Open thread on episode #785: Quantum quack attack

Sorry about the quiet week, gang. I think we all have a lot on our respective plates. Plus, everyone who attended the Texas Freethought Convention last weekend was pretty beat afterwards, I suspect. Anyway, today’s show was a feisty one! Predictably enough, I thought of something I could have asked our “the universe is a quantum projection” fellow long after we were off the air. He claims physicists have “proven” this, but I fail to see how the idea is even scientifically falsifiable. What conditions would I expect to see present in a universe that was nothing more than the thought-projection of a God-mind or cosmic computer simulation that I would not expect to see present in a universe that was actually an objective, material reality? And what predictions could I make?

Have I mentioned I find “Matrix Apologetics” really lame?

Go to it, horde.

Texas Freethought Convention, with political thoughts

I had a great time at the convention yesterday.  I was a bit of a lightweight, only putting about six hours into it and not sticking around for the keynote speech (Sorry, PZ!  I’m sure it was great!) or the pub crawl afterwards.

Picked up PZ Myers at the airport at 12:30 on Monday and got him to his hotel by 1.  After that I slept in and then Lynnea and I drifted to the capitol steps around 11, just missing a speech by the head of Camp Quest Texas.

There were some protesters there.  We got pictures!

Lynnea Glasser and protester at the Texas Freethought Convention

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Open thread: In which Stephen Feinstein talks to himself

Stephen wrote a post entitled “Debating the Atheist — My Closing Comments.”  Of course, he previously agreed that his closing comments would be the fifth post, but that doesn’t matter, because Stephen had to award himself the final word.  Besides, he doesn’t expect you to read it.  He drew this to my attention in a brief message saying, “I know you will not link this, but just in case you wanted to read it, here are my closing remarks regarding your final response. Thanks for taking the time to debate me. ”

So anyway, as a brief summary: I’m a liar, because I kept harping on the fact that Stephen said that God creates logic.  That’s not right at all.  No, instead, God thinks about logic, and that causes logic to exist.  That is, of course, entirely different from the other thing.  Which makes me not only a liar, but also still a Nazi.  And finally: Bible quotes!

My last post remains my last post. However, I’d recommend that all you sinners go over there and give feedback, since there’s a comment box open, but I’ve heard from commenters on the previous thread that the comments are moderated and none are getting published.  So feel free to try, but if you can get through, then just go ahead and give your reactions on this open thread.

And of course, Christians (including Stephen) are welcome to join in.

Egypt from the Eyes of an Egyptian Atheist

Recently, an Egyptian atheist, wanted to share information with me regarding a link to a site for Egyptian atheists. This surprised me in light of the recent imprisonment of Alber Saber, in part, for expressing atheist views.

During that conversation, I asked, “Are you OK to be openly atheist there?”

He replied, “No, not really. I am very careful with what I say most of the time…I do get death threats sometimes, but kind of used to it… and obviously my parents don’t know about it.”

Because he is an atheist living in a country where it is unsafe to express his ideas, I volunteered to lend him my voice at this blog and on TAE. I told him to say what he wants to say, and I will make it public, because I live in a country where expression is, obviously, more tolerated. I encourage other atheists in free nations to give voices to our counterparts in gagged situations around the globe. If we can use our freedom of expression to provide a platform to those who are denied it, then it’s well used.

What follows is the message I was given to share publicly. I have corrected a few minor typos, but otherwise, this is unedited:

Egypt from the eyes of an Egyptian Atheist

This is me, writing about Egypt from the first day of January 25th 2011 Revolution till the presidential elections. Me, is an Egyptian ex-Muslim currently an atheist and had been so since I was 17. I am now 31 years old. [Read more...]

Reply to Stephen Feinstein, final round

This post is part of an ongoing discussion between Russell Glasser and Pastor Stephen Feinstein. Here are all the previous posts in the series.

This is the end of the Stephen Feinstein series.  Comments will be open at the end of this post, so please feel free to provide your thoughts and feedback on this post and the entire series.

“If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, ‘How about the tortoise?’ the Indian said, ‘Suppose we change the subject.’” –Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian


“Wherever I traveled and met believers, I heard the same responses to my simple question of how they knew that their god or gods existed. The faces, dress, accents, and temples varied greatly, but the reasons for belief did not. The fact that all these people around the world believe in contradictory gods and conflicting religions means that some of them must be wrong. They cannot all be correct. And if some people can be sincerely mistaken on this, all can be.” –Guy P. Harrison, author of 50 Reasons People Give for Believing In a God and other skeptic-themed books

Since this post serves as my closing statement, I’m going to take this opportunity to offer a bird’s eye view of the whole conversation, and the concept of presuppositional apologetics in general, before I get into the  details of Stephen’s final post.

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Feedback from Sunday’s show…

Let’s make today’s e-mail a GREAT one. I directed a caller on Sunday’s show to my take on the Sermon on the Mount. He was, admittedly, a searching deist with Christian leanings – but he was still of the opinion that the New Testament was an improvement and that there were merits there that elevated his view of Christianity. Here’s the e-mail I just received (posted with permission): [Read more...]

It’s election season. Time to dust off the Christian Nation myth.

I haven’t given much thought to Sally Quinn for several years, since I last read dead tree newspapers regularly, in the hoary pre-internet days of college.  Now what the hell is this thing?

Romney captures the God vote at first debate

When Mitt Romney mentioned the “Creator” in the debate Wednesday, he owned it. “We’re all children of the same God,” he said.That’s about 85 percent of the country he was talking to. That should have been President Obama’s constituency but he let Romney have it as he let Romney have the debate.

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