TGA Podcast: Episode 35

The Good Atheist Podcast is back! After weeks of absence, Ryan has returned from Tennessee just in time for us to do a year in review show! We discuss the high and lowlights of the podcast, as well as talk about Pastor Rick Warren being selected for Obama’s inauguration. It’s 45 minutes of your two favorite atheists doing what they do best: goof around.

Comments (3)

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    Finally! Withdrawal was starting to kick in. I missed you guys.

    As a teenaged British Atheist I have to tell you:
    Not all teenage atheists are assholes. Some of us are atheists because we actually looked at the evidence. Or at least I am. Oh, and not all Brits have poncey English accents. You’re badmouthing all my labels, dudes.

  • avatar


    I just saw this link. It is not on the podcast section.

  • avatar


    Hi there,

    I was just listening to you guys talk about Ryan’s friend who needs help with his addiction but hates AA. As an atheist, I came up hard against this challenge when I finally had to admit that it was time to dry out. I went to an addiction specialist who recommended I attend 12 step meetings. Naturally, I was skeptical, but I would have tried anything. I was immediately repulsed by the religious dogma in AA, as well as the cultish feel of its meetings and followers. I read the passage in The Big Book about atheism and AA, it basically said: if you’re an atheist, don’t worry, we will still accept you because you will grow to believe in god if you are working the steps correctly. I was shocked at how condescending, insulting and unhelpful that book and those meetings were. I even went to the We Agnostics meeting for agnostics and atheists, but those people are worse than the religious AA people because they make absolutely no sense. I heard members say things like, your higher power can be anything you choose, like a table or a nuclear power plant! It was also extremely upsetting to meet people who seemed perfectly nice and normal describe themselves as wretched and powerless without the help of AA. Incidentally, I went home and drank my lights out after that meeting!
    I tried going the secular route by attending SOS (save ourselves) meetings. These were tolerable, maybe even helpful. The group leader turned me on to a workbook called Recovery by Choice which I scribbled in furiously during the first few months of my sobriety. It helped me put things into perspective by organizing my thoughts about what I wanted to change about my life as opposed to working meaningless steps.
    It seems to me that groups like AA take advantage of the vulnerability and shame people feel about their addiction. They try to convince you that you have to accept their ideology or end up dead or in jail. But I am living proof that in order to stay clean, you don’t have to believe that an invisible being hears your prayers. Ultimately, I have stayed sober on the merit of my own will to survive and have good quality of life. I don’t know if I have a disease or not, and frankly it does not matter to me. Taking a drink is a behavior, and I choose to change my behavior by choosing not to drink. I doubt if my approach would work for every person in the whole world, I wouldn’t dare be so arrogant as to say so, but I’m not the strongest person in the world, and I managed to pull myself out of a living hell and overcome a serious addiction without God or Bill W. or anyone. If I can do it, I’m sure most people can.

    PS love you, love the show, etc.

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