CPBD02: Luke Answers More Questions

by Luke Muehlhauser on May 31, 2010 in Podcast

(Listen to other episodes of Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot here.)

This is a special bonus episode of Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot. Today I do not interview a guest. Rather, I respond directly to the audio questions you submitted to me in response to Ask the Atheist… Audio Edition!

Be sure to send me your questions: call 413-723-0175 and leave me your message.

Because I know everything, obviously.

The questions I discuss today are:

  • What is the best way to ‘come out’ as an atheist to your religious friends and family?
  • Must we abandon Christianity altogether, or is there a place for a kind of non-supernatural Christianity focused on the self-sacrifice and radical love of Jesus?

Download CPBD episode B02. Total time is 21:18.

Note: in addition to the regular blog feed, there is also a podcast-only feed. You can also subscribe on iTunes.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Bebok May 31, 2010 at 7:07 am


I think you’ve linked to Bonus Episode #1 instead of #2.


lukeprog May 31, 2010 at 7:29 am

D’oh! Fixed.


Alexandros Marinos May 31, 2010 at 8:28 am

That explains why the third question sounded so familiar, especially the evil laughter in the end. Oh well, the summary of plantinga was worth a second listen. Thanks for this work Luke. You are the hardest working atheist on the Web. :)


lukeprog May 31, 2010 at 8:57 am


Sorry about that. I hope you enjoy the NEW episode, which is now properly linked from the post!


Charles June 1, 2010 at 9:27 am

Yeah, it definitely was a mistake to try to explain the reasons for leaving. I should have said, ‘It just doesn’t make sense to me anymore,’ and left it at that.


Jeff H June 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I like the advice about telling friends/family. When I “came out”, so to speak, I decided that the best strategy was likely to do it in two phases. I first told my parents that I was “having serious doubts” about Christianity. They were very supportive and tried to be helpful. I just had a (long) discussion with my parents about my doubts, about the things I had been thinking about, and it let me tell them my reasons while still letting them keep the idea in their minds that this was just a temporary thing. Of course, I wasn’t being entirely honest, since at that point I had already decided, but I figured it was better to ease them into the idea. After that point, I just waited a few months, and then told them that I didn’t think I could call myself a Christian anymore. Again, they were very supportive, though obviously disappointed. But I felt the strategy worked fairly well – though, of course, it’s only my own personal experience I’m drawing from.

From reading over other people’s stories, there are a couple things I picked up:

1) People will try to “help” you. They will offer you advice, they will recommend books, they will try to offer you answers to your questions. The best thing to do is just to accept it graciously, realizing that this is not only a shock to them, but also a threat to their own belief system. By helping you, they can stabilize their own emotional attachments. Then they feel like they’ve done all they can. Asking them to pray for you may help – because then they feel like they’re still doing something, but they’ll stop pestering you….lol.

2) You will most likely lose friends over this. Telling others about your change of beliefs will produce very different results. Your true friends will stay and be alright with it. (Perhaps after they take time to process it.) Friends and acquaintances, though, where your only point of contact is at church, or who only really had religion in common with you, will almost certainly drift off. They may say they’re supportive of it, but with nothing in common, they will naturally just stop hanging out with you. It’s best to accept that this will happen and make attempts to find new avenues to gain friendships.


lukeprog June 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Good stuff, Jeff H.


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