Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Another Goddamned Podcast #20:
June 26, 2008

THIS WEEK - Crabs, Stars, and Richard Dawkins ... Plus EVO SINGS!

The Herd "celebrates" its 20th podcast by talking a little more personally. First we look at how we manifest our atheism in our non-Internet lives. Find out which members of the Herd are surrounded by theists and how we deal with it. What does Philly do when Mrs. Chief dips into the woo? Evo can't resist bringing in a story about woo and evolution. (0:00)

More about spouses. Then we examine whether skeptics can instantly identify like minds. If so, how does our A-dar work? In living our atheist lives, do any of us have a mission? What oral (or other) arguments could be made to us that would sway us to believe in a god? Philly says: "You can't argue something into existence." So what evidence would a theist have to present? Ex takes a break to consult the stars. (20:22)

"God" is the first explanation for a strange event to many people. But, obviously, not for the Herd. In fact, it would be the absolute last. OG would need a trip to heaven supported by scientific observations. What would Richard Dawkins need? More importantly, what would he need to get back to writing about science? We discuss the value of his writing about atheism. Ex and Evo aren't pleased that he's changed his focus. (42:10)

The rest of the Herd chimes in on Dawkins, supporting his work as Atheist-In-Chief. Ex gives Venjanz another chance. Which of us hates sad-eyed fictional bunnies? And stick around for the out-takes: Another Goddamned Dittty. (1:01:59)

Opening Music [00:00]: excerpt from "Another Goddamned Draft"
Bridge Music [18:57]: excerpt from "One of Many"
Bridge Music [41:30]: excerpt from "Highway 45"
Bridge Music [59:18]: excerpt from "The Atheist's Hymn"
Closing Music [1:14:52]: excerpt from "As Jazzy as I Get"
(All music: copyright 2008 by Rachel Murie)

Original audio source


Venjanz said...

Nice motivational comment, Ex. Check your mail, I think I got it.

The Exterminator said...

I had the feeling that a snide dig would do wonders for your puzzling abilities.

Ordinary Girl said...

The sun changes into a big sad bunny face

Umm.. you mean convince me there's a devil?

PhillyChief said...

I'd have to go with none of the above

Spanish Inquisitor said...

I just looked at that graphic again, and realized what the crab meat was from. That just cracked me up, Philly.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the ability to recognise other atheists - you mean to say that none of you know the secret handshake?

I'm not sure I'm as convinced that there's no argument that would convince me of God's existence. FutureWife has repeatedly argued me into changing my position on a number of issues (although she's usually backed her arguments up with evidence, and the debates themselves tend to cover issues like "does yunshui like beetroot?" and "is Harrison Ford past it?"). At the moment I hold to atheism because the arguments in its favour are overwhelmingly superior to those for religion, but I don't discount the possibility that someone, somewhere has a line of reasoning that will convince me to change my position. Otherwise I'm just as guilty of dogma as the Pope himself.

That said, I have heard one hell of a lot of theist arguments, and they've all been a crock of shit, so I'm not expecting to have to change my mind anytime soon.

Love the singing, Evo - you bear a remarkable resemblence to a certain Captain Beefheart... not a clue what the song is, however.

PhillyChief said...

Without evidence, what argument could convince you that something exists?

I wonder if heikegani are good if steamed with beer and covered in Old Bay.

John Evo said...

Yunshui clearly has a fine ear for music. You have to love his taste in the finer things.

Ordinary Girl said...

Evo, I think you met your match.

John Evo said...

OG - I'm not too proud to pay homageto all
of my influences, who have lead to me being the singer I am today. Thank you, everyone!

The Exterminator said...

Here are some other early inspirations for Evo's singing career:

PhillyChief said...

I think Evo should start using Foghorn Leghorn as an avatar.

Oh doo da days

Spanish Inquisitor said...

...or maybe Captain Beefheart?

John Evo said...

SI... keep up with the conversation.

Ex... As you know, I love Camp Town Races. Both of those versions were a little too, uh, nicely done though. And Foghorn Leghorn needs to get off the Skynard wagon and come over here.

The Exterminator said...

Well it would be just like you to turn a light conversation about a cartoon character into a big downer.

I looked and looked and couldn't find a copy of Foggy singing "Camptown Races." Thanks for supplying it.

John Evo said...

Ex said: Evo, Well it would be just like you to turn a light conversation about a cartoon character into a big downer.

Well, gee-wilickers, Mr. Ex... doncha mean, "Polly-Evo"? I only showed the video because ONLY 4 died. It could have been much worse. Must have been one of those governmental restraint things.

Anonymous said...


As an example, I'm reasonably convinced of the existence of dark matter, but the "evidence" for it is little more than logical inference. So I'd consider that an instance of argument convincing me of something's existence. I would re-iterate, though, that I have yet to come across any even slightly plausible theistic argument - all I'm saying is that I don't completely discount the possibility that one might be constructed at some point in the future. Which is pretty damn vague, but there you go...

InTheSkyGirl said...

Hey I think I solved the puzzle too. Check your email Johnny Evo! I know I know, I'm not the first but ah well. Maybe next time.

I agree with the other poster that plausability is sorely lacking in the theistic arguements. I chose the singing bush in the poll but I think perhaps a return of Jesus as depicted in the bible would convince me of the bible's merits. If someone recreated one of the bible miracles I would definitely give it a second thought. Maybe if the faith healers actually healed someone through prayer only (regrown limbs,restored sight for example) would I think there may be something to the claims. Alas I don't think there is much to worry about there.

Even if there is a supreme being, he/she/it has much to answer for and I still don't think that god, as desribed in the bible at least, is worthy of worship anyhow.

Keep up the blasphemy! I'll keep tuning in!

PhillyChief said...

Yunshui, despite never gathering any dark matter, the idea of dark matter came about through observation. There's evidence that something exists, something with mass, and that something gets called dark matter. It's not just some dreamed up concept.

The way I understand it is like when the wife makes you hold her purse and it's unusually heavy. What the hell's in this thing? Well you don't know, but clearly there's something in there because all that I can observe, that being the purse itself, can not possibly account for the weight I'm feeling. Short of opening it, I could shake it around and listen to the contents for clues of what's inside, I could of course eliminate any items larger than the purse (unless it's got some Tardis power), maybe I can even feel through from the outside. Bottom line, I first notice something and then form a hypothesis based on further observation. This is a far cry from facing the fact that you're a man in a crowded store being seen holding a purse and from that arguing that there must be a god and he hates me.

I would agree with you, Intheskygirl. If there is a god, he's got some explaining to do.

Anonymous said...

Fair point. I still stand by my original claim, though. It really boils down to how gullible I am - I did after all spend many years believing there was a god, and then many more years believing I could project mystic forces from my hands and manipulate human "energy fields". Granted, skeptical inquiry soon saw those particular lunacies off, but I fear I am still capable of changing my views in the face of the right argument.

That said, the more I think about it, the more I reckon you're right about the evidence bit. I now find it very hard, indeed I'd go so far as to say impossible, to believe anything without supporting evidence. So an argument for god would have to either be so overwhelmingly logical and thorough as to be far beyond anything I can imagine, or backed up by some fairly hefty stellar rearrangement...

PhillyChief said...

And that's what theists try to do, but it's embarrassingly silly, from the 'look at the trees' comments to the design arguments. Hell, some even point to those images of Jesus in burnt toast or oil stains in the garage as evidence. You simply can't argue something into existence without some evidence.

Anonymous said...

Why does Ex hate Peter Rabbit?

Anonymous said...

Rabbit doesn't taste all that bad, but eating it is sort of like eating spare ribs: a lot of bother for a little bit of meat - not worth the effort after all is said and done.