Open thread for episode 21.47: Russell and John


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Comments

  1. moldred says

    Quantum Physics; Consciousness What has physics got to do with it? – Subatomic physics and the possible nature of consciousness.
    Subatomic physics and the possible nature of consciousness In the most simple terms consciousness refers to the unified sense of awareness that we all have of who we are and what we are.
    It is the unique subjective inner world that we all experience during our daily lives. Understanding the nature of consciousness and the self, has become one of the most intriguing mysteries. At present no one yet knows how our sense of self and consciousness arises, there have been many theories put forward The current lack of plausible biological mechanisms to account for how consciousness and our sense of self arises has led some to present some other possible theories.
    consciousness may be a property of processes occurring within small protein structures within brain cells where brain cells connect with each other
    At a level far smaller than that there’s a process going on at the subatomic or quantum level – where things are even much smaller than atoms.
    The quantum processes theory is based upon the principle that there are two levels of explanation in physics: the familiar classical level used to describe large-scale objects and the quantum level used to describe very small events at the subatomic level.
    At the quantum level superimposed states are possible, that is, two possibilities may exist for any event at the same time, but at the classical level either one or the other must exist.
    Consciousness arises from tiny structures made of proteins that exist in all the cells in the body, even brain cells, and act as a skeleton that allows cells to keep their shape.
    These small structures are the site of quantum processes in the brain, due to their structure and shape.
    Consciousness is thus not a product of direct brain cell to brain cell activity, but rather the action of subatomic processes occurring in the brain. At present there is little experimental scientific evidence to support this view, but it is an intriguing hypothesis.

  2. Monocle Smile says

    @moldred
    Nobody gives a shit about about nonsense plagiarized straight from “what the bleep do we know” without attribution. Penrose and Hameroff are making stuff up as they go; it’s all ad-hoc blather stemming from fundamental misunderstandings of quantum physics. Every last bit of scientific evidence (read: the entire fields of neuroscience and physiology) points to consciousness being a product of the brain, not some mystical quantum woo force.

    Shit, you even linked to your own channel. It reads like you’re pretending this is all your own work. I don’t know what’s worse…the fraud or the fact that you are plagiarizing shitty work.

  3. says

    Class 1 can harness the resources of a planet, class 2 can harness the resources of a solar system (Dyson sphere civilisation) class 3 galaxy – can’t mind what its used in….

  4. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    @moldred
    This is what I took away:
    ‘At present there is little experimental scientific evidence to support this view.’
    Which is why I am not convinced by your claim.
    None of my degrees cover Quantum Physics – can I ask what your training is in this area?

    – Simon

  5. Iced says

    That guy calling in talking about a class 0 society has it messed up.

    He was talking about type 0 civilization which we currently still are. There are also 1 2 3 and a possible 4th

    For more info on this, check out Michio Kaku, he gives a good explanation of them all.
    The kardashev scale is also a name for it but Michio Kaku explains it so nicely on youtube videos.

  6. says

    mark from the uk seemed to be rambling into solipsism when asking, to paraphrase, “how can you tell whether god has defined a purpose for you already?”

    it’s like asking “how can you tell whether you’re in the christian version of the matrix?”

  7. eniveld says

    I kind of lost some respect for you guys today when you belittled the guy talking about the class 0 society, because I knew exactly what he was talking about. If you did too, you guys might have had an interesting conversation. But obviously you didn’t. If instead of jumping on him, you had tried to draw out what he was talking about, you could have had a better conversation.

  8. Arjan P says

    I think I might have a way to state the puddle analogy for designed universes in a way people haven’t heard yet and might accept.

    Imagine we have a computer game like sort of like minecraft where we generate universes worlds according to random initial conditions. Lets say we get a world in this game that only has a fire like process going on within it. Now from the perspective of the fire it might say, look at how this world, it was obviously created to have us in it. At no point had anyone intended for the world to be filled with fire, it was just how the conditions panned out.

  9. Justin says

    Is there a rule against self promoting? Seems like that would fall under rules against spam. If so, I think Moldred should be banned. Hopefully a mod will read through these.

  10. Sascha says

    Caller Ken from NY made a good point: Trash such stuff (religious pamphlets etc.) if you find it somewhere in a public space, they can do a lot of harm to young minds. Chick tracts were shown to me when I was 15 years old and left a lasting mark, I spent a couple of years trying to find out how not to infuriate god / commit a sin etc. It took me more than 20 years to become the atheist that I am now.

  11. John Garcia says

    Mark said several times “I just can’t explain it”. I agree that his explanations were lacking.

  12. Einyv says

    What was up with the callers today? All were extremely slow in speaking or had difficulty in expressing a thought. Frustrating to listen to them.

  13. says

    To pick out a picayune detail from the show….

    The first caller, re what to do with religious tracts left about by anonymous proselytizers: There’s a word for this: littering. Literally, littering. If it wouldn’t be proper to leave, say, an empty soda can on a subway seat, it’s not proper to leave anything else, either.

    I recently walked 100 miles of Appalachian Trail (after having walked the whole thing in 2016). On one short section of trail, some Christian proselytizer had left Jesus books in plastic bags, propped up against trees. In what sense is this not littering?

    I made a point of picking up every one I saw โ€” amusingly, three out of four had been urinated on, perhaps by wildlife, as it was fresh and I saw no dogs. Then, when I got to my campsite, I tore them up, crumpled the pages, and used them as kindling.

    So while I agree with Russel that it’s a tiny thing, I disagree with John that we should all just turn the other cheek (ahem). It’s trash, in more ways than one. Not just okay, but ethical and proper to dump it in the nearest receptacle.

  14. mowatt9 says

    This is the same, Mark from a few weeks back, who asked God to get him out of prison. Not sure why they didn’t jump all over that, as he didn’t say anything about him being innocent.
    This was apparently the “miracle” that turned him to God….a prison break.

  15. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Russell (29:55):

    Have you read those pamphlets? They’re ridiculous. And I feel like anybody who’s gonna pick up one of these pamphlets from like Jack Chick or something… and then that’s gonna be the thing that pushes them over and dumps them in some sort of dogmatic mindset, like they were pretty close to gone anyway.

    The propaganda’s function isn’t to win new converts. It contributes, in a small way, to keeping them gone.
     
    Twitter Thread: Scott Benson – On Jack Chick

    An unsung part of this kind of faith is its fixation on death. And not just any death- violent, untimely, horrible death. In church we’d [hear] story after story of a person who rejected god only to be shot, stabbed, run over, left to die later that night. […] The world was a scary place where death lurked behind every tree and door. And beyond that, an eternal hell that you personally deserve. So hey kids, if you were in an accident on the way home tonight, do you know where you’d go? Are you sure? Pray with me.
    […]
    And when I was first introduced to them around 7 or 8, I was HOOKED.
    […]
    His stuff drips with fear and resentment. His tracts portray feminism as a plot to destroy families, ruin women, and murder babies. In his work gay men exist only to spread AIDS, molest children, and be shown as horrible mirrors of what men should be. He was terrified of communism, the UN, and secular government in the US. This was basically what I was taught as a child. These were big parts of my worldview as a kid. […] Chick tracts were like the R-rated version of the worldview I was brought up with. The Old Testament is R-rated. Chick was R-rated.

  16. John Iacoletti says

    In our defense, Russell asked William if “class 0 society” was from something, and he just appealed to sociologists and physicists. If he had said “Kardashev scale” we could have at least looked it up. As we said, we’re just a couple of guys on a YouTube show.

  17. John Iacoletti says

    claywise, #18,

    As I mentioned on the show, there’s a difference if a place is specifically set up to be a “public forum” like a bulletin board or a pamphlet table. That’s what I was talking about. If nobody is allowed to leave stuff there, then yeah it’s litter. If people are allowed to leave stuff then I don’t think it’s ok to set myself up as the content arbitrator (unless it’s on my private property of course).

  18. says

    I have a technical question about the show. I mostly listen to it in podcast format. I use my Podcast Republic app on my android phone. What I’ve found over the past several shows is that there are some glitches in the feed. It’s like a slice of the audio has been cut out. This happens many times during the playback and it it happens in every episode for the past few months. I don’t have this problem with other podcasts on my app; only with TAE shows. I also listen to the non prophets and I don’t see the same error with their playback.

    Is this just me? Or is anybody else seeing this?

  19. says

    Find your purpose”, “God has given you a purpose”. Those sentences plus the phrases “Well, it seems to ME”, “I just feel in MY heart it is true”, just make me grit my teeth.

    Why do religious people seem to have this obsession with “purpose”? Is it to give themselves an importance? “Well, I may be working at McDonald’s, and have no hope of a better future but God has placed me in this life for a great Purpose!”

    Is it they have been indoctrinated that they are fallen, wicked beings so any chance they have of creating their own purpose in is doomed to failure? Why is living a happy life, doing the best you can towards yourself and others not be enough? Would most people be obsessed with if they had not been taught about supernatural planes, and a life after death where you are judged on how well your fulfilled “God’s purpose”?

    And to be lightly nasty, Mark’s purpose appears to be praying and telling other people a god exists. Hardly, it would seem, a very important Purpose.

    As for ” it seems to ME” and “I feel it is true”; when that is the answer when logical questions are asked, or logical contradictions are pointed out, proves the speaker has not thought about what they are saying/believing, and are certainly not going start now. It almost borders on solipsism, that only what they think is the only truth, and actual reality and other people do not actually matter in the least. Add that to “I have a purpose from GOD” and you are getting a fair display of ego. Also, major league desperation about they feel about their lives and future.

  20. says

    Yes Darryl! It’s not just you, I have also noticed the glitches in the audio. I’m using Pocket Casts on Android and I thought it was just my phone until I read your description. Hopefully Atheist Experience producers can investigate. I probably here one glitch every couple minutes and they seem to occur in the same location on the feed. For example at 1:30:03 in this episode I got one (I just heard it while typing this).
    Also I’m really curious what the producers are trying to do behind the scenes post-call. So mysterious ๐Ÿ˜€

  21. Walter says

    @claywise #18
    I was thinking the same thing. If i see a hamburger wrapper blowing in the wind, I am a nice citizen and pick it up and throw it away. Usually.

  22. clockworkrex says

    Just two questions,that should be asked to every Christian,Islamic,or Jewish caller is:If someone is trying to kill you,your wife,&/or your children can you try to stop them by every means necessary…including murdering them?If so,should you have to beg any god for forgiveness if you do?

  23. Harald Clark says

    @Darryl Perry
    There was a post a few threads ago about the sound-clipping problems.
    The audio posted on the Axp archive are pulled from Youtube when they broadcast. The audio files usually get updated after a few days with the full audio.

    I had this problem with the ogg files on the archive, but I went back and redownloaded the files and the audio problems are gone.

  24. Erwin Mรผller says

    I can’t believe that Russell and John give such a bad answer to the leaflet question. The Golden Rule applies, treat others like you want to be treated. The public space is a public forum, would you like if some Christians come and take your leaflets, posters or signs and dump them?

    If you don’t like that somebody finds those horrible leaflets and converts to a religion, why not put out some secular leaflets?

    Only because Christians take secular leaflets and destroy them, that doesn’t give you a pass to do the same. What happened to live by example?

    I can’t believe that Russell and John approve taking Christian leaflets and throwing them away.

  25. John Iacoletti says

    Erwin, #29:

    I’m wondering what show you actually watched, because that is pretty much exactly what I did say!

  26. leontiev says

    I always pick up those christian leaflets and trash them. Why? Because it’s fun; pure, simple, cheap thrills. I also grab copies of Watchtower I see in the doctor’s office and toss them. I hate that crap and really enjoy tossing it.

  27. Monocle Smile says

    Another simulation theory caller? Sigh. That dude didn’t know anything about anything, and sounds like one of the stoner college kids that Russell referenced. Get out of your fucking armchair, Jordan, because like all your fellow woo monkeys, none of you wastes of space have set foot in a middle school science classroom.

    AXP has had a number of these calls, especially recently. There’s a growing trend of brainless sloths who read some Wiki articles and think they can punch above their intellectual weight class. It’s maddening.

  28. Luc says

    Jordan is right that Jupiter and Saturn *probably* acted as protection for the Earth from asteroid impacts. Of course, they could have also redirected asteroids toward us, but I think the understanding is their presence was and is a net positive for Earth. Anyway, the point is, there were better examples you might have pointed to to show that the Solar System was not designed for us: Mercury, perhaps, or better, the Oort Cloud.

    I think despite not knowing about the Kardashev scale or being experts in some of the other science he brought up, the hosts treated William quite well. He didn’t really understand the physics or biology, either: he was just pointing to open scientific questions as a god of the gaps argument. Russell and John recognized that (though they didn’t name it specifically) and responded to it appropriately. John in particular is always respectful and empathetic…the good cop to his cohosts’ more confrontational styles. His input is often sparse but almost always mirrors my own thoughts.

    Caroline’s call made me cringe: she is clearly, woefully unprepared to speak with even a relatively poor theologian. I feel a great deal of pity for her: it seems like she’s feeling cast adrift from her religion due to her sexual orientation. As Russell hinted, it seems more likely to me (depending on where she is in Georgia) that she will find a religious congregation who is warm and welcoming to her rather than maintaining her newfound skepticism, if you can call it that. His initial advice, to avoid the conversation, is probably the best advice at this time, so she can read and form a more complete and solid foundation of rationality and skepticism.

  29. kimsland says

    Sorry another question regarding “William – Washington” viewer vid.

    When he was providing his example of an alien with higher intelligence than humans, why didn’t you:
    1. Explain that wouldn’t be the normal theistic definition of what a god is defined as?
    2. Explain the time to believe in something is when there is a good reason or evidence to believe in it?
    3. Explain that not everything is possible? Is there a planet where monkeys are throwing poo at their God slaves?

    I felt like William was presenting an excellent argument all the way through, except he forgot that his evolved extra terrestrial hypothetical (or not) would still not be a ‘god’ by definition. As the extra terrestrial being he agreed naturally evolved from obviously other life (including its own parents).

    I think you missed an opportunity to help out people who constantly believe in things without any reason other than its saying it’s ‘possible’ or not.
    You need to be very clear with these people and ask their reason to believe in this supposed possibility.

    I agree with another commenter here as well (who you did answer though, so that’s good.
    I lost a little respect when you had no idea on Class 0 society. Your reply was you could have looked up the ‘Kardashev scale’, but I’m a little shocked you have never done this before. I think its one of the first times most of the skeptic viewers thought I’m better than the decade long atheist experience people. And you know what? I’m starting to think I do know more. Here I’ll give you an example.

    Do you know that the theists you speak with have either a diminished reasoning ability or they are indoctrinated or both?
    If so, you need to address their level of understanding (including that of the theistic believers listeners). Explain to them monsters aren’t real, and you don’t need to be scared of nothing anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚ I smile, but that’s only because I know better ๐Ÿ˜‰

  30. Devil Travels says

    re: Forgiveness
    There was a a philosophy that absolution without restitution is meaningless.
    Forgiveness helps the perpetrator, but the victim is usually left victimized.
    Somewhere along the way, the requirement for restitution was revised away from the victim and toward the institution. That being, penance to the church or government instead of the victim for the crime.
    This seems to perpetrate the desire to make everyone feel like an unworthy martyr needing religion or government to supply empty words of sympathy.

  31. Jen Welcher says

    Hi All! I wanted to leave a comment about being an “out” Atheist. I am “out” in my community, work and personal spaces but I took a huge risk in doing so. I am a teacher by day and I work as a clinical therapist in my own practice. I feel safe in my personal spaces and I feel that I am supported in my professional spaces. Although there are times in them that I tread carefully and I cannot question all that I normally would. I feel that if I did I would be persecuted and could face re-repercussions I really don’t want.There are more churches of all flavours that schools here and while I trust that individual people are reasonable I am not sure that groups of people always are. I guess what I am saying is that I feel like there are different levels of out and while it would be effective if we all were – some studies say that in the US most people would trust rapists to watch their children over an Atheist. I’m in Canada but I don’t think the numbers are much better. So I wonder if a caution of be as out as you feel safe to be needs to be included in our considerations.

  32. Mobius says

    @39 Jen Welcher

    I don’t know that “more churches of all flavours that (than?) schools” is a useful metric. I think that is going to be true of every town in the US. In my hometown, there are three schools, grade school, middle school and high school. There are more churches than that at one street intersection let alone the entire town.

    However, yes coming out as an atheist has its risks. Certainly here in the US it does.

  33. says

    Erwin, #29:

    I’m wondering why on earth you think an atheist would have any obligation whatsoever to treat any Christian tract with any respect at all?

  34. kimsland says

    @Monocle Smile

    My overall aim is to clearly make you aware that religious beliefs is a disorder.
    That may be ignorance; delusion, indoctrination and even as simple as lying.
    My concern is that you guys are not being clear to these deluded individuals (and groups).
    And I feel the way in which you conduct yourself is somewhat misleading towards their lack of understanding.
    My overall aim is to try to get you (through rationalizing with you) to be loud and clear that religious belief is nonsense.
    Obviously I AGREE you should first listen to them. But once they spew out their jesus filth you should address their delusion head on.

    I find that you are TOO forgiving, and TOO non opinionated, and you are enabling their condition.
    I understand you may feel through past replies and even future replies that I am just ‘over the top’ but I feel this is your mistake to not use this platform to CLEARLY show these delusional people how WRONG they are whilst explaining reason and knowledge.

    And thanks for your unrelated question by the way.

    Can you now please explain why you didn’t inform this caller that his ridiculous ideas were not related to a mythical god?
    Ideally without avoiding the point. I doubt you will reply (or ever again) your enabling of theism is just too inbred now.
    Oh I didn’t get an email reply, so only now just looked back through comments, I’ll check the settings again.
    Generally I am interested in your show and the delusional mindset of others magic being and castle in the clouds, yes their beliefs are PATHETIC (you probably forgot to mention this on any show).

  35. kimsland says

    Theism is the embarrassment of the evolved human mind.
    Please explain why this understanding is not true.

  36. Monocle Smile says

    @kimsland
    You’re basically the cartoon Tasmanian Devil at this point.
    What makes you think I’m involved with the show at all? Did your rage fracture your brain?

  37. moldred says

    @Monocle Smile
    I was paraphrasing articles by quantum physicists and Robert Anton Wilson, Kerry Thornily, and Greg Hill.

  38. kushtakaa says

    Hi Ken,

    I liked the “spoiled milk” analogy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My wife & I (both atheists) through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015. There are “shelters” to camp in (or around) every 8-16 miles along it’s (approx) 2200 mile length. I found pamphlets & bibles at many shelters. Initially (after 15-20 miles of grueling hiking)…I would promptly take these physical objects and utilize them for fire-tinder. Seriously…feels good to burn a bible. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Eventually, I just left them alone. They are not going away. I think Russel & John are correct. Add some rational literature to the stash…then just enjoy the humanity of anyone you run in to…no matter their bent.

  39. Trenton Clancy says

    I’ve watched a presentation of Michio Kaku who had described the class of civilizations we are and what the acale represents.

    esentially boils down to our curent lvl we are individuap nations….where as class 1 i believe is humanity united as 1 global entity sharing resources, the the next class is something to the effect of local space exploration, mining, and colonizing, followed by galaxy exploration loke the federation in star trek, or the republic from star wars. working up to a multiple system civilization with mote harnessed energy/resources. the scale is based on humanity vs resource consumption, Kaku discuesses how at our current state, we are conauming our limited resources at a faster rate than our civilizations are advancing. this will prevent us from exoa ding, and killing off own species/ planet. Its a really interesting Presentation, but I can’t locate it. sorry for spelling and grammer, typing from phone at 3am. Love the show ๐Ÿ™‚

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