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Atheists Talk

Radio with a frankly atheist perspective.

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Every Sunday Morning at 9:00am on AM 950 KTNF or online at http://www.am950radio.com/listen-live/ Contact us during the show with questions or comments at (952) 946-6205 or radio@mnatheists.org

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"Atheists Talk" is produced by Minnesota Atheists. To be a guest please contact us.

 


 

"AHA Conference" with Maggie Ardiente on Atheists Talk #105, February 27, 2011

Maggie Ardiente is the director of development at the American Humanist Association, where she coordinates the AHA's fundraising programs and serves as editor of the AHA's membership newsletter, Free Mind. She graduated with a B.S. in sociology and second major in religion from James Madison University and served as Vice President of the JMU Freethinkers, a student group for atheists, agnostics, and humanists.She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Secular Student Alliance and a current member of Class 15 of the Humanist Institute.
 
 
 
 
Rant and Reason Blog  of the American Humanists Assn. 

Atheists Talk is produced with funding fom the Minnesota Atheists, theHumanists of Minnesota and the generous support of our members anddonors.  We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasingon-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather.

Today's show is produced and hosted by Mike Haubrich.

 
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Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online.  Call in to the studio  952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org  during the live show.
 
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"Zebrafish and Dictionary Atheism," PZ Myers and Greg Laden on Atheists Talk #104, February 20, 2011

Drs PZ Myers and Greg Laden will be our guests on today's show.  PZ is in the Minneapolis/St Paul metro for a pair of talks this weekend.  First he will be presenting "The Evolution of Cooperativity" to the Humanists of Minnesota on February 19th, and on the 20th he will be explaining the broader topic of Evolution to the Minnesota Atheists.

PZ Myers is not shy of controversy, as he seems to invoke and generate it at will through his blog, Pharyngula.  He writes about atheism, science, politics from a liberal perspective, zebrafish, critical thinking, pirates, sexism and poorly reasoned e-mails.  Greg Laden joins PZ for a question and answer session in our studios.  Greg generates his own share of controversy at his own blog.

Sunday's show is more open ended than our usual format.  Greg is culling questions posted in the comment section at this post from Greg Laden's Blog.   I invite callers and e-mailers during the live show as well.

Pharyngula


Greg Laden's Blog

Zebrafish

Dictionary Atheism
 
 

Atheists Talk is produced with funding fom the Minnesota Atheists, the Humanists of Minnesota and the generous support of our members and donors.  We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather.

Today's show is produced and hosted by Mike Haubrich.

 

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Write a review of Atheists Talk

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online.  Call in to the studio  952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org  during the live show.
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"The Moral Landscape" with Russell Blackford on Atheists Talk #103, February 13 2011

Sam Harris makes a case for using science to evaluate and direct morality for society, and he makes the strong point that religion has made a muck of the whole issue over the course of human civilization.  Can science do better?  We have new tools with which to work, including MRIs to evaluate the inner workings of human thought and emotional state.  The questions raised by Harris are many, and philosophers have joined a large discussion on what next can be done in an atheist approach to society.  Can science carry on such a task?  Should science take on such a task?  How do we measure "morality" in a way that tests can be run, hypotheses formed, and how can we apply what it learned?
 
Russell Blackford has been examining the book The Moral Landscape and whle he agrees with many of Harris' points, the approach of Moral Scepticism finds key disagreements with Harris.  On this show, Blackford will expand on his own arguments with Harris.  We encourage listeners who have read the book to either e-mail or call in to this show and tell us what you see on the horizon of The Moral Landscape.
 
About Russell Blackford:
 
Russell Blackford is an Australian philosopher and literary critic. He is editor-in-chief of The Journal of Evolution and Technology, co-editor of 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), and a Conjoint Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, NSW. He has also had some professional success writing novels and short stories (including a trilogy of novels for the Terminator franchise). He blogs at "Metamagician and the Hellfire Club."
 
Russell is a prominent advocate of the so-called New Atheism - he has argued in many forums for putting religion under the glare of harsh scrutiny. He has, however, become engaged in a recent round of debate with Sam Harris over the nature and content of morality.
 
While Harris calls himself a moral realist, Russell calls himself a moral skeptic, arguing that there is something about morality, as it's usually understood, that is a myth or an illusion. Both agree on several points - that religion has no genuine moral authority, that we should reject vulgar kinds of moral relativism that tell us not to judge other cultures, and that some customary forms of morality merit our hostility. Russell says that he'd agree with Harris on numerous practical issues. On the other hand, his review, in The Journal of Evolution and Technology, of the new Harris book, The Moral Landscape, points out that the most interesting things he can say about the book are the theoretical points that he disagrees with.
 
Though he is a moral skeptic, Russell doesn't mean that we have no reason to act kindly to others or to cooperate with them, or that we need to give up making evaluations of others' conduct or character, or of various laws, customs, and social codes. We have every reason to be outraged by cruelty and horrified by suffering, and to try to do something about it; and we have plenty of reasons to be kind and cooperative. However, he argues, our reasons are grounded in the desires, values, goals, purposes, psychological needs, and the like, that we actually possess and share with most other human beings. We can discuss the merits of laws, customs, and social codes in a rational way, non-arbitrary way, criticising "bad" ones much as we could criticise an automobile that has poor performance, guzzles gas, and is uncomfortable to sit in. However, there is no "must-be-done-ness" or "must-not-be-doneness" about certain actions, transcending what we actually desire, value, find useful for our purposes and goals, and so on. Morality often appears that way, but this is an illusion.
 
This skeptical attitude to morality cuts it down to size - it should be something practical that serves us. Moral skepticism undermines traditional moral systems that base morality in the will of God or in an idea of absolute moral good or evil, but it also undermines any idea that we are required to do something as cosmic - and remote from our practical purposes - as maximising the welfare of all conscious creatures. It leaves us with plenty of room to struggle against cruelty, authoritarianism and the like, while also leaving room for legitimate disagreement among rational and well-informed people, just as when rational and well-informed people disagree about the merits of anything else (motorcars, sunsets, novels, or whatever else we need to evaluate). We can get by perfectly well without the idea of God, Russell says, and we can also get by without the illusion that there are transcendent, objective moral requirements. In fact, we may be better off without either of these illusions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I think that these articles and posts make a good background for the lay person interested in the issues brought out by today's show.  The important thingis to read the book as soon as you get the chance, because by all accounts it is a well-written proposal aimed towards the public. 
 
 Mike Haubrich will be doing the interview.  Mike is the regular host and the producer of the show, and a director-at-large on the Board of the Minnesota Atheists

Atheists Talk is produced with funding fom the Minnesota Atheists, the Humanists of Minnesota and the generous support of our members and donors.  We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather.

Today's show is produced by Mikie Haubrich and Hosted by Scott Lohman


 
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Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online.  Call in to the studio  952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org  during the live show.
 
 
 
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"Literature, Atheism, Humanism and Existentialism." Nick Pease on Athiests Talk #102, Feb 6, 2011

This Sunday’s guest is Nick Pease.Nick and George Kane will discuss the humanistic principles that infuse great literature bringing inspiration to the contemporary atheist movement.  These values are universal and timeless, and they present an antidote to the political and religious “isms” that divide the nation.  In literature as well as in  other arts, the most perceptive interpreters of the human condition provide a coherent vision of human life unbound by such academic formalism.

Nick Pease was the featured speaker at one of Minnesota Atheists’ public meetings last year.  There he spoke on the related topic of existentialism, which, quoting Jean-Paul Sartre, he defined as a lucid, compelling account of what it means to live a meaningful life in a world devoid of ultimate meaning. Pease will show that this is a major theme running through the great literature of all ages.

Nick Pease, is currently the Principal of Pease Prose Services, providing Design, write marketing and print and electronic communication services to corporate, governmental and nonprofit clients.  He earned a Doctorate Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota, teaching critical reading and writing, speechwriting and cross-currents in Literature, Arts and Culture.

George Kane is the Chair of the Minnesota Atheists.

 

Atheists Talk is produced with funding fom the Minnesota Atheists, the Humanists of Minnesota and the generous support of our members and donors.  We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather.

Today's show is produced and hosted by Mike Haubrich.

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE STANDARD RSS FEED
Write a review of Atheists Talk

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online.  Call in to the studio  952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org  during the live show.

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