Episode 91, Bringing Up Kids When Church Lets You Down. In this episode Andrew and Matthew welcome Bekah McNeel to talk about her book and the deconstruction that prompted it. Bekah is an engaging author and a delightful individual and we both thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. We also highly recommend her book, it is insightful. Towards the end of this episode we touch on Bekah’s next book and we hope to have her back when that is out. In the meantime, if you know someone or you are someone, who can speak authoritatively on gun violence or on abortion and how each are impacted by fundamentalist Christianity, then please get in touch we are actively seeking out guests for both those subjects. Reasonpress@gmail.com
Bringing Up Kids When Church Lets You Down
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To be blunt, I’m unconvinced and less than impressed. The bottom line is, when Christianity tries to argue for the existence of its god, it does so from a position of wishful thinking. Christianity desperately needs to appear reasoned and lacking in superstition, so arguments like that list emerge to try and show that face. Yet, when the bright light of reason does indeed shine on these arguments, what becomes demonstrably clear is that Christian arguments for their god are framed so that they can only conclude in their god and are worded so as to guide only towards the Christian god. It is the perfect example of putting the cart before the horse.
The big thing that is lacking in all these arguments is the test. This is the pinnacle of a reasoned argument. It’s all well and good making a case for something, but if you don’t create a test that will confirm or deny the validity of the idea, then you have only done half a job.
Christian apologetics as a whole is the school of half a job and this list of twenty arguments demonstrates that nicely.
When I started through the list I was hoping that I would be challenged to think deeper about why I rejected my former faith. I hoped that the challenge would stimulate me into having to think about the implications of the arguments and maybe even spend some time reading up on the background to the arguments. I did that a little for some of them, but over all I found that the arguments were light on substance to the point that my biggest challenge was to try to address the points thoughtfully and not resort to a sarcastic dismissal. It’s very possible that I wasn’t as successful on that as others would be.
The most disappointing argument for me was also one of the most popular and widely used, the Kalam Cosmological Argument. It really is a shocker. That intelligent people hold it in high regard demonstrates the wishful thinking element of religion and how far people will go to shore up their beliefs with arguments that have the superficial appearance of rationality.