Show 164: Tim Wise: The Extended Interview

Tim Wise: The Extended Interview

Scientific naturalists recognize that our bias always threatens to keep us from accurately interpreting what we see. Indeed, the degree to which our efforts to study the world around us will generate the accurate information we desire, is limited by how effective we are at offsetting the bias that would otherwise mislead us.

While most naturalists are aware of the need to defeat bias in order to accurately perceive the world around us, when it comes to understanding what drives our fellow humans, naturalists are often far less committed to applying the standards of scientific evidence to attain an unbiased view. In America perhaps the most blaring examples of such unchecked bias obstructing our ability to perceive accurately has to due with the issue of race.

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Show 163: Michael Neumann – The Case Against Israel

Humanism is a sociopolitical philosophy concerned with promoting, among other things, a behavior of peoples via ethical and moral interactions.  These ethics and morals include compassion, truth, honesty, interconnectedness, and fairness, and a resort to reason and the understanding of cause and effect in society.  Humanists, therefore, tend to look at the philosophical and scientific underpinnings of human behavior – studying both the biological and anthropological nature of our species – toward the attempt of creating a truly egalitarian, planetary culture – a culture, while not diminishing local cultures, strives for a universal humanity where violence, war, racism, and other social injustices become obsolete.

So what is a humanist take on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?  Is there a way to look at this conflict not from an Arab or Jewish point of view, or even a political or historical point of view?  And if so, what would we learn from such an exploration?

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Show 160: Julia Scheeres

“In the name of religion, (Julia) Scheeres (Jesus Land) and her adopted black brother, David, suffer cruel abuse, first in their Calvinist home in Indiana in the 1970s and then when their surgeon father and missionary-minded mother send the teens to a fundamentalist Dominican Republic reform school that is run like boot camp.  The self-righteous sermonizing would be hilarious if it were not the justification for vicious punishment.

“The racism is open, from the other kids and from authority.  Scheeres tries to find comfort in drink and in sex with a classmate … What is unforgettable is the tenderness between sister and brother, as uplifting as any sermon.  Their relationship is never sentimentalized: She is ashamed of the times she turns her back on him, tired of being called “nigger-lover . . . the black boy’s sister,” but they help each other through the worst with horseplay, humor, and courage” – Hazel Rochman @ American Library Association
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