Post Hurricane Sandy Live Show!
After a month of airing re-run episodes of ETFF due to the critical effects of Hurricane Sandy on WBAI, we finally have a chance to produce a live program- So join us as we discuss traditional humanist concerns on the different ways to interpret life, death, and empathy between liberal religious venues and naturalistic humanism. Also we will talk briefly with Stuart Mason Dambrot on his website which brings cutting edge science to the public via the Internet.
Who deserves their fate in life? This question is increasingly being raised from various ranks in our society. Over the past year or so there has been a spate of books discussing our ability to empathize as central to being human. This week, as our Supreme Court deliberated whether life long prison sentences without the possibility of parole for 14-year-olds constituted cruel and unusual punishment, the entire validity of retributive justice is brought into question. On the streets, the Occupy movement is calling into question the basic assumptions about how we as a society deem some worthy to enjoy outlandishly excessive rewards while multitudes of others get nearly enough for life’s basic necessities.
As our regular listeners know, we at ETFF have long advocated that believing in “free will” is no more grounded in reason and evidence than any other belief in the supernatural. But in addition, the belief in free will is corrosive; it supports the notion that some people are more deserving than others, and is used to justify outrageous inequity and violence.
Hopefully a large nail in the coffin of belief in “free will” will be hammered in by the publication, earlier this month, of the new mini-book by Sam Harris, simply titled “Free Will.”
Joining us on the phone to discuss this important new book and the significance of the question of free will in general will be director of The Center for Naturalism, and repeat guest on our program, Tom Clark.
Santa Claus, Myth, Magic and Poetry w/ Arnell Dowret
No small factor in making naturalism as effective as it is, has to do with the very specific and detailed way that information and ideas are expressed. Clearly it’s more useful to distinguish between a person who may be experiencing clinical depression, and one who is sad about a recent loss of a family member, as opposed to using far more nebulous terms like “melancholy” to describe them both. At the same time however, might it be possible that communicating in primarily literal and specific terms has considerable limitations?
Is there something about the symbolism common to poetry and myth that is essential to convey aspects of reality that are missed by more specific and prosaic expression? And if so, what might a mythical naturalistic character look like?
Case in point: on this past Christmas Day Equal Time for Freethought played part of its most recent interview with mythical icon, Santa Claus. For the beginning half hour of this program we will play, for the first time ever, the new Santa interview in its entirety. During the second half hour we will take your calls to get your ideas on the question of finding the right balance between poetry and prose, and myth and reality.
For ambiance, this week’s program will be broadcast from a transparent laboratory cloud, encircled by a clinically schizophrenic and completely delusional rainbow.
Is There Really No Free Will? And If Not, What Does That Mean?
Live in our studio will be “George” from causalconsciousness.com, and local freethought community member/activist Jo Bernard. Joining the discussion on the phone will be Director of the Center for Naturalism, Tom Clark.
Equal Time for Freethought’s TWO-HOUR Naturalistic Christmas Special!
This Christmas join Arnell Dowret for another naturalized, secular, and faith-free Christmas celebration as he demonstrates how and why Christmas can – and should – be a fully naturalistic and fun holiday.
During the program we’ll be taking listener calls to hear about where you see hope for tomorrow, and for you to tell us how your Christmas is going. We’ll also feature a special guided Christmas meditation, and we’ll be replaying Equal Time for Freethought’s classic Christmas morning interview with Santa Claus and his wife, Christine.
And although Equal Time for Freethought’s Naturalistic Christmas Special is faith-free, throughout the years we have had many people of faith tell us they’re glad they tuned in. So, unless you’re a big fan of guys like Glenn Beck, be sure to tune in!
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.
Naturalistic Holiday Special!
The holiday season is officially here and though many nonbelievers might spin an index finger and mutter “Well, whoopty do!,” the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas need not be problematic for people who don’t believe in Jesus, nor need it be joyless for people who do not believe in god at all.
During this one hour special Arnell Dowret offers a naturalistic take on the holidays – and he’ll explain how those who are secular may want to celebrate the holidays for the significant benefits they have to offer.
He’ll start out wrapping up thanksgiving weekend by asking listeners to call in about what they are grateful for in their lives.*
For the bottom half of the hour, he’ll talk about the upcoming weeks and ideas for having a Naturalistic Christmas Day.
And while not everyone’s response will be to run out, get a flu shot, and go visit a Santa (probably a good thing) – you may find the holidays just a little more fun!
One-Hour Easter Day Special w/Arnell Dowret
This Easter our basket truly overflowith as we examine…
Naturalistic Christianity, or “Everybody Else Does It So Why Can’t We?”
Is it possible that there can be completely naturalistic approach to being a Christian? This Easter we’ll be taking your calls to hear your views on this question.
We’ll also be featuring a special rebroadcast of what, to date, is the last known public debate between Jesus Christ and the Easter Bunny – recorded just months before the Bunny tragically contracted Type-2 Genital Herpes, and loath to pass it on, voluntarily went into seclusion 🙁
Equal Time for Freethought’s Naturalistic Christmas Special!
Well that time of year is here again! And despite all the pronouncements of faith in speech, song and public display, a majority of people who celebrate Christmas in America are disinclined to believe that the only person who can save our world was born and died about two thousand years ago.
In reality most Americans understand that the people who can help humanity ring in an age of social justice, stable environment, global peace, and fair access to resources for all, are walking among us today, and this is reflected in the fact that at Christmastime most people who have children in their lives spend far more time fussing over them than they do praying.
There’s no need to believe in supernatural ideas to participate and enjoy the holiday that celebrates and indulges children, and the hope for a better tomorrow which they embody, and looks to the ever longer days of sun light, which now begin, as a symbol of better times ahead.
Continue reading “Show 267: Naturalistic Christmas Special!”
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?