Talk Heathen 03.46 for November 17, 2019 with Eric Murphy & Vi La Bianca.

00:03:42 Nicolas – Bahamas – Would the world be a safe place without religion?
00:09:21 Shane – UT – Knows there is a god due to love. What is love? Baby don’t hurt me…
00:26:52 Bree – IA – Troubled about the rapture and how it traumatized her as a child
00:33:41 Fred – FL – Claims near death experiences proves there is an afterlife
00:56:31 Aiden – MA – Would like some tips on how to approach apologetics respectfully
01:03:21 Michael – KS – Experienced some rough times and struggling with Christian platitudes.
01:15:17 Troy – TX – Struggled with coming out as an atheist and his wife’s response.
01:21:50 Connor – NV – How to deal with folks who don’t want to hear our point of view.

Welcome to Talk Heathen! In today’s episode, Eric Murphy is joined by Vi La Bianca. Welcome back to the co-host seat Vi, we love your insight!
The first caller is Nicolas from the Bahamas. He would like to talk about if the world would be a utopia or safe place if there was no religion. Tune in to hear about how Eric and Vi parse this idea.
The next caller, Shane from Utah would like to talk about how love means there is a god. Claims that emotion means energy in motion and therefore god. Listen in and find out how Eric and Vi break it all down.
After a little bit of discussion about love and the previous caller, the next caller is Bree from Iowa. She wants to talk about how the rapture completely troubled her as a child. Leaving religion isn’t easy, it takes time to unpack that baggage when you’re out. It’s worth giving yourself time to process.
The next caller in the queue is Fred from Florida would like to discuss that there is evidence of an afterlife because of near death experiences. Watch to hear how Eric explains how this is a false equivalency.
Next up, Aiden in Massachusetts will be reading a book by Lee Strobel and would love to hear some tips on how to approach the subject matter (Christian apologetics.) Eric and Vi both love this topic and gave him some great recommendations.
Afterward, Michael from Kansas is troubled with people providing horrible Christian platitudes in the face of him dealing with loss. Michael we love you and you have community with us. Your grandmother would be proud of you for speaking up.
Subsequently, Troy in Texas is seeking recommendations for going through a divorce as a secular/atheist person. His wife responded poorly to him coming out and he is looking for resources to getting help.
Our last caller, Connor from Nevada is calling about how to deal with folks who don’t want to hear his point of view. It’s totally ok to walk away from a conversation if you find the reasoning is fallacious or if you need to follow up later. ‘I don’t know’ is definitely ok to use!

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Talk Heathen is a weekly call-in television show in Austin, Texas geared toward long-form and on-going dialogue with theists & atheists about religion, theism, & secularism. Talk Heathen is produced by the Atheist Community of Austin.

Talk Heathen is filmed in front of a live studio audience every week at the Freethought Library of the Atheist Community of Austin.

The Atheist Community of Austin is organized as a nonprofit educational corporation to develop & support the atheist community, to provide opportunities for socializing & friendship, to promote secular viewpoints, to encourage positive atheist culture, to defend the first amendment principle of government-religion separation, to oppose discrimination against atheists & to work with other organizations in pursuit of common goals.

We define atheism as the lack of belief in gods. This definition also encompasses what most people call agnosticism.


Eric Murphy: Erictheheathen
Jamie Boone: Jamietheheathen

Eric Murphy: @dirtyheathen
Jamie Boone: @reason_evidence


TalkHeathen is the official channel of Talk Heathen. “Talk Heathen” is a trademark of the ACA.

The views and opinions expressed by hosts, guests, or callers are their own and not necessarily representative of the Atheist Community of Austin.

Copyright © 2017 Atheist Community of Austin. All rights reserved.



  1. 00:03:42 Nicolas – Bahamas – Would the world be a safe place without religion?

    00:09:21 Shane – UT – Knows there is a god due to love. What is love? Baby don’t hurt me…

    00:26:52 Bree – IA – Troubled about the rapture and how it traumatized her as a child

    00:33:41 Fred – FL – Claims near death experiences proves there is an afterlife

    00:56:31 Aiden – MA – Would like some tips on how to approach apologetics respectfully

    01:03:21 Michael – KS – Experienced some rough times and struggling with Christian platitudes.

    01:15:17 Troy – TX – Struggled with coming out as an atheist and his wife’s response.

    01:21:50 Connor – NV – How to deal with folks who don’t want to hear our point of view.

  2. re: Difficult interactions when someone dies
    Grieving a loved one is a difficult and stressful time. I wish clergy did not use it as an opportunity to proselytize. I would urge anyone leading a funeral or memorial gathering to say things that are useful to most or all of the people there, and hopefully to not assume that everyone in your audience shares a particular belief or paradigm. (I understand why a clergyperson leading a gathering for a deceased of the same religion would say things that believers of that religion find useful — that's okay with me, though I would appreciate some tiny acknowledgement that there might be those in the audience who do not share those beliefs.)
    A suggestion when offering comfort to someone whose beliefs are different than your own: do your best to say things that the other person will find comforting.
    If I (an agnostic atheist) want to comfort a Christian friend or family member, I'll talk about something we both think to be true, such as that their pain will ease with time, or that I would be happy to listen whenever they want to talk. If it was a difficult illness, I may even use language that fits their views more than mine, such as "I'm glad that they are no longer suffering in this life."
    If a Christian wants to comfort a nonbeliever, please do not talk about heaven, or seeing the person again after death — it can cause more stress and anguish for the mourner. Now is not the time to try to convert them. Look at my examples above if you are not sure what things might be comforting that you both believe in.
    [Please excuse my colloquial use of the words "believe" and "beliefs"]

  3. I'm late to the party but my mother had an out of death experience and both my sister and I got to witness her scaring the crap out of the doctor by telling him what he'd said at the nurse's station at the other end of the hall. He literally ran out the door and my mother said he never came back into the room. I can't explain it. I just know that I witnessed it. It appears that there is something more and it left my mother unafraid to die. (She was not and did not become religious. I'm atheist by the way.)

  4. I am DEFINITELY trying to dismiss Fred's point that millions of people believe in afterlife. It is preposterous, with no validity and all the harm.

    No, I am not saying that it is impossible. That is absurd. But THAT does not lend any credence at all to the claim- it's still fucking idiotic. Okay, that's harsh. All I am saying is that it is easy to dismiss afterlife claims all day and all night. They have no merit.

  5. Holy Quran, chapter "The Originator", chapter 35:

    In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.

    1. Praise be to God, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Maker of the angels messengers with wings—double, triple, and quadruple. He adds to creation as He wills. God is Able to do all things.

    2. Whatever mercy God unfolds for the people, none can withhold it. And if He withholds it, none can release it thereafter. He is the Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom.

    3. O people! Remember God’s blessings upon you. Is there a creator other than God who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? There is no god but He. So how are you misled?

    4. If they reject you, messengers before you were also rejected. To God all matters are returned.

    5. O people! The promise of God is true; so let not the lowly life seduce you, and let not the Tempter tempt you away from God.

    6. Satan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his gang to be among the inmates of the Inferno.

    7. Those who disbelieve will suffer a harsh punishment, but those who believe and do righteous deeds will have forgiveness and a great reward.

    8. What of him whose evil deed was made attractive to him, and so he regards it as good? God leads astray whomever He wills, and He guides whomever He wills. Therefore, do not waste yourself sorrowing over them. God knows exactly what they do.

    9. God is He who sends the winds, which agitate clouds, which We drive to a dead land, and thereby revive the ground after it had died. Likewise is the Resurrection

    Holy Quran, chapter "The Originator", chapter 35:
    11. God created you from dust, then from a small drop; then He made you pairs. No female conceives, or delivers, except with His knowledge. No living thing advances in years, or its life is shortened, except it be in a Record. That is surely easy for God.

    12. The two seas are not the same. One is fresh, sweet, good to drink, while the other is salty and bitter. Yet from each you eat tender meat, and extract jewelry which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through them, so that you may seek of His bounty, so that you may give thanks.

    13. He merges the night into the day, and He merges the day into the night; and He regulates the sun and the moon, each running for a stated term. Such is God, your Lord; His is the sovereignty. As for those you call upon besides Him, they do not possess a speck.

    14. If you pray to them, they cannot hear your prayer. And even if they heard, they would not answer you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will reject your partnership. None informs you like an Expert.

    15. O people! It is you who are the poor, in need of God; while God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy.

    16. If He wills, He can do away with you, and produce a new creation.

    17. And that would not be difficult for God.

    18. No burdened soul can carry the burden of another. Even if one weighted down calls for help with its burden, nothing can be lifted from it, even if they were related. You are to warn those who fear their Lord inwardly, and perform the prayer. He who purifies himself purifies himself for his own good. To God is the ultimate return.

    19. Not equal are the blind and the seeing.

    20. Nor are the darkness and the light.

    21. Nor are the shade and the torrid heat.

    22. Nor are equal the living and the dead. God causes whomever He wills to hear, but you cannot make those in the graves hear.

    23. You are only a warner.

    24. We sent you with the truth; a bearer of good news, and a warner. There is no community but a warner has passed through it.

    25. If they disbelieve you, those before them also disbelieved. Their messengers came to them with the clear proofs, with the Psalms, and with the Enlightening Scripture.

    26. Then I seized those who disbelieved—so how was My rejection?

    27. Have you not seen that God sends down water from the sky? With it We produce fruits of various colors. And in the mountains are streaks of white and red—varying in their hue—and pitch-black.

    28. Likewise, human beings, animals, and livestock come in various colors. From among His servants, the learned fear God. God is Almighty, Oft-Forgiving.

    29. Those who recite the Book of God, and perform the prayer, and spend of what We have provided for them, secretly and publicly, expect a trade that will not fail.

    30. He will pay them their dues in full, and will increase them from His bounty. He is Forgiving and Appreciative.

    31. What We inspired in you, of the Book, is the truth, confirming what preceded it. God is Well-Informed of His servants, All-Seeing.

    32. Then We passed the Book to those of Our servants whom We chose. Some of them wrong their souls, and some follow a middle course, and some are in the foremost in good deeds by God’s leave; that is the greatest blessing.

    33. The Gardens of Eden, which they will enter. They will be adorned therein with gold bracelets and pearls, and their garments therein will be of silk.

    34. And they will say, “Praise God, who has lifted all sorrow from us. Our Lord is Most Forgiving, Most Appreciative.

  6. Wth choosing religion over a husband/wife is beyond fucked. Also where do they get off that the kids are more their than yours is bullshit. I wait till they are out then change the locks and immediately take her to court claiming child endangerment that they are being subjected to cult behavior.

  7. There have been studies where they can show that drugs like dmt and lsd mimic nde's exactly. It is highly likely that nde's are caused by chemical inbalances.

    Also different cultures interpret nde's according to their own cultural bias.

  8. Winter in Texas? You have to put on a sweat shirt…. come on up here after the lake freezes and get some Lake Effect Snow ;p

    Eric, is it me or is 99% of the flat earthers and antivaxxers super mega christian? A lot of the "use herbs, goovey thoughts, and moon/sun being close" all seem to be biblically based.

    24m – Vi saying her church it wasn't about romantic love…. not going to go too far with that but would make a good comedy sketch. Phone rings. "It's me, Jesus, do you mind if me and and holy spirit drop by later?" Followed by a poop ton of "the spirit came upon him" and "letting Jesus into you" double entendre….

    Thanks Vi, your off the cuff comment got me laughing about about a scene like that…. have to write that down and film it.

  9. this episode ….yes ….!!!!
    what a great example of critical thinking discussion approach….eric & v are intellectually honest & humane to each caller respectful & equally concise in pushback

  10. Fred: People had near-death experiences, therefore souls exist.
    No that's not the only possible conclusion/explanation … there are may others and some can be tested. Fred's cannot be tested, it's just an idea.
    He behaved like his explanation was the only possible one.

  11. Fred, NDE’s are not confirmation, what they seem to be is a function of a brain seeing what the person already believes. The person claiming an NDE always seem to experience what they already believe, ie christians see Christian themes, Hindus see Hindu themes etc. if it was true everyone would see one truth regardless of what the person believes.

  12. I'll never understand why a Theist would call a show like this and think they're going to change someone's mind.
    It's a waste of time Theist, without the (proper) evidence to support your (extraordinary claims), no Atheist is ever going to believe you.
    Only God himself can convince an Atheist of his existence, or maybe some discovery made by science?
    Your average religious Joe using the bible doesn't stand a chance in Hell of convincing anyone of anything other than they're batsh!t crazy.

    The best argument for the existence of God is no argument at all.


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