Show 564: Economic Inequality & the Problem with Work

Economic Inequality & the Problem with Work w/Kathi Weeks and Michael D. Yates

Many secular humanists traditionally focused on the so-called hard sciences and religion in their analyses but this is clearly not enough. In time, many also address the social sciences and key political issues from Human Rights to Separation of Church and State to the crises of Climate Change. However, the willingness to apply the scientific method, healthy skepticism, and humanistic ethics to our more central political structures has been very lacking…even the willingness to take on the illusion of “free will” gets more traction with humanist in America. This is why we try to cover these issues when we can on this show. Today we will address our economic system and what it means to be a contributor within its boundaries…as well as what is at the core of one of our greatest problems today, massive inequality.

Capitalism can be, and has been, described in a great many ways. From the Austrian and Chicago Schools of economic thought to the Keynesian models to the Marxist and Anarchist analyses. Among those who do the academic work required to grapple with all of this, we will find sometimes complex, often contradictory, and always passionate points-of-view on what we should do about capitalism here in the 21st Century. Among the general populous in the United States, on the other hand, we find confusion, misapplied labels, dogmatism and not a little anger.

We’ve talked about this from different angles and tried to make sense of it all via political science, history, social science, and even evolutionary biology and neuroscience. After all, Capitalism didn’t spring up out of nowhere, and it doesn’t exist in vacuum – being value-neutral as some might want to believe. So today we are going to look at the capitalist condition from both overarching and under-arching perspectives…The former being the huge inequality problem we now face, and the latter being what is at the core of the capitalist system…Work. To do this, we will be speaking with two special guests: Kathi Weeks and Michael D. Yates.

Show 562: The Future of the Catholic Church w/ Pope Francis

Author, professor, and historian Garry Wills speaks with Matthew LaClair on American politics, religion, and this history of the Catholic Church. Northwestern Prof. Emeritus Garry Wills is the author of around 40 books, the latest being The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis. Wills has received numerous prizes for his work including the Merle Curti Award of the American Historical Association, the National Book Critics Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. He is also a reviewer for the New York Review of Books. His most recent review discussed the new book Why The Right Went Wrong by E.J. Dionne Jr., who will be our guest for April 23rd.

A life-long Catholic, Prof. Wills has grappled with the inconsistencies and irrationality of certain beliefs, such as the literal story of Noah’s Ark, Transubstantiation, and other supernatural claims, while maintaining a core belief in Heaven, Hell, and the divinity and resurrection of Jesus on Earth. ETFF opens the door to Wills to explain how he and other theists distinguish the symbolic from the literal. What do theists and non-theists of all stripes have in common? What makes us different? Are our differences important?

Show 561: Naturalistic Support Workshop

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/Arnell Dowret