I’m Looking for Co-Hosts!

I started out with one regular co-host, but it didn’t take very long before he had to move on to other priorities.  So now I really want to continue having these discussions, but don’t have anyone to discuss with.  Here are some examples of topics that I’d like to debate a theist (particularly a Christian) about:

  • The inerrancy and literality of the Bible
  • Should the burden of proof be on theism or atheism?
  • How is the God of the Bible not just a giant jerk?
  • Couldn’t all the positive effects of religion be chalked up to the Placebo Effect?
  • Out of all the denominations or flavors of Christianity, what are the odds that yours is the one that just happens to know exactly how God wants people to live?
  • Is faith or skepticism more virtuous?
  • What’s the point of God having a specific plan for everyone’s life if nobody really knows what it is?
  • Can the limitation of gay rights really be justified without the Bible?
  • In what ways does an actual relationship with God differ from someone who falsely believes they have a relationship with God?
  • Isn’t God really just eternally punishing people for exercising a reasonable amount of rationality and skepticism?
  • Can you really justify torture (as in, the eternal torture of Hell) as ever being a just punishment for anything?
  • Why do Christians become atheists?
  • The top 5 reasons I’m an atheist

(I have more, but those are the ones that I’m best able to encapsulate in a single sentence.)

If you’re a Christian and have strong opinions about any of those topics and believe you can explain them rationally, then I’d like to talk to you.  You can email me at itywpodcast@gmail.com if you’d like to co-host one or more episodes.

While I do currently want the focus to mainly stay on Christianity vs. atheism, I’m also open to discussions of other types.  If you’re from a different religion than Christianity and want to discuss it, I’d be open to considering it (the reason I’m mainly focused on Christianity is because that’s what I was raised in, so it’s the one I’m most familiar with and have the strongest opinions about).  I try to avoid political discussions because those seem to get nasty and polarized pretty quickly.  I do really like comicbooks and geeky subjects, though, and I have some very controversial opinions about those (Jack Kirby and Frank Miller are highly overrated, the Star Trek reboot was terrible, etc.), so if you feel strongly about that field of interest, we could probably find some things to debate about.  Mainly, I just want to continue having good discussions with intelligent people, so if you feel like you can help with that, I’d like to hear from you.

Episode Archive

There are a couple more discussions I had with Mike (my first co-host) that I don’t think are quite ready for prime time, but these are the ones which I feel best exemplify the type of discussion I want the show to be.

Free Will Part 1

We begin the discussion of whether God wanting people to have free will is a sufficient explanation for the problem of evil, and get into a debate about the Garden of Eden.

[audio https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7fJFAWbzkK1LXVMTnc3V3liOUU/view?usp=sharing]

Free Will Part 2

We continue the discussion of free will, and Mike explains his view of the difference between loving God and obeying him.  Near the end, I ask Mike why God doesn’t at least prevent natural disasters.

[audio https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7fJFAWbzkK1UkxDbEs1eEpSQms/view?usp=sharing]

Free Will Part 3

I present a syllogism to argue that, by the Christian belief, God would actually be giving preference to the free will of evil people over innocent people, then we move on to a more philosophical discussion of whether free will even exists at all.

[audio https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7fJFAWbzkK1RVpDdnFxcEE0Y0k/view?usp=sharing]

Personal Experiences

Mike and I both share some of the experiences that led us to the worldviews we have today, and I explain why I sometimes get a little riled in these discussions.

[audio https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7fJFAWbzkK1T3BPMXpweThJQU0/view?usp=sharing]

Introduction and Explanation

I was raised Christian, and I believed and pursued that faith very passionately and sincerely for the first 25 years of my life, but then I started to notice incongruities between what the Bible promised and what I had experienced.  So then I started to look at my beliefs more critically, and what I personally found is that they simply could not hold up to scrutiny.  I am now an atheist, and believe that this is a much more rational way to live.

However, I don’t consider that belief sacrosanct.  When I look back at all the things I took for granted in those 25 years, all the things that I just assumed were true without really questioning them, I’m frankly embarrassed that I approached beliefs (which  governed the way I lived my life), in such an uncritical fashion for so long.  I don’t want to live that way again; I don’t want to say, “well, I’ve examined the evidence, I know what the facts are, I have all the right answers, and now I’m just set for life.”  I want to be constantly reexamining my beliefs and holding whatever I currently believe up to the same scrutiny that caused me to find the explanations of Christianity unsatisfying.

Of course, self-examination is all well and good, but it’s no replacement for constructive criticism.  If I construct an argument, and I look at it and think it’s compelling, it doesn’t really matter until I share it with someone who I know disagrees with me, so they can look at my argument and say, “I disagree with this… I think this is a false premise… I don’t understand how you drew this conclusion…” etc.  I don’t think a person should ever be satisfied with a belief or conclusion until it’s tested by good, strong, dissenting opinion.

So, I started this podcast, with a debate/discussion format presenting both sides (or at least, single representatives of two sides), instead of a person or people on one side of the issue just preaching to the choir.  I want my beliefs to be challenged, I want people to argue that what I believe doesn’t make sense (as long as they accept that I’ll do the same for them).  I never want to just be comfortable in my beliefs or feel like I have all the right answers.  I want to understand what other people believe and why, and whether it holds up to scrutiny (so far, I haven’t found many beliefs that do).

If someone else has a belief that makes more sense than my belief, I want to believe that instead.