Christian/Religious call-in show similar to The Atheist Experience?

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So, I'm a big fan of The Atheist Experience, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a similar show coming from the other side? In other words, a show where religious hosts with an appreciation for science and scepticism invite calls from atheists to discuss/challenge beliefs held by the show's hosts? I'm not talking about shows that invite atheists on for the purpose of appearing open-minded, and then go on to construct straw men and ridicule the atheist (after they've kicked them off the air so they can't defend themselves, of course), I'm talking about honest, open-minded people that legitimately enjoy and are interested in the pursuit of truth inviting challenge.

I'm not so cynical to believe nothing like this exists, so hopefully someone out there has some good recommendations for me.

Hmmm, reading just the title I thought you were talking about a discussion show, not one with relation to science and skepticism. The Atheist Experience doesn't claim to be scientifically sound and, sometimes, they outright reject callers because they want to go into too much scientific detail. To them, it's more about Atheism, Christianity or whatever other former religion and reasons for changing back and forth as well as evidence for religious claims. They don't pretend to be evolutionary biologists or cosmologists or what have you. Keeping all that in mind, I was going to mention that show Eric Hovind (?) does, but that's not merely Christian but also YEC, so clearly not what you're looking for. I know there are tons of Christian shows, including call- or write-in, but I'm honestly not aware of a pro-science, pro-Theistic Evolution radio or internet show with that angle. Considering the breadth of views, there are bound to be such people on YouTube and the like, but whether they have an actual public access show or similar is a different question entirely.

Skeleon:
The Atheist Experience doesn't claim to be scientifically sound and, sometimes, they outright reject callers because they want to go into too much scientific detail.

You're quite right, but despite them admitting to being out of their depth on occasion they still have a huge appreciation for science and its fruits. Though The Atheist Experience is, as the name would suggest, primarily concerned with atheism, practically all discussions on the show hinge on science and scepticism. When people call to challenge the hosts on their beliefs they generally enter into a logical discussion and apply scepticism (and science when it's within their depth) to the caller's claim.

This is what I'm looking for - rather than people that initially respond to challenge with "The Bible says..." or "I have faith that..." and show no desire to entertain the atheist perspective for a second, I want to see people that at least TRY to tackle these challenges logically. There are a couple of guys on Youtube that do this, but not in a call-in format where people can have active discussions.

Jerram Fahey:
So, I'm a big fan of The Atheist Experience, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a similar show coming from the other side? In other words, a show where religious hosts with an appreciation for science and scepticism invite calls from atheists to discuss/challenge beliefs held by the show's hosts? I'm not talking about shows that invite atheists on for the purpose of appearing open-minded, and then go on to construct straw men and ridicule the atheist (after they've kicked them off the air so they can't defend themselves, of course), I'm talking about honest, open-minded people that legitimately enjoy and are interested in the pursuit of truth inviting challenge.

I'm not so cynical to believe nothing like this exists, so hopefully someone out there has some good recommendations for me.

It's a complicated question. I honestly think it might be down to the idea that most religious people wouldn't invite people to call them to debate the merits of their faith. They're be more in the market for people to call in and reaffirm it, because delusions only really work if they are strongly affirmed by others. I'm just spit-balling here.

I've never watched/listened to the Atheist experience so I don't know exactly what you mean. I can think of quite a lot of programmes involving general discussion of moral and religious issues, but none that explicitly take one viewpoint and then invite people to challenge it.

They are inevitably by the BBC, which usually tries to adopt a neutral tone (it doesn't always succeed, but nothings is perfect) or generally play devils advocate, challenging or providing rebuttals to every view put to it.

The Beeb usually works by inviting guests to debate, and then using call ins etc. to give extra points for the guests to discuss, without explicitly challenging the call ins themselves. If anyone has seen Question Time, that model is reflected across much of its debate programmes on TV and Radio.

Beyond that, I can't really help.

Such things exist in formats other than The Atheist Experience obviously, but there's a catch in the form that to be able to mention conflicts with science, they need to anti-science first, and the character of such a discussion turns dogmatic very quickly. I've never ran across one that was truly fair anyway.

Christian discussions that separate religion from science and don't view science as an enemy ussually resolve it by saying the facts science found are correct, and the bible should be seen as 'an inspiration rather than history' where it contradicts that.

Jerram Fahey:
So, I'm a big fan of The Atheist Experience, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a similar show coming from the other side?

I used to share a flat with a fundamentalist Christian once and his cable had at least 20 Christian TV stations. I'm sure there's a call in show or 2 on there somewhere.

While I'm not exactly sure what you're looking when you say "religious hosts with an appreciation for science and skepticism," I have found that the radio show "Unbelievable?" does a wonderful job of rationally and civilly discussing a wide range of beliefs and topics (both conducive and contradictory to the Christian faith) while still maintaining a healthy Biblical worldview. If this sounds like something that you might be interested in, I'd invite you to sample some of their podcasts, which can be downloaded for free at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unbelievable/id267142101

You don't have a religious station where you live? No Cornerstone TV?

Octon:
While I'm not exactly sure what you're looking when you say "religious hosts with an appreciation for science and skepticism," I have found that the radio show "Unbelievable?" does a wonderful job of rationally and civilly discussing a wide range of beliefs and topics (both conducive and contradictory to the Christian faith) while still maintaining a healthy Biblical worldview. If this sounds like something that you might be interested in, I'd invite you to sample some of their podcasts, which can be downloaded for free at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unbelievable/id267142101

Gah, why does it have to be itunes? XD This sounds like a good show though, thanks. I'll try and find a non-itunes source for it. :P

Why would religious people want to? It takes one caller with some intelligence and scientific knowledge and they will
have their asses handed to them on the air. Faith does not like to be challenged, it needs to be confirmed by like minded.

- We have a professor in Biology on line 2 wanting to ask a few questions about creationism.
- Go to commercial fast. Find me another caller. Preferably one with no advance education.

Something like that.

Rastelin:
- We have a professor in Biology on line 2 wanting to ask a few questions about creationism.
- Go to commercial fast. Find me another caller. Preferably one with no advance education.

I think that's why he asked for "religious hosts with an appreciation for science", i. e. people who are religious but try not to outright deny science. Whatever call-in show he's looking for would not be hosted by Creationists and the discussions would, presumably, be limited to metaphysical issues.

Skeleon:
I think that's why he asked for "religious hosts with an appreciation for science", i. e. people who are religious but try not to outright deny science. Whatever call-in show he's looking for would not be hosted by Creationists and the discussions would, presumably, be limited to metaphysical issues.

I understood that. Was just a humorous gag I felt I had to make.

itsthesheppy:

It's a complicated question. I honestly think it might be down to the idea that most religious people wouldn't invite people to call them to debate the merits of their faith. They're be more in the market for people to call in and reaffirm it, because delusions only really work if they are strongly affirmed by others. I'm just spit-balling here.

What were we saying about the atheist experience?

Anyway, me coming here is basically inviting pope to debate the merits of my faith. This hypothetical show wouldn't work though because every caller would ask somthing from the same list of like 10 questions.

Blablahb:

Christian discussions that separate religion from science and don't view science as an enemy ussually resolve it by saying the facts science found are correct, and the bible should be seen as 'an inspiration rather than history' where it contradicts that.

Almost like St. Augustine did 17 centuries ago?

tstorm823:

itsthesheppy:

It's a complicated question. I honestly think it might be down to the idea that most religious people wouldn't invite people to call them to debate the merits of their faith. They're be more in the market for people to call in and reaffirm it, because delusions only really work if they are strongly affirmed by others. I'm just spit-balling here.

What were we saying about the atheist experience?

Anyway, me coming here is basically inviting pope to debate the merits of my faith. This hypothetical show wouldn't work though because every caller would ask somthing from the same list of like 10 questions.

I feel like the only question that needs be asked is "Is there any evidence yet to suggest that any of those myths are true?". The answer, of course, is "No" and I guess it would make for a rather short show. Not a lot of meat on that bone. Roll credits!

itsthesheppy:

I feel like the only question that needs be asked is "Is there any evidence yet to suggest that any of those myths are true?". The answer, of course, is "No" and I guess it would make for a rather short show. Not a lot of meat on that bone. Roll credits!

You forget that the first things atheiss do is dismiss thousands of years and billions of people worth of tradition...

tstorm823:
You forget that the first things atheiss do is dismiss thousands of years and billions of people worth of tradition...

Well, yeah. It's not like being raised in a religion and thus believing in it is proof of that religion's veracity; it's just proof of upbringing informing our views and beliefs. To extrapolate, a religion successfully existing and influencing people over a large timespan and geographical extent is not proof of its veracity, either, just proof of its successful PR (including everything that entailed and to this day entails).

Otherwise, how would you explain the existence of so many other religions, often explicitely mutually exclusive? Unless, of course, you're flexible enough to dismiss huge swaths of Christian and other religions' beliefs as malleable misinterpretations and appeal to some vaguery of god/gods that's completely devoid of content and meaning. Remember, too, that we would not just be talking about other Monotheisms in this context.

A very common and good test to apply to your arguments is "Would this argument I'm putting forward to an Atheist convince me if it came from the member of another religion?"; I very much doubt it would in this instance.

Skeleon:

Well, yeah. It's not like being raised in a religion and thus believing in it is proof of that religion's veracity; it's just proof of upbringing informing our views and beliefs.

It's not proof of it's veracity, but it's basis enough for my personal beliefs. I do not expect to convince someone of a different faith (or lack there of), only to justify my own. The same as the lack of evidence arguement is not logically sound to a believer, it isn't meant to convert a beiever, only to justify one's own personal atheism.

tstorm823:

itsthesheppy:

I feel like the only question that needs be asked is "Is there any evidence yet to suggest that any of those myths are true?". The answer, of course, is "No" and I guess it would make for a rather short show. Not a lot of meat on that bone. Roll credits!

You forget that the first things atheiss do is dismiss thousands of years and billions of people worth of tradition...

Egyptian mythos was around a lot longer than Christianity. To give you an idea just how long Egypt was around, Cleopatra was born closer to the moon landing than she was the construction of the pyramids. True story.

Millions of people believed utterly in the Egyptian gods. They had traditions and ceremonies and all that stuff, long before your particular religious flavor had been invented. So it begs the question: if what you're basing it on is tenure, why not worship Ra? Or Amun-Ra, if you wanna worship a later version of him.

itsthesheppy:

Egyptian mythos was around a lot longer than Christianity. To give you an idea just how long Egypt was around, Cleopatra was born closer to the moon landing than she was the construction of the pyramids. True story.

Millions of people believed utterly in the Egyptian gods. They had traditions and ceremonies and all that stuff, long before your particular religious flavor had been invented. So it begs the question: if what you're basing it on is tenure, why not worship Ra? Or Amun-Ra, if you wanna worship a later version of him.

I'm not basing by beliefs on tenure. I'm just saying that my beliefs are based on tradition...

tstorm823:

itsthesheppy:

Egyptian mythos was around a lot longer than Christianity. To give you an idea just how long Egypt was around, Cleopatra was born closer to the moon landing than she was the construction of the pyramids. True story.

Millions of people believed utterly in the Egyptian gods. They had traditions and ceremonies and all that stuff, long before your particular religious flavor had been invented. So it begs the question: if what you're basing it on is tenure, why not worship Ra? Or Amun-Ra, if you wanna worship a later version of him.

I'm not basing by beliefs on tenure. I'm just saying that my beliefs are based on tradition...

The tradition you were indoctrinated into. Which has by your own admission absolutely no bearing on whether or not it is true. So knowing that I will only respect statements that get to the truth, why would you bother bringing it up? Are you looking for my license? For me to say "oh its your belief well that's all right then"? Because that's not going to happen.

I will, instead, point out that you are a perfect example of the brainwashed. Someone who has sadly lost the ability to think rationally and instead embraces the superstitions he was handed, because it's more comfortable to label oneself and parrot back what is spoon-fed than to take the riskier, rocky road of thinking critically. It's pitiable, not admirable.

tstorm823:
It's not proof of it's veracity, but it's basis enough for my personal beliefs. I do not expect to convince someone of a different faith (or lack there of), only to justify my own. The same as the lack of evidence arguement is not logically sound to a believer, it isn't meant to convert a beiever, only to justify one's own personal atheism.

Huh, if it's not even supposed to convince anybody else, then why bring it up as if there was some sort of flaw with the Atheists' response to it? It's not a convincing argu-... no, apparently it's not even an argument at all, convincing or not.

Skeleon:

tstorm823:
It's not proof of it's veracity, but it's basis enough for my personal beliefs. I do not expect to convince someone of a different faith (or lack there of), only to justify my own. The same as the lack of evidence arguement is not logically sound to a believer, it isn't meant to convert a beiever, only to justify one's own personal atheism.

Huh, if it's not even supposed to convince anybody else, then why bring it up as if there was some sort of flaw with the Atheists' response to it? It's not a convincing argu-... no, apparently it's not even an argument at all, convincing or not.

Isn't that sort of the ultimate fall-back point for any believer? That 'faith' does not require evidence, and thus there is no need for proof or disproof of God?

itsthesheppy:

The tradition you were indoctrinated into. Which has by your own admission absolutely no bearing on whether or not it is true. So knowing that I will only respect statements that get to the truth, why would you bother bringing it up? Are you looking for my license? For me to say "oh its your belief well that's all right then"? Because that's not going to happen.

I will, instead, point out that you are a perfect example of the brainwashed. Someone who has sadly lost the ability to think rationally and instead embraces the superstitions he was handed, because it's more comfortable to label oneself and parrot back what is spoon-fed than to take the riskier, rocky road of thinking critically. It's pitiable, not admirable.

Or, I can accept my own fallible, ignorant role and not pretend that critical thinking is going to magically make me omnipotent. You take no more risks in your beliefs than I do i mine, and I say that as though you do any more critical thinking than I. There's almost absolute certainty that my opinion of the unknowable is wrong in some way or another (as is yours) so I choose to be wrong in the way that is comfortable and sensible to me (as do you) so remove yourself from your high horse before I pull it out from underneath you (which I can).

Skeleon:

Huh, if it's not even supposed to convince anybody else, then why bring it up as if there was some sort of flaw with the Atheists' response to it? It's not a convincing argu-... no, apparently it's not even an argument at all, convincing or not.

Considering the amunt of time we've spent debating and the ongoing stability of my beliefs, it seems to me you don't have any convincing arguements either, but I'm sure you can justify your beliefs and would just the same if someone put forth the implication that what you believe is arbitrary.

Realitycrash:

Isn't that sort of the ultimate fall-back point for any believer? That 'faith' does not require evidence, and thus there is no need for proof or disproof of God?

The vast majority of things don't require evidence. If someone tells you dinner is in 10 minutes, you show up in 10 minutes without checking their statement. If someone tells you there's a poisonous snake inthe woods, you tread carefully without looking for it. The only things people demand evidece for are purly scientific hypotheses and statement they don't like. When you hold everything to the standards of scientific rigor, you cn start complaining about the need for evidence for everything. Until then, you may wallow in your hypocrisy.

tstorm823:

Realitycrash:

Isn't that sort of the ultimate fall-back point for any believer? That 'faith' does not require evidence, and thus there is no need for proof or disproof of God?

The vast majority of things don't require evidence. If someone tells you dinner is in 10 minutes, you show up in 10 minutes without checking their statement. If someone tells you there's a poisonous snake inthe woods, you tread carefully without looking for it. The only things people demand evidece for are purly scientific hypotheses and statement they don't like. When you hold everything to the standards of scientific rigor, you cn start complaining about the need for evidence for everything. Until then, you may wallow in your hypocrisy.

Eh.
The vast majority of things DO require evidence for it to be constituted as true. Otherwise, it is simply an assumption. Dinner ready in 10 minutes? It's a decent assumption that probably holds true, but not per necessity. Snake in the woods? Same.
This does not mean that we actually REQUIRE evidence to regard something as RELIABLE. But 'true' and 'reliable' is not the same thing (unless you go extremist and refer to the Problem of Induction, then it IS the same thing, or rather: 'True' disappears, and everything becomes less or more 'probable'/'reliable'). When my friend/mom/whatever tells me that dinner will be ready in 10, I hold this as reliable if their previous statements have been so (i.e I refer to my experience of previous induction). However, I can not know this is true until dinner is actually served.

And, besides, this wasn't my point. My point was that 'faith' really doesn't require evidence.

And oh, tone? Yeah. Tone. Be polite, please.

Realitycrash:

And oh, tone? Yeah. Tone. Be polite, please.

In my head, that was said in a Mr. Burns voice.

tstorm823:

The vast majority of things don't require evidence. If someone tells you dinner is in 10 minutes, you show up in 10 minutes without checking their statement. If someone tells you there's a poisonous snake inthe woods, you tread carefully without looking for it. The only things people demand evidece for are purly scientific hypotheses and statement they don't like. When you hold everything to the standards of scientific rigor, you cn start complaining about the need for evidence for everything. Until then, you may wallow in your hypocrisy.

Oh thats just silly. Im SURE youve heard the arguments of "The larger the implication the larger my demand for evidence". I dont demand evidence for dinner because i dont care. I have little to lose. If i turn up and its not there i wont mind. So id rather take the risk than investigate further since the implication either way is totally irrelevant and me previous time of this single life is better spent doing other things.

The SNAKE on the other hand i WOULD ask for evidence. Did you see it? What did it look like? Are you sure its poisonous? When did you see it? Thats a dangerous situation. Id demand some explanation and reasoning at least since worst case scenario, I DIE.

Likewise i will demand a LOT of evidence for a new drug. People might die. So we test it rigorously. Similarly if a God exists i have to obey every rule and do everything i can to avoid infinite torture and fire and stuff or purgatory or what have you. Thats a huge leap. Especially when the rules are different. This is fucking important, i need to get the right set of rules. Hell, by definition, is the worst thing period. It is defined as "Infinitely bad" so its "Infinitely" important for me to know exactly what to do to avoid it. Im going to test that shiz rigorously.

No part of the atheist mindset demands ALL things be tested to the same degree. Its only logical to test things in proportion to their importance in the event of them being right or wrong. I dont understand why its hypocritical to hold things to different standards if we openly state thats what we are doing. I hold my own beliefs pretty damn critically too. I had an awkward and difficult argument on abortion here recently and it made me really consider my views. It was horrible and uncomfortable for me but i did it anyway because its important that my views can survive critique.

tstorm823:

Realitycrash:

And oh, tone? Yeah. Tone. Be polite, please.

In my head, that was said in a Mr. Burns voice.

In my head, I like to pretend that we can still have civil discussions on the R&P without sniping at each-other for pretended slights.

BiscuitTrouser:

Oh thats just silly. Im SURE youve heard the arguments of "The larger the implication the larger my demand for evidence". I dont demand evidence for dinner because i dont care. I have little to lose. If i turn up and its not there i wont mind. So id rather take the risk than investigate further since the implication either way is totally irrelevant and me previous time of this single life is better spent doing other things.

The SNAKE on the other hand i WOULD ask for evidence. Did you see it? What did it look like? Are you sure its poisonous? When did you see it? Thats a dangerous situation. Id demand some explanation and reasoning at least since worst case scenario, I DIE.

Likewise i will demand a LOT of evidence for a new drug. People might die. So we test it rigorously. Similarly if a God exists i have to obey every rule and do everything i can to avoid infinite torture and fire and stuff or purgatory or what have you. Thats a huge leap. Especially when the rules are different. This is fucking important, i need to get the right set of rules. Hell, by definition, is the worst thing period. It is defined as "Infinitely bad" so its "Infinitely" important for me to know exactly what to do to avoid it. Im going to test that shiz rigorously.

No part of the atheist mindset demands ALL things be tested to the same degree. Its only logical to test things in proportion to their importance in the event of them being right or wrong. I dont understand why its hypocritical to hold things to different standards if we openly state thats what we are doing. I hold my own beliefs pretty damn critically too. I had an awkward and difficult argument on abortion here recently and it made me really consider my views. It was horrible and uncomfortable for me but i did it anyway because its important that my views can survive critique.

To be honest, RealityCrash basically sewed up my side for me with the "different standards for try=uth and reliability" bit.

I don't even remember my initial response to this post because I went over to read your abortion arguement... The guy you're debating there is pretty good. He reminds me of me before I spent so much time here and decided that I've won most of the arguements. Basically says what I say but with a lot more patience.

tstorm823:

I don't even remember my initial response to this post because I went over to read your abortion arguement... The guy you're debating there is pretty good. He reminds me of me before I spent so much time here and decided that I've won most of the arguements. Basically says what I say but with a lot more patience.

Thats fair enough then.

Honestly the discussion was really hard for me. I found it very hard to adapt my view and still be happy with it. He also conceded the fact that morally you need to legislate when people are allowed to have sex or not and under what conditions which creeped me out to the extreme. I honestly cant say i feel totally comfortable with either side now and im unsure what to do. Challenging view points is harrrrrrrd shiiiiiiit. Thats for a different thread though, you can go read my argument for that and how he agreed with me in the other thread.

tstorm823:
It's not proof of it's veracity, but it's basis enough for my personal beliefs. I do not expect to convince someone of a different faith (or lack there of), only to justify my own.

I have to say I'm a little curious as to why you feel it justifies your own. As has already been pointed out, there's thousands of different, mutually exclusive religions out there, each with their own long-standing traditions. Take Hinduism for example, which has been practiced far longer than any Abrahamic religion has. How can you appeal to the tradition of your own religion whilst ignoring the traditions of others? Do you honestly feel intellectually justified by that appeal?

Jerram Fahey:
I have to say I'm a little curious as to why you feel it justifies your own. As has already been pointed out, there's thousands of different, mutually exclusive religions out there, each with their own long-standing traditions. Take Hinduism for example, which has been practiced far longer than any Abrahamic religion has. How can you appeal to the tradition of your own religion whilst ignoring the traditions of others? Do you honestly feel intellectually justified by that appeal?

Yes. Given multiple equally valid options, it makes sense to stick with the one you're most familiar with.

Jerram Fahey:

tstorm823:
It's not proof of it's veracity, but it's basis enough for my personal beliefs. I do not expect to convince someone of a different faith (or lack there of), only to justify my own.

I have to say I'm a little curious as to why you feel it justifies your own. As has already been pointed out, there's thousands of different, mutually exclusive religions out there, each with their own long-standing traditions. Take Hinduism for example, which has been practiced far longer than any Abrahamic religion has. How can you appeal to the tradition of your own religion whilst ignoring the traditions of others? Do you honestly feel intellectually justified by that appeal?

As you can see in his reply to you above this post, Tstorm clearly has no interest in the truth. You will find no more honest a response than "I don't care about what's true. I believe what I believe because it's familiar, full stop."

All you can really do is nod politely and accept that some people are just not interested in intellectual growth or exploration. Some people will just cling to the security blanket for its own sake.

tstorm823:

Yes. Given multiple equally valid options, it makes sense to stick with the one you're most familiar with.

How does this make any sense whatsoever? How does your familiarity with Christianity make it any more likely to be true? You seem to be explaining why you like Christianity, which of course lends it no greater likelihood of truth.

tstorm823:

Jerram Fahey:
I have to say I'm a little curious as to why you feel it justifies your own. As has already been pointed out, there's thousands of different, mutually exclusive religions out there, each with their own long-standing traditions. Take Hinduism for example, which has been practiced far longer than any Abrahamic religion has. How can you appeal to the tradition of your own religion whilst ignoring the traditions of others? Do you honestly feel intellectually justified by that appeal?

Yes. Given multiple equally valid options, it makes sense to stick with the one you're most familiar with.

That rather implies that even you don't have any actual proof for your beliefs, which strikes me as unusual. When I've discussed this very subject with my Christian friends, they actually believe they have encountered God in their own lives. Spoken to Him, been guided by Him, witnessed miracles and so forth. The proof obviously isn't enough to satisfy a non-believer or convert anyone, but it's enough for them to justify their faith to themselves.

If your religious beliefs are based simply around what you are most familiar with, does that mean you've never experienced God?

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