SIO43: Debate and Discussion with Dan Arel

I’m pleased to bring you Dan Arel, of, who is self-admittedly far, far left. While last week had me debating free speech with a more right-wing friendly Michael Shermer, this week I’ll be debating from the other side. Dan, in my opinion, is quite extreme in his tweeting and online expression. I do not hide the fact that I disagree adamantly with a lot of what he has said, but I wanted to try to have a conversation because I imagined I might be a bit of a bridge since I agree with him that a lot of the atheist community is enabling the right while pretending not to. The resulting discussion I think was very productive and a must listen!


I found the Bill Maher thing, looks like from 2014 and then he changed his mind a year later. I wasn’t following him as much back then so that’s why I didn’t remember. First link, second link.

Support us on Patreon at:

Follow us on Twitter: @seriouspod


For comments, email

Questions, Suggestions, Episode ideas? email:


Direct Download

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "SIO43: Debate and Discussion with Dan Arel"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

Great episode Thomas! Would love to hear more between you two. I think this kind of discussion is most valuable. Sheds some light on the sense of the far left rejecting the mid-left for being too far right.

Binary categories might be nice and neat for our minds, but they are worthless in any actual thought processes.

I’ve tried to make this comment half-a-dozen times in the past week, responding to the Thinking Atheist episode on which you both, coincidentally, were guests. Their spam filter is pretty overbearing when it comes to drawn-out posts, so fortunately, I think I have it cut down into something pretty tight. I have a real problem with the way this conversation about punching nazis has been framed. Asking whether it’s okay to respond to speech with violence, assumes that the violence is in response to speech, and fails to acknowledge the context in which both actions occur. If we accept that… Read more »
I’d have to disagree with your conclusion that Bill Maher has a good show. used to watch but his anti-science views on vaccines, monsanto, GMOs with griping about “political correctness” like a old man saying “get off my grass” and coupled with his love of Bill Crystal and Ann Coulter have made it hard to watch him as of late. But thats just my taste, and i still watch once and awhile since i like to keep the media i listen to somewhat diverse to avoid the echo chamber effect. By the way how long have you played hockey? I’ve… Read more »
Kyle here has very well spelled out a good counter to Thomas’ blanket “never use violence” argument. I just wanted to add my thoughts. “Never use violence” is a naive approach to reality. What do you expect people to do when they use words and continue to fail? What should we do if ultimately fascists convince more people with their words? Is the solution to just roll over and die? Throw up your hands, “whelp, you win, I guess conversation failed me.” No, that’s insane. The same way countries don’t just roll over and die when diplomacy fails. The last… Read more »

TFW hosting an overzealous Nazi puncher like Dan arel brings out the politically violent element within your audience, and they repeatedly denounce your seemingly non controversial anti-violence view as ‘insane’

It’s like an inverse-Rubin

@nameless_commenter I didn’t call any person’s views insane. Unless you agree with what should have been the extreme logical conclusion of an always-use-nonviolence outlook. It’s an exaggeration to illustrate what happens when an idea is taken too far. If you actually agreed with that caricature (i.e., that violence is never the answer), well, I don’t know what to say. That’s gradeschool logic. I don’t know where the line is where it becomes OK to use physical force (and yes, violence). But the line exists, in my opinion. Violence is sometimes necessary. And it seems like an arbitrary line to say… Read more »
Herman Sahdi

I like to watch Bill Maher, funny and educated..