An Atheist, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and a Christian Walk Into a Bar… March 24, 2012

An Atheist, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and a Christian Walk Into a Bar…

There’s a group called Elements[Chicago] that’s putting together a really interesting event in the city in a couple of weeks. They’re bringing together four different people to answer the questions “What do I believe?” and “Why should I believe it?”

As it happens, they were kind enough to invite me to represent the atheist viewpoint. Other panelists include a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Muslim. I’ve worked with this organization before and, despite their theism, they always manage to put together programs that are welcoming of everybody, including critics of faith. Keep in mind, this isn’t a debate; it’s a conversation. There won’t be a wrestling match to find out who’s right — much to my disappointment, I promise you.

So if you’re in Chicago, please consider attending the event on April 5th! Otherwise, I’ll have to fend everyone else off on my own.

More details are here! Hope to see you there.

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  • Andrew Gorman

    Sounds like my sort of thing (though there is no way at all I could attend). I am very much an interfaith kind of guy (a Buddhist for progressive change and secular government)

  • Is it wrong to find it fitting that such a discussion is occurring on Weed St?

  • lonesome bulldog

    Andrew, no scientist has ever seen a Nirvana particle under a microscope.  Buddhism is just Islam with statue worship.

  • Johann


    Buddhism is just Islam with statue worship.

    And that, kids, is why you should learn history.  Next up: the secrets of politics Napoleon learned from Bismarck.

  • Anonymous

    Question, if an atheist participates in this conversation or debate if you will, will this promote theism? I think similar debates or conversations between scientists and creationists only serve to legitimize Intelligent Design. Should atheists limit their participation to evidence based debates? 

  • TCC

    Seriously, do you realize how ignorant you sound? Buddhism is an offshoot (of sorts) of Hinduism, not Islam, and even then, it’s not “Hinduism with statue worship.”

  • Plasticpony365

    Please if you can get a transcript, I’d like to read your responses to their questions.

  • Wild Rumpus

    This one of the stupidest things I’ve read on FA. Buddhism has nothing at all to do with Islam and is actually non theistic in it’s purest form.

  • kev_s

    Christopher Hitchens …
    A mullah, rabbi and a priest walk into a bar in new York, and the bar-man says “What is this, some kind of joke?!”

  • Anonymous

     I would dare to say that any discussion about theism which involves an
    atheist will, inevitably, become an evidence based debate at some point.
    After all a rather large percentage of atheists became, or continue to
    be, such because of the evidence that’s available. It’s almost
    impossible to ask an atheist why they believe there are no gods without
    evidence coming into their response somewhere.

  • Cheepak Dopra

    No scientist has ever seen a graviton under a microscope either. i guess gravity doesn’t exist.

  • Ahmadache

    Posting a little late. Did not know about this site. Anyway, I believe that the reason we are all willing to discuss this is because at some very deep level of our subconscious, the believers and the non-believers “know” the same thing. It just comes out differently at the surface. We all subconsciously know there are no supernatural powers, but our mind manufactures those in order to have some kind of order on this earth and increase the chances of survival of the individual and the species. The gods are just symbols in which our subconscious tells us we have to believe or else it will be guaranteed chaos on this earth.  That is why a human being every bit as intelligent as you or me will carve a statue with his/her own hands and then kneel in front of it and worship it. 

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