Comments

  1. Theisntist says

    Two observations of note: I liked the big microphones and laptops, sure it looks a little like sports talk, but the sound is way better and it gives the hosts a prop – beats just staring into the camera for 90 minutes!
    And the call with Luke (beginning at 1:08) was classic Dillahunty, 8 minutes of exactly what I sit through the show for.

  2. Perry Lawson says

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t ignore the science of biology and submit to the use of special pronouns. I also think that proclaiming people should fall in line on this subject is poor form.

    I actually identify as a unicorn, but I don’t demand that people abandon science and millennia of societal norms by addressing me as such.

  3. Walter White says

    Ugh.. more gay talk. Pink beard… really man? All this “LBQTDNDJLSJLWT” crap again?

    I love the AE. Hands down best atheist show, evar. Except when they hop on the far left nonsense train. The show has said many of times that it’s not about politics. And as someone who leans largely Right… I’m glad, that how it should be. But for some reason, these ultra uber pro gay and tranny rants go on and on. For no reason. It’s not even a discussion or debate.. just random talk about it out of nowhere. It’s the ATHEIST Experience, not the Atheist and mentally ill show.

    Gays and trans want to be “normal” and fit in with everyone. Right? Then stop giving them a damn platform every show! You are putting a spotlight on them! That is the exact opposite of blending in with the rest of society! Why are they even having these parades?! And why is the AE setting up booths and going to them!?!?! Atheism has nothing to do with being gay or gender confused.

    The issues I have with gays and trans are usually not in my mind. Until someone starts shoving that shit down my throat. It makes me sick. If you really want us to “not care what people do in the bedroom”… then shut up about it!

    Keep church and state issues separate. Stop submitting to the far left PC crap. This BLM, feminism, gay and trans garbage.. poisons the rest of the show. Sadly, some people think they have to be “left” because they are an atheist. With is crap. Again, I am 70% Right Wing.. and an atheist.I’ve NEVER heard any host say anything positive about the Right nor on ANY of their issues. How absurd. It’s always far left. Again, I’d rather it be neutral or keep politics out, like the show has said many of times.

    Other than that nonsense being shoved in my face more than the damn Youtube ads, I love the show and all the hosts. Keep kicking ass on the ATHEIST topics.

  4. The Wild Monk says

    LMAO.
    These two wackos are pretending races and sexes are interchangeable.
    Polluting young kids minds with sex. I bet these two would love their kids to watch porn.
    .
    They assume their values universally apply. LMAO.
    La la land.
    Never lived a long time in a non-White community.

  5. Hyper Performance says

    @Wild Monk

    Just bugger off.

    You’ve demonstrated countless times on the blog that you are someone who brings nothing of any value to the discussions and yet you continue to engage on this rhetoric that is filled with dishonesty and condescension. How about make actual points or go pester some other group with your drivel?

  6. Monocle Smile says

    Okay, this Wild Monk fuck is obviously a troll or indistinguishable from a troll. There’s no more pretending. Ban it.

  7. Joshua Adamson says

    Great show! Beliefs inform politics, and how people vote changes lives. We all need to scrutinize what we are told and be the ones to ask questions so more people hold beliefs that are actually beneficial. It isn’t just about comfort, drinking alcohol will make you comfortable in the cold but it doesn’t actually raise body temperature, in fact it slows blood flow and makes hypothermia worse due to the body ceasing to shiver and generate heat through said shivering. It’s incredibly important that everyone think critically about how the world works and various theisms only become openly dangerous when they include answers that are accepted widely without substantial evidence. What needs to be understood is the process with which one determines truth from fallacy. Once you are practicing skepticism with rigorous detail the odds of coming to the best solutions and conclusions rise exponentially. Its going to be really hard to cure Spanish flu with antibiotics, since its a virus and you have to ask questions before you can ever find out if there are any un-asked questions like what if diseases arent the only form of micro-organic threat? If we never asked questions we would already have died out of famine following WW2. We had to change everything we thought was normal, hyper-capitalism was here to stay and the US had to change to fill a new role in an ever changing world economy. Every generation has to overcome some problem and it only takes a few decades of misinformation to wind up with crazy people like flat earthers and 9/11 truthers and sandy hook deniers and Holocaust deniers. It’ll take a whole new generation of critical thinkers to recover from the cognitive dissonance of this generation.

  8. Skyfish Café says

    My partner and I watch or listen to the show every week (and, being Austin locals and ACA members, occasionally attend the studio as well). Neither of us have ever posted on this blog but wanted to do so because of this episode.

    .
    Jen and Matt, FANTASTIC episode. We both really appreciated the respectful, insightful and balanced dialogue among yourselves and the callers.
    .

    In the past, my partner and I have observed that the person in the “co-host” role for a particular episode often takes a backseat to the host — and while that may be due to some combination of production guidelines and personal temperament, we often feel a little frustrated when the host bulldozes through the call and the co-host is left with just a few sentences after the call has already ended. Jen, you did not allow this to happen on this episode! True to form, you had so much incredible input on the LGBTQ community, on parenting, and on rational & skeptical thinking in general, and we were so glad to hear from you.
    .

    And Matt, you always are able to pare callers’ arguments to their cores and examine them for what they are rather than what they “seem to be” (in other words: cut the bullshit). And in this episode — and we really can’t emphasize this enough — we appreciated that not once, not twice, but several times! you purposefully acknowledged that you had spoken your piece and that it would be better for someone else (Jen or the caller) to take center stage. In the past, my partner and I both have felt some frustration with the way you tend to dominate the show — and in this episode, you showed such grace, humility and patience that we felt it was important to call you out for kudos.
    .

    Thank you to Jen, Matt, the AXP crew & the callers for an excellent episode!

  9. Davis says

    Did Matt say he was going through a divorce?? Aww, I remember when Beth was on the show and when they got engaged… I thought they were a good couple!

  10. KK_Me says

    Good show!
    The first caller made me despair a little. It was as if he agreed that he was wrong about every question on an exam, but then still insists he shouldn’t fail the exam.
    If I was a teacher I wouldn’t know where to start with a student like that.

  11. says

    Number 7 KK_Me says
    Absolutely! I think the first caller is a world-class passive/aggressive. He will agree to everything someone says to avoid any actual discussion, but will never consider anything the other person says or allow any point made to change his mind in any way.

  12. gshelley says

    The historical Jesus question is interesting. It seems that virtually every time someone calls to defend, they don’t appeal to the evidence, but that biblical scholars (though they typically claim historians) believe. Does this happen with other subjects? Maybe evolution or climate change? I know if I was defending evolution, “its the consensus” would be low down on the list of evidence I was giving, but for climate change, I might have to resort to that
    It also seems common that when they do try and give actual evidence, they have no idea what they are talking about and have probably never even looked into the subject. I accept climate change largely on the basis of consensus, but if I was going to call in to a show to say it was real, I’d at least bother to find out why the consensus formed.

  13. viliam says

    Jen, thanks so much for the astrophysics and aerospace pet peeve mention!

    I’m also an aerospace engineer, and the amount of people that assume this means I know everything and anything space related is very mildly infuriating. I know how your GPS works, not what the latest research into big-bang cosmology implies about origin of the universe. ugh.

  14. einyv says

    As soon as it said Luke in Phoenix i automatically thought not this jerk again. He is a troll not interested in anything. When you answered with the slavery question he knew he was toast and resorted to games. Luke must have spent way too much time outside here when it was 116 degrees.

  15. tommyr says

    There are 2 genders. PERIOD. This idea of 70+ others is RIDICULOUS. STOP WITH THIS NONSENSE. You are either male or female. PERIOD. “Non binary”? STOP IT ALREADY. This planet has become totally insane.

    I personally will never cave in to these RIDICULOUS GENDERS. You are MALE or FEMALE. GET OVER IT.

  16. Perry Lawson says

    In the MANY years that I’ve followed the AXP, I don’t think I’ve ever cringed at anything the hosts have said. However, that certainly changed when the “non-binary” gender talk went down, as if it’s even remotely sensible to refer a single person as “they”; ignoring the biological FACT that a personal is either male or female. I actually felt bad for the religious caller, who was made to feel like he was some kind of asshole because he used the pronoun of “she” instead of “they” when trying to pay a compliment to EJ. (As if he was even wrong.)

    I have always been a Progressive and a Liberal, but it’s precisely this kind of nonsense that has given those labels a bad name and driven the country into the age of Trump.

  17. Pony says

    I’m essentially on board with the Jordan Peterson approach, as described by Matt today: I’m going to address any human being in the way they would like to be addressed (within reason; see below), but I oppose any sort of legal or judicial policing of language.

    But, a little story.

    Years ago, I participated in a “men’s group,” which was sometimes helpful, sometimes silly (and contrary to some critics, our group, at least, was not in the least bit misogynist). There was a guy named Jim who came in one day and announced that, having researched his Scottish roots, he now wished to be called “McKenzie.” We all clapped and hooted started calling him by his new, preferred name.

    A few months later, after McKenzie had been studying Tibetan Buddhist spirituality, he announced to the group that, henceforth, he would like us to call him “Jhompa” (no clue on the spelling, but pronounced “JOM-pah”). This time, the applause was decidedly more scattered and muted, and more than one of us wondered if he wasn’t just playing us for fools. As for me, I left the group a short time later when the leaders agreed to have a “channeler” named Yokar spout bullshit to the group in a faux-Teutonic accent (you can still find fleeting references to Yokar’s books online).

    I am not saying that a person’s deeply felt sense of identity is equivalent to a one who has an impulse toward serial name changing. Still, people don’t love to feel they are being asked to behave in ways that do not accord with their sense of reality.

    Ricky Gervais got into hot water with certain trans advocates for his recent bit about Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner and wanting to be identified as a chimpanzee. I found it hilarious, and frankly, Gervais hit the nail on the head when he pointed out how absurd it is to be told that we must all believe, or at least assert, that Jenner, a former male Olympic decathlon champion, was in fact a woman all along.

    And, for all the blistering I’ve received for even asking such questions, I still have not fully grasped why we must all blindly accept Jenner’s full-frontal gender switch, yet must roundly condemn Rachel Dolezal (now known as Nkechi Amare Diallo) for attempting to do the same with relation to her race.

    I’m seeing more and more otherwise progressive people questioning this purported trans orthodoxy, which leads me to wonder if trans activists haven’t overplayed their hand on some of this, and whether it will hurt their cause, at least temporarily.

  18. Monocle Smile says

    @Pony
    Gender is psychological with biological components.
    Race is “biological” and cultural and “identifying” as another race is nonsense mostly because of how other people treat those of a different race (read: poorly). Unless the people around Rachel Dolezal have been treating her like a black woman and she’s been facing that kind of adversity during her life, it’s truly a bizarre case.

    I’m convinced that the backlash against trans people is mostly or entirely “argument from ick” rather than anything rational.

  19. rocketdave says

    My youngest sibling told me they were gender neutral last year. I’m very liberal, and truth be told, I’m maybe somewhat ambivalent about my gender as well, but as someone who’s lived a pretty sheltered life, this is a new concept for me that’s been a little difficult to get my head around. I actually would have had an easier time understanding if they’d come out as trans.

    Besides having to get used to now calling someone I’ve known for 30+ years by a different name (because they changed it to one they thought was less gender-specific), I’m having the most trouble with the pronouns. I find “they” grammatically awkward. Case in point: On New Year’s, my sister, when talking about our sibling, said that they would be flying to the Midwest in a few days’ time. For over an hour, I was under the mistaken impression that when she said “they,” she was saying that our sister-in-law and their kids would be going along as well. But the bottom line is that while this might be a thing I still don’t totally get, I figure the least I can do is try to be respectful of the name and pronouns they want to be called by, because I don’t want to be an asshole.

  20. Monocle Smile says

    @Walter White
    That’s a pretty awful rant.
    I don’t have any hope for you, but do you mind sharing with the class why you have such obvious rage towards gay and trans people?

  21. bluestar says

    I identify as an attack helicopter. Since young boyhood I’ve dreamed of soaring above burning oil fields, dropping hot loads on disgusting foreigners. People tell me it’s impossible for a human to become a helicopter and that I’m bat shit crazy, but I don’t care. I think I’m beautiful. I’m having a plastic surgeon from NYC install rotary blades, 30MM cannons, and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles on my body. You can call me “Apache” from now on. If you won’t, well then you’re a heliphobe and you need to check your own privilege.

    BTW good show, jolly good indeed. Like the condenser microphones.

  22. Perry Lawson says

    Secular Strategy, I completely agree that applies to Matt, but not so much with Jen.

    (46:29 – 46:45)

    There’s a bit of tone and attitude there that was off-putting.

  23. Nathan says

    I get the odd feeling that many of the anti-trans posts are just the same guy making multiple accounts so they can post over and over.

  24. Lamont Cranston says

    Luke in Phoenix: Further discussions with someone who refuses to give an honest answer to a question will probably continue to be a waste of time except as an example of blatant theist dishonesty. This is to be contrasted with the Doc in Penn. who I believe gave honest answers but simply continues to believe what he believes in spite of his own answers.

    I have continued to find myself pondering something yet again after watching both Talk Heathen and the Atheist Experience.

    What always seems to be at issue is demonstrating that the Wise, Knowing, Just, Ethical, Moral, Good version of God has no evidence for existence. Even the Bible demonstrates that this God doesn’t appear to exist and is a figment of the imagination of those who interpret the Hell out of the Bible to try to twist him, her, it, them into that kind of God.

    It seems to me that if a theist caller phoned in and claimed that his God is actually a malevolent SOB, evil, immoral, not very wise, unethical and generally just plain bad, it might be hard to demonstrate his belief is irrational. After all, while it may not be evidence, a world based on a model including such a God would seem to look an awful lot like what we actually experience.

    Such a God would not make himself clearly known because he would like the confusion about who or what he/she/it/they are that fuels hatred, war, famine, pestilence, and division.

    Such a God would drop clues about himself that are totally wrong and completely contradictory to help fuel all the strife.

    Such a God would indeed watch us harm each other while citing him as the reason for our wars and when we are done he would drop us into a fire for no better reason than to watch us burn.

    Slavery? Bah. He would never tell anyone slavery is bad in any of the books he gets people to write explaining what God wants.

    His greatest commands would be to put Him first because that is all he is really interested in along with watching us kill each other or helping it along like frying ants with a magnifying glass.

    He would muddle the mind of his followers so that they find it virtually impossible to give a straight answer to simple questions about the reason they believe their religion to be true.

    Frankly, I think the list is almost endless.

    I actually don’t think a malevolent God exists either, but I think it would be harder to dismiss.

    After all a maleolent God would actually even to some good things just to make the bad things feel so much worse.

    Lamont Cranston

  25. Monocle Smile says

    @Perry
    Oh, boy. Trans people and their allies are what caused Trump? You can’t be serious.

    Politicians and corporations have been doing their level best to sow distrust in things like science and skepticism and instead appeal to base prejudices for decades, and that’s what’s finally caused Trump.

    That you are completely ignorant of the differences between gender and sex is not an indictment of progressivism.

  26. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @rocketdave #21:

    My youngest sibling told me they were gender neutral last year. […] this is a new concept for me that’s been a little difficult to get my head around

     
    Twitter Thread: ThatMandyNicole – Being Agender

    If you are a cis woman, being completely surrounded by cis men, if you are a cis man, being completely surrounded by trans men, etc. Imagine (or recall, as we’ve all had similar experiences) the feeling of being completely out of place by virtue of only your gender. My whole life, I’ve had this experience when I have been in a room full of men, but interestingly, despite being born with female anatomy… I’ve experienced the same feeling when surrounded by women. And growing up in conservative Christianity, I was surrounded by women a lot.
     
    It’s not that I felt like I was supposed to be a man (I don’t) or even that I was supposed to be something else entirely (I don’t), It was just that when I was surrounded by women, or supposed to be experiencing a “sisterhood” or “maternal instinct” I didn’t UNDERSTAND.
     
    On my wedding day, in a white dress with beautiful makeup and wearing an engagement ring, I didn’t *feel* like a bride. I didn’t know how. I had my kid and was told “you will have a maternal instinct” I didn’t understand what that meant. I *felt* like a parent, but not a mom. It was as though, for my whole life, I was expected to feel womanly in a way that all the other women around me did. But I never had it.
    […]
    I don’t feel conflicted about she/her pronouns because it’s as though the part of my brain that should care about my gender doesn’t exist. […] Now not every agender person is completely ambivalent about their pronouns, but many of us are.
    […]
    I am a parent, but the word “mother” feels like a club which I am not qualified to join. I am no one’s “sista.” Like what even is that?

     
     

    I actually would have had an easier time understanding if they’d come out as trans.

    Many enbies consider themselves trans, in that they don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Others are uncomfortable claiming that label.
     
     

    I’m having the most trouble with the pronouns. I find “they” grammatically awkward. […] I was under the mistaken impression that when she said “they,” she was saying that our sister-in-law and their kids would be going

    Neopronouns can more a specific reference, if they’re into that. Or just leaning more on their name.
     
    Authors have this issue with he/she as well, when writing scenes involving multiple characters who share the same pronoun.

  27. says

    bluestar @23: I identify as a ZSU-23-4 Shilka AAA vehicle, but in English I use the male pronoun. What do Apache helicopters use?

    “He”, “she”, “they” and “it” are linguistic conventions. There are languages that use no specific gender markers for male and female, and there languages that use gender markers for far more than merely male and female. Whatever one thinks of Jenner’s sex in the past, where’s the problem with referring to them as a woman now? It’s not as though you are ever going to be in a position to examine her chromosomes — or anybody’s for that matter — to check whether they are “really” female. You’re never going to be able to determine if her mind is “really” female or “really” male, or some mixture of the two. You’re never even going to be able to examine her all-so-important genitals. If she looks like a woman, why not address her that way? It’s just words.

  28. t90bb says

    What caused trump??

    White nationalism has been slowly suppressed by the steady encroachment of secularism. It took a dickwad like trump to unabashedly spew white nationalism to embolden these folks to crawl out from under their rocks and expose themselves and their true nature. As painful as it is…..its a purge that will be necessary…

  29. Monocle Smile says

    Luke should consider sucking on a flamethrower. What an unapologetic asshole. His attitude reminds me of TrueEmpiricism. What do these fucks think they gain from acting like butthurt clowns on the air?

  30. jeffh123 says

    Regarding parental notification. I understand that some children cannot discuss sexuality, pregnancy, etc. with their parents. However, when California passed the law that mandated public schools take girls to get abortions if requested without parental notification hit a note with me. Schools can’t even call an ambulance if your child is having a heart attack. Really. Parents ARE held responsible for their children. Just let your kid burn down a building and see how fast the courts take away your home. If something goes wrong with the medical procedure, guess who has to pick up the pieces and put everything back together. Hey, we took your daughter in for an abortion and now you have pay for permanent care for her because the procedure got botched and now she’s brain dead. I’m pro choice and I don’t think I’d have a serious problem being told by my daughter.

  31. GumB. says

     
    @Monocle Smile #33

     
    Yes, I could hear the standoffish arrogance in Luke’s vocal inflection right from the start of his call. Narcissism, with themselves conveniently (in their minds) placed at the top of their little artificial hierarchy of ‘us and them’ (which is a social attitude religion quite often instills into people … me god’s chosen … you heathen … me assimilate or else eliminate you.)

     
    How depraved.

     
    To the blog in general:

     
    I had no respect for the first caller, Doc. I didn’t believe him when he kept saying, “yes, that’s true” to everything the hosts pointed out to him. That’s most likely just a social construct he’s picked up from his church … being agreeable to everything he’s being told by someone. It’s called going along just to get along. That would explain how he can immediately say, “well, no … I still hold my beliefs” without even flinching. Because … I don’t think he really ever was actually agreeing to, or even giving much thought to, what the hosts said. It was more like a social habit he had … “yes … well, yes … well, I agree with you on that … well, yes that’s true too …” etc, etc, etc. Those are likely just social platitudes he’s used to using to be polite. He isn’t agreeing; he’s just being pleasant. Hence … no, it didn’t alter his beliefs. I doubt he was actually even processing much of what they were pointing out to him. I would say he agreed (when he did) … just to be socially agreeable.

     
    He might not even be aware that he behaves this way socially (a tactic for not causing waves or having any disagreements with people.) But … it doesn’t show integrity either, and it isn’t honesty. This is your mind on religion.

  32. Nathan says

    @jeffh123

    I looked for evidence of such a law it doesn’t exist, you are full of it. Maybe actually look into legit sources and stop reading conspiracy bs online.

  33. paxoll says

    Ok Trolls and anyone here who wants to argue about 2 genders blah blah male/female. Take a long minute and think of what the term Tomboy means. Gender and sex are different. According to the experts http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx gender is

    Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women.

    As you can see gender is a social construct which is why it changes based on your social environment/culture that you are raised in. It is also PRESCRIPTIVE, when a society has expectations on the way a male or female (sex) should behave, feel, and think than it causes a great deal of pressure for people to fit that mold. When people don’t fit the definition we invent words like Tomboy to describe them. This social pressure causes a lot of harm to people who do not fit the mold of societal gender roles. This can cause people to reject the gender identity social construct completely, or it can cause people to reject the sex they were born with that does not fit with their actual behaviors, feelings, and thinking. People wanting others to identify who they are as a person is basic human respect, we do it by calling people by their names and we do it by giving them equal rights in society. If you refuse to give someone basic human respect than you are simply a fucken asshole and no one should treat you with any.

  34. Honey Tone says

    > jeff123:

    “Regarding parental notification. I understand that some children cannot discuss sexuality, pregnancy, etc. with their parents. However, when California passed the law that mandated public schools take girls to get abortions if requested without parental notification hit a note with me.”

    FYI: at present, 13 states allow minors to choose abortion without parental notification. Yes, California is one of those. (I am not aware of any law or regulation requiring California schools to make abortions available.) Another handful of states require a parent to give permission. All the other states require only a notification (not permission), and in all those states parental notifications can be waived by a judge.

    Minor consent laws relating to medical care vary from state to state and by the type of care to be provided.

  35. Ray Smith says

    The Atheist Experience is concerned with what is true. I, like Matt, want to believe as many true things as possible and discard false ideas. I am naturally skeptical. I try to live my life based on facts, not feelings because feelings are unreliable. We tell Christians who say they feel the Holy Spirit that they need to rule out natural explanations before selecting supernatural ones. Our focus on truth is why I have a very hard time calling someone who has been a girl since birth for 20 years, a boy. Do we not care about truth? Jen so quickly jumped on the caller who called EJ a girl. “Dont call her a girl. She’s non-binary.” I have to disagree. She may FEEL non-binary, but we have very clear definitions for girl and boy. Now unless there was some unusual genetic situation that affected the person’s brain, which is extremely rare, it is very easy to KNOW if the person is a girl or a boy. I find it fascinating that Jen was bothered that EJ was called an Astro-Physicist when she is really an Aerospace Engineer, but she’s ok with calling EJ non-binary when, in fact, she is really a girl. Again, doesn’t truth matter? We care about truth, right? I am not saying these things because I hate gays or trans or anyone. I am saying these things because I care strongly about what is true. People who care about truth know that words have established meanings. We do not arbitrarily accept the word of someone who says something that we know does not coincide with the truth. One last thing, the word “they” is generally plural, meaning more than one person or thing. If an individual wants to be referred to as “they” instead of a singular pronoun, I do not think we should grant their request because we would be lying and participating in the person’s lie. Mixing up the meaning of “they” to be both singular and plural just adds confusion to our conversation and does nothing to help us discover truth.

  36. jacobfromlost says

    I know there are physical structural brain differences among people who identify in different ways, as well as DNA differences. I’m sure we’d agree that the data that show these structural differences are true? There are tons of links on the net, so I won’t bother putting them here (I found them in 2 seconds). I’m sure we will be discovering more on these issues in the future.

  37. Monocle Smile says

    @Ray Smith

    She may FEEL non-binary, but we have very clear definitions for girl and boy

    Gender != sex.
    Why is this so impossible for some people to grasp? This isn’t hard.

  38. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Lamont Cranston #26:

    It seems to me that if a theist caller phoned in and claimed that his God is actually a malevolent SOB, evil, immoral, not very wise, unethical and generally just plain bad, it might be hard to demonstrate his belief is irrational.

    Stephen Law frames those arguments as a symmetry to make theists listen to themselves.
     
    Article: Stephen Law – Evil God Challenge (original pdf)

    just as there are moves theists make to try deal to with the problem of evil, so there are similar moves we might make to try to deal with the problem of good.
    […]
    How persuasive are our three reverse theodicies? Intuitively, not at all. Rather than being taken seriously, they usually provoke amusement among theists and non-theists alike. But this raises the question: if the reverse theodicies are feeble and ineffective, why should we consider the standard theodicies any more effective?

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Evil God Challenge

  39. indianajones says

    Gender fundamentalists. Wonderful. Many first time posters in what seems like a coordinated attack too. Where do you folks come from? Where can we check on just which particular brand of toxic sludginess we are dealing with here?

  40. says

    Maybe some of those gender fundamentalists can explain to me the biology facts that support neckties being masculine clothing and high heels being feminine clothing.

    Or they can concede the distinction between sex and gender. I’ll let them dedice.

  41. Jimdandy says

    This gender banter has nothing to do with atheism. Honestly I’m amused to see intelligent and educated people reduce themselves to the likes of third graders who form some kind of Club with all kinds of special rules and shit. The sludge that you are dealing with is a person’s personal opinion nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps there people who don’t follow trends you know like the religious sheeple that are the topic of so much fun here. I am in agreement with many of these posters I’m not going to at this stage in my life include 50 more genders then the two that I always knew. Anyone who just met someone like EJ would refer to her as a she. I myself would never compromise Myself by referring to a single person as a they. That is absurd. Would any of you consider being met halfway and referring to EJ and folks like EJ as an it?

  42. Monocle Smile says

    @jimdandy
    Fuck off, troll-ass. Feels like it’s been a while since the mods cleaned up on aisle 3

  43. says

    It’s typical. They come here to complain about Matt and Jen’s gender comments, and then when the complaints are found to lack any rational basis, they throw their hands in the air and wonder why anybody is making a big deal out of it.

    Don’t start what you can’t finish. Just take the loss and move on.

  44. HappyPerson says

    @GumB
    agreed about your assessment about Don. would have been interesting to get him to repeat Matt’s logic to see if he really understood what Matt said.

  45. Muz says

    This gender banter has nothing to do with atheism. Honestly I’m amused to see intelligent and educated people reduce themselves to the likes of third graders who form some kind of Club with all kinds of special rules and shit.

    The irony here is just spectacular.

  46. bluestar says

    Muz- then please explain what the “proper pronouns” for the gender confused have to do with whether or not a G~d exists.

  47. Lamont Cranston says

    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says:

    Article: Wikipedia – Evil God Challenge

    I am not even postulating an ALL Evil or Maximally Evil god, but rather a generally malevolent God who is that way because he is rather self centered, self absorbed, bored, and finds us to be generally irrelevant except perhaps as a source of amusement (like ants to a mischievous little boy). This is a God who isn’t even trying to be evil, but rather a God who just is kind of a SOB from our perspective. Think of a being somewhat like Trelane (RIP William J. Campbell) from Star Trek the Original Series.

    Everyone seems to focus on the totally good God, or the totally bad God. Why does a God have to be at either extreme? Why not the totally mediocre God who is kind of lousy by accident or lack of caring?

    Did you ever see “Steambath” (1973 TV adaption of the play) where God is a Puerto Rican steambath attendant who trys to prove he is God by doing a card trick?

    I am just asking if it would be harder to refute someone’s belief in such a God? You can even make the case for such a God actually doing good things here and there and thereby magnify the extent of the bad things. I remember my parents talking about how they didn’t know how bad the 30’s were because it seemed like everyone had it bad which made it not seem so bad after all (not many good things to compare it against).

    Remember, I am not saying such a God exists and I don’t believe that one does. However, the existence of such a God does not seem to be inconsistent with reality compared to a maximally good or maximally evil God.

    A theist would have no hard evidence to prove the existence of such a God, but the circumstantial evidence seems to line up just fine for an SOB God. People do get convicted with only circumstantial evidence in situations where there is a complete lack of hard evidence. Is there enough circumstantial evidence to find an SOB God to be guilty of existing?

    Maybe the answer is that you don’t have to prove that an SOB God really does or does not exist because he/she/it/they wouldn’t care anyway?

    Lamont Cranston

  48. Muz says

    @52 bluestar, on what grounds do I need to? I’m not the one trying to assert what “atheism”s rules of discussion have to be nor the parameters of the show whilst railing against the practice of asserting practices and definitions on other people.

  49. bluestar says

    Yeah Muzzie- Look at all the railing I done here. Isn’t it time for you to clean out the deep fryers or something? Gender identity issues have very little to nothing to add in the debate of whether a G~d exists or not. And you know it.

  50. Monocle Smile says

    @bluestar
    The ACA has always been open and honest about having positions outside of dictionary atheism.
    If you have a problem with that, you know where the door is. Your point is meaningless and you’re rapidly approaching trolling.

  51. StonedRanger says

    Atheism itself is about a lack of belief in a god its true. And as an atheist I hold that belief. But I am not an atheist in a vacuum. I live in a world full of people who are like me ( in that they are atheists too) but the vast majority of them are different from me in many ways. And since I live in a world full of people different from me it behooves me to behave in a manner that is respectful of others whether we share the same ideas, beliefs, ideals or what have you. Anyone who says they will not compromise themselves by using someone else’s preferred pronoun is not compromising anything. They are just being fucking jerks to people they have no reason to be a jerk too. It costs you not a damned thing to give these people the respect they ask for and deserve just by being humans like you and me. If calling someone ‘they’ causes you distress then you need to grow the fuck up. People used these same stupid, tired arguments about blacks, and women, and gays, and well, you pick one. And the answer is still the same to those who feel that way. You are wrong. Full stop. Home of the free and land of the brave my ass. Only as long as they look like you, act like you, and think like you.

  52. says

    bluestar @52: It has nothing to do with atheism. It has to do with EJ being a guest on the show, The Atheist Experience, and being continually disrespected by folks making fatuous arguments about singular they as though it hasn’t been a feature of English since Shakespeare. Since this is a forum for that show, it gets discussed, like a lot of other things that don’t have anything to do with atheism but do have a connection to the show. If anyone has a problem with it being discussed, they could, I don’t know, like, not bring it up and not carry on the discussion after it is brought up.

  53. Joshua Adamson says

    Ray Smith that’s an incredibly harmful way of treating someone who is having their own thoughts and has a right to make decisions about their identity. If you decided you wanted to change political parties and people told you that they refused to participate in the “lie” that would make you feel like a third party to your own life! Don’t conflate absolutism with epistivism, if you want to believe EJ is a girl, that is your prerogative but we as atheists often treat about christian’s that way. I dont see many atheists de-converting theists by telling them that the god dilemma is binary; that no god exists; and thus, we refuse to aid in the “lie” that is their faith. You will only offend the living hell out of every single churchgoer I’ve ever met and I live in a town with 14 churches in a 5 mile radius and I’m not exaggerating at all. If EJ wants to say they are a girl, if they want to say they are a boy, THAT IS THEIR CHOICE. Do you HAVE to call them by their preferred pronoun? No. If you don’t want to offend them every time you address them then maybe, just maybe, you should speak to them on their terms? Its a matter of respect and a matter of personal identity, and you don’t control other people’s identity.

  54. Muz says

    bluestar If you want all your alts to be addressed as a single entity you just have to say so. ’til then I’m still going to work on the pretense that they’re all different people.
    So, yeah, someone who I quoted was indeed railing against the idea of rules in some special club, while dictating the rules as they see them of some other special club of their imagining. Which makes them a complete clown.
    If you are that complete clown, my congratulations on at least going to college of some sort. I hope you graduated.

    Subsequently I hope you’ll at least be consistent and complain about every little thing said on TAE that isn’t strictly about atheism, in writing and at length. Be specific. Don’t send them until you’ve catalogued each and every one now. Off you pop. Plenty of work to do.

  55. RationalismRules says

    @bluestar/Apache

    Muz- then please explain what the “proper pronouns” for the gender confused have to do with whether or not a G~d exists.

    Waaaaay too late to be trying this argument. If that was your actual point, why didn’t you make if from the beginning?
    Engaging in an argument (even, as in your case, simply through mockery) then turning around and saying “you shouldn’t be arguing about this because it has nothing to do with god” is blatant hypocrisy, and it’s exactly the same behavior as Muz is pointing out in #51.

  56. RationalismRules says

    @Ray Smith
    You frame your argument in terms of ‘truth’, which is a strong approach. The problem is, you haven’t caught up with where the evidence has taken us in the past few decades. Our current understanding of gender and sex is significantly different from the position that you’re arguing.

    If you are genuinely engaged in truth-seeking, new evidence changes your understanding of truth. When the evidence has shown us that our old ideas were wrong, clinging steadfastly to old ‘truth’ is the opposite of skepticism – you are now engaged in believing things against the evidence.

  57. cristina says

    Wow, the first caller really got raked over the coals for referring to someone who looks and sounds like a woman as “she”. He was just trying to compliment the host and the show. Not cool.

  58. Honey Tone says

    Pure hyperbole. He didn’t get raked over anything. They were just letting him know EJ’s preferred pronoun. I have a friend who insists on “ ‘Robert, NOT ‘Bob’ “ as he repeatedly says, so I let people know that if they might talk to him. Same thing here, and the caller took it in that spirit and the hosts even said so.

    As for the gender/pronoun kerfluffle (sp?), back when I got my first job in a professional office in 1979, “Ms.” was not a common title for a woman. After the second time a female client expressed dissatisfaction that I hadn’t used her preferred form of address it occurred to me that making clients happy was in the best interests of the firm and of me, and it cost us not a damn thing other than making a note in a client’s file. Western civilization will survive a change in the number and types of personal pronouns.

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