Jun 21 2013

Episode 116: The Outsider Test For Faith with guest John Loftus

OutsiderTestforFaithHow can one accept the Bible at face value but reject the Quran’s teachings? How can one accept Christian miracles as evidence but reject Hindu miracles? John Loftus, author of the Christian Delusion and God or Godless, joins us on the show to discuss the Outsider Test For Faith, which challenges believers to thoughtfully consider why they reject the claims of other religions and then apply the same critical standards to their own beliefs. Also on the show, its the Gospel of Superman! Why has Hollywood decided to promote the latest superhero film specifically to evangelical churches? And for God Thinks Like You, can just thinking about Superman turn you into a hero? All that plus a polytheism that is , quite frankly, a little twisted.

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  1. 1
    Josh B.

    These podcasts haven’t been downloading automatically in the iOs podcasts app even if subscribed. I imagine it has something to do with recent episodes not having date information. I’m not sure if this also affects other methods of subscribing to the podcast. It’s something that can be worked around but it’s somewhat annoying and I wasn’t sure if there was a better place to report this issue.

    Great podcast though, it’s among those I look forward to the most.

  2. 2
    Anna Harrison

    I have the same problem with the iPhone podcast app. The last two podcasts are missing.

  3. 3
    M. Elaine

    Link to study that Luke talks about at 17:08: http://web.media.mit.edu/~minorton/Nelson_Norton.pdf

  4. 4
    Lausten North

    Josh and Anna, I’d like to help you out, but oh, I guess doubtcasters don’t really care much for IT support. That friendly banter they use when they come to ask for help just isn’t going to cut it anymore. $150 an hour for you. :) :) And for an extra $100 I won’t tell you the story about the time I dressed up as Data for Halloween.

  5. 5
    Latverian Diplomat

    The book on the links between Superman and Jewish culture is:

    Up, Up, and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped The Comic Book Superhero


  6. 6

    Yes, I’m having the same issue with the podcasts not getting picked up due to the missing/incorrect dates.

  7. 7
    Jonathan MS Pearce

    The comments on Les Miserables, and the surprise that it was marketed to Christians, really surprised me. I would have thought it was a great film if I had not felt so manipulated – it appears so overtly pro-Christian:


  8. 8
    Jonathan MS Pearce

    I can’t seem to download this one – only listen to it streamed. Any suggestions?

  9. 9

    I was hoping to find a link to Luke & Jeremy’s article here. otherwise, I’m depending on the mental note I made while listening not to get lost in my mental to do list.

    If you can get the tech support guys to help you…

  10. 10

    Glad to learn it is not only me not receiving iOS app downloads. I’m waiting on a pc iTunes update (20 minutes so far, and the green line hasn’t moved in the last ten) to listen to the podcast, and maybe find one I’ve missed along the way on my iPad, as well.

  11. 11

    Maybe the greatest moral lesson I learned in my life came not from the Bible, but from comic books: “No, Batman! If you kill the Joker you’ll be just like him! And he wins!”

  12. 12
    Cris Waller

    Hey, guys-

    Great podcast, as usual.

    However, can we lay off the stereotypes of tech support people as smelly male outcasts?

    As a female, non-smelly, somewhat socially-adept tech support person, I do find the jokes a bit offensive. The skeptical community should be above such stereotypes.

  13. 13

    I’ve always considered Superman to be the secular Jesus just with a better body and hair style.

  14. 14

    Loved the podcast! I like the OTF – have always thought that his, and many less formal versions, would be the most thought-provoking counter-apologetic approach to a believer.

    The most surprising thing in the show was how likeable Loftus comes off. I’d gotten the impression over the years – mostly reading comment exchanges on blogs – that he was defensive and ill-tempered. Here, he comes off as a genuinely good guy that would be to fun to hang out with and listen to. That was a pleasant surprise.

  15. 15

    Great podcast as always. Like others above the iTunes podcasts don’t update automatically for me any longer and when I manually download them, they appear out of order. Some meta data problems you can fix?

  16. 16
    Sean Bustin

    Good episode. One question though, is the Stephen maitzen you mentioned the professor of philosophy at Acadia university?

  17. 17

    The “Christ Figure” you mention in the podcast is actually the Hero’s Journey Formula of mythology as recognized by Joseph Campbell… it’s only because we live in a “Christian” culture that this formula by default makes people think of Jesus. In reality the Christian story of Jesus itself fits this formula of mythology.

  18. 18
    lol mahmood

    Have any of you seen Man of Steel yet:? It is peppered with rather clumsy Jebus references. There’s even a rather incoherent exchange between Supes and the main female villain during which ‘evolution’ and ‘morality’ are bandied about like meaningless buzzwords.

    It might be interesting to see whether you can lay your hands on the Man of Steel pastors’ pack and review its contents.

    As for the film itself; I love superhero movies, but this is terrible. Boring, almost constantly shakey-cammed, littered with unnecessary CGI lens flare, far too long and completely uninvolving. It only comes alive when Henry Caville is allowed to actually act, and those moments are rare. There’s a decent ten seconds of character work when he’s in the US Army observation cell. Having a pair of ex-Robin Hoods play his two dads is an amusing touch, but neither of them does much of note. The last act of the film is a pointles sprawl of tedious, over-CGIed action.

    I quite liked Superman Returns, for all its flaws. It’s certainly a better film than MoS.

  19. 19

    Outstanding read, I recently passed this onto a colleague who was doing a tiny research on that. And he truly bought me lunch because I found it regarding him laugh So permit me to rephrase that.

  1. 20
    Why John Loftus and Reasonable Doubts shouldn’t be laughing

    [...] Reasonable Doubts podcast which featured an interview with John Loftus. (You can listen to it here.) I have listened to many RD podcasts and it has been a good discipline. And it does take [...]

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