ETFF Tribute to Dr. Lester Garwood…

A friend of the show, and of its producers, has sadly gone too soon. On this special tribute program, we aired some of Dr. Lester Garwood’s best moments on Equal Time for Freethought…

Carl Sagan said we are all “Star Stuff”; But Lester shined more than most …


Dr. Daniel Fincke of the blog, ‘Camels with Hammers’

Where does morality come from? Is it just the whim of society, or is there an objective moral standard? And if the latter, does that confirm arguments for God? Does atheism have anything to say about morality?

This week we’ll be speaking with Dr. Daniel Fincke who has his Ph.D in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms before leaving to focus on teaching online philosophy classes. He wrote his dissertation on ‘Ethics and the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.’

On ‘Camels With Hammers,’ the philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. On this blog, he’s written about a variety of issues including objective morality, atheism — and specifically — an in-depth analysis of the philosophy of the movie “God’s Not Dead”, in which a Christian student is forced to debate his evil atheist philosophy professor. Does that movie get philosophy – and atheism – right? Or is there more to the story?

Stephen Eric Bronner on The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists

What are the conditions which lead to bigotry? How common is bigotry in American society today, and how does it manifest itself in our post civil rights, gay rights, and women’s rights culture? Has the twice elected, first black president helped cool the flames of prejudice and racism, or has it fanned them instead? And how do we challenge bigotry if it is so deeply rooted in many segments of American culture and around the world?

We’ll talk about this and more this week with Stephen Eric Bronner. Bronner is a professor of political science and the Director of Global Relations at the ‘Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights‘ at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He is also the author of over a dozen books including the subject of this show, “The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists.”

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret

Fund Drive Special: How We Got to Now – Steven Johnson

In How We Got to Now: Six  Innovations that Made the Modern World, science author and media theorist Steven Johnson examines key scientific innovations which not only created the modern world as we know it, but that without, we’d probably be a very different species at this point. How did these innovations come about? What were the historical determinants which allowed some to invent entirely new technologies, and what was the relationship between advances in science as a research endeavor to know the world around us, and these inventions.

For this special 2-hour Fund-Drive program, we will speak to Steven Johnson about his book, a 6-part PBS television series based on his book, and will be offering both the book and video as thank-you’s for donating to WBAI-NY to both keep the station on the air, and keep ETFF a part of the important line-up of programing you won’t ever find on corporate radio or any corporate media

Johnson is the author of eight books on the intersection of science, technology, and personal experience. He has also co-created three influential web sites: the pioneering online magazine FEED, the Webby Award-winning community site, Plastic.com, and most recently the hyperlocal media site outside.in. A contributing editor to Wired, he writes regularly for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and many other periodicals. Johnson also serves on the advisory boards of a number of Internet-related companies, including Medium, Atavist, Meetup.com, Betaworks, and Patch.com.

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret

This month’s topic: Forgiveness

Catching up on Naturalism w/ Tom Clark

One of the core principle, perhaps THE core principle, of Humanism is Scientific Naturalism, which states that everything in the macro-verse is natural (not supernatural), obeys the laws of cause and effect, and is interconnected. With naturalism at the core of humanism, we can apply critical thinking skills to understand the universe, life, and human consciousness itself. It’s a worldview with many implications for our global sociopolitical systems, as well as for our own personal lives.

We will be talking today with Tom Clark, founder of the website and movement Naturalism.org, about these things and more. What is new this year in the world of naturalism and what might it mean for you?

Consciousness and the Social Brain w/ Michael Graziano

What is consciousness and how can a brain, a mere collection of neurons, create it? The human brain has evolved a complex circuitry that allows it to be socially intelligent. This social machinery has only just begun to be studied in detail. One function of this circuitry is to attribute awareness to others: to compute that person Y is aware of thing X. Can the machinery that attributes awareness to others also attribute it to one’s self? If we were to damage that machinery, therefore, would we disrupt our own awareness? We will discuss the science, the evidence, the philosophy, and the surprising implications of this new theory with its presenter, Dr. Michael Graziano.

Islamophobia, ISIS, Hamas, & the Politics of Empire w/ Deepa Kumar

A few days ago marked the 13th anniversary of the attacks on America on September 11th, 2001. Among the still many unanswered questions concerning politics, religion, and the nature of global violence — at least for Americans and some Europeans — is what role Islam has played in all of this? That is, it is assumed Islam is different, somehow, from other major religions because it was founded as a warrior religion and seems to be immune to the liberalization process other religions tend to have gone through.

But of course, religion can not be separated from the people who practice it, and thus there have been many racial undertones and overtones to the debates. Even in the atheist and otherwise secular world, many condemn and blame Islam far more than they condemn and blame Western Imperialism, geopolitics, or economics… And this has once again taken hold of the Western imagination with the recent battle between Israel and Hamas, and the brutal actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS.

Today, new host Abby Davenport, will discuss these topics with a guest who we’ve had the pleasure to talk with on Equal Time in the past, Deepa Kumar. Deepa Kumar is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Rutgers University; and is affiliated faculty with Middle Eastern Studies and graduate faculty in the Sociology department. She is a public speaker and has spoken at dozens of university and community forums on a range of topics: Islamophobia, Political Islam, US foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia, the Arab Spring, women and Islam etc. She has shared her expertise in numerous media outlets such as BBC, The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Hurriyat Daily News (Turkey), Al Jazeera and other national and international news media outlets.

Today we will be discussing current events in light of her latest book, Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire.

Naturalistic Support Workshop!