The Science of Evil w/ Simon Baron-Cohen

History is full of cruelty- is there a person alive who hasn’t at some point been treated with gross insensitivity or even downright meanness by another?

Today, as a result of cutting edge neuroscience and social science, we know more about what causes people to act in hurtful ways than at any prior time in human history.   And for this two-hour WBAI fund-drive special, we are pleased to present the work of one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology in the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Simon Baron Cohen.

Arguing that we explain nothing by describing acts of cruelty as “evil,” Dr. Cohen’s work demonstrates that cruelty can be traced to a distinct psychological state – a lack of empathy. Borderline personality disorder, narcissism, psychopathology, autism, and Asperger’s disorder: all of these syndromes result from a lack of empathy. Dr. Cohen backs up his claims with a wealth of research from developmental psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and genetics.

Audio for Part Two coming soon!

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret

Becoming empowered to advance your life while also advancing the lives of those around you; attaining a deeper sense of connectedness to others; and experiencing life with sublime inspiration and serenity.  While faith-based and other traditional paths which are based on supernatural beliefs claim to provide these benefits, the reality clearly falls short.  Naturalism in contrast, which concerns itself with attaining an understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe that is accurate, reliable, and testable (evidence-based) can actually deliver all of these benefits, with a level of effectiveness that no supernatural-based approach can equal.

Equal Time for Freethought’s “Naturalistic Support Workshop,” this it’s 3rd installment,   will demonstrate how a naturalistic understanding can help us better deal with our struggles and challenges so that we can live happier, healthier, and more empowered lives. Gaining a naturalized understanding of ourselves and how we fit into the world around us can help us reduce thoughts and feelings that diminish our effectiveness and debilitate us mentally and physically such as guilt, shame, regret, blame, resentment, indignation, anxiety, fear, anger, hurt, and feelings of worthlessness; it can sharpen our awareness, deepen our empathy, and support lasting growth.

The way we will demonstrate how a naturalistic understanding can accomplish all of this will be by taking calls from listeners who are willing to share how such damaging feelings may be diminishing their happiness.  We’ll examine what’s behind such feelings and show how viewing our problems through a naturalistic lens can help change our thinking to minimize the impact of such damaging feelings.

Naturalistic Support is an approach to providing non-hierarchical peer support, and demonstrating how applied naturalism can facilitate personal growth.  It is not a substitute for conventional psychotherapy or other forms of counseling that are traditionally provided by licensed professionals.