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Everything posted by webmdave

  1. In today’s episode of the Atheist Experience, Matt Dillahunty is joined by Jim Barrows. Jim is one of ACA’s own hosts and we are happy to have him today! Welcome back Jim! First up we have Emyn in OH, who is calling in about the Monty Hall problem. Pick a door Jim! Matt is not sure how this ties to atheism and thinks the analogy is untenable. Maybe compose your thoughts in an email? Jeury in NY is up next. He is calling to ask how to deal with conversations when there is no point. Our hosts explain that you need patience and may have to know when to walk away and regroup. Oscar from IN is asking why Matt is an atheist and not agnostic. Matt was a southern baptist and was trying to demonstrate the belief in god and found his way out. There didn’t seem to be a point so on to more callers. Gerard in CT is calling in to challenge Matt on believing as many true things and as few false things as possible. The caller goes on to demonstrate he wants to believe as many true things as possible. Daniel from CA is saying that Christians don’t investigate the bible and points out the bible is a historical text. The hosts flex their Bible knowledge chops to point out it’s not historically accurate. Check out this call for a fun conversation about the Bible and Christians. Alex in VA is up next. His father is dying and although Alex isn't a believer he asks if it's ethical to let his father think he is still a believer. The hosts relate stories of their loved ones and give some great advice in this call. Who is chopping onions in here... Angel in NC has moved in with some atheists and has questions for us today. Angel is questioning her faith and uses a form of Pascal's Wager to stay a believer. A great call destructing Pascal's Wager and "Christianinanity" ensues. Justin in MN says the study of comets disproves evolution. Oh, boy, 12,000 year old comets prove a young earth? The hosts point out Justin is cherry picking data and short period comets aren’t the only types of comets. Mark in RI says you can be justified in believing that a miracle is an explanation for an event. Matt points out that you can’t appeal to the supernatural until it's been found to exist and could have explanatory power. Luke in GA wants to tell us that some people haven't received the holy ghost but anyone can. Apparently you just have to “die unto yourself” and take up a cross. Ugh. And moving on. The last call of the episode, Michael in San Diego, wants to know why they don’t believe in Spinoza's god. Matt points out there is no evidence for it and he doesn't care what Spinoza or Einstein believed. Thanks for tuning in folks! Check out Jim in other ACA shows. See ya next week and wear a dang mask! View the full article
  2. Wrong. If something cannot come from nothing, then your creator god cannot exist, because he must be something. If you say your god has always existed, then I would maintain an eternal universe is a better explanation. In other words, the universe has always existed. Evidence supports my position as we know that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Matter can only be changed from one form to another. Therefore it is apparent that matter has always been in existence in one form or another. There is no evidence that a Hebrew tribal god (or any other god) exists at all.
  3. I disagree with that simplistic definition, but you've deliniated the paramaters of your discussion. I'm out. Have fun.
  4. Who you hire is entirely up to you so long as you aren't obviously discriminating against a people group. However, you are not talking about law, you are talking about how people "feel." Since actions based entirely on people's feelings historically account for all sorts of travesties of justice, I don't assign much value there. Sorry for the interruption. Feel away.
  5. If my speech is not breaking any laws, then if I am fired for excercising my constitutional free speech right on my own time, regardless of my employer's personal opinion on the matter, I would have the right to litigate being fired, unless there is an established company employee policy addressing off-the-clock behavior firmly in place prior to the "offense." That is all there is. The same protection of free speech goes for a protestor caught on camera on her own time screaming at and denigrating a police officer. If fired, the protestor can expect to win in litigation, unless her behavior violated established company policy. Culturally disapproved language, so long as no laws are violated, is not illegal. So long as there are no company policies in place, firing is unlikely to uphold in court. Can certain language be generally considered tasteless? Rude? Course? Unwise? Perhaps. But that doesn't necessarily make it illegal. At least, not yet.
  6. Are we discussing offensive terminology or are we actually discussing socially disapproved terminology? Yelling fire in a theater when there is no fire is illegal. It is inciting panic, which is dangerous to human life. However, in general words are just sounds in the air or symbols on paper (or a screen). Words are neither good nor bad. Words only become approved (non-offensive) or disapproved (offensive) in the judgement of those reading or hearing the words. So, who is the final arbitrator of what words are disapproved versus what is approved? And when and how should such things be policed? Always? Everywhere? No matter the audience? No matter the venue? Is calling an alcoholic an alcoholic in public morally wrong? Is it criminal? Is it immature? Is it perhaps distasteful? How about rude? How about just saying "Wow that's kinda rude, dude, don't you think?" Why moralize it ad nausea? Why try to criminalize it?
  7. @Weezer: So your "biggest dissapointment" with this site is actually your only dissapointment with this site? Not trying to read anything into your comments, just trying to understand the total nature of your complaints, since by your choice of words you appear you may have several complaints. I have no problem with recieving criticisms from anyone, but do appreciate when those criticisms are more clearly delineated. Thanks in advance for your consideration in this matter.
  8. @Weezer: Your comment implies you are harboring more than one disappointment with this site. Would you be so kind as to list every grievance/disappointment you have with this site? Thanks for the input.
  9. Today we’re joined by Justin Looney, who helps the ACA by answering the e-mails you, the fans, send us! After some regular announcements, he offers some tips about e-mailing (or voice mailing) the ACA, its shows, or members. Then off to calls! Our first caller, Michael in Pennsylvania calls in to say he doesn't want to publicly label himself an atheist "because atheism is too close to communism." He won't budge from the position that America is inherently tied to theism due to particular words in its founding documents. David in Mexico City wants to call nature "God" for what he claims are pragmatic reasons when talking to theists. (AKA: It's easier to talk to theists about stuff if you just say you believe in God.) Next up, Steve in Ohio wants to bet $1,000 the following prediction is accurate: Trump will lose the election in November, refuse to give his position over in January, and become a military-backed King of the U.S...We'll see you in January, Steve. Questions...and agreements?! Josh in Israel doesn't buy Matt's claim that Judaism wasn't originally monotheistic, and has to have it explained...and accepts the explanation, seemingly! Yay! Comin' in hot! Chris in Tennessee assumes Matt wants Bibles removed from schools by law, not even realizing Matt actually wants Bibles and comparative religion courses in schools. The hosts also explain to Chris what the separation of church and state issues inside schools are, and what "secularists" want in that regard. Kevin in Oregon calls in to ask about specific comments from Matt about free will. He's quickly hung up on after seemingly refusing to listen. Here's an interesting one: Paulo in Boston has some ideas about why it is that moralities rooted in God belief are so incredibly appealing to people...and the truth is that it removes the thinking and makes morality seem easier to deal with. Our next caller, Cory in New York supposedly has a real reason to call, but immediately shows himself to be dishonest and uninterested in listening. Through that, Matt and Justin STILL try to help him understand...and he just doesn't want to understand. Seemingly questioning believer, Elijah in New Mexico seems to be thinking Christians don't have any hope if the resurrection myth turns up false, or if they stop believing it is true. The answer is a little more complicated than replacing faith with something else, because de-conversion is a hard, complicated process. Our last caller, Tory in Illinois is an "ex-JW" (ex-Jehovah's Witness) who disassociated, which inside of the JW organization means his family is intended to consider him dead. This means Tory may have to accept never speaking to his family again, and the hosts go over some useful resources for Tory and ex-JWs like him. View the full article
  10. That is awesome! Thanks so much for fully revealing your anti-intellectualism. With your beliefs, you would likely have made a wonderful mideavel cleric! Maybe even an Inquisitor! Poor Copernicus and Gallelio. Fortuantely it is the 21st century, so your mideavel beliefs are held by nearly no one. It was fun playing with you, but I will now step away from this conversation. G-bye.
  11. Says the guy who maintains that the entire universe and everything in it magically poofed into existence when a supposedly pre-existing, uncreated Hebrew tribal god burped.
  12. It's mythology, and just like any ancient mythology, it contains no real truth. Mythology just helps simple people living in an ignorant time feel they have some measure of understanding regarding their violent and harsh world. Nowadays trying to use ancient mythology to explain reality is silly.
  13. That Hebrew myths explain absolutely nothing, regardless of your or my ignorance as to exactly how it (nature) all works. Ben Franklin was condemned by the churches of his day for inventing the lightning rod. Why? Because lightning was the power and wrath of God and Franklin was thwarting the will of God. Religion is silly.
  14. Misunderstanding of Hebrew mythology, you mean.
  15. And therefore, "God did it!" Which of course explains nothing any more than the statement "Mother Nature did it." Or "Zeus did it." Or "Allah did it." Or "an elfin magick unicorn did it!" Any apparent survival illogic in the lifecycle of a butterfly argues against "intelligent design" and instead supports the natural process of (mindless) evolution. Lots of species have gone extinct, because natural evolution comes with plenty of variety but no guarantees. The absence of a total and complete knowledge or understanding of anything in nature does not by default prove that Jesus is the incarnate son of Jehovah God. All you demonstrate by your arguments is the unfortunate weakness of current public education.
  16. I enjoy being entertained by fantastic tales as much as anyone. But, a fantastic tale is still just a story. And, there are many tales of people surving all kinds of seemingly impossible senarios. Example: 9/11 WTC survival stories. Nothing supernatural about it.
  17. Religious myths and fables are just myths and fables, nothing more.
  18. The ancient Greek Philosopher Epicurus taught that Atoms were the basic building blocks of all else, and cannot come into existence, but have always existed. Therefore the universe has no beginning, but has always existed, and will always exist. The Catholic Church tried to wipe out these ideas as an eternal universe does not require a creator, it just "is."
  19. Tiffany has so many great insights regarding the impact of Christianity on mental health. I really enjoyed my chat with her! Learn more about Tiffany: http://www.tiffanicappello.com/ View the full article
  20. In today’s episode of the Atheist Experience, Matt Dillahunty is joined by Shannon Q. Shannon is a longtime friend of the ACA and we are glad she is joining us today! Welcome Shannon! First up we have Earl in New York, who has proof of the nephilim (aka giants.) He claims his “evidence” comes from the bible. It could be confirmation bias and very likely internet hoaxes or conspiracy theories. Shannon puts it best: “Advocate for your own understanding. Go and find your sources, seek out the information, do the research.” Will in Washington is up next, claims the ability to perceive beauty is proof and evidence of God. Will sounds a little confused about his thoughts and comes off a bit hostile. Dude, chill and maybe email us! Or not. Victor from New Mexico claims to have had a demon inside him and the only remedy was Jesus. Goes on to say that a lot of this could very well rooted in anger and hatred of others. Shannon gets to the core of his issues. And he hasn’t listened to a word Shannon has said. Sigh. Ivan in Russia is calling in to tell us that he has a message from God. The message is that God loves us, very very very much and God is Love. Also thinks God wanted him to call in to express himself and provide us this message. Shannon breaks it down for him. Joseph from Nova Scotia is wondering if both hosts are materialists. There is some philosophy in this call, listen in and watch Matt flex those amazing philosophical muscles. It’s something to behold, definitely. The last call of the episode, Sy Garte in Maryland, wants to talk about how DNA is a code (aka pseudoscience) and this is the atheist view. He goes on to say that Atheist activists/influencers should use their clout to downplay memes and pseudoscience. Ok, cool, lets add that to their already busy schedules. Thanks for tuning in folks, Shannon Q will be back, yay! Stay safe out there folks, we’ll see you all next week! View the full article
  21. Welcome, @GrandmaDeeDee. I hope you find some inspiration here to assist you in finishimg your novel and hope you also eventually find a path to complete peace of mind for having returned to reason and reality after a lifetime in mental bondage. With respect, @webmdave
  22. In today’s episode of the Atheist Experience, Matt Dillahunty is joined by Lloyd Evans. Welcome back to the co-host chair Lloyd, I quite enjoyed your last appearance on the show and have since added ‘an onslaught of nutters’ to my lexicon. Let’s get to calls. The first caller is Dave in Austria. He would like to invite us to question slavery in a different way, one that shifts the question. Matt has OPINIONS about this. Next up, Sawyer from Australia would like to talk about becoming an atheist activist after leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses. Lloyd has a fantastic perspective and whether this is the right path for him. Kevin in Arizona claims Matt has a flaw in reasoning on whether it was rational to believe in god. He also says essentially god exists beyond our reality. “I have a cognitive bias and I don’t care if it’s flawed or an argument for personal experience.” Sigh. Douglas in Georgia is up next wanting to prove the existence of a soul. He talks about the argument for the existence of a soul and that a soul is possible in a logical sense. Lets see how this plays out... Malcolm is calling from California. He has NEW evidence for the existence of god. Lloyd is skeptical. Malcolm claims: a species that at one time that looked like a snake or eel carries the proof and meaning of god. Oh and pronunciation, linguistics, and patterns! Nathan in Idaho is seeking help, he ran away from his religious home and is concerned about his brother. Lloyd recommends being very cautious about this and to tread lightly with this situation. Next up, condescending Kevin in Oregon has questions about infinity and it sounds like he wants to catch Matt in a conundrum. Good luck with that Kevin. Justin in Minnesota, has the evidence for Demons. It was in Time Magazine! There was a study measuring brain waves and prints. Every individual has a unique brain print under normal circumstances. EXCEPT when they think are possessed. Um, how does this prove the supernatural? Chris in Idaho, there are derivatives of god’s nature all around us, in us, and proves his existence. The problem is that this depends on a belief in god. But we don’t, so how does this work? Why should we believe it? Andy in New Mexico used to be an atheist, did some drugs, and is now a hard solipsist. He also claims to be a deist and possibly believes in all gods because of his experiences on drugs. Carlos in Peru would like to talk about a specific argument they saw in a video. The argument they are wanting to talk about is the argument from contingency. Up next, Sebastian in Belgium. Has noticed himself being more and more of an angry atheist and would like to figure out how to be more calm. Greg in Ohio doesn’t agree with Matt on the general goal of life. What reason do we have that there is any life goal generally? Kim in California would like our opinion on a couple verses talking about the creation of Israel being formed is a prophecy and Damascus is a pile of ruin. Except Israel is not a prophecy and Damascus is a thriving city. That’s our show folks! See you next week! View the full article
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