Posts Tagged 'Podcast'

Enlightning Bolts – 03.08.2010

There’s a new podcast and it’s for skeptical parents! I’m not a skeptical parent (yet) but it’s still an interesting podcast: The Podcast Beyond Belief.

One of many sad examples of where failure to immunize kills. On the positive side of things, 85 million African kids will be getting the polio vaccine.

Ouch! The psychic Oscar predictions I posted the other night only guessed 2 correct out of 10 picks. This non-psychic did much better.

This New York Times article highlights some of the abuses of the Church of Scientology, as described by people who escaped the cult.

One of my favourite shows, Community, and one of the few shows that I can think of featuring a positive atheist character (and a female one to boot!) has been picked up for a second season. Watch their reaction to the news here.

Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about how lame hollywood aliens are. Except for the Blob. That one is A-O-K.

The Problem of Evil – Response to Ep. 1 of The Atheists’s Handbook Podcast

The first podcast I listened to in my effort to expose myself to opposing viewpoints was Episode 1 of The Atheist Handbook, by Paul Timothy Davis. This podcast is by a Christian who is countering many of the arguments that atheists give against the existence of the Christian definition of god.

The Problem of Evil is essentially this: how can there be a loving god if there’s so much evil in the world? Davis names some of this evil: school shootings, 9/11, the holocaust, 3rd world countries, the sex slave trade, suicide bombings, scam artists.

My first complaint is that Davis misrepresents the atheist’s position slightly. He says that atheists as how could there be a god if there is so much evil, but really the question is how can there be a loving, omnipotent god.

The Problem of Evil argument isn’t an argument against the existence of any god or gods, it’s an argument agains the Christian definition of god. From this point forward in this post, when I capitalize “God” I’m referring to the Christian god: loving, omniscient, omnipotent.

Davis breaks down the Problem of Evil into four points:
1. Either God doesn’t care, which means he doesn’t love us.
2. God can’t stop evil, which means he’s not all powerful.
3. God created evil, which means he isn’t good.
4. God chooses not to stop evil, which means it’s his fault.

All of these points mesh with my reasoning as to why God cannot exist.

I think it’s important at this point to give Davis’s definition of evil, which he gives later in the podcast: “Evil is a term we use to describe the actions of humans that result in harm or destruction towards things or people.” (For the record, I do not agree with this definition).

This got a bit long, so I split it up…click below to continue reading…

Continue reading ‘The Problem of Evil – Response to Ep. 1 of The Atheists’s Handbook Podcast’

It’s Been a Year Since I Lost My Religion

A year ago today my life began to change in a big way. On October 3, 2008 Bill Maher’s movie about religion, Religulous, was released in Canada. At the time I was a Christian, but I decided to see the movie because I was intrigued by the previews. I had never been exposed to such outright criticism of religion.

I didn’t know who Bill Maher was (honestly…people find this hard to believe), so I didn’t know what to expect. What I saw was a crass, in-your-face dump on faith. But rather than feeling offended I felt inspired by the closing scene of the movie. Maher said:

Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking…keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and distruction.

The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt.

I started to allow myself to doubt my beliefs, and to consider that the Bible was probably just a fairy tale.

A short time after I had seen the movie I was in a book store and noticed Christopher Hitchens’s book God is not Great, and decided to pick it up. By the time I finished reading the book I was an atheist, and wondering how I ever believed in a god in the first place!

I was now very fascinated with the topic of religion, and picked up Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Dawkins introduced me to the world of skepticism of all sorts of beliefs. I discovered that there was a whole online community of skeptics.

I filled up my iPod with podcasts that allow me to learn while I’m working:

The Atheist Experience
The Conspiracy Skeptic
Hunting Humbug 101
Point of Inquiry
The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe
The Skeptic Zone

I also got into reading blogs that kept me up to date on the big stories in the atheist and skeptical communities:

Bad Astronomy
Friendly Atheist

And I’ve been doing my best to get a fairly well-rounded understanding of science. Some of my favourite books:

The Elegant Universe – Brian Greene
Death From the Skies! – Phil Plait
Quirkology – Richard Wiseman
Trick or Treatment – Simon Singh
The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins

I’m being opened up to a whole new, fascinating, mind-boggling, incredible, inconceivable, evidence-based, beautiful and awe-inspiring universe.

It has been quite a year! I’ve been taking in so much information that I needed to start this blog in order to articulate some of my thoughts, and to try to take part in what others in the skeptical community are doing. I’m learning and growing every day, and I can’t wait to see where I’m at in a year’s time.

If any of the people involved in the podcasts, blogs and books I mentioned above happen to stumble upon this blog entry, I just want to say thanks!

I think that the best thing that I’ve learned in the last year is the importance of science. Science is the most useful tool that we have, and I’m excited every time I see someone promoting it to the wider public. It seems to be on the increase and that’s so encouraging.

I’ve rambled on long enough, but I just felt the need to reflect on the past year. Thanks for reading!

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Skeptic North – New Canadian Skeptics Blog

I was very excited to find out that there’s a new skeptical blog on the intertubes, and guess what? All of the contributers are Canadians…Like me!!!

They’re already off to a great start, and by reading about the authors I found out about a podcast I hadn’t heard of, Skeptically Speaking…I am at present enjoying the first episode.

I do have one complaint, however, and that is the lack of prairie contributers. They all appear to live in either Ontario or BC, and one Albertan (okay, that’s kinda prairie).

On a completely unrelated note, here’s a picture of me:


Correction: There are actually 3 Albertan contributers, not just one.

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