The Good Death: Exploring how People Die in America w/ Ann Neumann

This week Barry Seidman will be speaking with Ann Neumann about her journey of discovery concerning death in America. No matter what happens to our society, to our species, over the next few decades…death isn’t going anywhere (well, unless the Transhumanists are right, of course).  How we die may or may not reflect how we’ve lived, but it does reflect our culture and the state of our society.  A merger of religion, politics, biology and existential angst tell the stories of people from all walks of life as they face and finally succumb to death.  And for naturalists, recognizing that death is not a transition to a heaven or alternate universe, it’s important

we do this right.

Is there such a thing as a “good death?”  If so, how many Americans will experience it? What stands in their way, and is there anything we can do to make things less devastating? We will be asking these questions and more as we discuss Ann’s debut book, The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America.

Michael Shermer: Skeptic

From a 10-step “Baloney Detection” guide to investigations into alien abductions, 9/11 conspiracy theories,  Creationism, therapeutic magnetism, and Bigfoot, Dr. Michael Shermer has made it his life’s work to think critically about — well — everything! His new book, Skeptic, presents readers with the tools necessary to do the same concerning a variety of innocent but misguided assumptions, baloney, bunkum, balderdash, and bullsh*t.

Host Matthew LaClair interviews Dr. Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine, founder of the Skeptics Society, and author of over 15 books including Why Darwin MattersThe Believing BrainThe Moral Arc, and the subject of our discussion, Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye.

In addition to Dr. Shermer’s books and magazine, he is also a monthly columnist for Scientific American, a regular contributor to Time.com and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University.

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret

Topic for this edition: Anger!

‘Identity and Mental Health in a Sociopathic Society’ w/ Charles Derber and Paul Verhaeghe

The social sciences have taught us that, as the 1960s saying goes, the personal IS political (and, of course, vice versa). One of the themes of my own interviews has been to connect the dots between the psychological health of individuals in society with the sociological health of the communities we live in.

We’ve talked with evolutionary biologists, evolutionary anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, political theorists and even neuroscientists about what sort of creatures human be ings are, how we behave when we have our basic and developmental needs, and how we can understand the clearly unhealthy societies we find planet-wide, including here in the United States.

Today we will continue the exploration of where humanity is today, socially, and where we might like to see it change…and how. Our special guests this time around will be with sociologist Charles Derber and psychoanalyst Paul Verhaeghe.

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret

Looking back at 2015…