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Episode 2 Transcript:

Today’s episode of the Scathing Atheist is brought to you by the world’s top-selling spiritual supplement, “5 Hour Piety”.  So if you’re desperate to go to church but you’re still carrying the stench of Saturday night’s heroin, Wild Turkey and underage hooker sweat, reach for a bottle of Five Hour Piety.  Hours of virtue now, no Jeremiah 2:13 feeling later.  And NOW, the SCATHING ATHEIST.

INTRO

It’s Thursday, It’s January 31st and it’s hard out there for a Pope.  I’m your host Noah Lugeons and THIS is the Scathing Atheist.  On this fortnight’s episode, we’ll find a catholic priest who might be going to jail for something other than molesting children, we’ll look forward to the big game and figure out why Christian athletes always forget to thank god for helping them lose and Heath Enwright will join us for a seven and a half minute segment that includes no fewer than 85 poop jokes.  But first, the Diatribe…

DIATRIBE

The numbers are in and once again in 2012, the world’s third largest religion was “Give me a fucking break”.  In the recent pew survey on the global religious landscape, roughly one in six people identify with no religion at all; which puts the worldwide number of non-religious at well over a billion.

Numbers in the US are actually significantly better than the worldwide average.  About one-fifth of Americans now claim “no religion”.  That’s an increase of 25% over the last five years and it’s up from basically zero when they introduced color TV.

And as bad as this looks for the imaginary friends camp, it’s actually much worse.  When you break down the demographics, the non-believers are more plentiful the younger you go.  Nearly a third of Americans between 18 and 29 have kicked the habit-habit and the numbers are likely even higher for the under-18 category.  Add to that the fact that religious people have a head start on senility and you can see where this is going.

And make no mistake, the divine-osaurs have seen it too.  Their pathetic attempts to rationalize away the preface to their obituary are clogging the blogosphere like digital-cholesterol.  They point to signs in some polls (but not others) that show that the rise in irreligion might be leveling off.  They go all Orwellian and try to make “no religion” somehow mean “still pretty religious”.  They rant and rave and try desperately to maintain some modicum of relevance in a world that’s already been to the heavens and brought back pictures.

But to be fair, I’ve seen a few atheists misrepresenting these data as well so let’s be clear on exactly what the numbers do and don’t say.  In the recent Gallup poll, they asked respondents “What is your religious preference?” and then offered these choices:

  • Protestant
  • Roman Catholic
  • Mormon
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Another Religion, or
  • No Religion.

When faced with that question in 2012, 17.8% of people answered “No Religion” or refused to answer.  And according to Pew’s annual study, we’re actually doing better.

The current media narrative on the “nones” is that most of these people aren’t atheists, but rather seekers, doubters and temporary apostates.  But the fact remains that they answered “no religion” and the effective definition of atheist is “person with no religion”.  Sure, these numbers include agnostics and those people who say that they’re “spiritual” and then can’t say exactly what the fuck that means.  Only about 2% of people are actually willing to identify themselves as “atheists”.

Of course, a lot of the noncommittal are dictionary atheists.  They’re people like Neil Degrasse Tyson who is quick to say that he’s not an atheist, but he doesn’t remotely believe in god or a spirit or any of those things one needs to believe in to not be an atheist.  A lot of these people are atheists that simply don’t want to get lumped in with assholes like me.

Some are just atheists who’ve been convinced that there’s some intellectual nobility in riding the fence.  They think that agnosticism is the logical default position when it comes to God.  But look, I’m not willing to say with absolute “gnostic” certainty that I’m not going to get raped by bigfoot tonight, so maybe in a technical sort of way I’m agnostic about it, but I’m certainly not living my life with non-consensual sasquatch-sodomy as even the remotest concern.  So am I a bigfoot-rape agnostic or a big-foot rape atheist?  And when the chips are down, is there any difference?

But as much as we make in the godless community about the technical differences between agnostics and atheists, that’s not really where the nomenclature becomes a problem.  I call it the “agnostic gambit”.  What many of them are saying is “I’m an atheist as long as it doesn’t piss anybody off.  I’m an atheist but I don’t want to argue about it.  I’m an atheist as long as it doesn’t interfere with my chances of getting hired (slash) promoted (slash) laid.”

I understand where that comes from, but it has to change.

When I look at that 18% of non-religious, non-atheist respondents, I see opportunity.  I see the target market for our devangelism.  I see a group of people who are ready to have the conversation, ready to embrace the certainty, ready to hear exactly what we have to say.  We may only be 2%, but keep in mind that that’s still six million people.

You’re never going to convert a devout 45 year old evangelical with a logical discussion, but a twenty-something wavering skeptic is ripe for reason.  We shouldn’t be ashamed to devangelize.  We shouldn’t hesitate to defend ours as the only logically coherent position.

I’m not suggesting you go out and knock on doors, hand out blank pamphlets and ask people “Are you prepared for the eventuality that you just die?” (Although incidentally, if you do, please send me the youtube link.).  What I am suggesting that next time you hear someone say that they’re “spiritual” or “agnostic” or whatever, don’t be afraid to put on your best salesman smile and give them the pitch for atheism.

There’s a marketplace out there where people are selling “truth” every day.  I’m just saying that I think the people who are actually telling the truth should get in on it.

Global Numbers: http://www.pewforum.org/global-religious-landscape-exec.aspx

National Numbers: http://www.pewforum.org/unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx

HEADLINES

Hoping that the 4th time’s the charm, Missouri State Representatives have resurrected a piece of unconstitutional legislation that was already defeated in 2012 and twice in 2004.  House Bill 291, or “The Missouri Standard Science Act” was introduced on January 23rd and seeks to require “the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design”.

Arguing that requiring science class to carry equal amounts of science and religious bullshit is something of a nationwide trend with Missouri joining Colorado, Montana and Oklahoma in introducing similar bills.

Lawmakers unconvincingly argue that there’s nothing religious about discussing religious theories in science class, so apparently the “not lying commandment” is less important than the not believing in biology one.

http://ncse.com/news/2013/01/intelligent-design-bill-missouri-0014690

Not to be outdone, Arizona Republicans have proposed a law that would withhold a graduating high school student’s diploma unless he or she took an oath swearing fealty to God.

To be fair, the oath is actually the Uniformed Services Oath, which ends with the lines “So Help Me God”.  Of course, it also includes the words “I take this obligation freely”, so one way or the other it’s a pretty stupid thing to require people to say.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/01/25/arizona-republicans-propose-bill-that-would-not-allow-atheists-to-graduate-high-school/

Archdiocese of Milwaukee is seeking Bankruptcy protection.  Spokesperson, oh, I’m sorry, they’re Catholic… Spokesman Jerry Topczewski says that their savings, reserves and investment earnings have all been exhausted and it will be unable to pay its monthly operating expenses beginning in April.

Some observers cite the poor economy for the church’s troubles, others cite lower church attendance.  Still others point to the more than 9 MILLION dollars the archdiocese has paid in legal fees and settlements in relation to an unending stream of sexual abuse litigation.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/archdiocese-of-milwaukee_n_2550425.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles made headlines when recently released documents prove that higher ups in the church went to great lengths to cover-up instances of child sexual abuse and worked to ensure that the abuse continued by moving priests into new, unsuspecting congregations.

In a related story, the sun rose in the east yesterday.

http://www.goddiscussion.com/106609/los-angeles-church-shields-child-molesting-priests-covered-up-incidents/

In other “What-the-Fuck-is-wrong-with-Catholic-Priests?” news, Monsignor Kevin Wallin was arrested in a drug bust in Connecticut on January 3rd.  Authorities allege that this 61 year old, cross-dressing priest was selling upwards of $9,000 worth of Meth a week, laundering the money through his North Haven sex-toy emporium.

If convicted, he could face life in prison, where his experience with cross-dressing and sex-toys should be well appreciated.

http://www.goddiscussion.com/106510/alleged-meth-dealing-priest-arrested-in-connecticut-in-drug-ring-bust-liked-sex-in-rectory-according-to-sources/

Proving that you don’t have to be Catholic to be a conspiratorial pedophile, Hasidic leader Nechemya Weberman was sentenced last week to 103 years in prison for 59 counts of criminal sexual acts, abuse and child endangerment.

A popular and influential leader in the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect, Weberman was convicted of abusing a girl over a three year period in a Brooklyn neighborhood where he worked as an unlicensed religious counselor.

After years of trying to bribe, discredit and bully the accuser, the Satmar community, which largely stood with the child-torturing rapist in the belief that such things should be dealt with inside the community, was ultimately unable to cover up the crime.

This case gives new hope to the unknown number of abuse victims in the community that are still seeking justice.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/22/new-york-hasidic-leader-gets-103-years-for-abuse/

In other legal news, the Supreme Court has declined last Tuesday to hear the case of three North Carolina men given excessive sentences by a religious zealot (slash) judge.  Brothers Josiah and Andrew Deyton and friend Jonathon Koniak plead guilty to 11 counts of armed robbery with a deadly weapon.   Their heist netted about $3000.  During the robbery a gun was discharged, but nobody was hurt.

They were sentenced to between 53 and 71 years in prison.  The reason for the extreme length of the sentence was, or rather, most certainly was not, the fact that the three chose as their target the Ridgeview Presbyterian Church in Bakersville, North Carolina.

Apparently the Supreme Court believes that the judge’s religious feelings were not a factor in his harsh judgment, despite the fact that during the sentencing he was quoted as saying, “You didn’t just steal money from those people.  You took God’s money.  You took the Lord’s money.”  This revelation, in my mind, would suggest that it was a victimless crime, but apparently the judge felt differently.

http://news.yahoo.com/did-judge-insert-religious-views-case-supreme-court-163339659.html

The Supreme Court also declined hearing the case of Rob Sherman, an atheist activist who was trying to block the state of Illinois from appropriate $20,000 of tax payer money to restore a giant cross that sits atop Southern Illinois’ highest peak.

Apparently the justices also see nothing religious about a gaudy, 11-story, 63 foot wide, fully illuminated symbol of the Christian faith that can be seen from 50 miles away.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/01/24/after-lengthy-battle-supreme-court-declines-atheists-case-rules-in-favor-of-illinois-politician-to-give-20000-to-christian-group/

And now it’s time for an update on the number one threat facing humanity today.  Montage of crazy You-Tube preachers, would you care to guess what it is? {Sound insert} No, I’m sorry, Condoms was the right answer.  We were looking for Condoms.

In the Vatican’s indefatigable effort to defeat common sense contraception in over-populated parts of the world, the church is now attacking a new law in the Philippines that would provide free access to contraception to every citizen.

Luckily for the Philippines, the Catholic Church isn’t in charge and the people are pushing back against this stone-age dictate.  Speaking to a reporter from the Calgary Herald, 30-year-old roadside vendor Giselle Labadan summed it up better than I could ever hope to, saying “I have prayed before not to have another child, but the condom worked better.”

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/01/18/in-the-philippines-the-catholic-church-is-hastening-its-own-demise/

A recent study from the California based Barna group shows that a majority of Americans are worried that religious freedoms will erode in the next 5 to 10 years.  If you pair it down to only the religious respondents, a slight majority say that religious freedoms have already eroded.  This is interesting because that’s not an opinion based thing.  It’s either true or it isn’t.  And it isn’t.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/most-americans-think-religious-freedom-fast-declining-in-us-88542/

Atheist Census

http://www.atheistcensus.com/

That’s it for headlines, when we come back, we’ll discuss one of the most controversial theories in all of Christian Apologetics.

CALENDAR

It’s time now for the Atheist Calendar portion of the show.  I promised on the last episode that we’d be covering some international festivals and conventions on this episode and I’m a man of my word.  We’ll get started with a couple of Skepti-Camp events.  If you’ve never been to one of these events, well, join the club.  I’ve hear good things, though, so even having never been to one, I feel confident in highly recommending them.

We’ll start out down under because who couldn’t use a little summer right in the middle of winter?  On February 9th in the beautiful Aireys Inlet just southwest of Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road Skeptics are hosting the Surfcoast Summer Skepticamp.  Sun, surf, science and secular skepticism in the middle of February… if anything’s worth a 20 hour flight, that might just be it.

http://www.eventbrite.com.au/event/5064686614/eorg

If you’ll be in the wrong hemisphere for that one or just prefer cold and ice to warmth and sand, perhaps you can make it to Skepticamp Ottawa on Febraury 24th.  It’ll start at 1 pm and run until 6.  The day will consist of a series of 15 minute talks by a variety of skeptics with the final lineup still being hashed out.

http://www.skepticamp.org/wiki/SkeptiCamp_Ottawa_2013

On the weekend of April 13th we’ve got an all-star event in Manchester, England.  The QED is a two day conference on Science and Skepticism and will feature a who’s-who of atheist and secular speakers including (but not limited to) Ben Goldacre, Lawrence Krauss, Natalie Haynes and the paragon of gnu-atheism, Richard Dawkins.  Unfortunately this one’s already sold out, so if you’re just hearing about it now, it’s way too late.

http://qedcon.org/

We’ve got two big events in May.  For my German speaking listeners, you can check out the 22nd Skeptics Congress in Cologne from May 9th to the 11th.

http://www.gwup.org/

For those who prefer their atheism in English, we have “Imagine No Religion 3” on the following weekend in Kamloops, British Columbia.  This event features Dan Dennett, DJ Grothe, Mr. Deity and some people whose names don’t start with D as well.

http://inr3.eventbrite.ca/

Finally, beginning on June 7th and running to the 9th, we’ve got the British Humanists Association Annual Convention in Leeds.  They’re still hammering out the lineup, and, of course, we’ll keep you updated as we learn more about this one.

http://bhaconference.org.uk/

As always, you can find more information, including links to the homepage for each of these events on the show-notes for this episode at Scathing Atheist (dot) com.

BIG-GAME PRAYER ADVICE (full version)

Heath Enwright will be joining be momentarily for an apologetics segment that’ll include the classiest run of poop jokes in Podcasting history, but first I thought we’d turn our attention to the Big Game coming up on Sunday.

There are three things I feel confident expecting: Some elusive play-making from San Francisco’s dynamic sophomore quarterback; some high speed, brutal hits from the rejuvenated Ravens defense and some egocentric Christian athletes thanking God when they do well and then forgetting all about him when they lose.

Of course, many people see thanking God for their success as a humble gesture and I’m sure that’s how the majority of these athletes see it as well.  But to me, it’s the quintessence of arrogance to think that an all-powerful, all-knowing, father-of-all-things would have chosen to favor you over the defensive linemen during your touchdown run.  After all, isn’t it this same “God likes me better” attitude that justifies all the wars religion starts?

I sympathize with the religious athlete, though.  I can understand what it must be like to have your whole career dependent on a series of ultimately chaotic plays where centimeters can be the difference between mediocrity and glory.  A wide receiver can practice 12 hours a day in the off-season, study tape for weeks before the game, perfect his routes and know every play backwards and forwards, but none of that helps if the Quarterback overthrows him or the corner makes a spectacular play on a well-thrown ball.  All his preparation can be rendered worthless by a mistake of less than an inch, but what’s more, it doesn’t have to be his mistake.

So, when we’re faced with a situation that we can’t control, many of us turn to magic and bullshit in a fruitless attempt to control it anyway.  The whole institution of religion is built on exactly that so it’s no wonder that a lot of these people turn to God and it’s no wonder why most of these teams have a prayer before the game.  You can’t actually control every aspect of the game, so you might as well pretend that you can then pretend that you did and then put it out of your mind.

Sometimes this backfires, sure.  If you actually start believing this shit you’ll accidentally start wars, inter-factional bigotry, oppression of women and minorities, opposition to science, fear of gays and suicide bombings.  And of course, at best it’s a waste of time, so your best bet is to accept that praying is stupid and move on, but some people are clearly unwilling to do that.

But even amongst those of us who have, sometimes sports can be the exception.  I’ve heard an atheist football fanatic chanting to the screen, “Interception… Interception… or just sack that bastard and knock them out of field goal range at least!”  Now what is that if not a prayer?  Sure, he might not say, “Please God, just that bastard and knock them out of field goal range in Jesus name, Amen”, but it’s the same basic concept.  Of course, the atheist probably doesn’t think that his chant has any magical powers or anything, but he still does it.  Or she.  But probably he.

And think of all the silly little superstitions that sports still bring out in people.  How many otherwise rational skeptics start crossing their fingers and turning their hats inside out when their team is down?  How many generally rational or at least semi-rational athletes stop shaving or changing their socks (slash) underwear in some vain attempt to dupe fate into favoring them?

Now, obviously, I don’t believe in any of this crap or I wouldn’t be qualified to host this podcast.  I tried out every stupid religion or pseudo-religion I could find for a while and found that science was the only thing that seemed less like a complete load of shit as I learned more about it.  I cast away the demons of faith and magic a long time ago, but along the way, I did learn an awful lot about it.

And of course, the majority of people in this country and this world still do believe in this gobbledygook.  They believe that somehow that some inter-dimensional, omnipotent space man will personally reach down from heaven and directly influence the outcome of what even I as a football fanatic will admit is a pretty silly competition.  They believe that while he can’t seem to be bothered to end all the wars or cure all the diseases or do any of those things one would expect even the most derelict of inter-dimensional, omnipotent space men to do, he will nevertheless find the time to see to it that Ray Rice hit’s that first down marker or that Michael Crabtree gets both feet down inbounds.

Because I’m an atheist, of course, there’s nothing “absolute” about my beliefs.  I have a pretty scientific approach to the world and I try to maintain the ability to change even my most cherished beliefs if new evidence appears that contradicts them.  And while I don’t hold out any “hope” that God exists, I am willing to occasionally grant, for rhetorical purposes, that the possibility of him existing are greater than absolute zero.

So I figured that as a person who (a) knows a little bit about a lot of religions, (b) doesn’t believe in any of them and can thus speak from a detached perspective and (c) is willing to grant for rhetorical purposes that the possibility of God’s existence is non-zero, I’m uniquely qualified to offer the religious and otherwise superstitious folks of the world some advice if they’re going to be doing any pre-Superbowl praying.

  1. Pray with Pizazz – You figure, if there is a God (and there isn’t), he’s getting pelted with a million contradictory prayers before a big game like this.  You gotta make your prayer stand out.  Iambic pentameter is a must but if you really want to get his attention, make that shit rhyme.  He’ll appreciate the effort.
  2. Be specific – If you’ve ever seen any of those angel movies (and for your sake I hope you haven’t) you’ll know that God’s a trick little fucker when it comes to teaching us larger lessons and what-not.  Make it clear that you want the Ravens to win, but you want them to cover the 3 and a half point spread as well.
  3. Don’t Pray to Jesus – I know, I know, you’re Christian and praying to Jesus is kind of your thing, but trust me on this one.  Everybody and their mother are praying to Jesus and he’s not even a football fan.  So fifty million people pray to Jesus and each of them gets one fifty millionth of his devotion.  But if you’re praying to the Gurzil, Alala or the Etruscan God “Larau”, you’ve probably got their undivided attention.  And those dudes love some pigskin.  And that lead me to…
  4. Pick the Right God – It’s not going to do you much good to pray for a Niners victory if you’re praying to a God who’s a Baltimore fan, right?  Now clearly you never really know who a God is pulling for, but you can make some pretty educated guesses, right?  I mean, if you’re a Ravens fan, pray to Odin.  He loves Ravens.  Seriously, just ask Huginn and Muninn.  Who are Huginn and Muninn? Odin’s fucking Ravens.
  5. Burn Some Shit – Seriously, go all out.  Don’t just put two hands together.  You need to inscribe a circle of salt on the floor, burn some incense in a copper bowl, sacrifice a rabbit and whip yourself to you bleed.  I can’t restate this enough: Everybody is praying.  You’ve got to be praying harder.
  6. Spread the Love Around – Why pray to one god when you can pray to two, three or eighty six?  If you’re going to waste time babbling to fictional characters, why not waste as much time as possible?  Don’t stop at Gods either.  Seriously, praying to Superman, Steven Spielberg and Hanna Montana are every bit as effective, so you might as well toss them in as well.

After all, if you’re not willing to pray to every imaginable God, follow the rituals and sacrifices described for them exactly, devote endless hours to it and self-flagellate, haven’t you already admitted that prayer is bullshit?

THE SHIT-PORN PARADOX

From time to time on this show, I’ll be setting aside a few minutes to tackle some of the more common apologetics arguments and a few of the paradoxes that arise in a world with an all-knowing, all loving God.  On this episode, Heath Enwright had rejoined us to tackle one such debate, known in academic circles as the “Shit-Porn Irregularity” or the “Shit-Porn Inconsistency”.  Heath, fill us in on the basics of this debate.

Sure thing Noah.  In the Shit-Porn paradox, the skeptic argues that a universe in which God and Shit-Porn coexist is logically untenable.  It was first proposed by the Greek Philosopher Heap o’ Crappus who noted that if an all-powerful and omnibenevolent God did exist, shit porn would not.  Since shit porn does exist, it follows that an all-powerful and omnibenevolent god must not.

And what of the classic rebuttal to the Problem of Evil that suggests that God is simply allowing us to prove that we are incapable of ruling ourselves before he cures the world of Shit-Porn?

Well, the “Jehovah’s Shitness” defense can’t really be applied to the Shit-Porn Paradox.  The existence of Shit-Porn shows that we’ve already crossed any reasonable line of depravity.  Nobody can say where the line should be drawn exactly, but all philosophers agree that it should be drawn before Shit-Porn popped out.

Now, apologists haven’t taken this lying face down, they’ve pushed back against this intrusion in a number of ways, haven’t they?

Right, they weren’t just going to let this pass.  Early apologists had a spotty record dealing with this paradox.  At first, they tried to argue that shit porn didn’t exist.  For a time that was the accepted defense, but in his seminal work “The Fecal Fallacy: Evidence for Shit-Porn”, Reverend Corholius Pile pointed to little known works such as Armegeddon Shit On, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turdholes and Stools of Engagement as unambiguous evidence that shit porn did, in fact, exist.

And of course, as we all know, his work was famously attacked by Cardinal Deficatus in his number two theodicy commonly called “The Poophole Loophole”, which was basically a much less watered down version of his number one theodicy.

Yes, the Shit-Porn Debate was buried for centuries until Deficatus stepped back into it in the late 1700s.  He argued that Shit Porn might actually represent a higher good of which we are unaware; perhaps saving the participants from later digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Diverticulitis.

I see where he’s going there, but couldn’t an all powerful God find a way to insure a high fiber diet for these people without having to resort to Shit-Porn?

Deficatus’ theodicies weren’t meant to redirect the argument.  What they do do is soften it.  They suggest that Shit-Porn might be a necessary kernel in the proper functioning of the human social unit.  Could true purity exist in a world without Shit-Porn to counterbalance it?  Could it be that without overcoming the lurid temptation of Shit-Porn, a soul could never achieve true communion with the Holy Spirit?

Of course, today’s apologists have stepped away from that line of argument altogether, isn’t that right?

Modern day shitologists hold their noses at it, yeah.  The Poophole Loophole defense was really wiped away in the late 19th century when philosophers on both sides came to agree that Shit-Porn was too vile to be compatible with a loving God.  While earlier works such as The Princess Diarrheas and Poop Fiction could be justified on the merit of their social commentary, the late 1800s saw the rise of titles like Number 2 Fast, Number 2 Furious and Mr. Smith Goes to Wash His Ass; heinous anus-related depictions of fecophelia that would have made Richard Gere blush.  It was impossible to continue to argue that such depravity was part of God’s plan.

So what was the next real movement in the debate?

The whole thing really erupted again when noted British Philosopher Dr. Dick Brown took a back door approach to the question.  There are three premises in the Shit-Porn paradox that apologists can attack: One is that Shit-Porn exists.  Number two is that a world without Shit-Porn is preferable to a world with Shit-Porn.  Attacks on those two premises had failed in the past.

But Brown took a different approach?

Brown looked at the third premise; that an omniscient God could create a world without Shit-Porn.

But if God is powerless against Shit-Porn, how can he still be all powerful?

Brown’s approach was to suggest God himself was a Shit-Porn and that if he were to rid the universe of Shit-Porn altogether, he would also have to remove himself from the universe.

And as popular as it was with laymen, a lot of his colleagues said he really didn’t know shit.  In fact, this theory stained his academic reputation considerably, didn’t it?

Stained him?  It damn near wrecked him.

So do modern day theologians still wrestle with this shit?

I guess the most familiar example of the modern argument is the Shit-or-be-Shit counterpoint first offered by American philosopher Ann L. Bead.

And for those who haven’ turd of her before, tell us who Dr. Bead was.

She had a number of duties at the Pew Public Policy Forum and briefly held the Lucasian Stool at Cambridge.

And her later career was absolutely covered in shit, isn’t that right?

It was.

Tell us what she piled on to the existing debate.

Bead proposes a mental exercise where someone was about to accidentally watch Shit-Porn and you could prevent it by shitting on them.  Now, most people would agree that shitting on someone is justified in certain conditions.

If they were on fire, for example.

Or if they were singing “Whoop it Gangnam Style”, yes.  But Bead takes the analogy one step further.  What if you could prevent someone from watching Shit-Porn by Shitting on them, but someone was watching you and they were masturbating at the time?  Would you then be Shit-Porn?  Would it still be a moral act?

Well, as interesting a nugget as that is, I don’t see how it relates to the larger debate.

Here, Bead is straining to push through an analogy that spreads the blame around a bit without smearing it on God.  Basically, she’s asking if we can know the true cost of Shit-Porn from a purely mortal perspective.  The idea is that if you can introduce one instance of justifiable Shit-Porn, it stands to reason that God might have a higher purpose in allowing it to exist.

And given God’s well documented opposition to homosexuality, how does Bead’s argument hold up against gay Shit-Porn?

Great question.  Some say that might be the fatal flaw in her argument.  The whole thing really craps out when you start considering titles like Charlie in My Chocolate Factory or Jock, Cock and Two Steaming Barrels… and a cup.

So having weighed the arguments on both sides, what do you think it all says about God’s existence?

While it’s easy to argue that their might have been a divine touch in films such as The Turdman of Alcatraz, Fahrenheit 98.6 and Dark Shitty, I believe that films like Starship Poopers, Deuce Almighty and 21 Dump Street prove definitively that God is a load of shit.

EMAILS & COMMENTS

I want to close the show out today by responding to a few emails I got regarding our inaugural episode.

First a quick correction: last fortnight I accidentally referred to the American Atheists’ Annual Convention as the “Reason Rally”, which is, of course, incorrect.  I had “from the people that brought us last year’s Reason Rally” written in the notes and managed to skip a line when I recorded it.  Thanks to Doug in Jacksonville for pointing it out.

I also wanted to acknowledge an e-mail we received from a listener that didn’t leave their name.  They were curious about my penis size and wondered if I’d like to enlarge it with an herbal supplement.  So to this listener, look… I’m not sure what you’ve heard but I have a really small wife, so I think I’m good, but thanks for the concern.

And finally, I wanted to offer an apology to someone who commented on the blog in response to a post I put up a while back about how much of an asshole God must be if he exists (which he doesn’t).  Autumn writes:

“Your points are very valid, but like most atheists you’re defining god as the Abrahamic god, a fatal error for your credibility. All you’ve put to shame is Christianity which isn’t very hard to do, and says nothing about the idea of god in general.”

The criticism was invalid, as the opening line of the post was “I sometimes argue with Christians” so I think I made it pretty clear that all I was tackling in this post was the Abrahamic God.  That being said, I do want to apologize to Autumn for not putting her definition of God to shame as well.

Since the most convenient defense against having your beliefs eviscerated is failing to precisely define them, it might be some time before I happen upon whatever wishy-washy, evidence free incarnation of a logically impossible creative, theistic force you happen to subscribe to.  Just be assured that I’m working on it and I’ll get to you as soon as possible.  If you’d like to speed up the process, feel free to take me up on the long standing invitation to tell me exactly what your definition of God is.

That’ll do it for this episode.  Be sure to check us out next fortnight for a special Valentine’s Day episode that’ll feature full frontal nudity.   I want to thank Heath Enwright for joining me tonight and I’d also like to thank Zach, Nesbitt, Josh, Joel and Lucinda for brain storming Shit-Porn titles with us.  If you enjoyed the show (and how could you not?) please help us spread the word by leaving us a glowing review on iTunes or wherever.  If you have question, comments or death threats, you’ll find all the contact info at “Scathing Atheist (dot) com”.  All the music used in the show was written and performed by yours truly and yes, I did have my permission.

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