Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Goddamned Podcast #14:
May 15, 2008

THIS WEEK - Rationalism and Atheism, Cynics and Skeptics ... and a Jesus Cap

SI, thinking about conspiracy theories, brings up the topic of atheism being more about rational thinking than being "against" any particular god. He wonders why we're unable to get that message across to theists. The Herd challenges SI's notion. Can some people be atheists, dislike religion, and yet not necessarily use reason in other parts of their lives? Evo asks, how did atheism start for each of us - as a dismissal of god or as a rational process. (00:00)

We discuss the search for evidentiary enlightenment, regardless whether it's focused on science, politics, or philosophy, and the tendency towards an atheistic world view. What parts do cynicism and skepticism play in the process? (And is there a difference between cynics and skeptics?) (17:46)

Is your atheism part of "who you are"? Do you take any religious statement as an "in your face" attack that demands a response? Ex tells about a Christian who stole some artwork. Why do we think it was a Christian? You'll have to listen and find out! (33:07)

Poll results and a bow to Robert G. Ingersoll. (55:55)

Opening Music [00:00]: excerpt from "Another Goddamned Draft"
Bridge Music [16:48]: excerpt from "Latin Down the Hatches"
Bridge Music [32:47]: excerpt from "Arkansas Traveler"
Bridge Music [54:52]: excerpt from "Swing to the Left"
Closing Music [1:02:26]: excerpt from "As Jazzy as I Get"
(All music: copyright 2008 by Rachel Murie)


Ordinary Girl said...

I was one of the five that voted for Amy Carter.

I grew up with her in the White House. I was a kid like her. I don't think she ever asked to be in the spotlight like she was. I liked that she was independent and was her own person rather than what the media wanted her to be.

Did she speak words of wisdom as that kid? No. But she was a kid who was put in a very public spotlight and refused to play the part she was asked to play.

As an adult she also chose to speak out about human rights. She didn't achieve what she set out to do, but she did bring attention to a matter largely ignored by the press.

So, Ex, what's so bad about Amy Carter?

John Evo said...

I think most of us, including Ex, just had heard so LITTLE about Amy Carter in recent years that it seemed unusual - not that she would get ANY votes - but that she would actually be the vote leader. Ex can correct me if his surprise was for a different reason. I should say it was MY reason. And I think you cleared it up for me.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the pic of the "Atheist A" cap? I want to buy one but I can't find a site that sells them :(

Targetta said...

Great podcast all. Needs an atheist tag on I-tunes, I only stumbled across the podcast googling but didn't find it doing all my normal searches on i-tunes. It is too good a podcast to have people missing it! Keep up the great work.


PS: Jesus hate and "what would Jesus do" shirts give me the shits.

PhillyChief said...

There are efforts afoot to get the podcast to come up in more iTunes searches. "Atheist" was added to the keywords list along with some other words recently. Why it's still not coming up in a search is a mystery to us. I've also added the podcast to a couple more categories.

If there's anyone with experience manipulating iTunes' search engine, let us know. We're currently mystified by it. Words that don't work in power searches do work in general searches, and visa versa. It's like magic or something! Anyway, one way to help is if you post a nice review on iTunes (nudge nudge), and if you add us to your podcast subscriptions, our podcast can show up on other podcast's pages (and visa versa) under that heading "People subscribed to this also subscribe to..."

I don't know if there is an "A" hat or not. I made the hat in Photoshop by doctoring the Jesus hat and slapping an "A" on it. Petition Dawkins' site for a real one. He's the one selling that "A" merchandise. Hey, maybe we can get a kickback for the idea!

Thanks for the comments and congratulations on finding our hard to find podcast. Tell your friends, sneak it on people's ipods when they're not looking, whatever it takes. Ends justify the means you know. ;)

John Evo said...

Targetta, thanks for listening and commenting. And I encourage you to do as Philly said - please leave us a review on iTunes.

Thanks also to "Anonymous". Pick a name - we like to know one anonymous from another. Most of them are asses and you clearly aren't, so pick a name!

The Exterminator said...

So, Ex, what's so bad about Amy Carter?

Nothing's so bad. But nothing's so good. I think if you had lunch with her, you'd be bored shitless. Unless you'd like to discuss her big adult accomplishment, which is illustrating The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer, written by her dad.

Wouldn't you rather have an intelligent conversation with Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg or Ron Reagan?

Venjanz said...

That new Flash graphic at the top of the page is pretty cool... which one of you did it?

PhillyChief said...

That's me, and we're currently troubleshooting it because it doesn't seem to be working in IE. Congratulations for using a proper browser, btw. ;)

Venjanz said...

Nice job man- I need to go back to school.

PhillyChief said...


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Who had the nose picking gene, I think we are related? :)

Great show guys.

I just wanted you to know that I wear a godless cap all the time and my Atheist hoody to work when its cold.

No Christian's come up to me yet.

Red Expendable said...

Thanks for mentioning Ingersoll on the podcast.

Love the show, keep up the good goddamned work! :)

Some suggestions for future topics:

Atheism as a religion - pros and cons. Would it splinter atheists even more? Would it work? I know it's like 'herding cats'. Take a look at the political and social ramifications of making a religion out of atheism. Tax exemptions, the power organization, and putting atheists on a level playing field with religions in the political arena. There's no dogma or creed for atheism but I'm not sure that would be a problem, more like a benefit.

Another topic:
Religion is not the root of all evil, but it seems to be caused human beings ability to believe in just about anything. We can address all the nasty things that religion causes people to do, but don't you guys think that it's belief and credulity in general that creates and let's religion take a hold of a person's brain? Belief in anything can be dangerous, Utopian societies as one example.

Another topic to consider:
Do you think Obama is an atheist?
I mean given his background, and what I've read of him - it looks to me like he's using the church for organizing...as a political tool. I know that politicians do that anyway, but it seems like he is a closet atheist to me. Who else would say something like religion and guns and something that bitter people cling to???
What believer would ever say that?


The Exterminator said...

Thanks for the suggestions. Just the other night I was saying to some friends that Obama seemed too intelligent and sophisticated to be religious.

Re Obama, You might enjoy reading this Slate article by Christopher Hitchens.

Red Expendable said...

Thanks for the linky to the Hitchens article. I can't tell if he was being hostile to Malcolm X and the black power movement in general or not. It appears to me that he doesn't think that any ties to such ideologies and Obama are a bad thing. I guess this would be considered going backward, pre-MLK Jr.

I personally think Malcolm X was a revolutionary and MLK Jr was in bed with the bourgeoisie so to speak. He started to become more radical toward the end. Malcolm X and the Panthers were the vanguard. They created the political space needed to fight the good fight. Nowadays such a movement (in the United States) would probably not be as beneficial. Here's another topic to consider, based off this...

How does religion help or hinder the African-American (or black) community here in the U.S? Wherever you see large communities of black people in the U.S. there seems to be a lack of resources, run-down communities. What role does religion play in this if any? Is there such thing as a rich black community anywhere in the world?


PhillyChief said...

Is there such thing as a rich black community anywhere in the world?
My guess, no. Link

The Obama thing has been something I've wondered secretly myself. Too good to be true. Even so, when we get our President, I want him to get it fair and square, don't you? Having a stealth atheist isn't a win, imo. I want an atheist to win as an atheist, not pretending to be christian.

Atheism as a religion? Are you speaking seriously or as a ploy to simply exploit tax exempt status and begin claiming other forms of specialized treatment (I've seen plenty of street parking laws get ignored on Sundays, even streets closed off and police present to direct traffic)? Smells of ends justify the means to me.

No doubt religious belief makes people gullible.

Nice suggestions

John Evo said...

We SORT OF touched on the issue of atheism as a religion in one of our podcasts, and I think it was #4 where we got into the notion of proselytizing.