1. geoffozzy says

    Great show ty, hey are you going to be debating in Alberta, Canada again anytime soon?I live in Alberta and would drive over to see a good debate with you in it anytime!

  2. says

    This is apparently the “Please give me advice… I’ve done that… I’ve done that… I’ve done that” episode.

    Hopefully a viewer finds the discussions more useful than the callers.

  3. ironchops says

    At the beginning of this episode Matt said at 3:44 “if there is a god he clearly pointed John to that and had Mariam call in just in time…” Would/could you ever see that as evidence for a god? Things like this happen all the time and that is what a lot of people say. I am reasonably sure that it is just a coincidence but you know there are people who fall for that. I did/have! At my church that (coincidence) is referred to a god thing, “it must be a god thing”. It still hangs me up sometimes. Weird!

  4. Peggy says

    Although Mariam’s call was frustrating, I can identify with the difficulty of living with a parent who is a conspiracy believer. Parents certainly know how to “push our buttons,” especially in that mother/daughter dynamic. Whether religious or not, the caller’s mother has taken a faith-based stance on her science denialism. There really isn’t much a daughter can do except affirm her love and put her mother’s science denying baiting attempts out of the realm of acceptable conversations. The caller’s mother might get over her weird ideas when she’s ready–and when someone other than her daughter helps her to a better understanding.

  5. Hippycow says

    I think Meriam’s case was relatively easy: use mockery enthusiastically. So, when mom presents the climate denier articles, exclaim that it is certainly true, because it is a conspiracy of the Illuminati and the free masons. Then give her some articles from sites like hard dawn, such as Are Militant Atheists Using Chemtrails to Poison the Angels in Heaven? I think completely agreeing with this kind of stuff and then upping the craziness even more is fun at the very least and has the benefit that those folk might try to start impressing a better epistemology upon you. That in turn makes them examine epistemology, which is a good thing.

    Kaleb in Toronto (around 14:00) on the other hand, presents a much more difficult problem. Because while Meriam’s mother is a relatively harmless whacko, Kaleb’s wife is a very harmful whacko. She is actively damaging their children and has a group of similar whackos supporting, encouraging and assisting her child abuse. What makes this really difficult is that even in the 21st century, the legal/judicial system will favor the backward superstitious child abuser against the rational parent. This is a really scary and difficult problem. It is probably slightly better in Canada than in the US (especially in the really backward parts, like the Bible Belt), but still pretty dicey.

    It seems like going to the divorce route would probably be a losing strategy for the kids. She would get them and then be able to continue the abusive indoctrination unhindered.

    I think Kaleb should start by reading Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Creating Atheists. Patiently applying the Socratic techniques in that book to his wife could have some positive effects. After some practice, attending meetings and/or get-togethers with his wife’s religious pals would yield further opportunity to apply the same techniques.

  6. osgi says

    This is my contribution to the song/verses mentioned at the beginning (I love this guy)

    @Ironchops from last week … you and I sound like we are in the same boat.
    @ ironchops … ty for your thoughts last week … I want to talk more about this … no time right now
    @2 yea, starting a list … AA, nature experiences, Deva View, and those strange consequences.
    @4 parody can be a lot of fun … especially when it’s hard to tell it from the real thing. It indeed is a good way to blow off some of that steam.

  7. OrphanBlackOps says

    That Kaleb should cut his loses now. His wife is not going to change. Why live in an environment like that? I guess he could join The Mormon church and give her a taste of what crazy is like. Maybe knock her out of her invisible friend.

  8. OrphanBlackOps says

    Do theists ever call in anymore? I think this internet format in not conducive to getting theists. When the show was on TV, they would get people who are sitting there switching channels and coming across this show. Now, one has to make a concerted effort to watch it. Nobody probably comes across this show by “switching” sites. I still enjoy it but it is better when a theist has “that” pause after the hosts make a point. (I wrote this before the ending comments about theist callers. God, you there?)

    Per Mariam, just fake it. You probably sing Santa songs and there is no Santa. Half the preachers probably know this is BS. If I had to do it again, I would learn the bible and become a preacher. There is a lot of money in that profession.

    Per Jennifer, it’s tough living in a household when not everyone agrees with your political and religious views. Just tell her that you don’t want to discuss these things.

    Per Zepram, Peter Boghossian’s Manual for Creating Atheists. Attacking faith shuts people down. Better to ask “why” questions because you want to learn in case they know something factual you don’t know.

    On morality, if you come across a theist, just ask them why should we care about morals and most likely they will answer without invoking god.

    Weight before and after death: 21 Grams movie. Naomi Watts. 🙂

    Currently a Liberty University advertisement on this blog site.

  9. favog says

    Okay, I’m really looking forward to seeing that “Is There a Soul?” debate now. I’ve more than once thought some theist rattling on about what God says, wants and thinks was just calling their own opinion “God” and worshiping it, and now I find out that neuroscience backs me up on that.

    There are countries where the age of consent is 13. Not that I approve or not, just a fact about the world at large.

  10. Peggy says

    Me @3–I wish I could edit. I meant Jennifer, not Mariam. Her mom’s odd ideas are probably mostly harmless. Re Kaleb, that’s a terrible situation the way he described it. I really think he needs to at least get his son back into a real school. His 6-year-old staying home from school to spend the day with his mom who is teaching him he is a faith healer is very wrong. I don’t care if his son *is* also learning enough to keep up with minimum standards. It wasn’t clear to me how this guy was assessing his son’s educational level, anyhow. Bright kids can impress their own parents. That doesn’t mean he is really up to grade level..

  11. Hippycow says

    Maybe we need to readjust this notion that people own their children. Just because you have the physical ability to reproduce, do you have the right to own the people that are born as a result?

    It seems like these people are unfit to be parents and should be sterilized in the first place, but that horse is already out of the barn. What do you do with people who don’t have the necessary mental capacity to raise children, who already have children? It seems like a failure of society to just leave those children defenseless against their abusive parents.

  12. Michaëlwithdotsandall says

    Jennifer should watch Neil Degrasse Tysons Cosmos with her mother, it has one brilliant episode about global warming. Maybe watch one episode with other science she believes first too warm her up. 🙂

  13. says

    Since this is an advice type episode, does anyone have information about the Textus Receptus? What I’ve seen in trying to learn more about it is that it’s a printed Greek language version of the NT. I have seen that it’s based on the Byzantine text-type but kind of stalled there.

    I was talking to someone about how the Bibles we have are copies of copies and that it was changed/manipulated by scribes, who were pretty much the only people who could read at the time, and that a lot of what we have today came out of the Middle Ages. The person told me that’s just the Catholic Bible and and Catholicism is a false religion and that they trust the “Majority Texts” based on the Textus Receptus. I’m not entirely sure how to respond.

    Sorry if this isn’t the right place to ask this.

  14. Reena says

    Not sure I like the new format…we are mostly talking to ourselves now…. I realize this is helpful from an advice point of view, but I got a lot from your approach with theists…

  15. Anton Ekstrand says

    The show gradually really turned into “The atheist experience” in that 9/10 callers seem to be about issues with believing family members. Though it might be a great outlet for the caller and the hosts may offer some consolation, virtually all of them say they’ve watched the show for a long time. What could possibly be said to them that hasn’t been said before when the exact same thing was discussed 30 weeks in a row?

    Couldn’t you just make one episode dedicated to this topic (theist family issues), refer future callers to that show and be done with it? I realise you’re not going to get theist callers all the time, but if the course of the calls isn’t changed somewhat, you’re going to lose a great portion of your audience.

  16. corwyn says


    but if the course of the calls isn’t changed somewhat,

    You seem to be under the impression that the hosts (or ACA) control who calls in. They don’t. If there are no theists on the show, you can be pretty sure that none called in (or equivalent in skype land). Suggestions for getting theists to the new format are welcome. Mine would be ‘get a phone line’ but they already know that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *