Sy Garte – Biochemist Escapes Atheism

Portrait of Sy GarteListen as Sy Garte, a professor of biochemistry and Max Kolbe discuss the journey that led Sy out of atheism.

Max opens the interview by asking Sy his childhood. Sy responds that he was raised in a very religious household, but the normal religion. Sy was a “red diaper baby”.  Born to  the son of atheists who actively promoted communism in the 1950s and 1960’s, his childhood experience is one of indifference to active hostility to religion.

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Taking Professor Stick to the Woodshed

A Deflating & Escaping Atheism hangout responds to Professor Stick, with a great video summarizing modern atheistic and scientism/materialist arguments.

The video begins with the usual intros and noting that Escaping Atheism is back after a 2 week hiatus. Max Kolbe discusses his serious technical issues, which required four trips to the repair shop.

Rob mentions that Mr. Spark, a regular commenter and fan, requested that Deflating Atheism and Max Kolbe take on a response video by Professor Stick. Professor Stick responded to a short video of Professor Alister McGrath, an atheist molecular bio-physicist who eventually became a Christian. Before watching clips of Professor Stick’s response video, Max Kolbe discusses Professor McGrath’s background in more detail. Rob and Max discuss the potential difficulties of the format and they begin the video.

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Demonstrating non-material concepts to Atheists

Picture of nerves over a side potraitEditor’s note: this is our first letter in what we hope to be an ongoing series. Thanks Steve B, for your thoughtful email!

But [..my letter..] does concern your fine, interesting show, which provides a refreshing break from the shallow reductionist materialism of most of your opposing counterparts. The show’s take-no-prisoners, gruff approach, I feel, is exactly what the doctor ordered as a reply to the aggressiveness of so many of the “new” atheists. One issue I’d like to bring up is the question of how to communicate the idea of non-material reality to those who claim that matter is a universal fact of being, a stance, which by nature, cannot allow for the existence of, and evidence for, spiritual realities, entities, and “realms”.

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Why is Escaping Atheism so vulgar and caustic?

Max Kolbe and Missing the Mark discuss why the Escaping Atheism occasionally (or frequently) uses vulgar and caustic language.  [Warning: Following video has adult language starting at 3:00.]

Max Kolbe introduces the video with defining Escaping Atheism’s mission of secular criticism of atheism. He mentions the question he’s received from more than one Christian of why social media interactions involve swearing at times.

Conversation between Missing the Mark and Max breaks in where Max discusses places and times where the culture is rough and tumble, ie, the wild west, inner cities, and rough suburban neighborhoods.

Max mentions that Christians have no obligation to meet the culture in the same rough style. He also acknowledges that vulgar language can make people look juvenile.

Max then discusses his freshman year at Catholic school and his homeroom teacher, who freely swore in the classroom. He enthusiastically discusses the frank language used by his St. Augustine monk with specific examples. Offers several examples of American Catholic sub-cultures that swear frequently. Ends the segment mentioning that the use of vulgar language is not directly considered wrong/sinful and that no one has an obligation to use words that make them uncomfortable.

Escaping Atheism definitions of atheism, agnosticism, theism, & God

Escaping Atheism stated mission, in addition to using swear words on a regular basis, is to an attempt to help people ‘escape atheism’. But what do we even mean by atheism?

To avoid pointless dictionary thumping, these are the definitions of important words at the Escaping Atheism project. If you can use these words as defined, welcome! We know what it’s like to honestly wonder if there’s no God. If you can’t use these words as defined here, well, expect to be cussed at some point.

Escaping Atheism definitions:

  • atheism=denial or disbelief of God (traditional definition of atheism – etymology of atheism)
  • agnosticism=does not know, does not have a declared position either way; although they may have bias or leaning
  • theism=belief in God (or gods), although not necessarily religious or spiritual or part of any organized religion
  • God=uncreated Creator of reality, not part of the natural world in any sense, no claims about the nature of the uncreated Creator of reality unless associated with a particular religious belief

For a more detailed discussion of these nouns using definitions from Dictionary.com, please read on.

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