Special! Re: Ravi

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A fantastic follow-up to our last episode with Ravi Zacharias! Danny and Mikyle are joined by Jeremy Beahan of the Reasonable Doubts Podcast and his *achem* lawyer, A.J.

We discuss what went bad, what went good and what we can all learn from this. A new segment introduced in the later half, after the interview, I hope you will enjoy. Not much else to say... Mikyle usually does these, but who knows where he's at. Come on, man! You're good at this kind of thing! ....


Jean-Michel Abrassart said...

Hello guys,

Just listening to your new episode. Very interresting stuff.

Just wanna say that I think you did a good job during the Ravi interview. I mean: you were nice and polite. That's already a lot.

As for the argumentation, I don't think I would have done much better than you. That guy is savvy.

Keep up the great work,

Rich said...

I have to agree with Jean-michel. And I also agree with Danny's preamble to Special Re:Ravi.

Ravi is a professional evangelist. He knows how to befuddle honest atheists, essentially using the shot gun approach and the Gish Gallop.

The fact that you seek out people with different views is admirable. Being able to deal with them takes a lot of practice, and the only way to get practice is, sometimes, to get your ass handed to you. In fact that is the only way I ever learn things sometimes.

Anyway, I love the show,the guests are awesome, and the subject matter is interesting.


Jeremy said...

D, M & Listeners

I offer a correction (of myself). On the show I accused Ravi of making "post hoc hypothesis" when I meant to say "ad hoc hypothesis". Embarrassing slip up but I'm sure it didn't ruin the show for anyone. Thanks again guys for your hospitality, humor and your work to promote freethought.

J Beahan from Reasonable Doubts

juliehay said...

Hi guys, I haven't yet listened to all of this episode yet,however, I wanted instantly to respond to the plea from you Danny with regard to all the feedback you have had,which I have not yet read in there entirety..I want to encourage you both to stick with it,you are both very young and VERY brave to take on the religious machine and the brainwashed orators,they are very clever at what they do,hence the no of their poor deluded followers,oh, how I wish I had been such critical thinkers as you young men are, don't be put off by the negative feedback, if everyone of those people who inferred that they could have done a better job then let them do so,keep it up guys,PLEASE,I personally need all the podcasts I can get, especially young people as it is very encouraging to me...my religious past cost me dearly and I still do not have any friends at all, so I can only encourage you both, don't give up this world needs guys like you to continue to think critically and put you thoughts out there, keep it up, fond regards, Julie (from Australia)

clamflats said...

Hello there - I stumbled upon your podcast somehow and first listened to the original Ravi cast. Yep, I was sitting in my car saying "hey why'd they let this bible jockey get away with that?" (of course it's a lot easier to criticize from afar!) But I thought it was interesting and I pondered whether I would send a comment to you.

I've got a long commute and there was traffic so I got to listen to Re:Ravi right away. This was a great show. Not just for the review and commentary by your guest - it's always helpful to have a sympathetic professional - but also because you did the review and were honest about botching the interview - there is so little of that kind of public self criticism on the web, and especially MSM etc.

And you and we gained so much from that! Way more interesting and informative than the original interview. Thanks!

Maybe thats an idea for the future... invite guests that are gonna tear you a new one then deconstruct on the next show?

Anyway - great listening to you this AM

Danny Schade said...

You know, there ain't no folks like "reason driven podcast listenin' folks". Thanks so much for your positive attitudes and support. You all warm my cockles. :)

Jason said...

I've listened to both podcasts and find them to be both infuriating and enlightening. I am a Christian and enjoy the honest give-and-take you guys have with everyone.

I was a little put off by the "impersonation" of Ravi by Jeremy (at least I think it was Jeremy). I don't have a problem with you deconstructing Ravi's rhetoric, argument, etc. The voice, for me, made Jeremy seem less intelligent, almost childish. Which is a shame, because there are plenty of folks out there who would ditch all of the salient points he made simply because of his attempt at humor.

Other than that, I've got no quibble with what was said. I don't necessarily agree with it, but then again, some of it I had never considered before. As Stuart McAllister told Jeremy - I've got some thinking to do.

Danny Schade said...

Hey Jason, thanks for commenting. You know, I didn't think that the accent was in bad taste... but I guess I can see what you're talking about. I guess it just depends on the person. We all thought it would be ok, but... well who knows.

Thanks for listening, though, we want more Christian listeners. Tell your friends!! Also, we'd love to get mail that challenges our arguments/bantor.

Eric Ross said...

That was a excellent follow-up episode. Jeremy was great, and I have now started to listen to his podcast as well ... I'm probably not the only one.

The one objection I had is that Jeremy started by praising you for talking to a Christian apologist instead of about one ... then you proceeded to talk about Ravi instead of to him. This, however, was probably unavoidable, and I do hope you have Ravi on again.

This brings me to a question. Early on you said something like "the people who have criticised our discussion with Ravi should try talking to him, you'll see how difficult it is." Would he (or another like him) actually engage in conversation a non-podcasting (but occasionally blogging) atheist like myself? If so, how would I set that up? I would jump at the chance ... but perhaps I am taking you too literally.

J Wood said...

Long time listener, first time poster.

Like most here, I was a little baffled by the Ravi interview, and glad there was such a strong follow-up so quickly. Ravi did come off as a master rhetorician; as soon as he started throwing "Danny" into most of his comments, my spidey-sense went off. But being a master rhetorician doesn't mean you have the truth of your subject, only that you can convince others it's legit (thank you Plato and your Phaedrus).

Like some others on here, I was glad to find out about Reasonable Doubts and have been getting into their archive -- dang those boys know logic and argument. But admittedly, I was also put off by the put-on Indian accent, and was wondering wen he was going to offer you a squishy (the Reasonable Doubter, not Ravi).

Enough with the accolades. I'll try for something useful. First, the Peter Singer comment Ravi made took my breath away (and that kooky placenta comment). Singer presents some odd arguments, but in the Jonathan Swift sense of "this is what we do, and this is what we do taken to its logically absurd conclusion." This makes Singer a target for some because parts of his arguments can be excised out and bent around to be made to seem awful (much like Reasonable Doubts caught William Lang Craig doing with Paul Kurtz). But to do so is rather like accusing Swift for advocating cannibalism based on A Modest Proposal.

Singer extends a certain ethical position to anything that can feel pain and show preference and satisfaction (meaning animals as well as humans), and certainly doesn't argue that killing children with disabilities is okay. Rather, his point (as I take it) is that if we're okay with the mass slaughter of creatures for our own utility, creatures who feel pain and show preference and satisfaction (like cattle), then we have to apply the same rules to humans. In other words, he's not arguing that killing mongoloids is right or ethical, only pointing out an ethical inconsistency in humans, who have argued that it's okay to kill animals because they can't feel pain or preference like us fully-cognizant humans. Recently, he's even argued for granting human rights to great apes, which is partly how I found out about him.

So Ravi's comment actively twisted Singer's words. This made me question him as a sincere interlocutor; he was willing to purposefully distort the truth of something which you weren't familiar with in order to convince you of some premise. Red flag: not very ethical, nor Christian.

This also made me question if you really should have Ravi on again. If you do, at least have some heavy backup on the call with you. (I'd love to see what Price would have said, but if he doesn't listen to your show, well... you should at least let him know about this episode and urge him to join the scrimmage.)

But here's some stuff that may provide a few more arrows for your argument bows. I first came across Singer in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation philosophy podcast called The Philosopher's Zone. The host is a philosopher, Alan Saunders (great booming voice), and his shows are generally conversations with philosophers about specific subjects. The archive only goes back a few episodes, and then shifts to transcripts -- which isn't bad for philosophy talk. Peter Singer was on there talking about utilitarianism, but he shows up in a number of episodes as a speaker or subject (he's Australian).

Another philosopher in Britain, Nigel Warburton, does a few podcasts. Philosophy Bites is rather like The Philosopher's Zone, interviews with philosophers, but shorter. (Singer was on that as well.) He also does a podcast reviewing major works of philosophy called Philosophy: The Classics, and another at the Open University about ethics called Ethics Bites (and yes, Singer was on there as well). And he teaches. And writes. Busy fella.

On this side of either ocean, there's a group of budding philosophers at the U. of California -Santa Barbara that do The Guerrilla Radio Show, which are deep-end discussions on certain philosophical subjects (including the philosophy of religion, arguments for the existence of god, and the problem of evil).

No, I'm not a Singer junkie, this was just complete coincidence. I'm not even a philosopher -- just a grad student who teaches argument. In grad school, any subject is more interesting than the one you profess.

Agagooga said...

Incidentally, has Ravi responded to the criticisms?

Danny Schade said...

No, not at this time. I really don't know how to bring it up, I'm sure he's got people he knows checking all this out, but I haven't heard anything from him.

Jeremy said...

Hey, This is Jeremy from Reasonable Doubts again. I wanted to reply to the comments that noted my cheezy Ravi impression. One Christian Commenter noted:
"I was a little put off by the 'impersonation' of Ravi by Jeremy...The voice, for me, made Jeremy seem less intelligent, almost childish."
I thoroughly agree. Well, I do prefer "low brow" to less intelligent...as I believe the Ravi impression was more of an error of taste then that of reason. But this is hair-splitting I guess. Nevertheless it was childish, most certainly. And I was having a good ol' time the day of the recording, being childish about Ravi. Because it was fun. And it helped take the edge off what can sometimes be a stressful enterprise--deconstructing apologists. But I suppose I must concede...because childish fun looses its innocence when it causes hurt or alienates some from the discussion. And no matter how much of a gas it was poking fun at Ravi in private, bringing it to the public was a poor judgment call of mine. I would like to defend myself a bit by pointing out that what I intended to be funny was apologistspeak-not the Indian accent. I used the Indian accent only because...well, Ravi's got one. So part of the offensiveness of my impression is just due to the fact that Im not very good at executing the voice...and then instinctively reach for the stereotypical Apu. So my sin is largely doing an impression that isn't any good. But to listeners who felt uncomfortable about it...and to Ravi himself for that matter, I apologize. And to Danny and Mic...you guys are great. Your heads are on straight and your hearts are in the right place. I hope you didn't loose a Christian listener because of me.



J Wood said...

Jeremy, if you hadn't been on the show, I'd not have found out about Reasonable Doubts, so I'll take the good with the low-brow.

Jason said...

Hey Jeremy -

We've all made mistakes. I have dozens of bad choices in my past. And as the Christian listener who posted about your voice, your willingness to explain it went a long way with me. I appreciate people who can admit their mistakes (though I did find it humorous that you chose the word SIN to describe it). I wish that people in general could be more honest about their mistakes.

So, kudos to you.


MaritimePole said...

Hi there,
I just listened to the response episode and was nicely surprised you picked my comment as a point of discussion early in the podcast.

You said that I accused you of professing American exceptionalism. I didn't do that in my comment BUT I assumed that when you agreed with Ravi that America is the only nation built on the idea of universal human rights you therefore share that point of view with him. He were quite eager to concede that point to him so it came across as something that appears to be a common shared belief among Americans. For the reference I live in Canada and don't know what passes for 'common sense' in the US regarding this matter.

Anyway my point was that America is not the only country built on the foundation of human rights and equality. Many others are. Most of those others rejected organized religion and appear no worse off (in fact in many cases it might be argued - better off) than the USA.

My second point. The phrase 'argumentum ad Consequentiam' is Latin for 'argument from consequences'. If you ever study rhetoric and argument skills you'll find that most logical fallacies have been categorized long ago and it is very common to refer to them using their original Latin names.

Lastly my nick Maritime-Pole is just a description of who I am and where I live I'm a Pole (i.e born in the country of Poland) and I live in the Canadian Maritime provinces. Oh, and I'm a male.

Take care. I really love the show,


Danny Schade said...

*insert foot in mouth* I'm so sorry man, for fucking up your name so bad. I just realized that I was pronouncing it all stupid. Mary-Time-Pole right? Not "Mar-ta-may po-lay" my bad.

Good call on the logical fallacy and the Latin. I knew that, I was just having a hard time with the pronunciation and joked that I didn't know what language it was. Just me being silly is all that was.

Vic said...

You guys did a good job. The real issue here, though, is that xtians insist that everybody live by their beliefs. Atheists don't tell theists how to live...don't meddle in personal affairs like birth, death, marriage. They can believe in the Easter Bunny if they want but they have no right to tell me how to live. Don't you suspect that if the catholic church ever regained the power it had in the Middle Ages that the Inquisition would reappear? Trust me, somewhere in the deepest vaults of the Vatican library, the torture training manuals are still on the shelves. You don't think so? Did you ever think that your country would authorize torture? Waterboarding? Ad, weren't these born-agains that made these decisions. Ravi, belive what you want to believe. Whatever gets you through this dark night. But leave ME out of it. And tell that to your buddies.

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