SIO7: An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar…

Joining me today are that atheist and that Christian, and their names are Justin Schieber and Randal Rauser. Justin and Randal have written a book containing a very fruitful and respectful dialogue between an atheist and a Christian. Today they talk about the origins of the project and then were kind enough to go over one of the many arguments contained in the book! The argument is on the hostility of the universe and whether it makes sense under theism. There’s a very spirited back and forth that I encourage you to listen to!

You can find the book here.

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6 Comments on "SIO7: An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar…"

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Good discussion. Schieber’s argument reminds me of the beginning of C.S. Lewis’s Introduction to his book, The Problem of Pain: Not many years ago when I was an atheist, if anyone had asked me, “Why do you not believe in God?” my reply would have run something like this: “Look at the universe we live in. By far the greatest part of it consists of empty space, completely dark and unimaginably cold. The bodies which move in this space are so few and so small in comparison with the space itself that even if every one of them were… Read more »

I predicted how this conversation would go from the start. I did find it particularly interesting because apologists just make stuff up to suit their argument. It’s like when two kids are playing cops and robbers and one kid clearly shoots the other with a Nerf bullet and the other says, “I am wearing an invisible bullet proof vest.” Then the other says, “Well, I will cut it off with my Nerf knife.” Then the other kid says, “Its Nerf knife proof as well.” And on it goes.
At some point, the tete-a-tete becomes meaningless.


Had a similar experience during listening. At point Randall says in response to Justin. ‘I can think of a perfectly good reason God would made it like this’. Well that’s good for you Randall. Its just that the fact whether you can think of a reason ( ad hoc rationality) or can’t think of a reason (fallacy from ignorance) doesn’t inform us in anyway whether it actually coforms with reality.

Cornell Skyers
Justin Schieber is sorely missed in the atheist podcasting community, I just don’t follow Youtube videos the same way I can audio formats. It was a great conversation, thanks for hosting it Thomas! The fail to see how Randal Rauser’s argument is not a “Mysterious Ways” argument or how it could possibly be adapted to a specific god. It barely works with a vague Deistic god. Unless we just choose to believe god has his “reasons” and will omit or lie about what he/she/they want from us and the Universe. Yahweh for example, just wanted his people to make him… Read more »
And Justin points out that 99.99% of the universe is totally instant death. Now I think he has the number wrong. It is more close to 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% of the universe is inhospitable to us. It is interesting to hear how Randall totally steps over this. It just doesn’t matter to him, which makes kind of sence I guess, since the mindset ‘God made it that way’ fits ANYTHING. But on Earth even: there are millions of species. What makes you think it’s us God intended to make. Perhaps it is ants what it really is all about. Ants have complex… Read more »
Idiot in a Chair Typing
Idiot in a Chair Typing
At the beginning of the episode they both kind of made straw man arguments regarding the arguments against Philosophy of religion in acadamia. Their arguments weren’t valid. For example they claim you need to use the philophy of religion to point out you don’t need the philosophy of religion. The point of the argument (THe main point of people like Loftus is) that they avoided was “it should not be in Academia”. There is nothing wrong with philosophy of religion, and there is nothing wrong with calling it philosophy. But consider whether there should be a philosophy of the tooth… Read more »