Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mike McHargue

atheist blog
Today on Facebook my friend asked her atheist friends to give her some thoughts on Mike McHargue, this guy who is claiming to be an atheist-now-believer-in-Jesus based on a moment on the beach with an indescribable light, a moment that he considers mystical, a connection with god.
Here's the video my friend posted.

I'd never heard of the guy, but I had some time so I watched a couple of interviews with him and some of his brief media videos. He seems to have a nice little wave of notoriety going on. Seems he has been podcasting for some time on a show called Ask Science Mike. On iTunes I see over 80 podcasts.

I don't know how Mike claims to be an atheist when he's clearly been podcasting as a Christian for over a year... But I admit that I don't know the guy. Maybe he's just building up his audience in anticipation of release of his book Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science. Wouldn't it be great if that sold millions? 

Call me a skeptic (OK, you're a skeptic) but this whole thing sounds like a giant set up, a performance designed to capture a very specific audience. Mike McHargue clearly states in a second clip on his youtube channel that he has written this book for people who are in that gray area, in that area where science and social media has begun to get to you, to make sense, to inspire doubt. This book was written for those people who are beginning to see the light...this book is for you. So he says.

This entire campaign seems to me like a carefully orchestrated piece of propaganda designed to snare those people who are struggling with belief. It is a campaign designed to use the word science to comfort those who can no longer ignore science's validity. And I find that loathsome, disgusting, and incredibly manipulative.

Feeling a sense of the sublime, on the beach and whatever his vague claims are, are human feelings. I feel the sublime in many places. Those places, in no way, are a god to me. Pure nature is breathtakingly huge and beautiful and terrible and beyond our current comprehension. STILL, not a god. I promise you, a moment of awe would never make an atheist suddenly become a believer in any supernatural story and no freethinker would ever go back to the bonds of mythology that ensnare religious minds. I despise it when believers claim to be atheists in order to prove that atheism can be overcome by faith.
I do doubt Mike McHargue. I think that he is marketing to a huge group of people today: the people who are watching religious claims receding in the light of knowledge and the people who are openly or secretly doubting what they have been taught to believe...

Just a few cents in a few moments of thought.


  1. You might like this on the moral problems with the 10 Commandments

    1. Always nice to see critiques of such nonsense. ;)

  2. I went to this site looking for an atheist review of Finding God In The Waves and was fairly disappointed with what I wrote. You're making some very big presumptions (I won't say accusations) about the character of Mike McHargue without actually reading his material and see what he actually has to say. You're subjecting yourself to the same level of criticism as someone who makes conclusions without looking at the evidence - sound familiar? If you haven't read his works, you are in no position to pass any kind of judgement. He happens to be brutally honest and sincere about his search for truth and meaning and if you spent even a bit of time reading or listening to him, you would see how transparent he is. He doesn't even proselytise, he often states that he's just a guy who reads a lot and isn't a professional scientist or a theologian, he just wants to help those who want to hold on to any semblance of faith if they are so inclined. I would challenge you to read his book or seek a shorter version of his story (plenty of versions online) and then write a better informed criticism of him and his work.

    1. No thanks, not a bit interested in reading another word of his works. What I read was enough for me at this point. If I have further reason to revisit...what's his name?...I will read more.

      My opinions are mine, that is why they are on my blog. You are welcome to disagree all you like.

  3. Feel free to use the word "accusations", BTW. For someone of such integrity he sure is marketing alot of merch.

    I see his blog and website as a form of Christian Apologetics. His effort of keeping a deity in a scientific world is something that I think many people are looking for. He's giving them that have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too thing. I find it disingenuous.

    Mike may very well be on an intellectual journey from belief to disbelief and if that is so, great, but his merchandising confuses the matter.

  4. I welcome your thoughts on McHargue. A Christian friend gave me McHargues book and I said I'd take a look. I agree that it's hard to imagine a nonbeliever changing their views and head back to religion. That requires suspending ones critical thinking and rational thought in favor of a bunch on ancient tales. I'll let you know what I find out. I know your feelings, I'm trying not to have confirmation bias when I read it.

    1. I would very much like to hear from you after you read. :)


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