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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Episode 17: Strong Language and “Nones” on the Rise

Some talk about strong language, some Wait, What? The bulk of the episode consists of us elbowing our way through the findings of a recent Pew Forum study regarding the increase in the proportion of the “nones” – those in the population unaffiliated with religion.

Pew Forum results

“Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. […] It is happening all over again. […] Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.” – Pat Robertson

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What makes bad words bad? Are evangelical Christians a persecuted minority? Is the Pew Forum a pro-religion organization or just an organization that collects data about religion?

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in New Episode, Rants, Wait What?

 

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Episode 16: Shelley Segal Rocks the Studio

We are blessed by the presence of Australian singer/songwriter Shelley Segal: a musically talented rising star in the atheist community. We had a really good time talking about her music and experiences, and she played a yet unreleased song called “My Morality” for us. If you haven’t jammed to her tunes yet, you should give it a listen.

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HTML to your ears:

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Guest, New Episode

 

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Why I’m an Atheist: John H and Paul H

Some really fantastic stories and experiences from our listeners John H. and Paul H. Loved reading them and talking about them. Thanks!

John H:

I think the best place to start is when I was five years old, I was a member of the roman catholic church, and I went to a catholic school. Fairly normal life, however there was a catch, I thought I was psychic (not that I actually knew of that word at the time) I thought that whatever I willed would become true (a sort of self fulfilling prophecy) things were going fairly well with that until I screwed it up and decided I wanted to turn it off somehow, I decided that whatever I willed, the opposite would be true. Well, I realized a it was a paradox and droped it.

Then I learned about prayer, I was told that to talk to god you must start and finish your prayer with the sign of the cross. This quickly became confusing when thought I accidentally forgot to do the sign of the cross at the end, was I still praying? I had no idea, I did the sign repeatedly unsure of wether god was listening in or not. I eventually had to drop the whole concept before I went bonkers.

Fast forward to 6th grade and me learning all about evolution, I loved it, in me awakened an insatiable appetite for science, It made sense and it was beautiful in a way I never thought I could imagine, that summer me and my family went on a trip to the galapagos islands, I had caught bio-fever, I was in love with biology.

The next year (7th grade) I was in history class learning about world religions, when It dawned on me, what I believed is entirely dependent on where I was born. I realized that I belonged to a category I just had learned about in school, I was an atheist, I had no belief in gods at that point in my life. It took me 3 years to come out publicly as one. But now I’m off to college and I couldn’t be more pleased with myself.

Paul H:

I has been raised in a home that vacillated between liberal, non-denominational christian and agnostic. I started going to an Evangelical Church with my friends when I was 16 and pretty quickly wastotally swept up in the whole deal. I felt very firm in my conviction that Christianity was true but have always been an analytical/sciency person and tried to get into apologetics. I felt like Christianity was the right answer to the question “which religion is true”? and the apologetics books I read reinforced that.

But the summer before college I had a job at my local library where an atheist discussion group met. I got into a discussion with one of the members thinking that I coud convert him. I told him my story and that you have to ask yourself “which religion is true?” and that the obvious answer you come to when you look at the evidence is Christianity. Rather than try to knock down my arguments, he pointed out that I was asking the wrong question, and that I should have been asking “which religion is true, if any?” It ocurred to me that not only did I have a poorer undestanding of other religions, but I had formulated the thoughts wrong in my head, egged on by the apologists I was reading, from the start. Of course I was going to thing Christianity won that contest, because that’s what I was surrounded by, and that’s all I had read about. But Christianity didn’t just have to make a better case than other religions, it had to be able to stand on its own merits. That struck with me over the course of my freshmen yar and I slowly started deconverting, and am now a sophomore atheist (striving not to be sophomoric).

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in Why I'm an Atheist

 

Episode 15: Reflections and Listener Feedback

A ghastly hodgepodge of random content. But then again, that’s more or less what we do all the time. Here’s what’s what:

  • Reflect on the episode with Zachary Bos, since Erik didn’t listen to it until now
  • Gabe says the word “articulate” nearly 12 million times
  • Listener questions from John H. (2) and Anton B.
  • Why I’m an Atheist narratives from John H. (1) and Paul H.
  • Alexander gives us the closest thing to hate mail we are yet to receive
  • Wait, What?

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Some fun:

What organizations or entities might the secular community look to for design ideas, if any? How many other listeners are named John H? Have decent questions of your own? Clog up the series of tubes by getting your thoughts and questions into the comment section!

 
 

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