FOF #915 – Living Outside Religion

Jan 21, 2009 · 1985 views

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Is it possible to be gay and an atheist? On today’s show we have Greta Christina, a former peep show dancer and now a blog evangelist for atheism. Greta’s here to talk with us about […]


  1. Interesting guest well done guys. I was intrigued by the assertion that people who believe in a god tend to invest in something of which there is no evidence on the other hand there is no evidence that he/she doesn’t exist! :-s

  2. Marcin says:

    Well Mark, there is no evidence that right now a giant invisible alien fleet doesn’t hide on the dark side of the Moon, poised to invade our planet any moment now, either. Or that an invisible gorilla ninja doesn’t live in your or my flat, feeding on garbage and stealing odd pieces of underwear to build its nest.

    Still, if someone was to “invest” into these beliefs (about which there is no evidence that they are untrue) and, say, started to organize the Anti-Alien Earth Defense Force, or tried to sell you the Gorilla Ninja Repellent ™, we would surely conclude that such a person is either a crook or a madman.

  3. Jos says:

    If we want to make this a scientific question that can be decided by empirical evidence, the burden of proof is on both believers and nonbelievers to establish operational definitions and quantifiable criteria by which we can arrive at a testable conclusion. What is the operational definition of God and what quantifiable criteria should we use to accept or reject the null hypothesis of God’s nonexistence?

  4. This just in:
    A federal judge has ruled that Illinois’ moment of silence in schools is unconstitutional because it forces children to contemplate religion.

    Via Gaper’s Block

  5. Nidocamen says:

    Great show!! I saw the following quote somewhere on the internet many years ago and I fully believe it. “Religion is the evil of this planet and should be eliminated.” I do believe that people can be spiritual/metaphysical or whatever, but just don’t force others to believe in it!! I was raised strict Roman Catholic and quickly abandoned going to church once I went away to college…….I couldn’t wait!! My parents were extremely disappointed, but ……well, that’s a whole other story LOL!!!

  6. Marcin says:

    I think one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard was by Richard Dawkins during some talk show/TV debate.

    His opponent was some anglican bishop, who went on with some extremely boring, complex theological explanation. When he finished, Dawkins looked at the moderator and said: “Well, I don’t know why we have to listen to him only because he has an imaginary friend.”

  7. Ben says:

    I really enjoyed this show! I was raised as a christian but left the church as a teenager and have not been back since. There are a lot of writings that have given me inspiration, my bible as Fausto put it, but I really love what Albert Einstein has to say about the mystery of life.
    “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man… I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence — as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”

  8. Marcin says:

    I think most of us had some turbulent relationship with organized religion in our past (or still do). Fortunately, my parents are not fundamentalist/very religious (so the issue of hell etc. never really came out in relation to my coming out to them), but I was nonetheless raised a catholic (like 99% of Poles) and even had a brief period in my life when I considered becoming a priest. Now I am an atheist.

    However, to change the subject, I found the other topic of the show very interesting, too. I completely agree with Greta Christina that there is more to paying for sex than just “straightforward” prostitution – from “sugar daddies” to “money slaves”, there is a lot of dynamics there, and for some people it’s actually part of the sexual attraction, and not just a payment for the sexual intercourse. Hell, in ancient Mesopotamia there were even temples where daughters and wives of nobles practiced “sacred prostitution” to worship the goddess Ishtar.

  9. Fabulous guest! The garbage in garbage out theory is spot on. People like Dalai Lama are professed atheists so we’re in good company.

  10. Ben Consoli says:

    Loved the show today guys. What a great guest. The older I get, the harder it is to believe in religion. I think people would be much more respectful of life if they realize they only have one.

  11. Listening to Fausto read my comment made me realise that I didn’t make my point very clearly. What I meant to say was atheists invest as much energy believing in the non-existence of a god and monotheists/pantheists do in believing that there is/are god/gods.
    I see it as two sides of the same coin.

    I choose to believe but have no problem with anyone who chooses not to and I certainly have no time for evangelicals who insist on forcing their opinions on other.

    We have a queen who is head of the Church of England so church and state are inexorably linked; the US, I believe, has a constitution that specifies that there should be no link between church and state. It strikes me that you in the US have far more church influence/interference in politics than we do here. One cannot fail to see the irony.

  12. DC_GAY_MAN says:

    Excellent topic and the show has great karma. I definitely will check her blog out and learn more about atheism. Her concept that ‘death is a deadline’ is a blunt way of saying ‘Seize the day’ – which resonates with me.

  13. Of course I enjoyed the show a lot as an anti-religious person! Religion just does not fit in our modern times, the earlier we completly get rid of it the better, more peacful we all can live together on ths planet.

  14. RicoPablo says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast. I was intellectually stimulated and had a lot of laughs as well. Love that combination!

  15. Kieran says:

    Once again a highly intelligent discussion and a lot of fun. Fantastic show. Greta was superb. I have to replay this a few times.

  16. Just think 300 or 400 years ago we would have been killed for even bringing the topic up.
    Let’s celebrate our freedom.

  17. Nick says:

    What a wonderful show.

    I loved the ideas put forward by this show and the debate stiumated by both Marc and Fausto.

    Oh and England is NOWHERE near as Liberal as you make out.

    Much love

  18. Fishsauce says:

    Probably one of my most favorite episodes yet. Thanks for giving Greta a different platform to share her views, ones that tend to be repeatedly overlooked by mainstream culture.

    I was born from Catholic parents and raised with Catholic values, but after much soul-searching and questioning, I now share in most of Greta’s views. Just because I don’t believe in God(s) or adhere to an organized religion doesn’t mean that I am without ethics, morals or deep value for my fellow humans.

    Hats off again to FOF for providing an insightful discussion.

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