Author, Skeptic Opens Dialogue With Christians

April 15, 2013
Author Guy P. Harrison

Author Guy P. Harrison

Guy P. Harrison Seeks Mutual Understanding and Honest Conversation With His New Book

I’m pleased to welcome author Guy P. Harrison back to the podcast to talk about his new book, 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian. I spoke to him a year ago about his previous book, 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True. Harrison’s writing focuses primarily on science and skepticism. He’s held numerous positions in the news industry, including editorial writer, world news editor, sports editor, photographer, page designer, and columnist. His new book is not intended to be argumentative or disrespectful, but to promote dialogue and understanding. Harrison asks questions such as, “What is the born-again experience?” “Why would God want to sacrifice his only son for the world?” “Do miracles really happen?” “How reliable is the Bible?” “What is the rapture?” and, “Why isn’t everyone a Christian?” Harrison follows each question with thoughtful analysis. Throughout the book Harrison takes care never to condescend or treat the reader poorly.

MP3 File
(55 minutes, 50 seconds, 26.33 MB)

Listen to my audio commentary titled, Islamohysteria: The Misguided Attacks on Sam Harris, at the end of this podcast starting at the 41:22 mark.

Click here to read On Islamophobia and Libels, by Sam Harris, and here to read Greenwald and Hussain on Sam Harris and Racism, by Robby Bensinger

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4 Responses to Author, Skeptic Opens Dialogue With Christians

  1. ullrich fischer
    April 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you, Alan, for another great podcast. Your deconstruction of the ignorant and deceptive attacks on the straw man Sam Harris being promoted by far too many in the atheist/skeptic movement was very welcome. I’ve read Sam’s articles and books and have always been impressed by the extremely high information density of his comments and the fact that his arguments are nevertheless very clear and convincing. I have been disheartened to find many maligning Sam as one of the “worst atheists” by people who seem to be unable to read full English sentences anymore, even those as clear and concise as those found in Sam Harris’ works. Maybe someone needs to re-publish Sam’s books in txtspk form with no paragraphs more than 140 characters long and with most vowels expunged from the test. Vowels and long sentences seem to befuddle people who spend most of their lives typing trivia on tiny screened devices using only their thumbs.

    • Alan Litchfield
      April 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks for listening, Ullrich!

  2. glen ropella
    April 15, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    A couple of nits first. Please pronounce nuclear correctly. It’s difficult to think when I hear “nukular”. ;-) 2nd your “Greenwald and Hussain …” link seems broken.

    Thanks very much for the interview with Harrison! I may well find his book useful in my interactions with the many Christians around me.

    I very much appreciate your position on mischaracterizing Harris. However, I think you’re doing plain speaking a disservice by calling Greenwald, Hedges, and Hussain names like “dim bulbs”, and other over the top mischaracterizations. You may think two mischaracterizations make a right characterization. But I humbly submit that they don’t.

    Instead, you’re putting your own plain speaking at risk, damaging your own points by making it difficult to tease out the good parts of what you say from the insults.

    My final point is a bit too subtle for this format. But I’ll try anyway. The meta-point being made by Hussain et al (including your guest Harrison) is that being very careful about what you say, how you say it, when you say it, etc. matters. Yes, Harris’ detractors take it too far. But their point is valid. Plain speakers, especially when thinking the “unthinkable” (as Harris so often, perhaps sometimes disengenuously, claims), are accountable for what, how, and when they speak those “unthinkable” thoughts.

    No amount of repetition of the word “unthinkable” or “oh, I don’t mean that”, or “hypothetically”, or “oh I was just joking” really obviate that accountability. And in that sense, there should be someone pressuring Harris to be careful what, how, and when he says what he says.

    Regardless, Harris has handled himself properly. But I think Greenwald has too. I can’t say much about Hussain or Hedges, as, well, I don’t much care what they say.

    Thanks for the podcast!

    • Alan Litchfield
      April 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      These are all very good points, Glen – thanks. The broken link is a server issue on the host site. I’ll be practicing the word “nuclear” in front of the mirror this evening!

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