Monday, March 7, 2011

Episode 81 Sacrificial Lambs

The DoubtCasters take on some of the most bizarre stories in the news recently, including the latest Catholic sex scandal (not what you expect), the latest anti-gay crusader's sex scandal (exactly what you'd expect), the Supreme Court, Fort Bragg, and beyond. Plus, liberal use of the word "booty."

In Skeptic's Sunday School Justin takes a look at Jesus' role as a sacrificial lamb. And in God Thinks Like You, Dr. Prof. Luke offers up props to other researchers who think like him and addresses a listener question about Terror Management Theory. We close out the episode with a PolyAtheistic look at the Titan Prometheus and his sacrificial liver.

Vote for RD as the Best Agnostic/ Atheist Podcast on


Anonymous said...

Um...where's the link to the podcast?

Anonymous said...

Until it's fixed:

Jared said...

I say we create our own "rock beyond belief" somewhere near GR or Detroit. But. Give it a better name.

That is a HORRIBLE name for anything.

"Free Thinker's Ball"
"Rock out of the Iron Age"
"Free Inquiry Fest"
"Skeptic's Mayhem"

what about Immorality Immolation 2012!!!!

We can never have too many outdoor concerts in Michigan. Especially for Free-thinking modern people :D

~Jared Saverino

IamStyX said...

It would appear that about register the ip address of the voter so using a public library might not work.

IamStyX said...

*Say if several listners were trying to vote from the same location just on different computers.

R.L. McVicar said...

I disagree with the supreme court's verdict. Not because I don't want Fred's family to not protest but because the right to privacy should also be considered.

While the right to free speech shouldn't be debated when and where you can have it is certainly an issue that should be considered by the law. It should be reasonable that people shouldn't have the funerals for their loved one's disturbed just as we wouldn't allow a birth or other private acts to be disturbed. How private is a funeral? That might need to be debated but most people wouldn't want one interrupted any more than they would a wedding.

Personal privacy, as I have already stated, is also a basic right.

Anonymous said...

I was slightly sad when Fletcher said that Prometheus was another God not worth believing in (though I recognize it's his tagline)...of most of the Gods/Titans, he's one of the few who has enough good qualities that I would actually be inclined to worship, should he be real. But alas, some beings are too good to be true

Unknown said...

mostly pointless complaint/comment: Agnostic "Fence Sitters"?

While I understand why we tend to speak down of those who identify with the Agnostic movement. However, I am not sure it is productive.

Coming out of a religious background I began to identify as and tell people I was "Agnostic". It would spur conversation, but also people tended to be less defensive. It acted as a buffer between my attempt to grow and learn more while also safely stepping away from the religion of my youth.

I feel personally it would have been more difficult to go from a devout believer to atheism. The division was simply not that clean or obvious. There was a time that I knew I no longer believed but still feared what would happen if I vocally admitted it.

Love to hear your thoughts on this. I am always referring people to your show, thank you for all the work you guys put in. Thanks for the great show!

Jeremy said...


Thanks for your comment.
I dont know whos comment you were referring to but I'm sure it was only teasing(sadly there are few audible signs of sarcastic grins). I myself have considered changing my designation of choice to agnostic. My reason would be, prior to the big bang (or outside of our universe) we really have no idea what could exist. Im certain you wouldnt find anything like any of the god concepts us bipedial apes have come up with. But something intelligent with powers far beyond our own is certainly a possibility. I just think we shouldn't make claims on what we cant know. That sounds like the agnostics position more than the atheists. But for now Im sticking with "atheist" because a personal God could give us signs of his presence if he wanted to (so we could hypothetically have knowledge about some types of gods). Besides if I say I'm an agnostic people would assume I'm on the fence (thats not really what agnosticism means but thats how most people use it) and I am most certainly not on the fence. Really the label doesnt matter, the quality of the thinking behind your beliefs (or lack of belief) does.

Justin said...

I consider myself both Agnostic and Atheist. I do not think these terms are mutually exclusive.

I have no knowledge about a god's existence.
I have no belief in gods either.

I do think that, if one defines their god with logical contradictions, I am well within my intellectual rights in being a Gnostic Atheist. In other words, I know they are full of it.

I have no problem making and defending claims like... "Married Bachelors do not Exist!"

S. Snyder said...

I prefer the term Free Thinker. Defining yourself as something you're not seems a little odd, like "I'm an aglacier, or apopsicle." As for the "ultimately even the non-believer can't know for sure" stance of some agnostics, I look at it this way. While it's true that we can't know for certain if God exists or doesn't exist, we can look at the question probablistically and arrive at a "good enough anaswer." After all there are range of possible answers between yes and no: highly likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely and highly unlikely.

After examining the arguments and evidence, I've concluded it's somewhere between somewhat unlikely and highly unlikely. Does that make me an agnostic or just someone arriving at a rational conclusion, yet open to new arguments and evidence? In short, a free thinker?

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in a Free Will dicussion should check out BBC podcast "In Our Time with Melvyn Brag," this week.

Anonymous said...


Maybe the reasonable doubters can give us their take on how Bragg's guest handle it.

Andrew Ryan said...

Thanks for the tip re Melvyn Bragg's show. I thought that Reasonable Doubts' shows on free will have the edge over Bragg's, decent though it was.

Unknown said... the show, but have to challenge you on something.

In this podcast, you claim that the word translated 'virgin' in the Septuagint version of Isaiah 7:14 didn't necessarily mean that in the Hebrew. I've looked at these arguments before and found them to be inconclusive....maybe 70% on the side of it being a mistranslation. (OK...more like 97%, but I try to give the apologists every bit of slack I can)

That's why I was interested to hear you say that the same word was used in Genesis 34 (Dinah story) when obviously referring to a non-virgin. I checked a concordance, and it showed different Hebrew words for what was translated "damsel" in Gen 34 vs. Isaiah 7.

If this could be substantiated, it would be a slam-dunk demonstrating that the "prophecy" was more of a "typo", but my 5-minute research says no. Are there other manuscripts that do use the same word in GEN 34 and ISA 7? If so, I'd love to know.


Justin said...


I was only talking of the Septuagint's use of the Greek word 'Parthenos' in Isaiah 7:14. They will use this to claim that 'Parthenos' translates exclusively to 'virgin', but the passage in Genesis shows us that this is not the case.

I would say that yes, there is some ambiguity, but that it becomes heavily exaggerated when the Christian doctrine of the Virgin birth is at stake.

For me, the nail in the... Hands? is that Isaiah 7:14 is simply not a messianic prophecy.

Anonymous said...

1900- 1.6 Billion People;
2010- 6.8 Billion People;
110 years- 5.2 Billion People;
Solution to problem- Stop Creating Babies;
Help spread this message to the entire world.

Mirjiam said...

I'm inclined to agree with an anonymous listener-- the whole poly-atheism segment of reasonable doubts is a great learning experience, but I always wince when I hear that a certain god is "not worth believing in."

While I agree that the Greek, Norse, Celtic, and the plethora of other gods are not real I still find their stories to be too damn good to just ignore their value.

Fletcher said...

Anon and Mirjiam,

I agree completely. I just want to clarify that the tag is "worth not believing in" as opposed to "not worth believing in." It's a minor difference, but at least to my mind it changes the emphasis. See, the idea is to spotlight additional gods that we don't believe in who are still very much worth knowing about. These are gods that many people don't know about that they should, even though they probably shouldn't believe in them.

I hope that clarifies that for you. Perhaps I'll include a similar clarification in the next episode as well.

The last thing I would want to do would be to denigrate a wonderful character like Prometheus.

Anonymous said...

Stranger than fiction?

Aaron said...

Why was my post deleted?

I saw it go through fine...

Unknown said...

Aaron, I am assuming you are the same Aaron we recently got an email from? We am not sure what happened, please do feel free to post it again.


Aaron said...

I'll repost my main points.

Basically I wanted to show how the Passover does relate to Jesus sacrifice.

It's not just about getting out of Egypt.

The death plague of Passover night wasn't just directed at Egypt's sins. God made it clear that Israelites would suffer the same fate if they didn't follow the instructions he gave about putting the blood on the doorposts.

God's wrath would have come to everyone that night if Israel didn't follow God's directions to put the blood of the sacrificed lamb on the doorposts of the house.

God was providing a way to escape judgment through the blood of a lamb. Instead of being judged for their own sins, Israel would be passed over.

Paul uses this terminology in reference to Jesus in Rom. 3:25 "because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed."

This was an act of God's mercy.

However, the cross was also about justice and judgment - which is where the atonement comes in.

The atonement was about punishing an animal with the judgment that you should receive.

In the crucifixion, not only does God overlook our offenses (Passover), but he pays for them himself (Atonement).

Again, Romans 3:25,26 says why this was necessary. God had previously not held our sins against us - through animal sacrifices, etc. - but the penalty for our sins was never fully paid by the animals. The crucifixion was necessary to show that God is a righteous and just judge. God couldn't forever keep overlooking sin while the fullness of the debt went unpaid. That would be like a judge letting a murderer off the hook because the guy was sorry. The judge would be merciful - but not just.

Someone needed to pay the full debt that humanity was amassing - and only Jesus could do it.

Lastly, you didn't think any clear reasons for Jesus' death were given in any gospel but John.
In the other gospels he died “for whatever reason” – you stated.

A quick quote from Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”