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Be Reasonable

By Merseyside Skeptics Society

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Be Reasonable is a podcast from the Merseyside Skeptics Society, with Hayley Stevens and Michael Marshall. Each monthly interview will examine beliefs from outside of the mainstream, exploring how those views are constructed and what evidence people feel supports their case. We believe in approaching subjects with respect and an open mind, engaging with people of differing viewpoints in an environment where debate is polite and good-natured, yet robust and intellectually rigorous.

Customer Reviews

Better than free bacon

Be Reasonable fills a niche in what is available is most skeptical podcasts. While the others go over why various beliefs are unfounded, Be Reasonable is a conversation with believers. This is a great way to avoid insulating one's self from ideas and listen to how people defend ideas to others and themselves. While Marsh and Hayley do not abuse their guest, they do ask very important questions that make the guest think and answer what we are all asking. For those without the patience to listen to Skeptiko, this podcast is a great look at what people believe with a skeptic to keep it in check.

Better and more interesting than I thought

If you're looking for debunking this is not the podcast for you. Although the hosts do put forward some tough questions, they don't ridicule or make the show entirely about evidence against the claims of the guests. What they end up with is a fascinating look into the psyche of people with unusual beliefs.

In the flat earth episode, the flat earth society seems to be made up of solopsists or people that enjoy puzzles and mental challenges. While they only believe evidence they can directly observe themselves, they have no problem believing in unproven theories about why they should not believe evidence they can see themselves if it contradicts their theory. A friend for instance told me of noticing the curvature of the earth just looking out his balcony at the ocean in Florida. If he lined the horizon up with the top of the straight ledge, he could see that one point appeared first and therefore appeared to be higher. They would answer I'm sure, as they do for sunsets, that "Light is bent by aether. Aetheric eddies cause the cyclical bending of light." Obviously only believing evidence they can see with their own eyes isn't the issue when they can make up wild and unsupported theories to explain that evidence away when it contradicts their previously held beliefs.

Fascinating and Helpful!

I listen to the other Merseyside Skeptics podcasts so even though I wasn't sure about this one (I thought it would be infuriating to listen to), I had to try it. I love Marsh for his insightfulness and wittiness, and I like Hayley now too.
This podcast is extremely thought-provoking. As an atheist and a skeptic, sometimes when people believe things that are totally unfounded in reality, it's easy to dismiss them. But Marsh and Hayley ask great questions while allowing the guest to tell their story. They ask very firm questions, but they aren't judgmental and don't seem to commit any logical fallacies (the never attack the person, and in fact they don't even attack the illogical belief directly. They simply ask the person to explain, and ask the person if they have considered this or that, etc)
I feel like I get a lot out of these podcasts. The rest of the podcasts I listen to are about science, skepticism, and looking at religion skeptically, but this one is unique and very necessary. All good skeptics would do well to listen to this one. I highly recommend it. Thanks, Marsh and Hayley. I feel like it helps me to change my perspective to listen. :)

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  • Free
  • Category: Social Sciences
  • Language: English

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