Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nice podcast

I really, really enjoy Luke Muehlhauser's podcast called "Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot".

Luke runs an excellent website -

Obviously he is an atheist - an ex-conservative Christian - and he sees little use for religion. However he is open-minded in his communications with others of different points of view, particularly progressive or liberal Christians. I just listened to one of his latest podcasts with Bible scholar and progressive Christian James MacGrath. What a great conversation it was. MacGrath values the Christian tradition and God language. Yet he believes in "Golden Rule historical method", where you treat your own views in the same fashion you treat those of others, and he is suspicious of the historical value of supernatural claims. He clearly sees Christianity, and religion in general, as on ongoing discussion that changes over time, as our ideas and methods become more refined. My favorite point was when they discussed how they could hardly find any disagreements between themselves, except for the fact that they differ on the value of religious language and tradition.

Luke feels that religion is too entangled with its conservative, literalistic side - so he sees using the language of "God" as encouraging this dangerous element of society.

James feels that a religious language is highly useful in exploring the mysteries of life. Sure, religion is often used by people to try to explain away life's mysteries, but true faith and religion are about exploring uncertainty and mystery. "God language" can provide a useful framework with which to contemplate ultimate reality, where uncertainty isn't to be feared.

I enjoyed this conversation a lot! I should note that I also very much enjoyed Oklahoma State University philosophy professor, and occasional commenter on this blog, Eric Reitan's recent appearance on the same podcast where he discussed his book ("Is God a Delusion?"), divine command theory and many other interesting topics.

Leave it to an atheist to have the best philosophy of religion podcast I have heard!

No comments:

Post a Comment