Open thread for AETV #900: Russell and Tracie – “Je suis Charlie”


Je suis Charlie. And viewer calls.

Comments

  1. robertwilson says

    Hated the first caller. Not the call mind you. The caller himself.

    “I just wanted to share… you guys are so reasonable… great show…”

    Drop the act and the double talk. But then again all he really wanted to do was share so… glad Tracie and Russell were very firm in prodding him, no matter how unwilling he was to address their points.

  2. robertwilson says

    Second caller: the kind who doesn’t want to hang up, needs the conversation… this one sounds familiar.

    “I became an atheist”

    OH! I remember this guy… He needs to find some other people to talk to about this stuff :p

  3. Narf says

    @2
    Someone just needs to send him to this comment section or Atheist Nexus, or somewhere like that.

  4. HappyPerson says

    First caller was frustrating to listen to. The difficulty I think is a psychological barrier that is evoked when someone wants to believe and becomes resistant to criticism to their theist position. I forgot who said it but it’s like trying to listen to criticism of your partner/spouse. When he said something like ‘there are some things that logic can’t touch’ or something like that, then the call should have ended. Unless there is a good response to that kind of remark. Tracey/Russell already addressed that issue when they said something like if the terrorist in France said that he just knows that his god told him to kill everyone, how would you know that he was wrong, and the caller just said that he had no response since he did not have the same experience or had access inside the terrorist’s head. By then the call started to go downhill.

  5. Robert Delaney says

    First call was great and I thought Russel and Tracie did a fantastic job dealing with him.

    However, it is too bad that “Steve” got through again (the third and final caller). He’s called the show so many times before. He’s so clearly a prank, I wish he’d quit wasting everyones time.

    Its the same thing everytime. He calls with a silly question… and then continues to say “I have one more question real quick.” He just milks the show for as much time as he can.

    Anyone who doesnt agree, go back and listen to his call. Its completely nonsensical (as they always are). Why would he first talk about a decades old movie where someone spit on a cross… and then after 10 minutes have passed finally mention ‘oh yeah, my dad died after I became an atheist.’

    As soon as I heard him I knew the show was over. I guess he got his way this week and ran out the clock.

  6. Robert Delaney says

    Russell and Tracie – I know its hard to make those judgement calls live on air. Just want to be clear that I’m not critiquing your hosting at all. You are both great and did a good job as always.

  7. Muz says

    To superficial things for a moment: The audio on the show seemed to hit a decent standard a little while ago, or so my impression runs. There was the odd slip but it was forgivable.

    For the last few months however it has been consistently hot, even in relaxed moments with one person talking. Whatever settings you’re running with are off somewhere, I suggest.

  8. petrander says

    Regarding the first caller from London: As someone with a palaeontology background I found myself wanting to scream to get him to shut the fuck up and own up what these so-called “loopholes” in evolutionary science and the fossil record are supposed to be. I understand that the hosts aren’t fossil record experts and rather focus on general, philosophical scepticism of his nonsense, but FOR CRYING OUT LOUD it was frustrating to listen to!

  9. petrander says

    @6 Robert Delaney: Why do you think he’s a fake!? He seems to me to be actually someone who had religious doubts, called the show and that eventually helped him let go of his faith. I’d say is a success story for TAE!

  10. wickedjacob says

    Let me thread this lightly. When I hear Steve, he reminds me VERY much of a person I knew who had a brain injury (I’m talking diagnosed, not colloquially) due to a severe motorcycle accident. This person had a hard time holding on to points in a conversation without repeating them ad nauseum, jumped around in conversations in a disjointed manner, and generally seemed like he was being dense on purpose when he really just had a hard time processing data and knowing when to move on. I’m not saying Steve is or is not a troll, but everything from his speech patterns to the words he uses reminds me (albeit anecdotally I’m not an expert) of my brain-injured acquaintance.

    That said, I think the show has given him enough time either way.

  11. blue says

    The first caller misquoted the Patterson misquote, which is hilarious.

    The original Patterson misquote was about transitional forms http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html

    The caller said it was about rate of change, which is ironic because that’s one of the aspects of evolution which is actively being figured out. It’s gradual change vs puntuated equilibria. I haven’t studied the topic closely lately but I think puncuated equilibria has taken the lead.

    As for personal experience, there is a lot of research about brain glitches, seizures, tumours and drugs in inducing religious experiences. I liked Traci’s tactic, but why don’t hosts ever bring up the fallibility of the brain in response to these stories?

  12. Monocle Smile says

    @petrander
    Steve’s called in about half a dozen times. Follow the link AgentSmith posted. It’s the same conversation every time and Steve does his level best to remain on the air as long as possible. The cynical side of me suspects he’s a theist who just wants to waste the show’s time for some butthurt reason, but I don’t have much to back that up.

    I’ve stopped understanding the people who call in about evolution. They rarely understand it themselves and have no reason to think any of the hosts (unless Beth or AronRa were guest-hosting) would be well-versed in it. There have been a couple of okay discussions where they didn’t get too deep in the past, but typically the best way to handle it is to jump to the hypothetical that evolution is indeed false…because that still doesn’t actually demonstrate anything about the theist’s position.

  13. Narf says

    @9 – petrander
    Sounds like one of the organizers of one of my local groups, with whom I was speaking yesterday, at an after-event lunch thing.

    She has a future-brother-in-law who was a creationist. She’s working on her Ph.D. in evolutionary biology, focusing on the evolution of the pelvis in hominids. You can imagine how she had … words with him, about his complete dismissal of her life’s work.

    At least the guy is now at the point of some sort of guided evolution, like the pope is. It’s still utterly wrongheaded, but less stupidly so.

  14. Russell Glasser says

    As I’ve mentioned before… I know in hindsight that the second Steve is an attention seeker who just keeps dragging calls out as long as he can to hear himself talk. But it’s damn hard to keep track of who is and isn’t someone I should spend time on. You go a few weeks without hearing from him, we talk to several people a week, and by the time I realize this is someone who I should have hung up on much earlier, it’s sometimes too late. The call screener can’t remember every single person who’s a nuisance either.

    The fact that I was trying to hang up on Steve because the show was ending and he kept trying to talk some more, definitely gave me flashbacks to his other calls, where he just keeps saying whatever it takes to stay on the air. I wish I’d hung up after about five minutes instead of letting that go on to the end of the show.

  15. Narf says

    Yeah, I can imagine how much shit you must have running around through your mind, while live on air. It takes a few times before things really stick enough for it to jump to the fore immediately, unless there’s something incredibly noteworthy in the accent and subject, like that Sunderb00t idiot.

  16. corwyn says

    What became of the white cards in the audience idea?

    I did think that the “that’s a new topic, call back next week with it” was a particularly good response (on another call). Caller’s should get ONE discussion point (and perhaps a comment or two).

  17. Narf says

    Heh, yeah, that’s a thought. The audience isn’t on the spot, thinking on their feet. They might be in a better place to recognize something like this.

  18. rocketdave says

    It also took me a good long while to recognize Steve #2 as a repeat offender, so I can’t fault the hosts (or call screeners) for not realizing who he was right away either. I’ve had to deal with my own share of oddballs and it can be hard to keep track of them all, especially since I often try to cast unpleasant experiences/ people from my mind as best as possible. The guy’s gotten way more time than he deserves already, but part of me hopes Steve does get through just one more time so that someone might finally call him on his shenanigans on the air.

  19. Robert, not Bob says

    Regarding “why don’t you ask scientists these science questions” which comes up almost every episode, a foundational assumption of creationism seems to be My Intuition is Better than Those Damn Scientists, so it’s logical I guess.

  20. HappyPerson says

    Forgot to mention that for the first caller, Russell adequately dismissed the caller’s concerns about evolution vis-a-vis atheism because atheism doesn’t require that evolution to be true. However, that just went over the caller’s head and I think the hosts should have reiterated this point. Sometimes you have to hammer a strong point home multiple times for the point to register, especially in people who do not want to hear it.

  21. HappyPerson says

    Robert, not Bob #20
    Seems like the first caller demonstrated a classic case of confirmation bias. Seemed like he sought out a person that seems to support his theistic view, and gave it more credibility than it deserves. Even though Tracy explained to him that science works by looking at the weight of evidence/consensus, he ignored her point and said something like oh I’m just giving my perspective, asking questions, etc. Frustrating.

  22. Monocle Smile says

    @HappyPerson
    I agree.
    However, I think Russell in particular prefers to treat people like adults. Unfortunately, callers like the first Steve (and the second Steve, for that matter) don’t behave like mature adults. Having to repeat very simple points and doing kindergarten-level hand-holding comes across as condescending, which is why I think Russell tries to avoid that, but believers don’t really give us much of a choice sometimes.

  23. robertwilson says

    @HappyPerson @MS

    MS is right that the first caller doesn’t behave like a mature adult. More than that though I think he would’ve ignored anything Russell said. If Russell said something the caller would never really acknowledge it, he’d just say “ok but here’s what I believe”.

    He’s essentially witnessing in the most passive-aggressive way. In fact I don’t even know if that point went over the caller’s head so much as he just ignored it like everything else.

    @rocketdave

    re: Steve, I don’t know if it’s shenanigans (at least not intentional ones). I wouldn’t be surprised if Steve just doesn’t know (socially) how to behave on the phone with the show and feels a need to talk to someone about atheism but has no clue where to start, what to say and so on (and may even have issues some other commenters have speculated about). I don’t mean that he shouldn’t know or be able to realize these things but I don’t automatically attribute his behavior to prank calling (I don’t rule it out mind you) like some do.

  24. Mas says

    Grammar trolling here, but maybe also a useful tip to some:
    A clause that contains a verb should be preceded by “as,” not “like.”
    “Do like the Romans do” *buzz*

    +One more vote for giving ex-Catholic guy who rarely talks to people the Charlie Check’em treatment.

  25. Robert, not Bob says

    @Matzo Ball Soup
    Some language changes ought to be resisted. The like/as thing doesn’t bother me, and I don’t mind it going the way of will/shall, but other changes, such as inappropriate’s apostrophe’s everywhere’s, do.

  26. officalvillageidiot says

    I find it mind blowing that christians deny Evolution but when they discover they have cancer they they beg Medical Science to provide the Drugs & Treatments based on research using evolution theory. What the hell do they think Gene Therapy is based on. If Christians want to deny Atheists jobs and other rights then Christians don’t get to use Medical Science to treat them I know its hash and I would never deny medical treatment to anyone but you have to admit its frustrating dealing with Theists to the point of pulling out you own hair

  27. Last Embryo Standing says

    a foundational assumption of creationism seems to be My Intuition is Better than Those Damn Scientists,….

    @Robert, Not Bob
    I sometimes ask creationists online whether they think they are smarter than most scientists or instead believe they are all part of a vast conspiracy to hide the truth. Usually they admit they are not smarter, which only leaves conspiracy.

  28. officalvillageidiot says

    If God and Satan and real, why doesn’t US Courts accept the excuse “The Devil made me did it” or “God commanded me to kill the unbeliever” and why is there so many Christians in US prisons and why does God allow his followers to be locked up

  29. says

    You guys are totally missing the point on the first caller. The guy he read about “works with bones all day”. I mean, what is all the accumulated knowledge from scientists throughout history and the marvelous new information from modernity when stacked against the assertions of a guy who works with bones all day? Also… Loopholes. Seriously, the caller was a skeptic who really looks into these things. You can tell, because he said so. And he talks with god. Well, he did… once. It’s a personal relationship. I really wish he’d have recorded that.

  30. Matzo Ball Soup says

    @28: Why don’t we still speak like Chaucer? For that matter, why don’t we still speak Proto-Indo-European, or whatever language *that* evolved from? When children acquire their native language, they tend to speak it in a way that’s subtly different from what their parents speak. It would be impossible to stop it even if you tried. It’s not inherently “good” or “bad”, just like with biological evolution.

    Of course, it’s important to learn how to read and understand varieties of English from other times (e.g. Shakespeare) and places (we should know the differences between American English, British English, Australian English, and so on, so that we can understand each other). But that’s irrelevant to the point that criticizing people out of the blue for the way they speak (1) is a dick move and (2) does not have the science (of linguistics, in this case) on its side.

    (Apostrophes fall under spelling, not grammar, and don’t really have anything to do with language per se. We could write English with an orthography that lacked apostrophes, and nothing about English would change. Heck, we could write English in Chinese characters and nothing about the language itself would change.)

  31. Matzo Ball Soup says

    OH WAIT. “Like” as an introducer of a full clause DOES occur in Shakespeare. Here’s an example from Pericles:

    “As thou wilt live, fly after: and like [an arrow shot from a well-experienced archer hits the mark his eye doth level at], so thou ne’er return unless thou say ‘Prince Pericles is dead.'”

    Geoff Pullum suggests at the end of this blog post that the “like”/”as” thing is a bullshit rule dreamed up by Noah Webster and then taken on faith by subsequent generations of writers.

    More old-timey examples (from the OED):

    “Did not David thirst after thee, like the thirsty hart the fountains of clear water?” (1604)

    “The patient still moveth the wounded joint, like the jack of a watch doth move.” (1658)

    “To act like Judith did with Holofernes” (1715)

    “Ere yet we have shed our locks like trees their leaves.” (1839)

    “Unfortunately few have observed like you have done.” (1866)

    “They are strange and startling, like the products of a dream ofttimes are, to the mind which has actually produced them.” (1867)

    These seem to be mostly British (e.g. the 1866 one is from Darwin’s letters) — if the “rule” is indeed the invention of noted American Noah Webster, this is unsurprising.

    Before anyone quibbles with the inclusion of the 1604 and 1839 examples: yeah, I know they don’t literally contain a verb. But they are obviously full clauses (the verb is just being elided), thus contrasting in a crucial way with “John isn’t like me”.

  32. Matzo Ball Soup says

    (Sorry, that’s Mark Liberman, not Geoff Pullum. They both often write about so-called “zombie rules” of grammar on the Language Log blog.)

  33. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Regarding the person who says that evolution is atheistic science. Reminder: Most people who believe in evolution are Christians, not atheists.

  34. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    AFAIK, the description of the split brain patient with two personalities, one atheist, one believer. That’s accurate. I recall hearing it from several talks by V S Ramachandran who portrayed it exactly like that. It was one half of the brain had control over one of the hands.

    This example was also used to (again) destroy the idea of a non-material magic soul. If you split the guys brain, you get two people. Do the two people share a soul? Or is another soul added just like when you add another soul when a young embryo of a fertilized egg splits to become identical twins?

  35. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    About Russell. Politely disagreed to a large extent on several of his points.

    When Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes used the example of yelling fire in a crowded theatre, do you know what he was doing? He was sending to jail two Yiddish speaking socialists, who were distributing pamphlets in Yiddish – a language most people could not read – warning about the dangers of joining the world war – arguing yelling fire when there was an actual fire.

    Want to see what happens when someone actually yells fire in a crowded threate?
    >Christopher Hitchens on Free Speech
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z2uzEM0ugY

    In the United States, there are limits on free speech, such as true threats, libel, slander, false advertisement, copyright, etc. However, it is a near universality that no speech may be banned merely because of its offensive or outrageous content, nor because of its falsity of content (again excepting false advertisement, fraud, etc.). Obscenity is one of the last remaining restrictions, but AFAIK it’s rarely being used anymore. (Thank god.)

    Whereas, in many European countries, it’s criminal to call someone a fag in public, or to say that the holocaust didn’t happen, or to promote the Nazi party. I personally think those laws are wrong-headed and should be removed.

    I sympathize with the caller to the extent he compares these hate speech laws with the chilling effect on cartoonists who cartoon the prophet Muhammad. However, I think the caller is an asshat because of his specific tone in which he brought up these examples, and because he seemingly tried to compare it to killing some cartoonists or something.

    PS: I do think that there are real examples in the vein of “yelling fire in a crowded theatre”, despite that example seemingly not working. For example, I can imagine being a coworker in an area of high voltage electricity, and maliciously and falsely telling my coworker that the electricity is off when it is not, in order that he will shock himself. I’m ok with that being criminal. The shared element is that you are maliciously tricking someone else into causing themself immediate physical harm by providing false information: saying fire when there isn’t fire, or saying the power is off when it’s on.

    As for incitement to riot? I’m a little undecided, but I think the idea is largely bullshit. Charge people for rioting, not “incitement”.

  36. says

    This is a guy who handles bones day in and day out. I’m not the expert here. He’s the expert.

    If you’re concerned with expert testimony, why aren’t you concerned about the other 99.9% of experts in the field who disagree with this Patterson guy?

  37. Monocle Smile says

    @Jasper
    rrpostal was being snide, not serious. He’s just poking fun at the Brit caller.
    Russell and Tracie raised this point and the caller ignored them and repeated himself. In other words, he did exactly what ever other apologist does when caught saying something stupid.

  38. Narf says

    @33 – Matzo Ball Soup

    (Apostrophes fall under spelling, not grammar, and don’t really have anything to do with language per se.

    It’s a bit of a gray area. Its/it’s and whose/who’s are somewhere between grammar and spelling. I don’t know that I would specifically call it a grammatical error, as much as just flat-out wrong, if you use the wrong one … but I would consider it a matter of word choice and not spelling, with those.

  39. Narf says

    @36 – EL
    What about Buddhists and other higher-ranking religions? Buddhists might have a higher percentage of acceptance than Christians, after you factor in American Christians, although I’m sure they also stick a bunch of spiritual bullshit onto it, like Christians do.

    And I know most Buddhists are atheists, but I took your usage of atheist to mean our sort of atheist, the skeptical sort.

  40. Narf says

    @39 – JoM

    This is a guy who handles bones day in and day out. I’m not the expert here. He’s the expert.

    If you’re concerned with expert testimony, why aren’t you concerned about the other 99.9% of experts in the field who disagree with this Patterson guy?

    Hell, @#$%^*& Carl Baugh handles bones quite often. Doesn’t mean I’m going to accept a word that that dishonest douche-bag says.

  41. says

    @40

    It wasn’t really in reply to him… just in general. I’m going through the episode bit by bit, and head-desking at multiple occasions.

    What gets me about that caller, overall, is that the moment he dismissed the usage of logic, communication is then impossible. The rest of the conversation with him may as well have been gibberish.

  42. squadkid says

    The second caller brought up some great points on the material nature of the soul and on free speech in Europe. I really wonder what he was getting at with his new concept at the end of the call regarding fetuses in the future. They shouldve let him bring up his concept. LOL that he prophisies that he would be a caller on the 900 show. Rhe hostsgot a kickout of it.

  43. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf
    I meant by simple numbers, not percentages. IIRC, the vast majority of people who believe in evolution also self-identify as Christian.

  44. houndentenor says

    It’s become hilarious to me that people who haven’t had a science class since high school think they have found the “proof” that discredits evolution. Yes, I realize that the religious right long ago made evolution the boogey-man of Christianity, (See: Inherit the Wind) but even if we suddenly discovered that something other than natural selection was the cause of the diversity of life on our planet, that wouldn’t magically prove any gods exist. Also, we now have sufficient evidence from the dna of various species to prove common ancestry. In fact that’s far better proof than the fossil record (which is useful but limited since fossils are rare and not every species left any fossils). The entire topic is just hilarious to anyone who has actually studied it. And I say this as someone who was taught young earth creationism in church. It’s nonsense and there’s no point in letting people rattle on about things where they don’t know what they’re talking about.

    And the idea that scientists are in a grand conspiracy is especially hilarious. 1) Scientists who become well known usually make their mark by overturning something that had been accepted science. 2) They present their findings in front of other scientists, sometimes including the very scientists whose work they are contradicting. 3) Other scientists are listening and reading carefully and if there is the slightest flaw in your methodology and conclusions…well it’s not pretty. And it happens. The entire system is set up to make sure that flawed ideas are exposed and only good ideas are disseminated. I wish everything worked like that because as it is people now go on and on about things that are completely contradicted by evidence and scream persecution if anyone dares challenge them. This isn’t just religion but all sorts of pseudo-science and medical quackery as well.

  45. Narf says

    @47 – EL
    I was thinking of the end result in absolute numbers, too. My numbers were just way the hell off. I just looked up some stuff.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_populations:
    The World Factbook gives the population as 7,095,217,980 (July 2013 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 31.50% (of which Roman Catholic 16.85%, Protestant 6.15%, Orthodox 3.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 23.20% (of which Sunni 75-90%, Shia 10-20%, Ahmadi 1%), Hindu 13.8%, Buddhist 6.77%, Sikh 0.35%, Jewish 0.22%, Baha’i 0.11%, other religions 10.95%, non-religious 9.66%, atheists 2.01% (2010 est.).

    I could have sworn the percentage of Buddhists was a lot higher. Whoops. With a 5:1 ratio, yeah, you’re right. I don’t know that the Christians are a solid majority (most) of the people who accept biological evolution, but they certainly make up the largest block, which is what you meant, I’m sure.

  46. gshelley says

    I’m not sure what to make of the guy’s claim that he called up Patterson who didn’t correct him and explain the true context, but basically agreed with it. As Patterson died in 1998, if he did this, it would be over 15 years ago, plenty of time to get the details muddled

  47. Matt Gerrans says

    “…if he did this, it would be over 15 years ago, plenty of time to get the details muddled.”

    Well, heck, if he admitted that, then he’d have to concede the same for those “gospels” written by anonymous authors some 35-90 years after would have Jesus lived (assuming Jesus isn’t completely fictional, of course).

    I wish the hosts would have cut short the lengthy and repetitive flattery. It was really annoying. I guess that comes from thinking your god needs all kinds of obsequious worship. Or maybe he thinks if he slathers on enough sycophancy, he will get less criticism in return. Sorry, no dice, bud. When he said “I like to think I’m rational, I look into things, blah, blah…” I think did dispute that characterization, but they could not have driven it home forcefully enough. That guy was not rational at all.

  48. Matt Gerrans says

    Oops:
    “after would have Jesus lived” -> “after Jesus would have lived”
    “I think did dispute that characterization” -> “I think Tracie did dispute that characterization”

  49. Narf says

    “… a debate about Christianity.”

    Heh, that’s really freaking vague. Which flavor of Christianity? What’s the topic? Which style of debate?

    For that matter, what is the channel URL? I’m having difficulties finding it through YouTube searches.

  50. Narf says

    Oh, here we go. The URL is http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLZI9PWCEDyLtH6Bx3FKWHA. I’m sure that’s the right one, since the e-mail listed in the details section matches the one he posted here. Doesn’t look very promising. One of his videos is called Building Belief in God: Creation vs. Evolution … although I fixed the capitalization and punctuation. So, we’re looking at a young-Earth creationist.

    A comment posted to that video from the Mindcraft channel account: “God spoke humans and animals into existence, and read Genesis 1 for evidence. You are correct with ignorance, but the kind of specific evolution that we talked about (Macro-Evolution) is entirely inaccurate.” I don’t think this guy understands what ‘evidence’ means.

    The differentiation between macro- and micro-evolution is right out of Kent Hovind’s playbook. I dunno. I think this guy needs an education, not a debate.

  51. Matt Gerrans says

    In addition to to being suspiciously vague it is kind of illiterately presented. Why wouldn’t they say what the channel is and give some useful links, etc.? In sum, sounds phishy.

  52. Narf says

    His videos have 29 views (I just added one to that video), 8 views, 1 view, no views, and 2 views, respectively, in the order of posting. I think this guy is out trying to boost his public awareness with a debate.

  53. Matt Gerrans says

    The micro/macro evolution argument is kind of like “I believe in seconds, but not centuries. I’ve never seen a century.”

  54. Narf says

    @58 – Matt Gerrans
    Nah. I’m sure the kid is perfectly honest in his debate request. He just looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing yet, judging from his channel.

  55. Matt Gerrans says

    Yeah, I want to watch him debate Matt Dillahunty. Or would that be considered child abuse?

  56. Narf says

    I have a horrified need to know what sort of topic he thinks he’s going to debate one of them on. “I’m going to prove literal, Biblical creation true! And here are the verses!”

    I dunno. We’ll see if he gets back to us with any details. I’m curious where he thinks he’s going with this.

  57. Mindcraft says

    I did. It specify it will be over Skype with all of your atheist hosts. Email for accept or decline. But know this if you decline that means you are too afraid to debate with a person that has the our God on their side

  58. Mindcraft says

    Also it will work Christ is on our side and kids that trust in God can beat any atheist.
    And this will be over why we believe in Christ and why they believe in no God

  59. Thorne says

    @ Narf #42

    It’s a bit of a gray area. Its/it’s and whose/who’s are somewhere between grammar and spelling.

    Both of those examples, along with many others, are only applicable in written communications. This places them squarely in the spelling category. When using the spoken word there is no way to distinguish between them except through context.

    Although, there/they’re/their is this!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf_TDuhk3No

  60. Matt Gerrans says

    “I’m going to prove literal, Biblical creation true! And here are the verses!”

    Precisely. I struggled through his “Mindcraft-building belief in God creation vs. evolution” video; where he refutes evolution. The evidence? Genesis 1.

    I think they would not get past the preliminary discussion of what constitutes “evidence.”

    On the amusing side, Genesis does provide “evidence” for walking, talking snakes, for which evolutionary theory does not account. Checkmate, Darwinists!

  61. colourmegone says

    During the introduction someone mentioned Bill Donahue saying that people shouldn’t mock faith and then someone followed up by saying “He’s not the Pope but…”

    Well the Pope has just spoken out on the issue. Here’s what he said, and I quote, “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith.” so Mr Donahue pretty much hit the nail on the head so far as the Catholic Church goes.

    Source: CNN
    YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bEcnGPCepg&list=PLB20696059C54FB94&index=80

  62. Narf says

    @68 – Thorne

    Both of those examples, along with many others, are only applicable in written communications. This places them squarely in the spelling category.

    Wait, so comma misuse qualifies as a spelling error, now? Your statement would place that sort of thing in the spelling category, too. I think you need to rework your definitions a little.

  63. Matt Gerrans says

    I did. It specify it will be over Skype with all of your atheist hosts. Email for accept or decline. But know this if you decline that means you are too afraid to debate with a person that has the our God on their side

    Also it will work Christ is on our side and kids that trust in God can beat any atheist.
    And this will be over why we believe in Christ and why they believe in no God

    Huh? What you are to making to say trying and also?

    They would be well justified to fear going into battle against someone who can produce such confounding word jumbles.
    Truly, you have a dizzying intellect!

  64. Ethan Myerson says

    But know this if you decline that means you are too afraid to debate with a person that has the our God on their side

    When you go to McDonalds and don’t get fries with your order, is it because you’re too afraid to get fries? If you decline to participate in a phone survey, is it because you’re too afraid to answer questions? If your 4-year-old cousin wants to play Chutes and Ladders for the hundredth time, and you decline, is it because you’re too afraid to lose to a child? You may think there’s only one explanation for someone declining to chat with you, but you could be wrong.

  65. Narf says

    @66&67 – Mindcraft

    I did. It specify it will be over Skype with all of your atheist hosts. Email for accept or decline.

    All of the Atheist Experience hosts? You know that there are 6 hosts/co-hosts in semi-regular rotation, plus a handful of alternates they call in from time to time, if you include Lynnea Glasser, Beth Presswood, Jeff Dee, Aron Ra, and a few others from the ACA who they have had sit in the co-host seat. A debate with 10 people on one side would be an unmanageable mess, and I somehow doubt that they would be willing to get more than one or two of them together to talk to you.

    I would love to watch you debate Aron Ra. That would be so funny, if not particularly something that I would learn anything from.

    Where did it specify a Skype debate? This is the first I’ve seen of it. What about the debate topic? What about moderation? You haven’t given us any details.

    But know this if you decline that means you are too afraid to debate with a person that has the our God on their side

    Uhhhhhhhh … no. That isn’t the way this works. This isn’t some middle-school-playground, taunt-hurling contest. That isn’t at all what it means, if they turn you down. They get to give their reasons, and the observers get to determine whether those reasons are good or not.

    First you have to demonstrate that you’re worth talking to, before they accept any formal challenge like that. Your YouTube channel doesn’t get the job done.

    Say, for example, you propose a completely dishonest debate-topic, such as “The atheists have to prove that God doesn’t exist,” or “The atheists have to prove that God didn’t start the Big Bang.” Those are not honest debate topics, since atheism doesn’t necessarily include either position.

    Speaking of which, what is your debate topic? “A debate about Christianity,” is not a debate topic. Hell, the Christian callers to the show have to have a more refined discussion-subject, before they let them on the air.

    Also it will work Christ is on our side and kids that trust in God can beat any atheist.
    And this will be over why we believe in Christ and why they believe in no God

    You haven’t seen many debates between atheists and religious sorts, have you? Christopher Hitchens and Lawrence Krauss wipe the floor with religious sorts, all the time. Well, Christopher Hitchens did, anyway.

    Russel Glasser (the guy who responded to your original post, at comment #55) had a text-based debate with Stephen Feinstein, in which he destroyed Stephen to the point that Stephen’s own Christian audience was too embarrassed to stand up and support him. You can read that debate here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2012/10/12/reply-to-stephen-feinstein-final-round/. That’s the final post of the debate, which contains links to the previous 9 posts, for a total of 5 from each side.

  66. Thorne says

    @ Narf 370

    Wait, so comma misuse qualifies as a spelling error, now?

    Not what I said at all. Misuse of a comma, or other such punctuation marks, can change the meaning of a sentence in both written and spoken forms. Misuse of an apostrophe in homophones may make the written statement appear wrong (and yes, might affect the meaning) but when read allowed, heard by someone without access to the written statement, would not affect the overall meaning of that statement.

    But I am not a linguist, nor a grammarian, nor an English major. Hell, I’ve been speaking English all my life and I would seriously doubt my ability to pass an English as a Second Language exam! Your original post just caused a random synapse to fire in my brain, reminding me of that old video.

  67. Thorne says

    “when read allowed” should be, of course, “when read aloud”.

    Totally unintentional, I swear!

  68. Narf says

    How does the misuse of a comma change the meaning of a sentence, in spoken form? How do you know it wasn’t an ellipsis or a semicolon? How do you know the person didn’t just need to take a breath or burp?

    Punctuation is usually just a way to represent the natural pauses and stresses of the spoken word, and it’s fairly fluid, at that, as long as you’re internally consistent and don’t do anything that far outside of agreed upon conventions. Commas don’t exist as such, in the spoken version of our language.

    Heh, that would have been a damned good joke if you had meant that typo, though. Just own it and do an, “I meant to do that!” next time. 😀

  69. gshelley says

    Mindcraft:

    I did. It specify it will be over Skype with all of your atheist hosts. Email for accept or decline. But know this if you decline that means you are too afraid to debate with a person that has the our God on their side

    Have you ever watched the show? The discuss Christianity with people who think they have god on their side every week? Or do you mean an organised debate? That’s still a fail for you, as Matt Dillahunty at least has frequently debated Christians in formal settings

  70. Narf says

    My point is that both spelling and punctuation are constructs to assist in bringing the spoken word to a page of text. Punctuation is generally considered a part of grammar, while the usage of an apostrophe is a bit of a gray area, since it straddles the line between word choice (related to grammar) and word construction (spelling, usually). I feel that your statement about grammar being fully represented in the spoken form is a little overly broad. A particular error only being present in the written form does not automatically make it a spelling error.

  71. Narf says

    @67 – Mindcraft
    By the way, “why we believe in Christ and why they believe in no God,” isn’t a debate topic, either. That’s really freaking vague. You need a much more focused topic, if you want to have an actual formal debate, instead of two people hurling random stuff at each other.

    Pick one subject: morality, emotional support provided by a belief system, the age of the Earth, common descent through natural selection … although those last two are a question of science, not philosophical debate, and you’ve already lost right out of the gate. After you pick the subject of the debate, you have to narrow it to a specific topic statement, which one side will support and the other side will tear down.

    Also, your proposed, vague topic is a gross distortion of the general atheist position. I sure as hell would never agree to a debate on that topic, and I don’t imagine that anyone associated with The Atheist Experience would be stupid enough to do so, either. The atheist position is not “I believe in no god,” (lower-case g); it’s “I don’t believe the claims you make about this god thing, which I have no reason to believe exists.” It’s a rejection of a claim, not a positive belief position. If you don’t understand the difference between those two positions, you’re not ready to play with the big boys, yet.

  72. Russell Glasser says

    @66&67 – Mindcraft

    Narf has it about right. You’re unlikely to assemble all of us for the same event simultaneously; some weeks it’s a pretty big chore just to make sure two people are able to show up, because we have other stuff we do outside of the show. Additionally, this “face me or you’re a coward” stuff is just plain childish. It doesn’t make me feel inclined to talk to you, because it just means my first impression of you is that you’re a person who thinks emotional manipulation and name calling is the right way to get what you want. If I’m going to spend extra time arguing with people outside the show, I’d like them at minimum to be a competent conversationalist, and so far you haven’t given that impression.

    Having said that, you are obviously welcome to call the show any Sunday when we are on — check the left sidebar for instructions, schedule, and phone number. In fact, I’ll just go ahead and say right now that you ought to call this Sunday or else, by your own claims, you’re a coward. (Note: I don’t actually think this, but hey, your rules.)

  73. alankey says

    I actually find the second Steve from New Jersey quite endearing. Yes he likes to talk but over the course of three or four phone ins it was quite clear that he had reservations about what his church were preaching and that his questions about his religion were not being truthfully answered by his clergy. He clearly stated he was going to do more research and now he returns having become an atheist. I believe his path and wish him well.

  74. Mindcraft says

    Sorry about earlier a friend used my email and name to write that. I am just fine with one host. We have many to help us prepare and we will be able to put up a good debate. As of thesunday show I go to church so I can not call

  75. Mindcraft says

    Also from other comments we are not trying to get attention and not all of us are in those videos and we are very capable of debating. Plus we have Aton of vids that I have not uploaded yet that are a lot more professional

  76. bobwoodruff says

    Off topic, but…I really enjoy the early episodes you’ve been posting. It’s a pleasure to see Russel, Matt, Jeff, Martin etal. when their foreheads were smaller. Are you bringing along younger hosts?

  77. Narf says

    Having said that, you are obviously welcome to call the show any Sunday when we are on — check the left sidebar for instructions, schedule, and phone number.

    Hell, for that matter, he can cut out the footage of his call and post it on his channel, right? At least I think the ACA has pretty much given blanket permission for that sort of thing.

    He can have his discussion (I don’t think he actually understands what a debate is) for as long as you guys can put up with his arguments from biblical authority.

  78. Last Embryo Standing says

    @82 MindCraft

    I am sure your family/congregation will support your missing church for one week to do the lord’s work in confronting atheists by calling into the show.

  79. Narf says

    @82&83 – Mindcraft

    As of thesunday show I go to church so I can not call

    The show starts at 4:30 PM, Central Time. Aren’t you out of church by then? Even if you’re in Pacific Time, you should be free by 2:30 PM. Surely your parents would let you free from any afternoon activities, so that you’re able to fight to bring the light of Christ to the godless.

    The TAE call-screeners give preference to theistic callers, since we don’t want to just have an echo chamber with the hosts talking to atheists all show. So, you should be able to get through.

    Also from other comments we are not trying to get attention and not all of us are in those videos and we are very capable of debating.

    Well, you should be trying to get attention with this sort of thing. Addressing the opposition and publicizing that interaction is a good way to get attention. Me saying that you’re doing that wasn’t exactly a negative criticism, just a guess at your motives for coming here.

    I have more doubts about the last part of your statement that I quoted here. If you think that quoting things out of the Bible equals presenting evidence, you had better begin the line of reasoning by explaining why we should lend any weight to the contents of the Bible, outside of a literary context.

  80. frankgturner says

    I listened a few times to the first caller. I had to think about what he was trying to get across and think about him as a person.
    .
    I kin of got the impression that he was one of those types of theists that was mentioned in the blog about the last show who just changes the nouns in a description of what he believes and thinks that this describes another religion or atheism. Like he does not understand that the fundamental model for how he views the world cannot be applied to the way others think.
    .
    I got the impression that he thinks that science works like politics, that you can debate the reality of things and that somehow makes them work differently, as though convincing people that evolution did not occur would make it not be so. (Sort of like WLC but british). I find it strange given that many Europeans do better on math and science than many Americans that one would call into the show who does not have a firm grasp on how science works. And I have a sneaking feeling that Mindcraft on here is the same way and is a kid being prompted by some propaganda minister. Let’s see what happens.

  81. frankgturner says

    @Narf # 87

    Addressing the opposition and publicizing that interaction is a good way to get attention. Me saying that you’re doing that wasn’t exactly a negative criticism, just a guess at your motives for coming here.

    .
    Unfortunately that sounds like ammunition for someone to quote mine. Publicizing the interaction in a spliced way can make one look like then have done a good job when they have not (hence quote miners). Fortunately without good editing it can look fishy. I found that to be the way with StB’s debate with Matt Dillahunty, his spliced and quote mined videos of Matt on the show looked so fishy it is as though he could have fed an army with 2 fish, pretty miraculous (metaphorically speaking). If you can smell the sarcasm you are right.

  82. says

    The first caller is quoting a scientist saying how gradualism isn’t represented in the fossil record – exactly the same thing creationists misrepresent about Stephen Jay Gould quotes.
    Between the two models of gradualism and punctuated equilibrium, the fossil record represents the latter and not the former. That doesn’t even come close to meaning the fossil record doesn’t represent evolution.

  83. Narf says

    @90 – fgt

    Unfortunately that sounds like ammunition for someone to quote mine. Publicizing the interaction in a spliced way can make one look like then have done a good job when they have not (hence quote miners).

    Well, sure, if someone wants to be a dishonest douche-bag about it, I can’t stop him. I was talking about pulling the entire call and posting that, since that would be the part that Mindcraft would be interested in. No point posting the entire show on his own channel, and the pre-approved permission granted by the ACA doesn’t include whole episodes, anyway.

    It would be pretty silly to splice footage in the way you’re saying, though, when the full scene will be available online, as both the full show and as clips pulled by fans of the show, as they do with all theistic callers. But our people pull the whole calls intact, because we’re honest that way.

  84. Narf says

    @91 – LR
    Yup, that’s the aggressively dishonest quote-mining which we’ve come to know from the creationists. I think most of the poor schmucks in the pews don’t even realize how badly the heads of the creationist movement lie to them at every turn. It’s just so freaking transparent, with a little bit of education on the subject.

  85. Mindcraft says

    I will only call to because the moderator told me to. This debate will not just be a five minute one but will take more time. Plus I do not want to post the call on our channel because that would be a lie saying it was mine and to lie is to sin

  86. Russell Glasser says

    Mindcraft: If you call this weekend, please be sure call in early. Around 4:15 PM Central time is best. Identify yourself as a Christian and you’ll get top priority. You may have to sit through a few minutes of announcements, but I can almost guarantee that you will get a lot more than five minutes. Regrettably, I’m not on this weekend, but you’ll be talking to Matt and John.

  87. Thorne says

    Just own it and do an, “I meant to do that!” next time.

    Yeah, I was torn between saying what I did or saying, “See what I did there?” Honesty won out again, damnit!

    the usage of an apostrophe is a bit of a gray area, since it straddles the line between word choice (related to grammar) and word construction (spelling, usually).

    I understand what you’re saying, and I agree. But in the examples given (it’s, they’re, etc.) the apostrophes are as much a part of the words as the letters, thereby making them part of the spelling. Commas, colons, semicolons and such, to my knowledge, are never a part of words, but are a part of sentence structure, which relates to grammar. Periods CAN be part of abbreviations, and thus part of spelling, but are again, primarily used for sentence structure.

    A particular error only being present in the written form does not automatically make it a spelling error.

    True, it could simply be a wrong word choice. One of my peeves is when people misuse the word “loose” when they mean “lose”. Done once in a document it might just be a spelling error or typo. Done more than once it’s an more likely an error in, what, grammar? pronunciation? spelling? Damned if I know, but it drives me up a wall.

  88. Ethan Myerson says

    @94 Mindcraft

    I will only call to because the moderator told me to. This debate will not just be a five minute one but will take more time.

    If I can give you a piece of advice, to help you avoid some common pitfalls, consider educating yourself on some of the more common logical fallacies. The ones that I think show up most on the Atheist Experience include Appeal to Authority, Appeal to Popularity, Begging the Question (be sure to read up on this one… it may not mean what you think it means), False Dilemma, and Straw Man. (Others may point out other logical fallacies that commonly appear).

    This may seem obvious, but make sure you understand your own position well, and don’t expect to be able to adhere to a script. If you’ve got a rote flowchart that you expect the conversation to follow, you may get flustered when the hosts don’t give you the response you expect. Be aware that one of the most common ways callers get flustered is when the hosts don’t simply stipulate to callers’ assumptions. Be prepared to defend any assertions you make.

    I’m a rationalist and an atheist and will almost certainly disagree with any position you’re likely to take in your call. So why am I telling you all this? For one thing, you seem sincere, and I’d honestly love to see you equip yourself well on the show. But more importantly, as an audience we hear a LOT of callers who fall into these common pitfalls, and it would be great to have someone call in who can argue clearly, concisely, logically and with intellectual integrity. Maybe that can be you.

    Plus I do not want to post the call on our channel because that would be a lie saying it was mine and to lie is to sin

    I’m pretty sure TAE gives you permission to host the video segments. You don’t have to lie about anything.

  89. Narf says

    @94 – Mindcraft

    I will only call to because the moderator told me to. This debate will not just be a five minute one but will take more time.

    That depends entirely upon the content of the call. If you spend the whole time quoting Bible verses at them and preaching, the call might not last as much as 5 minutes, but if you have anything interesting to say and ask honest questions, responding to questions in turn, you should get a lot more than 5 minutes.

    This show is for interacting with theists, after all. If they could manage it, they would take only theistic callers, unless they got an atheist with something particularly interesting and contentious to say. Hell, there was one show a few years ago, run by Tracy Harris and Jen Peeples, which had one theistic caller who took up the entire show.

    Don’t think of this as a debate, though. This show has a conversational format. You don’t have a set topic; you don’t have an impartial moderator; and you don’t get to monologue for 3 or 4 minutes without interruption. As soon as you say something wrong or incoherent, you’re likely to be interrupted and asked to justify that point.

    And of course you’re always welcome to call in repeatedly, as long as you have something new and interesting to say, and to speak to different hosts. I’m sure Russell would be happy to let you know when he’s hosting next, so you can call in and talk to him. I think he averages about once every 3 or 4 shows. Russel is a lot more laid back than Matt is, too, so you might like talking to him more. Try a few different hosts on different weeks, if you want to get multiple points of view responding to your questions.

    Plus I do not want to post the call on our channel because that would be a lie saying it was mine and to lie is to sin

    There is so much wrong with that statement.

    For starters, on purely technical grounds, it would not be lying to say that it’s partially yours. You’re the one who called in. Morally speaking (which can differ from the legal definitions), you have part ownership of that video clip, since you contributed to it.

    Legally speaking, the copyright agreement established by the ACA gives you express permission to take clips of the show — even ones you didn’t participate in — and post them yourself, as long as you aren’t making money from doing so.

    As for the whole sin thing …
    This is one of the problems with so-called Christian morality. It leads to blanket statements like this. I find situational ethics to be much more useful and moral, where blind obedience to an authority figure is not just stupid but also fairly immoral.

    For example, say a friend of yours is being abused by her husband, and she has run out on him to stay with you and hide until she can get legal paperwork filed. Say her husband, who’s a raving lunatic, knows she’s likely to run to you, and he comes to your house and asks if she’s there, so he can bring her back home.

    Is it sinful to lie and tell him that she isn’t there and that she has instead fled the state to stay with some family elsewhere? Is the morally correct thing to be honest and endanger yourself and your friend, when you could instead diffuse the situation by lying to her psycho husband? If so, then your construction of sin and correct behavior is pretty immoral.

  90. Narf says

    @96 – Thorne

    I understand what you’re saying, and I agree. But in the examples given (it’s, they’re, etc.) the apostrophes are as much a part of the words as the letters, thereby making them part of the spelling.

    I could see this a bit more in the case of its/it’s. Try this:

    I think my consideration of whether I would define it as a spelling or grammar/word-choice issue is partially a matter of intent. Someone could misspell put into putt, for example. The person might have meant put, but he just added the extra letter, making it a spelling error. If the person somehow actually meant putt, when a more correct phrasing would have been to use put, it would be a word-choice issue.

    Hmm, back to it’s/its … if someone typoed from one form to the other, I would call it a spelling error. If someone was aware of both forms and was just ignorant of which form indicates the possessive, I would call it a grammar error.

    Basically I class it as spelling if someone knows the word he wants and just doesn’t know how to get there.

    True, it could simply be a wrong word choice.

    Heh, yeah, either way, I’ve dragged it well down into the weeds of pedantry, here.

    One of my peeves is when people misuse the word “loose” when they mean “lose”.

    What’s worse is in speech. I’ve encountered people whose accents have such loose vowel selection that for all I know the person could mean the correct one and just can’t say it in a distinctive way.

    I had never heard of an ink-pen, until I moved to North Carolina. It’s just a pen … or at least it should be, if it wasn’t for the fact that people down here make pin and pen sound identical. I think most of the rural people (or roll people, if you ask one of them) around here are working with maybe 5 or 6 distinctive vowel sounds.

    Done once in a document it might just be a spelling error or typo. Done more than once it’s an more likely an error in, what, grammar? pronunciation? spelling? Damned if I know, but it drives me up a wall.

    Yeah, I almost always class one-time typos as spelling errors, unless perhaps it’s a finger-substitution: I mean after; I think after; my fingers type although.

    If it’s a substitution of a similar-sounding, vaguely-grammatically-related word, I would call it a grammar error, perhaps … or at least grammar-like. Perhaps simply calling it word-choice would be more accurate. That’s the case in lose/loose, which you mentioned, since they share some related usage, for some of the definitions. Same thing with effect/affect. I don’t consider that a spelling error when someone uses the wrong one of those. Word-choice, again.

  91. frankgturner says

    @Ethan Myerson # 97

    If I can give you a piece of advice, to help you avoid some common pitfalls, consider educating yourself on some of the more common logical fallacies.

    If you watch his videos he is already making the fallacies. I don’t expect much out of him but I am opened to the possibility of him improving on things. I have a strong feeling that this kid is from an isolated community and has not gotten a real understanding of the world around him differing from the way he was raised and is in that stage where he is rebelling against that or this is the Dunning Kruger effect and he does not realize how uninformed he really is about things.
    .
    @Narf # 98

    Is it sinful to lie and tell him that she isn’t there and that she has instead fled the state to stay with some family elsewhere?

    .
    (I know this is going to sound condescending, but it is how I feel). My feeling is that he has never really thought about it that deeply. After all, creationists have no problem with being dishonest in all sorts of ways that you might not technically calling “lying” per say, but it most certainly is “bearing false witness.” Pardon me for judging someone from a distance but given that he is quoting scripture and he talks about “God creating man in his image,” he probably has no idea that the Bible was NOT originally written in English and that the term “image” is a poor translation from Hebrew. “Likeness” is a better translation according to many scholars. Oh sure, he might have some apologetics about the King James translation being inspired by god….nothing new there.
    .
    And what would the term “likeness” mean anyway? It is not like it said, “Let us create man with exactly ten fingers and ten toes and a head and hair on the top of the head and in shorter pieces throughout the outer body with skin covering his body and two eyes and a nose and teeth, etc.” Probably something he never even considered before and probably won’t in the future.
    .
    Sure I will listen to him on the show but I doubt that it will be anything new. It might seem new to him though. I would be pleased to hear something new and innovative.

  92. Narf says

    @97 – Ethan Myerson

    The ones that I think show up most on the Atheist Experience include Appeal to Authority, Appeal to Popularity, Begging the Question (be sure to read up on this one… it may not mean what you think it means), False Dilemma, and Straw Man. (Others may point out other logical fallacies that commonly appear).

    You don’t see it as much in TAE callers, but almost all of the major apologetics writers (Craig, McDowell, Strobel, Turek, Geisler) dole out Appeals to Consequences in their books, like they were Halloween candy.

  93. Narf says

    @97 – Ethan Myerson

    If you’ve got a rote flowchart that you expect the conversation to follow, you may get flustered when the hosts don’t give you the response you expect.

    This one is particularly important, Mindcraft. Even with professionally produced evangelism scripts, you’re going to run into all sorts of problems when speaking to an atheist who knows his/her position and has thought through these things. I’ve had people try to run through scripts like that, in which I can’t even properly answer the questions with a yes or no, instead having to explain why the question is so wrong-headed. Most of those scripts are constructed around a straw-man of the atheist position, and the questions are so malformed that they don’t even make sense within the context of the “discussion”.

    Most evangelical preachers have never taken the time to try to understand opposing worldviews. They’re stuck within an authoritarian mindset, and they don’t understand how to break out of that and look at things from a different perspective.

  94. Narf says

    @100 – fgt

    (I know this is going to sound condescending, but it is how I feel)

    Sounds like a reasonably fair analysis. I don’t think that the people involved with the Mindcraft project have really thought things through far enough to actually be dishonest about it, though. They’re spitting out things they’ve been fed by other apologists, at this point.

    Sort of like the dishonesty I was referring to back up in comment 93, it’s the people up at the top who are being dishonest: the ones who originally pulled the quotes from the original context and assembled them in such a way as to completely reverse the meaning of the original statements. These kids are just regurgitating. They’re still functioning within an authoritarian mindset, and they probably haven’t ever really tried critical thinking yet, breaking down their beliefs to the most basic level they can manage and trying to figure out how they know what they think they know … and if there’s a better way to come to conclusions, rather than the handing down of knowledge from self-appointed authority-figures.

  95. frankgturner says

    @Narf # 102 and 103
    I basically was making the same point that I don’t know if these guys ever did think about it that deeply or even if they can. When you say that,

    it’s the people up at the top who are being dishonest: the ones who originally pulled the quotes from the original context and assembled them in such a way as to completely reverse the meaning of the original statements

    a skeptical part of me asks, “Are the people at the top being truly KNOWLEDGABLY dishonest?” I am sure than many are doing so. Some of them, like Ray Comfort and WLC do apear to be. They should know better and if there is a hold up, it is psychological. Like StB and WLC I think it is more about power and in Comfort’s case I think it is about making money. (I Hamm’s case both, and in the Hovinds’ case, both but money takes higher priority).
    .
    I start to wonder if when you say that:

    Most evangelical preachers have never taken the time to try to understand opposing worldviews. They’re stuck within an authoritarian mindset, and they don’t understand how to break out of that and look at things from a different perspective

    I wonder if those evangelical preachers are even strong minded enough to realize that there ARE other world views. They might be like the kids still regurgitating the same apologetics over and over again. Some people don’t grow up. I have said in another post that I suspect that the authoritarian mindset comes from a type of mental vestige, a ;eftover part of our brain development from earlier primates. A lot of primates had to live in groups wiht an alpha male or alpha female (more often alpha male) in order to survive and maintaining that mindset may have assisted survival. Only going through genetic drift for several tens of thousands of years and several new species developments may not have changed that. So, in effect, by maintaining the authoritarian mindset and submitting to an imaginary patriarchal figure these guys (both the preachers and the guys in this project) are demonstrating how evolutionary genetic drift leaves vestiges when that vestige is not detrimental to the survival of the species as a whole.
    .
    Critical thinking for me did require me to challenge the thinking of authority figures so I can guess that critical thinking might be hard for those who benefit from patriarchal-authoriatarian arrangements. Much like religion is hard ot give up for those who don’t belief but who like the social benefits, I can imagine that critical thinking that challenges authority is difficult for those who benefit from said authority.
    .
    I doubt that the Mindcraft guys will dish out the kind of intellectual, one might say Orwellian authority that preachers who claim that if the Bible said that 2+2 = 5, they would believe it or that they can know despite hard evidence presented to every one of their senses (i.e.: reality) being contrary to their beliefs that theirt beliefs must still be true because they feel it on some fantastic emotional level. Essentially that is hard solipsism and living in a fantasy (WLC’s picture should appear in the dictionary next to the word “neurotic”).

  96. Mindcraft says

    To the hosts. I will not call this coming show but the next one. I am not afraid but I want to put some notes together and talk it over with my partner before I call in.

  97. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Legally speaking, the copyright agreement established by the ACA gives you express permission to take clips of the show — even ones you didn’t participate in — and post them yourself, as long as you aren’t making money from doing so.

    Actually… that raises really interesting legal arguments. I’ve called in, and I don’t recall even being asked to consent to any kind of waiver, which makes me wonder if I have any copyright claim to the segments of the show where I called in… I honestly have no idea (and I have no plans to attempt to assert any claim, ever). Probably depends on jurisdiction too.

  98. Matt Gerrans says

    @Narf 101:
    If Equivocation is not Craig’s most used fallacy is certainly the one he uses most egregiously. This is the crux of his “something can’t spring into existence from nothing” speils.

  99. Matt Gerrans says

    What? Mindcraft chickened out? I’m shocked! Shocked, I say. If you really do call in eventually, do spend a good portion of the intervening time learning the logical fallacies as suggested above and make an effort to avoid them. Look at the list on wikipedia as well as Nizkor and also google for “logical fallacies poster” which has a nice little summary.

    BTW, that should have been “Spiels” in #107.

  100. Mindcraft says

    I did not chicken out. I will do it the show after this one. I just want to prepare so I can have a logical debate with this very intelligent man. I do not support his view just how he talks.

  101. Monocle Smile says

    @Mindcraft
    I don’t think anyone was actually accusing you of chickening out. It was a jab to respond to yours from comment #66. That’s another word of advice…don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

  102. Quicha Bchin says

    I just watched the last episode #900 and was really disappointed when I heard my favorite hosts saying that “11 or 12 people” were killed in Paris terrorist attack. I noticed before that many journalists were focusing only on Charlie Hebdo part of this tragedy. What about policemen? What about 4 people killed in the kosher store just for being Jewish?
    The number of human lives taken in Paris by religious zombies is 17! I think, they all deserve to be mentioned, as they are all victims of the same religious group and are slain in the same tragic event.
    To people in the blog: please don’t be too hard on me if I made mistakes; English is not my first language.

  103. Narf says

    @105&109 – Mindcraft

    To the hosts. I will not call this coming show but the next one. I am not afraid but I want to put some notes together and talk it over with my partner before I call in.
    .
    .
    .
    I did not chicken out. I will do it the show after this one. I just want to prepare so I can have a logical debate with this very intelligent man. I do not support his view just how he talks.

    You have to admit, reading it back, that first statement of yours looks a little defensive. 😀 You can’t blame Matt Gerrans for taking a good-natured poke at you.

    Why would we even think you’re afraid?
    “I don’t feel ready, yet. I want to look up a few more things and get my notes all together, so I can present the best possible argument. I’ll call in next week, I think, but I’ll keep you posted.”
    That would have been a perfectly respectable explanation for not calling in this week. Or heck, I suggested earlier, myself, that you might want to call in on a week that Russell is hosting, since you’ve already opened a dialogue with him, somewhat. Just pop into whatever is the latest episode blog post, when you’re ready, and give them a shout out to expect you, when you think you have your stuff together.

    I e-mailed you earlier, myself, at the e-mail address you gave on here and on your YouTube channel. I could take a quick scan over what you want to talk about, if you’d like, and let you know if you have anything that’s going to get you shut down right away.

  104. Narf says

    @106 – EL
    I can’t imagine that it would get very far in the court system, if someone tried to claim copyright to the footage of their call into a call-in show. I have to assume, for the sake of my own sanity, that even the most dumb-assed judge would throw the case out and tell the plaintiff that he’s stupid.

    … although they are in Texas, so I’m not so sure, now. 😛

  105. Narf says

    @107 – Matt Gerrans

    If Equivocation is not Craig’s most used fallacy is certainly the one he uses most egregiously. This is the crux of his “something can’t spring into existence from nothing” speils.

    Take your pick, man. This is why I laugh so hard any time someone calls William Lane Craig a professional philosopher. The guy is a logical-fallacy vending machine.

  106. Narf says

    @104 – fgt

    a skeptical part of me asks, “Are the people at the top being truly KNOWLEDGABLY dishonest?” I am sure than many are doing so. Some of them, like Ray Comfort and WLC do apear to be.

    Depends upon the quote-mine. I’ve seen some taken from very technical papers, which the idiot creationist doesn’t have a chance of comprehending. It’s still at least some level of dishonest, but it isn’t as bad as … say the classic Darwin-eye quote. Presenting that quote as proof that Darwin doesn’t think that eyes could evolve is such a degree of dishonest, when the next fucking sentence contradicts that …

    I’m sure there are plenty of little idiots who have never seen the quote with the immediately-following sentence included, but the person who pulled it from the text was being willfully dishonest. No one is that stupid, without also being incapable of assembling an argument like that.

    I’ve seen a few other quote mines that make use of ellipses to clip out important chunks of a paragraph, making the resultant fragment of a thought say the exact opposite of what the entire thing says.

    I wonder if those evangelical preachers are even strong minded enough to realize that there ARE other world views.

    I’ve talked to several who aren’t. We had a discussion about that sort of thing, either higher up this comment section or in one of the other blog posts. I don’t remember where, and I don’t feel like looking for it, though.

    Basically, when a lot of fundamentalists think about other worldviews, they’re not really capable of imagining a wholly different scaffolding and a different way of evaluating claims. They just take their own worldview and stick different labels on the various parts, and they think they have a concept of how we think. That’s why they think that attacking Darwin will make a difference in the way we view biological evolution. Darwin screwed up all kinds of stuff, yeah. That’s why we continue researching the phenomenon rather than treating On the Origin of Species as scripture.

    That was the gist of that particular discussion, wherever that was. I think that’s what you’re getting at here, too.

    I doubt that the Mindcraft guys will dish out …

    I’m kind of curious about it, myself. I’m expecting something cringe-worthy, but you never know. I can’t imagine anything original coming from him, but it might not be a complete disaster, at least. We’ll see, when he gets his arguments together.

  107. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf
    http://nysbar.com/blogs/EASL/2014/03/garcia_v_google_inc_does_an_ac.html

    The Ninth Circuit addressed Garcia’s independent copyright interest claim, the work for hire doctrine, and whether there was an implied license granted by the plaintiff to distribute the film via YouTube. Chief Judge Kozinski ruled that Garcia had an independent copyright interest in her performance in the film, in the absence of finding the work was made for hire.

    I suppose that even if I have copyright, I also gave an implicit license by appearing on a public access television show.

    Let me read the actual court decision and get back to you. It’s just fascinating for its own sake.

  108. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Here it is:
    http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/general/2014/02/28/12-57302_opinion.pdf
    My initial guess is about right. Any caller attempting to assert control over individual segments or videos of The Atheist Experience via copyright would lose in court because there is an implied license granted by the caller to the show to use the caller’s performance in any of the normal ways that the show may do. Case law says that such implied licenses should be interpreted very broadly.

    Again, fascinating. I love reading about copyright and contract law.

  109. Narf says

    Ah, nice to know that the courts occasionally rule in a sane fashion, even if they also find companies financially liable for selling hot coffee.

  110. frankgturner says

    @Quicha Bchin # 111

    I just watched the last episode #900 and was really disappointed when I heard my favorite hosts saying that “11 or 12 people” were killed in Paris terrorist attack.

    The earlier part of the statement that you were listening to mentions two things relevant to your disappointment that you may have missed given that English is not your first language. Perhaps in written form it will make more sense.
    .
    Russell mentions that people may be listening to this broadcast some time from the date when it was recorded live, which was January 11, 2015. You appear to be listening 5 days later so that applies to you. The hosts had only just heard about the event so making it the topic of the show was not planned. They were only reporting on what information had been made available to them from other journalists so their awareness of others being killed in the attack was probably quite limited. I am aware that these things had occurred days beforehand (there is a nice timeline of events posted on a BBC new page on January 14, 2015 right here http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30708237).
    .
    I don’t know if this phrase translates in your native language or if you are familiar with the saying in english but, “cut them some slack”. (Nice web page describing this idiom right here, http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/cut+some+slack). Maybe, give them the benefit of the doubt?

  111. Quicha Bchin says

    @frankgturner #119
    Thank you for your response. That’s exactly what happened, I did not take into account that the show was recorded earlier. I guess, I just need to apologize to the hosts (they are still my favorite anyway).
    Also, thanks for the idiom which IS new to me. And I don’t need to translate it, English explanation is enough :).

  112. Ulrira says

    Can sombody point me to the blog entry Tracie mentioned? The one where she writes about christians slaughtering muslims?
    Thx

  113. Chan Kobun, the Ghost-Who-Waddles says

    Narf @#118: Have you ever read anything about that case that wasn’t biased by neo-feudalist thinking? Go look up how much damage that coffee did to that woman.

  114. Narf says

    I don’t care how much damage it did to her legs. When you take something that should be close to the boiling point and spill it on yourself, the damage it does when it spills and burns you is your own damned fault. A company that sells you something hot, which any rational person would expect to be hot, is not responsible when you burn yourself with it.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald%27s_Restaurants#Burn_incident:

    Liebeck was in the passenger’s seat of her grandson’s 1989 Ford Probe, which did not have cup holders, and her grandson Chris parked the car so that Liebeck could add cream and sugar to her coffee. Liebeck placed the coffee cup between her knees and pulled the far side of the lid toward her to remove it. In the process, she spilled the entire cup of coffee on her lap. Liebeck was wearing cotton sweatpants; they absorbed the coffee and held it against her skin, scalding her thighs, buttocks, and groin.

    She did it to herself. I’m sorry that she burned herself, but McDonald’s should not be liable for self-inflicted injuries, unless their product is defective in some way.

    From higher up in the article:

    Liebeck’s attorneys argued that at 180–190 °F (82–88 °C) McDonald’s coffee was defective, claiming it was too hot and more likely to cause serious injury than coffee served at any other establishment.

    This is fucked up. Cold coffee is defective coffee. Not hot coffee.

  115. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Narf
    I strongly lean in your direction. Still, I would want to know an honest appraisal of the temperatures of coffees from various places.

  116. Narf says

    *shrug*

    Could be an interesting side note. It just doesn’t have anything to do with culpability. Chan’s objection, based upon the amount of damage done, is completely immaterial in a case of negligence, for establishing whether or not there was negligence in the first place. This isn’t a case of aggravated assault, in which I could see the degree of damage done being material, at least in the sentencing phase of the trial.

    Chan’s objection is bordering on the appeal to emotion fallacy. Fortunately for the plaintiff, juries are usually full of irrational, emotionally-driven people, resulting in the given payout.

    If a child takes a pair of scissors and jabs himself in both eyes, blinding himself for life, does that make the 3M corporation (owners of the Scotch brand) more liable for the incident than if the child had given himself a nasty cut on his arm? Of course not. Don’t be silly. The degree of damage caused by the scalding coffee sucks, and I feel sorry for the lady, but that doesn’t making dumping the coffee in her own lap any less her own fault.

  117. Matt Gerrans says

    From the wikipedia article: “Liebeck’s attorneys argued that at 180–190 °F (82–88 °C) McDonald’s coffee was defective, claiming it was too hot and more likely to cause serious injury than coffee served at any other establishment.”

    From How to Brew Perfect Coffee:
    “The brewing temperature of the water used is very important. It should be between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C). The closer to 205 F (96 C) the better. Boiling water (212 F – 100 C) should never be used, as it will burn the coffee. Water that is less than 195 F (91 C) will not extract properly.

    So the actual evidence seems to indicate that the coffee was “defective” because it was not hot enough.

  118. Narf says

    Well, storage temperatures for coffee sitting in the carafe can dip well below 195°. Once it’s finished brewing, it doesn’t matter as much. The point still stands, though. If you’re getting fresh-brewed coffee, it’s probably going to be above 190°. I don’t know how it’s justified to fine a company multiple-millions (even though that was later reduced to about half a million) for selling someone fresh-brewed coffee.

    I looked up the brewing temperatures for coffee and tea earlier, myself. That info just didn’t make it to my final self-edit of comment 126.

  119. -J. says

    Re: The last caller and burning effigies… Moreover, developing closure like conditions to alleviate traumatic experiences. Russell’s advice is appropriate, to which I’d like to expand. When you have a long period of time where the conditions perpetuated, that results in one’s memory association of information being a recuperating exposure, and the more exposure over time, the more inundated the affect can be on a person’s emotional and psychological denotation of those experiences. The more recent the events were, can also effect their potency. And for my point, potency is a good way to look at the person’s experience and conflict development as a result of the experience. The goal toward resolving the issues can be thought of as dissolving, or diluting the collective memory over time. Accumulating days where the person’s experience is further and further away from the days in which the traumatic conditions last existed, provides a number of days in which the whole of the time from the trauma and since begins leveling out, a.k.a., diluting the concentration of trauma, so that if the trauma was 10 years, after 10 years without it, it becomes only 50% of the total accumulated memories over the total 20 years, and the fact that the years without trauma were the more recent ones, has a huge potential impact on overall progress, making the trauma years less and less prevailing of influence and implied validity, that resulted from the repetition which anchored the events into the psyche of the individual’s awareness over a regular basis of time. The more time spent without the events that traumatized, dilute their influence, and dissolve the consequences of their conditioning; ideally. As this is a form of therapy, a professional consultation and assessment is the responsible action to consider.

  120. Narf says

    @70 – colourmegone

    “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith.”

    Clearly, the pope has never met an atheist/skeptic. I frequently insult the very concept of religious faith as being idiotic … thus falsifying his statement. 😀

  121. Fragrant Flower says

    I have been watching the Atheist experience for a few months now on You Tube, and this is my first comment.

    I wished the comment would have stayed on the ‘cartoons’ throughout the show, because that topic, outside of its religious context has a debate about freedom to express. A lot of the media is giving a false narrative that the objection to the cartoons by Muslims is that they ‘image’ the Prophet Muhammad, and ‘Muslims religiously object to imaging the prophet. Both of these statements are not true.

    Before I move to my points, I would like to say that regardless of what people think of these ‘cartoons’ they now should be published by LARGE western media outlets (CNN, FOX, NBC) because they are part of the western false narrative, and for context they should be published so people can see what they are supporting when they claim to be ‘Charlie Hebdo’.

    My first point is, that it has rightfully been reported by the western press that there is absolutely no religious objection to creating images of Muhammad, and most Muslims who have STUDIED their religion have seen these images in historical context, and for hundreds of years of story telling, the images have never been an issue in Islam.

    However the Charlie Hebdo ‘cartoons’ are racist toward Arabs, bigoted, hateful, and his obsession with the way Muslim women pray is pornographic. This is what Muslims object to, having their prophet being associated in the racist stereotype of Arabs saying dehumanizing things about women while they prostrate for prayer.

    We must understand that Islam is embraced by 20 percent of the earth’s population, many diverse people, from many places, economic and social backgrounds. Contrary to the misinformation that westerners get from their media, the people who embrace Islam are part of a culture, (Chinese, Arab, American, Latin, African…) in which some things are simply not funny. I was raised Chinese…and to me, racism, demeaning women, pornography, bigotry, hate speech, generalizations of people based on ancedotes etc. can not be made funny, can never be ‘satirical’ and should not be tolerated in any shape or form. (with all do respect to the lady commentator, I object to her defining words like ‘intolarance’ to make it a pejorative in order to imply that people who don’t tolerate racism and bigotry are against free speech)

    Although I stand with the right of people to express themselves, those people must understand that if their speech has the intention of inciting anger, then they should expect anger to occur. I do not condone violence in any way, and denounce those who try to take away the right of someone to express themselves using intimidation and violence, however, I am not going to stand in the street along side those who are praising Charlie Hebdo, and giving him accolades and hero status because I simply cant TOLERATE bigotry.

  122. StonedRanger says

    Mindcraft looks like he is about 12, maybe 13. After watching less than a minute of his video on evolution vs. creation all I can say is holy smokes. Not even a basic understanding of what he is talking about, just regurgitating the creation line. If he calls, it will be a very short call because the kid doesn’t understand what evidence is.

    Mindcraft, the bible is the assertion. It is not the proof. If all you have is bible verses to back up what you say, you might as well not call and save yourself the embarrassment.

  123. Narf says

    I was guessing maybe high-school freshman. 14 or 15, in other words.

    I figure that maybe they can straighten him out a bit, on some basics of epistemology, since the only “reasoning” he seems to know is the appeal to authority fallacy. That’s one of the things I was trying to tell him, back a couple dozen comments. If he wants to quote anything from the Bible and have us give a damn about it, he first better be prepared to provide an argument for why we should.

    I don’t think he even has the background to make the horrible arguments of Lee Strobel, Josh Mcdowell, or WLC. Considering how full of shit those guys are, it wouldn’t help him even if he could. I can’t help but wonder what he’s going to put together when addressing actual non-believers. I’m expecting a total train wreck of preaching and Bible quoting, but we’ll see what he has.

  124. cddb says

    >>Chan Kobun, the Ghost-Who-Waddles says
    >>Narf @#118: Have you ever read anything about that case that wasn’t biased by neo-feudalist thinking? Go look up how much damage that coffee did to that woman.

    LOL at the neo-feudalist comment 🙂

    Yeah I mean… the main reason that McDonald’s coffee thing is so well-known is because of a massive media campaign during the ’90s by rightwing shitheads at the Chamber of Commerce, in order to drum up support for “tort reform”, aka significantly reducing the American consumer’s *already paltry* ability to seek legal recourse against massive corporations.

    The merits of that one specific McDonald’s case are ultimately moot; the interested parties were successful in disseminating and popularizing the myth of the “frivolous lawsuit” “problem”… that there are just ordinary people filing “frivolous lawsuits” against hard-working corporations all over America, hogging up valuable court time and resources, etc, which is now and was then, very far from the truth….

  125. frankgturner says

    @StonedRanger #133 and Narf #134
    I have been resisting expressing a large degree of condescension by remarking that I was laughing at his videos. I want to say that I think his heart is in the right place but I honestly don’t know.
    .
    I think these kids are from some highly isolated community and are just being exposed to a different way of thinking for the first time. Again a situation where they think they can maintain the same framework and just put different labels on the parts and think that is how our thinking works. It sounds like the framework is faulty and I pretty much expect a train wreck too.
    .
    Alternately I remember a previous show with Martin Wagner where some kids came on obviously quoting Craig and McDowell and it became painfully obvious that they had no idea what they where talking about. (Half the time I think Craig and McDowell have no idea what they are talking about, they just know how to sound confident when saying it). I could imagine a call like that with Mindcraft. Not a total train wreck but an obvious display of ignorance.
    .
    I doubt these guys even know that the Bible was not originally written in English. Heck I doubt they realize that many of the atheists and agnostics came to that stage from reading the bible. Matt Dillahunty and Richard Carrier would probably surprise them with a very extensive knowledge of scripture.

  126. Narf says

    I have been resisting expressing a large degree of condescension by remarking that I was laughing at his videos. I want to say that I think his heart is in the right place but I honestly don’t know.

    I’m actually fairly certain that his heart is in the right place. Similar to what you say further down your comment, I don’t think he’s ever been exposed to actual skeptical/atheistic arguments, just the dishonest caricatures of them presented by his preachers. His understanding of biological evolution seems to be similarly flawed.

    Alternately I remember a previous show with Martin Wagner where some kids came on obviously quoting Craig and McDowell and it became painfully obvious that they had no idea what they where talking about … I could imagine a call like that with Mindcraft. Not a total train wreck but an obvious display of ignorance.

    That’s what I’m hoping for, as well. At least if he has some education in Christian apologetics, he might have a little more to work with and give us something to sort out and correct. If all he has is blind obedience to Biblical inerrancy, I’m not sure we can do much to un-fuck his thinking, beyond a basic primer in epistemology, which he might not even listen to.

    I dunno. We’ll see.

    I doubt these guys even know that the Bible was not originally written in English.

    Christ, I hope you’re wrong about that. If we’re dealing with that level of aggressive ignorance … jeeze, where do you even begin, with someone like that?

    Heck I doubt they realize that many of the atheists and agnostics came to that stage from reading the bible.

    That’s definitely probable, though. Most Christians aren’t aware of how much the atheist/skeptic community is aware of their religion.

    Hell, the same is even more true of the creationist side of the evolution/creation debate. Creationists often think that the likes of John Pendleton and Carl Baugh have discovered these amazing things about evolution, which show what a flawed theory (“just a theory”) it is. No, we just understand enough about the science to know what dishonest, ignorant assholes those two and similar creationist proponents are. Dunning and Kruger couldn’t ask for a better poster child.

  127. frankgturner says

    @Narf
    Reguarding the part about not knowing the Bible was not originally written in English. You would be amazed at how far that aggressive ignorance goes. I have known some who upon discovering that very fact will go talk to their ministers and this whole spiel about the King James version being divinely inspired (on no grounds whatsoever), much in the same way Mormons claim comes out. It is pathetic but only as pathetic as claiming that the banana was divinely created for man and not knowing that it was purposefully breed from a wild plant to have anthropophillically designed characteristics.

  128. Narf says

    Oh sure, I’ve seen that degree of ignorance. I just like to think that these guys have at least cleared that hurdle.

  129. Narf says

    @137 – dovidiela

    People from this site decided not to answer me at all…

    What was the question? Where did you ask it?

  130. Narf says

    @134 – Fragrant Flower
    I’m not even sure where to begin, in addressing your comment. You have a lot of disparate thoughts thrown together a bit haphazardly.

    I can’t help but feel that your grasp of western media is a bit off. I have to make a few assumptions, such as that when you talk about Fox, CNN, and NBC, you mean Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

    Treating those three news outlets as some sort of monolith of western media is kind of ridiculous. Fox News is the ultra-conservative, fundamentalist-Christian media channel. They aren’t as religious as TBN, but it sometimes seems like they’re drifting in that direction. CNN is more or less in the middle, and MSNBC is on the liberal side of things. Your expectation that they all get together and collectively adjust their coverage of the issue is a bit unrealistic.

    Moreover, if you want to object to something that was said on Fox News … well yeah, they’re Fox News. They’re insane; they’re mindlessly patriotic in the worst possible ways; and they distort reality most of the time. Coming to us with something that Fox News is doing wrong is kind of silly.

    Besides that, I can’t help but feel that your entire comment is a caricature of what we say about the cartoon. I can’t recognize anything I’ve ever said, in your complaints. Do you have specific quotes or specific YouTube videos that you can link us to, which express what you’re objecting to?

  131. Narf says

    @138 – cddb

    Yeah I mean… the main reason that McDonald’s coffee thing is so well-known is because of a massive media campaign during the ’90s by rightwing shitheads at the Chamber of Commerce, in order to drum up support for “tort reform”, aka significantly reducing the American consumer’s *already paltry* ability to seek legal recourse against massive corporations.

    Yup, and I’m against tort reform, in general, particularly in the form that the right-wing media is pushing it. What I want is sane, rational juries, not a structural reform of the legal system.

    Hell, for that matter, sane judges would be nice, too, starting with the Supreme Court.

    And yes, I’m aware of why the McDonald’s hot coffee case is so well known. Whatever the reason, though, its ubiquity in the minds of people is what makes it the perfect focus of a throw-away joke at the expense of the US court system.

  132. cddb says

    @134 – Fragrant Flower,

    I was raised Chinese…to me, racism, demeaning women, pornography, bigotry, hate speech, generalizations of people based on ancedotes etc. can not be made funny, can never be ‘satirical’ and should not be tolerated in any shape or form. (with all do respect to the lady commentator, I object to her defining words like ‘intolarance’ to make it a pejorative in order to imply that people who don’t tolerate racism and bigotry are against free speech)

    Wow.
    By “should not be tolerated”, I’m not clear on what exactly you’re advocating here…

    You just stated that “pornography” “should not be tolerated in any shape or form”, and that “racism” and “bigotry” “can never be satirical”. (emphasis mine)

    Seriously? These contentious topics “can never be funny” and “can never be satirical” ?? I’m wondering what you think “satire” even *means*?

    After reading comments like yours, I feel quite fortunate to live in “western society”, where people are free to create “satire” and “pornography”…

  133. cddb says

    @134 – Fragrant Flower,

    I’d also like to add something about the cartoon that has attracted most of the negative attention,, specifically the racist “welfare queen” thing —

    These cartoonists were French leftists, and in that specific piece they were launching Colbert-style jabs at the French right. The point of that image was to portray these victimized women as the caricatures that the right had been painting of them.

    If you excerpted one of the many, many clips of Stephen Colbert making openly bigoted, xenophobic statements, then removed all context and showed them to people in another country and culture, they’d almost certainly form some misconceptions about his intentions and where he lies politically….

    I’m not saying Charlie is necessarily equivalent to Colbert in any number of ways, nor am I advocating for them one way or the other — the images in question *are* insensitive, offensive, etc… but that was also the point: it was a literal illustration of the French right’s xenophobic talking points. And this context has been missing from virtually every discussion I’ve heard about this in the US media…

  134. StonedRanger says

    @Fragrant Flower
    “however, I am not going to stand in the street along side those who are praising Charlie Hebdo, and giving him accolades and hero status because I simply cant TOLERATE bigotry.”

    Charlie Hebdo is not a he, its a magazine. No one is giving the magazine hero status or accolades. They are supporting its right to publish things it wants to WITHOUT THE FEAR OF ITS EMPLOYEES BEING SLAUGHTERED. No one gives a shit whether someone was offended, or how many people were offended, or why they were offended. What is offensive in all this is that they were gunned down by murdering cowards. I think you need to understand this before all else and its pretty apparent that you don’t. It is never right to kill people because they have offended you. EVER.

  135. Narf says

    @146 – cddb

    By “should not be tolerated”, I’m not clear on what exactly you’re advocating here…

    You just stated that “pornography” “should not be tolerated in any shape or form”, and that “racism” and “bigotry” “can never be satirical”.

    There were several worrying implications to Flower’s statements, yeah. Someone has a very poor grasp of humor, and it sounds like a proposal for obscenity, indecency, and blasphemy laws, at the very least. If that’s the case … well, fuck that.

    I didn’t want to get into specifics just yet, myself. No point addressing such vague statements, when we’re not even sure what the heck he/she might have been referring to in the show. I have no idea what association Flower is even making between the statements of the comment and what was said on some episode of TAE, and I didn’t feel like getting into it without clarification. I’m not sure we aren’t dealing with drive-by antagonist who won’t ever be back to have a conversation.

  136. says

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, so pardon if someone has pointed this out.

    Please, when someone talks about scientific theories be “proved wrong all the time” or uses that Max Planck quote to imply that scientific theories are debunked and replaced as part of the scientific process. Overturning a theory is a rarity. Most commonly, the theory is refined to deal with the new observations. When one theory “replaces” another, it is most likely that the “old” theory is not automatically invalid, it is just limited. Newton and Einstein are a glaring example of this. Newtonian physics was not invalidated and tossed out when Relativity came along. It is still a valid and useful theory WITHIN ITS LIMITS. Newtonian physics applies to size scales, time scales, relative velocities, and forces we experience with our senses (Above quantum sizes, small fractions of the speed of light, etc.) where relativistic effects are pretty well immeasurable or insignificant.

  137. chris lowe says

    If “Fragrant Flower” hadn’t mentioned he is of Chinese origin I would have sworn it was Ben Affleck! Bigotry AND religion describe the justification the killers used to judge and execute those satirists. Not to mention the anti semitism their compadre utilized to spice the deal at the kosher market. A point he made without intending is that the humourlessness and lack of a sense of irony is precisely the mindset required to even consider carrying out such an attack. The only thing I see as obscene about Charlie Hebdo is the deadly attack against it.

  138. chris lowe says

    To all the Islamists and their supporters who feel stung by the je suis Charlie protests. Fuck you if you can’t take a joke!

  139. Narf says

    When did you try to call? They only start setting up a little bit before the show starts. Keep trying, and you should get through, eventually.

  140. Narf says

    Not sure what happened there. They usually keep at least one line open specifically for theists or contentious callers, since that’s what they want. Since there isn’t a theist on the air right now, there should be a line open.

    Of course, it can take a while for the call-screeners to sort things out. It can take a minute or two for the screeners to realize that the lines are full, and there are no theistic callers, so they dump one … then another call comes in, and it takes them a minute or two to talk to that person and determine that they don’t want to hold onto that one, either.

    Just make good use of the redial button. Hit redial every minute or two, and see if you can get a connection. They’re working out of a public-access studio, right now, and they only have … 4 lines, I think.

  141. Narf says

    In other words, don’t give up and try again next week. Keep trying throughout the show. You’re the sort they want to talk to, potentially, and the show is always much better when they have a bunch of theists calling in. No one wants to watch a bunch of atheists calling in complementing them constantly.

  142. JFH says

    “Steve” from Brooklyn is a theist troll with a bible fetish, in case you hadn’t noticed…

  143. StonedRanger says

    Mindcrafts ‘inability’ to get through. He spent all of ten minutes trying out of an hour or so of being able to call in. The show is chock full of atheists calling in so they would have been more than happy to put him on the air. Just comes as no surprise.

    Mindcraft, they probably don’t start taking calls or even open the line to calls until a minute or two before the show starts. The phone number is not TAE’s phone number alone, it is one that is provided by the cable company for the studio the show is done in. TAE is not the only show to use that studio. Try to start calling at 2:30 and just redial until you get an answer. If it takes a few minutes of redialing or more then that’s what you have to do. Don’t just give up four minutes into the show and then give up.

  144. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Mindcraft, they probably don’t start taking calls or even open the line to calls until a minute or two before the show starts.

    I’ve called in twice. They seem to start answering calls about 15 minutes before start of airtime.

  145. Narf says

    I dunno; I thought they started answering calls about 10 or 15 minutes before? Russell said something to that effect, anyway.

    I imagine what happened was a sort of freeze-up on Mindcraft’s part. Once things seemed to be going wrong, with no one answering the phones apparently, he just sort of shut down.

    I can sort of see things from his perspective. He’s pretty young, and he isn’t very experienced with this sort of thing. I strongly doubt that he’s ever gone face-to-face with anyone who holds a radically different worldview. He had to be terrified and not thinking straight, despite all of his bluster and middle-school-playground taunting on here.

    I’ve offered to have a look over his arguments and have a test conversation with him, to show him where he’s going to run into problems … as he’s certain to do almost immediately. It might help settle him down a little and make him more comfortable on the call itself. I haven’t gotten a response from him about that, though.

  146. frankgturner says

    @Narf # 165

    He’s pretty young, and he isn’t very experienced with this sort of thing. I strongly doubt that he’s ever gone face-to-face with anyone who holds a radically different worldview. He had to be terrified and not thinking straight, despite all of his bluster and middle-school-playground taunting on here

    .
    This sort of reminds me of a story that I tell about my late maternal grandmother. Despite being elderly, there were certain things I thought were not very wise about her. She grew up with the saying “Put your coat on or you will catch cold.” I understood the point of keeping warm as one’s immune rate can slow when the body requires more energy to maintain homeostastis, I am a naturally warm bodied person and I often can go out in quite cold weather for periods of time without needing to “bundle up” as some do and I really don’t get ill. I did this tonight by the way, no illness and I stay very warm despite little covering, at least for several minutes even in 30 degree F weather. (I know plenty with poor blood iron who will shiver intensely the second that cold air touches their skin).
    .
    I tried to discuss this with my grandmother more than once, about immunity and how the coat and keeping warm is part of preserving immune response (I had more than a good background in biology even at a young age), and it was like talking to a brick wall. She was very prone to “magical thinking,” She had some strange idea in her head that the ritual of wearing a coat was required (perhaps by god?, she was not very religious so I did not hear that brought up much) to prevent illness and that this was required beyond some physical reasoning. It was as though some magical being with power beyond yours would know the moment that you did not wear a coat and would point a magic finger at you and instantly make you ill regardless of your current condition because you did not obey some rule about coats. Even without religion she was superstitious and prone to thoughts regarding causation that had no definitive proof just because she “felt it” so deeply.
    .
    I am thinking this is what is going on with Mindcraft, he is a magical thinker and the Bible is basically his spell book. He is not only young, but as I implied before I would not be surprised if he really was not aware that the Bible was not written in English, or that there are people like theologians who study the ancient texts of its writing in some of those languages, or that there are ministers that preach something different than what the one in his town did. And Mindcraft probably does not realize that people like Matt D HAVE studied the Bible, and that Matt did not get a great “burning in his bosom” or a “deep emotional feeling” in response to scripture the way some do. Yet Matt understands the Bible better than many many people, on a deep level.
    .
    Like I proposed, I would not be surprised if Mindcraft is ALSO prone to magical thinking and thinks that the Bible is magical and that if he just recites scripture over and over to the host that the hosts will somehow GET the feeling in their bosom. The spell does not work because the book and the words are not magic, there is no spell. (I’ve been listening to AronRa a lot lately). This is a probably a first for Mindcraft in that he recites the words and feels that they mean what his preacher told Mindcraft they mean. Now Mindcraft might actually be thinking about what the words mean to Mindcraft and trying to figure that out.
    .
    I would propose that Mindcraft ask himself that before he tries calling again and reciting scripture. Instead of Mindcraft calling to insist that the words mean something that Mindcraft has been told that they mean by someone else, figure out what the words mean to himself. The scariest part for him is, that this is all very damaging to his ego and sense of self worth and purpose.
    .
    What he also fails to realize, is that we were there too.