Comments

  1. says

    … aaaaand “first mover” argument #42

    There seems to be a lot of people who think there’s some kind of temporal playhead – like the needle head on a record player, that starts at the beginning and proceeds to the end. They don’t seem to get that time may work much differently, such as it being “now” at all points along the timeline, simultaneously.

    If we think of time and events as being a VHS tape, it would be that events unfold as one progresses along the length of the magnetic tape. John marrying Mary would be on the tape, as well as John divorcing Mary – the point that both events are on the tape, and instead of one playhead, there’s an infinite number that are playing all points along the magnetic tape, always.

    It’s our limitation of perception that we think time is “progressing”

  2. Sonorus says

    What if time is more like an 8-track tape (if you are too young to remember what that is, google it)?

  3. fullyladenswallow says

    I rather liked Lynnea’s explainer on souls. It sounds as though one can pretty-much make the same sort of argument against the existence of a soul (or even spirituality, depending on how you define it, for that matter) as one can make against the existence of god. It seems to me that a soul, if it existed, would be more of a conduit or vehicle to god/higher power than the seat of consciousness. For the religious though, the immortal soul is essential as a control point- a very useful tool indeed.

  4. ah58 says

    I fail to understand why they think you can’t pick a value from an infinite set. Even though the set of real numbers is infinite, I can have 2 objects.

  5. says

    Indeed. I think the main lesson we can learn from the “first mover” type of argument is that there’s something wrong with out idea of causality. The point of the argument is that, if you want to avoid an infinite regress (Which, incidentally, is a pragmatic preference, a la Ockham’s Razor. We can’t be sure that reality isn’t an infinite regress), at least one element in your system has to be outside the normal rules of causality.
    Taking that conclusion and claiming “god” is just special pleading. Without further evidence, the ultimate cause of the universe might as well be the shit I took this morning.

    Causality is obviously closely connected with time and the simple fact is that we don’t really have a clue what time actually is. A common angle is to call time a dimension, analogous to our spacial dimensions, but I don’t think people usually consider that this means that all time exists “now”, as you’re getting at. If this perspective is correct, then the idea that time “passes” is simply a product of our inability to control our own movement through this dimension; time doesn’t pass any more than the road moves when you drive.

  6. says

    Russell you lucky dog you–a beautiful and intelligent wife–rawr. Loving the discussion about “souls” as even theologians argue what the soul is and what it does. Applying a kind of “science: to the idea is a win because once again it proves that all mystical ideas can be distilled towards natural explanations…

  7. says

    Poor Tony, I was actually made happier after I left religion–I don’t even think religion could have ever made me as happy as I am now. Married, wonderful kids and pursuing my goals in life unfettered by mental dogma–now THAT is freedom.

  8. says

    Oh, I am so glad someone mentioned Huckabee’s dumb ass in regards to his comments about the CT shootings. I like to point out to the shrill hysterical tools who say that taking god out of schools caused this tragedy that the 1966 clock tower shootings were just as tragic and happened during a period in American History when state led prayer was IN Schools. Also learned (and this could be just rumor) . That Westboro may be trying to picket the kids funerals…what are these religious nuts trying to do–UNDERLINE all the nasty stereotypes we currently have about the religious?

  9. Lord Narf says

    Yeah, I’m pretty much numb to the cascade of “We wouldn’t have this happening if we hadn’t taken God out of our country!” idiots who always pop up after any public tragedy. I’d like to point out to them that we haven’t had any world wars, since we’ve taken mandatory prayer out of public schools. Clearly, someone approves.

    I hadn’t thought of the Westboro guys, but yeah. This is exactly the kind of spectacle that they can’t miss. They’ll be there somewhere, at most of the funerals. I wonder what sort of spin they’ll have for dead 5 year-olds.

  10. says

    I can only imagine. I am largely a pacifist but I may “lose my religion” to that point when it comes to this especially if they try to say that any of those kiddos are in hell!

  11. L says

    If time didn’t exist “before” the big bang, then the universe has always existed, where time is required for the definition of the idea of “always” or any other of its synonyms.

  12. says

    This is what I posted on my facebook on the topic:

    To the the people saying that the shooting in CT happened because GOD wasn’t allowed in schools–how incredibly insensitive to the victims! What a great god you have there…THEY were at fault? Those kID’S were at fault? And is god such an asshole that he would let little kids die cause he was is having a hissy fit? Would you let you kids get killed over an argument about cleaning their room? Wouldn’t you save your own kid from danger no matter what he did? Besides, it is not like six year olds drafted the legislation. Talk about trying to politicize a tragedy…WTF?????

  13. Sonorus says

    Exactly. I no longer have to twist my brain to rationalize the irrational. I no longer have to ask why a loving and benevolent god would allow horrible things to happen to children. I no longer feel guilt and shame about things that weren’t wrong or embarrassing. It’s liberating to think for yourself. It only seems scary before you actually do it.

  14. Sonorus says

    People like Mike Huckabee help remind me why I am an atheist. I am surrounded by this lunacy and it’s just baffling. His fans (and he has them) say things like this all the time. They will of course feel victimized at the criticism of his remarks.

    As for WBC, they claim to be planning to picket every high profile funeral. They only rarely actually show up. If they show up at this one I will not feel bad for whatever happens to them. This tragedy has really hit a nerve (for rather obvious reasons) and their brand of hateful sloganeering is likely to incite violence. They probably won’t go but notice that just by mentioning that they might they have gotten the very publicity that they seek. It’s hard to ignore people who heinous but it really would be the best strategy: a media blackout so that their message is limited to those within shouting distance. I don’t expect that to happen, but I can’t think of anything else (at least anything legal) to deal with them.

  15. Lord Narf says

    I wouldn’t say that most of them assign any blame to the people who were killed. It’s the same as what the Westboro Baptist Church does when they’re picketing soldiers’ funerals. They’re not saying that the soldiers themselves did anything wrong. They’re saying that the death of the soldiers is God’s way of punishing the US for not executing teh gayz.

    Same thing here. People who say these children died because prayer was taken out of school are asshole, but not for the reasons you say. Now, anyone who points to a god who kills children like that because we’re not forcing children to pray in school … then turns around and says that that’s a good, loving god …

    Anyone who can simultaneously hold those two thoughts in their mind is an immoral monster.

  16. says

    Oh yeah I get that–but they are saying that because we are sinful that we deserve this and by proxy so do the kids…cause god can just bully us around to make his points, sadistic bastard that he is.

  17. says

    I agree. Evil folks love to use murder, violence and hate to get attention, but what happens if we don’t give it to them? Can they silently spread their mayhem? It is hard to know what to do here….I think one thing we can do is give information as incidents unfold and when the dust has settled, killers who have decided to kill for fame should have their names blotted out of history–destroy this as a pathway to immortality…Heck–who knows what the answers are.

  18. says

    You know, me too although the dude’s insanity was definitely laid bear during the conversation. I think Matt O. has a serious stone in craw since Matt D. bested him in every argument the two have ever had–whatta cry baby.

  19. Muz says

    Just for a brief moment I want to be That Guy, That Tech Guy. I know, I know. Advance apologies.
    Does the crew have zero sound check time before the show starts?
    So often in the first half of the show you can almost see people diving all over the board shifting things up and down (because it’s often hot once the show goes live, or the theme tune is hot and then the show is low. or it’s a game of find the distortion – it’s the mic;no it’s the mix; no it’s the output).
    I have this fantasy that some good setup has emerged after some time with the system, even if the previous show rewired the whole place. But I realise this is probably a fantasy (I do understand, I have done this and, long story short, I don’t do it anymore and couldn’t be happier about that). However being spoiled by professional television I still feel the urge to ask.

  20. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Lynnea: Souls definitely interact with the real world, because you’ve got these physical bodies, and your soul has to somehow change that body to make it do what it wants.
    [ A while later ]
    Russell: It also happens to be – I have to remind everyone each year – Newton’s birthday.

    Gratuitous Trivia
    Leibniz, co-inventor of calculus and kinetic energy, took issue with souls violating energy conservation to induce movement. This bugged him so much he came up with philosophical wackiness dubbed Monadology.
     
    He decided things only appear to interact. Instead, every speck* was an indestructible elemental monad, preprogrammed at t=0 with all the properties it’d ever exhibit over time. And god omnisciently scripted coincidences among them to resemble interactions. There are bits of Kalam and ontological arguments in there too.
     
    Actually not just particles, but that’s easier to imagine. Technically, any labels you could apply at any scale (quark, carbon, cellulose, wood, table) had their own platonic ideals / holo-emitters / monads. If you smashed the furniture, the component monads would scatter as debris, and the ‘table’ monad would slink off to be… something else.
     
    Your soul would be a monad that hangs out with those of your physical body: your soul wants to do stuff, and your body does stuff, just as divinely choreographed. He avoided conservation issues by ultimately making physics the study of god’s arbitrary script, instead of inviolable laws.

  21. Venoo says

    Greetings everyone!

    Big fan of the show (from Russia=)) watching it for about two years.

    Regarding soul just a few days ago I had a funny discussion with one “psychologist” who claimed that irreducibility of human consciousness to “material” (I failed to make him define what he means by that properly) is a proven fact. He mentioned philosophical zombie argument (one of the most blatant circular reasoning I ever encountered). The most interesting twist happened when I asked him what he thinks about inducing emotions by chemical or electrical stimulation of the brain. He said that all this means absolutely nothing because these are just neural correlates. While if we can describe and change robot behavior using currents in its circuit is considered by him as evidence that robot is “just material”… After that I wasted a lot of effort trying to show him his fallacies but I think even if he understood he just has no desire to change his mind.

    By the way I have an old question about what I’d call the case of “drunk faith”=) I’ve met one guy who is atheist while sober but when he drink enough to hardly stand opens some unrational part of his thinking. He said that when he is drunk enough (he stressed it=)) he has strong faith in the god who made the universe to produce by simple laws the intellegence comparable to his (the humanity has only reached bacteria-like level) I’d dismiss it but I heard this tale several times. Quite interesting what influence the ideas that you acknowledge only in such a state may have on your normal thinking process.

  22. sebastian says

    Added to that, school shootings are mostly an American phenomenon, and something that happen much more rarely in the much more secular Europe. I live in Sweden, which must be one of the most ungodly places on earth, and we’ve never have a school shooting.

    There were a couple of shootings in Finland recently, and what Finland has in common with the US is liberal gun laws. I think that might be a better answer why these things keep happening in the US. America needs to think about how many innocent lives their gun culture is worth. I know what my conclusion would be.

  23. codemonkey says

    From my very extended conversation in that old old thread with Murk, I think I identified the questions that really matter to me for first cause boy. To him: How do you know that god contacted humans, ever? How do you know that a record of that contact survives to the present day? How do you know that it hasn’t been altered in the meantime by humans? How do you know that the surviving record is one of the popular religions and not an obscure one or just a document hidden away in a library that no one cares about? In other words, you still haven’t demonstrated the bible is true, there is an afterlife, prayer works, etc.

  24. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Caller (34:02): Time is a series of events, one after the other. You would never be able to get to now if there was an infinite past…

    At first, it sounded like Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox (finite composed of infinite infinitesimals).
     
    But I think he was stuck thinking in terms of placing a ‘beginning’ an infinite amount of time away and still capping the universe’s age at something finite: the assumed beginning happened, and the infinite duration couldn’t elapse to reach now.

  25. Gordon says

    I found “losing” my faith to be a joyful experience. The image I usually use is escaping from being buried alive to look out on a sun rise.

  26. says

    1. Lynnea was a good surprise. I like her style.

    2. If people are interested with the question body and “soul” from the point of view of a philosopher, I recommend you the part “What can do the body” from Spinoza.

    3. if people are interested with the question “nothing being a “being” (and not necessary a god)” from the point of view of a philosopher, I recommend you “What is meta-physic?” by Heidegger.

  27. frankathon says

    My comment goes out to the man who wanted advice on how to deal with the people on his facebook that claimed that God said he couldn’t help the kids because he wasn’t allowed in schools anymore.

    My response would have been this:
    Where was god when Adam Lanza was plotting to kill (which didn’t happen in the school), where was he when he killed his mom (which didn’t happen in the school).?
    How come god wasn’t there to intervene in the minutes, and seconds before he got into the school with the intent to kill children?
    Their God cannot be omnipresent and omniscient if he can’t even go into a school to help kids, if he can’t even prevent the incident. Besides for those who belive that their life story is already been written down by god then, god planned the whole thing.

  28. jacobfromlost says

    I’ve had that soul/brain/body argument before.

    It never fails to amaze me that those who argue for the “soul” have no idea, even on a very basic level, how the brain works (I could make a joke here, but won’t).

    If the soul is who you are (your consciousness/personality/being), AND the soul is nonphysical as the believers claim, then physical processes cannot affect the nonphysical soul.

    And yet your consciousness/ personality/ being IS affected very easily by all kinds of physical processes. Drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sleep deprivation, dehydration, starvation, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, electrocution, brain damage, seizures, not to mention no one WITHOUT a brain has demonstrated any consciousness/ personality/ being in objective reality. You wouldn’t expect any of these physical processes to affect a nonphysical soul. Moreover, if NONE of these affected the human consciousness/ personality/ being, while they all DID affect the same in other animals…then believers would say THAT is proof of a soul, and although they would be wrong, it would indicate SOMETHING is different with humans than with other animals and that the idea “soul” might be a viable hypothesis. But as the evidence stands, a nonphysical soul has already been falsified with mountains of evidence.

    The other argument soul believers sometimes make is that the brain is just the antenna for the soul, or some variation of that. The problem with this argument is that specific brain damage can cause a global change of one’s personality/ consciousness / perception / being. If the brain were just an antenna for an outside signal, the only change we should see with brain damage is a weaker signal, not a CHANGED signal. I mean, when we had rabbit ears years ago, moving the rabbit ears around wouldn’t make “Murder, She Wrote” turn into “Dallas” or even “Matlock”. All you had was “Murder, She Wrote” with snow on the screen and static in the sound.

    And finally, a theological problem is that a global personality change post-brain damage, or during an altered state caused by drugs, can cause people to do things they never would have done otherwise–even things they may not even remember doing afterwards. If those things are “sins”, who is responsible? What if the altered state is not directly caused by them? Indeed, what if god’s wise design infused their genes with a tendency toward schizophrenia, and the onset of that disease had them committing “sins” they would not have committed otherwise? Is god responsible, the person’s previous personality that is unaware of what their schizophrenic self is doing, or their new schizophrenic self that has no idea what it is doing?

    In the face of all the evidence, abandoning the “soul” idea for a naturalistic idea for consciousness suddenly makes all the evidence make perfect sense. To cling to the soul idea anyway suddenly makes all the objective evidence, that occurs all the time, seem ludicrous.

  29. Jenea says

    Here’s a vote for more Lynnea. Her examples cut to the quick, with nary a mean word among them. More more more.

  30. says

    I know–after all these years you would think that someone would have learned how to manipulate the sound board a bit ,but then, it is public access and they are trying had to work with what they got. Believe me, I speak from experience when I say sound mixing is one of the hardest, curse word inducing aspects of a production…

  31. says

    Me too–I actually felt as if a weight lifted from me–literally–like my footsteps ACTUALLY felt lighter! I lifted my head up and started looking people in the eye. I suppose it came from the sense of not feeling lowly and “full of sin”. I was able to gain the confidence to find my “soul mate”. He loved me as is, godless as I was, and enabled me to pursue my art to the point where I now make money with it. To date we have 2 great kids and I am just–I dunno. I didn’t think people really be this happy cause religion makes it seem as if this kind of happiness is–wrong? Especially if it is like, outside of god. I think the people who find themselves saddened by the loss of religion soon recognize that they are better off once they realize the freedom they truly acquired.

  32. says

    POST SCRIPT — I love the Atheist community! I used to think I was the only nerdy Atheist in America. I live in GA–a bible belt the the nth power–so–yeah… *weeps silently a second* Anyhoo, there is something very wonderful about being around individuals who are willing to look beyond the veil and won’t poo-poo me for doing the same. I am learning so much, even from our heated debates, and feeling stronger in my convictions. Perhaps that is a part of the happiness I feel as well? My over exuberance probably stems from that. too I am like a kitten let loose in a large room full of carpet and yarn!

  33. Chad says

    Like Tony, I also went through a grieving period of sorts. There was a time I wished that the good god I had imagined were real. It didn’t take long for me to change my mind. Personally, I always stressed when something bad happened because I was afraid that God had willed it for me. In which case, nothing I nor anybody else could do would ever make it better. God wanted me to suffer, so I would suffer.

    Now I realize that regardless of the circumstance, if a way exists to make things better, that all I have to do is keep looking. No one has decreed I suffer. Nothing other than direct cause and effect governs my life.

  34. says

    True to an extent. I am a gun owner and I can also point to Sweden and their lack of gun violence. I think the real problem is how we treat our mentally ill. I do advocate stricter gun laws as well…

  35. says

    Yep–I think we all had a mourning period. I told my hubby it is probably a lot like getting a divorce from god–lol. But I think even in my heart heaviest moments I knew that I was better off … I think the thing that still creeps up on me from time to time though is a subconscious fear of hell. That is when I get angry…

  36. says

    It’s the one thing I know I have to work on since my conversion. My hubby says I have post traumatic stress disorder. Not sure about that–but my time within the church was mentally, and in some ways, physically abusive…I dunno. I don’t want to be a bigot–but I don’t trust anyone claiming to be of “god”.

  37. Sonorus says

    Earlier this year people I went to high school and college with were proudly displaying their bags from Chick-Fil-A on the day everyone went to show their support for the company’s anti-gay views. Nice. I unfriended each and every one of them. It’s neat, clean and easy. No muss, not bother. In doing so I got to miss these sorts of idiotic posts this weekend. Unfriending is a gift that keeps on giving. I recommend it highly. I realize the caller wanted advice on how to reason with the irrational. He might as well have asked if god could make a rock so heavy that he couldn’t lift it. I won’t stop anyone from trying and I do it myself (mostly when I’m bored like last week when I had just taken my last final and wanted to blow off steam), but there’s very little chance of changing the minds of the close-minded.

  38. Sonorus says

    I too vote for more Linnea but honestly her talents would serve her well writing for The Onion. She is very quick at pointing out logical fallacies by creating new ones on the spot. It was quite entertaining. I wish I were that fast in those discussions!

  39. says

    I agree. I had a woman tell me that because I refuse to tangle with racist bigots that I was intolerant. I told her that this was not the case. I do not wish the person ill nor would I rob them of voice. I have simply learned the hard way to choose my battles. Life is too short to wrestle with people who only want to view the world myopically. I have found that leaving unwinnable wars behind leads to greater happiness. Now this doesn’t mean I don’t get insulted or angered by racism esp when it is targeted. But a certain peace can be had by recognizing that some people enjoy the intellectual muck they play in and if you try to pull them out you only end up getting dirty yourself.

  40. Sonorus says

    It’s a good question but I’d be surprised if they had much if any time to do anything more than flip a swtich and go live in the studio. And there’s no telling what the group in the studio before them fracked up. In fact, it’s probably more true that it’s amazing that the technical quality is as good as it is, considering what they work with.

  41. says

    It is amazing that people don’t seem to understand Infinity. Infinity isn’t uncountable. It just is never ending in the amount it has. So you can count the amount of it, but there is no ending of it ending.

    If people actually took basic math, this part of the arguement would be destroyed.

  42. mary says

    I apologize if this information is a repeat. I was just able to listen to Sunday’s TAE this afternoon and have not had time to read all the posts.

    These links came to mind while listening to two of the callers:

    Re the caller talking about dealing with distress and loss without faith—the Thinking Atheist did a show on Grief Without god
    http://livingwithoutthem.com/grief-without-god-thank-you-to-the-thinking-atheist/

    Re the caller discussing the school shooting–here is a link to another FT Blog that shows there were such horrid events before public prayer was removed from schools and at schools that were specifically religious. The ‘god was not welcome’ thing is contradicted by this information.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/rodda/2012/12/16/no-mr-huckabee-its-not-because-god-has-been-removed-from-schools/

  43. Ted S. says

    A book to recommend for Tony – Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart. The drummer and lyricist for Rush is an accomplished book writer and in Ghost Rider he pours his heart out onto the page as he deals with the twin tragedies in his life (the death of his daughter and his wife within a year) by riding his motorcycle across the United States and Canada. Rush took a hiatus between 1998-2001 to allow Neil to go thru this incredible journey of grief and coping and finally returning to work. Rush’s subsequent album, Vapor Trails, IMO, is one of the greatest albums ever, further illustrating, to me, that dealing with the tragedy can transform us and make us better.

  44. Tax says

    I don’t really understand the whole wishing god was real thing. I grew up in a fundamentalists home, and was home schooled by my mother who is an eighth grade dropout. We read the bible a lot. As a child I really enjoyed all of the stories in the old testament where god smited people who wouldn’t listen. Although I was sad there were needy people in the world, I was convinced it was only because they did not share in the glory of the almighty.

    As I got older I became more empathetic to people who were struggling in life or in bad situations. At some point I had the realization that a lot of people who had different belief systems did so because their parents told them what to believe. It started to seem reasonable that people believed different things, and the prospect of people being tortured forever for not believing in the correct doctrine started to seem questionable. The more I thought about it the more unfair it all seemed. By the time I stopped believing I was thankful, for after seriously contemplating the nature of such a god it seemed that if such a god exists the nature of reality was unfair and cruel, and that it would be so forever.

    I guess it’s different if you grew up in a more liberal household. In mine we often talked of the end of days that we were sure were coming very soon. We believed it wouldn’t be long before the apocalypse, and I spent a lot of time preparing to be a martyr for my beliefs. I believed within my lifetime the end would come, and I would have to make the decision between being a martyr for god, and torture forever.

  45. says

    OOOO I think I understand now, the transcendent toaster is what toasted the bread of the metaphysical ham sandwich! Every thing is starting to fall into place now, all glory to the toaster!

  46. says

    I placed this comment on the wrong thread and don’t know how to delete it, but, facebook has started a KEEP PRAYER IN SCHOOL PETITION that already has over 100K signatures on it. Can we start a counte, keep prayer OUT of schools petition and promote it on TAE???

    http://www.causes.com/causes/786688-put-prayers-back-in-our-schools/actions/1661603?causes_ref=email&recruiter_id=152511460&template=activity_invitation_mailer%2Factivity_invitation&utm_campaign=invite&utm_medium=email&utm_source=causes

  47. johnathanstabler says

    Matt from Oslo has already had enough exposure (I know the AETV team are trying to stop this) so it saddens me to post a comment about him when I rarely comment on some of the more interesting stuff that gets on air. But anyway:

    Has anybody noticed that much of his behaviour fits rather well with the behaviour of a psychopath? I’m actually using the word clinically, not as a synonym for “crazy” (which I don’t like).

    Well done Russell for engaging with him. It was a real insight in to the “reason” behind his trolling. It highlighted:

    1. He lacks empathy. Not only does he not see that his trolling annoys other people (even though they’ve let their feelings known) but he can’t even begin to imagine that any other opinion or feelings on the show could exist, other than his own. He believes that his opinion that the show sucks is so much more important than everybody else’s that he must act.
    2. He feels no guilt and show no remorse. How else could someone say things like “…he’s fat and I hope he gets diabetes” and not feel like a total dick.
    3. Manipulative / dishonest. He constantly foils call screeners; and I don’t think for one second that they are idiots or stupid.

  48. says

    He is angered that he was bested which is why his venom spews more towards Matt D. than any one else — Yep! Psychopathic/sociopathic–he falls into a scary category…

  49. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    1. He believes that his opinion that the show sucks is so much more important than everybody else’s that he must act.
    2. He shows no remorse.
    3. Manipulative / dishonest.

    You’ve described trolling in general.
     
    If he exhibited trollish behavior as a systemic personality trait, you might have something. But while there are dumb psychopaths, the profile revels in exploitative manipulation and evading blame. So overtly and trivially wasting peoples’ time wouldn’t be interesting. Matt from Oslo mostly just makes noises, and apparently gets giggles from being caught as a pathetic running gag.

  50. DutchEric says

    Absolutely loved Lynnea. You guys should have her as a co-host more often…
    Keep up the good work!

  51. Jonathan Parsons says

    Just to clarify, physicalism with respect to human persons is perfectly compatible with both theism and Christianity. In trying to put the discussion on souls in context I couldn’t tell if the objections to interactionist substance dualism were meant to be undercutting objections to theism or Christianity. If so, they aren’t objections to either.

  52. jacobfromlost says

    As I said on the other thread, prayer in school is not outlawed. Forced prayer by school employees, or forced prayer by other students, is outlawed.

    Voluntary prayer by individual students, or led by voluntary students leading other voluntary students, during appropriate times and places that do not discrupt class is legal, and has ALWAYS been legal.

    I fear we are falling into a trap when we respond to “keep prayer in school” arguments because the tacit assumption is that prayer has been outlawed in schools. It…has…not. If we respond by saying “keep prayer out of school”, then the tacit assumption (by theists at least, and I fear secularists also) is that we want to outlaw voluntary prayer by students led by voluntary students at appropriate (nondisruptive) times. That makes us look unreasonable, and reinforces the perception that all prayer in all contexts has been outlawed from schools–a common misunderstanding that is being used to hit us over the head.

    I am a teacher, and I can tell you that many believers think it is illegal to pray at any time in any context anywhere on school grounds. Why do they think this? Because that is what they are being told at home, in church, and unfortunately, sometimes (at least implicitly) by secularists.

    I think it would be far more effective for us to reinforce what the law actually is. You want to pray? Who’s stopping you? Before school, in the hall, around the flag pole, in the cafeteria, voluntarily and led by fellow students, fine. Go to it. Before you eat lunch or breakfast? Fine. Go to it. After you’ve finished your work, silently at your desk? Fine, go to it. The only restrictions on prayer at school is that they not be forced on anyway, not be lead by school personnel, and not discrupt the learning environment (you can’t decide to pray instead of take your math test–sorry).

    I think this is just a matter of freedom, and when we start to appear as if we are infringing on freedoms (probably based on the theist’s ignorance of the law), we are undermining our own position.

  53. jacobfromlost says

    If I remember the show correctly (and I might not), the objections were against the idea of a “soul”.

    If the soul is nonphysical, you wouldn’t expect one’s conscious being (including personality and actions) to be so easily and readily affected by physical processes. If the idea of the soul is to be considered central in theism or Christianity, then the objections to the soul are objections to both theism and Christianity.

  54. says

    hipster doofus crybaby idiot who had his feelings hurt so now he wants to retaliate. And since he admits to reading viewer comments–read this: please get a life–you are impressing no one with your antics. You look like a spoiled brat and making religion seem even more like the philosophy of nutcases.

  55. says

    You make an excellent point and I do agree. I have also made the point that individuals can and do still pray in schools. I mention that there are christian based groups on college campuses as well as high schools even here in the south–they just can’t have state lead prayer over the loud speakers–which is why I wanted the counter petition. I wanted to make the point that individual prayer has never been outlawed and to also make the point that they cannot force prayer on everyone in a public facility. The hysteria on the Christin right side has got to frickin end. They are being fed misinformation and running with it. The counter petition has no weight but can send the message a) get frickin informed and b) we will not allow you to force prayer to your god on everyone via loud speaker intercom led prayer…

  56. jacobfromlost says

    Is he a believer? I thought he was an atheist troll. Not that it matters much because he is a terrible troll either way, lol. Probably the worst ever. Whenever the hosts question him, he falls apart immediately, and his voice/accent is so distinctive that he really fails at remotely hiding who he is.

  57. Jonathan Parsons says

    I agree. My point is just that substance dualism is not central to either theism or Christianity.

  58. says

    I got the impression from previous shows that he was religious based on some of his arguments. His brother who also supposedly called in, claimed to be a believer as well (maybe I got double trolled) ? Heck, now I am all confused and don’t know what Oslo is. No, wait, I do. Annoying, that’s what he is…and childish.

  59. KsDevil says

    Time as it exists in this universe can not be compared to time in a different universe or existence if we don’t have information to compare with.
    Until that information becomes available, it’s all speculation.
    But the theory of a multiverse seems a potential possibility since the nature of gravity seems to indicate there my be a universe/dimension/existence where gravity is much stronger. And if gravity is much stronger there, then time, as we understand it, might occur at a different rate.
    But trying to think about time, the universe, and everything often gives me a headache.

  60. KsDevil says

    I suspect “Matt from Oslo” has not been motivated to seek more satisfactory pursuits. The kid is probably bored and seeking confirmation on the validity of his existence. The lack of creativity and the predictability in his calls seems to confirm this.

  61. KsDevil says

    Go ahead and be “that guy”. The hosts and the callers seem to get the majority of the attention, but the crew could use some recognition…although negative.
    Who knows, maybe one of them will jump into the discussion.
    Perhaps the mixing board lacks the configuration to properly monitor the various input and outputs.
    But, what do I know. Kansas City decided not to do public access because the KKK wanted a voice so there’s no chance for me to experience the back stage side of it all.

  62. says

    Congratulations on your program. By the way, has anyone commented on Lynne Atwater’s youtube video entry “God is Impossible”? That video out and out proves the impossibility of a creating god. Reading her back and forth comments in the comment section shows her to be articulate and convincing. godgone.com on the Internet, is another of her offerings. Both should be discussed on your program. Cheers. Rogers

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