Tracie: it's just not what it seems, and what you've been told though it what you believe is accurate, so the responses that you've been given, because you've been fed those too, this is what the Buddhist believe and this is what's wrong with it, this is what the atheist believes and this is what's wrong with it, the problem is is that's not what the atheist believes, it's a straw-man of what an atheist believes and it's a response that makes the atheist look silly because you were given this silly model of what an atheist actually thinks, and so you think to yourself, "how can an atheist be so stupid?" and I understand that because you're presented with a model of atheism that only an idiot would be an atheist, but that's not what atheists think, and so instead of approaching them assuming that what your preacher told you they believe is what they believe, it's probably better to go to the individual atheist and say, "can you please tell me what you think about god claims," let the person tell you what they think and listen to what they think, don't get what they say into your head and then translate it into what your preacher told you, because that happens too. Listen to what the person tells you, because I guarantee there's an indoctrination filter going on in your head, and if you can't see past it you're never going to have a productive dialog.
So, if I support that X is something I actually would like to demonstrate is true, discrediting, I don't think, makes any sense.
Tracie: and if I hate it, like if I hate God, then I'm not an atheist, and you simply don't understand the term atheist
Tracie: if you're putting forward that atheists hate God, you're either saying that you don't believe the person thinks what they're telling you they think, or you don't know what atheist means, but atheists cannot hate God, it's a nonsensical statement. A person who does not believe in something cannot hate the thing that they don't believe exists. And, now you can hate the concept of it, and what that does to people, just like a person can hate that homeopathy could be harming people without believing that homeopathy actually works. OK, it's harming them by making them not get the treatment that they would normally get. It's not necessarily harming them because water is hurting people. So, if it comes down to an inability to, I guess, understand what the atheist is actually promoting that they think, and you're not willing to actually listen to them, my advice to the atheist is to stop the dialog at that point. You're dealing with somebody that doesn't hear you, that can't hear you, the indoctrination is too deep, and they are not going to ... the dialog can't be productive, I just can't believe that it can, unless they can understand what you're saying. It's sad if you're in a position where you have to point out that not believing in something precludes hating it, it seems silly to have to point it out, and I want to say right now feel free to tell them that they're being silly, because it is so silly that it deserves a reprimand.
And, I was hit, I guess, with the idea that somebody had put forward, the idea that sometimes we question peoples reasons, so a person will put forward something and then they give these reasons that they are sincerely putting forward, and yet you can see that the reason is flawed, and you can point out that the reason is flawed. They were like, don't we do that all the time, for example ... the example that they gave on the blog, it doesn't matter if you agree or disagree with it, it was simply an example that was put forward, was they were saying republicans will put forward trickle down economics, and they will say this is why we shouldn't tax the rich, and they were pointing out that they believe that trickle down economics doesn't work, and so we know that this thing they're putting forward they don't believe. And, I said but we also know that the base thing that they're defending, don't tax the rich, they absolutely do believe. So, it doesn't matter if the apologetics or the reasons you're putting forward are not sincere, that's a different statement, I'm not going to say it doesn't matter if you're sincere, it does, but as far as this dialog is concerned, what I'm talking about is what you're claiming at the base of what you're defending. So, in other words, the republican who says I don't think we should tax the rich, and I don't think we should tax them because I believe in trickle down economics ... even if you could demonstrate that they were absolutely knowingly lying, and they accepted that trickle down economics doesn't work and they were trying to lie to people to avoid taxing the rich, the point is they still believe the rich shouldn't be taxed
Tracie: and, the convoluted reasoning for that is irrelevant to the fact they do believe what they're saying, they believe as far as what they're claiming their goal is, just like the person against homeopathy could have all these weird reasons that somebody thinks they could discredit, but at the end of the day, they still believe homeopathy doesn't work. And, when it comes to theism we do the same sort of thing, I mean, there's a whole lot of theistic arguments that atheists will say this is not a valid argument, and sometimes you can actually get the theist to acknowledge the invalid nature of all of their support, and they get to the bottom of the list and they say it doesn't matter, I still have faith. We've all been there, we've all heard a theist get to that point where they're saying I still believe it anyway, it doesn't matter if my reasons don't hold up. At the end of that, I don't say, "well since you agree that your reasons don't justify the belief, I don't believe you believe it," absolutely I believe they believe it. It doesn't matter if it's unsupported, if they're saying "I still think a god exists" I accept they still think a god exists. I don't tell them they don't believe it because I think their reasoning is just ingenuous, or even erroneous, and so with atheism I expect the same courtesy of somebody saying to me even if you think my reasons for not accepting your claims are not valid in your opinion, or not valid in reality if you think it's demonstrably not valid, to say that I don't actually not believe your claim is ridiculous, it is just ridiculous, there's ... and it's pathetic that it even requires a response. I'm just tired of responding to certain types of stupidity, and this is just one of them, two of them , I guess.
Tracie: and, it looks like we've got some calls
Jen- yep, so why don't we go ahead and go to calls, we've got Mike in Austin you're on the air
Mike: hello, I am from the Austin Stone, I'm sure you know the church
Mike: and I welcome you to join it, we've got a great church, we're pretty much by the book, I've helped many lost souls find their way
Jen: we're not lost, don't have a soul â€¦
Tracie: wait, is this just a call to advertise your church?
Mike: well, I just wanted to start off by welcoming you to join, if you want
Tracie: well, thank you
Mike: it sounds like you don't obviously belong to one now, do you?
Tracie: no, you're right
Jen: you're right, we don't
Tracie: but thank you for the invite
M: but you did, at one time, didn't you?
Tracie: I did
Jen: yes, I did as well
Mike: so, you didn't feel any warmth when you sang the hymns or listened to the sermons or anything?
Tracie: yeah, I did, I did
Jen: yeah, but that has nothing to do with whether the theology is true
Tracie: I came to the conclusion that feelings are not god
Mike: so, why exactly did you quit?
Tracie: well, I quit because I did a lot of research into how the Bible came to exist, and also into church history, how the church came to exist, and when I realized that in my view I couldn't find anything to substantiate that there was a hand of God involved, I began to question the authority of the church and of the Bible, and at that point I stopped being a Christian, but I maintained theism for about another ten years while I searched to try to find out then if the Bible is a man made book, and if the church founded upon Jesus is based on that Bible and is a man made institution then what really is God and what would God want me to do, and so I aimed my search more toward just putting my life in the hands of whatever God was, that he would show me what was required, what I needed to do, just lead the way and I will follow, I'm searching. That went on for about ten years until I came to the conclusion that if God is everything pretty much that's pantheism so I thought I was a pantheist for about a week, I guess I was a pantheist for about a week, and I said this is kind of ridiculous it's the universe, and so we have a name for it and God and matter are not the same thing, material existence is material existence and if that's what I'm calling God then I might as well just say I'm an atheist.
Mike: well, it seems to me that you can be a non-believer, but it's another step if you want to make a show and say you're an atheist and start to say these bitter things
Jen: well, why â€¦
Tracie: what have I said that's bitter?
Jen: yeah, why do you think we're bitter?
Mike: well, I mean, just the general tone I get from you is that you're actually mad or angry with God
Jen: gosh, we just had that conversationâ€¦
Tracie: oh, my goodness, is this a joke? are you a poe? is this a poe or are you for real? are you calling just to pull our legs or is this a serious call?
Mike: this is a serious call â€¦ there's people from my congregation that watch your show and ...
Tracie: OK, so now wait a second, do you understand that an atheist does not believe a god exists? do you understand that?
Mike: â€¦ hold, hold â€¦
Tracie: do you understand that an atheist does not believe a god exists?
Mike: yes â€¦ well, of course ...
Tracie: OK, then do you understand â€¦
Mike: â€¦ I'm not stupid
Tracie: I'm not accusing you of being stupid, I just want to make sure we're clear on our definitions. If you understand I don't believe a god exists, how does the statement "I'm angry at God" make any sense at all?
Mike: well, angry, angry about ... religion then â€¦
Tracie: thank you
Mike: about this so called institution you call it
Tracie: it is an institution, I mean, even if you believe God produced it, It's still an institution, right? â€¦ it's institutionalized
Mike: well, you said yourself that you felt some warmth when you went to church, that it just wasn't for you, but why do you have to make a show and say these things then?
Tracie: did you not hear of the example of the homeopathic remedy? did you hear what I just talked about? If not, I'll be happy to repeat it, I mean, really, if you were on the phone and you were on hold and not really hearing it that's fine. I'll be happy to give you the example again, but the point is I said that there would even be people that don't believe in homeopathy that would write to you and say, "well some people are helped just because they feel better because of a placebo effect, so why are you bitching about homeopathy?" But, the fact is there's a lot of people harmed by homeopathy, and I can't â€¦
Mike: who does the church harm?
Tracie: who does the church harm?
Jen: who does â€¦ are you kidding?
Tracie: we have, first of all, Christians in Nigeria who are killing their own children because God said to not suffer witches to live, and they believe their children are witches. We have Christians in Uganda who are passing laws to â€¦ they wanted to execute homosexuals as a crime, but now they've made it life in prison. We have Christians in Africa that are missioning and telling people in AIDS ridden nations not to wear condoms. We have Christians here in Austin, Texas, who don't think that a woman should have a right to choose, that are down on women's rights. We have Christians across the U.S. who are trying to trample the rights of gays, who are trying to keep them from â€¦
Mike: I personally find it a bit insulting for you to say that my church is bad people, they're good people at my church â€¦
Jen: we didn't say â€¦
Tracie: when did I say that your church is bad people, you asked me to give you examples of the harm that religion causes, and I just listed some â€¦ you asked me to â€¦
Mike: you don't thing there are atheists who do bad things? I could tell you about them how would that make you feel â€¦
Tracie: you didn't â€¦ wait a minute ...
Jen: no, no, no â€¦
Tracie: you didn't ask me to provide examples of that, you asked me specifically for examples of the harm that religion causes, you asked for that and I provided it, how is that offensive to you?
Mike: well, I didn't do anything wrong to anyone, in fact I think I'm a pretty good person â€¦
Jen: no one said you did
Tracie: you didn't ask me to give you examples of wrong you've done, you asked me to give examples of harm that the church has caused, that religion has caused, and I provided those examples. How is that a problem?
Mike: well â€¦
Tracie: why should that offend you? why did you even ask for examples if getting those examples was going to upset you?
Mike: alright then, well, I just â€¦ why don't you just have someone like Dr. Craig on your show? Why do you always beat up on random people who call in, why don't you have some actual
Jen: no, no, no, no, no â€¦
Tracie: who am I beating up?
Jen: no, stop, we're not beating up anybody
Tracie: I'm answering your question
Jen: and listen, there are how ever many religious shows on public access television and network television, and there's this one atheist show here in Austin, Texas. Why should we give airtime to a professional apologist?
Mike: because they're actually educated on the subject ...
Jen: so â€¦
Mike: you'd actually have a challenge, I think you guys are too scared to have serious guys on â€¦
Jen: so, wait a minute, none of us are professional atheists, whatever that would entail, OK. We're inviting people to call and tell us what they believe, why they believe it, and why we should believe it too.
Tracie: right, but the other point, I just want to reiterate what Jen said earlier, because I want to make sure you heard this, there are hours and hours and hours of TV and radio and indoctrinal institutions around the globe going non-stop promoting religious indoctrination and religious belief, and I really think it's ridiculous to get upset at a one hour atheist amateur program that's put out weekly by an educational foundation here in Austin. It's really just about putting out information on atheism, you think that one hour dedicated by a bunch of amateur atheist producers, and cast, and crew is really that intimidating to you?
Mike: it's not intimidating, it certainly bothers people at my church â€¦
Tracie: it certainly bothers you
Jen: it bothers you
Tracie: yeah, but look at all the airtime you've got, I mean, for one billboard we put up in Austin, how many religious billboards do I pass each day?
Mike: well, no wonder we have more shows, we're about ninety-nine percent of the country, really
Jen: no, you're not, no, no, no
Tracie: what is it, like eighty percent religious, and not all of that is Christian, but it wouldn't maker, I don't care. The point is you have all the airtime, all the radio time, and we have a one hour â€¦ you know what it reminds me of, there's a parable actually in your Bible that reminds me of this. It's the one where they give the example of the guy who has like a hundred sheep, and his neighbor has one little pet sheep, and the guy with a hundred sheep goes and steals his neighbors sheep and slaughters it. And it's like, wow, you couldn't really deal with the guy having one sheep? That was like â€¦ freaked you out, that your neighbor had one sheep, even though you had a hundred, and it's like that's kind of what you're doing, you've got like all the airtime, all the TV time, all the money, all the resources, all â€¦ I mean, you've got people handing you ten percent of the tithe, i mean, you've just got them throwing their money at you, and yet this one hour show â€¦ we have no budget, it's like nothing, and we should have Christians on to promote Christianity, really? â€¦ Does that seem reasonable to you, honestly?
Mike: if you want my honest opinion, I think you guys are scared to talk to â€¦
Mike: to talk to serious people about this â€¦
Tracie: are you serious?
Mike: you guys just beat up on some clueless guys, and then â€¦
Tracie: that call us, like the callers, right?
Mike: (couldn't make out what was said)
Tracie: are the clueless ones
Jen: we invite people to call end defend their beliefs
Tracie: anybody can call us
Jen: and anybody can call us, we're on the show every Sunday
Tracie: we let you call, I mean, feel free ... and we're letting you talk about whatever you want
Jen: any of these professional apologists are welcome to call at any time
Mike: well â€¦
Tracie: consider it an invitation