Loren you asked for a vocal atheist. I respect Pat Condell. Think he is really sharp and outspoken. Cant penalize the guy for not having his own show. And there are many here on A/N who outshine Maher in terms of understanding the issues. Doesn't mean they could replace him on Real Time, cuz Maher is quick to bring up talking snakes and has the right personality. And new rules is funny. He has good writers.
Most of us would fall back into the idiocy of faith for comfort if put under enough stress and trauma, our limbric system and adrenaline glands are too strong and our prefrontal cortexes too small and too easily overwhelmed.
I hope you are wrong -- or that I am not part of that "most" of which you speak. It is one of my greatest fears that I will betray my conscience and "find God" at the last minute. You know how believers sought to put words into the mouths of Darwin and Einstein. The latter even had to come out publicly and state emphatically that he was not a believer. I do not want to fall victim to the old Death Bed Conversion syndrome.
Nope, nope, NOPE! My faith was never all that good to begin with, and the "all lecture and no lab" aspect of religion was the deal-breaker for me a long time ago. It took me a while to finally get shut of all the trappings and side trips and general woo, but that's a done deal for me now. Going back would be beyond anathema for me, and I suspect for a great number of others here.
Obviously, Leah Libresco is another matter. She's on her own trip, and she's fully entitled to said trip. Do NOT expect me to join her anytime soon.
YOu are already halfway there, claiming that you can never be conned ever means you are halfway to a con man getting you, you must keep your own falliblities and your own irrationality in mind so you can remind yourself when at such a point that it isnt what you think is a divine experience but rather your irrational side taking command.
Bud, you don't want to begin to guess about how conscious I am of my own quirks, idiosyncrasies, and irrationalities. I've had 61+ years to get to know them, plus the discipline of a career in engineering, troubleshooting and customer relationships to cement in my mind what works and what doesn't, what's real and what isn't.
Tell you what: you worry about YOUR OWN IRRATIONALITIES and I'll worry about mine. Deal?
I didn't want to waste my time looking for the episode I mentioned with the bushy haired christian apologist. Did, wasted an hour, cant find it. If any of you know the author's name or the episode please disclose.