Welcome to The Dinner Party Download, a fast and funny hour of culture, food and conversation: “public radio’s arts & leisure section.” In every episode you’ll learn a joke; bone up on an odd bit of history and then wash it down with a themed cocktail recipe; meet artists of note; have your burning etiquette questions answered; savor an emerging food trend; and hear your new favorite song. Plus, unconventional wisdom from hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam.
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Welcome back to The Atheist Experience! This week Matt is joined by Arden Hart. Our first call today comes from Jake in Canada, who wants to ask about original sin, and how the Christian notion of substitutionary atonement is morally corrupt. We feel ya Jake. Second up is Andrew in New York, offering his understanding of paganism. Matt would rather hear from paganism from a pagan, and Arden points out that not all folks who identify as “pagan” share the same set of beliefs. Moving on! Mike from Texas stampedes out of the queue with a quick lecture about alternate theist views, before being lassoed in by Matt to talk about what HE believes. We hit on the problem of the source of consciousness, a bit of naturalism, and a touch of solipsism. Mike makes his case for the supernatural with a whole lot of five-dollar words, but Matt & Arden aren't impressed. Robin from DC believes that if one rejects a claim, one assumes the contrary position. Our hosts explain that it’s possible to be unconvinced of both states. It’s okay to say “I don’t know” folks, in fact, it’s a big step on the way to knowledge. Next we have Steven in WA who starts with an assertion that people have their own truths, Arden explains the difference between opinion and fact. Steven offers the example of people in his community offering career advice using their “true” assessments about his aptitudes, and Matt further clarifies that opinions and advice are not the same as truth. We wrap up by analyzing claims of a personal relationship with God, which Stephen concedes he cannot prove. LaRue in Illinois has a question about whether a family member’s threats that he thinks were fulfilled by God qualify that person as sociopathic. Arden offers the caveat that she isn’t qualified to make psychiatric diagnoses, and suggests that trying to determine whether behaviour is positive or negative for LaRue is probably more valuable. Tate asks our hosts what religious folks mean when they talk about subjective and objective morality. Matt offers a great explanation of how the product of a mind is the basis for subjective morality. Charles in Canada is a big fan, who doesn’t like the statement that there isn’t evidence for gods. Matt clarifies the difference between good evidence and testimony, and agrees that there is (air quotes) “evidence”, it's just not very compelling and hasn’t convinced him. Jake from the UK is looking for tips on how to set boundaries with family members while salvaging relationships. Arden and Matt offer a couple examples of how to frame conversations so that they can be constructive. That’s our show this week folks, wear your masks, get your shots, and let’s get through this thing together!