Conversation with Escaping Atheism

I recently spoke with Max Kolbe, formerly known as Dean Esmay, of the Escaping Atheism project and recorded the discussion for public consumption. I hoped to host a discussion to discuss outright contempt Kolbe has for atheists, misconceptions I believe he has about atheists/atheism, and our philosophical differences.

For instance, Kolbe has a strong distrust of atheists. He says he would not vote for an atheist running for public office and claims that atheists have no morals or firm ethical base, thus they should not be trusted and Christians should ‘assume betrayal is in the cards.’ Kolbe paints atheist groups as a toxic hate cult, dangerous, and having contempt for Christians stating “Christians are nothing but ni**ers to atheists.” Kolbe sees strong arguments for belief in God. We discuss some of this and more in our close to 45-minute discussion presented below.

I won’t offer much comment in this piece, but may respond at greater length to some points in the video beyond responses I had to Kolbe in the discussion itself. Sadly, much of the conversation from Kolbe was filled with personal attacks and strong language rather than inquiry into issues. However, I was extremely patient and did not respond in kind. As I said in the video, I do not prefer a caustic approach and treat others by standards of how I would like to be treated even if I believe others are behaving in a nasty manner. I’m generally not one to take offense, but it’s worth noting here — as I did in the discussion itself — that lamenting others’ poor behavior while behaving in a disrespectful manner is not advisable.

Atheist YouTube personality NoelPlum99 has responded to some content from Escaping Atheism which you can find here, here, and here.

Future content on my YouTube channel will likely be focused on Stoic Philosophy as has been the recent trend — mentioned in the conversation with Kolbe — talk about applying a practical philosophy to enrich everyday life.

Justin Vacula

Justin Vacula hosts the Stoic Philosophy Podcast; serves as co-organizer and spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society; and has hosted monthly Stoic Philosophy discussion groups for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia. He has appeared on and hosted various radio shows and podcasts; participated in formal debates and discussions; was a guest speaker for college-level courses; was featured in local, national, and international news; and has been invited to speak at various national, local, and statewide events. Vacula received bachelor's degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in the Scranton, PA area attending Marywood University's graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program and has worked with the Arc of Luzerne County's Transition to Community Employment program as a teacher's assistant and job coach alongside adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also plays poker; volunteers as a member of the website and media team for the Greyhawk Reborn Dungeons & Dragons campaign while playing at events in the Eastern United States; and enjoys metal music.

  • Great job engaging with those who see the world very differently, JV.