This blog has been quite for a while, but my podcasting continues, I am still active in atheist / Christian dialogue, but it tends to be in places other than this blog.
Recently I had the opportunity to host two conversations with the apologist Jonathan McLatchie. His media locations are available here:
You can listen to those conversations here:
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.
The blog post can be found here: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2020/05/mclatchie-vs-blais-on-miracles.html
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.
I was inspired to try poetry. Why? Well I did do a lot of it during my teen years, mostly prompted by angst. But this year I had a different motivation.
I heard the apologist Glen Scrivener (https://christthetruth.net/about-2/) deliver his own poem about a fictional conversation with an atheist. You can read it here:
Though I do understand you can watch a delivery on YouTube if you ask google the right question.
My version is a fictional dialog with a Christian, written in a similar style to Glen’s. It is currently audio only, you can listen below.
I managed to grab a conversation with Rebekah, The Curious Atheist. I do know that some (most?) of those who follow this blog also follow Rebekah, who started out as the Closet Atheist and then re-branded, for obvious reasons, as the Curious Atheist. I enjoyed the conversation we had and I hope those who follow Rebekah’s blog will too.
You can find Rebekah’s blog here:
Listen to the episode:
Part three of the monster Ask An Atheist Day question show special is now live.
If you want to ask us a question, you can do so using this handy voice link: https://anchor.fm/reasonpress/message
It’s time for another Round Table episode; Andrew and Matthew are joined by Dale and David from the Skeptics and Seekers podcast for another of their regular round tables. This time fielding questions about Easter.
Find out more about Skeptics and Seekers at https://skepticsandseekers.wordpress.com/
There’s going to be a flurry of podcast posts in the upcoming weeks. I have two in the queue waiting for me to hit the publish button, and I have 3 more in the edit process. I never wanted to publish more than one a week, but I don’t think I can avoid it right now. Today is Ask An Atheist Day and I recorded a four hour session answering various questions. Due to the length I have decided to split the recording into three parts, the first hour is available at the link below. The next two parts will follow, plus I have an Easter special episode to publish.
This first part of the Ask An Atheist Day special covers the fire at Notre Dame, deconverting Christians, giving up beliefs, sex and marriage, and monkeys throwing poop! Have a giggle with us.
Another of my podcast episodes has gone live, this time Andrew and I are in discussion with Dale from the Skeptics and Seekers podcast (https://anchor.fm/skeptics-and-seekers)
The conversation is supposed to be about who holds the burden of proof for what, but there is a segment where Andrew and Dale get a little stuck on Bayes, don’t worry though, it doesn’t dominate the episode.
As always, comments and discussion are welcome, or join in at the the Skeptics and Seekers site: https://skepticsandseekers.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/ask-an-atheist-anything-when-does-the-atheist-bear-the-burden-of-proof-dale-guest-stars/
Recently I was a host on the Still Unbelievable! talking about transgender and the church. This episode is responding to an episode of the Unbelievable? podcast on the same subject.
The Transformed document that is referenced in the episode is found here: https://www.eauk.org/resources/what-we-offer/reports/transformed-understanding-transgender-in-a-changing-culture/transformed-the-resource
It’s a shocking document and I recommend reading this critique of it: http://mikehigton.org.uk/a-critique-of-transformed-1/
Ask An Atheist Day is a thing, Apparently, and this year it falls on April 18th.
To support this, the podcast I co host, Ask An Atheist Anything, is going to do a questions episode. In this episode we’ll field a bunch of questions and give brief answers. This will be a change from most episodes where we have tended to focus on a single question.
So, what question would you like to ask an atheist?
Or, if you’re atheist, what question would you like to be asked?
Or, if you’ve seen an interesting question or set of questions elsewhere, paste in the link.
The latest episode of my Ask An Atheist Anything podcast went live over the weekend. Listen to it at the link below or wherever you get your podcasts.
The conversation that Andrew and I have with Ernest is delightful and there is a lot of genuine laughter. Ernest’s enthusiasm for life is infectious and the world does need more people like him.
The blog post that prompted the discussion and eventual recording of the episode is here: https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Unbelievable-blog/How-consciousness-demolished-my-atheism-and-saved-my-faith
Comments are no longer visible or possible on the blog post, which I think is a massive shame. It was only through the ability to comment that I was able to make contact with the author and to organise the live conversation. Shutting down comments kills the ability for dialogue to spread.
I am hopeful that there will be a follow up episode, so any thoughts, feedback, or follow up questions will be welcomed and appreciated.