Episode 85: 7 Questions for Atheists by Dr Michael Brown
This is Matthew and in this episode of Still Unbelievable! Andrew and I are joined by friends who are repeat guests to answer questions for Atheists by Dr Michael Brown. To see his list of questions, see link 1 in the show notes. As part of our response to the first question, Andrew gives a couple of resources for those struggling with religious issues, these are can be found in Links 2 and 3, link 3 covers most countries around the world, not just the USA. Links 4 and 5 are UK based resources I was able to find.
Also during the discussion Andrew references a discussion with Brian Blais on miracles, that is Epsiode 84, and finally David mentions his Red Letters blog and book, see link 6.
The second conversation was a hosted conversation, where I was not actively engaging with Jonathan, instead I invited a friend of the podcast Brian Blais to have a follow up conversation with Jonathan. More about Brian can be found here:
The second of the podcast conversations has prompted a blog post which I feel the need to respond to. I replied over on the blog itself, but sadly my comment has not (yet) made it through moderation. I have no idea why, it could easily be an oversight.
I shall now respond to the essential points raised in that post:
This wasn’t a debate, it was a conversation. Conversations meander, which is good and I encourage conversations on my podcast for that very reason. Conversations enable free exchange of ideas and foster understanding in a way that debates do not. Debates create a tribalist “my man won” culture. I dislike the debate format for this very reason. I do not host debates on my podcast.
Yes, I was hands off during the discussion (it was not a debate!) , I made my intention clear from my opening remarks. During editing it did become obvious that Brian spoke more than Jonathan, this wasn’t obvious during recording and with hindsight it is something I could have managed better. Though I am not sure it hurt the conversation flow.
I reject the gish gallop suggestion. I host conversations because conversations meander and go places. Conversations are good for this very reason.
If the points Brian brought up for not novel, and there are reasonable responses, how come the points are still barriers to belief? I am happy to host any Christian who wishes to press any point.
I support Brian’s expectation. If testimonial isn’t good enough for you to believe someone was abducted by aliens, then it’s not good enough for me to believe a man rose from the dead 2000 years ago.
Events that don’t meet our understanding of physics require additional support in order to be taken seriously. Complaints that this excludes an person’s precious belief state will not get any sympathy from me. Bring the evidence or go home.