Podcast 44: “God’s Not Dead”

This week on the Faith and Skepticism podcast, we discuss the movie, “God’s Not Dead”. Our guests this week are Dr. Daniel Fincke, Erik aka @weaksquare, Craig Patton, and Chris Heren. We get their opinions on the “God’s Not Dead” movie and which parts of the movie, if any, are accurate portrayals of atheists and philosophy class.

Dr. Daniel Fincke: Dan Fincke has his PhD in Philosophy from Fordham University and he is certified as a philosophical counselor by the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. Over 11 years he taught 93 classes spread across 7 universities. Now using Google Hangout, he offers philosophical advice to people dealing with philosophical aspects of their personal problems and difficult choices they have to make. He also helps them work out their beliefs and values during and after leaving their religious faith. He also teaches online philosophy classes on Ethics, Nietzsche, and Philosophy for Atheists. This summer he will be teaching special classes on the philosophical aspects of the God debates, which both theists and atheists are invited to take. His atheism and ethics blog Camels With Hammers has been viewed nearly 3 million times.

Chris Heren: Chris has bachelor degrees in geology & integrated biology from the University of Illinois, an associates in philosophy from Illinois Central College, and a Masters in theological studies from Luther Seminary with a focus on the History of Christianity. He’s also working on his Master of Theology in systematics. After flirting with pseudo-Fundamentalism in college, he converted to Eastern Orthodoxy a few years ago. Chris blogs at http://cerebraldiaspora.blogspot.com/.

Craig Patton: Craig has been a Christian for 18 years. He occasionally attended church as a child, but considered himself an atheist until he was saved his Jr year of college on Spring Break in Panama City. Craig also believes in the inerrancy of God’s word when properly interpreted, and that God revealed himself so that individuals can relate directly with him, without the need of a priest or religious system.

Erick aka weaksquare: Erik joins us for the 2nd time as well. He was on our reasons for belief podcast. Erik loosely identifies as a philosophical skeptic and agnostic theist. He grew up in a heavily Christian culture in the Bible belt and became a Christian as a sophomore in High School. He has studied the claims and history of the Bible, and the formation of the canon pretty extensively. He maintains a weak belief because he believes the cost of non-belief is too high culturally.


Co-host Skeptic

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7 Responses

  1. Greg Ellis says:

    From listening to this all I feel is:

    1. That Dan is the only one with compassion and actually cares about the negative effects of this movie.

    2. That when he was arguing the the Chrisitian guy, the Christian guy never once took what Dan said and responded to it properly?? All he ever did was flip the argument around. If you have a coherent argument against anything then you don’t need to flip anything around, you can just defend the point as it is, but he couldn’t do that. So for the intelligent audience it just seemed like Dan was walking all over him because he couldnt converse properly.

    3. The important things the movie brought to light: ‘islamophobia’ (for lack of a better word), and stereotyping of minorities, were not discussed with any sense of importance by anyone other than Dan? It’s like he was the only sentient being in the room. The rest of you ignored them, it was like the 50s when there’d be a highly racist film and yet no one would moan about it but the one guy who was forward-thinking enough to realise it was wrong.

    If you’re going to host debates, the host should direct the conversation ONTO the important things, not away from them?! That’s what all good hosts in the UK do anyway.

  2. WingedBeast says:

    Dan, so far I’ve gotten 34 minutes into the podcast, I’ve seen you just *start* the angry tone and… I understand completely. Quite frankly, I don’t know that there was another way to get your points heard. Because, Craig, while he maintained a tone that might *seem* polite, was not going to let statements be fully stated or fully appreciated. When they’re Christians kicking kids out of their homes, we have to look deeper in, because there might be some kind of other rebellion going on that’s actually causing it, but when talking about Muslims, no such need.

    This movie is based on what is one part conservative Christian urban legend and one part Chick Tract. And, it was made with an essential mindset, and for an audience of an essential mindset, that being a Christian makes you a better person. To anybody else reading this, don’t talk about who is a “true Christian” or a “real Christian”, because self-identified Christians who do this exist, they believe in Jesus every bit as much as you do and they, as a group, are not better people than Muslims (as a group).

    Alright, I just hit minute 35 and… Oh, Craig… **** you for deliberately missing the point in your zeal to be persecuted. I’m listening here and I find it quite clear that the objections Dan has presented are all about the self-serving inaccuracies of a conservative Christian culture with a self-serving persecution complex. Then, Craig, responding to the quite natural excitement, acts like Dan was angry over the very notion of Christians making a movie.

    Now, I’m going to press play and listen to Dan’s response. … Okay, the response Dan gives is appropriate. This is demonization that pretends that what is shown in the movie in a Muslim father is just not a thing with regards to Christians… and it is a thing.

    Craig responds that he’s never seen that happen… So what? I never personally saw Christians oppressed in the USSR under Stalin. Does that mean that they weren’t? This is a reality. And, really, even as allegedly polite as they’re being on the Christian side of this, I can’t listen any further. They want to believe the best about Christians. They want to believe the worst about atheists and Muslims. That’s it. There’s nothing else to deal with, there.

  3. 2112 says:

    That was one of the best retorts every given to the Christian bubble I have heard. Thanks to Dan for clearly exposing the egocentric world that Christians live in. It reminded me of the Ken Ham “were you there” argument for historical facts. Really, just because you haven’t experienced it means it’s a fringe element? And the host brushes this aside as if it is not the brick and mortar of religious ideology? Totally disingenuous , or sincerely misguided.

  4. Chuck says:

    No matter how civil you wish to be, sometimes things just go wrong. It may especially true when you’re confronted with dogmatic individuals … and I guess that could mean any person in just about any situation, but clearly Dan ran up against one or two people who were so blinded that they could not see their hand in front of their own face …

    I think it’s also important to recognize that Dan has issued an apology at his blog, “Camels With Hammers.”

  5. pogonogo says:

    Dan Fincke comes across as very angry and belligerent. I would guess he comes from a fundamentalist background and his rebellion takes the form of denouncing Christians and their beliefs.

    • WingedBeast says:

      Okay, I get that you think he sounds angry. And, considering a Christian perspective, I can get that you might think that without context, as opposed to an appropriate response to what the other two were doing.

      But, what leads you to that guess? Why even make that guess? What does that guess gain you?

  6. Landon says:

    Dan absolutely destroyed the arguments of the theists here. It’s disappointing to me that the host basically said after Dan’s absolutely brutal and successful retort “well that’s a discussion for another day.” He probably said that because he knew the other guests didn’t have a proper retort to what Dan was saying. Everything he said was absolutely true and it’s truly laughable how hypocritical the Christians are in this podcast, not to mention that their disingenuous and faulty logic crumbles at the slightest of criticism.

    I was also shocked by how angry Dan got but to be honest, it’s completely understandable because he realizes how much wrong has been perpetuated by religion.

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