Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Episode 58 WWJD

What would Jesus do? Many freethinkers who doubt the divinity of Jesus nevertheless believe he was one of the great ethical teachers of all time. For this episode the doubtcasters examine the gospels to determine if such praise is deserved. But first, Jamie Deleeuw joins us on the show to discuss her research on how dogmatism relates to the creationism vs evolution debate. Also on this episode: a disturbing update on the Catholic Church child abuse scandals in Ireland; Iraq tries a clever new strategy for reducing sectarian strife and Pentecostal rappers present a more godly way to hug.

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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

dudes,

interesting content today. I would have loved more truth vs myth on the jesus topic. I guess it's hard to do, but you guys could do it...maybe it's on that earlier show you mentioned? How can we tell what jesus really said and what was created to invent the latest religion of the day? If only we could get into the vatican and read those early documents!!! arg.

Also wish you would have tackled the god created evolution theory a little more. It's a really good argument for the existence of some sort of creator....IMO. But you have to be open to imagine a god that would do such a thing. There's great philosophy to be done here. Why would a god do that?

Please remember it doesn't need to be connected to christ or any other "god" others have named etc.. Seems like every time we talk about god, most people assume we're talking about the predefined god concepts, this hurts modern philosophy IMO.

radical.

Anonymous said...

Great episode. There's definitely a need for good debunking of the nice guy jesus meme. People, especially the "atheists for jesus" types need to be made aware of this stuff. I would also make note of the unhealthy, bizarre sexual ethics of jesus- stuff like equating lust with adultery and recommneding people become eunuchs for the kingdom. Even the "turn the other cheek" stuff is morally backwards, as we need (non-retributive) punishment to deter harmful behavior. It really does only make sense if you think god's gonna intervene very soon.

Nicholas said...

I wonder: do the Christian rappers front-hug their mothers?

Radical - still an open invitation to the forums. I'd love to hear why you think the "god made evolution" thing is great philosophy.

Luke said...

Could you please post the article titles you name in the podcast?

andy said...

the christian side hug's a tounge-in-cheek thing, apparently.

http://www.stereotruth.net/2009/12/exclusive-interview-christian-side-hug-creatorrapper/

Patrick said...

The episode had interesting content, though I would have preferred a closer look at "What Would Jesus Do" would actually mean, not whether he refers to a short time before the apocalypse or whatever.

Still, this episode was a very, very big disappointment for me. I mean, really – you have a special guest (and the opportunity to get a rare female voice heard on your show) – and you include her for maybe five minutes in the first news item, and after that she's not heard from again? Why? Why not do a longer interview with her? Talk about Altemeyer some more, or whatever? I mean, if Luke had summarized the study your guest had done, that would not have changed the episode much; she talked about the study, and that was pretty much it. Very, very disappointing.

JohnFrost said...

Great episode today guys-- I really can't stand these big breaks between shows! C'mon, your personal/academic lives can't be that important...

I, too, wondered about Poe's Law when I heard that rap song; pretty hilarious. "Rough rider," lol!
The one thing I noticed, though, was that they were using Star Wars' Imperial March in the background... isn't that illegal?

Jeremy said...

Andy,

Im not so sure. I read the interview and he doesnt come out and say that the side-hug comments themselves are ironic. He said "mockery" at one point, but listen to the last verse of the song. I think the message was- dont press up against somones body until your married. Obviously they meant it to be funny and the audience laughed. But I think the format was what they intended to be humorous, not the message.

Anonymous said...

@ Nicholas

Thank you for the invitation. Forgive me rd crew for re-posting here and not in the forums.

Think about this: Put yourself in gods "shoes". Assuming that you, god, was an Omni being-the ALL-What would you have done with your power? What would you have done with your "life"? IMO god was faced with a problem, and tried to create a solution.

If all the universe is some sort of designed "game", evolution makes a lot of sense. Look at game designers today, Spore comes to mind. Did the inventors of Spore come to that design from copying reality, or from their own objective process of what a fun game would be like? Game masters IMO can relate to god quite well. They create worlds, rules of engagement, and the beings that will live in those worlds..that's what god had to do, maybe.

rad

Jeremy said...

Rad,

I see where this is going. Bring it to the forum or I'll delete all your future comments here.

JB

Anonymous said...

What's up with the "white people" comment? I was glad to hear "white people are people too", but then followed by "most of the time".
From what I've seen, a disproportionate number of people in the audience were female? Are they only human part of the time as well? Would you make that joke instead?
I accept that you guys fall on the left side of the political spectrum, and in general that means only racist humor with white people as the target is acceptable, but come on.

Anonymous said...

I also found the joke about passing out sterilization pills to the god fearing believers to be offensive both times I heard it. Maybe because on many occasions you Doubt Casters claim to be above name calling and the like.

Born Innocent.

Fletcher said...

Anon,

No, I probably wouldn't say that women are only people most of the time but I'm not a woman. I am, however, a white person. This was an off hand joke, certainly not a political statement. I'm sorry if you were offended, but I think you're reading way too much into what was clearly a tongue-in-cheek comment.

Is it just me or are people getting way too sensitive about things? As someone who listens to a *lot* of podcasts, I have to say we're one of the most PC out there. We like to include humor in the show but we never try to offend. We may make fun of people's beliefs, but I think in large part we are above name calling. We may every so often call someone a crackpot, but we'll then explain *why* he or she is a crackpot.

Anonymous said...

It's just you.

Me.

iamthebrillo said...

Just wanted to say congrats on winning the Podcast Award for Best Religion/Inspiration Podcast. Looks like a couple big wins for the atheist/skeptic podcasts: http://www.podcastconnect.com/2009/12/2009-podcast-awards-winners/

Nicholas said...

Like no one here has ever made an off-hand joke (or laughed at one). I can understand taking offense to certain things, but this? I'm all for being PC, but when you listen to these guys you know they are far and away better about it than alot of podcasts out there, so cut them a little slack, maybe?

I think the "high horse" bug is spreading...

snafu said...

Nicholas has it spot on. Grow a thicker skin people.

Snafu

andy said...

Jeremy,
Yeah you're right, it was the format that was intended to be humorous, not the message. But to *me*, I think the surprising thing was that it was an attempt to be humorous at all. I hadn't seen the video, but the first thing I imagined was a group of wannabe badass pentecostals with no sense of irony, when all they seem to be is a few average christian church kids doing 'Goldie Looking Chain'. Lame, but not 'OMG they're retarded!' type lame...

Lausten North said...

Congrats on the award, you are in some good company there. Well deserved.

Not too thrilled with this episode though. The analysis of Jesus’ Apocalyptic visions was good, but the quote mining you did to have him look like he wasn’t peaceful was not so good. Most interpret “I came with a sword” to mean that someone coming with new ideas will no doubt cause divisions among family and friends. The “bring them here and I will kill them” passage is within a parable. It is not Jesus speaking. I am not as familiar with the Luke passage, but it doesn’t seem to carry much weight.

I hope anyone who heard this episode spends a little time doing more in depth research.

Jeremy said...

I dont think its fair to call it "quote mining" when we also gave several quotes which emphasized the pacifist teachings of Jesus.

I agree the "bring a sword" comment has much more context, but we didnt make a big deal of that quote. And if parables are not relevant then what is? Most of Jesus teachings in the synoptic gospels are parables. Read them and you will see many are very violent and apocalyptic in character. We tried to show how both peaceful and violent teachings of Jesus are present and make sense when viewed in a certain context. That is a balanced presentation. Its the people who just emphasize the compassionate verses who are quote mining.

R. Daneel Olivaw said...

Congratulations on winning the Podcast Award. You deserve it :D

Kathy Orlinsky said...

I just found your podcast by checking the podcast award lists. It's definitely going on my 'must listen' list. Great job!

Lausten North said...

Jeremy asked, "And if parables are not relevant then what is?"

Of course parables are relevant, but you made the claim that Jesus said "bring them here and I will kill them". That would be the equivalent of saying the Cohen brothers endorse chopping people up and running them through a chipper.

In other words, Jesus told a story in which a character said those words. You can try to understand the story, or you can quote it out of context.

Jeremy said...

First of all when I brought up this on the podcast I acknowledged that it was a parable. Their was no cover up of this fact.

Second, your analogy with Fargo doesn't work because Jesus' parable is self-referential. Jesus is the King. Its not just a story about some guy thats meant to illustrate a moral lesson. Parabels are meant to communicate something about Jesus, the nature of the kingdom, etc. They often begin "The kingdom is like..." and in most parables Jesus plays one of the roles.


You said.."You can try to understand the story, or you can quote it out of context."

I think Ive understood it. "Kill them before me" means the same thing that "lay the ax down to root" and "burn the bad tree with fire" means. Its an apocalyptic message. All but the righteous remnant who repent, will face "the wrath to come."

So if I'm wrong...What do you understand this passage to be saying? What was Jesus really getting at when he had the king say "Kill them before me"? I'd like to know what interpretation of that passage, in your mind, better fits the context.

Lausten North said...

Okay mr. screaming bunny, if you believe that anytime a King is mentioned in a parable, it must be Jesus, fine, you will be very confused about the messages. I don't just make these things up on own. I had someone tell me that I shouldn't "hide my talents" and all that crap once, but it didn't sound right, so I tried to find if anyone else thought it didn't sound right. Here is what I found http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/19982.htm.

The next counter argument I sometimes here is, "well that just proves that you can interpret the Bible anyway you want." That is not an argument at all.

I should note that I have made many positive comments on your program in the past and found it very useful and informative. I hope you continue to be open to feedback and continue the show despite what must be its many frustrations, such as people like me.