Skeptics with a K: Episode #024


“Don’t breathe on shit”; “I was addicted to pornography”; “He procured of the Devil a girdle”; “His head was given to a fish”; “The town of Cornwall, in England”; “He has to grow new feet”; “I’m angling for some free Pepsi”

Play

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  1. #1 by Andy on June 17, 2010 - 12:27

    With the revelation that “The Doctor” has a right foot like Fernando Torres, what’s the betting that Mike will soon change his tune and buy a vuvuzela and a poster of LFC to stick on his bedroom wall?

  2. #2 by MogTroc on June 17, 2010 - 14:35

    I am both an atheist and a professional scientist and I still think this is rather pathetic. Maybe you should do something more productive with you time than make fun of theists. Also I think you gloss over the fact that religion, accurate or not, creates a protective blanket from many pervasive behaviours. In terms of mechanisms to promote a “good life” (by Plato’s distinction) its a pretty good one. Congratulations on /spreading the word/ hypocrites.

  3. #3 by Marc on June 18, 2010 - 09:58

    Religion as a mechanism to promote a “good life”???????

    Have you actually read the bible and seeing what an absolute bastard god is? Morality for a good life is certainly not derived from the bible! Religion also provides a nice blanket people can use to justify their actions.

  4. #4 by John on June 18, 2010 - 16:30

    MogTroc : Also I think you gloss over the fact that religion, accurate or not, creates a protective blanket from many pervasive behaviours. In terms of mechanisms to promote a “good life” (by Plato’s distinction) its a pretty good one.

    Hi – ok thats a fairly common view. Leaving aside the question that this means that people should believe in god for reasons that have nothing to do with god let me make a serious reply.

    Are religous people bad by definition? Rather than being a protective blanket against immorality is it immoral by nature? Two mechanisms for that argument.

    1) Religion distorts the basis by which people judge the world and thus leads to false beliefs creating immoral outcomes. Example – Mother Teresa of Calcutta. This was a lady who believed in the nobility of suffering and actively campaigned against birth control or education for women as it may remove them from the troubles that strengthen the ties to god. If thats not enough bear in mind that when getting her nobel prize she claimed that abortion was the biggest threat to world peace (as opposed to say water, land, oil, greed, religion etc)

    2) Religion undermines the basis of morality as i percieve it. Specifically by doing good because god asks it/will reward you for it/ will punish you for failing to do it then it becomes instead of a desire to help a contractual obligation with a payment attached and rather severe penalty clauses. As a buisnessman looking after the sick and elderly i do not see completing a contract even if it helps others as a moral act and the reward is payment for services rendered.

  5. #5 by Robert on June 19, 2010 - 09:47

    Jesus… water sprinter, classic! 😀

  6. #6 by Mike on June 19, 2010 - 19:08

    @MogTroc – I’m not a member of the MSS (I am a regular listener) but your comment seems very strange and I wanted to give my response. I take it you only listened to the first 5 minutes of the podcast, and that this is your first time listening? Because the majority of this episode and the vast majority of other episodes do not focus on making fun of theists. Religion is mentioned surprisingly little on Skeptics with a K.

    In any case your assertion that religion is a way to live a good life is bunk. Take a look at prison statistics across the world and you’ll see that self-professed atheists are very much under-represented, whereas theists are slightly over-represented. Besides that, taking a rational approach to your life is surely a better way of doing it than blindly following the orders of a god that doesn’t exist. Religion skews people’s idea of morality. Look at debates on stem cell research, condoms in Africa, abortion etc. Notice that the sex equality movement, the gay rights movement and the anti-war movements have not been led by religious institutions at all, and in many cases those same religious institutions have acted as a conservative force against such movements. Secular society has pulled religion kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

    Great show guys, keep it up. On the subject of free phone lines, last time I was in the UK, Jaffa Cakes had a jaffaholics anonymous line printed on the side of the box.

  7. #7 by Chris on June 20, 2010 - 05:26

    MogTroc, concern troll is concerned. Personally I enjoyed the bits about the football silliness and the several reminders that Cornwall was a county (which is like a state or province to the rest of us… though in reality, it is more like an American county because our states are more like little countries due to the way our government is set up, which is why there are so many different laws on education, commerce etc — it is a long and convoluted story with lots of debates, one of which involved a civil war).

    And I love the “Book of Facts”, always amusing.

  8. #8 by Scott Miles on June 21, 2010 - 11:42

    I am both a theist and a professional scientist (which I shouldn’t have to mention is far, far better than an amateur one). I am also a super-deep thinker who can drop references to such philosophers as Plato and that other guy who died from the poison or whatever. I’m also several other very grand things that will definitely make this comment seem far more authoritative than just some random idiot on the web passing by.

    And I think this show is GREAT!

    So there you have it. By the power of Appeal to Authority, my comment wins and Skeptics with a K is completely redeemed.

    And by the way, I am completely NOT some guy who is actually an atheist but is pretending to be a theist just so that my comment seems to have greater validity. That would just be pathetic.

  9. #9 by Tony on June 22, 2010 - 17:25

    Mogtroc writes “Also I think you gloss over the fact that religion, accurate or not, creates a protective blanket from many pervasive behaviours”.

    Yes, it provides a blanket of cover for all many of behaviours, such as buggery of children. Quite why you think that this is a good thing, though, I’m not sure.

  10. #10 by John on June 24, 2010 - 11:39

    is this a classic troll behaviour here? I was quite happy to have a debate that may degenerate into a row with mogtroc but instead we get a resounding silence.

    He writes a good reasonable post (disagree with almost all of it but it was well thought out and reasonably presented) but then fails to engage with the feedback.

    Look the chances of anybody changing minds is miniscule but lets at least have the discussion.

  11. #11 by Roger Martin on June 25, 2010 - 19:43

    MogTroc :
    I am both an atheist and a professional scientist and I still think this is rather pathetic. Maybe you should do something more productive with you time than make fun of theists. Also I think you gloss over the fact that religion, accurate or not, creates a protective blanket from many pervasive behaviours. In terms of mechanisms to promote a “good life” (by Plato’s distinction) its a pretty good one. Congratulations on /spreading the word/ hypocrites.

    Yes big up mainstream religion, especially the worlds biggest the Catholic Church!!

    Lets remember the peoples it exterminated in the name of its god and gold in south America.

    Lets remember the Nazi Youth Pope who hid the pedophile priests.

    Lets remember that the Pope (Gods man on Earth lmao) condemns millions to a painful death by HIV/AIDS because he bans condom use (maybe he is harkening back to Nazi genocides of times past…the good old days eh?)

    Lets remember that there is no evidence for god (and as a scientist surely evidence is just a little important to the debate?)

    The Church or Bible is not a moral code but a shield for people to hide behind, usually people who have not actually read it and certainly seem to take no notice of it !! I know a deeply religious person who did not know that ABBA was in the bible lmao

    I think if there were a god he is having a huge laugh at the believers, he has as the head of his biggest following, an ex Nazi, Hitler Youth type, who thinks nothing is wrong with pedophilia, that the church is above the law and that a bit of rubber is counter to gods will….

    If there were a god and it believed in common sense it would welcome skeptics….not the Water Walker believers.

    Jesus the water sprinter…lmao…I had visions of him racing against Donald Campbell at Lake Windemere….

  12. #12 by MarcParis on June 26, 2010 - 13:21

    I want you boys to know that I’ve noticed the lack of “fucks” from Mike, and it’s appreciated. I think most listeners would agree that the podcast is just as good, and much less irritating, without them. Thanks for making this effort to improve an already great product!

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