Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Introducing the Official “Ask an Atheist” Candidate Questionaire!

ADDENDUM: Please help us get answers from the campaigns! Let them know that these questions are important to you and that atheists are a constituency that needs to be answered and courted. A list of contact phone numbers can be found here.

 

As Sam and I mentioned on the last episode of our show, we’re tossing our two cents into the political process.

No, we haven’t decided to start endorsing candidates or parties for political office, but we’ve decided that it’s time that atheist, skeptics and non-believers start asking the people who want to govern us the sorts of questions that matter to us. The sorts of questions that are seldom asked and almost never answered.

So we’ve decided to sent the following statements to the people running for President of the United States, and to the candidates running for U.S. Congress and statewide office in our home, Washington state.

If you like these questions, please feel free to share them or send them out yourselves or on behalf of your local atheist organization. The more of us that assert ourselves as voters, the more responsive our candidates will have to be to our concerns.

We’re asking candidates to tell us if they Agree, Disagree or are Undecided on the following statements:

  1. The planet Earth is closer to 4.7 billion years than it is to 6,000 years old.
  2. The diversity of life on Earth is best explained through biological evolution by natural selection.
  3. The United States government did not orchestrate the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
  4. Vaccinations are not responsible for childhood autism.
  5. Deckard was a Replicant.
  6. It is very unlikely that the United States government is hiding flying saucers or alien bodies at Area 51.
  7. Atheists and agnostics are just as capable of living happy, rewarding, and moral lives as religious believers.
  8. A well-qualified candidate’s atheism would not prevent me from voting for or endorsing their candidacy.
  9. I believe that a strong separation between church and the state is the best way to preserve religious liberty.
  10. I believe that the United States of America is not officially a Christian nation.
  11. I would support legislation that would remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance and restore it to its pre-1954 version.
  12. George Lucas was mistaken to make prequels to his “Star Wars” trilogy
  13. President Barack Obama has provided enough evidence to prove that he is a natural born U.S. Citizen.

We get into greater detail about the individual questions on the episode, but we’d be happy to get your feedback as well. When we get responses from the campaigns, we’ll share the results with you on this site and on our show itself.

About the Author: Mike Gillis

Mike Gillis is co-creator, and co-host of Ask an Atheist. He hosts the Radio vs. the Martians! and
Mike and Pól Save the Universe!
podcasts.

He also enjoys comic books, the Planet of the Apes, and the band Queen.

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27 Comments on "Introducing the Official “Ask an Atheist” Candidate Questionaire!"

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Owen Atkin
Guest

1 Agree
2 Agree
3 Agree
4 Agree
5 Disagree
6 Agree
7 Agree
8 Agree
9 Agree
10 Agree
11 Agree
12 Agree
13 Agree

Pam
Guest

I suspect it would be no surprise that the responses here in the UK would pretty uniformly be ‘agree’. You have the weirdest politicians over there 🙁

Neth
Guest

I wouldn’t mind seeing statement 12 replaced with “Han Solo shot first.”

Geoff
Guest

Agree with Neth.

It wasn’t a mistake to make prequels, just to make them bad. Plus, ruining the originals was an even bigger crime against society.

James
Guest

I would agree with all of this, and know that the rest of this state doesn’t care what I think: they want a religious nut in office. Any office.

Jeff
Guest

I’d like to see at least 3 more questions:

14. George H.W. Bush was incorrect to state that atheists should not be considered U.S. citizens.

15. There are atheists who proudly and honorably serve in the United States armed forces.

16. Atheists can be patriots.

Geoff
Guest
Mike, no one believes your nerd hat comes off. I pretty much agree with you on all that, but I still think that prequels could work, especially if he got other people to write and direct for him. If I may attempt to add to your argument- I think it also just takes away some of the mythical appeal of the series. The whole idea of beginning with episode IV and in a galaxy long ago was pretty brilliant to start you off in the right mindset, and actually filling in the mystery of where this all takes place hurts… Read more »
Eric
Guest
1. The planet Earth is closer to 4.7 billion years than it is to 6,000 years old. ~4.7 billion years 2. The diversity of life on Earth is best explained through biological evolution by natural selection. Yes. Evolution is the best model we have. a. Science is the only viable set of tools we have for understanding the universe so far b. We validate each hypothesis against nature, not the other way around. 3. The United States government did not orchestrate the attacks of September 11th, 2001. Correct 4. Vaccinations are not responsible for childhood autism. Correct 5. Deckard was… Read more »
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[…] 26, 2012 By Hemant Mehta Leave a CommentThe folks at Ask An Atheist have put together a list of statements they’d like to see politicians comment on so that we can make a more informed decision on […]

Martha
Guest
3. “The United States government did not orchestrate the attacks of September 11th, 2001.” Wasn’t aware that there are still people out there that would agree with this statement. 5. “Deckard was a Replicant.” I’d have to answer undecided if I was answering these. I’m unaware of who Deckard is. 7. “Atheists and agnostics are just as capable of living happy, rewarding, and moral lives as religious believers.” I agree, but then right now I identify as agnostic. May progress to atheist someday, but no guarantees. 9. “I believe that a strong separation between church and the state is the… Read more »
Martha
Guest

I have a suggestion for a question.

The War on Women is real.

I for one (could be because I’m female) don’t want to vote for somebody that’s willing to take a way a woman’s rights.

Roy Batty
Guest

#5 As every die-hard BR fan knows, as does anyone who owns the Final Cut box set and the accompanying “Dangerous Days” doc that Deckard was in fact a replicant. As confirmed by both Ridley Scott and Harrison Ford.

It is not a trick question. The point of the questionnaire is that if you answer anything but I agree to any of these questions, there might be something seriously wrong with you.

Steve
Guest

5. Yes. Note the unicorn

OmniZ
Guest

Just a suggestion for next time: don’t make “agree” the answer you want to hear on every question. Mix it up so that the person answering can’t just check off one column all the way down and they actually have to read the questions.

Sam Mulvey
Admin

We actually went with a 1-5 Likert scale.

Also, I guarantee that people read those questions. It’s a questionnaire written by an atheist show sent to political candidates, chances of brainless circling are pretty low.

Jeff
Guest

“Also, I guarantee that people read those questions.”

I guarantee a lot of them will toss it in the trash as soon as they realise what it is.

Sam Mulvey
Admin

We’re not expecting a whole lot of returns, but you’ve gotta start somewhere. And if people call candidates and let them know they care about this, that raises the odds of these getting answered.

Thorsen Vreeland
Guest

I think you’re right that few candidates will respond, but I don’t think this is actually helped by the inclusion of the two light-hearted questions.

At least I imagine the sort of candidates that one would like to be cornered with your questionnaire will be able to dismiss it as not serious because of their inclusion.

Naturally I sincerely hope I’m wrong about this.

Oh, and given the Last Thursdayism in question 5, even Deckard wouldn’t be able to answer it with any confidence ツ

SPACKlick
Guest

1 Agree
2 Agree (With caveat about other evolutionary mechanisms)
3 Agree
4 Agree (Although I’d rather see this as there is not sufficient reason to believe that)
5 DISAGREE – Deckard was human.
6 Agree (With caveat that non alien flying saucers if they were developed could well be kept there as a flight test base)
7 Agree
8 Agree
9 Agree
10 Agree
11 Agree
12 Disagree – He made money from it, therefore the experience was valued at more than it cost, therefore he made the world better off.
13 Disagree – The word prove cannot be applied to empirical historical facts. But I’m a pedant.

Morbane
Guest

1. Agree
2. Agree
3. Agree
4. Agree
5. Agree Ridley Scott put a nail in that coffin ages ago and added new scenes to clarify in later releases.
6. Agree
7. Agree
8. Agree
9. Agree
10. Agree
11. Agree (if I were an American)
12. Agree. (He should of let someone else Write and Direct. Darth Vader’s origin story could have been epic)
13. Agree

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[…] official 2012 Ask an Atheist Candidate Questionnaire has been mailed out to 51 people seeking office for President, U.S. Congress and statewide office […]

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[…] Last week, Sam and I appeared on Equal Time Radio, a progressive political talk show on KLAY AM 1180, to chat about the official Ask an Atheist candidate questionnaire. […]

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[…] Mike and Becky look at the responses to our official candidate questionnaire, and then talk to author Loren Collins about his new book, Bullspotting: Finding Facts in the Age […]

Maddy Love
Guest

I want to send this to my local representatives for this years Congressional elections and post the answers to my blog http://www.transathiestpod.com You guys mind?

-Maddy

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