Broadly Focused Podcast – Episode 19

Well, this isn’t a conventional episode of the podcast, folks, but we think it’s worth listening to anyway.  It’s a bit short (about 35 minutes), and off of our normal format and structure.  We just didn’t have a bunch of news for the week, it was hot as hell, and we were wanting to talk about the changes to the show we are putting in place.

So, we have reclassified ourselves in iTunes under the ‘News and Politics’ section, with ‘Religion and Spirituality – Other’ second, and ‘Science – Natural Sciences’ as the third.  We have talked in the past about our focus, and we think a slight shift in that focus will help us produce a better show.

The fact of the matter is that most of the articles we ended up covering that were about religion, we covered because they were about politics, human rights, or civil rights.  We were focusing on the religious angle because that has been my focus for a while now, and I was the one putting the show together.  However, we realized pretty quickly that we were really enjoying doing the podcast, but trying to find and decide on articles was getting a bit testy.  We are best friends, we don’t necessarily agree on everything we cover, and we think that’s a big part of what makes our conversations interesting.  That said, we are not looking to be confrontational for effect, and we feel this will be more organic.

For those of you coming from the atheist visibility movement who have enjoyed the show thus far – don’t stress.  The show will likely not change a whole lot.  The craziness we see out there still has a bunch of religious sources, and many of the articles we’ve covered would still be included under the ‘new’ format.  The structure won’t change much, if at all.  Also, we haven’t changed.  I am still an agnostic atheist antitheist, and Brian is still a believer with a big brain.  Our friendship and banter haven’t gone anywhere, and we’re getting more comfortable with the funny.  We have officially dropped the news game, but that is really OK since we typically have some listener feedback and/or follow up news to talk about, and the game sucked.  We also have been making much more of an effort to stick to our stated time frame of around an hour.  While I love the longer podcasts I listen to, we do understand that not everyone has an hour and a half to spend listening to a couple of assholes talk about the news.

In any case, we hope you enjoy Episode 19 of the Broadly Focused Podcast, and we look forward to hearing from you!


2 thoughts on “Broadly Focused Podcast – Episode 19

  1. Gentlemen,

    Glad to see you guys are switching things up a bit. I welcome the new changes. It’s hard finding a niche to fill but I think you guys may be on to something. I know a lot of podcast due religious type news shows but I don’t listen to any that do a political/racism/justice type shows. But in the end, it really all does come back to religion. I know Matt is vocal about his atheism but Brian seems to be a little more reserved in his voicing his beliefs. I would like to see some tension, I know you two are friends but I think there is potential for some good back and forth between you two.

    • Sir,

      First, my long overdue apologies for failing to acknowledge and respond to your post – seeing as I lost it amidst* the jumble of chaos that has been the last month or so, I can do no less.

      Here’s my problem with more forcibly voicing my beliefs: I know, or am somewhat familiar with, most of the arguments for and against theism, which is the foundation of theism, the cornerstone of deism, and one of the arguments used by the Christian theologians to support their basic doctrine(s). I find that, to put it in what would be, I think, the correct parlance, the opposition arguments to the theistic proposition tend to be more convincing intellectually. However, I do not have a solely empirical approach to life, and I find most of their arguments to be morally or emotionally inadequate or unconvincing for one reason or another. (To clarify: I am not saying that atheism is an immoral choice, but rather that it is morally neutral. Atheism, simply as a rejection of theism, does not include a moral component as does theism, or rather, I should say, deism does.) I then ponder the question of why so many of our fellow human beings are convinced to the existence of one deity or other(s), from the earliest recorded history until the present day. And because I am then unsure in my self as to the answer to the question****, I cannot honestly put forth any strong position on the subject.

      I have absolutely no issue with discussing any religion, and particularly christianity – and occasionally church history; if I can’t recall what the commentaries generally say, I damn well know where to find it. Same with most politics – although I lean a bit more right, I follow and paraphrase most of the other positions, and have no problem playing devils advocate. Oddly, I have more confidence choosing political positions than religious. Perhaps because there are fewer positions, and the possible consequences are strictly temporal?

      Obviously Matt does not have these moral quandaries, and is happy to carry the winnowing oar of anti-theism to the masses with great passion. Were that I were so sure in my beliefs. I once remarked to him that I don’t have the answer and I probably don’t even know how to ask the right questions – and that I hope the next ‘once a century genius’ is a Harry Seldon that can create a framework and methodology for definitively doing so.

      I hope that answers more questions than it raises.


      *Really?!** The wordpress software doesn’t recognize ‘amidst’ as a word?

      **Expressing a surprised interrogative statement***

      ***I read a lot of Terry Pratchett

      ****42, duh*****

      *****I’ve read pretty much anything that man ever wrote, too. All five h2g2 novels and the short story, both Dirk Gently novels, I even have ‘A Salmon of Doubt.’ Taught me that, no matter if he exists or not, God must have a sense of humor.

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