The Non-Prophets is a biweekly, live internet radio program of atheism-related news and discussion that is currently available as a podcast. Originating in Austin, Texas, the show is currently hosted by Denis Loubet with cohost and engineer Matt Dillahunty; sometimes they are joined by producer Russell Glasser. Longtime host Jeff Dee is on hiatus for the rest of 2007.
Format of the show
After a minute or two of music and regular introductions (see below), attention usually turns to listener mail and news items. Typically the ensuing discussion is quite informal, but in early 2007 about half of one especially long episode (February 10th) was devoted to a semi-formal debate on free will. In summer 2007 the show will start having phone-in guests (but not calls from ordinary listeners — for that, see the Atheist Community of Austin's weekly call-in TV show, The Atheist Experience).
In 2007, Denis Loubet started writing introductions to the show based on popular fallacies.
May 26, 2007: Prophecy
- "And there will be the Non-Prophets. And the hosts shall be two, and their names shall be Denis Loubet and Matt Dillahunty. And their voices shall reach the four corners of the earth on the 26th day of the month of May in the year 2007 from what will be the humble Dillahunty International Studios in the city of Austin in the land of Texas. And when that day comes, Run DMC, Raisin' Hell, will be the herald of their words.
- "And yea, there will be a great Atheist Community of Austin, a non-profit educational organization promoting positive atheism and the separation of church and state, that will grant the Non-Prophets their powers. And lo, the Atheist Community of Austin shall have a happy hour at the Dog and Duck on Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. for song and all manner of mischief. And for more revelations, the number of the ACA voice mail is (512) 371-2911. Or consult the mystic oracle at www.atheist-community.org.
- "On that most auspicious day, one would be poor if one did not hear their words as they would speak them live, every other Saturday from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. central standard time. Indeed, one would soon cast their own wits to be trampled underfoot if one did not participate in the show by logging in to the chat room. To find out how, one must seek the Non-Prophets page at www.nonprophetsradio.com."
June 2, 2007: The anthropic principle
- "And are we the Non-Prophets? I don't know. What are the odds that out of the six and a half billion people scattered over the face of the earth, two guys named Denis Loubet and Matt Dillahunty would be hosts of an Internet show, along with their producer, Russell Glasser, on the 2nd of June, 2007, and that it would be broadcast from the Dillahunty International Studios in Austin, Texas, of all places?
- "What are the chances that the intro music would be Viento del arena by the Gypsy Kings? And what's the likelihood that all this would be sponsored by a non-profit educational organization called the Atheist Community of Austin that promotes not only positive atheism, but also the separation of church and state?
- "Sound far-fetched yet? Consider the fact that the show just happens to be broadcast live every other Saturday from 2:00 to 3:30, and that a specific few will even participate in the live broadcast by just chancing to visit the Non-Prophets' page at www.nonprophetsradio.com and logging in to the chat room according to the instructions found there?
- "Think about it. Denis Loubet alone is the result of an unbroken chain of successful ancestral reproduction going back four and a half billion years to the first replicating molecule. And that's just me! Matt's and Russell's ancestors all did the same thing. For four and a half billion years, they all managed to avoid being eaten by that sabertooth, or stepped on by that apatosaurus, or asphyxiating when they crawled out of that slime before they successfully produced young. Our ancestors couldn't make a single mistake for four and a half billion years! Three times!
- "The odds against this are astronomical. And that's not even taking into account our listeners. All of them are the result of the same unlikely four billion year chain of events. It's freakin' impossible.
- "And I'm not even addressing the issues of the atoms necessary for all this being in place after having been forged in the hearts of exploding stars billions of years ago from hydrogen condensed from a fireball of a Big Bang.
- "And now wrap your brain around this kicker: the Atheist Community of Austin has a happy hour! It's at the Dog and Duck on Thursday nights at 7:30. There's no way this is chance.
- "The fact that we're here talking to you now is essentially impossible. The odds against this being the exact state of the universe is far too great, and there's only one conclusion that can be reached: the universe was designed for the Non-Prophets.
- "Welcome to the purpose of the universe."
June 16, 2007: Excessive skepticism
- "And we are the Non-Prophets. Or at least that's apparently what we want you to believe. How do you know that I'm Denis Loubet, or that he's Matt Dillahunty, and not just some guy named Eddie we pulled off the street?
- "Heck, when we tell you that it's the 16th of June, 2007, do you just believe us, even though you know full well that this show could have been recorded prior to that date? Face it: you have no idea if this show is coming to you live from the Dillahunty International Studios in Austin, Texas or not. Just like you have no idea if the intro music is really My Doorbell by the White Stripes.
- "And sure, we'll tell you that the show is sponsored by a non-profit organization called the Atheist Community of Austin that promotes positive atheism and the separation of church and state, but have any of you actually checked to see if there is an Atheist Community of Austin? Sure, there's probably a web page, www.atheist-community.org, but anyone can put up a web page, right?
- "And there's all sorts of ways we can make it seem more plausible, like for instance mentioning that the ACA has a happy hour at the Dog and Duck on Thursday nights at 7:30. That's a cute little detail that adds authenticity to the story, but have you actually been there at 7:30 to see if there's atheists present? Have you even checked to see if the Dog and Duck exists at all?
- "Now, you might think that since people can log on to the Non-Prophets' chat room as we broadcast every other Saturday from 2:00 to 3:30, and we mention what listeners say in the chat, that some of what we say has to be true. But we could be making it all up. We could have fabricated the whole idea that you can log in, following the directions at www.nonprophetsradio.com, and just made up the listener comments. Even if you checked, and we really seem to have a chat room, and you thought you logged in to it, how do you know all the other chatters were real, and not some people we paid to provide the illusion of a chat room?
- "I'm not even going to mention how easy it is to fake listener mail. So just go ahead and continue to arbitrarily believe everything we tell you. It's good for you. Really."
June 30, 2007: Predestination
- "We are, inevitably, the Non-Prophets. I have to be Denis Loubet, and he has to be Matt Dillahunty, and we have to be your hosts on this day, the 30th of June, 2007, and we had no choice but to be broadcasting from the Dillahunty International Studios in Austin, Texas, and what you heard could be nothing but Idiots Rule by Jane's Addiction.
- "In fact, the initial conditions of the Big Bang have determined that the Non-Prophets are simply an unavoidable effect of the Atheist Community of Austin which is, inescapably, a non-profit educational organization which promotes positive atheism and the separation of church and state.
- "It is also impossible for me to avoid mentioning that the Atheist Community of Austin has a happy hour held at the only time and place it can be held: the Dog and Duck on Thursday nights at 7:30.
- "This necessary chain of cause and effect that stretches back 13 billion years determines not only that the Non-Prophets are broadcast live every other Saturday from 2:00 to 3:30, but also makes it inevitable that some few listeners will participate by logging in to the chat room after reading the instructions found at the Non-Prophets' page at www.nonprophetsradio.com.
- "So since we are nothing but cogs in the vast machine of the universe, I can do nothing but welcome all the cogs listening to this part of the machine."
- "And you will believe we are the Non-Prophets. Hi! I'm Denis Loubet, and he's Matt Dillahunty, and by the grace of the ACA, we're going to be your hosts today.
- "The ACA has deemed it fit that we broadcast from the Dillahunty International Studios in Austin, Texas, and that it's the 14th of July, 2007. By the authority of the ACA, the music you heard was The Show Must Go On by Pink Floyd.
- "The ACA is, of course, the Atheist Community of Austin, and we serve at its pleasure. The ACA is a non-profit organization for the promotion of positive atheism and the separation of church and state, and these truths cannot be disputed.
- "Know that by sovereign right, the ACA favors the Dog and Duck on Thursday nights at 7:30 for its happy hour. The ACA also grants to us the chat room instructions at www.nonprophetsradio.com so that all may participate.
- "By the will of the ACA, we broadcast live every other Saturday from 2:00 to 3:30. So listen well to the words of the Non-Prophets, lest you forfeit what grace the ACA, in its infinite mercy, has granted you."
July 28, 2007: Strawman
- "And we don't believe we're the Non-Prophets, because we don't believe anything.
- "Hi! I'm Denis Loubet, and he's Matt Dillahunty, and we're your gods for today. Although we have no purpose, we're broadcasting anyway from the Dillahunty International Studios in Austin, Texas, on the 28th of July, 2007.
- "Of course, what we really want to be doing is raping and killing. And pillaging. And watching Battlestar Galactica. And even though we're unable to appreciate the beauty of it, the music you heard was The Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits.
- "This show is sponsored by the Atheist Community of Austin, a non-profit Stalinist organization that wants to evangelize the religion of atheism under the guise of defending the separation of church and state by making prayer a capital crime. The ACA hosts a happy hour at the Dog and Duck on Thursday nights at 7:30, where we can share our stories about the traumas we've suffered that made us mad at God.
- "Because we have no morals, the Non-Prophets broadcasts live every other Saturday from 2:00 to 3:30. And since monkeys are social creatures, you can participate in our shit-throwing chat room by reading the instructions at www.nonprophetsradio.com and logging in.
- "So unless you want another hurricane or 9/11, you better listen to how we baby-eaters deny the god we believe in so that you can do anything you want."