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?

To Boldly Go: Toward a New Political Hegemony w/Nick Srnicek & Manu Saadia

With the current crises here in the early years of the 21st Century, Star Trek’s optimism, humanism, and scientific outlook may be more important than ever. For that reason, and the fact that the original series is what first brought me to the humanist perspective, I want to recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the most popular science fiction enterprise in mainstream American culture, and perhaps the most influential television franchise ever. I’ve covered a few aspects of the philosophy, politics, and science of Star Trek on programs in the past, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to discuss the underlying thesis which allowed Star Trek to BE Star Trek.

But fiction is not the only place where utopian thinking is present. In fact, to some thinkers, such thinking is not necessarily utopian at all–at least not in the sense of creating an unachievable goal. There are many serious thinkers who are coming at this from various academic fields.

Today’s show will explore the possible humanistic future we can achieve in the real world, and celebrate a fictional future which anticipated and expected that we’d make it there. To do this we will be speaking with both Nick Srnicek & Manu Saadia.

This week we will be speaking with theoretical physicist and cosmologist Sean Carroll who returns to the show to discuss his new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. His book is every bit as ambitious as it sounds, delving into philosophy, physics, biology, chemistry, and much more as he seeks to tie what we know into a “big picture” of existence itself.

Carroll is a research associate in the department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology where he specializes in Dark Energy and General Relativity.  He’s been published in scientific journals such as Nature and New Scientist, and has appeared on episodes of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, the History Channel’s The Universe, and the Colbert Report. He’s written several popular science books including From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.

Local artists Vincent Czyz and Chris Johnson talk about their work concerning religion!

Today, Matthew LaClair speaks with Chris Johnson about his new book A Better Life: cialisfrance24.com 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God.

Also, Barry Seidman talks with author Vincent Czyz about his new novel (concerning whether or not a historical Jesus existed) – The Christos Mosaic.

Consciousness, American Empire, and “Sacred Humanism” w/ Morris Berman

Whether discussing racism and ‘whiteness’ with Tim Wise and Robin DeAngelo, reviewing the natural and social scientific examinations of American society, or discussing the relationship between capitalism and what results from it regards the physical and psychological lives of each one of us, we have tried to go deeper than the symptoms of our current state of the nation and address the disease(s).

We have tried to remain optimistic that somehow the knowledge we share, and the growing discontent in the country, could lead us towards progressive social change. But not everyone is convinced this is possible. A few of our previous guests including Chris Hedges, and today’s guest, Morris Berman are achaten-suisse.com looking at America and preparing her epitaph. But while Hedges has a rather Hobbesian take on human nature in general, Morris might yet see a positive outcome for humanity…only probably not in the USA.

Today, as we head into the 4th of July holiday, we will speak to Professor Berman and see if we can pull some of these things together. Morris Berman is an American historian and social critic. Berman won the Rollo May Center Grant for Humanistic Studies in 1992, and the Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity (from the Media Ecology Association) in 2013. Berman relocated to Mexico in 2006, and for a couple of years was a Visiting Professor at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, in Mexico City.