It has been said that an atheist is a person who disbelieves in one more god than everyone else does. Our guest this Sunday, Todd Allen Gates, explored that idea in his book, Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer.
The author's description from Amazon:
Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer is a Socratic dialogue between a skeptic and a Christian apologist. The skeptic does not address atheism, but accepts the premises--for argument's sake--that there IS a Creator of sorts, that this said-Creator has made some sort of communication effort with mankind, and that the fundamentalists are correct in their assessment that "one religion is from God, the rest are man-made." The two characters then discuss non-Christian religions, and reach agreements on specific reasons why such faiths fall into the "made-by-man" category: (a) they're pieced together from pre-existing religions, (b) their holy laws are often based on irrational prejudices and erroneous conclusions about cause and effect, and (c) their stories contain inaccurate and earth-bound descriptions of the universe. The discussion then turns to examining the Christian religion in the same light as the non-Christian. Their conversation remains a respectful exchange of ideas, but is no longer harmonious.
The book's two themes:
(1) "If you understand why you reject all the other religions, you'll understand why I reject yours."
(2) A marveling at humans' handiwork in the creation of the world's religions: the stunning range of creativity, cruelty, compassion, ingenuity, and absurdity. Included are scriptural passages from Bahaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism; as well as mythology and folklore from the Aztecs, the Babylonians, Egypt, Greece, Japan, Kenya, the Native Americans, Nigeria, the Pygmies, the Sumerians, the Vikings, and more.
Programming Note: Todd was our guest in November (show #045), and we have invited him back.
Produced by Minnesota Atheists. Directed by Mike Haubrich. Hosted by Stephanie Zvan.
- Book: Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer by Todd Allen Gates
- Wikipedia: Todd Allen Gates
- YouTube: Todd Allen Gates: "Details of Dialogue with a Christian Proselytizer" (Part 1 of 5)
- YouTube: Todd Allen Gates: "Using the Socratic Method with Christian proselytizers" (Part 1 of 7)
- YouTube: Response in support of above video
- Todd Allen Gates video: "Satan's pre-Christian virgin birth stories"
- Todd Allen Gates post at Clashing Culture: "Obama's Christianity; Why It Might Be Sincere, Why it Might Not, and Why it Might Not Matter."
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- Secular Coalition for America
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