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Atheist Experience
immature hosts

While procrastinating at work yesterday (and now as well) I came upon your television show and was astonished.<br /> <br /> As representatives of a wider community who I presume are trying to educate people regarding truth I found the two hosts extremely selfish, sarcastic, cynical, immature (sheep jokes?) and generally unwiling to listen to callers with sincere comments. <br /> <br /> The cycnicism is a given considering the atheistic nature of the show but the rest was irresponsble and foolish behavior for someone trying to educate others. <br /> <br /> The personality and deportment of the two hosts causes me to wonder what the goal of the broadcast is. Education or more likely just a stage for vain narcicistic frat boyesque former steak knife salesmen making sheep jokes?<br /> <br /> Can we have a real discussion on truth or is that too difficult for Sloppy T and Mr. Clean?

Judging by your own snide remarks and name-calling, your own comments and attitudes aren't exactly free of sarcasm and immaturity. But then, lots of people don't feel the need to hold themselves to the same standards by which they attack others, do they?<br /> <br /> As the former (not current) host of the show, I can testify that when you do a show like this, with some people you can just never win. Come across as light-hearted and fun with a healthy sense of humor, and you'll be attacked as immature and sarcastic. Argue passionately, and they'll attack you for being stereotypically bitter "angry atheists".<br /> <br /> Were sincere callers really dismissed as you say? I know Ashley is a conscientious host who addresses callers very honestly and respectfully, so maybe you're coloring your view of his hosting with your own obvious dislike for atheists. And sheep were the LEAST of things we used to joke about. Humor is humor, and it makes the show go by very entertainingly -- provided you the viewer have a sense of humor too. Was there a witty context for a sheep joke? I suspect there was. So lighten the phuque up. You can have serious discussions and entertaining television at the same time.

Martin,<br /> Martin,<br /> <br /> Thank you for your reply. I will only write this and leave you alone.<br /> <br /> You should not assume anything about me (what's that saying about ASSuming), and know that the program to which we are referring will never receive positive results until the hosts engage all honest callers. Backhanded insults to contrarians and glad handing verbosity to those who agree merely continue the beliefs people have about atheism.<br /> <br /> The deportment of the hosts to their callers reminds me of the administration in DC. They only listen to those who agree and treat others with snide contempt.

Jack,<br /> <br /> It was not necessary for me to assume anything about you, since you revealed your prejudices rather explicitly in your first post with such phrases as "the cycnicism [sic] is a given considering the atheistic nature of the show." This sentence indicates to me you are predisposed to dislike the show, period, simply because it is an atheist show. So you seem to be one of those "just can't win with you" guys. If the show is light-hearted and funny, you'll attack it for not being serious enough. If it's full of hard-hitting debate, you'll attack it for being too cynical and harsh. If that is an incorrect conclusion to draw about you from what you initially wrote, then you ought to make your position clearer. I mean, for all I know you might be an atheist yourself. But then, you ought to be explicit about where your criticisms are coming from, if you don't wish people to misjudge you or your views.<br /> <br /> Based on my own experience being on the show for 4 years, I can assure everyone we DO engage all honest callers -- unlike many of the Christian shows, which will hang up on you if you mount a forceful argument. It is quite possible we do not "engage" callers in the way you might wish; it sounds like you'd prefer a soft-pedal approach. When I was host I made no apology for playing hardball, especially with people who called up to offer lame arguments. And it is the arguments we address, based upon their merits -- not the "honesty" of the caller.<br /> <br /> As for "backhanded insults to contrarians and glad handing verbosity to those who agree," have you listened to right-wing media lately? Or Christian radio? Try tuning in to Rush, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, or any of those clowns, and see if they aren't guilty of that nonsense to a degree exponentially higher than anything you'll see on The Atheist Experience. At least on our show, when someone disagrees with us, we talk to him, not like good old Bill "Shut up! Shut up! Cut his mike!" O'Reilly.<br /> <br /> I'm proud of the work Ashley's doing as host and am certain he'll only get better in the future.

Yes, I've been watching A.E. for many years now, and when you are forced to answer the same questions over and over, it becomes almost humorous to respond. It is either that, or as Martin said, the angry approach. It's a no win for the people that do not share a like viewpoint nor an open mind.

I for one love the attack on the repetitive arguments, and enjoy the honest debate on the new ones. (although they are few and far between)

Keep up the good work A.E.!!

As far as the Fairness Doctrine, I don't really feel that's neccessary - just watch Fox News, that's all the fair and balance you need.

JUST KIDDING!!!!

I've been listening to the show via podcast for about 9 months now. I am an atheist who is well versed in the Bible (I also was going into the ministry long, long ago) and fairly well versed in science. There have been times when the hosts have made small mistakes on both fronts, but the mistakes have never changed the legitimacy of their logic and most of the time they mention them in a later show and correct them. That is one of the most wonderful things about being an atheist - when we are wrong, we gladly admit it and move on. As far as their supposed not listening to legitimate callers, the only times I have had a problem is when they let people go on with circular logic and nonsense. Many of these people call and feel that they have everything figured out and the hosts are just dense for not just "knowing" all about god and their saying, "because" over and over again is going to change all of our minds. That is when I talk to my iPod. The words, "Jesus H Christ, could you please hang up on them?!" have come out of my mouth more than once, I'm afraid. I haven't heard them cut off anyone without cause, and I think putting someone on hold so they can hear what the hosts are saying is perfectly fine (and keeps my ears from bleeding.) I will close and leave the board now... I enjoy your show, keep up the good work. I don't believe for a minute that you will change anyone's mind, but I wish you had been around when I was searching. It would have been good to know that atheists were good, down to earth people (without horns, pitchforks, and a god scowling behind them with lightning bolt poised)

Ricky

> but I wish you had been around when I was searching.

I would say that is probably my primary purpose in doing the Atheist Experience. I wish it would have been around when _I_ was searching, too.

Thanks for your comments, Ricky.

There are too many serious issues that need to be discussed. There is no need to waste air time on trivial discussions, and silly stuff. I can't see why your post was deleted. I agree with you, and also wonder why they can't do better.

The talk show pundits are paid by corporate America to keep the fools in the dark. That is why we need to reinstate the fairness doctrine so that every side of an issue has to be presented fairly. I am totally in favor of that. I would never force my way of thinking on anyone. I strongly oppose those who do that in any organized anything. The fundies think that the puritians, who were sent by Enland to colonize this land for the Imperialist are the founding fathers. The Founding fathers of America are those responsible for the revolution. Those people came from all over Europe not just Enland. We owe them nothing. They are haveing a get together this month to honor them. Give you some insight into why some people want a "church state." These are not patriots they are traitors. Read about the Bank Of Enlands history - Watch out because "the British are coming!"

I agree Linda. I think we should bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Every single time anyone on talk radio, television, or in any magazine, newspaper, newsletter, or even internet websites and blogs, give their opinion about anything, every possible viewpoint must also be given, or they should not be able to give their opinion.

And then again, perhaps "Freedom of Speech" should be considered.

Though I am a Christian, I generally find the hosts to be rather fair and honest, and even open minded. Of course they can't keep their derisive attitude towards the Bible from showing, but that would be asking a lot, given their understanding of it.

It is too easy to sit back and be a critic. Lets give them some credit for stepping up to the plate and doing something they believe will make a difference. I think they are doing a fine job.

If the fairness doctrine were reinstated you would have a multitude of opinions to listen to over all the media, because all side of an issue must be aired. That's fairness. This would mean that people who are not talking now could… and would. There are very few liberals, skeptics, or freethinkers, etc.. On anything…So the few that are there would have a lot of competition. This would raise the standards of all broadcasting because they would really have to compete for an audience. And there are many brilliant people out there: writers, scientist and so forth… that can't get on the air. Interesting though that a "Christian" likes the status quo "your doing a hell of a job Brownie" - where have I heard that before?

I agree with Jack. I stumbled upon a clip where a caller said that the reality of the hosts' living and talking is proof of the spirituality. You can find it by searching for the tag: "Atheist talkshow host stunned by Christian with good logic." Not only were the hosts immature in their response but completely ignorant. They mentioned that the Sun was a source of our body's energy. That is correct if you are talking about trophic levels and the fact that our bodies store energy molecularly in the form of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) from the metabolic process. Sugar does come from plants which do rely on the Sun. It's easy. We eat, we digest, we convert energy made by photosynthesis into energy we can use. But... the hosts make it sound like we go out in the sunlight and somehow magically store this energy for night time (a host uses the example of rechargable batteries in gadgets). They even talk about electricity flowing in our bodies. I would hope they have a 5th grade science education so I assume they know what they are trying to say and it sounded good in their own heads, but the fact that the caller was led to mentioning electrocution in the shower and why don't our bodies shut down when the Sun goes down is evidence that they were making science up as they went along. They didn't politely give the right explanation to him when he was grabbing at straws with the "why don't we get electrocuted when we shower," they allowed him to lead them, and they stumbled along relying on each other to bail them out. They tried to use their coveted Atheist logic to show their superiority over the religious followers. Isn't that what this show is all about? The point of my comment is this: at the end of the call Mr. T says that his viewers would rather he hang up on such callers but he would rather try to educate them. He says: "not to belittle the caller but..." and he goes on to insult the caller's intelligence by saying "pick up a book. pick up a Christian book, it will explain these things." Well Ashley, you should follow your own advice. It was two on one in your little Atheists vs. Christians game and you still couldn't come up with an decent response. And it should have been an easy one. If you base your belief that God does not exist on Science, I would hope you can at least pass a Biology 101 class.

Mike,

The specific caller you're referring to is one who called us frequently. We spent a great deal of time trying to explain simple concepts to him (on many occasions), but his knowledge of even the most basic principles was woefully inadequate. Anything that he didn't understand was best answered by appeals to magic.

Realizing that we had to simplify things, Russell used a battery analogy and I attempted to continue that analogy - but the caller was so divorced from basic knowledge that it was clearly no longer worth our time.

The caller started, as you point out, by claiming that our existence was proof of spirituality. It isn't, and anyone who begins with a ridiculous claim like that is probably missing out on some very basic knowledge. In the case of this caller, any time we'd try to explain something, he'd just move on to another ridiculous question.

You didn't like our answer about the sun and accuse us of being "completely ignorant". I was attempting to jump to the finish line - because I'd dealt with this caller before and didn't want to waste 15 minutes on him, again. Rather than explain that we get our energy from food and have him ask where the food gets energy - I jumped right to the ultimate source of energy for all life on our planet; the sun.

The fact that the caller was led to mention electrocution in the shower isn't the fault of my explanation - it's the fault of the caller's ignorance. If you honestly believe that I was trying to claim that we "magically store" energy from the sun...I don't know what to tell you.

If your entire experience with our show is that single clip - and you feel that you can accurately assess the nature of our show, then I'm unimpressed with your ability to fairly and accurately analyze the situation.

I suspect that you really don't know anything else about the show, as you referred to Ashley - when Ashley wasn't on that show.

-Matt

I'm not against the host I'm against the subject matter. It's pointless! I really can't understand why anyone wants to force their beliefs on others. What I have learned from a lifetime of watching them is they are bullies, and they believe that people will surrender because of their fear tactics, ostracizing, and of coarse rewards and pay-offs. They are accustomed to being facilitated and they love it, because jerks who should never be in charge are, and those with ability are loathed.

P.S. The Fairness Doctrine would be a much more interesting subject or the unconstitutional Faith Based Initiative. There was a time when the Fairness Doctrine was supported by conservatives and liberals because it was there to prevent one-sided bias in the media. But when the corporations got more control the conservatives started to oppose the Fairness Doctrine. The conservatives claiming that the media is liberal while the bias is clearly right wing is confusing, unless you think about it. The accusations of liberal bias raises distrust toward the media; it is a great cover up when stories about conservative wrong doing appear. The liberal media is out to get them is a good excuse, it was used by Richard Nixon for his failures when he ran for President and Governor of California. Although the conservatives have always had powerful friends in the media because the corporations that not only own them, but also pay for advertising. They are not interested in airing points of view that they don't agree with, and they don't have to as long as there is no Fairness Doctrine.

I haven't been on the show for a lifetime, but I'm not sure why you think we're trying to force our beliefs on people...and I don't think we've resorted to any of the methods you're talking about.

I'm guessing that the "them" you're referring to is someone other than us. :)

There are two arguments going on in this thread which becomes confusing. I'm arguing that the fairness doctrine would stop the right wing bullies that are presently hogging the media. It has nothing to do with you, but I do think that all broadcasting would improve if the fairness doctrine was reinstated because the competition would be far superior on all fronts. The forcing of ideas remark was the fact that the right is in control of the air waves.

I was referring to trying to argue with dogma (it's pointless.) I also suggested that there are more important issues. I really do think that the believers rule the media. (Are they the bullies?) But it is still in the best interest of all of us that the information that is of vital interest is on the air. I also mentioned that there are very few skeptics, freethinkers, etc…There are many very well informed scientist, writers and so forth.

Who Controls the Air Waves? Only a handful of people decide who is seen or heard. Who should control the airwaves? The airwaves ultimately belong to the public, and the FCC's job is that of guarding a public trust.

But these remarks were directed at the media as a whole.

I should have done this in one answer but, I had to go back and read each comment to know what I was talking about. When I said "I have had a lifetime of experience with people trying to force their beliefs on me" I can't imagine why anyone would think it was an nonbeliever "believer?" I have never had that experience! I do think that people have the right to personal beliefs, as long as they keep them personal. Most "Christians" don't have that same philosophy.

They don't put nonbeliever books in hotels or hand out nonbeliever fliers - there are no nonbeliever mega edifices. I don't have "beliefs" I have facts. I only believe something is a fact if it can be proven to be a fact, and I am not required to have a label either if I don't want one.

I also believe that many benefit from the lack of diversity on the airwaves because "they are the only show in town" there is no competition. Just like the two party system. That situation makes it possible for less talented people to succeed because of cronyism. The End

What's really impressive about the hosts is that they manage to stay as polite, calm, and politic as they do given the often intractable and irrational callers. I can't imagine how they do it; just a few minutes of listening to the calls has me ready to punch the wall next to me.

You and I must be watching two different shows aye mate. The show that I've been watching has hosts that seem to go out of their way to be kind often in the face of ignorant statements and dogged circular arguments. Frankly, I would be half as patient. Matt seems to get on a rant sometimes, but hell who can blame him with some of the knuckleheads that call in. P.s. develop a wok ethic, if I were ya boss I'd fire ya arse.

AYE mate maybe you should sit and watch the show then because i see no "out of there way" kindness going on

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