Open thread for episode 22.29: Tracie and Don


Topic: “Jesus was a witch”

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Comments

  1. says

    If it’s helpful, this weekend is the 170th anniversary of The Seneca Falls Convention which kicked off a wave of barn-burning feminism lasting 70 years or so. Religion helped fuel the Convention itself (it was largely a Quaker endeavor and an outgrowth of the abolitionist movement which was often seen as a religious movement, certainly for the Convention attendees). Later in the 19th century we saw the Quaker utopian villages replaced in importance by secular utopian villages which housed the first US “free love” movement. Over 35 years, feminism had changed a network of religious communities acting in the name of their god to ensure equal treatment of all brothers-in-Christ to a secular/atheist network of communities that sought deliberately to subvert the traditional strictures of marriage and religious life. Though the first wave of US “free love” communities lasted only a couple of decades or so, and though such communities were always a tiny minority of the national population, they were very influential in the growing trend towards secular government and provided an odd counterpoint to the flamboyant excess of, say, George Bernard Shaw.

    Though on a practical level they might have seen the world in some similar ways, Shaw’s wealth, wit, and wide renown made him the subject of many a religious argument about how godly traditions must be retained in government lest chaotic hedonism prevail. The free love adherents in the US (largely socialists) provided a quotidian picture that belied stereotypes of hedonistic excess. They, like Shaw, took a dim view of the social effects of inherited wealth and class, but unlike Shaw they were not themselves corrupted by their own desire for that same wealth. Rather than skewering the wealthy in the theater only to party with them through the night, free love advocates sough to equalize wealth and power across race, class, and gender. As a result, they were notably generous. However, this didn’t cause them to be less demonized. Long before The Most Hated Woman In America, we had Victoria Woodhull, a free love advocate and maliciously dubbed Mrs Satan by the anti-feminist, anti-socialist religious traditionalists of her day.

    To be sure, it required more than Seneca Falls to build the free love communities of the 1870s: Marx writings, among others, were crucial contributions that had nothing (or little) to do with the movement pushed into the spotlight by Seneca Falls. Nonetheless, that one Convention had iconic religious impact in the United States and beyond.

    This seems like a good weekend to celebrate the contributions of feminism to the creation of modern secular societies generally, and our modern US atheist/skeptical movement in particular.

  2. GoUSC says

    Advice to John SHOULD be to get some psychiatric help that can help him with his life and self image. This may be a short coming of the program. I’ve seen many callers who have become non-believers who call mainly for confirmation that they are on the right way of thinking but many of those really do need to talk to a professional about what they are going through in their lives.

  3. Robert, not Bob says

    What does “preaching repentance to the Torah” mean? What sins has an old book committed?

  4. Marianne Sturgis says

    Another excellent episode. I find Don so calming and intelligent, wish he had more time to convey his views. Tracie, as usual, is in control and the epitome of a rational and critical thinker.

  5. Lamont Cranston says

    The following is not unique to this show, but was once again evident. Once again we see theist callers who seem to be incapable of getting to the point, constantly embellishing their comments/questions with extraneous and irrelevant useless details, repeating themselves endlessly, talking during the answers to questions they ask, incapable of providing a direct simple answer to a direct simple question, and basically being the worst possible example of representative for the God they claim to believe.

    Then the atheist callers are seen to talk clearly, plainly, make their points of ask their question without all the gobbledygook irrelevancies.

    If I didn’t know better I would be convinced that believing in God or a god turns a person into a blithering idiot. The only reason I know better is that I was once one of them and know that I was not a blithering idiot at the time. Are there perhaps better representatives of theist beliefs that are just afraid to call in?

    Lamont Cranston

  6. says

    alex from hawaii again illustrates the folly of the open-ended demand “give me a sign”. like the “butterfly lady” from shows past, a credulous person can see a “sign” in anything, anywhere, anytime, which is why the “signs” reported are always completely subjective and mundane, like “a weird feeling”. is this really the best the lord and savior of the universe can muster? a more skeptical person who wanted an answer less easily dismissed would make a more definitive request like: “poof me a purple dog that wears spats. today. at noon. at work. in front of my coworkers.” the similarly credulous alex from modesto illustrates the similar folly of the weird anecdote.

    the question i always have for this type of testimony is: did you get any new and useful information from your experience? a cure for cancer would be far more impressive and helpful than the umpteenth affirmation that “god loves us”

    meanwhile, john from london, welcome to zion and congrats for finally getting free of the matrix. once it’s reached a certain age, the mind has trouble letting go.

  7. Killian Jones says

    Another waste of time episode where the callers gets to do whatever they want. Don tries to steer the show back on course, saying that personal stories are meaningless. But Tracie because she is clueless allows all the time to be eaten up by nonsense. Please get to together and practice staying on topic. Watch a few talk shows on TV and learn to take control. Put Don in charge and get Tracie off air or train her.

  8. Justin says

    Killian: Nobody appreciates your negative comments. Stop watching the show if it’s so awful as you constantly claim every week. I don’t know how you’re not banned by now by insulting the show and its hosts every week.

  9. perfict says

    So, it would seem that The Atheist Experience is now ending the show on the hour in order to make Patreon content with the extra callers after that. I think that is a pretty strong indication that the ACA is moving away from being an organization that is putting out this show in order to spread an idea and deliver their message, and is moving towards being an organization that is putting out this show to bring in revenue. I think the leadership may have lost sight of its intended goals.

  10. GumB. says

    Killian, what you just said was irrational. Anytime a believer tries to offer evidence for the existence of a god … it’s always just going to be nonsense. Maybe you’re the one who’s clueless if you can’t figure that one out.

     
    What are you waiting for anyway … actual compelling evidence? There isn’t any, and exposing that is sort of the whole point.

     
    Geeze Loiuse, get a grip.

  11. George says

    @John-London caller:
    It was great hearing your story, and I empathize with your position about not knowing yourself after being trapped in your own head the way you describe. Remember that it’s not a competition, and you don’t need to “catch up” to anyone. Getting to know yourself can be a wonderful journey once you embark upon it. You know that feeling of reading a good book for the first time, going to a new country, or getting to know a new person? Make that person you are getting to know yourself, and you’ll have the joy of discovering new things about yourself all the time.

  12. Raz says

    I just wanna add my 2 cents worth re: the 2nd caller, Alex – Modesto, CA.

    So, he’s not sure if this guy is an angel or not. Clearly Alex has never read the biblical description of angels, because there’s no way any being with eyes could confuse a humanoid shape with that of (what we’re lead to believe) an angel would look like. For starters, having 4 different heads, 1 of a man, 1 of an eagle, 1 of a lion and 1 of a bull would be a dead giveaway. I think from memory, another variety is described as rings within rings, where either legs or eyes are embedded in each ring… Perhaps someone who has this stuff more salient in their memory might have better biblical descriptions than mine, but from memory, that’s the best I can do for now. The pretense that angels look like beautiful Europeans, but with large feathery wings was- if I recall correctly- presented first in renaissance art and was never in the ‘holy books.’

    It would have been nice if when Alex said “I wasn’t sure if he was an angel or not, because he was dressed all in white…” one of the hosts had said “WOW!!!! He had 4 heads?????” Having said that, I’m perfectly happy with the way they did respond and recognise that their response was far less confrontational and abruptly delusion-shattering than mine. It’s just one of those times where I kinda wish they’d also said ‘x’.

    ps: for those who are interested in seeing what an angel might look like (if they did exist), the X-Files did a cool episode (All Souls) where Dana Scully sees one. Though the way the different faces rotated were quite revolting and more than a little horrifying. While I find it panderingly pathetic the way the X-Files tries to placate christians by portraying christianity as true (in various episodes) I do appreciate that they used source material when building their angels, rather than common fantasy.

  13. Raz says

    Killian Jones
    Were we watching the same show? Do you know what clueless means? Or are you just taking the piss?

  14. Pat says

    This comment is in response to questions about the common (Gregorian) calendar. Regarding the origins, it was devised by Bishop Ussher who went through the begats to determine not only the date, but the exact time of creation. All else follows from that. I forget the particulars, but this is where the claim of the 6,000 year old Earth comes from, as well as the division between BC and AD.

    I also wanted to comment on the seven-day week that came up on a show a month or two ago when Jen was hosting. The caller’s implication was that this tied back to god having created the cosmos in six days, then took the seventh as a day of rest. In fact, it goes back to the earliest method of keeping track of time over the seasons. The original calendars were lunar as opposed to solar based as lunar patterns are much more obvious, repeating every 28 days. Looking at the night sky, there are four distinct moon phases along with the transitions between. In a 28 day cycle, beginning with the new moon, 7 days later is the first quarter moon. Seven days following is the full moon. Another seven days and the last quarter moon occurs, followed seven days later by the new moon and the cycle repeats. Ancient people, long before the bible would have been written, were aware of this pattern. The reality of the lunar cycle is why we count a week as seven days.

    Love the show and thanks for all you do

  15. jeuandavid says

    This is directed at John in London:
    It might take a while to divest all the religious baggage as Tracie suggested, but we don’t have to beat ourselves up about it. We can and do escape the ‘black hole’ – and it does get easier as we get further away from the influence of its gravity well!
    I want to emphasize: you are not alone, and there are many many atheists and humanists in the UK who you can contact to support you during this period of transition from believer. I’m sure the after-call chat with the show staff may have reinforced that.
    I regard myself as fortunate insofar as I rejected my catholic upbringing around the age of 14 and I understood I was an atheist at 16, but it took many more years before I was able to adopt a fully skeptical mindset. I am now 63; I think had the Internet and groups like AXP been around (or there had been access to them) then I would have had an easier time of the transition and might also have found coming out as gay less difficult as a young man.
    I am confident you will discover you have made a truly positive life decision and I wish you all the best.
    Jeuan David Jones, North Wales

  16. Nathan Roe says

    Killian Jones what is the link to your amazing call in show that you run. I’d love to hear it since you know everything about running a show.

  17. says

    The John in London call really effected me. Congratulations on both your physical, mental and spiritual all clear!
    Don’t feel bad about time wasted on delusions, even though I understand your frustration. Think of it like this, most of the humans on planet Earth today are living through similar delusions and most will never escape it. We’re the lucky ones. 44 is young. You just hit the lottery, enjoy the rest of your life.
    Steve Stroud , Liverpool

  18. says

    Alex from Hawaii
    I really think Alex is very used to “testifying” about his vision to Christians who respond with loud praise and total acceptance that he is a very special duck to be so blessed. His statement that he was shown the way to have similar experiences to “many people” shows that he is building up a bit of a following.

    No wonder he responded with hostility when the hosts didn’t immediately shower him with praise. I am very, very sure there will be a video clip posted showing the few seconds when he got Tracy to say his magic phrase. He certainly seemed happy (victorious) when she said it. I would bet a million dollars that that video clip will be played in church halls when he is “testifying” about his miraculous vision.

    I really wished Tracy had been more aggressive questioning him. “I saw Jesus walking down my street” Host: “Really, what did he look like? Was he white, black, Jewish looking? What was he wearing? How did you know it was Jesus?

    I also wish the hosts had pounced on the “miracle” cure of his vision problems. That too seems to be a mandatory of this stories.

  19. says

    Edit fix: sorry, this morning I have a brain on allergy meds.

    I also wish the hosts had pounced on the “miraculous” cure of his vision problems. That too seems to be a mandatory of this type of stories.

  20. sayamything says

    Uggh. I miss the aftershow, but I cannot in good conscience support the ACA financially.

    Anyway, the caller who said he’s never heard any Muslim claim to have seen Allah or Muhammad or whatever reminds me of the old Kids in the Hall “Indian Drum” sketch. If he looked, it wasn’t very hard. And this is despite the apparent claim (I’m not as up on the Quran as the Bible) that Allah cannot be seen in this world.

    The question of “why does this only happen to Jayyyysus?” is a loaded question, because it doesn’t. I imagine we hear about it more for the same reason people in the US are ore likely to “go to Heaven” during a dear-death experience.

  21. StonedRanger says

    Killian I have tried to engage you several times now and you have not responded. So it has become evident to one and all that you aren’t here to do anything but shed tears over the show not being run as you want it run. Its okay to not like the show and its even okay to come and complain about it. But to come and whine and bitch week after week and not try to have a conversation about it shows you for the whiney assed bitch troll that you are. I don’t care anymore what you cry about as you aren’t interested in doing any but that. The fact that you continue to watch the show while all along bitching about how bad it is shows you for the troll you are. Please feel free to not watch the show, and feel free to stop posting because you haven’t said anything new in about half a dozen postings. The show might waste time in your eyes only, but you are a waste of everyones time here. You should be ashamed of yourself for wasting everyones time who comes to the forum.

  22. says

    @Jeanette:

    Thank you for your feedback:

    >I really wished Tracy had been more aggressive questioning him. “I saw Jesus walking down my street” Host: “Really, what did he look like? Was he white, black, Jewish looking? What was he wearing? How did you know it was Jesus?

    I actually thought of this afterward: How do you know what you saw was Jesus? How do the others know what they saw was Jesus. If someone/something appeared to you, claiming to be Jesus, what would you compare it to, in order to verify? It was a good question, and I wish I would have thought of it, during the call.

    Something else I wish I’d have asked was how he knows that all those claiming to have seen the vision are being honest–and how he knows that no one who saw a vision did any of the prohibited things? The problem with self-reporting is that you are relying 100% on the reports of people who may be mistaken, forgetful, or lying. What if someone went to get their car fixed during the 7 days, and there was a TV on in the garage waiting error, and they simply didn’t count that or consider it as relevant–but actually saw TV? What does it mean if people who break protocol get a positive result? Etc.

    >I also wish the hosts had pounced on the “miracle” cure of his vision problems. That too seems to be a mandatory of this stories.

    The problem I have with pursuing a claim like this is that it can’t go anywhere. I can say I don’t believe him–but he’ll just protest he’s telling the truth. And it can’t really go anywhere.

  23. says

    @perfict –

    >So, it would seem that The Atheist Experience is now ending the show on the hour in order to make Patreon content with the extra callers after that. I think that is a pretty strong indication that the ACA is moving away from being an organization that is putting out this show in order to spread an idea and deliver their message, and is moving towards being an organization that is putting out this show to bring in revenue. I think the leadership may have lost sight of its intended goals.

    I think your comment is unfair, and frankly, a little entitled. It seems that you’ve become so used to the offerings that ACA has so generously made available for free to the public for so long that now if they don’t offer everything free, they’re somehow being unfair *to you*. Please understand that nearly all of the participants on the program are volunteers, and that the ACA foots the bill for producing all of this as far as maintaining and running the studio each week, along with many other content programs also now available for free to the public as a resource.

    Literally we provided a free hour and a half of the program–which is the allotted time of the show, and we took a handful of callers as “after show” as a way to offer something special in order to encourage patreon support (to a nonprofit educational group), and you find this to be ungenerous of ACA.

    ACA needs revenue streams to survive and thrive and to continue functioning and providing content “for free” to the public. It’s not like we have zero operating costs. And, as an example, a few of the crew who put in full time hours now have been approved to be compensated for their time. We are running the studio and producing far more shows than just TAE. And these folks are in there working all the time on all of this. I think once a certain percentage of hours is hit, for example, it would seem fair to allow a person to be compensated for their efforts. I’m just there doing TAE and GB–but the producers and crew are there for all of the shows, before those shows, after those shows, setting up, breaking down, and constantly developing new tools and processes to help make things better and easier for everyone involved.

    If someone is willing to put in many hours a week to produce all of this for public consumption, and we do decide that is sufficient dedication to offer them compensation–where do you suggest that compensation should come from? Thoughts and prayers? ACA as a nonprofit requires revenue streams. And yes, we are always on the look out for new ways to supply that. Moving the “after show” to Patreon allows us to continue to provide the 1.5 hours of TAE programming to the public free of charge, while also allowing us to provide added value for people who want to offer contributions to help us continue our work. This is not at all unusual for a nonprofit–it’s in fact, expected. And despite the fact you are benefiting by getting more content than ever before for free (look at the expanded programming offerings/hours of programming you can now access, beyond TAE), you’re complaining that we took a few calls as a bonus to Patreon contributors.

    Just some things to think about.

    ADDENDUM: Just to also note, we moved the after-show dinner to the Library/Studio, where ACA now covers the cost of feeding people at a dinner that is “open to the public.” We do allow donations at the dinner, but they’re not required. We are expanding, and this means more expenses–it’s just reality.

  24. says

    Re: the second caller describing the guy in the white robe that his friends didn’t seem to react to. Pure speculation on my part, but it sounds an awful lot like he’s describing people reacting with discomfort as he seems to be having a hallucination – two of them by keeping quiet and pretending nothing weird is going on, while “the boxer,” was engaging awkwardly with the caller by asking him what he saw and trying to move around in that area to see if there really seemed to be something there.

    Not saying that’s what happened, but it sure sounds like a plausible enough alternative that it ought to have at least been considered and investigated before he started on more exotic hypotheses like “it was an angel.”

  25. jacobfromlost says

    Regarding hallucinations, I have done some amateur research into this as a couple family members have neurological issues that can cause hallucinations/delusions, and medication for those issues that can do the same. There is this concept called “insight”. People with “insight” into their hallucinations know (or quickly figure out, sometimes with a little help) that the hallucinations are not real. People without insight don’t care what you say–they will insist what they are seeing/thinking is real. This has been useful to me to know that medication changes need to happen if someone is hallucinating and unable to understand that it isn’t real.

    I was somewhat surprised that actual experience of dealing with people with hallucinations/delusions has virtually nothing to do with how these things are portrayed in films and movies. It can be absolutely terrifying if a loved one starts seeing things, and refuses to even entertain that what they are seeing/thinking isn’t real. The only advice medical professionals gave us was to never agree with them that what they are seeing is real, even if they think it is. (I assume because it will lend objective credibility to their belief that it IS real.)

    But the difference between having “insight” and not having it, in my experience, is also the difference between the seriousness of the situation.

    (I’ve also come to the conclusion that mental health is very analogous to physical health. There is a wide variety and spectrum of mental health, and no one has perfect objective perception of anything.)

  26. GumB. says

    @Jeanette #20

     

    I really think Alex is very used to “testifying” about his vision to Christians who respond with loud praise and total acceptance that he is a very special duck to be so blessed …

     
    … No wonder he responded with hostility when the hosts didn’t immediately shower him with praise.

     
    I agree Jeanette, and thought the same thing. In Mormonism, for example, people are expected to get up and give a testimony, some sort of testimony, anything … please, just have a testimony to share for crimeny sakes. To not have a testimony is going to bring raised eyebrows from the group, and maybe even some shame inducing shunning eventually, even from your own family probably. That sort of social peer pressure can be a very powerful motivator to invent a magical story to tell.

     
    If you dig around at the recovery from Mormonism forum, there’s lot’s of discussions there about getting up and sharing testimonies, and how if you don’t have one, there is a palpable social pressure to get one, quick, something, anything … lest you be an embarrassment to your family. Even if it was just the holy spirit magically helping you locate your car keys in the last place you left them. Get up and say … something at least ! Tears on cue after bearing your testimony, on microphone, to the group, is a nice touch too, and a social cue that many will work into their act. And always end with “I know the book of Mormon is true !” (Cue ooh’s and aw’s from the congregation, and a smile from mom and dad.)

     
    I too thought that Alex was likely used to getting a very positive response from bearing his testimony within his social group, and could hear his frustration at not getting the positive response that he’s obviously used to getting from his peers. To me, his story seemed entirely made up. I’m sure that within the closed social group of his church there would be many social rewards and pats on the back for telling this story. There’s your incentive for making a story like this up. On the Mormon recovery board, many have expressed coming up with at least something to say, just so they didn’t get ostracized by the group, or their own family even, just for not having their own supernatural testimony to share.

     
    It’s bullshit. Peer pressure based on social reward or rejection. That’s a pretty big incentive to come up with something to say, anything. What’s even more frightening, is how Alex seems to be so sheltered that he thinks bearing a testimony is going to impress somebody who’s not from his group. That sort of naivety, makes me cringe. To me, his ‘testimony’ appeared to be entirely fabricated. His frustration that we weren’t buying into it wasn’t fake though, and that’s just sad to me. What a social mind fuck he’s caught up in. People will do almost anything sometimes in order to not be rejected by their social group, including come up with a magical testimony to share.

     
    In Mormonism, they are told their testimony gains strength … by bearing it. Repeat it enough and it becomes true. Excuse me? That’s brainwashing.

     
    RfM (Recovery from Mormonism forum, very active place, lol.) > https://www.exmormon.org/phorum/list.php?2

  27. Daniel K says

    It is funny to me watch theist make pretzels of themselves as they try to explain why god is real. This is very similar why there are shows, books, gift shops and hundreds of people trying to prove that Bigfoot is real. There are, supposedly a lot less snow leopards that bigfoots, but there are no shows, or books about them, why? Because there are PICTURES that proves that they are real.
    I have two religious friends that I had conversations with, they never stayed on topic, is always “..but what about this then?…” jumping to something else that doesn’t have explanation either, therefore god. Some time ago I asked: why do you pry? He gave me this metaphysic explanation that made no sense. So I kept poking, why do you pry for someone else? Are you trying to convince god to cure someone, doesn’t he know everything, he should know that the person is sick and probably made his mind if he/she will be cured or left to die. Why he needs you to remind him. He when on a rant on how offensive my questions where, so we started to discuss politics where we both agree.

  28. says

    @perfict –
    Regarding the ACA becoming more “commercial”, to provide to our community what our community is telling us they want, we need to bring in more money.

    I am a board member of the ACA, and by inference, I’m one of the leaders you’ve made reference to.

    In terms of helping build secular communities, we are literally bursting at the seams.

    In Austin, we have a 700 square foot building that serves as our library, studio, and community center. We often have 25 to 30 people show up for a broadcast. People sit in the audience area where they can see the hosts, in the overflow area where they can watch the show on a big screen TV, and sometimes into the parking lot where they get audio only.

    For our aftershow dinners, we take the chairs away and set up tables everywhere we can, which includes the parking lot.

    Online, we have multiple websites that need to be collapsed into one and updates so people can more easily find what they want and interact with us.

    It’s not just that all this takes money, all this takes WAY MORE money than we have.

    In the last 18 months we also “grew” from one half time employee to two full time employees.

    As such, we have no choice but to be more proactive about making money.

    Patreon is one such effort.
    Podcasts with ads is another.
    We’re also going to start pushing merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, etc) more.

    We know there will be some people who feel this is excessively commercial, but in many ways, we are a victim of our own success. Who knew that a little public access TV show from Austin Texas would one day grow to have a massive global audience who appreciates what we do and is asking us to do more?

  29. anti religion says

    I used to be LDS, but no longer am. I know all about members getting up to bear their testimonies. I used to watch to see who would be “the one” to get up and bear his or her testimony. It is an awesome feeling for me to have freedom from religion.

  30. Monocle Smile says

    @sayamything

    Uggh. I miss the aftershow, but I cannot in good conscience support the ACA financially.

    Care to elaborate? This seems like an odd comment.

  31. says

    Best possible response to Alex’s challenge:

    Okay, I’ll engage in 7 days without sex or alcohol, and if I don’t believe in your god at the end of that week, then your god doesn’t exist. But meanwhile, you have to engage in a drunken gang-bang for 168 hours straight, and if at any time during that week you call out, “Oh god!” than you admit that I am actually the divine ruler of the world and you have to devote 10% of your income to me forever and teach all those around you to do the same.

  32. GumB. says

    @anti religion #29

     
    I’m very happy for you that you thought your way out. Congrats. 🙂

     
    @Crip Dyke #31

     
    What are you trying to do, turn us all into theists? 😛

  33. Killian Jones says

    This will please you all. I am no longer going to to waste time watching the show. The premise of discussing why people believe in god is thrown by the way side. It’s all about the cash now. The new formula is allow people to go off track for as long as possible eating up the time. And here is the genius move CHARGE people to see the overtime bits. It’s all about the money folks, just like the collection plate in church. Good luck fleecing people thought that you cared about helping them. Dollar dollar gotta love them dollars. You mock churches but move to becoming money grabbers for giving out knowledge. Scientologists charge for knowledge and access so do the AXP. Blowing smoke up peoples asses achieves nothing. The same crap just keeps happening week after week. If the show is shit, I’ll say so even though everyone will hate me.

    PS don’t bother trying to connect with me as I know what the AXP is about. Saw it coming .Enjoy your riches and your new money racking endeavors.

  34. Scytale says

    Your decision to make the AXP partially patron-only, came soon after you introduced the ad-free option for patrons. The AXP has always been about dialogue and helping people, and it is a very valuable resource for this.
    Only because one may not have enough money to pay a contribution to this show, will make that person missing interesting and helpful discussions. It is like a punishment for being poor, while struggling with questions, doubt, change.
    You could decide for any other show to be partially or completely patron-only, but this one. I can only regret your decision. And, I have a confirmation of the bad things I believed Patreon can bring: in extreme, only the paying viewers will ever be able to see anything – no more free content.

  35. GumB. says

    @Killian

     
    I’m going to repeat what I more or less pointed out to you above. It is and can be instructive for people struggling with religion to see fallacious arguments first being made, and then to watch them being refuted. Some people actually don’t know that an anecdotal story doesn’t count as evidence, even if you know that your own self, and so they may have never heard someone point out what an anecdotal story even is before. They may have never even realized what an anecdotal account even sounds like or is, until they first hear one being made, and then hear someone say, “but that’s just an anecdotal story, and we can never know if you just made it up or not.” Then, the connection is made. It’s an example, a demonstration. And these ARE the type of arguments people typically use to discuss why they believe in god.

     
    What don’t you get about this? This is one of the best ways to learn critical thinking skills, is to witness, first hand, someone first making an invalid argument, and then to watch why and how and for what reasons it can be refuted. Then the person can recognize when someone tries to use an anecdotal story on them, and can say, “hey, but your anecdotal story doesn’t count as valid evidence, you could be making it up, and there’s no way for me to determine that.”

     
    You have to see the bogus argument being made first, in order to learn what that bogus argument even looks or sounds like. For people struggling, with groups of people around them pressing these sorts of arguments on them in real life, it can be invaluable to watch them being made on others, and then watch them being first identified and then refuted.

     
    I don’t see what you don’t get about this. I don’t understand what sort of “better” arguments for people’s beliefs in gods you’re wanting to see. These ARE the typical arguments made for why people believe in god. I think you’re actually concern trolling is what you’re doing; pretending to be trying to help the show, while actually just really taking a veiled swipe at it for your own personal reasons. That’s my observation, that you are a concern troll. I’m sure nobody here will mind if you decide to go away, because it’s the only thing you ever say. Bye.

  36. bodbod says

    Sometimes it’s hard to follow the gibberish, but did Alex say he has a method that without fail allows his subjects to see the light within one week?
    Something that for some reason took himself 33 days.

  37. says

    @Scytale:

    >Your decision to make the AXP partially patron-only, came soon after you introduced the ad-free option for patrons. The AXP has always been about dialogue and helping people, and it is a very valuable resource for this.

    Yes, we have recently started to post content to Patreon. Part of the Patreon model includes asking “what can we offer if we’re going to ask people to provide us financial support?” So it makes sense that what we give Patrons is happening closely in time, as decisions are being made. There is no conspiracy. It’s about identifying opportunities for small perks as donation incentives. I support many nonprofit groups, and I don’t know of any that don’t offer me extras as a donor. Even if I may not required a special incentive–it’s generally provided. This is an extremely common non-profit model. I don’t see why ACA would be uniquely singled out and vilified for doing what every other nonprofit does.

    >Only because one may not have enough money to pay a contribution to this show, will make that person missing interesting and helpful discussions. It is like a punishment for being poor, while struggling with questions, doubt, change.

    And if we gave away a t-shirt, would you say we were punishing people by only giving out shirts to people who pay us, and not everyone else? If we supplied a newsletter update to Patreon members only, would that also be unfair? Because, again, every group I support with funding gives me some sort of perk–called an “incentive”–because they are *asking me for more*.

    You seem to not be seeing that the entire show–all 1.5 hours–is still streaming for free. And that we have added Talk Heathens, brought back Godless Bitches, continue to offer NonProphets, have added Atheist Roundtable. Have just launched an atheist parenting program, and there are other programs I know I’m overlooking. Literally you’re complaining about a few calls going to Patreon customers–and ignoring the many hours of atheist content we literally just added for free public viewing.

    >You could decide for any other show to be partially or completely patron-only, but this one.

    Why “but this one”? ACA can decide any of the content is free or paid. But the fact is, compared to all other atheists groups, national or regional, we provide more free content than any other group that I’m aware of–and in the last year, even with an after show going to Patreon–we have *still* provided more hours of atheist-related/community supportive content than we were providing a year ago for free to the public.

    We added Talk Heathen–a show that has basically the same format. It’s discussions with atheists and theists, public dialog, happening live via viewer calls. And that adds a great deal more of this same type of viewer experience as TAE, than was moved to Patreon in after show content from TAE.

    > I can only regret your decision. And, I have a confirmation of the bad things I believed Patreon can bring: in extreme, only the paying viewers will ever be able to see anything – no more free content.

    Now you’re just being alarmist. Just because we decide to offer a few–really minor–perks to folks on Patreon–like the additional *after show* content (that is, the entire show is still free to the public) and no ads, does not in any way justify a fear that all of the many hours of currently free content from all our programming combined is going to become paid only. Is that what’s happened to other nonprofits? Again, they all offer perks to donors–do you see them providing no services to anyone other than donors? So, why are you judging ACA so harshly by comparison?

    It’s unwarranted.

  38. says

    @BodBod

    >Sometimes it’s hard to follow the gibberish, but did Alex say he has a method that without fail allows his subjects to see the light within one week? Something that for some reason took himself 33 days.

    Yes, that’s exactly what was said. And I’m taking him up on it. I am asking folks on FB if they’d like to take his challenge. I will offer a survey at the end of it, if I get enough takers, to crunch the numbers/information. And if just a few people do it, I’m going to ask them to call the show to discuss. We’ll see if anyone can do the “7 days”. If not, then I won’t get data. :/ But we’ll see.

  39. says

    >I am no longer going to to waste time watching the show.

    Why are you encouraging Killian to stop “wasting time” in an ongoing frustrating enterprise? It’s potentially the one bright spot in K’s life?! 😉

  40. John David Balla says

    @Kevin Carney. Thanks for explaining the situation of the ACA to the public. I made the pilgrimage from Chicago yesterday and was glad I did. Great “can do” attitude among arguably the strongest atheist community in the U.S.

    I would like to suggest the ACA consider doing an international conference using the many shows to promote it and its vast audience who are regular consumers of its content. With all this outreach and credibility already in place, a conference seems to be a reasonable next step that could further build community, awareness, and intimacy. The network is already there and so is the passion.

  41. Paul Money says

    Wow Kilian, I bet everybody is really upset that you aren’t going to watch anymore.

  42. sayamything says

    @somnus it’s often hard when you’re having a mental health issue to recognise that you’re having a mental health issue. If I were to guess, I’d say it’s worsened in a culture that not only downplays mental health but still praises the idea of miracles and visions. To the right crowd, this dude could be the next Messiah, and that can exacerbate any extant issues, I’m sure.

    My ex used to think they were possessed by a demon because of a religious upbringing in a religious community in a religious state. They didn’t gt any sort of psychiatric help until they were in their 20s.

    Speaking of mental health issues….

    @Monocle Smile “Care to elaborate? This seems like an odd comment.”

    It might well be an odd comment. You probably also didn’t mean your question to be a deep one, but the question of “care to elaborate?” led me down a rabbit hole of whether I really did, in fact, care to comment. I’m not saying that to be a jerk or mean, mind. I’m saying that because I spent the last half hour or so trying to decide if it was worth going down the road of explaining issues that involve going into PTSD and self-harm territory, and risk exacerbating it because the last time I brought this up, one of the faces of the ACA called me a slur associated with some of the most horrific events in my life–a slur that is apparently not only okay with the ACA, but I had patronisingly explained to me was okay.

    All things considered, I decided I would care not to elaborate and probably be smart to simply tap out completely. It’s a shame…unlike Killian, I actually like AXP and its associated shows, but I don’t want to support an organisation that slurs a minority group I’m part of. I used to think the hosts of these shows were a counter-example to the edgelord atheists of the internet. I’m sorry that the ACA’s policy of acceptance is hollow, but…well, they’d rather explain to me why a slur is okay than adjust their behaviour. Someone could get hurt, but…whatever.

    That’s as much as I can elaborate without getting into panic territory. I have developed through years of therapy a pretty good sense of when I’m about to hit that point of no return, and I’m toeing the line in just responding. On the plus side…I won’t have to read whatever condescending response another ACA talking head gives me. You know…to explain how I’m being “empowered.”

  43. Monocle Smile says

    @sayamything
    I’m not confident that it’s possible for me to fully understand.

    I used to think the hosts of these shows were a counter-example to the edgelord atheists of the internet.

    Did it happen here on this blog? Because this sounds like an extreme overreaction. It would take some substantial evidence to convince me that a face of the ACA acted like an edgelord toward you simply for being who you are. I would like to believe that you’re being honest and sincere, but I’d also like to believe that an organization that is constantly under fire for being too inclusive would just let one of their public faces abuse someone.

  44. Jeff Kelley says

    First caller claimed to have improved eyesight — could have asked him to release the medical records.

  45. Brian Jones says

    For John from London from Atheist Experience 22.29 with Tracie Harris and Don Baker 1:10:38 to 1:21:50. Dear John, Your conversation 23rd July 2018 with Tracie Harris and Don Baker stands out as truly exceptional, it will be long remembered. It is obvious why you were unusually asked to stay on the line while the show continued. You are clearly a beautiful person with more courage than you yet acknowledge. Your very recent transition to atheism is the start of a long process, but your really obvious honesty, clarity, sincerity and deep empathy show that you are a person of great integrity so you are, and will always be much loved by those fortunate enough to have you in their lives. This is a great position from which to start the rest of a truly fulfilling life.
    Best Wishes, Brian Jones – Melbourne, Australia

  46. paxoll says

    @Kevin
    I’ve been thinking of asking this for a few weeks and since you brought it up I figured now would be a good time. Why exactly are you having the after show dinner at the ACA building? Is it simply there are so many people that a restaurant setting is too restrictive of an environment to allow people to flow in and out of conversations? Is it that conversations too often detour into topics that need a private setting? I am just curious to the rational. If you don’t charge, than it is an expense you don’t need to adopt. I can’t imagine the food being better than a restaurant. Maybe it’s just so reminiscent of church pot lucks I have an irrational bias toward it.

  47. rocketdave says

    @Monocle Smile Unless I’m very much mistaken, I think the thread for episode 22.08 provides the key to what sayamything is talking about, though I’m not certain where they got this idea that someone representing the ACA attacked them. In a nutshell, that was the episode where trans activist Callie Wright was the guest, and on the show, she identified herself using a word starting with Q that a couple viewers – including sayamything – took offense to. If that word carries negative associations for certain people, I can’t say they’re wrong to feel that way, but certain other LGBT people seem to feel differently and have decided to reclaim it as their own. I’m probably not in a position to have an opinion on it one way or the other, but Callie clearly meant it in a non-derogatory context and was not trying to deliberately hurt anyone’s feelings.

    @sayamything I’m sorry this is such a painful subject for you, but if it’s too difficult for you to elaborate on or back up what you’re saying, maybe you shouldn’t be making vague statements and accusations in the first place. I don’t want to come across as insensitive, but to frame it like the ACA and/or The Atheist Experience are advocating slurring a minority group just feels rather dishonest.

  48. indianajones says

    @Killian: Miss you already! Buh bye! Kisses! Don’t forget to come back never!!

  49. says

    @Paxol:

    Obviously I’m not Kevin, but I do have some knowledge of positive points that have been brought up for use of the building.

    >I’ve been thinking of asking this for a few weeks and since you brought it up I figured now would be a good time. Why exactly are you having the after show dinner at the ACA building?

    There are several reasons.

    First of all, we bought the building in hopes of being able to use it as a meeting space and community/social space. And we weren’t utilizing it as much as we could. We decided to test run the dinners, and had a lot of success. The turnout at restaurants was limited to table space, and think of the layout at a banquet table. It limited the social interaction–you can’t really “mingle” at a restaurant. And now, I have to say that in just a few weeks our crowds at the dinners are amazing. The place is packed. There is no way we could have had these types of large gatherings in a restaurant. One complaint I have heard is that the building is not as disabled accessible as a commercial restaurant, which does put a strain on part of the community. That’s something I think we need to consider–but I also know that the idea of a wheel chair ramp, for example, was investigated and isn’t feasible for our building based on codes and how our building is constructed.

    Next, I had a conversation with one of the crew at dinner at Star of India–and the buffet there is $13+. He pointed out to me that while the hosts and cohosts were incurring a cost only when they appear, the crew ends up buying these dinners every weekend, and it’s a strain on some folks who don’t have a lot of expendable cash. I thought it was a good point. I said I’d support to the organization paying for their dinners if it came to that.

    But that raises another problem: What about the people who want to come to the dinners who don’t work on the show? The price can be prohibitive for some.

    At the building we can offer the dinner free to the public and allow for donations–so that those who can afford it can chip in. But those who can’t are not excluded.

    In the end it has resulted in a much larger social gathering–which is what “community” is about.

    > Is it simply there are so many people that a restaurant setting is too restrictive of an environment to allow people to flow in and out of conversations?

    Yes.

    > Is it that conversations too often detour into topics that need a private setting?

    Not really. In fact, the building is a lot less private, as you’re always surrounded by people now at the dinners, on all sides. Although they are all atheists/atheist friendly–so in that sense it might be less restrictive for some. But generally when restaurants host our group, they know who they’re hosting, and we’re made to fee welcome as atheists. If we had to hide our affiliation, we probably wouldn’t be using that venue.

    > I am just curious to the rational. If you don’t charge, than it is an expense you don’t need to adopt.

    In this case we see this expense as one that is driven by our mission–to support the atheist community in Austin. Bear in mind our group is local, not national/international. Our outreach is successful, which is why people see our programming outside of Austin, but we are still an Austin group. And this directly impacts the Austin atheist community as a social support.

    That’s part of the divide between me and some others at the blog. Austin locals can, and apparently do, come out to see the show live, and do come out for the dinner. So, our local community is getting the show and aftershow for “free” (sure, cost of travel)–and the dinner as well.

    Our shows spill over outside of Austin, and that’s a great bonus, but it’s not our immediate concern. What people get for free outside of Austin is *bonus*. And when I think about where our money should go–it should go to fostering and supporting *Austin* atheists, because that’s who we represent and who we are. If we have to stop the show strictly at the 1.5 hour mark, and this allows us to provide a larger social opportunity for atheists in the community we are built to serve, that means other people outside Austin still get the full show. And the ACA has more opportunity to directly support the community it works to establish and maintain.

    When I am reading comments on the thread critical of moving after-show to Patreon, I think that we are removing a bonus (after show) on top of a bonus (that they can see TAE at all outside Austin) for anyone outside of Austin, who still gets the “bonus” of run off of the show that is put out to support the local Austin group. And our Austin group now has benefited in a huge way, as demonstrated by the amazing turn outs at our after-show gatherings.

    > I can’t imagine the food being better than a restaurant. Maybe it’s just so reminiscent of church pot lucks I have an irrational bias toward it.

    Well, if you liked Indian food, probably not. But if you don’t like Indian food, and prefer a variety, you’d probably be happier. It is reminiscent of a church pot luck. And the church pot luck is done to foster community, right? And that’s what ACA is trying to also do local Austin.

    That all being said, Kevin still can answer for himself. The above is just what I’m aware of and how I process what I see.

  50. says

    >First caller claimed to have improved eyesight — could have asked him to release the medical records.

    Considering he runs a ministry site, this may actually have been a feasible request. If people know who he is, and this is a testimony he often gives, he could post the records online.

    But here’s the thing: What if he does? What if he posts his eye exam from a year ago showing prescription-X, and then inexplicably, his next exam, his site is perfect?

    Where does that get us? Do we now know god exists? Nope. All we have is an unexplained and weird event, and no evidence for a cause. So, it actually doesn’t add anything to the body of information that helps us to determine whether a god exists or not. Even if his claim is true, it’s still irrelevant unless we can demonstrate gods exist and fix people’s eye sight. Otherwise, we just have a weird thing that I still don’t see demonstrates a god exists. So, why go down that path?

  51. says

    Here’s the thing: your eyes are changing throughout your life, and not always at the same rate or in the same direction. I once went five years without getting a new prescription, and when I did the new one was *milder* than the old one. Not by a lot, but it was a measurable improvement. It’s since gotten stronger again, but only by a little. That aside from the fact that one’s own perception of improvements/declines in one’s own vision can be highly subjective. So the claim isn’t all that impressive to me, and I note that the caller didn’t seem to hang much weight on it either based on the amount of conversational emphasis.

  52. Scytale says

    @heicart,

    >Yes, we have recently started to post content to Patreon. Part of the Patreon model includes asking “what can we offer if we’re going to ask people to provide us financial support?” So it makes sense that what we give Patrons is happening closely in time, as decisions are being made. There is no conspiracy. It’s about identifying opportunities for small perks as donation incentives. I support many nonprofit groups, and I don’t know of any that don’t offer me extras as a donor. Even if I may not required a special incentive–it’s generally provided. This is an extremely common non-profit model. I don’t see why ACA would be uniquely singled out and vilified for doing what every other nonprofit does.

    It isn’t my intention to vilify ACA. I am just expressing my regret – and, only for this show (the AXP).

    > And if we gave away a t-shirt, would you say we were punishing people by only giving out shirts to people who pay us, and not everyone else? If we supplied a newsletter update to Patreon members only, would that also be unfair? Because, again, every group I support with funding gives me some sort of perk–called an “incentive”–because they are *asking me for more*.
    You seem to not be seeing that the entire show–all 1.5 hours–is still streaming for free. And that we have added Talk Heathens, brought back Godless Bitches, continue to offer NonProphets, have added Atheist Roundtable. Have just launched an atheist parenting program, and there are other programs I know I’m overlooking. Literally you’re complaining about a few calls going to Patreon customers–and ignoring the many hours of atheist content we literally just added for free public viewing.

    First of all, your equivocation with the t-shirt has absolutely no relevance in the context of AXP. Second, as I mentioned at a later time in my comment, I said “You could decide for any other show to be partially or completely patron-only, but this one” After this, you asked “Why ‘but this one’?”; I answer: because it was and still is so important for the dialogue, and it helped and still helps so many people.
    Back to your t-shirt analogy, you answered to another person who complained about this decision: ” ‘ADDENDUM: Just to also note, we moved the after-show dinner to the Library/Studio, where ACA now covers the cost of feeding people at a dinner that is “open to the public.’ We do allow donations at the dinner, but they’re not required. We are expanding, and this means more expenses–it’s just reality.” I answer: here is your lost financial opportunity – sell tickets, keep the stream free.

    Final thoughts: I am out of the religious hole in part due to the AXP show. There are so many other people needing the help of this show. You may want to rethink your decision. Thank you.

  53. joeybaghadicts says

    At about 1:07:23 you see the scroll on the bottom, “Be a shart of the conversation @ freethoughtblogs.com/axp”

    Also, at 1:10:47, “Be a tart of the conversation @ freethoughtblogs.com/axp”

  54. StonedRanger says

    Im not a patron, so im not familiar with the aftershow process on patreon. How long is it? It used to be only one or two calls. What is the problem here? You get an hour and a half of free show. Is it so important that these few calls are free for all? With all the free content AXP provides, I don’t see the problem with it going to patreon for aftershow. I wish I was able to afford it, I would donate to the cause. But im on a fixed income and I am ever so grateful for the free content. Even though I may not watch every minute of every show, I enjoy the free content immensely. Bunch of entitled whiners, you get an hour and a half free and youre going to complain about some people who WANT TO PAY for a small portion voluntarily? SMH. They actually provide hours and hours of free content each week people. I don’t get it. You are acting like they are making everyone pay for every minute of every show. I guess its true, some people will bitch if you hang em with a new rope. Keep up the good work AXP, If I wasn’t a couple thousand miles away I would be there each and every weekend to support the show and perhaps to even volunteer my time.

  55. Monocle Smile says

    @Scytale
    Your posts come across as even worse than entitlement. You seem to imply that AXP somehow owes the world their time and resources, and if they don’t do so exclusively at cost to themselves and none to the audience, then they’re bad people.
    I really don’t get it. Part of me gets the feeling that some of you whiners have an unhealthy emotional attachment to the show. Fix that.

  56. meskibob says

    @heicart
    Just a quick FYI that the boilerplate “General TAE Links” within the OP still lists Star of India as the post-show dinner location:

    Star of India (aftershow dinner spot; meetup between 6-6:30 PM)

  57. t90bb says

    I am at a loss over to hoopla regarding the after show. If you don’t want to watch the extras….don’t join patreon….Easy. The world wont end if you cant or wont. I am extremely grateful for the 90 min plus of education and entertainment I get week after week.

    As for Killian……good for you…..Finally taking some action rather than blabbering like a baby. LOL….see you next week btw!!

    Solid show as usual…..rare to have the back to back miracle experiences. Did not find either of them convincing.

    Love you guys!

  58. gnj1958 says

    I agree with Killian to a point despite him going overboard.

    I think the hosts should give the callers a certain amount of time (10 mins) to get to their point and answer questions. If they do that then let the call go on longer. If not just move on to the next caller. This weeks show was basically taken up by two callers telling us about their supposed supernatural experiences. It was boring.

    Matt doesn’t take so much shit from people. If they can’t answer question in an intelligent way without going round in circles then hang up and move on.

  59. Ragingagnostic says

    In the late 15th century, Heinrich Kramer penned the Malleus Maleficarum, commonly known as Hammer of Witches. The book’s contents raised the religion of witchcraft (rather than the practice of malevolent sorcery) to heresy, recommended the death penalty for it and listed several ways to identify witches, force confessions from them (torture) and methods of killing them. Disbelief in witchcraft was stated as a sign of grave heresy. Thus, even voicing a dissenting opinion about witchcraft could be used against the dissenter.

    Kramer was a member of the Dominican order (side note: the word “Dominican” comes from the Latin “Domine cane”, translated as “God’s hounds”. This was very appropriate since they were the ones largely responsible for hunting down and capturing suspected magic practitioners.). His misogyny was incredible, even by the standards of the time. During several trials, Kramer’s obsession with sexual practices of the accused was discomfiting and alarming to the local ecclesiasts.

    He was eventually dismissed by the Catholic Church. He twisted his dismissal as a personal attack against his doctrine; one person speculated his printing of the book was his revenge against his detractors.

    Kramer had initial success in using his tactics in Germany during the Inquisition of 1485-86. Yet his methods of intimidation, brutal force and torture were so extreme the very Tyrolean citizens rose up against him. He was asked to leave several times by Bishop Golser, who finally had to invoke the help of the archduke to get rid of him. This involved the cessation of the trial, the nullifying of its results and the release of all the accused, much to Kramer’s embarrassment.

    But his tactics gradually found support elsewhere. For 200 years, the Malleus was the second most popular book in Europe, second only to the bible. (It must have made Kramer pots of money. Possibly one of his incentives for writing it?) So a book that was based on obscure and puzzling biblical passages and whose author was rejected by the Catholic Church was used by the Inquisition to torture, punish and execute by live burnings innocent women and men for the better part of two centuries.

    Does anybody still think the bible promotes moral behavior? Think again.

  60. Scytale says

    @Monocle Smile

    > Your posts come across as even worse than entitlement. You seem to imply that AXP somehow owes the world their time and resources, and if they don’t do so exclusively at cost to themselves and none to the audience, then they’re bad people.
    I really don’t get it. Part of me gets the feeling that some of you whiners have an unhealthy emotional attachment to the show. Fix that.

    I don’t consider myself entitled for anything from ACA. Here! I fixed it.

    Now, hopefully you will read everything I said. Briefly, my opinion is that the scope of AXP – and, only AXP – is beyond Austin, beyond Texas, and even beyond the USA (I am Canadian). It was and still is very useful to people trying to get out of their religion, and it was nice to keep it 100% free – just the AXP.
    In the end, it is not my show, not my decision, and no one has to listen to what I say – I understand this, as it was stated so many times in so many different contexts on the ACA discussions on Facebook, Tweeter, Youtube, or everywhere else people try to express opinions contrary to ACA’s decisions – so, of course I don’t feel entitled for anything from ACA.

  61. Mike Lewis says

    I’m new to the blog, although been watching the show for years. I’ve never felt the need to comment much, even today I really don’t have much to say. Tracie you do a fantastic job of being super rational and giving appropriate honest answers, Don love all the failures/criticism of Christianity. My one critique would be to have Don speak a bit more, you’re an intelligent person and your views have value. I remember an episode that a caller talked to you specifically and tried to avoid speaking to Matt, it seems you weren’t fully prepared and I think it’s because you aren’t as assertive on the show. I hope that doesn’t come of as rude, I love the show and think you are all wonderful. If I posted in the wrong place I apologize as this is my first time. #blogvirgin

  62. GumB. says

    If the typo had been … to be a fart of the conversation … then it might have actually applied in some instances.
     
    However, I digress. 😉

  63. jofox9973 says

    @ John from London
    I recently came out of the UK Baptist church in my 40’s and feel much the same as you. I’m also gay and have been celibate while I was a Christian. I really appreciate you going on the show as it’s helped me feel much less alone. I hope things go well for you. All the best, Joanne.

  64. Marcelo says

    Scytale @64:

    Briefly, my opinion is that the scope of AXP – and, only AXP – is beyond Austin, beyond Texas, and even beyond the USA (I am Canadian).

    but given what Tracie herself said above @53:

    Our shows spill over outside of Austin, and that’s a great bonus, but it’s not our immediate concern. What people get for free outside of Austin is *bonus*

    your opinion is irrelevant.

  65. PETER CUSHNIE says

    There was a time when I listened to all the debates I could find between believers and non-believers. It was a great way to get to know the “names” on both sides of the issue and to become familiar with the various arguments, pro and con. Over time, however, the debates began to run together. Theists had nothing new to offer in the way of defense, annoyingly raising old arguments that had been addressed and laid to rest time and again. They kept coming back (and continue to do so) like ghosts that will not be stilled. Consequently, atheists , of necessity, replied with the same counter arguments. Eventually, the debates became predictable and boring. Today I con’t watch them. Sad to say, I’m getting the same feeling about The Atheist Experience show. I find myself turning it off early more and more because, like the debates, there’s nothing new to be said and the unprepared and incoherent theists are not fun anymore. They just give me a headache. And as much as I admire Matt Dillahunty, I’ve grown weary of his talking over and shouting down theist callers. Matt doesn’t like it when callers break in when he is speaking, but he is quick enough to override them. Many times I have told the TV screen, “Matt, will you let the person speak, for christ sake? I’d like to hear what the caller has to say before you derail him!” I think the next time I hear Matt go, “Hang on! Hang on! Hang on!” I will permanently break with the show.

  66. says

    Alex from Hawaii,
    Hindus, Jains, Buddhist, Sikhs have traditions of serious fasting and deprivation for long periods of time. They do it on religious occasions at different times of the year. Not most but some claim to see gods. But they see their own gods- Rama, Krishna, Hanuman, Shiv, Mahavir, Buddha, Ganesha, Durga Mata, their clan god or in the case of my family- their clan goddess etc. And yes, I have heard Muslims go through long periods of fasting and see visions of Allah, Mohammad and heaven etc.

  67. Lamont Cranston says

    Heicart said:

    I am asking folks on FB if they’d like to take his challenge. I will offer a survey at the end of it, if I get enough takers, to crunch the numbers/information. And if just a few people do it, I’m going to ask them to call the show to discuss. We’ll see if anyone can do the “7 days”. If not, then I won’t get data. :/ But we’ll see.,

    You realize, of course, that his approach is a, “Heads I win, Tails you lose,” proposition. If it works he wins, if it doesn’t you simply have not done it correctly no matter what. There will never be a way do do exactly what he says and prove to him that it does not work. You can do exactly what he says and if it does not work he simply claims that you failed to do what was asked no matter what. That’s why he can claim 100% success.

    This is like the Jordan Peterson, “If you are a good moral person you are not really an atheist,” proposition. You can never prove to Peterson that an atheist can be a good moral person because if you ever succeed in proving that a person is good and moral he/she is by definition no longer an atheist despite any claims to the contrary.

    This is also just like the 12 Step addiction recovery programs. If they fail it is always because you didn’t “work the program” rather than being proof that the 12 step programs actually rarely work in the long term (higher powers didn’t get you into trouble and they won’t get you out either). Those cases that seem to work often have simply substituted addiction to the 12 step program for whatever the prior addiction had been. They often just substitute one addition for another.

    Lamont Cranston

  68. gnj1958 says

    I came across this story of a dad whose young son was born with Down syndrome as well as a blood disorder, which causes his platelet counts to be low. Now they found out he has cancer too. So I followed it to Instagram where he posted a video of him dancing for his boy in the hospital room.

    Reading the comments I started seeing a lot of posts like this one “Precious father and son. Stay strong god is great”

    God is great? Surely God did this to him.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BlgBOveBR6U/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

  69. anxionnat says

    Hi Don–I really like your “Failures of Christianity.” Keep up the good work! There are a couple of things that I’d like to pass on: (1) Jesus’s death by crucifixion: This was a specifically Roman punishment, and it was specifically carried out for sedition. The only legal punishment that could be carried out by the Jewish religious authorities at that time (under Roman occupation) was stoning to death. See, for example the Roman punishment for the members of Spartacus’ army. (2) I read the following in a book by Isaac Asimov several years ago. (I don’t remember which one.) Asimov points out that we have a stereotype of a witch: An old woman with her nose and chin practically meeting before her face, maybe an older woman who walks with a cane. Back before modern dentistry, people who lived over the age of 30 or so generally lost most or all of their teeth. This lack of teeth results in the person looking like the witch stereotype: the mouth collapses, the nose looks longer. I thought that was really an insight by Asimov, because I’d never considered that older women and men really did look like the stereotype. I didn’t google this information. I just remember well what I read back in the day. Even back in the Middle Ages, women tended to live longer than men, even with the risk of childbirth, so more women, on average, lived to be old. Voila: the witch. Of course, these older women often made their living through herbal healing. “The Dark Side of Christianity” does comment that most or all European herbal lore was lost as a result of the murderous witch craze.

  70. RationalismRules says

    @Killian

    This will please you all. I am no longer going to to waste time watching the show.

    don’t bother trying to connect with me as I know what the AXP is about.

     
    Self-absorbed much?

  71. George R. says

    So I’m a new fan to this show and I have to say… how on earth have you had the mental fortitude to answer the same exact questions and respond to the same exact claims day in and day out.

    I personally am still hanging on to the label of Christian, but I steady trucking toward atheist as I continue to doubt and search for answers. And even I get tired of people using the same apologist playbook daily. How do you all do it?

  72. twarren1111 says

    There’s a documentary on Netflix about witches by a female historian. She presents compelling evidence in support of the hypothesis that accusations of witchcraft were used by rejected men (ala the modern incel concept), by other women to hurt women, and by charlatans who made money by claiming to get rid of witches for pay. Such a shame.

  73. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @twarren1111 #81:

    rejected men (ala the modern incel concept)

    I don’t know if you/she made this mistake, but it’s a common misunderstanding worth addressing.
     
    To be clear: incels != rejected men retaliating.
    Even the celibacy part isn’t essential.
     
    Article: NewYorker – The Rage of Incels

    In the past few years, a subset of straight men calling themselves “incels” have constructed a violent political ideology around the injustice of young, beautiful women refusing to have sex with them. These men often subscribe to notions of white supremacy. […] They’re also diabolically misogynistic. [Redacted: Example of a typical rant dehumanizing women] The idea that this misogyny is the real root of their failures with women does not appear to have occurred to them.
    […]
    Incels aren’t really looking for sex; they’re looking for absolute male supremacy. Sex, defined to them as dominion over female bodies, is just their preferred sort of proof.

  74. Monocle Smile says

    @Sky Captain
    You nailed it. Rage from failures with women is more of a MGTOW thing, and while they are both groups of shitbags, they hate each other, which is sickeningly humorous.

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