I gotta be honest. I could have talked about this week’s topic for a lot longer than we did. Our jumping off point was a discussion of a jackass that Molly had as a professor in college. From there, we talked about the idea of aesthetic beauty and what art we all found attractive or interesting.
Of course, given the theme of the podcast, we also talked about whether or not religion could be afforded any intrinsic value because of the art and architecture that has been created in the name of religion.
It is all very philosophical and involves discussions of trips to Europe, artistic styles and even comic books. Have a listen if that is your thing!
Eric Jacobson bid a tidy sum of money at the Fearless launch party for the right to join us this week. He wanted to talk about atheists in politics so that’s exactly what we discussed. Of course we talked about the upcoming votes in the Minnesota House and Senate and perhaps you will enjoy reaching back into history to hear our thoughts about the legislation and the chances for success.
The central question for anyone who is living a godless life is how do we have more impact on the political process as atheists? We didn’t answer that question in the podcast but we hope that by talking about politics, we can convince other godless folk to get involved in politics.
Eric also provides a stunning level of detail about his sandwich. Click here and enjoy!!
I’ll start with the short answer: we aren’t.
Now for the longer answer.
Why is it presumed that if someone chooses to explain what they believe and why that they are smug? I say that I’m an atheist because I think it is tremendously important for other atheists to know that they aren’t the only one and that it is OK to conclude that there is no god. Is that smug?
Is the simple choice to stand up and be counted smug?
No, of course it isn’t.
Now if I go further and say that I believe all religions are equally wrong, have I crossed over into smug territory? Do I sound like I’m saying I’m better than all those religions because I’m so sure I know everything about god (or the non-existence of god)?
Well, no. But I expect I need to go into more detail.
This week features the second episode we were able to record at Skep-Tech this year. We sat down with Zach Weinersmith from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and we talked about censorship. Zach gave a talk about censorship at the conference and his talk served as the springboard for a lot of conversation about when (if ever) censorship might be a good thing.
We were able to record in front of a live audience, which is, for me at least, my favorite way to record the podcast. We managed to get much better sound quality for this one versus our last Skep-Tech panel although I really need to work on getting some better equipment for panels like this. Perhaps there is a rich atheist out here just itching to give a group of godless geeky comedians a thousand dollars for some ace equipment.
But I digress. Zach was a really great guest and I’m very happy with the episode. Make sure you listen to our five questions because we get to work on unlocking the gay agenda! Enjoy!
I’ve come out as being pretty uniformly against organized religion. I thikn it is a tool by which people push their own agenda onto others rather than a pathway to god (if there is one).
That is not the same thing as stating that everyone who adheres to a religion should be killed. Because that, my friends, is crazy talk. That is the sort of thing bigoted, ignorant people say.
We don’t know yet if this bombing was the work of a Muslim extremist (Glenn Beck does) but even if it was, killing all Muslims is not a viable or reasonable solution. It is, in fact, far crazier than the act that just took place.
When you blame millions of people for the act of one, your priorities are seriously messed up.
Note: Reports this morning indicate the suspects were from Chechnya, which is predominantly Muslim. Preliminary evidence suggests they are Muslims. It still means millions of other Muslims had nothing to do with it.
Explain to me how this is less government again?
Now I have to be honest. I think couples who are considering divorce should have a cooling off period. They probably should get couples therapy to see if they can work out whatever differences they have. Unless there is abuse, of course, then I think that the marriage needs to be ended as quickly as possible.
That opinion, by the way, is not shared by the authors of this bill. There is no exception for spouses trying to escape abuse.
No matter what my personal opinions may be, however, I don’t think that the state should be the one that gets to decide when a couple has tried hard enough to keep their marriage together. To be blunt, how the fuck would the state know?
The law in question may even start the clock over if it can be proven the couple has had sex after filing for divorce. So let me get this straight – you want them to make sure they work on their marriage before they call it quits but if, in the natural course of working on their marriage, they have sex, they will get punished by having to remain married longer. The logic is completely idiotic.
Work on your marriage.
NOT THAT WAY!!!!
I’m sorry – now you are going to have to work on the marriage more.
This past weekend, my Geeks Without God compatriots and I were asked to host a panel at the Skep-Tech convention this weekend. Thinking it was cool to be invited as guests to a convention, we happily accepted. We were given an all-star lineup that included Chelsea du Fresne, an evolutionary biologist and one of the convention organizers, Greta Christina, author of “Why are you Atheists so Angry: 99 Things that Piss off the Godless,” Tim Farley, creator of What’s the Harm and Zach Weinersmith, writer and illustrator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
We were a little unsure of what to do for a panel so we decided to just do a talk about skepticism and technology. It was interesting but of course immediately after the panel, I came up with a much better topic! We should have talked about skepticism and entertainment!
I hope they ask us back next year (if there is a next year) so we can do that.
So there were some technical challenges recording on this one. I had to record from a table mic in a gigantic room where the panelists were using microphones. For all the challenges, the sound turned out far better than I feared.
There are a few edits on this one because a few audience members asked fairly long questions and they were too far away from the mic to be understood. I cut a few of those out just to get rid of what was effectively dead air.
So listen if you like! Our panelists were super interesting!
This week, we brought our friend Matt Savelkoul back to the podcast so we could talk about conventions and atheism. We are appearing at the Skep-Tech conference this weekend so the episode works as sort of a set-up for that appearance. Actually, we spend most of the podcast talking about CONvergence because that is the convention all of us know the best. Given the breadth of the topic, it’s pretty amazing that we managed to keep the podcast under one hour.
Matt also gets to ask us five questions because he’s been on the podcast before. I gotta say that I love having return guests because as much as I enjoy our five questions, I enjoy the change up when someone gets to ask their own questions because it’s different every time. I also like spending time talking about what I like. That’s why I’m co-hosting a podcast, I expect.
One final bonus, if you listen to the podcast, you can find out how to win a free copy of Atheist Voices of Minnesota! That’s cool, right?
After we talked to Marc Baker for last week’s episode, we sat down and recorded an episode with our friend Zach Nyhus. Like Marc, Zach is a recovering alcoholic who has found a road to recovery in AA. He’s also an atheist who was put off by how much god there was in the 12 steps. However, he found a solution in a secular AA group.
It makes a great companion piece to last week’s episode but it also stands on its own quite well. For someone who is struggling with addiction but put off by the religious nature of AA, this is a really terrific way to discover what options might be available to you.
Jack Schaap has pled guilty to taking a minor across state lines for the purpose of having sex. He’s not the first middle-aged guy who has shacked up with a teenager who looked up to him.
But I’m sure he’s been preaching about the abomination of homosexuality and possibly fornication and then he seems powerless to control his own lust. He even went so far as to tell his young lover that Jesus wanted them to be together.
I’m sure he’ll blame his behavior on the devil rather than himself. What will never occur to him (or his flock) is to question how a man so in tune with God could succumb to the same base lusts he condemns in other people. I’m sure he prayed to god for the strength to stop cheating on his wife with a child. Why didn’t god stop him? Why did he instead decide that god wanted him to do it?
It’s like the god he believed in didn’t really exist.