AS300: The Scathing Atheist, Plus a Personal Message and Announcement!

Joining me first to kick off my extra special 300th episode, 3 part, 3+ hour extravaganza are none other than Noah, Heath, and Eli of the Scathing Atheist and God Awful Movies! Oh right, and the Skepticrat… I interview the guys on a few different topics related to their particular approach to atheist activism and spreading knowledge while also being entertaining.

After that, I have a personal message and announcement that I’m very excited for you to hear!! Thank you so much to all my patrons over at, where you can enjoy parts 2 and 3 early!!!

13 thoughts on “AS300: The Scathing Atheist, Plus a Personal Message and Announcement!”

  1. Hey there!

    Wow, 300!!!! So happy for you at Atheistically Speaking!

    I love the Scathing Atheist, Noah, Heath and Eli all work so well together, their chemistry is just superb, their 3 podcasts really push the boundaries of what makes a great podcast. Even if they hold up GAM as their sexy sister show, Scathing is really just THAT good! They really are what I identify with when it comes to religion, politics and when it comes to trolls.

    And I have to say, speaking honestly here, the only reason why I have you on my podcast list on itunes is because of them, and now I listen to your podcast religiously! I want to say I wish you all the best going forward and 300 more! Can’t wait for ABR, Cog Dis to be on! It’s my little bubble of podcasts that I encircle myself in and angrily defend!

    Thanks very much,


  2. The thing is from their perspective when you ridicule Pat Robertson you aren’t ridiculing some hateful anti-gay bigot, you’re ridiculing a wonderful loving man who is trying to save people’s immortal soul. Which, if people truly did have a soul as they believe, is the most important thing anyone could be doing, so gay people’s feelings being hurt, or not being able to marry is insignificant collateral damage.

    1. I meant to add that as a result from their perspective ridiculing gay people to to put social pressure on them so they’ll reconsider their sinful behavior is a morally good action.

      1. We agree that it’s okay for us to operate from the assumption that it is not okay to ridicule gay people for being gay though, nor is it acceptable to put social pressure on them, or if the vice president has his way, to literally torture them, in an attempt to make them not be gay, right?

        1. “We agree that it’s okay for us to operate from the assumption that it is not okay to ridicule gay people for being gay though, nor is it acceptable to put social pressure on them, or if the vice president has his way, to literally torture them, in an attempt to make them not be gay, right?”

          Of course WE do, but many Christians would say it’s not OK to ridicule Christians for opposing homosexuality, or abortion, nor is it acceptable to put social pressure on them to accept sinful behavior, and murder. They are just as convinced as we are that they’re position is the correct one, and the people who ridicule them are the bad guys. Given that it seems to me that we either have to accept both sides have the right to use ridicule, and social shaming, or we’re being hypocrites.

          1. Okay. Glad to hear that.

            I think I agree to some extent with your last point. I reflexively want to quote Emerson and Nietzsche, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” and “a casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.”

            When you present both sides of this as a disagreement over our subjective assumptions about reality, I think you risk omitting important context. A surgeon is not a hypocrite for cutting someone open and taking a large sum of that person’s money — a behavior we would never accept from a common mugger.

            More directly, it’s okay for us to criticize a homeopath/exorcist/prosperity gospel preacher who claims to be able to cure cancer/mental illness/poverty but also to trust a skilled and accredited oncologist/therapist/financial planner.

            I think there are key contextual points wherein the example you offered can be challenged. Putting social pressure on someone to “stop being gay” is not an appropriate analog for putting social pressure on someone to “not put social pressure on others to not be gay.” If the left were shaming the right for loving their heterosexual partners, your point might be more valid.

            It’s not that applying social pressure on others to change their behavior is an inherently bad thing that nobody should do, but rather that the way they are applying social pressure in an attempt to shame others for something they can not change, is fucked up.

            But, as I said, I do agree with you to some extent. I remember seeing friends (I should note, these were self-identified moderates, not the far lefties) view their opposition to Sarah Palin as permission to criticize her using easy sexist stereotypes. I’ve heard liberals I respect criticize Melania Trump for posing nude in magazines. Similarly, I remember seeing some objection to a nude statue depicting Trump as “body shaming” which the left would never accept towards one of their candidates, no matter what redeeming messages the art had (e.g., emperor’s new clothes).

            And not to be too tangential, but I also think it’s also important to note that identifying hypocrisy does not necessarily speak to either side being wrong about their claims. I believe Matt Dillahunty has occasionally referred to “the fallacy fallacy,” whereby debaters point to a flaw in some part of a much larger argument, and use it as an excuse to reject unrelated truth claims within that larger argument.

          2. “I think there are key contextual points wherein the example you offered can be challenged.”

            I mentioned specific issues for clarity not for comparison. What it boils down to is us ridiculing, and shaming people for things we think they should be ridiculed, and shamed for, and them doing likewise. From our POV being gay isn’t a choice so it’s comparable to shaming someone for their skin color, but they may see it as a choice when you act on the “inherently sinful predilection”. If shaming, and ridicule are acceptable strategies I again don’t see how we can say they aren’t acceptable for both sides.

  3. Fully agree with Mike on this. Plus when you add in abortion they think they are literally trying to stop thousands of murders from happening every year. All the clever comments about them just hating women and sex must seem petty and irrelevant when compared to the scale of the atrocity they think themselves fighting against. It’s all about empathy, I forget where I heard that. Keep right on mocking, I would, but a little perspective never hurt.

    1. I agree with your agreement. We, as atheists, are all well versed in the “objective morality” argument and how weak sauce it is given how subjective the followers of any organized religion are in how they interpret/follow the moral teachings of their holy book.

      Then we have to listen to secularists talk about how evil anti-abortion people are and how their deeply held beliefs about saving the lives of infants are not in any way congruous with social justice advocates since one side is right and the other wrong/wrong side of history.

      Starting to sound like objective moralizing to me.

      I’m a economic social democrat/social classical liberal (left libertarian) who is constantly called a fascist/racist by the far left or literally KKK for supporting GamerGate (you’d be crazy not to).

      Then, just last night, I got into an argument with some alt-right sovereign citizen anarcho capitalist types who spent hours calling me a communist cuck because I think christian bakers should have to abide by the civil rights act and make any cake they’d make for straight people, for gay people.

      My point is that morality IS subjective and the far left/far right are equally guilty when it comes to not recognizing this. I’m CERTAINLY on the left but I am nowhere near the far left authoritarians or the far right authoritarians.

      If the left wants to win again, which is needs to, then we need to win the ARGUMENT. When we play this social justice identity politics 3rd wave feminism BLM intersectionality 1st year gender studies horseshit game, we’re no different than the far right cultural christian family values compassionate conservative liberty and freedom loving CONSTITUTIONALITISMALATIONALISM fucks we cant’ stand, even if we truly believe we’re morally just in our cause.

      ……guess what: so do they.

    2. I don’t remember if Noah mentioned it in this episode, or in a recent episode of the Scathing Atheist, but I thought he made a pretty strong case for people participating in the way that works for them, rather than the way that somebody on the internet reckons they ought to be acting.

      Depending on who you are and how you’re affected by anti-abortion legislation, it might be easy to focus on moral philosophy involving abstract rights of existence, granting personhood based on arbitrary markers (e.g., heartbeat), or even feigning some sort of objectivity by getting yourself caught in the weeds of whether or not people have the right to hold certain opinions and in what instances do others have the right to challenge or overrule those opinions.

      I don’t believe those to be invalid ways to address disagreements, and as you note, listening to those conversations can add helpful perspective, but so can ridicule and mockery. There may be some use to bending over backwards to twist ourselves into the headspace of someone who thinks it’s not completely reprehensible to bring a bomb or a semi-automatic rifle into a planned parenthood to defend the unborn babies (and let’s not pretend this is hyperbole: Colorado Springs, Dr. George TIller, Dr. David Gunn, Dr. John Britton, James Barrett, Shannon Lowney, Lee Ann Nichols, Robert Sanderson, Dr. Barnett Slepian, et al.), but it’s also useful to call out the absurdity of that thinking, point to the link between their supposed “sensible” stance and that violence, and to broadcast loudly to everyone who might be listening that not only do you disagree with their subjective opinion that “all zygotes matter,” but that holding that opinion is deserving of ridicule.

      I guess what I really wanted to respond to was your point about how it’s ineffective to make “clever comments about them just hating women and sex.” In some sense, I think I see your point, that if someone is moved to tears at the thought of unborn babies being killed, telling them to stop hating women is not going to affect much change. And, moreover, if you’re arguing with the kind of person who isn’t really invested in much more than asserting how reasonable they are, and how everyone else is too extreme on either side, I can see how they might be willing to dismiss the harm done to women as a result of these ideas being put into law as a distraction and “identity politics.”

      Maybe the theme of social justice arguments in 2016 was “you don’t need to hate someone to act in ways that harm and disempower them.” Do these people hate women? I don’t know. Do these people express myopic views about “respecting life” that allow them to ignore the harm done to real, alive, cognizant women when those views are translated into legislation? It seems like it.

      Mocking those people may not bring them around, but it may help rally the troops (i.e., motivate advocacy), validate women who feel scared and alone following this election (i.e., humor as empathy), and potentially reach a larger audience who might otherwise passively accept unfounded appeals to objective religious moral truth (i.e., challenging absurdity).

      1. I 100% agree that mocking has it’s place, for the very reasons you mentioned (fence sitters and choir preaching), The reasons i disagree with some aspects of SJW(for lack of a better term) is the certainty that we’re right and they’re wrong and more so that they should know we’re right. It reminds me a bit of the presuppositional arguments that claim that deep down we all really believe in god but are just suppressing it. The SJW side seems to think that deep down we would all agree with their position were we not tainted by “privilege” (which i think is real) and racism/sexism/etc..ism.

        1. I think I see what you mean.

          There’s a tremendous sense of frustration that comes from arguing with someone that something is “so clearly” racist/sexist/homophobic, only to have them counter with “no it’s not,” “that’s not how I define it,” or “you say that about everything.” Then, you spend the better part of the day trying to explain how theses words describe a systemic relationship, how a hallmark of privilege is the ability not to recognize or appreciate instances of inequality, and how even if they’re not convinced, even if they have what seem to be subjectively reasonable doubts, dismissing other people’s lived reality on the basis that “the evidence” hasn’t met their standards can be a fucked up way to interact with people — especially when the outcome affects those people enormously, and you, not so much.

          And after that, the response is “you’re just blindly following your tumblr religion.”

          There’s an urge to assume they’re trolling. When they have a “clever insight” about how civil rights activists are “the real racists,” how these terms used to mean something before SJW’s got to them, and how demanding your humanity be respected is just as totalitarian as demanding others’ humanity be denied… it’s difficult to assume they don’t know better.

          But, I agree with you. No matter how difficult it is, most probably don’t know better, and insisting they do is another in a long list of things they’ll cite to ignore evidence that contradicts their assumptions.

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