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Atheists Talk

Radio with a frankly atheist perspective.

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Every Sunday Morning at 9:00am on AM 950 KTNF or online at http://www.am950radio.com/listen-live/ Contact us during the show with questions or comments at (952) 946-6205 or radio@mnatheists.org

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"The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems" Robert Price on Atheists Talk #171 Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Even among those who don't believe that Jesus was divine, disagreement remains over whether he existed at all. On one side, there are the historicists, who believe that Jesus was a fully human preacher who founded a small cult. On the other side, there are the mythicists, who believe that the cult was formed later and Jesus was hallucinated and/or invented to support the cult.

The academic fight between the historicists and the mythicists is heating up at the moment. A number of leading scholars have released or are about to release books making their cases to the public. In his recent book The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems, Robert Price makes a case for the mythicists.

The Christ-Myth theory ... "Worse Than Atheism"? New Testament scholar Robert M. Price, one of America's leading authorities on the Bible, has assembled in his book evidence that shows that almost the entire "biography of Jesus" is a conscious reworking of earlier literature.It is one thing to say "There are no gods" or "Jesus was not a god, just a man." It is quite another thing to say "Jesus of Nazareth never existed at all" or that "Christ is a myth." But scholars have been saying exactly that since at least 1793 when the Enlightenment scholar Charles Dupuis began to publish his 13-volume Origine de Tous les Cultes, ou Religion Universelle, which elucidated the astral origins not only of Christianity but of other ancient religions as well.

New Testament scholar Robert M. Price, one of America's leading authorities on the Bible, here summarizes much of the scholarship that has led him and a growing number of modern scholars to conclude that Christ -- a partial synonym for Jesus of Nazareth -- is mythical. Most usefully, Price has assembled evidence that shows that almost the entire "biography of Jesus" has been created from Greek Old Testament stories and themes and even incorporates motifs from Homer, Euripides, and perhaps Aesop. Because readers will have a hard time "taking it on faith" that the Jesus biography is merely a reworking of previous material, broad swaths of "Old Testament" context are quoted in association with each New Testament equivalent, so readers can judge for themselves whether or not Dr. Price's claim be true: the "Live of Christ" was not fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies; it was, rather, a conscious reworking of earlier literature.

On Sunday, Dr. Price will join us to discuss his book. We hope you'll tune in.

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Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.


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Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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"Space Chronicles" Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Atheists Talk #170 Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

The space shuttles have been retired. Nothing is immediately in the pipeline at NASA to replace them. We, as a country, look up into space and know that we are not going there in person any time soon. To commemorate this change, astrophysicist and beloved science communicator Neil DeGrasse Tyson collected his commentaries on space, from magazine articles to interviews to speeches--even tweets--and consolidated them into Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier.

Now that NASA has put human space flight effectively on hold—with a five- or possibly ten-year delay until the next launch of astronauts from U.S. soil—Tyson’s views on the future of space travel and America’s role in that future are especially timely and urgent. This book represents the best of Tyson’s commentary, including a candid new introductory essay on NASA and partisan politics, giving us an eye-opening manifesto on the importance of space exploration for America’s economy, security, and morale. Thanks to Tyson’s fresh voice and trademark humor, his insights are as delightful as they are provocative, on topics that range from the missteps that shaped our recent history of space travel to how aliens, if they existed, might go about finding us.

On April 30, Stephanie Zvan and Brianne Bilyeu chatted with Neil about the book, bad depictions of aliens in science fiction, and his favorite poem. Yes, really. A good time was had by all. Please tune in and join the fun.

Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.


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"God and the Folly of Faith" Victor Stenger on Atheists Talk #169 Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Many religious people claim that religion and science are compatible. This raises the question, what do we mean by compatible? A person may hold both science and religion in high regard, but this tells us nothing about their values as ideas. People can and do hold plenty of contradictory beliefs.

Where some people turn solely to philosophy to tell us whether religion and science are compatible, physicist and author Victor Stenger took a broader view in his new book, God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion. As you can imagine from the title, things do not go well for the compatibility argument.

In a sweeping historical survey that begins with ancient Greek science and proceeds through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to contemporary advances in physics and cosmology, Stenger makes a convincing case that Christianity held back the progress of science for one thousand years. It is significant, he notes, that the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century occurred only after the revolts against established ecclesiastic authorities in the Renaissance and Reformation opened up new avenues of thought.

The author goes on to detail how religion and science are fundamentally incompatible in several areas: the origin of the universe and its physical parameters, the origin of complexity, holism versus reductionism, the nature of mind and consciousness, and the source of morality.

In the end, Stenger is most troubled by the negative influence that organized religion often exerts on politics and society. He points out antiscientific attitudes embedded in popular religion that are being used to suppress scientific results on issues of global importance, such as overpopulation and environmental degradation. When religion fosters disrespect for science, it threatens the generations of humanity that will follow ours.

Join us this Sunday as Dr. Stenger joins us to talk about his book.

Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE iTunes PODCAST
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Write a review of Atheists Talk

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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"Meaningful Shoes" David Bonney on Atheists Talk #168 Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Once upon a time, a shoemaker had the fun idea of creating a line of shoes that would allow a person to declare themselves an atheist. So the shoemaker put his idea up on Kickstarter. Lots of people loved the idea, supported the Kickstarter, and got the fun shoes. Everyone lived happily ever after.

If the idea of a successful, openly atheist businessman selling blatantly atheist products sounds a bit like a fairy tale, that may be because you live in the United States. David Bonney, who created the Meaningful Shoe Company, lives in Germany. Join us this Sunday as we talk to him about his business and what it's like being an atheist in a country where religion has much less political sway.

 

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Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE iTunes PODCAST
SUBSCRIBE TO THE STANDARD RSS FEED
Write a review of Atheists Talk

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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