Show 271: Humanism’s Leading Light, Beth Lamont

Beth Lamont joins us to discuss her late husband’s legacy, her own work as a humanist activist, and her impressions concerning the ethics of humanism.  Ms. Lamont is a feminist activist, humanist, and mother of eleven.  In the 1970s, she became a Board Member of the American Humanist Association through its Chapter Assembly.  Additionally, she has headed the Division of Humanist Extension, assuming this leadership role at the invitation of Edwin H. Wilson; created the Humanist Advocate Program which encouraged individuals to promote Humanism; created a television program called “Here & Now,” which has aired on Manhattan Cable since 1984; is a Humanist Chaplain having performed over 500 weddings; and has represented the American Humanist Association in its NGO capacity at the United Nations.

Beth has recently self-published the book, Lefties Are In Their Right Minds which includes a re-introduction and fresh commentary to Corliss Lamont’s 1939 text, You Might Like Socialism!

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Show 269: Lori Lipman Brown On The Inauguration

While many Americans are hoping for change with an Obama presidency, humanists and other nontheists are seeing the same old cow-towing to religious interests on Capitol Hill.  What does an inaugural invocation from the Reverend Rick Warren, who has compared same-sex marriage to incest and said he would never vote for an atheist, mean for Freethinking America?  Who will represent nontheists on the Inaugural dais?  And just how many members of Congress are hiding in the Nonbeliever Closet?  Michael O’Neil will discuss these issues and more with Lori Lipman Brown, Director of the Secular Coalition Of America, on the next Equal Time For Freethought.

Show 263: “After Atheism… Humanism?” A Chat with Mark Vernon

“After Atheism… Humanism?”

In ‘After Atheism,’ Mark Vernon confronts the lust for certainty found in the dogmatism of conservative religion and militant science. He believes that a committed even passionate agnosticism is vital for the future of our planet and our souls. But how can you be an agnostic and why does it matters? The key to wisdom, Socrates said, is understanding one’s own ignorance. A similar thought lies at the heart of all good theology, since God is nothing if not unknown.

Teach Yourself Humanism‘ is a comprehensive guide to an important and diverse philosophy. Generally seeking to define itself not as a negative response to religion but as a practical and ethical way of life focusing on common human needs and seeking rational ways of solving human problems, this book will delve into the history and development of humanist thought and address the many questions that surround humanism today. Why is humanism important? Is it possible to ‘believe’ in humanism after Auschwitz? What implications does humanist thought have on our society as a whole and the way in which it is structured? How does humanism deal with birth, marriage and death?

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Show 253a: A Victory for Vengeance?: America’s Methods of Domination; Part One

A Victory for Vengeance?: America’s Methods of Domination; Part One

For more than 30 years now, the United States has taken a turn to the Right in how we organize our society. Prison populations have skyrocketed, prison sentences and anti-crime laws have become more and more draconian, torture has been used at home and abroad in the name of security, and the state has tightened its noose around those of us not in the upper classes… especially non-whites and the poor. Why has this occurred? What role has the rise in political Christianity played in the push for far right policies? Are there underlying reasons for this sad state of affairs beyond religion and the conservative politics of the Reagan/Bush era that are not even being talked about? And what can we do to make America more democratic, egalitarian and humanistic?

These are the questions we asked of journalists’ Sasha Abramsky, author of American Furies: Crime, Punishment and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment and Kristian Williams, author of American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination and Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America.


Show 245: Humanism and the Psychology of Communication

On two recent programs, ETFF co-host Arnell Dowret examined how we communicate with each other and what humanistic naturalism can offer by way of our better understanding each other in public discourse. Focusing on nebulous terms bandied about in popular American culture – by religionists and secularists alike – Arnell suggested we loose polarizing and pain-inducing terms like sin, shame, guilt, vice and bad and instead offer the more precise language of social science.Human beings behave according to both their biology and environment, and in our judgmental, often punitive, uber-competitive and commoditized society, we have developed a language – promoted by religionists and secularists alike – which has led to a culture of punishment and reward, praise and blame, guilt, shame, anger and fear.

Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, a religious humanist, would suggest these terms are part of a ‘violence-based communication.’ In response he founded The Center for Nonviolent Communication. Carrying on his work in the New York City area is Dr. Dian Killian, co-author of Connecting across Differences: A Guide to Compassionate, Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Dr. Killian was on ETFF to discuss her work for Brooklyn NVC. We offered several special gifts for those who become members or renew their membership that you are still able to obtain by clicking here or here!

As co-host Michael O’Neil likes to say, we put the human back in humanism as we investigate a way of thinking and communicating in both our personal relationships and in the political arena… Imagine all the People, Living Life in Peace…

Show 244: The Language of Public Discourse; Can Naturalism Change the way we Think!

Call-In Show

Language usage in America over the last 40 years has polarized society – all or nothing, judgmental terms like good and evil, sinful and righteous, pride and guilt – while nuanced, knowledgeable and meaningful language has been vilified as “political correctness.” Can naturalists and humanists offer a unique perspective and be of any real value in the public square today? What sort of contribution can we make to public discourse which is consistent with humanist values and evidence based thinking?

Show 231: Ubuntu, Humanism and South Africa

A person is a person through other persons”. This rather humanistic concept articulated by the Zulu philosophy of “Ubuntu” is enjoying a renaissance in the 21st Century, serving as a fashionable touchstone for progressive ideals from African diplomacy to the Free Software movement. But what is Ubuntu, and how can its history and present use be instructive to humanists around the world? Eckson Khambule, a Phd candidate in the Programs in Anthropology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, joined Michael O’Neil to discuss.

Show 223: “Ecstatic Humanism”

In God and The State, anarchist Mikkail Bakunin asserts that people under the power of religion and superstition suffer not so much from “an aberration of mind as a deep discontent at Heart.”

Does popular humanist outreach focus too much on intellectual Puritanism at the expense of emotional transcendence? How can humanism help people address the emotional and psychological stress of living in a society fraught with war, aggressive advertising, and cultural flux? Is there room for ecstasy in humanism?

This week, guest host Michael O’Neil will explore these questions and more!