rest will grow bored.

  51. 51
    Mamba24

    @ PermafrostLet's here your responses to Matt's points then. A little critique is never out of the question.

  52. 52
    Pombolo

    I so so hope that young members of Mark's church were watching that episode. It would be incredibly healthy for them to see this video (with accompanying hang-up form Mark) to go along with the sermons they are regualrly exposed to.I expect many of them did, given that Mark only found out about the show from young church members: I think it likely that he would tell them if he was going to call in.Sowing seeds and all.

  53. 53
    MikeTheInfidel

    I came.

  54. 54
    EJ

    Youtube clip is up:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OCYhDFc42I

  55. 55
    Geth Jones

    What struck me about the Mark-Matt-Jeff exchange was that it was interesting to have a theist who actually listened. Matt and Jeff were awe-inspiring – calm, rational, empathetic and yet passionate. A classic moment. Thank you.

  56. 56
    co

    What is comming out of Matts and Jeffs mouths is pure gold. I have listened to this three times already, its razorsharp but nice, emotional but still 100% rational. Awesome.

  57. 57
    Apostulous

    I am going to show the bit with Mark to my grandfather, who prays for my soul every night, and my creationist friend. My position is so very aptly put forth in it.

  58. 58
    Sparrowhawk

    @Geth JonesI think the only reason it seemed Mark was so attentive was that he was stunned into silence. He had absolutely *zip* ready to say to begin with, let alone respond to Matt/Jeff.

  59. 59
    bribase

    What the hell has happened to the atheist experience lately? I've tried to watch online as I have been for a couple of years now an it is near impossible, phone problems, audio problems, stream problems. But when I get a chance to listen to the podcast or in the archive they have been hands down the most lucid and insurmountably brilliant shows since I began watching! Bravo to all of the hosts.It's been amazing to see what Mark's motivations here are. He has called each time to tell us that he is perturbed by the mere existence of the show with the sidenote that other members of his church are tuning in.Each and every time he has been the most perfectly timed jumping off point for every host that has had a chance to receive a call from him! delivering the perfect non-suiqitur, logical fallacy or threat of hell at just the right moment!If the ACA was for profit and I were Mark I'd be demanding some sort of payment!

  60. 60
    Apostulous

    @SparrowhawkI think you hit the nail on the head. The only thing he had to fall back on was scripture, and the absurdity of that position was made clear. "Sigh, click" was the only recourse left to him after that verbal bludgeoning.If he was attempting to show the youth in his charge the validity of christian theology, then I think a few fence sitters fell our way.

  61. 61
    J

    This was a great show. Good job to Matt and Jeff for keeping their cool.There's something I've noticed in watching the show for a couple of years that really stands out, though: It always seems that the callers who ignore basic manners and niceties, simply bowling into their points, come from the theist camp.Mark started off better this time (rather than his last call to Tracie and Jen), doing his best to exchange perfunctory pleasantries, but then he got to the Hell threat (which was handled very well by Jeff), and then he ended up simply hanging up without even acknowledging the points made, interspersed with multiple condescending sighs, the whole time completely avoiding making even a single position clear or bothering to substantively reply to you. The disdain he exuded throughout both calls was tangible.This is a minor point compared to the vacuousness of the remainder of his position (the little he shared), but it is in and of itself symbolic of the divisiveness caused by religion. I can understand the position rationally: "I am one of the chosen people the creator of the universe is buddies with, and my magic book tells me you are evil, so I don't even have to bother being civil to you." But is this really how anyone's grandparents taught them to behave? Why is it not possible to even fake politeness with one's intellectual opponents, especially given the common Christian preconception that one has been gifted with superior moral understanding?tl;dr: Mark is rude.

  62. 62
    Apostulous

    @bribaseThe technical problems aren't the fault of the ACA, nor of Axp. The ACA is working with the equipment provided, making the best of a bad situation. Matt wrote a post about it recently. You simply cant blame them for the problems of the studio the broadcast from; and Im not saying that you do blame the ACA/Axp for the problems, I'm merely stating reality.

  63. 63
    Permafrost

    @ Mamba24I may call in some day.

  64. 64
    Tyler Olsen

    @infi: Mark called in with Russel and Mark previously but it ended abruptly as there was some sort of disconnect (on Mark's end apparently). It was another caller (Mike, not Mark) from the same church that called in when talking to Tracie and Jen. Both calls were excellent, and although the first caller was a bit more abrasive initially, he wasn't rude. He was exhibiting a strong defense mechanism in reaction to someone criticizing his beliefs. Its a common response and one I've encountered myself many times when conversing with theists. Its not necessarily their fault, as their minds have become so entrenched and reliant upon this set of ideas that they naturally exhibit a strong protective need of it when they feel it is being threatened. I guess its sort of a psychological flight-or-flight mechanism, as opposed to a physical one like being confronted by a tiger.

  65. 65
    bribase

    @Apostulous I know, my post was really meant in Jest. I don't mean to complain about the show. Its about the great content of the show, not the polish of it.

  66. 66
    J

    @Tyler: Ah, you're right. Same church, same first letter of their names, conflated the two I guess. I remember Mark being disconnected last time, and giving him the benefit of the doubt. But this time it seemed to me (and others above) that he just hung up.The defensive reaction is normal, I can understand that. But after going through that a few times and seeing how silly one feels that they can't make any realistic points, one tends (I hope) to consider their position (if for no other reason than to avoid appearing silly).However, I still say that's no excuse for bad manners.

  67. 67
    Adam G

    I put it up on YouTube as well:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLqUvEsiUGA

  68. 68
    sans_Dieu

    It would be so funny to shoot a clip of Mark on the other end with his preacher standing next to him. And the preacher, realising that his prize student just got trashed and is unable to defend himself, moves his finger to the telephone and *click*.

  69. 69
    EJ

    It doesn't take much to become an atheist. Someone just needs to plant a small seed of doubt into your mind. I'm still trying to plant that seed in my girlfriends head, but like most christians, she's emotionally attached and indoctrinated so it could take years, if it ever works at all.

  70. 70
    bill21843

    Jeff & Matt's response to Mark is probably my favorite moment in AETV history, and I've listened to every episode.

  71. 71
    Geth Jones

    @SparrowhawkYou're probably right about the theist having nothing to say, but because he didn't fall back on a script or start shouting or ranting, it made a much more interesting conversation – and Matt and Jeff truly got a chance to shine. I half-believe the comment made above that Mark will be helping to present the show in two years…

  72. 72
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    it is easy to beat up on amateurs, but here is what happens when atheists debate a pro:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNxbXQecm2Isorry to be the bringer of bad news, but atheism looks a whole lot different from outside your little bubble of comfort.

  73. 73
    Martin

    Tell you what then, Mike. Present your very best argument/evidence for the existence of god, and we'll see how good it is and how atheism looks in the light of it.

  74. 74
    Mamba24

    The typical theist response from MikeAdAstraSmith….."That guy didn't know what he was doing, debate a pro and see what happens."…Like we haven't seen and gone through every single argument for the existence of god and revealed the false premises/logical fallacies in them. Instead of whining Mike, how about you present what you think is the best and most clear argument for the existence of God? Forget the emotional aspects and back of your talk, the floor is yours.

  75. 75
    Barbara_K

    MikeAdAstraSmith – Mark had the chance to talk, it's his own fault he didn't take it. He avoided giving straight answers to every question asked him, instead heavy sighing and not taking any responsibility for his opinions. When asked for a piece of evidence backing up his claim that the bible is divinely inspired, he responded with a URL. That's not an answer, it's a deflection. If he really believes that something on carm.org gives solid evidence, why didn't he bring up that evidence? His response basically amounted to "Well, I don't know, but there's this one website that said some stuff that sounded good…" It's not the fault of the hosts of the show that Mark was completely unprepared to discuss his beliefs.Frankly, you're not doing much better at making an argument in your comments than Mark did on his call. Do you have one to make? Do you have anything other than the same sort of vague, thoughtless finger wagging and link citing that Mark resorted to? If so, lay it on us.

  76. 76
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    mark was talking about this, before you cut him off: http://carm.org/apologetics/evidence-and-answers/evidence-biblical-inspirationread it and weep.

  77. 77
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    matt said we have to rely on copies of copies of translations of copies.ok, do you apply the same standard of evidence to ancient greek writers like Herodotus, Lucretius, Scorates, and Homer?if you did you would have to DISCARD those texts. and the New Testament is 99.5 percent accurate with 5600 copies. so matt should apologize for this lie.

  78. 78
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    the evidence is there, you jsut find it more comfortable to sit in your little bubble and stick your fingers in your ears and sing lalala…by the way, if atheism is true, why are you so scared to have dr. craig on your show?is it because you think it mgiht turn out like it did when he demolished hitchens, as i linked above?man, it must suck when your atheist posterboy gets demolished!

  79. 79
    Barbara_K

    As I asked you before, Mike, "Do you have anything other than the same sort of vague, thoughtless finger wagging and link citing that Mark resorted to?"Your last post seems to indicate that the answer to that question is a resounding "no".Please try to think for yourself.

  80. 80
    Martin

    Mike: So in fact, you are incapable of defending your religious beliefs with an argument of your own, and must send us links where people whom you think are very bright will do you arguing for you.Got it. Around here, we call that a fail.Anyway, we have wept reading that CARM page, many times. Wept with laughter, that is. Seriously, if they're still dragging out supposed prophecies (no, Isaiah wasn't referring to Jesus) and old saws about the Bible predicting the roundness of the Earth—a fact known to the Greeks centuries before Jesus's time—as "evidence" of its divine inspiration, they really need to up their game. None of that stuff is anything that hasn't been dealt solid refutations already.And no, we didn't cut Mark off. He got upset, sighed and hung up, which can be clearly heard on the audio.

  81. 81
    Kazim

    Hi Mike, are you a member of Mark's church? I was on the show the first time he called, and I've been really interested to know what Mark's intent was in calling in. Is he trying to convince us to stop doing the show, or is he just hoping to make us look bad for the kids watching?

  82. 82
    Mamba24

    Once again you fail to understand that we already know about Matt Slicks TAG argument…and it fails, so instead of pointing us to a link, how about you discuss the argument with us and explain why you think the argument is valid. Then we will point out all the logical fallacies/False Dichotomies and false premises that make it up and explain why it fails to prove that a god exists. Sure it will take long but if you are truly convinced of this argument you should have no problem defending it. It seems you have just read through it and thought it sounded good to you, I want to know why you think it's valid…stop finger pointing and defend your views and beliefs. But if you don't want to have an actual discussion, then I suppose I can just direct to the Iron-chariots.org Wiki that has a step by step counter-argument to Matt Slicks TAG, so make up your mind buddy.

  83. 83
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    i used to be a bit intimidated by atheists until i saw this hilarious clip:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNxbXQecm2Ithen i realized, there is nothing to be afraid of. just ask them simple questions and you will see they are silly.

  84. 84
    Martin

    by the way, if atheism is true, why are you so scared to have dr. craig on your show?Here's a question. Were you dropped on your head as a child?If William Lane Craig is willing to appear on our show, we'd love to have him, though I suspect his speaking fees are outrageous. In any event, there isn't one of us who wouldn't be willing to talk to him. As for the video, it's one thing for dishonest Christians to pull a clip and cut in Looney Tunes music, but another thing entirely to watch the full unedited debate, which you apparently don't realize is also on YouTube. Too bad.If you're such good buddies with Craig, maybe you can get in touch with him and set things up for us.In the meantime, how about making with that evidence for God we asked for?

  85. 85
    Martin

    Mike? Hello? Evidence for God?

  86. 86
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    the kalam cosmological argument1.Whatever begins to exist, has a cause of its existence (i.e. something has caused it to start existing).2.The universe began to exist. i.e., the temporal regress of events is finite.3.Therefore, as the universe is something which exists, it must have had a cause of it being here.Following Al-Ghāzāli, Craig argues that this cause must be a personal will."the fool hath said in his heart there is no god":) sorry guys

  87. 87
    Kazim

    Ugh… either Mike is deleting his own comments, or the blog's acting screwy again. I see them showing up in my email, but they're not appearing in the comments section.The latest one says:—the kalam cosmological argument1.Whatever begins to exist, has a cause of its existence (i.e. something has caused it to start existing).2.The universe began to exist. i.e., the temporal regress of events is finite.3.Therefore, as the universe is something which exists, it must have had a cause of it being here.Following Al-Ghāzāli, Craig argues that this cause must be a personal will."the fool hath said in his heart there is no god":) sorry guys —Which, you know, is the Star Trek Rule all over again. Oh no! Some guy I've never met says that Captain Kirk called me a fool!

  88. 88
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    can you hear me?

  89. 89
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    sorry, your blog didnt post my last comment.i KNOW i can prove god,i have for many atheists and agnostics, but i need a chatroom or something.

  90. 90
    Mamba24

    No but we can see and read your posts…..

  91. 91
    JT

    Craig argues that this cause must be a personal will.Yes, but how does he get from A to B?

  92. 92
    Mamba24

    You should be able to defend your beliefs right here in this blog man, have a go at it. We're waiting for your argument….

  93. 93
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    if you give me 10 minutes and a chat room i will prove to you that god exists, beyond any doubt.that is, if you arent too scared to have your whole world view demolished.

  94. 94
    Martin

    Blogger is doing its usual thing of randomly putting comments into the spam dump, and so I've had to pull a couple of Mike's out of there.Anyway, we've whomped Kalam here.What else you got?

  95. 95
    JT

    On ustream?

  96. 96
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    bring all your friends, so they can watch this.i want to educate you all at the same time rather than one at a time. :)

  97. 97
    Martin

    Playground taunts aren't the least bit intimidating, kiddo. If you have the proof, bring it.

  98. 98
    Mamba24

    You don't need a chat-room, do it right here, what are you scared of? We are waiting for the argument that is supposed to shatter our world view! Let's hear it.

  99. 99
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    everything has a cause, right?

  100. 100
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    i am not scared of anything, i find this a really bad way to have a conversation, thats all.

  101. 101
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    i mean, the universe had to COME from somewhere, right?

  102. 102
    Martin

    Well, that's not our problem. Anyway:everything has a cause, right?No. Quantum fluctuations are uncaused events.

  103. 103
    Sparrowhawk

    Mike, I think you will find that having a discussion on forums works a lot better if instead of spamming the post with 5-8 line bursts of arrogant, patronizing crap, you put some effort into a post and say everything you mean to say, wait for someone to respond, then respond in kind.All you've done is spam this post with links to horrid arguments and awful YouTube videos and sit back on your haunches and smirk and say "tsk tsk tsk…silly atheists"In fact, as I've written this brief little post, my gmail inbox has gone off with "Mike has responded to…" notifications FOUR times.Grow up, try to make some sense, wait for people to respond, read their responses, then repeat.

  104. 104
    Kazim

    Oh no, not the first cause argument! It's one my crippling weakness! Strength… fading… can't… form… complete… sentences…

  105. 105
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    this is a place for people to post comments, not have a real0time discussion. but i udnerstand if you are scared.after all, i have never lost a debate.

  106. 106
    JT

    God has a cause too, right? He's part of everything after all.

  107. 107
    Curt Cameron

    MikeAdAstraSmith quoth:"the fool hath said in his heart there is no god"What's the next line say? Bible Gateway says it's "They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good."So the Bible says that someone who doesn't believe in God is incapable of being a good person. Are you one of those inerrantists? If so, care to defend that? Anytime I see someone spouting off the first line of Psalms 14:1, I like to continue to the next sentence to see if they want to defend that one.

  108. 108
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    why not a chatroom?just be honest if ur scared or if there is some other reason.thanks, mike

  109. 109
    Mamba24

    Is this your best argument Mikey? lol. Damn I thought I was going to hear a argument that I actually haven't heard before…silly me.

  110. 110
    Martin

    i mean, the universe had to COME from somewhere, right?But that would imply it already existed, or the matter it comprises already existed, somewhere else, before it came here from there.Another possibility, and one that does a better job of adhering to Occam's Razor, is the metaphysical position called primacy of existence. "Existence exists" is not a proposition that requires proof, therefore existence itself can be taken as a causal primary. The matter comprising the universe has always existed, only that up until the Big Bang, it existed as a singularity, a point of infinite density.

  111. 111
    Kazim

    To me, Mike, it seems like the only one who is scared to is the guy who's desperately trying to escape from this comments section.

  112. 112
    Martin

    We like it here better than a chatroom, Mike. Sorry, your arguments will have to stand or fall on their merits, not because you got to use your preferred format.And stop with the "are you scared" babytalk already, dude. We're not 12.

  113. 113
    Kazim

    But Martin, what if he double-dog dares us? What will we do then? You didn't think of that, DID YOU?

  114. 114
    Mamba24

    Why not here? This will work just as well as a chat-room. So spill out your best argument, unless it was the Kalaam cosmological argument, then you have already failed. Let's go buddy stop dancing around and present your evidence for the existence of a god.

  115. 115
    Martin

    Then we'll just get him at recess.

  116. 116
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    you "like it here better".how come?is it because i cant direct the flow of the argument?

  117. 117
    Kazim

    "I can't direct the flow of the argument" sounds like an admission of failure to me. Nice talking with ya.

  118. 118
    JT

    …and he disappears in a puff of logic.

  119. 119
    Martin

    No, we just don't feel like going on chat.But thanks for admitting you're only comfortable in arguments where you get to direct the flow. Thing is, we don't see any reason to follow your script in these things.Here everybody gets their say.

  120. 120
    Martin

    Man, Mike keeps deleting his own comments as fast as he posts them.

  121. 121
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    the reason you still dont believe is you shut someone up every time they try to enlighten you.

  122. 122
    Kazim

    Nobody's stopping you from posting your entire, blinding new rendition of the First Cause argument, Mike. In fact, if it will save time, just type up the entire script if you like. Tell us what we'll say too. That way you can saunter off and declare victory to all your friends over the scary atheists who live in your head.

  123. 123
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    your blog is blocking my comments.do you know how frustrating this is for me?

  124. 124
    JT

    Then how is it we can see your posts?

  125. 125
    Kazim

    No no, I think the blog really is acting screwy. I'm noticing it too. Hang on, I'm going to set up a new thread and see if posting there will fix the problem.

  126. 126
    Martin

    A lot of Mike's comments are getting caught by Blogger's spam guards. I'm releasing them fast as I can.

  127. 127
    JT

    Also, keep in mind that if you're trying to post something large, there's a size limit, of sorts. So breaking it up into smaller chunks helps.

  128. 128
    Kazim

    Mike, please try posting on this thread instead.

  129. 129
    MikeAdAstraSmith

    you can try to shut me up but eventually the truth gets out.

  130. 130
    Martin

    Mike: after all, i have never lost a debate.Probably because you have never had one. Now that you're having one, let's see how you're doing: Kalam = refuted. First cause = refuted. Zero for two, so far. Hmmm.

  131. 131
    Martin

    We're not trying to shut you up, you petulant infant. Kazim is in fact going out of his way to set up a new thread for you to comment in where you might not get hit by the spam guard, and I've been removing your comments from the spam filter so they can appear here.Jeez, the problem with talking to Christians is you can never get past their arrested adolescence.

  132. 132
    Kazim

    Man, you're right Martin. I had no idea that our damn spam filter was being so overzealous. Now that I look at it, it has piled in lots of stuff that I thought was just disappearing.The good news is that Google supposedly analyzes your past spam/not spam preferences, and so once I release all those comments it should not keep eliminating them. But in the future, it might be a good idea to keep a better eye on the spam filter and rescue stuff that is not by D**** M****.

  133. 133
    Kazim

    Okay. I've cleared all 50 or so posts out the spam queue now, which is going to result in a lot of old posts having duplicate comments, but whatever.

  134. 134
    Chortletron

    to get my 2 cents in. When Martin said it was a fail to link to arguments instead of making them yourself. I'd have to make the point that it's only a fail if the person can't discuss and defend the argument himself. Defending his position using someone else's argument that he understands and agrees with is more then okay, it infuriates me when others pull the "you can't think for yourself" because you quote someone, or bring up a common argument. It's not like you can go back in time and posit the argument first.But Im sure Martin meant "you posting links without trying to defend them is a fail."So far we've got a copy and paste of the Kalam Cosmological Argument? Only Evidence so far, right?well, here's several good "POWNS" of our own.http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Kalam

  135. 135
    EJ

    Kalam gets you nowhere close to god. The absolute most that you can get from kalam is that maybe there is a being that created the universe. This being could however, be powerless in every other endeavor. It could create the universe yet not be able to change anything about it or know of it's inhabitants. It would still fulfill the kalam argument without being what you would call god.

  136. 136
    Sparrowhawk

    The reason your spam filter was going off is because Mike was spamming the thread with stupid comments.

  137. 137
    Adam G

    "The reason your spam filter was going off is because Mike was spamming the thread with stupid comments."It's funny how obvious that is, but we still gotta say it 'cuz guy doesn't understand that we're NOT in a chat room.

  138. 138
    libramoo

    the best part about that youtube link that mike ask us to watch is that you can't comment on it. Because of course Christians just can't put up with other people's opinion. Cowards!!

  139. 139
    pikeminnow

    A bit of a n00bish question: I don't know where the other thread is. Was it set up? Can I see?

  140. 140
  141. 141
    Bob

    I couldn't listen to the episode earlier, but now I have to praise (pardon the word) the work that was done here. On an earlier episode (the latest Jen and Tracie one) I said that they had the best call ever and I still think this is true in some way, but now I have to say Matt had one of the best speeches ever in 696.First of all, I'm probably one of the persons who enjoys the most Jeff's passionate talk against people who believe he deserves to go to hell. He didn't do the same in this one, so it wasn't as fun, but let me say he couldn't have done better in this case. It was put well enough that even some Christians should understand that they're a bad person when they say things like that. Then Matt's speech. I don't know what to say to explain how much I liked it. Not only was it a perfect representation of what I think and probably lots of us think (although we're not completely an "us"), only said in a much better way, but I also think it was one of the strongest case for atheism I ever heard, explaining how you have every reason to be one and no reason to believe in a God. And I don't mind people being "dicks" usually, but that wasn't the case at all here.It was strong, yet simple and said in a nice enough way that I believe some Christians must have been convinced by it. Even the guy sounded nervous and I'm pretty sure he realized you had a point. The only valid thing in his beliefs is not the supernatural, it's only the community at church that he could get many other potentially better ways. He probably won't admit it to people at church and he was probably in denial to himself from the second he hung up, but it's impossible that the logical part of his brain hasn't at least been challenged a bit by this.

  142. 142
    Thomas

    @chortletronI know I should be on the other thread, but this is slightly off-topic, anyway. As for your point about "not linking and being able to defend" a claim, I suspect that there is also a practical matter to it as well. By making the opponent articulate an argument, you are requiring that person to put in an amount of work on par with what you are putting into refuting the argument. You're also requiring the opponent to focus on a single argument and evaluate that claim completely, before moving on to the next argument. Linking seems to be the text equivalent of the Gish Gallup. One person spends 30 seconds linking to a slew of questionable claims, with end result being that the atheist doesn't have the time to debunk them all. (Or a Denial Of Service attack, to use another analogy).

  143. 143
    canaling15

    I loved jeff's rant starting with why do they want to be their enemy. Good tact i thought. However i felt earlier in the show he came across a bit rude to some of the atheist callers. It was a bit of a fuck off and lets get to the theists attitude. Which makes it seem as though hes just their for a damn good argument rather than sharing points of view. If thats the case fair enough, just an observation

  144. 144
    Fred

    In a way I feel bad for guys like Mark. These are people who have never really questioned their faith or investigated their own belief system, so as such cant really defend it. All they know is that they are upset, they feel they have been wronged by the simple fact that other people don't believe as they do. So then they sputter and cast about, looking for ways out of a conversation they had no business being in. I would feel for them. Sorta. If they didn't call in the first place.

  145. 145
    Christie Luv

    What Matt said to Mark is one of the reasons I wish the Atheist Experience is more well known than Richard Dawkins. He is a good guy but not nearly as good at debates, and if the Atheist Experience was more well known, there would certainly be more Atheists out there.

  146. 146
    EEGuy

    Christie Luv may get part of her wish. The Mark segment has just been posted on the Richard Dawkins website and Richard himself wrote in and said (in effect) "Who is this Matt character you Americans seem to know about?" This was followed by a large number of comments regarding the greatness of Matt and the entire AEx gang. One commenter suggested that Richard Dawkins should call in himself. This will be great exposure.

  147. 147
    lentmain

    LOL…. Book 'em , Dano……

  148. 148
  149. 149
    BobT

    The links/site mentioned in my previous message [which was the last one since April 10, 2012] have changed server, so I repeat the message with the new links to those articles.

    For anyone intersted, Mattʼs comments of 696# are refuted here:
    http://www.ipertisalithias.gr/index.php?cat=8&id=6&bg=18#article

    There are two more refutations of AE episodes on the same website here:
    http://www.ipertisalithias.gr/index.php?cat=8&id=4&bg=18#article

    http://www.ipertisalithias.gr/index.php?cat=8&id=8&bg=18#article

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