Equal Time for Freethought’s 2-Hour “Naturalistic Christmas” Special!

Experience Christmas as only WBAI can offer with a naturalized, secular, and faith-free twist; including a very special Christmas guided meditation, and our exclusive Christmas morning interview with Santa Claus, who as it turns out is a skeptic himself.

And, as on many a Christmas past, we’ll be taking your calls to hear how your Christmas is going and where you see hope for tomorrow.

Okay, now, if Christmas for you is all about religion, then you may prefer to listen to something a bit more devotional – but for everyone else, tune in and let the Naturalistic Christmas fun begin!

Sex, Love & Marriage: What We’ve been Doing Wrong (and Right) for 8,000 years!

The Judeo-Christian traditions, and others over the last 6,000 years or so, have turned human sexuality and romantic love on its head.  For 98% of human existence (of which 8,000 years is but a blink of an eye), humans lived in small communities ‘where everybody knew your name.’  Our ancestors led very egalitarian lives compared to the dominance based, often patriarchal societies of so-called modern civilization.

Today, ‘unnatural’ (as in, not part of the social evolution of humanity until very recently) emphasis has been put on competition with its Hobbesian attitudes of a selfish, brutish, cold human existence.  This has, in part, let to inherently self-centered economic systems like Capitalism (based on the artificial notion of Private Property) which has, among other problems, demanded sexuality be considered almost inhuman, scarce, and hierarchical, and thus championing the supposedly moral virtues of monogamy and the “nuclear family.”  Any  real attempts of returning to our basic human natures has been faced with threats from the State, Church, and even from the Sciences (particularly from the field of evolutionary psychology).

So, how can humanists and other freethinkers better understand the nature of human nature with regards to Sex, Love and Marriage in such a society as ours?  On this 2-hour special, we turn to two researchers in these areas to try to get a better handle on what and who we are, and where we may want to venture in the 21st Century.

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Social Science Under Fire II

It’s generally accepted by most freethinkers that it’s very easy, and quite common for our bias to reduce our ability to perceive the world around us accurately. Accordingly, freethinkers overwhelmingly agree that we can significantly limit the effects of bias when we employ scientific method.

Surprisingly however, when to comes to understanding the human condition, freethinkers often demonstrate the same, folksy, traditional biases we all do before we consider the scientific evidence, even after they’ve consulted the research!

The picture painted of the human experience as described by scientific research is remarkably different than those folk or traditional ways of knowing ourselves; therefore, the implications for our political and economic institutions is vast. Or perhaps this is the cause of the bias, itself.

To take a look at this phenomenon we will be speaking with two scientists on the nature of social science and it’s ability to tell us who and what we are, and the big question of “human nature.”

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Douglas Rushkoff on his book, Program or Be Programmed

**UPDATE** During my interview with Douglas, I mention that I heard one of the parties involved in the allegations of rape against  Julian Assange had “backed out” of the investigation. That was my misinterpretation of the timeline of the Assange investigation, during which the initial prosecutor dropped the rape charges. Another prosecutor later overturned that decision. I apologize for contributing to misinformation regarding this important investigation.

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The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But for all the heat of claim and counter-claim, the argument is essentially beside the point: it’s here; it’s everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it?

“Choose the former,” writes Rushkoff, “and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.”

Michael O’Neil talks with Douglas Rushkoff this Saturday on Equal Time for Freethought at 3:00 pm!

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