While I was gone last week, Nightline ran a segment about out-of-body experiences and Bob Woodruff interviewed atheist superwoman Margaret Downey for a perspective that doesn’t involve the supernatural. She sets him straight about why those visions occur, politely counters when he brings up his own memories of a “spiritual experience,” and generally comes off as a voice of reason. (Especially when juxtaposed with a woman who begins speaking in tongues…)
I think she comes off wonderfully. Of course, Woodruff screwed up a couple factual things.
Margaret isn’t an “atheist minister.” That sounds confusingly religious. She’s a Secular officiant, licensed to perform weddings and other non-religious ceremonies.
Her uncle didn’t “teach her atheism.” He taught Margaret to question what she heard… and when she applied that principle to religion, she became an atheist.
Who knows what other vital points Margaret made — the whole interview took five hours to film but was edited down to what you see in the clip.
Still, I’ll give Woodruff credit for interviewing her. Normally, you only hear the bullshit 90 Minutes in Heaven version of the story without the skeptical counterpoint.
(via Skeptic Money)