In case anyone wants to listen, I recorded my interview with Kate Turkington on 702/CapeTalk last night: http://fsi.org.za/FSI_Feb26_02.mp3 (25mb, mp3). Some very, um, interesting SMS’es came in to the show. Like, how can I explain that a body gets cold after death, if not because it’s the soul that has departed.
Thanks for that, I’ll be downloading it tonight.
Well, that’s almost as mysterious as how some bodies with vacant crania appear to remain warm in defiance of all natural law… :
OMG! I’ve been wrong all this time!
I agree that “brights” come across as arrogant and I don’t particularly like the term.
The “you must be so unhappy, I feel sorry for you” and “I will pray for you” responses are standard and actually quite insulting. Many of us were miserable believers and are much happier now. Considering that praying invokes a feeling of false virtue in the prayor* and does nothing for the prayee, it may be regarded as a selfish act.
- misspelt for clarity
Well then you’re just all angry at god and that’s why you say you “don’t believe”. ← This is where that leads.
I usually respond, ‘Now then, time’s a wastin, go…go get praying or should I show you how’ Them praying is only them waisting their time and they usually do not pray for you. Most of them only pray for themselves. ADD: for whatever there laundry list of wishes and wants are.
Excellent interview, Jacques. Exactly the right temperament, I think.
What’s interesting is the recurrence of the same rather limited set of hackneyed arguments from the religious (“Whence comes morality?” “How dare you question my most intimate, defining convictions!?” “You poor, lost soul, I pity you.” “You can’t disprove what I believe! (Ergo, it’s true.)” “You have little to lose, and everything to gain.”) It’s interesting because I can think of three broad reasons that the arguments remain the same, and each is as depressing as the other.
First, it could be a reflection of an intellectual stasis to which the religiously-inclined mind appears to be drawn whenever certain of its ideas are called into question. Second, it could be symptomatic that atheism, as an at least equally rightful and worthy contender in the marketplace of ideas, still has a long way to go in terms of market penetration. And third (and more sinisterly), it may be the cutting edge of a war of attrition: “We’ll just keep on and on and on with this until you simply give up in frustration and despondency.”
None of which detracts from an excellent interview. On the upside, it may encourage other doubters to take a tentative step or two towards voicing their doubts.
I suspect it’s number 2. I think this has everything to do with christians out there thinking we’ve never heard their arguments. Somehow they think just one of their arguments is going to shut us up, simply because almost everyone has never really heard our arguments. I don’t generally expect a christain I come accross to be versed in the finer points of religious debate, I haven’t been pleasantly surprised yet. Even the mensa christians I’ve met give you the most credulous stuff. ex: I don’t understand why atheists make such a fuss, can’t they just shut up? … and so on and so forth…
Thanks for the kind words, all. It really is astounding that they think we’ve never heard these objections before - but also, of course, sometimes saddening that they seem never to have thought them through themselves. Among the slew of (mostly positive) emails I’ve received today, two nutty ones stand out. One, from someone who wanted to send me a book explaining how “self-awareness arise in the torso before migrating behind the eyes”, and the second, from someone who said something like “without the 10 commandments, how could morality exist?” The former of course might simply be (well, is) bad science, but as for the second, I haven’t seen any chimps reading the 10 commandments. But hey, I’m no primatologist - maybe they do.
At least two people commented on how sad and lonely and dark an atheist’s life must be. Friggen weird.
And the comment that Jesus “immunize me against rational thought” is just jaw dropping silly
By the way I’m looking at http://fsi.org.za/ now. Looks good.
a big problem as I see or think it is that an individual is taught ‘the virtue of faith’ from very young. The most insidious of them all is that you can do anything if you just believe in yourself. How can you blame somebody then to imagine a genie in the sky will make their wishes come true.
Actually I wanted to also say you are a very calm character when confronted by all this stuff. Very good interview and well handled responses. Except of course at one point you could barely contain your laughter at one of the questions. I would’ve struggled too.