Show’s 324 – On Empathy w/ Jeremy Rifkin

On Empathy; Two-Part Special!

Audio 1 here!

Audio 2 here!

Earlier this month, as some of us celebrated the founding of our country, we may have wondered how very different our society might have been had our founding fathers understood our empathetic nature. Instead, we live in a society…where we are all presumed to be self interested adversaries, who can be coerced into cooperating in exchange for financial rewards.

But today there is a new view of humanity and it’s being expressed by an ever widening range of writers, thinkers, and scientists. Rather than the traditional assumption that humans are primarily selfish and anti-social, this new view recognizes that our primary drive is social. A healthy human is inclined towards cooperating, and gets pleasure from taking care of others and making a positive social contribution.

Continue reading “Show’s 324 – On Empathy w/ Jeremy Rifkin”

Show 306: Atheism or Humanism?

Atheism Vs. Humanism?

Audio here!

With the advent of the ‘New Atheists’ and their amazing popularity, and the watering down of humanism by many organizations in the US, we wonder what is the difference between humanism and atheism? Is atheism the foundational core of humanism as many “secular” humanists argue? Can anyone self-identified as an atheist be called a humanist? If humanism is, as some state, an ethical worldview, why do many argue that people can hold any political position and still be a humanist? Matthew LaClair will host a special call-in show to have YOU address these questions…

Show 305: On Liberty, Freedom and the Policed Society

On Liberty, Freedom and the Policed Society w/ Author Kristian Williams

Audio here!

Humanism. According to the two documents which outline this philosophy, the Humanist Manefesto’s I & II, the goal of humanism is “a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good.  (A belief) in maximum individual autonomy consonant with social responsibility. (And that) alienating forces should be modified or eradicated and bureaucratic structures should be held to a minimum (because) people are more important than decalogues, rules, proscriptions, or regulations.”

How close are we to attaining these goals in today’s America?  Has capitalism and Jeffersonian democracy (as weak as they may be here in 2009), been able to realize some of these goals?  Any of these goals?  Or have these ideologies led to a society profoundly unable to become free, and indeed – against human nature itself – have found ways through propaganda and brute force to ensure such freedom never exists?

On this special one-hour Equal Time for Freethought, we will chat with author Kristian Williams about these questions, focusing on one of the key methods by which the nations elite “regulate” freedom… the Police.

Show 303: Naturalistic Symbols and Myths

Naturalistic Symbols and Myths – Are they desirable? Are they possible? Are they needed?

Throughout human history attitudes, ideas, practices, and traditions regarding the “big stuff,” such as our relationship to the Cosmos – what it means to be alive – and how we should think about ourselves and our fellow humans, have been conveyed through mostly nonintellectual means such as religious practice and culture. Today, naturalism offers humanity the most accurate and effective way to approach such questions but, to date, proponents of naturalism haven’t found a nonintellectual approach to convey naturalistic knowledge and wisdom.

This Sunday we’ll consider whether a naturalistic understanding of ourselves, and the world, can be spread through nonintellectual means; and, if so, what such a nonintellectual approach would look like.  Joining us will be the organizer of the New York Mythology Cafe which is also The New York Chapter of the Joseph Campbell Foundation Mythological RoundTable® Group of New York, Phil Robinson.

Show 302: On Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic Psychology with Dr. Kirk Schneider & Dr. Edward Neukrug

Audio Here!

What is Humanistic Psychology? Does it fit the parameters of secular humanism and scientific naturalism? What is the legacy of some of its star names like Carl Rogers and Abe Maslow? What does Humanistic Psychology say about Free Will and Human Nature?

Arnell Dowret will explore these questions and more with Dr. Kirk Schneider, a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary humanistic psychology, and Dr. Edward Neukrug, Professor of Counseling and Human Service at Old Dominion University in Virginia.

Dr. Schneider has published over 100 articles and chapters and has authored or edited eight books including, Rediscovery of Awe: Splendor, Mystery, and the Fluid Center of Life; Horror and the Holy: Wisdom-teachings of the Monster Tale; The Paradoxical Self: Toward an Understanding of Our Contradictory Nature; and his most recent, Awakening to Awe.

Dr. Neukrug is also the author of numerous books on pyschology and counseling including Counseling Theory and Practice, Theory, Practice and Trends in Human Services: An Introduction to An Emerging Profession, Skills and Tools for Today’s Counselor’s and Psychotherapists, and Essentials of Testing and Assessment for Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists.

Show 298: ‘Good without God’ w/ Greg Epstein

‘Good without God’ w/ Greg Epstein

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This Sunday, Matthew will interview Greg Epstein, author of the new book ‘Good Without God; What a Billion Non-Religious People Do Believe.’ The book has influenced many campaigns, such as the ‘Good Without God’ posters in the New York City subway system.

Epstein is the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University. He blogs for Newsweek magazine and The Washington Post, and has been featured by National Public radio, BBC radio, Newsweek, US News and World Report and more.

Show 292a: Humanism & the LGBT Community

Humanism & the LGBT Community: The Origins and History of Homophobia and the Struggle for Freedom!

Audio here!

We will begin this exploration first with a biblical scholar and member of the humanist/atheist community in America, Robert M. Price, who discussed with me the biblical and religious connections to homophobia which seems to some as having sparked the anti-gay movement we are now living through.  Then we will hear from a leader in the organized Freethought movement, DJ Grothe – himself a gay male – on his own experiences, his take on gay marriage and church/state considerations, and the humanist viewpoint on alternative sexual relationships.

Then, to go beyond the atheistic/religious horizon as regards the origins and history of homophobia and anti-gay sentiment in America, we will hear from two gay authors who have recent publications out on sexuality and the political left… Socialist Sherry Wolf and Anarchist Terence Kissack.

Show 291: Douglas Rushkoff on Humanism and Corporatism

Humanism In The Age Of Corporatism? Interview With Douglas Rushkoff, Author Of Life, Inc.

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Michael O’Neil interviews Douglas Rushkoff, media critic and documentarian who has worked with FRONTLINE, the Media Literacy Organization, and the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics. We’ll discuss Douglas’ National Bestseller LIFE INC: How The World Became a Corporation and How To Take It Back.

How did we come to live in a society designed for and around corporations?

How does corporatism affect our most important institutions and our personal relationships alike?

How do we reclaim a humanist society from the ideology of corporatism?

Show 286: Humanism and Marriage — The ETFF Pride Weekend Edition

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It was Pride weekend and this show aired mere hours after NYC’s world famous Pride Parade, celebrating the rights and accomplishments of the LGBT Community.

“For years the issue of same-sex marriage has electrified the political landscape. But is marriage a religious institution? And if so, should the government be granting privileges to *any* couples? Or does marriage benefit civic society, and is it wrong to let religious objections keep certain couples from participating?

Also, is marriage a humanist institution?

Join your host Michael O’Neil as we review this issue and take your calls on Equal Time For Freethought!

Show 283: PLAY w/ Stuart Brown M.D. *With Bonus Material!*

The attached mp3 contains the interview with Stuart Brown MD meant for air for on May 31 2009 but was interrupted by technical difficulty. And there is an additional +5 minutes of the interview that we are including here as a bonus! A “Director’s Cut” if you will.

Audio Here!

Michael O’Neil interviews Stuart Brown, MD about his book Play: How It Shapes The Brain, Opens The Imagination, and Invigorates The Soul. Stuart is the founder of the National Institute For Play, supporting research on play as a biological drive in nature and an essential component of society and personal development.

What is play?

Why does a Humanist movement need play?

What is a play history and what is your play personality?

Stuart Brown, M.D. is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, clinical researcher, and the founder of the National Institute for Play. He speaks regularly to Fortune 500 companies and groups across the country on the importance of play in our lives. Most recently, he appeared at the New York Public Library. The producer of a three-part PBS series, The Promise of Play, he has also appeared on NPR and was featured in a cover story in The New York Times Magazine.