The Infidel Guy Podcast

29 September 2006

Reggie Finley, known primarily as “the infidel guy” hosts his own radio show twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday. His site, archives many of these shows. Finley now releases some of his material on his own podcast, which can be found easily through ITunes and other podcast directories. Most shows last between 1 and 2 hours.

Finley, who calls himself an “agnostic atheist”, is very critical of religion, particularly Christianity. Almost every show involves Finley interviewing another person or two. His guests are sometimes quite well-known. He has had programs with Ken Miller, Michael Ruse, Daniel Dennett, and other recognizable scientists and philosophers. He doesn’t only invite like-minded individuals. Many of his shows have Christian guests, and quite a few episodes are essentially debates. Issues discussed include the existence of God, the resurrection, the reliability of the Bible, homosexuality, evolution, and politics. Thus, there is a decent amount of variety which keeps the podcast interesting.

Unfortunately, Finley seems to be rather ignorant and simple-minded about some issues. He frequently tries to make comments about Christian beliefs or culture in order to undermine Christianity, but he usually misses the boat. His philosophical sophistication is meager at best; most of his arguments against Christianty either focus on the behavior of Christians or on supposed biblical absurdities. His primary arguments take the following format:

1. Christians believe on blind faith.
2. Isn’t that stupid?
3. Therefore, Christianity is false.

Of course, Finley doesn’t lay his argument out in syllogistic form. However, this is the way he argues. He picks something he thinks is absurd and snickers at it, apparently thinking that he has made some sort of useful point. He rarely acknowledges the fact that he is painting with a broad brush (since, in this case, not all Christians believe based on blind faith). He tries to take the worst examples of Christians (or entirely constructed strawmen), in order to refute Christianity. If you don’t believe me, then listen to a few episodes. I sincerely doubt that you will find a more sophisticated argument than the one just outlined.

Thus, Finley is hardly a good critic of Christianity. This really hurts the value of the podcast. However, he does interview a lot of quality guests, and for this reason alone the podcast may be worth your time. Plus, there are no commercial breaks, which is a huge advantage. Nevertheless, if you are a Christian who is easily annoyed by particularly bad arguments (as I am), then The Infidel Guy Podcast may be too irritating to bear.


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