1. Ron Slaton says

    This is in response to Victor in Clearwater Fla.
    I think it might be beneficial (for his parents) if Victor reviewed the show with his questions and comments with his parents. I would love to hear how they respond to Matt’s rational response.

  2. Athywren - Frustration Familiarity Panda says

    It wasn’t really a major issue in this weeks show, but I had a thought on the apparent contradiction between the genealogies of Jesus, and the idea that it’s resolved by one being the genealogy of Mary. It’s entirely possible that I’ve confused Marys, or that this is some obscure heresy which is unique to Anglicanism, but wasn’t her father called Joachim?

  3. gshelley says

    Q: Can God create a rock so heavy that even he can’t lift it?
    A: Yes, but he’d be able to lift it

    I always thought that “Passion of the Christ” was basically in the same torture porn genre as Saw

  4. Leigh Hunt says

    Russel, It seems to me that since going to Skype, the show has been getting less theist callers. Am I correct? If so, do you have any ideas how to get more theist callers?

  5. Russell Glasser says

    Unfortunately you can’t edit comments. I can as moderator, but I felt weird doing that without telling you, so I’m just going to say “I forgive you” and then edit/delete your earlier references to the misspelling after you’ve seen this. 🙂

    In any case, you are not the only one having that concern about Skype, and rest assured that we are working hard to get phone lines in the studio.

  6. Leigh Hunt says

    Cool, Russell, thanks for the reply, and I am glad you guys are on it. I am watching yesterday’s episode now. It’s my crack. I hope to see your kid on the show again sometime. He showed great promise on the after-show that one time.

  7. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Energy turning into humans without manipulation via intelligence is a belief. Beliefs count for nothing.

    The truth is not dependent on you knowing about it.

  8. Esquilax says

    @9, John, you could do us all a big favor, if you actually wanted an honest discussion, if you asked us what our beliefs were, rather than making assumptions and then telling us what we think. How would you like it if we came to your church and started spouting off a series of non-factual statements about your beliefs before scoffing at them?

  9. says

    @9 I’ll agree with you that believing something is a belief, which is a basic tautology. I’ll also agree that beliefs have no bearing on the facts about the reality we share. I’ll also agree that “the truth” about that reality is not dependent on any sentient being knowing about it.

    In fact, remove three letters from your post and I’ll agree with the whole damn thing!

    Energy turning into humans with manipulation via intelligence is a belief. Beliefs count for nothing.

    The truth is not dependent on you knowing about it.

  10. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Let’s get a terminology thing out of the way. When you are in the state of mind that you accept the truth of some proposition, that is a belief. You believe that it is true. You can have true beliefs, false beliefs, justified beliefs, and unjustified beliefs. Knowledge is a subset of belief.

    Are you all-knowing? Presumably no. Were you born with the knowledge of the truth of Jehovah’s Witness doctrine? Presumably no. Were you were taught JW doctrine by human beings? Presumably yes. Are those human beings all-knowing? Presumably no. Were they born with knowledge of JW doctrine? Presumably no. Did they also learn JW doctrine by being taught by other people? Presumably yes. Are any of these people ever mistaken about points of JW doctrine? Presumably yes.

    In other words, there was a point when you didn’t have beliefs concerning JW doctrine, and then you were taught JW doctrine, and now you claim a sort of infallibility on JW doctrine. How do you know that your teachers did not lie or make a mistake? Or that the teachers of your teachers didn’t lie or make a mistake? And so forth. How do you know that their original teachers, Jesus, the apostles, etc., didn’t lie or make a mistake?

    In other words, I’m asking how do you know what you know. I know what you believe. I want to know why you believe it. And I want to know how in all reasonableness you can claim that you are infallible.

  11. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    12. Fulfilled prophecy is the proof.

    We were designed to be nurtured directly by God talking to us.

    Text is inferior as a means of communication, hence many human interpretations. Interpretations belong to God.

    The light is getting brighter as the end of this Satanic system draws near.

    God chooses not to be all knowing.

    I have partial knowledge of truth.

  12. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    10. Ok. Sorry about that. I did not mean to upset you. Matt also has been upset by my comments. Sorry everyone that i have upset.

  13. Thorne says

    i do not go to church. God is about to destroy Christendom.

    By destroying the churches?

    God could destroy Christendom simply by not answering prayers.

    But how would anyone ever know?

  14. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    17. Churches are being turned into houses.

    Christendom as an organization is to be destroyed along with all false religion so that truth is easier to find.

  15. StonedRanger says

    I don’t know why youre here this week john. You’ve already proven that youre not interested in a dialogue and all you want to do is give us JW soundbites that don’t answer anything. Your one sentence and sometimes one words answers are not answers to anyone but you who are so blind you will not see. Just because your church tells you that they are speaking the truth, how is anyone else to know? I know, its in the bible. God says so. So what? We don’t believe in your sky friend. What else have you got? Your claims of knowing/having the truth are not convincing in the least.

  16. adamah says

    Author: JohnFromLONDONuk

    17. Churches are being turned into houses.

    Houses, huh?

    Then the JWs have really softened on that position with “new light”, since I recall as a child passing by churches and taking a certain glee when my JW parents said the church would be destroyed, pointing to images in the WT sjowing church steeples crashing to the ground during Armageddon after being hit by lightning as Jehovah’s wrath strikes out at “Christendom”.

    And exactly which JW Armageddon survivor would want to live in an ex-church in the New Order, when there’s so many other desirable alternatives? Seems like the church grounds should be scorched and the ground salted to serve as a reminder (war memorial?) of what happens when God’s omnipotent wrath is directed at you.

    John said:

    Christendom as an organization is to be destroyed along with all false religion so that truth is easier to find.

    The point another poster was trying to make to you is there’s a “fly in the ointment” if you have the idea that it’s possible to ever understand the truth of anything, since aside from interpretative differences amongst humans, the larger problem is that our understanding of the World is not fixed or nailed down: knowledge (much like life itself) changes and evolves.

    As you repeatedly like to point out, truths are not subject to public opinion polls (aka the ‘appeal to popularity’ fallacy): that’s why a poll taken in 3,000 BC which found that the popular opinion amongst humans was the Earth is flat wouldn’t make it change from an oblate spheroid to flat!

    So it’s basically a question of whether one allows the available evidence to lead their beliefs, or if they allow their beliefs to lead to the desired evidence (aka as ‘putting the cart before the horse’). Astronauts have circled the Earth in orbit, and confirmed it is in fact round, but there’s still a handful of beligerent types out there who still believe it’s a cover-up to hide the truth that the Earth is actually flat…. Yawn….

    BTW, you earlier made a comment apologizing to Matt for causing him to get upset with you.

    John, I suspect you wildly over-estimate your importance to Matt (or anyone else) if you actually think you can trigger anger, simply by being a stubborn hard-headed dogmatist. After all, it’s not like Matt isn’t a veteran at dealing with hard-core religious types (who dismiss the charge by claiming it to be a display of their faith being strong).

    Here’s something to mull over: are you projecting the claimed traits of God onto Matt?

    The inability to separate fiction from non-fiction, and to recognize real-world examples when someone is using a fallacious “appeal to authority” argument are difficult concepts for oh so many people to grasp, so you’re not alone in that regard….

  17. BC says

    Hey Russel long time Watcher of the show I was a “dedicated” catholic for a long time I actually called when I was and cussed out the screener saying he was going to hell never made it on the show…. But I want to say sorry to you and the screener after giving it some serious thought and actually sitting down and reading the bible and a few other religious texts like the Torah and the Quran I found out how much bull religion and most religions are. But I just wanted to apologize for being so damn ignorant. Please keep up the good work and ignore ass holes like me. Thank you.
    Also might drop by if ok at Threadgills I just moved to Texas from Utah and need to find some good restaurants.

  18. Monocle Smile says

    John, it appears that the very concept of answering a question is foreign to you. Why do you insist on hanging around? What do you hope to accomplish?

  19. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    20. I am not too interested in buildings, nor in your parent’s ideas of how such buildings will be in the future.

  20. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Regarding John, he is definitely trolling now. For several threads and several posts, he’s posting mere pithy replies and not actually answering the questions or engaging.

  21. Patrick67 says

    @MS; @EL:

    Being retired and just sitting around the house this gloomy afternoon contemplating my navel, I decided to check out the blogs, and lo and behold I noticed that John had returned even though he did not appear on this weeks show. So I took it upon myself to go back over the blogs and try to determine just how much John and his antics have dominated the blog since his first appearance on Episode 945. This goes to the idea that he is trolling the site. He seems to have a stock set of answers or points that he continually throws out and he never responds with any original thoughts. Since John first appeared on the scene he has been on three shows and comments left by him and/or made regarding him by folks on the blog have been a part of five different blogs including the non show Thanksgiving blog. The stats I counted up came to a total including this comment I’m leaving today (although I realize someone may add to the total before I get this posted) are 288 total posts by all commenters which include 223 posts specifically from John or concerning John. John is responsible for over 77% of the comments made in the past month. He has to be scoring big time points with the JWs for time proselytizing. I have to agree that at this point he is trolling. I think it may be time to pull the plug on him even though I am generally an avid supporter of free speech. I just don’t think the AXP blogs is the proper place for free advertisement for the JW denomination especially when John isn’t engaging in any useful conversation.

  22. KiwiDaveo says

    Couldn’t agree more. I’ve stated in previous posts JWs are required to proselytize and John is simply preaching standard JW doctrine points with little to no honest dialog with people who engage with him. At the very least no one should continue responding to his posts.

  23. JohnFromLONDONuk says

    Yes i agree, it seems to be a waste of time.

    Energy turning into humans by chance is your one free miracle belief.

    The default position should be ; – ‘i don’t know’.

    Anyways, i am done.

    Take care my fellow humans.

  24. Conversion Tube says

    Oh course one would know probably 90 % of the people here’s answer to the big question is I don’t know, however the straw man got in the way of this John Character even asking the question.

  25. adamah says

    John frequently makes references to “new light”, an organizational position of the JWs that is premised on this scriptural passage found at Proverbs 4:18:

    The path of the righteous ones is like the bright light that is getting lighter and lighter until the day is firmly established.

    The analogy used in Proverbs is of the illumination from the rising Sun, which, barring any extraneous factors (e.g. passing clouds, an infrequent eclipse event, etc.) only increases in brightness as the Sun rises; and what earlier was difficult to discern becomes ever easier to see in the daylight.

    That analogy is so easy to understand, it should warrant a ‘durrr’, right?

    The leadership of JWs (their Governing Body) use that passage to justify their doctrinal flip-flops, but
    the problem with applying the ‘rising Sun’ analogy to their lengthy history of doctrinal flip-flops is that in order to simulate it, the Earth would have to spin in one direction, stop, then start rotating in the opposite direction; come to a stop, then spin in the original direction!

    Yes, folks, that’s how much the GB has flip- flopped on some of their beliefs.

    Point being, the path has hardly been towards “ever-increasing brightness”, as stated in Proverbs.

    So John faces the prospect of having to admit that either JW’s are ‘unrighteous’ people led astray into darkness by the GB (the scripture mentions it only applies to the “righteous”), or its all gob-smacking nonsense (I’d prefer the latter option, but that’s just me…).

    Maybe the scriptural reference they should’ve used instead of Proverbs is from Joshua 10, when Jehovah supposedly made the Sun stand still so Joshua could achieve a military victory at Gibeon.

    Although a step in the right direction, it’s still a logical failure, since maintaining the brightness doesn’t match what the GB is doing, leading JWs towards the dark, then the light, and then back into the dark.

    (BTW, Joshua’s account ignores that in modern times, we know without question the Earth revolves on its axis to give us ‘days’ (one Earth rotation per 24 hr period); also, the Earth revolves about the Sun, not vice-versa.

    Obviously God is unaware of the Heliocentric findings of Copernicus, instead preferring to cling to His long-disproven Geocentric model of the solar system. Copernicus’ experimental results should’ve been the death knell for ancient biblical beliefs by strongly suggesting it’s all just moldy ancient science, but no: few would anticipate exactly how much irrational people hate to relinquish their comforting God belief.)

    Here’s a WT article from 2006 offering some real-world examples of how the “light getting brighter” has helped JW’s:

    OMG, if not for the truth handed down via the GB, how else would we know the ‘144,000’ were different from the ‘Great Crowd’?

    And here’s a site debunking their “new light” excusiology, offering real-world examples of doctrinal flip-flops, and
    using their own publications as primary evidence against them:

    Oh, this:

    Author: JohnFromLONDONuk
    20. I am not too interested in buildings, nor in your parent’s ideas of how such buildings will be DESTROYED in the future.

    I took the liberty of adding the word I assumed you accidentally left out (‘destroyed’), since the sentence is rather incoherent without it.

    Actually, I found an example of the older WT artwork I was thinking of, showing church steeples falling (see Reply #264 in this thread):

    It’s fun to do a Google image search for “JW’s Armageddon Watchtower” to see what gruesome images JWs have in their head to imagine what fate is in store for anyone who rejects their “life-saving” message.

  26. Athywren - Frustration Familiarity Panda says

    The default position should be ; – ‘i don’t know’.

    Did John just convert to atheism?
    Yes, John, that is our default position. No need to preach to the choir. But it is nice to see you’ve seen the light – or lack thereof.

  27. ironchops says

    Shaw- I can totally understand your position and wish it wasn’t so. I have figured out that I am an atheist but I still attend church largely because of friends and family but also because I like my church, church friends, Sunday school classmates and activities, however I honestly can’t say I believe a/any god exist. That said I too side against an atheist who straw-mans there anti-Christian rhetoric out of ignorance with respect to some (not all) Christian doctrines/dogmas.

    Joe- turn off the damn phone! You called into the show and then answer the damn phone on TV. Not once, twice! Rude! It distracted me away from the conversation and I lost interest.

    Thaddaeus- The intelligent/educated ancient people portrayed the ideal of a perfect being with all authority to control ignorant superstitious people. They personified the unknown creator/reason for our existence, as well as other unknown stuff and called it G_d and then made it real through rhetoric and propaganda. The purpose was to get people to do what they wanted them to do without the use of force. They were/are playing on everyone’s emotional need for spirituality, the reason for our existence.

  28. Ian Shulman says

    I’ve been watching your show for a few years now and like you Matt, I love discussing Religion and Philosophy, granted i don’t have the bible background you have, but i like to think that i know quite a bit for my age (27). I have never taken to Judaism even in my early years…pretty much after my Bar Mitzvah i became an atheist whether i acknowledged it or not. I recently wrote a 43 page manifesto chronicling the Abrahamic faiths and why I personally think it’s a delusion to believe in God, I would very much like to send a copy to the ACA; I apologize for rambling on but I have a speech impediment and epilepsy which makes it really hard to talk to people and writing is how I express myself, I’m actually getting my degree in Freelance Writing. Anyway Matt, Don, Jen, Russell, Jeff, Tracie, Martin, John and everyone else I hope to hear back from you.

  29. prathyush says

    I just saw an old episode of yours (in youtube in somebody’s channel) and wanted to suggest you guys about it, did not know how to so i am commenting here
    “When a guy says you don’t need god but if do good to humanity you can go to heaven, be soft on the guy. Instead of saying your god is useless you could have said according to you your morality does not necessarily be of god and appreciate him of not having irrational hatred towards atheists. We need people to understand the atheist position not talk smack about after hanging the phone”. I know that going through so many stubborn callers can make you do that but for your purpose of educating your stand of what atheism is i think you need to be a bit more patient.

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