Mailbag!

Tonight we’re recording the free podcast, and we’ll be doing another mailbag episode. So, if you have questions, comments and issues you’d like us to discuss, then don’t be shy and leave them in the comment section. We start the show at 8pm, which gives you all about 8 hours to figure out what to ask.

Comments (28)

  • avatar

    ABrownLamp

    I’ve seen many believers dismiss the violence and absurd/misogynistic laws in the Bible because much of it was written in the Old Testament; according to them humanity wasn’t ready for the nice God in the New Testament yet. How would you respond to this?

  • avatar

    Darkpassenger

    - Could you talk about Christopher Hitchens and his state of health.

    - How to deal with close friends that are religious and have a mental barrier that blocks logical and critical thinking. Also their inability to comprehend the science they research “with out” the aid of god.

    That’s all I got thanks.

  • avatar

    VanCity Skeptic

    I could not for the life of me figure out why this comment wouldn’t post -twice-, but now I realize it was because I had a few links in it. It probably went to the spam filter.

    So here it is, sans-links.


    This is a long one..

    (short part:)

    What do you think about specifically-secular-based/driven political parties running for government (any level: civic, “state”, country..)? Good? Bad? Totally worth trying? Shouldn’t bother? Are we approaching, or -in-, an age where Secular Parties should be trying to ramp up?

    For example, in Australia they in fact do have an Australian Secular Party: http://www.secular.org.au/ which I believe still remains a fringe group of sorts, but still. It exists, and they are serious about it.

    Currently, a small group of individuals in the Vancouver area are pulling together to try to make a swing at politics with a secular party, which is why this is on my mind.

    —-
    (here’s the long part, can be skipped without losing too much, hah!)

    Other questions along this line that pop into my head: Do you feel (as an opinion) a large amount of Atheists in general may be apathetic toward politics, at least less so than our religious counterparts? While there’s a lot of talk about what atheists do and do not want to see out there [creationism in the classroom, taxation of churches, the 10 commandments hung in public places, that sort of thing], do we really see people trying to make the attempt to stand up for the change they want to see and do the work to fight for it?

    I don’t know if we’re seeing it happening in significant numbers, despite there being a growing population of people who identify as being non-religious. While both the non-religious and the religious can be loud, the religious often seem far more organized toward the purpose of getting their foot into the political spotlight.

    Examples of issues might include the exemption of churches from taxation — something that doesn’t necessarily present itself as beneficial to people outside of an established church, and could potentially be an earnings arena for governments if they -were- collecting taxes on such properties/organizations. This is almost a taboo issue to touch if you think about it.. taxing a church almost strikes even secular people as being sacrilegious, hah. But yet it makes logical sense unless perhaps they are providing a generic social service of a non-religious-nature (of benefit to a broader group of individuals than just “christian” or “jewish” or what have you). But this would be an issue that could be tackled by a more secular-sighted governmental body.

    … I’m ranting now though. But that only means I think it might be an interesting topic ;)

  • avatar

    Rimon

    What are your thoughts on Israel?

  • avatar

    Mctaffity

    Guys, I’d love to hear your opinion on Ray Kurzweil and the Technological Singularity – is it a geek’s religion, or a credible theory?

  • avatar

    Bryan Elliott

    Hey, I left a comment on the “I like being a dick” post that I’d like considered for the mailbag, but I don’t think it’d make sense to repost it here.

  • avatar

    J. N. Hudson

    I’d like to hear you guys tackle this prepackaged pseudo controversy about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” (Which is in fact neither a mosque nor is it located at Ground Zero.) and the fact that there are several media personalities and politicians on both sides of the political divide that support or advocate the outright violation of the US constitutions 1st ammendment by banning the construction of mosques on both local and national levels.

  • avatar

    Dale

    So what does a ‘win’ look like for the Good Atheist? If you have a goal with this enterprise how will you know when you’ve accomplished it? How can we help? I hope the answer isn’t billions of dollars from your patrons.

  • avatar

    jaeger cormack

    What would a community of atheists be like, I find myself only in religionland wherever I go. Are there any atheist places to live or are there just conferences?

  • avatar

    Dayton

    What are your thoughts about qi (or “chi”) and practices like qigong which attempt to control and manipulate it? My understanding is that qigong, like most qi techniques, invoke “the universal energy” for healing purposes. Is there a difference between this invocation and that of the fervent televangelist when he/she “heals” patrons of a church?

  • avatar

    Dayton

    Also, what is your opinion of acupuncture?

  • avatar

    Zombie Jesus

    How poor would you need to be to sell out your swearing for sponsorships? This goes for Ryan too.

  • avatar

    chocobar

    Religious belief doesn’t seem to play a big part in Canadian Poilitics. Do you think it’s because canadians know how to keep it seperate or is the convervative party waiting for a majority to bring on the Xtian policies?

  • avatar

    Grant

    How do you deal with bigotry, Specially in your family and those of whom you respect (or are meant to respect)?

    I personally live in a very religious father and brother, they note everything as gods work, say that god wanted them to do something, and use gods wisdom as an answer to every question that contradicts their belief.

    I deal with it by just avoiding them, that is all I can do, and I will be living with them for at least another 2 years.

  • avatar

    Jake Farr-Wharton

    Hi Jake and Ryan,

    You’ve recently discussed agnosticism. I’d like you to discuss the REAL fence sitters who actively debate their friends and family on matters of philosophy and spirituality, but check themselves off as “christian” at census time.

    Politicians use census results to write business cases, and to appeal to who they believe to be their constituents.
    Cheers

    Jake Farr-Wharton.

  • avatar

    Matt

    Do you ever just feel completely apathetic towards religious nonsense? How do you deal with it?

    My biggest problem is the acceptance of pseudoscience and rejection and mistrust of science and science based medicine. I think it is important to try and advocate for science based medicine and good science when possible (there is a very real danger in their rejection) but so often it feels like you’re talking to a brick wall and it just makes me want to say “fuck it” and leave it.

  • avatar

    Leigh

    Religion is on trial by all the nations of the world, and we’re going to settle this thing once and for all. One person represents religion, one represents atheism. Everyone on earth will accept the result of the trial, decided by a completely impartial judge – we either become an entirely religious or entirely atheist world forever more.

    You, Jake, are making the case for atheism. You can make one statement to convince the world.

    What is your knockdown argument against religion, which will result on a decision in favour of atheism? And what is the one argument religion could make that could win the case for a religious world?

  • avatar

    Banta

    ive just been wondering how jeff gets his hair so sexy like that? ive only seen a few things of it but its so kickass…….please dont judge me!!! Lol sorry this wasnt so serious, but i sorta am.

    P.S.-cant wait to review this episode

  • avatar

    Michael

    I think that it’d be interesting to explore the dynamics between the Christian view of Satanism (Blood sacrifice, Ritualistic murder,slitting of goats throats etc.) with the ideas of Christianity itself. It’s interesting to note that all of these things exist in Christianity and in fact it’s based heavily on similar ideologies.

    Christianity=Satanism+More

  • avatar

    Darryl

    Is it morally acceptable to pretend to be a Christian to get laid?

  • avatar

    Bryan Elliott

    Also, what’s your opinion on nuclear power?

  • avatar

    Razzle

    What’s the minimum that it would take to convince you that there is a God?

  • avatar

    HappyHeretic

    I hate the Catholic Church. Is that ok? How can I move on when my whole family is sucked into this evil institution?

  • avatar

    MDS

    only one good question here, the rest of you suck

    “Is it morally acceptable to pretend to be a Christian to get laid?”

  • avatar

    Vladimir

    If in an environment where being openly atheist is detrimental to one’s career or health… or life… what is the best way to go about, yet not lie about one’s religious affiliation or lack thereof?

  • avatar

    Andrew, Australia

    I’ve only just found you guys and started listening to some of your older podcasts (awesome btw – I’ll be signing up as a Hard Core Atheist this week!) Anyways, listening to some of your diatribes, it sounds like you are saying Jesus never existed (ie, “why do you think nothing was written about him for 60 years”…) I always assumed there was a “Jesus”, but just a normal dude with some radical ideas, certainly not a man-god. Please clarify!

  • avatar

    Razzle

    //I always assumed there was a “Jesus”, but just a normal dude with some radical ideas, certainly not a man-god. Please clarify!//

    The Good Atheist folks say Jesus was a myth, there are a few scholars who agree with that viewpoint, most disagree.

    If Jesus did exist, he wasn’t exactly an average dude of the time, he likely thought of himself as the perfect interpreter of the Jewish Law sent by god to tell everyone that the end was coming within a generation, so they should repent of their sins and keep the Jewish law the way Jesus saw it.

  • avatar

    Marley Marl

    Hope you haven’t recorded the pod cast already.

    Buddhism certainly isn’t as bad as most religions, but they way it’s practiced in Thailand, it’s is just like Christianity-and too does have its scandals. From my understanding, the indian prince Buddha left his worldly possessions and palace and went off in search of enlightenment. He reached that and then people started following him and meditating to reach that enlightenment too.

    My Question:
    1. How would YOU explain to a Thai person, in particular my girlfriend that going to a temple and praying to Buddha for more money and success is ridiculous?

    2. Also how would you explain to her that burning paper houses, money, cars, gold every year to “give” to people who have died is also ridiculous?

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