1. Haley says

    Just my luck to have taken an epic bong rip and coughed my lugs out just before my call was aired. My lungs were shot through the entire conversation, lol.

  2. says

    Found it rather ironic that the advertisement video immediately preceding the show was for some movie about god and satans coming down to earth

  3. Larry Lewinsohn says

    There seems to be something wrong with the youtube upload of the episode. It says “Video was interrupted the streamer stopped streaming” but the show ended at least 6 hours ago.

  4. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    Commenting on Darren calling from Australia who had a take on answering presuppositionalists (like Sye Ten). Darren was suggesting starting with an Atheist presupposition that ‘Reality is Real’ and then letting everything flow from there.

    Yes, there is a language barrier – fortunately I’m Australian so I think I got where you’re coming from.

    I think Matt Dillahunty pretty much concedes this as a presupposition. He says that there is no solution for solipsism (‘brain in a vat’ anyone) so you need to behave as if reality is real. Perhaps putting this forward as a presupposition could work – although I doubt anything would work against Sye Ten’s preset script.

    If I put my former Christian hat on I would have said sure – God is part of reality. I would have no problem with this as a starting point – although I was a fairly ‘liberal’ Christian and nothing like Sye!

    Great show everyone.


  5. mond says

    @Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking

    I too think that the hosts missed out on what Darren was actually saying.

    His premise that ‘reality is real’ as a counter the presupps.

    I am not sure that really helps because the stuff that Sye Ten argues that could only exist because they come from god, logic etc would be part of the reality we accepted in the premise.

  6. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says


    You’re probably right. When you presuppose god created everything then how could you be wrong?

    I think recognising that recognising that ‘reality is real’ is a presupposition is a useful point of thought, but I coming around to thinking that it’s not actually of any use against Christian presuppositionalists.


  7. Yaddith says

    Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking:

    I don’t know that it is possible to have a productive conversation with a presuppositionalist. Someone who starts a conversation with “I know I am right and so do you, but you won’t admit it” has already withdrawn from the realm of rational discourse.

  8. Matt Petty says

    ends of the callers
    Some of the other hosts like Jen and Matt and Tracy have a great way of disagreeing with a caller and respectfully pointing out the flaws in their arguments, but I find Russell’s dismissiveness and condescension toward many callers extremely rude.

  9. mond says

    @Yaddith + Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking

    I may be getting my apologists mixed up but I sure that Sye Tens views are ultimately based on revelation.
    I watched some videos of him ‘debating’ Matt and I am sure he said something along the lines of ‘god has been revealed to me in such a way that it cannot be false.’
    That is the point at which I lost interest in anything he had to say.

  10. adamah says

    Regarding Darren’s “reality is real” atheist presupposition, that’s as illogical as any Xian presuppositional statement since it’s inherently circular (as should be more apparent by noting the CAPS) : “REALity is REAL.”

    “Real is real”: you don’t say?!?

    So it’s simply ‘begging the question’, since it entirely hinges on the definition of ‘real’ (and by extension, ‘reality’).

    And as others have said, it’s illogical to expect a logical argument to persuade anyone who is driven primarily by emotions, not facts. Telling themselves they’re logical is simply a mental salve to calm the burning sensation of cognitive dissonance.

  11. mond says


    I think “reality is real” is shorthand for a way of ‘dealing’ with (or ignoring) hard solipsism. How do you know you not in the Matrix? Lets agree for pragmatic reasons that we are not in the matrix so we can have discussion with points of common reference. Otherwise we can all stay in bed all day contemplating pills of various colours.

  12. adamah says

    Mond said:

    I think “reality is real” is shorthand for a way of ‘dealing’ with (or ignoring) hard solipsism.

    Sure, so a better way to express that is to do as you just did, agreeing to table the issue of solipsism, since ultimately it’s an irresolvable irrelevancy (AKA an energy sap-sucker, a concept for stoners to wax philosophical over while smoking bowls of killer ganja).

    But even with that, I dare say someone like Matt D wouldn’t agree that you’ve advanced the ball down-field.

  13. Monocle Smile says

    Are you serious? Matt talks about this method of putting aside solipsism all the time and he discusses exactly why it’s reasonable to do so. Pay attention.

  14. adamah says

    Way to prove my point, MS: it’s not a new or novel breakthrough, since as you admit, “Matt’s been doing it a long time”. Pay attention yourself, troll.

  15. John D. says

    I would recommend the book Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton for the caller talking about community. In terms of the topic about changing people’s minds, I would recommend the book Mistakes were Made but not by Me.

  16. hermantf says

    About the caller discussing his conversations with his boss, one thing that can be said when the evolution vs. creation issue comes up is this:

    Even if evolution isn’t true, that does nothing to strengthen (or weaken) the argument for creation. Creation has to stand on its own, irrespective of evolution’s success or failure.

    The thing that I like about this argument is that it usually leaves the creationist stumped because you concede the point that they’re arguing (evolution not being true). As a result, you can circumvent the whole “you can’t ‘see’ evolution happen” argument.

    The actual statement would be something like, “Ok. Let’s say you’re correct that evolution is not true. That still does not make creation true. All that does is say that evolution is wrong. Creation must now do a better job of explaining things than evolution. Creation does not do that. Creation as a theory for the progression of life on earth has been ruled out entirely, irrespective of evolution’s success or failure.”

    The truth of evolution makes no difference in the argument at all.

  17. Yaddith says

    mond #9:

    If I remember correctly, Sye says we all know that there is a god (although some of us choose not to admit it), and the reason he knows this is the god of the Bible is that he has received a personal revelation. Pretty convenient, huh?

  18. Donny Heckel says

    So I keep noticing that atheists keep calling and asking about what theists would say about their arguments instead of just asking a theist to begin with. I’m actually starting to wonder if the show might be seriously cool if every third week or so they put on a couple of theists who take on atheist callers and try to defend their positions as honestly as they can with no atheist hosts on those days. I think that it would give atheists a chance to sharpen their skills on real theists if any theists are up to the challenge of being honest about their beliefs.

  19. Monocle Smile says

    “advance the ball down-field” sounded in context to mean “further the discussion,” not “establish something novel.”
    I’m pretty sure this is indeed what you meant in that post, but you can’t help but being a knuckle-dragging fuckstick 24/7, so you’re lying about it now.

  20. Monocle Smile says

    Tippe’s call was kind of weird, but I guess it ended okay.
    I do disagree very strongly with Russell, though. I don’t think it’s okay that people believe a bunch of weird shit. I think it’s extremely important that we educate people such that fewer and fewer people believe said weird shit.

  21. Rich says

    Phil please stop saying “things of that sort” you sound like an idiot! New drinking game : take a shot each time Phil says “things of that sort”

  22. Danit says

    The caller who talked about the connection between Jesus and salvation was correct and you shouldn’t have dismissed the idea out of hand.
    Americans always forget that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, which happens to be my native language. In Hebrew, Jesus is ישוע (yeshua) and salvation is ישועה, which is derived from the same root and is pronounced almost the same (yeshuah).
    Also mentioned was the relation between Noah (נח), which actually means comfortable, and comfort.
    Now having said that, as an atheist I agree this has nothing to do with profecy, but the linguistic connection is there.

  23. Mobius says

    @19 Monocle Smile

    Sadly, the old adage “you can lead a horse to water…” applies. You can provide the opportunity for an education, but you can’t force someone to take it. I have argued with too many creationists. You can provide facts all day long but you can’t get them to admit they are facts.

  24. KsDevil says

    I felt bad for the Canadian in Mexico thinking he may have taken something important from his cafe buddy. Sometimes life can become a little too real even if you think the interaction was just social.
    But, no one can make anyone think anything. Such psychic power does not exist.
    Only that person can change their own mind.
    The Canadian may have been a catalyst, but the cafe owner voluntarily did his own thinking.
    And sometimes personal growth is not comfortable.

  25. RationalismRules says

    @Mobius #20

    I have argued with too many creationists. You can provide facts all day long but you can’t get them to admit they are facts.

    I thoroughly enjoy arguing when I’m feeling combative, but I’m aware it’s no way to convince your opponent. IIRC a recent study confirmed that argument has the effect of entrenching people’s position, regardless of the quality of evidence presented. I have no trouble believing that, it certainly fits with my own experience.

    However, I’m with MonocleSmile #19, in that I do still believe there’s good reason to keep arguing (apart from just for the fun of it). As Matt D has often said, the people you are aiming at are in your audience, rather than your opponent – those who aren’t entrenched in the debate may well be swayed by your factual arguments. Also, at a broader level it’s simply about shifting the balance. The more dissenting voices saying “this religion stuff is bullshit”, the more the ‘default’ acceptance of religion gets eroded.

  26. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Mobius
    I have one success story, but it was a personal friendship, not too combative most of the time, and he was prone IMHO to reason and argument as an important element of his character from the start.

    To be honest, I argue and discuss (honestly) in places like this because I enjoy it, and because sometimes I learn something.

  27. Shellie David says

    Phil Session you are so intelligence and I love your responses to callers! So glad to see you on the show!

  28. Lillith says

    I agree with MonocleSmile and RationalismRules: even if you can’t convince the idiots, you need to draw a line firmly and not let them spew their nonsense uncontested. I don’t think Russell is rude though, as Matt Petty does. He’s letting people down quite nicely, Personally, I’d rather say things like Undoomed’s catch phrase where applicable.

  29. Paul Money says

    There are many ways to counteract an opposing view and atheist experience provides several very good examples of differing styles. I miss “What do you mean by that ma’am” (JD) and Tracie’s “What is that exactly?” is very effective. Matt’s Kill-them-with-logic attack is good fun, but actually I really like Russell’s kindly approach, which seems to me to allow the caller to think about what they have just said, if not now then later. While recalling past hosts, I miss most Keryn Glasser, often sharp, very funny and generally all-round adorable.

  30. adamah says

    Danit (27), Lamech’s prophetic naming of his son Noah is found at Genesis 5:29, and is discussed here (it’s a Xian apologetic site):

    The point where gotquestions goes off-track is by suggesting Noah provided ‘an additional set of hands to help his father to toil the God-cursed soil’. Sorry, but that’s extra-textual speculation, since those details aren’t found anywhere in the Genesis account.

    Instead, the answer is found a few chapters later in Genesis in the infamous “curse of Ham”, where Noah instituted the practice of slavery after the Flood, thereby providing God’s ‘chosen ones’ with millions of forced laborers (the descendents of Caan, the Canaanites) to help toil the cursed soil. Noah brought comfort via his curse, and God obviously endorsed it.

    3 millennia later, they don’t call it “Southern Comfort” (complete with imagery of a Southern plantation on the label) for no good reason: it too literally was once produced BY slaves for the enjoyment of the white slave-owning class.

  31. adamah says

    MS said:

    “advance the ball down-field” sounded in context to mean “further the discussion,” not “establish something novel.”
    I’m pretty sure this is indeed what you meant in that post

    Ironic, since weren’t you claiming that only the person is in the position to know their intent (e.g. trans-persons having the sole right to declare their desired preference for gender identity)?

    (Not that I entirely agree: if people truly understood why they acted as they do, therapists would not be needed to help avoid pit-falls of self-deception.)

    So rather than assuming and making an ass out of yourself, how about asking for clarification next time before launching into rant-mode?

    BTW, both of your alternatives are “a distinction without difference” (at least, not much). I could explain why I say that, but I assume you don’t really care about learning anything unless it reinforces your existing beliefs. That’s a problem not just with religious types…

  32. Maria Barker says

    To all finding issue with the lighting of Phil, let’s face it, that background is pretty bad altogether. It is too busy. That picture is distracting, the books are never referenced, and that black makes everyone who wears something dark look bizarre. The whole background needs to be rethought. That will go a long way to letting everyone be seen, not just whites who happen to have chosen the correct clothing that day. I know one day they’ll look at themselves and see it.

    Hosts and Cohosts, In the meantime, while we are waiting for you to see yourselves, keep your background in mind and don’t wear dark clothing or shirts with any kind of print. You look a lot like disembodied heads.

    Phil, keep “appearing” on the show. We enjoy your voiced contributions!