Comments

  1. John David Balla says

    Neurological Micro-Catholic: proof that mental masturbation should remain a private affair.

  2. StonedRanger says

    I find the little censored sign over the coke can a bit much and more than a bit distracting. Have matt put a little insulated cover over the can and do away with the little sign or tell him not to put the can logo showing. Back to our regularly scheduled program.

  3. Ronald Kyle says

    Irony of ironies Matt Dillahunty…. for the second caller you very perspicaciously hit it on the nail when you told the caller that holding a god concept as more likely than not is a culturally inculcated fallacy and that the proper logical position to hold is to reject the claims of the existence of a god concept until it is proven.

    However, when it came to Jesus (during the first call), you failed to apply the above correct logic and in fact reversed it and you seem to hold that a historical Jesus ought to be the default position and in fact you went ahead and started maligning (seemingly all) mythicists equating them to conspiracy theorists and kooks.

    There are many mythicists who would make most so called experts in the fairy tales of Christianity look like kindergarteners. And of course there are kooks just like there are kooks in every field especially when it comes to the field of FAIRY TALES …. oops… I meant Biblical studies.

    It is ironic that you cannot overcome your own culturally inculcated fallacious default stance regarding Jesus the same way you have so perspicaciously been able to do for the god concept.

    Furthermore, I am dismayed at hearing people repeating the CLAPTRAP statement that Jesus may have been a peripatetic hoboing Rabbi…. there is ZILTCH possibility that Jesus as described in the New Tall tales could have been a Rabbi…. thus holding that MYTHICAL supposition is entirely fallacious ….and … as you Matt keep saying… it is a supposition pulled out of people’s arses…. with no support whatsoever for it from any possible warping or wringing or writhing of the fictive data given in the fairy tales or any other secondary commentaries about the fairy tales.

    The claims about Jesus in the New Tall tales are not the same as the claims about other humans… unless you CHERRY PICK and apply CIRCULAR UN-REASONING amongst numerous other FALLACIES.

    The claims about Jesus as set down in the fables are more like claims about Hercules and Superman. So if you cherry pick and apply circular reasoning to those characters in the same manner as you do with Jesus, you will end up with a Historical Journalist and a Historical Weight Lifter. In fact, in their case you actually have the data in the fairy tales about them for a basis to fallaciously conclude that, while with Jesus’ fairy tales there is ZILCH data to conclude that he was in any way possible a Rabbi… hoboing one or otherwise.

    In fact the EXACT OPPOSITEE is the case…. Read this verse and think about it…. Deuteronomy 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

    Also consider this verse… Deuteronomy 23:1 He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

    And compare it to the fact that Jesus told his disciples that people who castrate themselves will be more welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven …. Matthew 19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

  4. Paul Stevens says

    I liked Don’s comment about blurred lines between fact and fiction. Society continuously does this especially with children so is it any wonder they grow up confused and unable to tell the difference between truth and dilussion. It also amazes me that educated adults cannot tell the difference between possible and not possible.

  5. Murat says

    @Ronald Kyle
    Accepting the existence of a “historic figure” like Jesus in no way requires us to re-establish how we perceive reality and to move in the light of a malevolent assumption.
    Accepting the existence of a “man-god” called Jesus, on the other hand, would.
    That was the point with Matt’s explanation.
    There is nothing extraordinary with the first claim, which is supported by some evidence, good or bad.
    “Faith” is put on the table when the latter is accepted.

  6. Ronald Kyle says

    @Murat, there are billions of “historic figures” who were not mentioned in “history” who lived and died like sheep. Jesus as mentioned in the New Tall tales is not a human being. He is the illegitimate son of a nasty sky daddy who raped his mother. This is like a plethora of fairy tales told in the milieu of the 1st century and before and after (e.g. Hercules).

    Jesus the protagonist of the New Tall tales is impossible… if one is going to accept that fact but then will turn around and for the sake of cultural indoctrination and social inculcation start cherry picking the fairy tales to strip away the fabulous and ASSUME the mundane and embellish the events to CREATE A NEW mythical narrative that is a BRAND NEW TALL TALE albeit without all the supernatural claptrap, then one is just MASSAGING one’s own WISHFUL THINKING.

    Nevertheless, the result of all the MASSAGING will not result in a “historical Jesus”, but rather a FICTIVE pathetic character that is the PROJECTION of the wishful thinking of the massager.

    Moreover, no amount of massaging will ever result in a peripetatic hoboing “rabbi Jesus” which is the favorite version of the resulting NEW FICTION TALES. People who try to FABRICATE the new “rabbi Jesus” are utterly ignorant of the OLD TALL TALES of Judaism and have no idea what they are talking about. Even with all the whitewashing and sanitization and wringing and warping that one might wish to do to the Jesus fairy tales we have, it is impossible to fabricate a version of the fables which in any possible way could devise a “rabbi Jesus” out of the data we have. On the contrary all the data we have point to the exact opposite.

    By the way… don’t get me wrong, I am not a mythicist. I am neither a historicist nor a mythicist. Since the only thing one conclude about the MYTHICAL illegitimate son of the nasty monstrous deadbeat sky daddy of Judaism, given the fairy tales we have or any of the commentaries about those fairy tales is….. NOTHING….

    In fact if I wanted to go by my own wishful thinking I would love to have a real human behind the fairy tales, because then I can say with all confidence that this human was either a charlatan the likes of David Koresh or a pathetic deluded idiot the likes of all the idiots we see in parks and on street corners of big cities around the world who keep babbling about the nigh end of the world.

    Read this…. http://churchandstate.org.uk/2016/03/50-reasons-to-be-ashamed-and-not-a-fan-of-jesus/

  7. leontiev says

    Ronald Kyle: I am a mythicist, and not a fan of Matt’s line of argument on this subject. But I must point out that many mythicists are wackos (as are many historicists, apologists, atheists, etc). I’m afraid that your method of using LOTS OF CAPS, name calling, and long winded rants are indicative of a certain wackiness and you might want to consider changing you approach if you want to be taken seriously.

  8. Murat says

    This was a fun episode to watch.
    Especially Bernie was great! He reminded me of Karl Pilkington. Matt’s efforts at trying to turn corners with him was a more sincere and wishful version of how Ricky Gervais dealt with Pilkington. There were even South Park kinda moments of silence during those minutes. I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching this clip many times in the future.
    I’d love to watch a whole episode dedicated to various hosts tackling Bernie, back to back, in the spirit of a special.
    The fine mood of the hosts looked very much in line with Christmas spirit, if I may, and the way Matt mentioned Beth signaled things were better on that front of life, which is great.
    One thing Matt and Don missed out on during that talk about Christmas versus other religious “holly-days” was the crucial fact that, Christmas is just 6 days apart from the beginning of the new year. Which is important also for understanding the confusion and/or blend that is common also among nations who are not traditionally associated with Christianity. I grew up decorating smaller versions of that classical Christmas tree, but it was called “the New Year tree” in my times and geography, and it, umm, “functioned” not on December 25th but on December 31st. Had Christmas and New Year been more apart on the calendar, I guess it could have been more like Easter or something – both in Christian-dominant countries and elsewhere! The calendar matters. The calendar rules.
    Matt talked about a ton of weird theologies, and minutes later David mentioned Neurological Micro-Catholicism.
    Each caller had something entertaining to say, be it smart or not, and that added color to the episode.

  9. Ian Butler says

    I agree that Matt was in fine form. He has made it 2 straight shows without telling anyone to fuck off, and it’s not that no one said anything insanely stupid to get frustrated at. I’ve always admired his intelligence, now his humanity is shining through as well. And Don is of course the perfect affable co-host.

  10. Monocle Smile says

    I’m not really sure what’s so objectionable or “inhumane” about telling people to fuck off when they so desperately need to be told to fuck off more frequently.

  11. Ronald Kyle says

    @Monocle “what’s so objectionable”….

    Absolutely nothing… it should be done more often because being civilized and civil with those people is the reason we now have the culmination of Dominionism’s plan for controlling this country. The insidious conversion of this country into a Theocracy is well on the way… Read this:
    https://www.generals.org/rpn/the-seven-mountains/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_theology
    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/it-is-dominion-we-are-after-world-conquest-and-we-must-never-settle-for-anything-less/

  12. Scott Mckane says

    @Monocle “what’s so objectionable”…

    I think it depends on the situation. If the caller him or herself are being extremely obtuse and talking over the hosts and refusing to yield the floor and listen to what’s being explained to them, then they definitely deserve a good “fuck off.” But if the caller is being cordial, but is just confused, then I’d say keep it civil. I work as a 911 dispatcher/call-taker, and I have to say, from my own experience of having to listen to idiots prattle on and on, that the hosts are generally way more patient than I am as a listener to the podcast. Most callers I would have hung up on way early.

  13. Murat says

    Of course it is more than okay to use foul language against people who show up at your door in a condescending manner with the intent of forcing an agenda. They tell you that you’re worthless and despicable for you do not believe in what they do, and this gives you a free pass at swearing the hell out of them.
    What would not be cool or productive is to host a show, to willingly engage with theists over their beliefs, already knowing they have bad reasons to keep them, and then be the side to switch to a less acceptable language.
    I don’t recall many examples of AXP hosts doing such things, not when they are uncalled for. Which is among the reasons I admire them. Even when they sometimes get emotional (for good or bad reasons) they are mature enough to apologize.
    Being civilized and civil with any kind of people is never the reason to have the culmination of Dominionism’s plan for controlling any country, ever. It is a joke in and of itself to think so while being on the side of secular humanism and rationalism.
    On the contrary, it is thanks to Dominionism’s success of mastering better conduct with those out of their circles that they can still, regardless of the mumbo-jumbo they base their actions on, be effective in politics, economy and social structure.
    Rationalism requires us to be grown up not only inside our brains, but also with the way we perform our communicative skills towards others.

  14. Ronald Kyle says

    @Murat ” it is thanks to Dominionism’s success of mastering better conduct with those out of their circles”

    No… it is thanks to them being accomplished trained Liars For Jesus and having had extensive instructions in how to cajole adroitly.

    Do you think it is civil and good conduct for a guy to come on the show and pretend to be an atheist but then tell us a fable about him seeing Jesus and telling him to not touch him because he is sinful and dirty and filthy??

    This accomplished Liar for Jesus managed to get away with having a platform and air time to tell atheists that they are dirty filthy sinners right to their faces. How civil is that? Do you think that this kind of guy deserves to be told to his face that he is a liar and fraud or not?

    I admire the hosts of AXP … all of them… they have amazing patience. I could never muster enough self-control to be able to sit there for minutes listening to Liars For Jesus (or other mythical characters) spewing lies and pretenses and fakery to hawk their myths while deviously insulting atheists and all others who do not subscribe to their fairy tales.

    By the way lying for Jesus is a cherished and long held tradition and some even have made it a fulltime occupation (e.g. dominionists).

    It was started off by the alleged words of the purported Jesus himself in the fairy tales
    ○ Matthew 4:19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

    Jesus even says outright that you can sin for as long as you want and for as much as you want and have as many victims as you want… and when you finally retire from a life of crime you will be more welcome in heaven than 99 innocent souls or even your very own victims (some of whom might be in hell due to not believing in Jesus)…
    ○Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

    Paul dissimulates and hucksters and shysters for Jesus’s sake
    ○ 1 Corinthians 9:20-23 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

    Eusebius, Emperor Constantine’s bishop, legalizes deception for Jesus’ sake
    ○ How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.

    And Martin Luther the founder of Protestantism sanctified lying for Jesus’ sake
    ○ What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.

  15. RationalismRules says

    @Murat

    What would not be cool or productive is to host a show, to willingly engage with theists over their beliefs, already knowing they have bad reasons to keep them, and then be the side to switch to a less acceptable language.

    You don’t appear to have any issue with Matt offending incoming callers by thoroughly and emphatically trashing their deeply-held world views, yet you consider a problem if he uses a ‘naughty word’ they might find offensive. Why would you give this preeminence to words over ideas? And why don’t you extend it to blasphemy, which is certain to offend some viewers/callers?

    There is no universal standard of ‘acceptable language’. Some people hang on to an anachronistic attitude that words referring to bodily functions should remain taboo. Others recognize this as outdated nonsense rooted in superstition and religiosity. I see no reason why Matt or AXP should pander to irrational sanctimoniousness.

  16. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    On the contrary, it is thanks to Dominionism’s success of mastering better conduct with those out of their circles that they can still, regardless of the mumbo-jumbo they base their actions on, be effective in politics, economy and social structure.

    Citation needed.
    They do this by appealing to the lowest common denominator and exaggerating their numbers by screeching louder, which is why “moderate” religious believers don’t do shit to stop the fringe. I seriously doubt that Dominionists and their ilk are successful because of their “conduct.”

  17. Honey Tone says

    On a slightly different tack: I found most of this episode entertaining except as to David (the neurological micro Catholic). Both sides seemed to be talking past each other.

    At 1:45:20, David FINALLY says what his issue is, while Matt and John talk over him: is Catholicism, absorbed during his schooling, “guiding my morality without realizing it”?

    Look, David is definitely partly to blame because, despite his claim to having been a teacher, he couldn’t just state up front what his main point was supposed to be. He was, I think, quite pleased to have come up with his weird self-description, and seemed to find significance in the “smells trigger strong memories” thing, but it was odd hearing him have to explain repeatedly to the hosts that he didn’t care about the existence of a god or whether there was some kind of life after death. The hosts for their part seemed intent on trying to make him care about what they thought were large and important questions (yes, I know, because he called himself a Catholic).

    As far as I could tell, David is essentially an agnostic as to gods, heaven/hell, supernatural stuff, and the rest of that crap. And I understand why the hosts were insisting that him using the term “Catholic” necessarily implies a belief in the Catholic god and the Catholic creed. But, David was concerned about having been unconsciously living out a “Catholic value system,” if you will.

    David, if you’re checking into this blog, as one ex-Catholic (kindergarten through 12th grade, and now in my 60s) to another: don’t be concerned about that moral guidance. The religion may have been with you at all times during the day, but the moral system you have was also formed by and included social and cultural norms from your surrounding community and as well as your post-high school education, experiences and growth. And that Church’s moral system is not “merely” religious and/or biblical; it’s as much informed by the natural world and by the qualities of human beings as any other system. You are not just a product of Catholic religious nurture, but also of your nature and of everything else that has come into your life.

    Proof? Well, for one thing, all the emphasis that Catholics put on God, Jesus, heaven, hell, the sacraments, the infallibility of the Pope, transubstantiation, mortal sin, venial sin – all that junk – apparently means nothing to you. You probably care about moral guidance because you care about your relationship with human beings. No church needed for that, just empathy for your fellow man.

  18. Brenden Varty says

    I agree that Bernie was an exceptionally entertaining caller, and both the hosts seemed to hold their cool with him.

    Regarding Christmas: in a conversation with a well-known local musician (who I am taking classes with), he made the observation that in Western society as a whole, the closest thing we have to a collective folk music tradition that survives in contemporary society is Christmas music. I think he has a point, insomuch as people from different backgrounds are more likely to know the tunes and words to staples such as “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Let it Snow,” and even “Away In a Manger.” When you get a group of people together, they are more likely to be able to songs Christmas together than probably any other ‘genre’.

    While I myself feel the drudgery of hearing these songs every year, I do think that they are at least approaching something close to a folk music tradition. Of course, many carols have their roots in Christianity, but I really don’t see why we can’t enjoy them. There are European folksongs with supernatural themes, so why can’t a secular society appropriate these carols?

  19. jacobfromlost says

    In light of the Affordable Care Act news out of Texas, this seems to be yet another way religion poisons everything. Certain people want the “freedom” not to have health insurance…and also the freedom to have the rest of us pay for it when they get sick. And so many of the “freedom” loving freeloaders also seem to think that if they believe in god/jesus/magic hard enough, A) they might eventually become rich (prosperity gospel), and B) they won’t need health insurance because they won’t get sick in the first place. There is some really weird, insidious, irrational thinking going on here, and I don’t claim to understand all of it, but I do know many of us on the more skeptical side don’t fully appreciate the depth of the irrationality at the heart of this debate. There are literally many millions of people out there who think the world works in such a way that they will never get sick or injured because Jesus. And whenever any of them are proven dramatically wrong by becoming sick or injured, they shrug and expect someone else to pick up the bill. The “personal mandate”, by the way, was originally a REPUBLICAN idea in the vein of advocating for PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Now it’s some kind of liberal plot to steal your freedom to get sick and die. (And the legal logic of striking down the entire law because of the personal mandate–that is now at literally “zero”–boggles my mind. Where we go from here baffles me. We either end up with something that looks very much like the ACA, or we end up with single payer, or we keep ACA and continue tweaking it. NONE of those scenarios seem to be where conservatives want to go, and yet the only places it seems voters would remotely accept at this point.)

  20. Ronald Kyle says

    @jacobfromlost ” the depth of the irrationality at the heart of this debate”….

    Indeed…. however when it comes to the charlatans who run the cults, there is a very discernable “logic” to their insidiousness.

    Churches do not want social programs to be done by anyone other than themselves. The reason behind this is that then they would be able to peddle Jesus with every medicine and soup dish and shoe they give out and inside every school they control.

    Certainly, affordable ubiquitous effective healthcare is antithetical to their insidious schemes aiming at having as many desperate people as possible who need their “charity” laced with Jesus, or as many people as possible who need truckling supplications to Jesus begging for a relief from their chronic sufferings.

  21. Murat says

    @RR

    You don’t appear to have any issue with Matt offending incoming callers by thoroughly and emphatically trashing their deeply-held world views, yet you consider a problem if he uses a ‘naughty word’ they might find offensive. Why would you give this preeminence to words over ideas?

    I don’t. The callers (guests) may do.
    And it is common courtesy to respect such until the respect is no longer mutual. Especially when roles are distributed as guest and host, it is understandable to focus just a tad bit more on the host with regards to conduct (49-51 instead of 50-50 maybe).

    And why don’t you extend it to blasphemy, which is certain to offend some viewers/callers?

    If one is not okay with anything he/she would regard as blasphemy, then one should definitely not call an atheist show to talk about beliefs.
    In such a case, the whole burden rests on the guest.
    You just don’t show up at the door of a nudist club if you are expecting hijab-friendly environments.
    Seems pretty simple to me.

    @MS
    Dominionists try to expand. They do whatever is necessary to lure people into their chambers, so they can recruit even more. Pyramid scheme, in a way. I rarely witness clergymen speaking out to public with the intent of hurting people’s feelings. They eventually do, especially in the case of people who are not likely to join their ranks at all, but the goal is (almost) always to somehow embrace the other side emotionally, to make them feel welcome and valued.
    You can call this tactical indecency. Still, it is more in line with general terms of conduct, and more likely to succeed.
    Atheists have good reasons to be bitter with the social structure, the institutions, the system, etc. This is understandable, normal and (in some cases, like you had once stated yours was) may be effective in causing deconversions.
    But overall, looking at the big picture, I just don’t think some angry people yelling at theists actually can help make a point.
    I’m not suggesting anyone to be artifically sincere (yes, oxymoron intended) or sneaky or something.
    I just liked the vibe of this episode more than that of most others, and it was Ian Butler who agreed by saying Matt did not tell anyone to fuck off, which, yes, was coherent with the point I had made. But, personally speaking, I could still enjoy the vibe if some caller had literally begged to be hung up on and the hosts did so.

    @RK

    Do you think it is civil and good conduct for a guy to come on the show and pretend to be an atheist but then tell us a fable about him seeing Jesus and telling him to not touch him because he is sinful and dirty and filthy??

    I don’t think we can judge mentally unstable people with a ruler of civil behaviors.
    That guy was either a successfull troll, or genuinely baffled by reality. I lean on the latter, in which case there was nothing impolite about him expressing his own twisted perception in a raw, unfiltered manner.
    And I was okay with how he was handled. Maybe they could make more of an emphasis on him probably needing professional help, like Tracie did some months back, when a really unstable-sounding guy was on the line.

  22. jacobfromlost says

    @Ronald Kyle Back in the ’90s, I was in a Star Trek club (yes, I’m one of those). We volunteered in dozens of events in the community, and I can still remember getting stink eyes, grimaces, confusion, and a social cold shoulder whenever we told the religious folks (which was usually all the other groups) we were from the Star Trek club and there to help. Most of the people IN the Star Trek club were religious, but that didn’t seem to matter. I can remember wondering why volunteers at a charity event didn’t seem to want us there helping people in need. Now I think it is exactly for the reasons you say. They think helping people has to be their domain alone, and if others help people simply because they like helping people, it starts to become obvious that magic Jesus isn’t needed…or indeed, that if the only reason you are helping someone is to push Jesus onto them…is that really helping? Selfless? With no strings attached? (And no, we weren’t pushing Star Trek onto anyone, lol.)

  23. says

    It says

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    The Blue Glasses look good!
    .
    Murat I would say was right-on saying

    This was a fun episode to watch.

    Whatever
    @StonedRanger It’s a where’s waldo… Figured it was a game.
    Like the gorilla playing basketball.
    .
    @Honey Tone says

    talking past each other.

    Yea, Almost looked staged.
    .
    I’m waiting to be proved wrong. I think. Maybe… This is my theory 😉
    It surprises me how people can live for so long with fallacious thinking an it not be an impediment. 60 years the ten commandments has been his rule book. The foundation of his thinking was false but his house never fell.
    .
    @Murat

    Bernie was great!

    Bernie for President!

  24. RationalismRules says

    @Murat

    I don’t. The callers (guests) may do.

    You have completely missed the point. You are claiming that AXP hosts should avoid offending through language, but not avoid offending through ideas. By doing so, you are giving preeminence to words over ideas, whether or not you recognize it.
     

    You just don’t show up at the door of a nudist club if you are expecting hijab-friendly environments.
    Seems pretty simple to me.

    I don’t think it is simple to you, because you’re not grasping the point, even in your own analogy.

    In terms of your analogy, what you’re asking the nudist colony to do is to prohibit women from driving cars while the hijab-wearer is present out of ‘common courtesy’ and ‘mutual respect’, while saying it’s fine to parade around naked in front of them. It’s nonsense. Any hijab-wearer who visits a nudist club should be aware that their relative world views are so opposed that it is likely that different ideas of propriety will extend to many areas beyond clothing. If they expect the nudists to conform to all their non-clothing-related ideas about the world, they are ridiculously self-absorbed. As is any caller to AXP who expects that the hosts will bow to their prudishness regarding ‘naughty words’.
     
    I am not denying the value of courtesy. It is important to social function. I would consider it discourteous to use salty language in someone else’s space, if I know they are prudish. But it is equally discourteous for someone to come to my space, where rational thought is valued, and expect me to respect language taboos that have no rational basis, are rooted in superstition and ignorance, reinforce harmful ideas about shame and sexual repression, and are strongly allied to religiosity and piousness. Fuck that shit!

  25. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To jacobfromlost
    You mention that many religious people believe that their faith or god or whatever will protect them. Another angle that I think is hugely important is the idea that because god made the world, the world is inherently just, and if you just had more faith, then god would give you what you needed – not necessarily what you asked for, but at least your just rewards. It’s like a Christian analogue of karma. It’s also known as the just world hypothesis.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis

    I think this is one of the biggest threats to modern happiness from the modern Christian right. I think this sort of simply-false idea underlies a lot of opposition to using government to help people in need, because many Christians believe that if someone is need, then it’s fundamentally their fault because the world is just because god answers prayers.

    I think this is more than a mere religious phenomenon too. This false idea also has another name, The American Dream.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream

    See also, George Carlin.

  26. Murat says

    @RR

    But it is equally discourteous for someone to come to my space, where rational thought is valued, and expect me to respect language taboos that have no rational basis, are rooted in superstition and ignorance, reinforce harmful ideas about shame and sexual repression, and are strongly allied to religiosity and piousness.

    There is a rational basis for respecting language taboos if and when the goal is to engage better with the guest in an effort to help them question their beliefs, maybe to the point of deconversion.
    I never claimed AXP hosts should avoid offending through language. I never gave preeminence to words over ideas.
    What I stated was that the show may function better when the conduct is less tense and more cheerful, like it was in this particular episode. Is that mood fully under the control of the hosts? Of course not, and I register that well. An offensive zealot can call them and totally ruin the chance for any good vibes. Not necessarily by using foul language, but by saying so horrible things that could only be answered in legit frustration. I remember one time such a thing happened. Matt and Tracie were hosting, a guy called up to talk about the problem of evil, they engaged for ten minutes or so, and then, when asked how God could justify a little girl being raped, the caller said something about the probability of the girl having done bad things and the rape being the deserved result of something in those lines, and Matt went furious over that, hang up on him and kept swearing, also noting he was a much better Christian than that when he was one. That was well deserved, triggered, etc. It was the proper response to such an evil perspective, regardless of the caller himself using foul language or not. His mind was dirty, visible as hell, so it didn’t matter at all if the dirt reflected on the selection of certain words or not.
    Sure, we all can and do resort to what you call naughty words, and it is pretty much okay among people who bond in one way or the other. But in the case of AXP, the format (for when a theist calls in) is already established on the lack of a bond regarding beliefs. So, given that the goal is to help people be reasonable, hopefully to the point of a deconversion, I don’t see a necessity for experiencing a certain kind of language consistently.
    Of course, it would be a whole other perspective if you argued the show not to have that goal:
    If, for one, AXP is an enjoyable platform to vent, to side with the hosts in their clashes of reason against theists, then, yes, one can like it better to have more tension. To each their own.
    On a slightly different note, there are some contemporary fault lines regarding free speech. People are asking to be addressed by their preferred gender pronouns, which is very understandable. However, once we agree to show respect to others by calling them what they prefer to be called as, and not how we initially perceive them as, then, that leaves little room to a debate on whether we should or should not care about the language as hosts when the guest makes it obvious they might not be okay with certain words. Even Jordan Peterson, who made a name primarily for objecting a (non existent but seemingly probable) regulation on gender pronouns says to accept using their preferred gender pronouns for students out of courtesy, while being on the same with you or me when noting in a legit way that “kindness” is not the foremost thing to care about.
    Anyway, I did like the vibe of this episode more than that of most others. And an argument over how often, when and why language filters should be less of a concern would make sense much more if anyone openly said they enjoyed this one less than others for it particularly had less tense an atmosphere.
    Otherwise, it’ll be like shadow boxing for we have in hand one (in my opinion) good example to what I prefer whereas an example to what others might prefer lacks.

  27. Ronald Kyle says

    @Murat
    I could argue with you about your opinion… but I can see you are not open to changing it… therefore I can only say to you this:

    You do your arguments the way you think you need to do them and if this gets you results then GREAT.

    I am going to do my arguments the way I think they ought to be done… and if that gets me results then great.

    If you fail and I succeed then at least the multifaceted approach worked for the benefit of both of us… if I fail and you succeed then the same.

    If we both succeed than even better… but if we both fail then we may need an even third or forth or fifth or sixth approach.

    So at the very least I hope that you can see that a multifaceted multipronged hetrogenious approach is better and more likely to succeed than a homgenious one.

    So your arguments with other atheists trying to make all of us use your one approach is a SELF-DEFEATING one.

    Some theists may benefit from being confronted aggressively, some may not… some may benefit from the lovey dovey approach some may not…. so you do your way and leave others to do their way.

    Don’t waste your time and our time arguing with us trying to make us do it your way… it is better to spend your time arguing with theists and so is our time better spent to argue with theists OUR WAY than to argue with you about your way or our way being the right one.

    BOTH your way and OTHER ways are valuable since most humans are varied and respond to things differently and if anything is true about humanity is that a variety of approcahes and a variety of things are needed to be more effective in doing anything.

    So as you can see continuing to argue about whether or not we alllllll should be civil and polite is in fact FALSE and pointless and only distracts from the common final aim and that is to direct our efforts at rebutting and belying and proving theism to be a pernicious hoax and fraudulent fleecing of humanity, mentally and economically and sciologically.

    So please stop wasting your time and ours arguing about a menaningless nothing… let the ones who want to use the uncivil approach do it their way and you better go spend your time using your civil approach with theists.

  28. Murat says

    So your arguments with other atheists trying to make all of us use your one approach is…

    I am talking about the approach that I find to work better with AXP. There already are many other shows that use other methods for this or that reasons. I occasionally enjoy them too, but AXP is the one I like and frequent the most, and their preference of conduct is among my reasons for it being so.
    I did not start an argument. I just stated what I liked, which is already a feature for this particular show. If it is something you don’t like, then, you have a problem not with me, but with the show itself, and you should directly express your opinions to them.
    There could’ve been a legit debate going on here had the episode been full of hanging ups, fuck offs, whiplashes etc. and if it were me coming up with a complaint over it being so while you were slow clapping.
    If this were the case, your latest post could have made sense.

  29. Ronald Kyle says

    @jacobfromlost “Now I think it is exactly for the reasons you say”

    Proselytizing is a core tenet of Christianity. What better way to be able to peddle Jesus than to a CAPTIVE audience. Infecting people whose immune system is down and are more vulnerable is a very effective means for spreading the Jesus virus thoroughly.

    And that of course applies to all religions. Sending one’s children to one’s religious schools is a most effective way to inoculate them against other religion viruses …. yeshivas, madrasas, sunday-schools etc. etc.

    But imagine how much more advantageous for a religion it would be if it could usurp the entire school system and hospitals etc. etc…. even more effective is to capture the whole government and judiciary and control the media etc.

    But you do not need to imagine at all… we have this right now in countries like Saudi and in the past the Holy Roman Empire and Church of England and so on and so forth.

    The Christians in America dream of the day when they will have the Theocratic Kingdom Of Jesus established in the USA…. the only lucky thing for us so far is that they cannot agree which version of Jesus should be crowned the king. But it seems that the Evangelical gun-loving, immigrant-hating, corporate-sponsored Jesus who wants to hasten armageddon might win out in the end.

  30. Ronald Kyle says

    @Murat,

    Well, in my case I like BOTH the episodes that have Matt hanging up on idiots and calling them idiots AND the episodes when Stacy is so patient and lets the idiots babble on and on and on while she is so valiantly trying to explain some science to their thick heads.

    I enjoy all the episodes by all the hosts and I learn from ALLLLLLL their approaches and it never occurred to me to argue against the approach of any of them… they are all interesting and as I said, valuable approaches since humanity is a mentally heterogeneous species and thus a variety of approaches are needed for reaching out to anyone.

    But it seems the one who has an issue with all the approaches other than the one YOU like and want to make all do the same thing that YOU like is you.

  31. Ian Butler says

    For the record, it’s not Matt’s use of the word fuck that I find counterproductive, it’s him losing his temper. And it isn’t the callers feelings that I care about, but the listening audience. Human psychology is wired so that we empathize with those who are being attacked, so when Matt loses his temper he loses a good percentage of viewers who might otherwise be persuaded by his intellectual brilliance.

    I’ll admit to a certain amount of satisfaction from watching him go full Dillahunty on some ignorant rube, but if the goal is to sway people out of their ignorance, that’s counterproductive.

    And looking at almost any social media thread (including this one), it is evident that we don’t need more emotionally charged attacks, emotions keep us holding on to irrational beliefs. Matt is one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard with an incredible ability to juggle several concepts at once and never drop a ball. When he is also able to keep his emotions in check he is at his best. I think of him as a teacher, and being a good teacher requires tremendous patience. It seems Matt is in a good space these past few weeks which I hope continues.

    By the way, one of the primary contributors to the toxic environment online is anonymity. To that end I’ve switched from going by Theisntist to my actual name. I know some folks don’t have that luxury in this theist dominated society, but it’s not an issue for me, living in the SF Bay Area.

  32. Ronald Kyle says

    @Ian Butler “Human psychology is wired so that we empathize with those who are being”

    Human psychology is also wired to be idiots and believe all sorts of claptrap and to want a sky daddy and to desire imaginary friends and to be duped and huckstered easily and to belong to cults readily and to be greedy and to be violent.

    So if we are going to cater to irrational human psychology we better not have a discussion at all since the whole point is to adjust the faulty human idiotic psychologies which is going to offend that psychology which you are suggesting is a bad thing.

  33. jacobfromlost says

    @Ronald Kyle ” Infecting people whose immune system is down and are more vulnerable is a very effective means for spreading the Jesus virus thoroughly.”

    I watched the documentary series “Wild Wild Country” on Netflix about the cult in Oregon in the early ’80s (it’s extremely compelling on multiple levels, BTW). Not to spoil it or anything, but (small spoiler) there is a part of the documentary where they bring in homeless people from all over the country to boost their voting block. Ostensibly, their religious practices would transform these people. And for some, it seemed to–simply because they had a welcoming community, stability, food, shelter, etc, and the people giving them these things seemed to care. But for many who had been homeless due to other problems (drugs, mental illness, etc)…the strategy of bringing these people in ultimately backfired. I highly recommend the doc if anyone hasn’t seen it. It’s only 6 episodes, but one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen.

  34. Ian Butler says

    It’s actually kinda comical that innocuous comments like, “I like how Matt didn’t tell anyone to fuck off today” can illicit such a negative response, but that’s (anti) social media for you! Some people just like a fight, whether as a spectator or participant, and that’s okay if you are into that, but if the goal is to make atheism more mainstream, a useful goal is not to come across as an arrogant jerk. There are many studies that have proven how emotionally charged rhetoric only causes people to dig in deeper to their false beliefs. Matt himself has stated many times that he’s going to try to keep his cool, because he knows it’s how he can be most effective. And the same is true of this blog, if you want to dispel negative stereotypes of atheists, it’s not helpful to embody them.

  35. Ronald Kyle says

    @jacobfromlost “documentary series “Wild Wild Country” on Netflix”

    Thanks for that suggestion, I was looking for something useful to watch next. I will be watching it very soon especially to see how the stratagem backfired on them… nice the way you left that cliff-hanger there in the end.

  36. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Now that someone mentioned the Bay area, let me repeat my offer to any regular that if you are in the Bay area, we can meet up and I will buy you sushi or whatever unferior foodstuff of your choice.

  37. indianajones says

    “Human psychology is wired so that we empathize with those who are being attacked,”

    No it isn’t. I cite “History of Humanity”

  38. RationalismRules says

    @Murat
    You can make a rational argument for respecting any code of conduct or belief, however absurd, if your primary goal is to get on with the other person. What I actually said was that there is no rational basis for the taboo itself.
     
    Re: effectiveness of the show: The point has been made numerous times both on the show and on the blog that AXP’s main goal is to reach the viewing audience, rather than to change the mind of any single caller.
    One of the problems in overcoming religious belief is the authority it is accorded. Seeing absurd apologetics treated with utter contempt may be exactly what some ‘doubters’ need to get them past their inculcated respect for religion. Purely on numbers alone, even if this benefits only a tiny number of viewers, that is still more effective than trying to change the entrenched mindset of a single caller.
     
    Re the callers expectation about what they will be challenged on: By this argument, anything that is not faith-based should be avoided, unless the caller specifically called in on that issue. Attitudes to profanity are as related to religion as attitudes to homosexuality (for example), so if a caller expresses disgust at homosexuality, by your logic the hosts should just go along with their attitude.
    Otherwise, you’re special pleading.
     
    Re: this:

    I don’t see a necessity for experiencing a certain kind of language consistently.

    It’s tempting to simply rip you for making a blatant (and absurd) strawman, because of course no one has said anything about it being necessary – it’s clearly a choice, not a necessity. But I recognize this as something other than purely a strawman. It’s the exact same phraseology my mum used to use when she was vehemently opposed to some choice I made, but had no real reasons to back up her objections. “Do you really need to do get your ear pierced?” The implication being that it shouldn’t be done unless it’s necessary. Which is complete nonsense, of course.
     
    Face it Murat, you just have an issue with profanity. At least be honest about it, and stop trying to convince us (and yourself, I suspect) that this is all about the effectiveness of the show. We all hold positions on certain things that are emotional, cultural etc. rather than rational. This happens to be one of yours.

  39. RationalismRules says

    @Murat
    I forgot to address this:

    However, once we agree to show respect to others by calling them what they prefer to be called as, and not how we initially perceive them as, then, that leaves little room to a debate on whether we should or should not care about the language as hosts when the guest makes it obvious they might not be okay with certain words.

    Learn the difference between marginalizing language vs. offensive language. That is all.

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