If Your Blood Pressure Rises Listening to Adults Talk About Angels, Try Being the Sole Skeptic on the Panel

John Figdor is the Humanist Chaplain of the Humanist Community at Stanford and he appeared on a HuffPost Live segment discussing angels.


It would make sense if the panel consisted entirely of six-year-olds, but these were grown adult humans talking, John being the only voice of reason:

Seriously, just listen to the sort of thing John was saying throughout the broadcast (11:06 mark):

John: … From my perspective, the belief that one has angels looking out for oneself must be immensely comforting to someone. To think that God or God’s little representative is personally looking out for you must be wonderful, but it’s just clearly not true.

I mean, anything supernatural is non-existent. There are no angels, there are no demons, there are no monsters, there are no… Bigfoot, there’s no Megalodon shark… there’s no mermaids. There’s nothing that’s supernatural.

Yet, he’s berated by the others, including his former advisor at Harvard Dudley Rose, for being too dismissive of another panelist’s personal experiences with angels.

It’s painful to watch, but it’s just the sort of thing we see all the time: Otherwise intelligent people who are impervious to reality.

We all have blind spots when it comes to beliefs that make us feel good. Then people like John come by with a healthy dose of skepticism and, instead of greeting him with open arms, we put up a shield as if to say “Don’t ruin my fantasy.”

We need more people like John willing to snap people back into reality, whether they welcome it or not.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.