Saturday, July 19, 2008

Request








Greetings, Apologia listeners, I have a personal message for you all. I'm very pleased to note that our daily feed activity is approaching 500 people per day, and our most recent discussions seem to have attracted an audience of about 1000. As moderator and on behalf of the Apologia participants, I can tell you that it is an absolute pleasure to organize and produce this podcast, hopefully as much as it is a pleasure for you to listen to it. As you are aware, the strength of the Apologia format comes from its commitment to different points of view, particularly along the theist - atheist axis, as well as the generous and civil way in which the participants share their various perspectives. Throughout its lifetime, the Apologia podcast has benefitted from new people and fresh ideas, and I'd like to see that continue and even accelerate, with your help. The vision for this podcast comes from its conception in a pub, over a few pints of beer, my friends and I saw the potential in translating open and honest barside conversations about religion, philosophy, and morality to a medium that allows a broader audience to, as it were, lean their chairs in the direction of our discussion.

It's no secret that these subjects are no longer being monopolized by the Christian worldview, and as individuals who find atheism, naturalism, or other secular positions persuasive gain traction in our culture, we'll need to choose between redrawing our tribal boundaries around those who share our own particular beliefs, or alternatively, venturing over to the other side of the fence to really get to know those individuals who, although they may not share our personal conclusions, at least share our commitment to the personal exploration of truth, wherever it leads.

And so in that spirit, I'd like to reach out to the Apologia listeners. Would you be interested in joining the conversation? Several of our participants have been listeners who simply asked if there was room for one more at the table. And there certainly is, especially for individuals who represent a theist point of view, whether that be jewish, muslim, hindu, etc., and especially for any women, as the feminine perspective has been, admittedly, severely under-represented in the Apologia discussion. The requirements are few, but important. You must be committed to an open and honest investigation of truth, and you have to be relatively comfortable speaking your mind in a setting with several other opinionated individuals who enjoy nothing more than to probe the limits of each others beliefs, in the hope of finding common understanding and agreement. If you think that you may be one of those individuals, or you may know of someone who is, please feel free to contact me by email at zach@drzach.net, or post a note here at the blog.

I appreciate your support, and I hope to talk to you next time on Apologia.

5 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/22/08, 1:30 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Hello Zach,
I'm very interested in the topics you address in your podcast. Because I was never a believer I struggle to understand how theists think so your type of show is a very good exercise. Going beyond the arguments each side presents, I see a more important issue: how can we all have a dialog to solve social problems when our worldview is so different (each theist with his own religion and atheists with none). To me the obvious answer is secularism, but all theists I asked about it reject it but offer no workable alternative.
Regarding your request, I don't think you will run out of college educated young males to represent the atheist side, but I'm always eager for a discussion about interesting topics with people of a different opinion.

Cheers,
Richard

7/22/08, 1:31 PM  
Blogger Leonard said...

This isn't really directly related to this posting, just a suggestion for topics. I'd raise my hand to participate, but I'm agnostic and I think the discussions would benefit from a slightly more diverse collection of theist perspectives.

I would like one day to hear the theists discuss the doctrinal/philosophical underpinnings and differences between just a few of the major Christian variants. Say, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Mormonism, and why they feel any one has stronger truth claims in comparison to the others. Maybe a theist-only round table like the atheists have had on past shows.

8/27/08, 12:33 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/2/08, 10:08 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

I think Leonard's idea for an episode is a great one. Have any of your theist guests so far been Catholic?

My idea for an episode is closely related. I'd like to hear how different denominations define "divinely inspired" scripture. The apologists I read of and listen to all say that the authors of scripture had human limits, but that their records were more valid than those of the average historian/editorialist because God gave them a subjective and unverifiable feeling that it was the truth. But at what point does God's infinite knowledge become finite enough to contain in a limited human brain? And for what reason should we accept the divine inspiration from past millenia, whereas every other expression of truth that came from God since then should be considered mere non-canonical pontification or mental masturbation? Even the author of the book of Isaiah admits that the meaning of his revelation is too profound for him to completely understand, and that it is not for "this generation" to grasp. I'd like to hear why theists think that the scriptures of "prophets" are of such greater value than the conversations on this podcast, or whether they think a change in that attitude would be a positive change of current religious worldviews.

9/2/08, 10:19 PM  

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