AS26: CJ Werleman and Noah Lugeons, Part 2

CJ, Noah and Thomas continue the discussion of CJ’s contentious article about atheists and Islamic terrorism.  Then, Thomas talks about a segment which was meant to debut in this episode but didn’t. Because of that, he then introduces a replacement segment called “WTF” or something like that.

Article discussed:

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3 thoughts on “AS26: CJ Werleman and Noah Lugeons, Part 2”

  1. Hi Tom, I have LOVED your episodes since you went sans regular co-host. The past few episodes have been exquisite! Thanks for clarifying a poem I’ve long misunderstood (and used on my grad school party invitations). I’m writing in response to the comment mentioned on your last episode. 1) You don’t seem to be “guilting” anyone into becoming a patreon. 2) Your interviews and (podcast culture-sanctioned) promotion of atheist-related books/podcasts/blogs/Twitter, are well-done, thought-provoking, and many other hyphenated kinds of wonderful! The coverage of the Palestinian-Israel situation was nuanced, honest and all too rare. Thanks for being great. Once I’m gainfully employed again, I shall happily, and w/ out guilt, donate to your show. Please keep up the great work! 🙂

  2. Hey man, love the show, and I really like the direction you’ve decided to go in. I generally enjoy listening to debates, and I think you’ll do a great job.

    Unfortunately, at times debate can be extremely frustrating to sit through. I just wanted to offer a suggestion. The latest Dogma Debate episode (#120) is a ‘debate’ between David Smalley and a highly conservative man — anti-gay marriage, and a biblical literalist — that went, I’d say, rather horribly. If you haven’t heard it yet, I’d recommend listening to it. It’s a three hour long back-and-forth in which absolutely nothing happens. It’s the audio equivalent of David smearing butter all over his hands and arms, and trying to pick up a wildly flailing fish for three hours.

    Admittedly the guest on the show was the main issue, but I feel like David should have changed his direction when he started to see how things were going. My main issue with the ordeal is that David continued arguing biblical interpretation with the guy; David kept waiting for that moment that he’d finally pin the guy down and force him to admit that yes, the Bible really does condone slavery, or that yes, the Bible really does forbid eating shellfish for Christians. Arguing interpretation with people like this is an exercise in futility. If a Christian wants to find an anti-slavery message in the Bible, they’ll find that message. If a Christian wants to find a pro-slavery message in the Bible, they’ll find that message. Arguing back and forth for three hours about what message the Bible really means to convey is excruciating to listen to, and hardly what I’d call debate.

    While I love David and I love his podcast, he does this all too often with Christian guests. In the interest of Atheistically Speaking, I’d just ask that you shy away from the interpretation arguments. If a guest truly wants to argue anything regarding the Bible, I’d recommend steering it toward the historical/evidential side. Questions like “why are four anonymous & religiously motivated authors, writing decades after the events allegedly took place, a reliable source for an account of a supernatural resurrection?”. Or, “If you trust these authors, why do you distrust the authors & official witnesses of the Book of Mormon, which was written immediately after the events?” Or “how can you discount modern messiah claimants, who have hundreds or thousands of living followers who will swear to have witnessed miracles?”.

    I think comparisons of the “eyewitness” evidence presented in the Bible with other, modern eyewitness testimonies (religious or otherwise; UFO sighting comparisons work too) really interesting. It’s much harder for a debate guest to avoid these questions, as opposed to interpretation challenges, which are largely subjective. I don’t think there’s any rational way to deny that people, in general, are credulous; especially historically.

    Anyway, just a suggestion. I’m sure no matter how you debate, people will complain that you didn’t say what they thought you should say. I just think this is an example of a certain line of argument that should be avoided outright. It never works on Dogma Debate.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. The key difference is that my show is edited so no matter what, the end product will be a nice tidy amount of time. And since I’m more wanting to analyze the experience of debating, it’s less about how well I do and more about what happens when two people try to convince each other of their beliefs. I think it will be good but we’ll see. I saw the description for the DD episode you’re talking about and decided I didn’t want to dedicate that much time to it.

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