1. says

    jerikia seems incredulous that “i don’t need to know” isn’t the most mind-numbingly inane response ever:

    me: “cthulhu wants me to serve you up with some fava beans and this nice chianti here.”
    you: “you know this how?”
    me: “not only do i not need to explain that, i don’t even know the answer myself. now just get in the oven, please.”

  2. philiphoenig says

    But atheists don’t actually practice or live out their worldviews because they can’t answer the four most important questions about life philosophically.

  3. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    Admittedly I was not a fan of Phil’s last (or first? whatever) appearance on the show, but in this instance his dismissiveness combined with Russell’s made for an absolutely delicious episode. Assuming they weren’t trolls, Will’s and Jerikia’s passion was admirable, but their argumentation was significantly less so.

  4. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says


    Arielle: heathens that […] do worship the Germanic gods… a lot of them have become white nationalists.
    Russell: Being a neo-nazi isn’t one that I would have pegged them for.

    Pagan -> Odinist / Asatru.
    Some use an Othala rune as a less obvious substitute for the Swastika.
    Prison ministries are popular, but that’s more for the perks of religious affiliation than accepting the theology.
    Article: RationalWiki – Asatru

    In the United States, Asatru has long had to contend with white supremacists and Neo-Nazis claiming the religion because it has “Aryan” cred and (unlike Christianity) did not originate among the Jews. The Nazis (the original ones, not the shaved head thugs today) also used significant amounts of Norse symbolism in their propaganda, and placed the Nordic people at the tippy-top of their racial ladder.
    Notably, this is not the case in Europe; although there is a contingent of racist pagans there
    Although the larger Asatru organizations in the U.S. at least nominally repudiate racism, several of them are structured in such a manner that large numbers of racists can nonetheless exert heavy influence within them.

    Artticle: Vice – Racists Are Threatening to Take Over Paganism

    Modern Paganism can largely be broken down into two categories, “eclectic” and “reconstructionist.”
    The most well-known form of eclectic Paganism is Wicca […] and is typified by worshipping gods across various cultures. While this has sometimes been criticized for cultural appropriation, for the most part eclectic Paganism is generally progressive and inclusive.
    Reconstructionist Paganism, on the other hand, attempts to recreate the spiritual practices of ancient peoples, from Norway to Egypt. Asatru, Odinism, and other forms of Heathenry typically fall under the umbrella of reconstructionist Norse Paganism, and almost all of them have racists thriving within their ranks. The SPLC recently classified racist strands of Nordic Paganism under the umbrella term of “Neo-Volkisch.”

  5. Theisntist says

    Will was an excellent example of how theists see things, the most mundane facts are interpreted to somehow prove their magical beliefs. When their examples of evidence are shown to be lacking, they just move on to the next one. Since their bar is set so low, they can have a thousand such ‘proofs’, all reinforcing each other, so long as they never think too hard about any of them. But as they say, the plural of anecdote isn’t evidence, and no amount of bad evidence equals good evidence.

    Jerikia apparently has studied his Bible and apologetics, but his reasoning and logic are just as flawed and simplistic as Will’s. I’d have liked to see the hosts chase him down the rabbit hole a little farther, although the call went on a while, he managed to gish gallop enough that none of the host’s criticism of him really landed. But Russel’s not a biblical scholar, so maybe I shouldn’t expect him to go full Dillahunty.

    All in all a good show, with the two hosts complementing each other nicely.

  6. sayamything says

    I have to go to bed before I finish the show, but the first caller. Wooooof (sound of deflating lungs, not a dog). I guess ignorance is bliss. When he was talking about this at first, I was with Russell, whoever said “go along with it.” Then he detailed how much was expected of him, and jeez.

    As a rule, I will respect people’s religious beliefs inasmuch as attending/speaking at funerals, theistic weddings, etc. This sounds a little more involved. TBH, I don’t know if he feels the same way, but I’d feel awful if I said I’d do something and didn’t. On the other hand, most of the people around me know I’m an atheist and I’m yet to be asked to do something I couldn’t do sincerely, except be someone’s godparent (traditional sense), and I was in good position to turn that down.

    Ujjval, if you’re on the blog, I feel for you. I don’t have easy answers, but I hope you find a solution you can live with.

  7. dalrath says

    To Lily

    I take it from your call that your dad is CoE (Church of England). The CoE is looked as being atheistic by other religions, in a way that, yes the bible is the word of god, but it’s more a guide/account book more than fact. The CoE has values that are very humanistic in that they work for the betterment of mankind, but though the guidance of the bible. To members of the CoE, to lead a christian life is to value others and do no harm, so you can be an atheist and still be looked as leading a christian life, but if you are a christian and do wrong to others, then they are looked on as not leading a christian life, so not true christians. The CoE accepts evolution and has argued against creationisum being taught in schools, they accept the big bang theory and science as a whole, infact some of the members of the clergy are scientists or teach science in schools

    Being English myself, but atheist, it’s what I remember from school meny years ago. Even Richard Dawkins has a soft spot for the CoE saying urging “rationalists” to “take on some of the gentle decency of the Church of England” a couple years ago.

    So sit down with your dad and talk to him with an open mind, you maybe supprised on how close your ideas and ideals are. You just have to realise that members of the CoE are not like the other religions that you’ll be more awear of in America.

  8. tommyr says

    The other reason we know about the Big Bang (besides red shift) is the cosmic background radiation. Proven by the COBE spacecraft. You’re welcome. You see, we have evidence. We REQUIRE evidence. You require NONE. To me that’s just sad and pathetic.

  9. sayamything says

    Jerikia overpronounces his t’s like a lot of apologists. I wonder why this is a thing.

    Isaiah’s the book that predicts the Messiah will be named Immanuel, right? Slsdo, slavery is mentioned inthe New Testament, just not by Jesus. Paul is okay with it.

  10. ScottM1973 says

    About the first caller Ujjval. Culturally we honour final rites and wishes because if we don’t then we no longer trust others to honour ours when we die and we want/need to be able to trust because at that point we are powerless (you know having died! lol). I think the best course would for him to be honest with his parents and tell them he doesn’t want to do any ceremony when they die. Similar to death bed requests that a person return to a religion etc, at least in western society, no one will hold you to a request which you are opposed to so most likely they will find a way to work with him. Again might not be the case in India. Either way waiting until they die is obviously too late to sort it out.

  11. Monocle Smile says

    My best guess is that it’s an artifact of reading off a script as opposed to speaking freely from the mind.
    Jesus does mention slavery: Colossians 3:22

  12. Serge Rubinstein says

    Answer for Lily from Illinois : “Does THE real christian please mind standing up? “…

  13. Monocle Smile says

    Technically, I guess. Okay, let’s go with Matthew 18 and Luke 12 as well, because those passages only make sense if “servant” means “slave.”

  14. says

    Monocle Smile @ 15:

    [notabiblicalscholar] the matthew parable is about a servant who owes his king money. what kind of slaveowners give their slaves money for their own use? in luke, the servant in question “beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink and be drunken”. pretty ballsy for a mere person in bondage.

    in matthew’s context, i read “subordinate”, not “slave”. though one could make an argument for “kapo” … [/notabiblicalscholar]

  15. says

    … and yes btw to the main point, being that jesus is cool with slavery, since in matthew it’s portrayed as a just recompense for defaulting on one’s debts.

  16. t90bb says

    What was Jesus position on the forms of slavery outlined in the Old test??? Especially the form in which you could buy slaves from the heathen around you. The form that made slaves property and possessions for life? That you could beat as long as they did not die within a few days due to the beating….
    ……..If jesus was against it….he is in conflict with its alter ego……if he is for it hes a scumbag……

    The perfect and perfectly clear book left this so much in doubt that people used the bible to justify slavery for thousands of years. If Jesus intended to clear the matter up…he certainly did a piss poor job wouldn’t you say??? All powerful but cannot clearly state its position on slavery….lol……..
    Very consistent with a book we would expect to be written by bronze age men with bugs in their beards to me!

  17. t90bb says


    what is obvious is the old test clearly states the rules god set for owning and beating slaves……

    you would think jesus would clearly have the insight to clearly disparage the practice that was laid out in the old test….does he?? fuck no.

    rather he leaves the door wide open for evidence by the use of the bible to justify slavery for thousands of years!!! good job jesus!!!…….not.

    The bible man…laughable!……..

  18. t90bb says

    god is jesus, jesus is……god is pro slavery, jesus?? hard to say. Christians insist Jesus was against the slavery as outlined in the old test…..which puts jesus directly at odds with its alter ego……

    Confused yet???….but god is not the author of confusion…

  19. jeffh123 says

    Jerikia’s tap dancing is hilarious. And people’s misunderstanding of what an atheist is.. is… I don’t know, it’s just BS. Atheism is just one thing: Lack of a belief in any kind of god. That’s all. People try to dump other stuff on that, but it just rolls off.

  20. says


    “The other reason we know about the Big Bang (besides red shift) is the cosmic background radiation.”

    And let’s not forget that the cosmological expansion was also formerly a mathematical prediction following directly from relativity, for which Einstein himself derived a ‘cosmological constant’ to correct the implied expansion; a redundant term he latter dubbed as the greatest mistake of his whole career.

    I sometimes wonder how science would have progressed if Einstein realized this implication at the time. In a similar vein, what if Darwin had gotten to known Mendel and realized the existence of biological genes.

    Read more:

  21. Monocle Smile says

    I’m rather confident that the questions you deem “important” are things you’ve merely been told are important and are not evidently so.

  22. says

    @24, I agree. “What’s for dinner?” and “How much money is in my bank account?” are far more important questions.

    For clarity, I am not being sarcastic.

  23. Monocle Smile says

    @Secular Strategy
    Yeah, you get it. I’m guessing, like you, that these “important questions” are crap like “why am I here?” and “where do I go when I die?”

  24. t90bb says


    I concur. LOL.. a complete pompous ass….he loves to say…”what you dont understand is………”

    Sure if you contort and play a context game you can almost justify anything….. He was all over the board. He justified slavery by saying it was prevalent back Whos fault was that??? God controls everything right??? God allowed the practice to spread throughout the world and remained silent on it??? And when He finally does speak on it (as if It actually did)…it sets rules on who to enslave, for how long, by whom, and how badly you are allowed to beat slaves. But God is actually anti-slabery!! lol…righttttttttt.

    I have more respect for theists that come right out and say God was ok with slavery….and that he must have had his………at least they are somewhat honest.

    The first reaction of 99 out of 100 Christians when I bring up slavery is an outright denial that slavery actually exists in the hokey babble. They need to be dragged kicking and screaming to the babble…where I generally ask THEM to read aloud the versus that give explicit instructions regarding slavery, Then the tap dancing starts. It is great fun.

  25. says


    I actually started wondering if he was actually a po when he kept on asking the hosts for proof, but when asked for his proof said “I don’t need to provide proof”. Mind you, at the end of the day, very entertaining.

  26. t90bb says


    an absolute clown…hope he calls every week…he scores more points for our side than his…..a joy to listen too!

  27. Greg from Seattle says


    I just hope that this conversation bothered him enough to make him re-watch his portion of the episode. He seems pretty deep into his indoctrination and I would love to see him develop stronger critical thinking skills.

  28. says


    I don’t think its part of his game to be self reflective. I think he only wanted validation of his world view by creating the artifice of trying to claim the hosts needed to prove their world view while he did not.

    The arrogance of his stance was staggering.

  29. Grantus Maximus says

    @Monacle Smile, 24 – I suspect philiphoenig wasn’t being serious and was really just poking fun at Jerikia.

  30. t90bb says

    1 and 32

    You never know. I was once pretty deep into denial myself. You never know when someone might “have a moment” of self reflection. That said….they are few and far between. Once you get in the habit of interpreting the evidence to meet your established conclusion….its pretty hard to break…..
    Fact me…life is challenging. It is often hard and heavy. To adopt a belief that a magical genie is with you at all times and will not let you fall too hard is very tempting. The very belief itself can be soothing…which, to the theist, is more evidence that they are correct!!… becomes somewhat self fulfilling…and self justifying.
    One day I was exposed to a debate between an old earth christian…and a new earth creationist….and it got me thinking about the underpinnings of my beliefs. I started to question myself on why I believed what I did. I watched more skeptic and religious videos and debates and it became very clear as to which side was making more sense and which side was intellectually honest.
    Today I have become skeptical of all claims by nature…..asking myself if I have good reasons to believe the things I do. I often challenge myself on my own skepticism. I find myself challenging my own atheism at times..forcing myself to take stock in why I reject the “evidence” presented by theists….When I do..i come to the conclusion…”yup…there is no reliable evidence of anything supernatural”…….and this is open to revision.
    I believe that our fellow humans and collective human wisdom are all we have to rely upon….It is why I put such value on human relationships. I know I need you all…and I try to be the best person/friend I can be to others to help them navigate this crazy journey called existence!……
    Would I like to have a “special friend” that watches and pulls strings for me?? Sure! But the world I live in is different than the world I wished I lived in. Matt says that a lot. And I agree.

  31. says

    “Would I like to have a “special friend” that watches and pulls strings for me??”

    Exactly. Me too. It’s a seductive narrative isn’t it?

    One other thing I noticed about this call in particular. The inability of certain people to comprehend a *lack of belief*.

    Atheism simply cannot be, to them, a lack of belief. It must be, in their eyes, a competing god.

    We hear it all the time – you’re a Darwinist, an Evolutionist, you worship science . For the hard core follower the ability to see that others might not also be followers is non existent.

  32. amythinks says

    Some advice to Ujjval, the first caller,
    If it were me, (after discussing with your wife, who sounds really reasonable), I would approach this with your parents and be clear that as you don’t believe in the religion/gods, the rituals you’re required to do wouldn’t be meaningful if performed by someone who disbelieves. That you do not wish to dishonour your (passed) relative/s by performing the ritual without it being heartfelt, and this should be performed by someone (like your brother) who does believe – otherwise the funeral rituals would be dishonest. I liked Russell’s comment that your could consider performing any initial rituals and funeral rites to honour the wishes of the deceased and your family, but that any ongoing rites should be passed to a true believer, such as your brother. I have done this also; much of my family is atheist and my mother wanted some bible verses read at her funeral, so of course you do this to honour their memory and wishes. But if my mother/family had requested I then go to church every Sunday to ensure her place in heaven was maintained, I would decline, as I have zero belief in this, it would be meaningless for me to be involved. I would also make it clear that you have your own ways in which you honour deceased relatives, which are important to you. Your parents may not realise that even as atheists we have our own ways of remembering and honouring our passed relatives, they just don’t appeal to a religion or god.

  33. philiphoenig says

    @Grantus Maximus

    Got it in one. I was sarcastically parroting the opening comments of the guy who ended up refusing to answer questions because he supposedly doesn’t have to know.

  34. NON GMO Verified says

    The atheist experience is addictive, smart, intelligent and informative. I applaude you all. Your respect and patience you display with theists who call the show is admirable. Your respect for ignorance is amazing to see. Your all classy people. Thank you for the atheist experience. Question for Matt: do you have any plans in the future to visit Montreal?

    Free critical thinker and proud atheist
    Luigi 🙂

  35. says

    I’m sitting here wondering how atheists aren’t living out their worldviews, according to Jerk-a-kiya; that would require him to define what our worldviews ARE. Pretty sure, last time I checked, that I’m living out my worldview…which includes atheism as my stance on the god question.

    I also can’t get past the thought of, why do I care what Jerk-a-kiya thinks about how I live my life?

    Oh, well….I guess that’s enough of being petty, he managed enough pettiness for the starting lineups for the Super Bowl.

  36. Andres Villarreal says

    More than anything else, the claim that an asteroid is worth a quadrillion or a quintillion dollars, whatever it is made of, and whatever the costs of mining and using the minerals, the economy just does not work that way. The asteroid is worth the quadrillion dollars only if a person or group of people are willing to pay it. And as somebody already said, the whole economy of the planet is not able to pay that sum, even if the whole world wanted to.

    There is a concept in economics called the marginal benefit. If I had the only cubic meter of water in the whole planet, it would arguably cost more than a trillion dollars. But the second cubic meter would cost less, and the next even less. Since we have something like a quintillion cubic meters of water, I could not even get a dime per cubic meter, unless it is purified.

    It is nice to just play with huge numbers, but if you are not careful, you are drifting so much from reality that it is not even funny anymore.

  37. fay says

    The thing that I don’t understand, is what are these volumes of evidence backing up a spherical model; things that fit this model that we don’t see in the real world?
    Like the Coriolis Effect – are any adjustments made when firing from an aircraft or a ship for the curvature of the earth?
    Don’t planes fly level once up to speed, with no correction for the curvature?
    Why are we looking at the stars and determining that is what we must be on, since everything looks round. Round is a coin. Circumnavigation is easy, you don’t need to be on a sphere for that.
    And doesn’t water find its own level? (Sea level. Sea flat.) Isn’t 70% of the surface of the earth covered in water, making it at least 70% level?
    We take it for granted that the model works, but wasn’t it Einstein who said that the movement we calculate could be the stars moving, not the earth?
    There is a great experiment you can do showing how gravity works, using a beaker, different liquids and different solids. Maybe they call it the density and buoyancy experiment.

Leave a Reply

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