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About webmdave

  • Birthday 09/02/1958

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    Western Reserve, USA
  • Interests
    Classical and Modern Stoic Philosophy
  • More About Me
    My Testimonial: https://articles.exchristian.net/2002/04/sabbatical-or-my-anti-testimony.php

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Independent Skeptic - no gods

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  1. In today’s episode of the Atheist Experience, Matt Dillahunty is joined by Seth Andrews. Let’s do this thing! First up is Pratyush from Japan who can’t seem to get their story on the show to align with what they told the call screeners. See ya later dude! Next up is John from TX who asks how Atheists have ruled out a supernatural cause of the universe. The caller attempts to cite the laws of thermodynamics as the mechanism that caused the universe while claiming that the laws of the universe do not apply to their God. Up next is Lynn from PA who says that God should be love, but is unable to provide any other properties of this God. Love is great, but the definition of this God doesn’t go anywhere, kind of like this conversation. Next is Jackson from VA who attempts to box all Christians into a box with an improper understanding of what the Bible actually says. Next is Narock from Barbados who believes to know that Jesus actually wrote laws in the Bible because of his background. The reason the hosts are asking questions is because they want you to provide a justification of your beliefs before they accept your claims to be true. Next is Paolo from DC who wants to know why we think God created the universe. Before we can consider God’s purpose, we have to first determine whether belief in a God is warranted. Just because something seems obvious to one person, doesn’t make that person’s assessment true without further investigation and demonstration. Our final caller is Drew from CA who claims that Matt has made false claims about Christianity. The caller then cherry picks irrelevant verses that do not in any way rebut Matt’s previous claims.View the full article
  2. In today’s episode of the Atheist Experience, Matt Dillahunty is joined by Jmike. Let’s get this show rolling! Our first caller is Minh from CA who has a question regarding the usefulness of the burden of proof and if it also can be used as a tool for persuasion. Anyone making a claim has adopted a burden of proof that requires justification. Whether the reasons you provide satisfactory to justify the truth of the claim is a separate issue. Up next is Joel from AL who believes that we become aware in the womb, but that our consciousness also carries forward into future reincarnations once we’re annihilated. Side note, “I looked on the internet” isn’t evidence. Our next caller is Sain from TX who wants to know if Atheists, and more specifically our hosts, hate religion. While there isn’t a blanket sentiment held by the Atheist community towards religion in general, there may be specific statements, beliefs, or agendas that individual atheists may hate and find repugnant. Next is Anthony from FL who is a recent deconvert and is struggling with becoming an out atheist, and the feeling of betrayal rooted in the caller’s lack of acceptance and understanding by their family. Up next is Daniel from NJ who claims that God emanates the reality that creates the present. I have no idea how you’d demonstrate this, but the argument presented in this call certainly isn’t it. Next is Chris from LA who has evidence for God and also believes that Matt is angry with God. The demon he claimed to experience caused his friend to make a loud noise while he was sleeping. Was the demon Belphegor? Our next caller is Said from Morocco who wants to ask our hosts for advice on how to not be an angry atheist. Please don’t lie to the call screeners. Up next on a similar topic is Billy from CA who recognizes that since their deconversion they have become more anti-theistic. Theists are not dumb or smart based solely on their religious beliefs. There are smart theists and dumb atheists, and vice versa. Up next is Guy from GA who claims to have an argument for eternal life. Scientific discoveries happen all the time, but the fact that science discovers new things isn’t an argument for any old claim being true. Our final caller of the evening is Otangelo from Brazil who believes that human language is analogous to genetics and biology. It’s not.View the full article
  3. In today’s episode of the Atheist Experience, Matt Dillahunty is joined by Jim Barrows. Let’s get it started! Our first caller is Mercy from China who believes that the Holy Spirit is real based after they experienced passing out when a priest put their hand on the caller’s forehead. Next up is Enoch from PA who recently became an Atheist and wanted to call back to thank the hosts for helping him through his deconversion. Up next is Calvin from CA who is wondering why God didn’t do more to prove his own existence to the more adamant doubters if his goal was to save them. Thank you for calling Calvin, you're more than welcome to call back anytime. Next is Jan from DE who states that the only explanation for a god’s powers is that the entity in question is utilizing advanced technology. The issue is that there could have been plenty of other explanations for the claimed powers found in stories, specifically plot devices. Claiming that you know the “only explanation” is adopting a burden of proof that you have yet to, and probably won’t satisfy. Up next is Robert from TX who is wondering what led Matt to begin to question his beliefs and start searching for evidence. The caller also claims that God won’t provide evidence for his existence because people don’t really want to believe in him. Next is Eric from CA who confronted his parents about his relatively recent deconversion after being a lifelong theist, and was then told that he “must not have ever been a true believer.” Thank you for your call today Eric. Best of luck! Up next is David from OR who proposes that the resurrection was just a group of people playing along with the crowd, similarly to how we all vaguely remember stories from our past that may not have happened the way we recall them. Next is Zeres from IL who believes the universe is demonstrably finite, but refuses to provide the premises that lead to that conclusion. Premises are not presented using questions. Up next is Sohaib from Canada who claims that there is extra biblical evidence supporting the plagues God imposed on Egypt. The caller then makes the mistake of claiming that there is no other explanation for similar occurrences other than an act of God. Our last caller today is Sam from CA who is wondering what the issues with the deist belief structure is if it doesn’t prevent a person from being a good person or accepting science. The issue is that a deist god is unknowable because it does not interact with the world, so no one could possibly justify it. Critical thinking and teaching a person to be good without the threat of some being watching their every move are much more important than trying to find some hole to stick a god in.View the full article
  4. I just wanted to share an encouraging quote from the TV series "The Innocent" on Netflix. The show has nothing to do with deconversion, but the quote definitely does. I thought you might find it an encouragement in terms of coming from a past you aren't all that happy about (having been a Christian) and looking toward a better, hopeful future. There aren't any spoilers, so I hope you get a chance to watch this show. If you do, let me know what you think of it! steve@vodpodcast.com Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! View the full article
  5. In today’s episode of the Atheist Experience, Dave Warnock is joined by Jenna Belk! Our first caller this afternoon is Chris from ID. They believe that the outcome events, like the creation of the universe, have a predetermined purpose behind it. Next is Hank from TX who is struggling to take the last step towards atheism. They can’t reconcile how our consciousness is possible due to its seemingly non-physical characteristics. Next is Jan from DE who claims that it is impossible to choose a god or philosophy. They also claim that we all believe the same things, and that we only have conflicts over beliefs because people aren’t defining their terms properly. Up next is Chris from CA who claims to be a pure agnostic, but isn’t able to explain how their position on God differs from that of atheism. Next up is once again David from CA who wants to talk about how God has stopped rapes while our hosts have not. You are not welcome back here David. Up next is Eric from GA who shares their experience with AA and the program's claim that you can’t get sober without God. Thank you for calling! Up next is Thomas from OH who claims that because humans carry the image of God, therefore we are gods. Beliefs are not interchangeable with knowledge, they are different terms with different levels of justification required before being used as a label. Our final caller is Robert from TX who claims to have a convincing anecdote that proves God. The caller already held the belief that a god existed prior to the experience, so they credited it to the God despite not having a justifiable reason to believe that one exists.View the full article
  6. In today’s episode of the Atheist Experience, Matt Dillahunty is joined by Hemant Mehta. Our first caller today is Marlon from the Philippines who believes that a local baptist pastor has received divine powers from God because the pastor appeared to spontaneously set his hands on fire with a snap. The “miracles” described by the caller sound a lot like the result of store-bought magic tricks rather than powers derived from a God. Our next caller is Pete from TX who asks if our hosts believe that The Atheist Experience and other online atheist programming provides a measurable benefit to society. Let’s have a strawman party! Up next is David from CA who claims that God cannot be proven through science, but through history and anecdotes. Please answer the questions! Next is Danny from FL who believes he triggered the depression in his girlfriend by converting her to Atheism. It was the conversion to Atheism that caused the depression. It was the realization of the lie that her religion told to her throughout her life. The best thing to do is to show her support, and encourage her to interact with other non-believers so that she knows that she isn’t alone. Next up is Richard from CA who believes that water has a collective consciousness. The caller claims that water molecules react to certain words being placed nearby. Whataboutisming other known pseudosciences is seriously not helping your case, trust me. Next is Mark from CA who claims that anyone who isn’t saved, by having faith in God, is going to hell. How is it possible to demonstrate to another person that you are saved? Next is Sharon from IL who asks why atheists believe that consciousness is merely the product of a material brain. Until such time that it is shown that something other than the material is necessary for consciousness, it is not reasonable to conclude that the immaterial is involved at all. Up next is Leo from WI who believes that it is possible to sell your soul to the devil. How do we know whether someone has actually sold their soul to the devil versus someone who is merely claiming to. Next is Sohaib from Canada who asks our hosts what they think about the Islamic version of hell. If you found out that God didn’t exist, what would you do? Next up is Tanner from UT. They are a former mormon whose father admits that he doesn’t care whether his beliefs are true or not. Our next caller is Brian from NZ who has a question about freewill and God as a puppeteer. There is a difference between having the freedom to make certain choices, and the freedom of choice. Our final caller is William from OH who is asking for advice on how to raise their child while being surrounded by believers. The best thing to do is to encourage your daughter to ask questions about their beliefs and ask her probing questions.View the full article
  7. In today’s episode of The Atheist Experience, our sincerely apologizing Canadian Shannon Q is joined by Jim Barrows! Our first caller tonight is Patrick from FL is a pantheist who believes in a God defined as the universe. The issue here is that the attributes given to this God are so generic that we have no way of even beginning to investigate whether it actually exists or not. The character traits of the God being presented are essentially being used to assert a God into existence. Next is Rafael from PA who lives in an area where many psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists are also practicing scientologists. The caller is concerned about how tied their living situation is to the indoctrinated beliefs and practices of those around them, including medical positions. Up next is Jelmer from the Netherlands who claims that God is paradoxical so therefore God claims aren’t only true or false, but can also be both or neither at the same time. Next up is David from CA who believes they can show that the Big Bang Theory demonstrates pantheism. A kindergarten understanding of physics, the beginning of the universe, and pantheism is just not going to produce a convincing argument. Our final chapter of today’s journey is Kenny from OK. They state that everything that does exist must have an opposite. What is the opposite of sunglasses? What is the opposite of Panda? How does this lead to demonstrating the existence of a god?View the full article
  8. Today we have a special roast of Matt Dillahunty for his 500th episode! We are joined by Viced Rhino who deals with young earth creationism and apologetics on his various platforms. Ulrich from Germany is our first caller who argues that disproving god is better than stating there is a lack of evidence. Claiming god does not exist will carry the burden of proof. There are countless gods to disprove, and nobody has the time for that. Some particular gods may not be disproven. You can’t appeal to a modern English definition to explain how the universe began when responding. Claiming to falsify something that is not falsifiable is a mistake. Mohammad in CA believes in god as a default position. The god claim is not the kind of thing we can just accept as a default. Which god is supposed to be the real god as a default? For any given claim, the default position should be to accept it only when there is sufficient reason. It must first be proven there is a god before assuming a prophet of that god has true prophecies. Believing in things you don’t understand leads to suffering. Jeremiah in AZ agrees that religion screwed up the world after visiting various churches but has also read the bible and as a result, believes god is love. The epiphany you had when reading the bible is flawed. The logical fallacy is when you conclude that your understanding is a correct understanding from god. You can not use an abstract concept such as honesty to define a god into existence. Do you have evidence that proves the existence of your god? Mike in MI tried to prove god by asserting the impossibility of the contrary with a ton of word salad. He has still failed to demonstrate the existence of your god. He was actually able to get it all in before Matt hung up on him. MJ in NY tries to make a case for Judaism by sending an email to the hosts. Go rewind and find the address we already gave you. Daniel in NY is trying to be a good Christian and believes the gospels have been written much earlier than scholars have stated. Why would you call an atheist show to tell us that you disagree with Christians? What the hell are we supposed to do about it? The dates of which the gospels have been written do not prove any of it to be true. Bill in CO used to be an atheist but has come back to Jesus because of claims that Abraham’s children would become numerous as the sand. His descendants are not as numerous as the sand and going with the majority is not a good reason to believe something. Either you believe or you don’t is not a defense to a claim.View the full article
  9. Chelsy's been instructing English as a Second Language (ESL) for 20 years. She's been a full time lecturer at Purdue University since 2014. Currently she's working on her second Master's degree about the experiences of lesbian ex-members of Campus Crusade for Christ. She was raised in a Christian home, but an experience during the summer of her Freshman year in college, begins a series of big changes in her life. Her parents don't respond well. A mission trip to India leads to an epiphany. She is now agnostic/atheist. Chelsy's hobbies include kayaking, playing guitar and drums, rock climbing, traveling and learning languages. Chelsy and her wife recently got married just a few weeks ago! Congrats Chelsy!! View the full article
  10. Welcome to The Atheist Experience! Matt is out sick today, Kenneth Leonard and Dave Warnock stepping up. All our thoughts and, no not that, goes out to Matt. We all hope you feel better. First up, Kameron in MD asks advice on finding a purpose in life after leaving her faith. We atheists have to find or make their own purpose. Atheists aren’t a monolith, we are just people despite our beliefs. Live your life, let people realize that atheists can be good people. Joe in VA asks if there is an objective right or wrong? If we make decisions on actions, we can likely arrive at objective morality. Let’s hear a good moral argument from a theist? We disagree that god is needed for anything moral, atheists can be moral without any god. If theists can’t agree on the character of god, how can that be THE moral grounding? Richard in NV argues that life can’t come from non-life and that if evolution is proven wrong, god is proven by default. Evolution is a mechanism from how we got from point A to B, abiogenesis is a separate field of study. You are shoehorning in god, if evolution is false you still have to prove god. Ahmed in Egypt claims that Allah is evident and the atheist position is untenable. The “look at the trees” argument you use to prove Allah is used by christians to prove their god, nature doesn’t prove god. If we can’t prove something, doesn’t mean you get to insert god there. David in CA argues that proof of Jesus is that he seems omniscient in the bible. You can’t use the bible to prove the bible, we need evidence that demonstrates the claim. If Jesus is an omni god, how can he allow rape and murder? We’re more moral than that god. Jeff in CA is upset that atheists don’t help more in social problems of the world? Some atheists do help, we aren’t a monolith. These examples are broad but there are atheists out there working on these issues. Kenny in OK asks how you quantify “extraordinary evidence”. Evidence just needs to meet the threshold of proving the claim, some claims are pretty extraordinary though. The majority of the people in the world are religious, so what? People believing is ordinary, but Jesus’ resurrection, and lots of other religious claims, is an extraordinary claim. You need to provide better proof than arguments from popularity. Lastly, Peter in TX asks what is the goal of our show? What is our ideal outcome? We promote positive atheism and the separation of religion and government. Atheists aren’t making a claim. We try to help people think critically because we’ve seen religious ideas damage people. Bring the evidence, we haven’t found it yet. Check out more from Dave Warnock at https://daveoutloud.com/ Please stay safe, wear masks, social distance, and get vaccinated. View the full article
  11. Welcome to The Atheist Experience! Today we have Dave Warnock and Matt Dillahunty teaming up to tackle today’s arguments. First up, Xeno in NC is back to present evidence for a deistic god, primarily using reductio ad absurdum argument. If your deistic god doesn’t interact with reality, that means it's not detectable. If we can’t detect that god, it might be true that it exists, but how can you provide evidence of an undetectable god? Lisa in CO finds it atrocious that the bible barely mentions dealing with slaves that are beaten and more for decorating your tabernacle. We agree, the all-wise creator of the universe seems to care more about curtains than owning/beating people. We are glad you are seeing those red flags as the best way to make an atheist is to have them read the bible. Arnie in WA thinks there are preconceived notions that atheists or theists can't seem to get over. We were believers and approached the issue seriously and skeptically. When you make a claim that god exists and is involved with us, you are going to have to present incredible evidence. Why is there any ambiguity regarding god, couldn’t he clear that up? Sarel from Israel is an atheist and asks our opinion on spirituality and fears of falling back into religion. What does spirituality even mean? If you are finding comfort or pleasure in it, enjoy until you are forced to buy into the pseudoscience or woo. There is real benefit in secular meditation and exercise. Jacob in CT argues that god never encouraged slavery. God could have said to not own humans as property but instead chose to give instructions to buy slaves, etc. Why are you defending the bible’s grossly immoral point on slavery? Owning a person as property is wrong in every way. Walter in WA argues that we can’t logically derive moral oughts but we can infer them in a transcendental/objective way. Inferring moral oughts? How is that not just your opinion? You are smuggling in the ought and assuming the goal. You can not derive an ought from an is. Yeah, we don’t need to do homework after proving you wrong. Kenny in OK claims that the miracle Elijah witnessed in the bible addresses the issue of divine hiddenness and that god directs him to passages in the bible. We don’t believe god exists or that he has performed miracles. The issue of divine hiddenness applies to everyone, not just someone in the bible. Go ask god for a passage that will change Matt’s mind. Lastly, Richard in NV wants to talk about what is logically possible and illogical concepts, for example light can’t travel a light year in 6 months. It is 100% correct that if we proved evolution wrong, it would not prove a god exists. All that preamble to say evolution is wrong, therefore god. We aren’t out of the pandemic just yet. Please stay safe, wear masks, social distance, and get vaccinated. View the full article
  12. Welcome to AXP! What’s that sound? Another Canadian invasion you say? Why yes it is, ShannonQ is back on tonight with Matt Dillahunty! First up, Joe in VA complains that Matt is the rudest person he has seen. If a caller refuses to ask a question, isn't that rude to the rest of the callers? Matt isn’t bullying anyone. Arnie in WA claims that claiming bible inerrancy is a form of idolatry because every interpretation is subjective. It’s not idolatry and we don’t care if something is idolatrous. How do you prove someone's interpretation of a passage is wrong? Sounds like you are coming from a place of assuming there is a correct interpretation. Jade in CO has come to realize religion is a placebo and since their cancer diagnosis and grapples with their mortality. You came to all this through a tremendous struggle, thank you for sharing. Knowing our lives are finite grounded us to be more responsible for one's actions. Xeno in NC asks if we are trying to prove god, what god are you rejecting? We’re atheists, we address the god claim the caller makes, our mantra is “what you believe, and why”. So you believe in a god that you can’t define, have fun with your irrationality. John in CT asks how the brain can see, taste, smell, etc. (Error dictating huge flow of science) Nothing about a soul has been proven to be anything other than functions of the brain. Consciousness is pure magic and has its own source?? You say the soul exists but you can damage a brain and change tons about how a person behaves. Samuel in ME argues that Christians are changing their doctrine to make the bible appear moral but slavery is wrong on all counts. We agree there are problems in the bible, this needs to be addressed to Christians though. George in Sweden asks if a god exists with infinite knowledge, wouldn't it have an infinite potential to know what is good and would we follow him? We can’t know if god has infinite knowledge. If the bible is accurate, we want nothing to do with him. Try a new question that doesn’t assume anything about god. Lastly, Penelope in OK updates us on their coming out atheist and their father claims he knows how they became atheist. Sounds like you are doing fine. Keep in mind that this interaction is not going to be like this forever, just be comfortable being you and set healthy boundaries. Please stay safe, wear masks, social distance & get vaccinated. View the full article
  13. Today I speak with Abby. She was adopted from South Korea with her little sister by Christian American Parents. Her early life was marked by abuse and neglect. She was raised in a non-denominational Christian family. Demons and hell cause her nightmares as a child. She makes big life decisions based on her faith. She later has to tell her Christian family that she is getting divorced. When She has to tell them she's an atheist, it doesn't go over well with some. Now Abby is determined to be the kind of parent to her sons that she needed when she was a child. She wants to give them choices. She wants them to feel they have control. She wants them to know that they are their own person and they don't belong to anyone. Abby was delightful to speak with. Her story and courage are so inspirational. I'm grateful she shared her story with us today. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCduezbfGbAZBzS3g5RwvW-g Email: abigailsandoval1011@gmail.com View the full article
  14. Welcome to AXP! Jenna Belk is back in the cohost chair alongside Matt Dillahunty to tackle all the calls. First up, Peter in England argues that convincing people atheism is correct is futile because books like the Bible don’t convince anyone. The Bible does convince people, even today. Some people might not change their mind, but the ACA has absolutely helped people find their way out of religion. Nicole in MD asks why we hate Jesus. We don’t hate something that there is no evidence it even existed, let alone was divine. We can’t tell if your experiences are from Jesus. Until there is evidence there is a god, we won’t believe. Alejandro in CA says atheism is just an opinion. No this is foundational, disbelief is the default until you’re convinced otherwise. We don’t just assume atheism. Convince us of your god or go away. Joe in WI asks how sound is the argument that Abraham made it all up, arguing there was not a monotheistic god until then. It seems it’s more henotheistic is the belief that there are other gods but ours is the greatest one. Michael in MI claims the rich history of theism in the history of western philosophy has been largely ignored. What? DMT? Hallucinogens aren’t a path to truth. Space & time can’t exist outside of the mind? Email us, this isn’t for the show. Sean in FL asks if we disagree there was a 50% chance the universe was created. Yes, but we are not saying it’s more likely than not anything. Why are you shifting the burden of proof? Defend how you can put a probability on god. Manuela in Brazil is frustrated that people don’t question religion more given that religion causes lots of harm. We respect people's right to believe but it is the single most important question. Indoctrination is powerful, some people may not see the harm done and can’t even question it Last caller, Lethe Water noticed recently that prayer never worked for him. The Bible says that 2 or more people gathered will get anything granted. So any 2 theists should get any wish granted. Prayer has done nothing except to make some people, in a study, do worse. If prayer works, why isn’t a god helping? Please stay safe, wear masks, social distance & get vaccinated. View the full article
  15. Welcome to AXP! Matt Dillahunty is joined by our special guest Ian Rowland. Ian is and expert on cold reading and has written several books on the topic. First up, Joey in The UK asks about the basics “building blocks” of reason and how to argue with presuppositionalists. Reason is the tool that we use to evaluate claims and thoughts. It’s tough, Presups tend not to change their mind, they presuppose a necessary thing that grounds all of reality. Xeno in NC argues for the existence of god and claims he gets signals that prove his god. Is there a way for anyone to detect these signals? It’s not the same thing as a blip on a radar, we can demonstrate that. You need to prove these claims rather than trash talk. Cristian in CO claims that the improbability that whatever universe does exist is a life permitting one speaks to design. Is this the reason you believe? Life is inevitable given unlimited attempts. We can think of a better version of this existence and write a better bible, backed by evidence, than this god. Herman in VA if there is no god, how can people not perceive it? It is possible for people to believe things that are not true. We can imagine a winged unicorn horse but it’s not real. Mini in Canada argues for god's existence by refuting darwinian evolution. Evolution is the cornerstone of biology and you could disprove evolution and it wont disprove god. Personal testimony isn’t evidence of God, resurrection, or the supernatural. Stop reading to us on air, we want a conversation. Jules in The UK has seen evidence for god and thinks Matt wouldn’t believe if god came down and revealed himself. No, we have said we would believe but not follow or worship that god. If there is evidence, we would believe. Bibliomancy does not prove god and we can’t believe this wasn’t impactful enough to remember the verse. Tom in MO concluded that something way beyond anything we can understand exists that created this. You can’t just declare something is an indisputable fact. Abiogenesis has been proven to be possible, molecules for life can arise from inorganic material. Please stay safe, wear masks, social distance & get vaccinated. Ian has challenged that next week's callers present arguments in rhyme. View the full article
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