What are the ties today between feminism and atheism? Why do women, who are often the victims of patriarchal religious “morality”, fail to leave religious indoctrination more than men? How can one better understand why they believe, and how they might de-convert from the magical thinking religious belief demands? And what kind of stories have women who have left the “faith”, told?

This week, new guest host Jessica Schab interviews author and former Christian, Karen Garst on her debut book, Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion — a collection of stories from 22 women who have left religion in their past.

Host Matthew LaClair interviews Leonard Pitts Jr., a nationally syndicated columnist and novelist. Throughout his 35 year career, he has written on subjects ranging from music to politics, religion to science, race, writing, and more. We touch on all these subjects, with a focus on how interest in facts and critical thinking have declined, with ignorance taking its place.

Psychologist and guest host Damian Gracia interviews his psychology mentor, Pace University professor Paul Griffin.  Following the interview is special discussion between Damian and Arnell Dowret addressing ideas that the interview raised.

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One of the core topics we discuss on this show, probably since we first went on the air in the summer of 2002, is how do we understand how people think, why they think as they do, and how can we help people develop better thinking skills. If change is going to take place, it will have to come from you and me, and not the ruling or monied classes. But changing minds is a prerequisite for social change, and in a society unable to think clearly, changing people minds — that is, away from the confused thinking which has brought us the ‘age of Trump’ — becomes an impossible task. Enter Diego Fontanive and Jessica Schab and the EOF Project: Evolve your Thinking

As part of our observing March’s #trypod Month (try a new podcast month) we will listen to and comment on two audio clips – one from ‘Waking Up with Sam Harris‘, and the other from ‘This American Life‘. We will discuss these clips with new guest host, Damian Gracia.

 

Raoul Martinez on “Creating Freedom” (Two-Parter)

Oddly enough, on Equal Time for FREEthought, the term freedom doesn’t come up too often. Well, not in an affirmative fashion, at least. We’ve been around too long to believe in things like the free market, free elections, or free media (though on WBAI, we come the closest to this). But we do tend to advocate for free speech and, of course, free thought. But what does freedom mean? Are we free in modern Western societies and to what degree? Can freedom be created out of non-freedom? And what can our understanding of all this help us to build a healthier, more humanistic society?

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Today we will talk with Raoul Martinez about these questions and more. Raoul is a writer, artist, and award-winning filmmaker. His documentary, ‘The Lottery of Birth‘, premiered in 2012 as episode one of a series entitled Creating Freedom. It was nominated for Best Documentary at London’s Raindance Film Festival and went on to win the Artivist Spirit 2012 Award at Hollywood’s Artivist Festival. Accompanying the series is Raoul’s first book, also called Creating Freedom, written over four years and informed by over a decade of research.

…Tune in, Pay it Forward, and Question Everything

Naturalistic Xmas!

On Xmas Day, for two hours beginning at 3pm, we aired an interview with SETI Institute’s Seth Shostak. We will re-aired our amazing interview with Santa Claus, played parody songs, and held a brief guided meditation for year’s end.

Arnell Dowret: Naturalistic Take on 2016 Election Results

Free Will and Building a Humanistic Society w/Gregg D. Caruso

In recent decades, with advances in the behavioral, cognitive, and neurosciences, the idea that patterns of human behavior may ultimately be due to factors beyond our conscious control has increasingly gained traction and renewed interest in the age-old problem of “Free Will.”

A Free-Will Skeptic might believe that whatever you choose to do at any given moment in time is ALL you could have done given your determinants. You could not have done otherwise. But if “Free Will” is indeed an illusion, not only might we have to rethink how and why we do what we do as regards efforts to change the world, but how we understand key aspects of how we treat one another today’s society. Does judgment make any sense if but there for the determinants go I? What about the bootstrapping ideology of the right and the notion of the self-made man/woman? Perhaps most significantly, however, might be how we view our entire criminal justice system.

Today we will explore with philosopher Gregg Caruso what we mean by free will, what the arguments for and against  it have been in the past and currently, and what it would mean  if we DON’T have free will – for ourselves and for society.

George Lakoff on The Political Mind

This week, Matthew LaClair speaks with cognitive linguist George Lakoff. Professor Layoff is the author of eleven books including NY Times bestsellers The Political Mind: Why you Can’t Understand 21st Century American Politics with an 18th Century Brain, and The All New Don’t Think of an Elephant, and he has just retired from teaching after 50 years, 44 years which he spent at the University of California at Berkley.

How do political ideas spread? Why do people often vote against their own interests? Why have ultra-Conservatives been so successful in controlling American discourse? What message should liberals and progressives focus on going forward?