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Beyond Atheism

Beyond Atheism

By Nathan Alexander and Todd Tavares
The Beyond Atheism Podcast moves beyond questions of God’s existence to ask: what now? What should atheists and other nonreligious people be doing next in a godless world? What does it mean to be an atheist today? Is there an atheist worldview? Is there an atheist politics?

Hosted by Nathan Alexander, a historian of atheism and author of Race in a Godless World: Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850-1914, and Todd Tavares, a political science scholar and atheist organizer, the podcast asks big questions and aims to discover answers through discussion and debate. Join us!
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Episode 7: Sex, Suffrage, and Secularism, with Dr. Kimberly Hamlin

Beyond Atheism

Episode 7: Sex, Suffrage, and Secularism, with Dr. Kimberly Hamlin

Beyond Atheism

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Episode 43: Humanist Heritage, with Maddy Goodall
In this episode, we’re joined by Maddy Goodall, the Humanist Heritage Coordinator for Humanists UK. We talk about her current project outlining the century plus history of humanism in the UK. What follows is a surprising tale of political activism, liberation for women, and the unexpected humanist roots of everyday symbols and objects hiding in plain view. We also ask Maddy whether a “true humanist” can eat meat or believe in aliens. In the bonus section, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, we ask Maddy to dish the dirt on some of her least favorite humanists. Humanist Heritage Project: https://heritage.humanists.uk/ Humanist history in objects: https://heritage.humanists.uk/objects/ How Humanist Are You? Quiz: https://humanists.uk/humanism/how-humanist-are-you/ Check out Maddy’s articles: “Morality Without Religion: The Story of Humanism” https://freethinker.co.uk/2022/05/morality-without-religion-the-story-of-humanism/ “The Forgotten Women of Humanist History”: ​​https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/5792/the-forgotten-women-of-humanist-history “On the Trail of Humanism’s Hidden Women”:​​ https://thehumanist.com/features/articles/on-the-trail-of-humanisms-hidden-women “American Architects of the UK Humanist Movement”: https://thehumanist.com/commentary/american-architects-of-the-uk-humanist-movement Check out Nathan’s book (which was not so subtly plugged at various points in the episode): https://nyupress.org/9781479835003/race-in-a-godless-world/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:02:42
May 26, 2022
Episode 42: Why is “God” in Canada’s Constitution?
In this episode, Todd and Nathan discuss the strange inclusion of “God” in Canada’s constitution. Follow along as Nathan walks through Canada’s history to reveal how and why the otherwise secular Charter of Rights and Freedoms came to recognize the “supremacy of God” in its 1982 preamble. Todd and Nathan consider the significance of these symbolic inclusions and the risk they pose to the separation of church and state. Along the way, they also talk about religious references in Canada’s national anthem and the mandatory prayer before each sitting of the Canadian parliament. Additionally, we learn whether a true atheist can sing the Canadian national anthem with pride. In the bonus section, available exclusively to supporters of Patreon, we talk more about national anthems and where else religion appears in public life. For more, check out Nathan’s article, “How God was wedged into secular Canada’s constitution”: https://onlysky.media/nalexander/how-god-was-wedged-into-secular-canadas-constitution/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
51:22
May 19, 2022
Episode 41: The Psychology of Atheism and Religion, with Dr. Will Gervais
In this episode, we’re joined by Dr. Will Gervais, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Brunel University. We learn a bit about evolutionary psychology before finding out what it tells us about why people become atheists and the difference between the reported and observed power of rational thinking. Will also explains how his survey methodology revealed a number of “closeted atheists” that traditional polls may have missed. Stick around to the end to hear whether he thinks a “true atheist” can follow religious dietary restrictions, or hold prejudices against other atheists. In the bonus content, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, we ask Will for his most controversial take on atheism and religion, and dive deeper into the relationship between political outlooks and atheism. For more on Will: http://willgervais.com/ Follow Will on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wgervais Check out Nathan’s recent article, “How Three Media Revolutions Transformed the History of Atheism”: https://freethinker.co.uk/2022/04/how-three-media-revolutions-transformed-the-history-of-atheism/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:01:09
May 05, 2022
Episode 40: Nonreligion in a Complex Future, with Dr. Lori Beaman
In this episode, we consider some of the ways the growing nonreligious population will shape future societies. To do so, we’re joined by Dr. Lori Beaman, the Principal Investigator of the Nonreligion in a Complex Future project. We talk about the numerous and sometimes unexpected effects and changes this project has been examining. Listen in to learn how the growth of the nonreligious has altered everything from our collective understanding of death and dying, to the language used in debating new policies. We also learn how religious assumptions continue to inform immigration and resettlement policies. Lori also weighs in on whether a true nonreligious person can do yoga or wish for a world without religion. In the bonus content, available exclusively to Patreon subscribers, we discuss how to think about Quebec’s controversial Bill 21, which prohibits the wearing of religious symbols for public officials, including teachers. For more on the Nonreligion in a Complex Future project: https://nonreligionproject.ca/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:19:08
April 25, 2022
Episode 39: Should Atheists Fear Death?
In this episode, Todd and Nathan get personal about death. Atheists still fear death, but don’t have the comfort provided by a belief in an afterlife. They discuss how rational their own fears of death are, how technology might allow us to deny death, and the importance of accepting death as a prerequisite for giving meaning to life. This deep, far-ranging discussion also touches on how atheists have begun to commemorate loved ones and deal with grief through secular rituals and ceremonies. In the bonus section, available exclusively to Patreon supporters, Todd and Nathan talk about what they plan to do with their bodies after they die. George Eliot’s poem, “The Choir Invisible”: https://poets.org/poem/choir-invisible Cool “Disco” Dan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_%22Disco%22_Dan Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
48:21
April 18, 2022
Episode 38: Street Epistemology, with Mark Solomon
In this episode, we are joined by Mark Solomon, host of the Being Reasonable podcast. We talk to Mark about “street epistemology”: having conversations with people to find out why they believe what they believe. We learn how Mark gets people to question the foundations of their knowledge, and we discuss how this can challenge deeply held (but untrue) beliefs. In the bonus section, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, we ask Mark whether people need strange beliefs to survive the bleakness of reality. We also talk about aliens, tarot cards, and other topics he has explored on his channel. Being Reasonable on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BeingReasonable Being Reasonable Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/being-reasonable/id1487687962 Aporia Documentary: https://filmfreeway.com/projects/2390757 (Password: 1212) For more on Street Epistemology: https://streetepistemology.com/community Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:29:00
April 05, 2022
Episode 37: Building Atheist Communities, with Evan Clark
Ahoy, godless Street Pirates! In this episode we are joined by Evan Clark, the executive director of Atheists United, a growing organization in California. He tells us about how the organization has been changing to meet the needs of the atheist community, including through its innovative Atheist Street Pirates program. It is a great how-to on getting people through the doors and then getting them to stay and become involved. We discover how reading books about church-planting informed Evan’s approach to organizing, and we also learn, among other things, whether a “true atheist” can criminalize religious belief and when it is appropriate to remove religious signage. In the bonus section, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, we talk more about free speech issues and the Street Pirates program, as well as reflections on the future of community-building in the atheist movement. Learn more about Atheists United here: https://www.atheistsunited.org/ An article on AU’s Street Pirates program: https://religionnews.com/2022/03/03/in-l-a-atheist-lookouts-remove-religious-signage-from-streets-and-freeway-overpasses/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:20:06
March 28, 2022
Episode 36: The Freethinker, with Dr. Emma Park
In this episode, our guest is Emma Park, the new editor of the Freethinker magazine. Join us as we discuss the magazine’s incredible history and its impact on creating a secular society in Britain. Emma talks about the paradox of Britain’s growing nonreligious population and the stubborn persistence of institutions like the monarchy and religious privilege, and the challenge of finding the appropriate limits to free speech and expression. She also gives some thought to whether a “true freethinker” can be an anti-capitalist and if vandalizing a church can ever be considered free expression. In the bonus section, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, we talk more about free speech, Antifa’s answer to fascism, and the paradox of tolerance. The Freethinker: https://freethinker.co.uk/ Follow the Freethinker on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FreethinkerMag Follow Emma on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrEmmaPark Nathan recently appeared on the Monday Morning Dullard podcast to talk about atheism. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVmjk9_mMxY Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:15:14
March 08, 2022
Episode 35: A Religious History of American Secularism, with Dr. Leigh Eric Schmidt
In this episode, we are joined by Leigh Eric Schmidt, the Edward C. Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, and the author of a new book, The Church of Saint Thomas Paine: A Religious History of American Secularism. In a far ranging discussion we learn why after his death the eighteenth-century radical Thomas Paine went from disgraced Founding Father to the patron saint of the freethought movement. As the freethought movement in the early United States began to form it was guided not only by Paine's words, but also by quests for his literal bones. Leigh highlights how much early secularists were driven by the desire to make new religions and how a landmark court ruling would accidentally make secular humanists a Reagan-era bogeyman. We also learn whether a true “Painite” can believe in an afterlife or work for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In the bonus section, available exclusively to supporters of Patreon, we ask Leigh whether he has ever attended an “atheist church,” and if he thinks atheists’ natural independent streak dooms the prospect of creating long-lasting secular institutions. Check out Leigh’s new book, The Church of Saint Thomas Paine: A Religious History of American Secularism: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691217253/the-church-of-saint-thomas-paine For more on Leigh: https://rap.wustl.edu/people/leigh-e-schmidt/ Nathan recently appeared on the Monday Morning Dullard podcast to talk about atheism. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVmjk9_mMxY Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:12:08
March 01, 2022
Episode 34: Mobilizing Atheists, with Sam McGuire
In this episode, we are joined by Sam McGuire, the National Field Director of American Atheists. She imparts wisdom on how atheists can organize as well as offers resources and opportunities for groups and individuals. We learn a lot about organizing as we talk about her experience with the Southern Maryland Chapter of the Washington Area Secular Humanists, her role in the controversy over a sex education lesson, and how her work at Reason Rally 2016 led to her current role. In the bonus content, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, Sam tells us about the time someone threw holy water on her, and we also get her take on whether reports of the atheist movement’s death are greatly exaggerated. For more on Sam: https://www.atheists.org/about/staff/ Follow Sam on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamJMcGuire American Atheists 2022 National Convention: https://convention.atheists.org/ State of the Secular States report: https://states.atheists.org/ A video of the County Commissioners meeting on sex-ed in the library (Sam speaks at the 50:15 mark): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYKniafcw64 For more on the Drag Queen Story Hour in the library controversy, see here (pp. 17-21): https://www.scribd.com/document/515616589/American-Atheist-Magazine-July-October-2019 Nathan recently appeared on the Monday Morning Dullard podcast to talk about atheism. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVmjk9_mMxY Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:02:45
February 21, 2022
Episode 33: Ex-Muslims, New Atheists, and the Far Right, with Eiynah Mohammed-Smith
In this episode, we are joined by Eiynah Mohammed-Smith, an author, illustrator and the host of the Polite Conversations podcast. We talk about her time growing up in Saudi Arabia, her break with Islam, her involvement in New Atheism, and her subsequent disillusionment with that movement. Along the way, we talk about Sam Harris, ex-Muslims, hijabs, and more. We also ask Eiynah whether a “true atheist” can do things such as be spiritual or dislike Sam Harris. In the bonus section, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, we ask Eiynah if she regrets her New Atheist phase and, most controversially, if she actually likes mangos. Polite Conversations: https://soundcloud.com/politeconversations Woking Up Miniseries: https://soundcloud.com/politeconversations/sets/woking-up-miniseries Check out Eiynah’s Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/nicemangos Follow Eiynah on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NiceMangos Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:12:53
January 27, 2022
Episode 32: The State of Atheists in America, with Alison Gill
In this episode, we are joined by Alison Gill, the Vice President for Legal and Policy with American Atheists. We talk with Alison about her recent work charting the challenges and priorities of nonreligious people in the US today. We find out why she has said that “2021 was the worst state legislative session for civil rights in more than a decade.” We also ask whether a “true atheist” can support the death penalty or believe in God. In the bonus content, available exclusively for supporters on Patreon, we get Alison’s thoughts on the current state of the atheist movement, the divisions between “woke” and “anti-woke” atheists, and how things have changed since she first got involved in American Atheists. State of the Secular States report: https://states.atheists.org/ Press release: https://www.atheists.org/2022/01/christian-nationalist-movement-in-2022/ PDF: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5d30e25ed90f2f0001d94628/t/61d37df35e2cf21ab00b1e51/1641250292461/2021+State+of+the+Secular+States.pdf Reality Check: Being Nonreligious in America: https://www.secularsurvey.org/executive-summary Press release: https://www.atheists.org/2020/05/reality-check-being-nonreligious-in-america/ PDF: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5d824da4727dfb5bd9e59d0c/t/5ec6d6d8e8da850b30521353/1590089442015/Reality+Check+-+Being+Nonreligious+in+America The Tipping Point Generation: America’s Nonreligious Youth: https://www.secularsurvey.org/youth Press release: https://www.atheists.org/2020/12/tipping-point-generation-americas-nonreligious-youth/ Black Nonreligious Americans: https://www.secularsurvey.org/black-nonreligious-americans Press release: https://www.atheists.org/2021/10/black-nonreligious-americans-report/ Follow Alison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlisonMGill1 Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:00:27
January 21, 2022
Episode 31: Ten Things We’ve Learned So Far
After almost a year of Beyond Atheism, it is time to take a brief look back to take stock of what we’ve learned so far. In this episode, Nathan and Todd talk about their 10 main takeaways from the podcast, ranging from politics to activism to history. Stick around to hear their reflections on what true atheists can and cannot do. In the bonus content, available exclusively for supporters on Patreon, Nathan and Todd talk about a recent article in LifeHacker, “How to 'Come Out' As an Atheist Without Destroying Your Relationships”: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-come-out-as-an-atheist-without-destroying-your-r-1848313516 Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
54:57
January 14, 2022
Episode 30: The Basics of Secularism, with Dr. Jacques Berlinerblau
As societies become more and more religiously diverse, and more and more nonreligious, secularism takes on greater importance. But what is secularism? In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Jacques Berlinerblau, Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and the author of the new book, Secularism: The Basics. In addition to giving us a practical definition, Jacques introduces us to four main frameworks of secularism: the American, French, Indian, and Soviet models. We talk about some of the benefits and drawbacks of each, and he explains why some secular countries can and do give financial support to religions. We also discuss what secularism might look like in a nation with a majority of nonbelievers and why religious groups may become allies in the struggle for greater secularism. We also ask Jacques whether a “true” secular government can ban abortion or allow religious intolerance. In the bonus content, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, we talk with Jacques about his future predictions for secularism around the world. Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about its trajectory? And what are the most pressing issues for secularists today? Check out Jacques’s new book, Secularism: The Basics: https://www.routledge.com/Secularism-The-Basics/Berlinerblau/p/book/9780367691585# Jacques’s website: https://www.jberlinerblau.com/ Follow Jacques on Twitter: https://twitter.com/berlinerblau Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:23:43
January 06, 2022
Episode 29: Why is Sweden So Secular?, with Dr. Anton Jansson
Sweden is one of the most secular countries in the world. Around half of the population claims to be non-believers; one survey even found that only 18% of Swedes believed in God. But why is this the case? How does Sweden’s history explain its secular nature? To talk about these questions and more, we are joined by Dr. Anton Jansson, an associate professor and researcher in intellectual history at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Along the way, we learn about the importance of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, atheist intellectuals and organizers, and Sweden’s long history of having a state church. Anton also tells us whether a “true atheist” can pray or shop at a Christmas market. In the bonus content, available exclusively to our supporters on Patreon, we talk with Anton about perceptions of Sweden from abroad. Is it a social democratic utopia or a potential hotbed of Islamist radicalism? Anton debunks some of these myths. For more on Anton: ​​https://www.gu.se/en/about/find-staff/antonjansson Follow Anton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/antnlj Read Anton’s article “‘A Swedish Voltaire’: The Life and Afterlife of Ingemar Hedenius, 20th-Century Atheist”: https://secularismandnonreligion.org/articles/10.5334/snr.98/ For more on the figures Anton mentioned: Viktor Lennstrand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Lennstrand Ellen Key: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Key Ingemar Hedenius: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingemar_Hedenius Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:04:29
December 22, 2021
Episode 28: Morality without God, with Aaron Rabinowitz
Without a God to author morality, does this leave atheists adrift? What is morality, are there absolute moral truths, and how can we know about them? To examine these questions, we are joined by Aaron Rabinowitz, a PhD student in the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, and the host of two podcasts, Embrace the Void and Philosophers in Space. Aaron explains why the absence of a God actually allows for the creation of objective moral systems, something that should correct biases against atheists. He also tells us about whether a true atheist can be immoral or wish that God existed. In the bonus content, available exclusively to supporters on Patreon, we talk with Aaron about the infamous “enlightening round” on his podcast Embrace the Void, where he asks guests whether things like God, races, sandwiches, and fictional characters are “real.” Follow Aaron on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ETVPod Check out Aaron’s workshop, “Morality Without God,” running for three weeks in January: ​​https://evergreen.humanitru.com/web/campaigns/the-innerwork-center~winter-spring-2022?attend=id%3A4465&sharer_id=3509&medium=&notes=Listing+Card&remote_id=RSgy Embrace the Void podcast: https://voidpod.com/podcasts/ Philosophers in Space podcast: https://0gphilosophy.libsyn.com/ Check out Nathan’s appearance on Embrace the Void: https://voidpod.com/podcasts/2021/7/15/ev-201-defining-racism-with-nathan-alexander Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism We are grateful for every contribution.
01:16:13
December 15, 2021
Episode 27: Secularism and (Non)Human Rights, with Monica Miller
Effective secular activism takes on a number of forms and issues, and builds connections across many different – and often unexpected – groups of like-minded people. In this episode, we talk with Monica Miller, the Legal Director and Senior Counsel for the American Humanist Association and an attorney with the Nonhuman Rights Project, and learn how an early interest in animal rights led to her arguing a separation of church and state case in the US Supreme Court. In this wide-ranging conversation, we talk about the legal biases against the rights of humanists in prison, efforts to get animals like elephants and great apes the status of “legal personhood,” and how her work connects religious activists and vegetarian Satanists. We also find out whether a true humanist can consume animal products or own a pet. In the bonus content, available exclusively for Patreon subscribers, Monica tells us about her experience arguing in front of the Supreme Court and some behind the scenes details of filming the HBO documentary, “Unlocking the Cage.” For more on Monica: https://americanhumanist.org/about/staff/miller-monica/ Follow Monica on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mon_L_Miller Nonhuman Rights Project: https://www.nonhumanrights.org/ American Humanist Association: https://americanhumanist.org/ Unlocking the Cage documentary: ​​https://www.unlockingthecagethefilm.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:08:48
November 26, 2021
Episode 26: Atheist Churches?, with Dr. Jacqui Frost
In this episode we are joined by Dr. Jacqui Frost, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Rice University, to discuss the atheist practice of the Sunday Assembly. Although this burgeoning movement is sometimes referred to as an “Atheist Church,” we learn about what makes these communities different from religious practices. In a wide-ranging conversation, Jacqui explains what a Sunday Assembly service looks like in practice, how the congregations form and avoid hierarchy, and whether they can be a viable replacement for churches or mosques. We also learn whether a “True Atheist” can wish there was an afterlife or visit a psychic. In the bonus content, available exclusively to our supporters on Patreon, we talk with Jacqui about the science of creating rituals through scientific experimentation in “ritual labs.” For more about Jacqui’s work: https://www.jacquifrost.com/ Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajacfrost For more on the Sunday Assembly: https://www.sundayassembly.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:07:48
November 05, 2021
Episode 25: The Legacy of Christopher Hitchens, with Dr. Ben Burgis
Christopher Hitchens was perhaps the wittiest and most vibrant of the atheist “Four Horsemen” until his passing in 2011. In addition to religious criticism, over his long career as a writer and journalist, “Hitch” turned his critical pen against many figures, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and even Mother Teresa. But his career was not without controversy, particularly his support for the Iraq War in 2003, which seemed to contradict his socialist politics. To talk about Hitchens’s complex legacy – and other subjects including cancel culture, YouTube debates, and the links between socialism and atheism – we are joined by Dr. Ben Burgis, a philosophy instructor at Rutgers University and author of “Christopher Hitchens: What He Got Right, How He Went Wrong, and Why He Still Matters.” For bonus content, available exclusively to our supporters on Patreon, we talk with Ben about his recent interview with Christopher’s brother, Peter Hitchens, and about Hitch’s legendary affinity for drinking. For more on Ben: https://benburgis.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCByZMNYpHFEetI0s3deYH2g Twitter: https://twitter.com/BenBurgis Christopher Hitchens: What He Got Right, How He Went Wrong, and Why He Still Matters: https://redemmas.org/titles/36536-christopher-hitchens--what-he-got-right--how-he-went-wrong--and-why-he-still-matters Canceling Comedians While the World Burns: A Critique Of The Contemporary Left: https://redemmas.org/titles/34877-canceling-comedians-while-the-world-burns--a-critique-of-the-contemporary-left Charlie Kirk debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VWFlteBniw Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:07:05
October 29, 2021
Episode 24: Atheist Overreach?
In the past, critics contended that atheists were simply wrong. Now, however, we have found a critique saying that atheists have overreached in their claims. So says the Notre Dame professor Christian Smith in his new book, Atheist Overreach: What Atheism Can’t Deliver. In this episode, Todd and Nathan respond to the arguments made in Smith’s book about universal morality, rational cheating, the limits of science, and the importance of ethics. You’ll be shocked to discover how much (or how little) they agree with Smith’s analysis. Atheist Overreach: What Atheism Can’t Deliver: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/atheist-overreach-9780190880927?cc=us&lang=en&# Nathan and Todd interviewed for the AHS+ blog: https://ahsplus.blog/2021/10/19/activism-matters-nathan-alexander-and-todd-tavares/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:05:51
October 24, 2021
Episode 23: Morality and the Decline of Religion, with Dr. Phil Zuckerman
This week’s guest drops some shocking information: not only is religion declining around the globe, but atheists are proving to be more moral than fundamentalist Christians. To discuss how this came to be, we’re joined by Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and the author of several books, including What It Means to be Moral, The Nonreligious, Living the Secular Life, Faith No More, and Society Without God. Among other things, we talk about the evidence for and causes of secularization, the future of religion, and the roots of morality. We also find out, for example, whether a true secular person can have sex outside the holy bonds of marriage or tell their kids about Santa. In the bonus section, available on Patreon exclusively for subscribers, we talk about Phil’s establishment of the first Secular Studies program in the world at Pitzer College and whether academics are paying enough attention to the massive decline of religion. For more on Phil and his works: https://philzuckerman.com/ Phil’s latest article in Salon, “Staunch atheists show higher morals than the proudly pious, from the pandemic to climate change”: https://www.salon.com/2021/08/21/staunch-atheists-show-higher-morals-than-the-proudly-pious-from-the-pandemic-to-climate-change/ New edition of Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment: https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.18574/9781479851119/html Upcoming virtual book launch (September 15th) for the two-volume Cambridge History of Atheism: https://atheismsecularismhumanism.wordpress.com/seminars/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
56:29
September 10, 2021
Episode 22: What’s in a Name? Debating Nonreligious Labels
In this episode, Todd and Nathan talk about the different labels we use to describe ourselves as nonreligious people. Terms like atheist, agnostic, secularist, freethinker, and bright all have specific definitions – but they are also loaded with connotations and carry different social stigmas. What do these terms mean and how should they be understood? We assign a highly scientific, highly objective score out of 10 to each label! We also discuss whether a “true atheist” can lie about their beliefs or use money with a monarch on it. In the bonus content, available exclusively for Patrons on our Patreon page, Todd describes a recent run-in with the mayor of his town in New Jersey and describes how he used what he learned from previous guests to get his point across to a political leader. Nathan’s article, “An Atheist with a Tall Hat On: The Forgotten History of Agnosticism”: https://thehumanist.com/magazine/march-april-2019/philosophically-speaking/philosophically-speaking-an-atheist-with-a-tall-hat-on-the-forgotten-history-of-agnosticism/ How Humanist Are You? (Quiz from Humanists UK): https://humanists.uk/humanism/how-humanist-are-you/ On the “Brights”: https://ahsplus.blog/2021/08/23/were-the-brights-really-such-a-bad-idea/ Upcoming virtual book launch (September 15th) for the two-volume Cambridge History of Atheism: https://atheismsecularismhumanism.wordpress.com/seminars/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
59:05
September 03, 2021
Episode 21: Religious Naturalism, with Dr. Carol Wayne White
Atheism, narrowly defined, is only concerned with the absence of gods. To build a foundation that grounds ethics and morality we need a positive worldview free from dogma and the supernatural. In this episode, we examine one worldview that goes “beyond atheism”: namely, religious naturalism. To discuss this idea, we are joined by Carol Wayne White, the Presidential Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Bucknell University, and author of the book, Black Lives and Sacred Humanity: Toward an African American Religious Naturalism. We learn about what religious naturalism is, whether it is compatible with atheism, and whether there is a place for “spirituality” in the worldview. We also ask whether a true atheist – or rather, a true religious naturalist – can believe in an afterlife or get married in a church. In the bonus section, available on Patreon exclusively for subscribers, we talk about the “harm principle,” Black Lives Matter, and whether anyone has ever asked to pray for her. Check out Carol’s book, Black Lives and Sacred Humanity: Toward an African American Religious Naturalism: https://www.fordhampress.com/9780823269822/black-lives-and-sacred-humanity/ For more on Carol, including a list of recent publications: https://www.bucknell.edu/fac-staff/carol-white Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:00:54
August 25, 2021
Episode 20: Secular Strategies, with Sarah Levin
In this episode, we talk with Sarah Levin, the founder of Secular Strategies, a political consulting firm that works with policymakers, lawmakers, and non-profit organizations to be effective champions of secularism in the United States. We discuss her political work – from the grassroots to lobbying to serving on the Democratic National Committee’s Interfaith Council. We also talk about why secular people seem to lean left, the possibility of an atheist president, and whether Republicans might ever pay attention to secular voters. We also learn whether a “true atheist” can, for example, eat meat or vote Republican. In our bonus content on Patreon, available exclusively for Patrons, Sarah gives us a crash course in lobbying and tells us some funny stories about meeting politicians. Secular Strategies: www.secularstrategies.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/secular-strategies/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/secularstrategies/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/secularstrats Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secularstrategies Follow Sarah on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahmlevin And on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahmlevin Nathan and Todd’s article on the nonreligious voting bloc in The Humanist: https://thehumanist.com/magazine/winter-2021/up-front/nonreligious-americans-the-key-demographic-that-no-one-is-talking-about Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page, where you will also find bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:02:45
August 18, 2021
Episode 19: The Satanic Temple, with Lucien Greaves
In this episode, we are joined by Lucien Greaves, the co-founder and spokesperson of the Satanic Temple. We have a wide-ranging conversation about the founding of the Satanic Temple, their various legal battles for religious neutrality, the Baphomet Statue, Lucien’s appearances on Fox News, Satanic rituals, and the place for atheists in the congregations. We also have a round of “Can a True Satanist…?” where we learn – among other things – whether a true Satanist can wear bright-coloured clothing or use the prayer emoji. For more on the Satanic Temple: https://thesatanictemple.com/ Follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Satanic_Temple_ Support Lucien on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/LucienGreaves Follow Lucien on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucienGreaves And his band: https://twitter.com/SatanicPlanet Lucien’s 1st appearance on Tucker Carlson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueeYIZs0xj4 Lucien’s 2nd appearance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHMEiz7J2h8 Lucien on Megyn Kelly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6pL8aRmLJs Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/beyond_atheism You can also contribute by going to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and clicking the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:08:58
August 09, 2021
Episode 18: The Secret Clergy Bible, with Thomas Lawson
In this episode, we are joined by Thomas Lawson, a writer, eulogist, and crematory operator, to talk about his new book, The Secret Clergy Bible. The book reveals some surprising doubts among clergy members in the nineteenth century about the Bible, Jesus, hell, miracles, and religion itself. After discussing the book, we turn toward Tom’s work as a cremationist and the connections he has made delivering eulogies at funerals. Tom explains how his personalized eulogies create meaning for grieving families by drawing on the freethought tradition. Plus, more answers to what “true” atheists can and cannot do! The Secret Clergy Bible: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HH1JSTS (All proceeds go to the Clergy Project) For more on the Clergy Project: https://clergyproject.org/ Letters from an Atheist Nation Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atheistletters/ Grief Beyond Belief Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/faithfreegriefsupport/ Digitized issues of the Blue-Grass Blade: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069867/issues/ Follow Tom on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tojolaw Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
58:35
July 30, 2021
Episode 17: No Gods, No Masters
Do certain political views flow from atheism? This is the question we tackle in the podcast, with reference to the slogan, “No Gods, No Masters.” The discussion brings up many reasons to reject the rule of religious authorities. But with no gods and no masters, are there any legitimate authorities for atheists to follow? What does it mean for an authority to be legitimate? PRRI Report on the 2020 Census of American Religion: https://www.prri.org/research/2020-census-of-american-religion/ Nathan and Todd’s article on nonreligious voters in The Humanist: https://thehumanist.com/magazine/winter-2021/up-front/nonreligious-americans-the-key-demographic-that-no-one-is-talking-about Support for legalizing marijuana among religious groups: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/05/26/religious-americans-are-less-likely-to-endorse-legal-marijuana-for-recreational-use/ On another note, check out Nathan’s recent appearance on the Embrace the Void podcast: https://voidpod.com/podcasts/2021/7/15/ev-201-defining-racism-with-nathan-alexander Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
52:10
July 23, 2021
Episode 16: Black Nonbelievers, with Mandisa Thomas
Episode 16: Black Nonbelievers, with Mandisa Thomas In this episode, we talk with Mandisa Thomas, the president and founder of Black Nonbelievers. We discuss her unique journey to atheism, how she created Black Nonbelievers, and how they are building a community to address the needs of Black atheists and others. We also find out, among other things, if Mandisa thinks a “true” atheist can say “bless you” after someone sneezes. Black Nonbelievers: https://blacknonbelievers.org/ On Twitter: https://twitter.com/BNonbelievers On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackNonbelievers Women of Color Beyond Belief conference, September 24-26, 2021: https://wocbeyondbelief.com/ Follow Mandisa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mandy0904 Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:10:60
June 25, 2021
Episode 15: What’s the Harm?
In this episode, we talk about the “Harm Principle.” This principle claims government should only prohibit actions that harm someone else, and it guides much of our political discussions. We talk about whether this principle is actually valid, with reference to – among other things – littering, polygamy, blasphemy, mask-wearing, and one very evocative example! For more on the “harm principle”: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mill-moral-political/#HarPri Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
46:16
June 11, 2021
Episode 14: The Secular Northwest, with Dr. Tina Block
Even in the most secular countries, some regions are very religious while some are more secular. In this episode, Prof. Tina Block takes us through the history of irreligion in the Pacific Northwest, traditionally the region with the lowest church attendance, religious identification, and participation in both the US and Canada. She describes the factors that helped shape the secular culture there as well as the impact that class, gender, and family had on forging a life free from religious compulsion. Tina’s book, The Secular Northwest: Religion and Irreligion in Everyday Postwar Life (UBC Press): https://www.ubcpress.ca/the-secular-northwest Nathan is presenting a talk, “No Gods, No Masters: The Politics of Atheism,” at the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network conference on June 17th. For more details, see the conference program: https://nonreligionandsecularity.files.wordpress.com/2021/03/2021-nsrn-preliminary-conference-programme-03-2021.pdf Register here if you are interested: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdC1DqY-hq-MXBE6ovsECaV2NOIjaM8TdDxGAWVdNaUX2J1Lw/viewform Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
58:22
June 04, 2021
Episode 13: Godless Communists and Red Weddings in the Soviet Union, with Dr. Victoria Smolkin
Today we talk about what happens when a government tries to create an atheist society. This was attempted at various times in the brief history of the USSR – with surprising results. To help us understand the Soviets’ campaign against religion, we are joined by Dr. Victoria Smolkin. We discuss the Soviets’ struggle against religion, from building a secular administrative state, to militant atheism, to rapprochement, all while learning that the dreaded “godless commies” weren’t quite what they were made out to be. Victoria’s book, A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism (Princeton University Press, 2018): https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691174273/a-sacred-space-is-never-empty More on Victoria: https://www.wesleyan.edu/academics/faculty/vsmolkin/profile.html Follow Victoria on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SmolkinVictoria Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:15:26
May 28, 2021
Episode 12: Freethought “Zines,” Poetry, Small-R Republicans, and More, with Dr. Clare Stainthorp
In this episode, Nathan and Todd are joined by Dr. Clare Stainthorp, an expert in atheism and freethought in nineteenth-century Britain. We talk about Clare’s exploration of the brief but amazing life of freethinking scientist/poet Constance Naden. We draw links between freethought and radical politics, and also make connections between the way freethinkers created community in the past and ‘zine culture. Another amazing and insightful hour! Follow Clare on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareGS87 Clare’s book, Constance Naden: Scientist, Philosopher, Poet: https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/65828 Clare’s article on Constance Naden’s life: https://dangerouswomenproject.org/2016/11/11/3646/ Nineteenth-Century Religion, Literature and Society: Disbelief and New Beliefs, co-edited by Clare Stainthorp and Naomi Hetherington: https://www.routledge.com/Nineteenth-Century-Religion-Literature-and-Society-Disbelief-and-New-Beliefs/Hetherington-Stainthorp/p/book/9781138572850 For more on freethinkers and feminism in the nineteenth century, see Laura Schwartz’s Infidel Feminism: Secularism, Religion and Women's Emancipation, England 1830–1914: https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719085826/ Information from the Secular Coalition on the upcoming American Supreme Court decision in the Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case, which has important implications religious organization’s ability to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation, marital status, religion, etc.: https://www.decisionday.org/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:02:11
May 21, 2021
Episode 11: Free Speech and Cancel Culture
In this episode, Todd and Nathan discuss Nathan’s recent article, “Reading John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty in the Age of ‘Cancel Culture’ and ‘Fake News’.” We discuss Mill’s famous defense of free speech and its limits. Along the way, we talk about the implications for present-day issues like “cancel culture,” Antifa’s answer to hate speech, and religious tolerance in a secular world. Reading John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty in the Age of “Cancel Culture” and “Fake News”: https://www.liberalcurrents.com/reading-john-stuart-mills-on-liberty-in-the-age-of-cancel-culture-and-fake-news/ Karl Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance Examples of “cancel culture” we discuss: 3 cases of people being fired for innocuous things: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/stop-firing-innocent/613615/ Gina Carano: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gina_Carano#Social_media_controversy Canceled young-adult novelist: https://reason.com/2019/02/28/he-was-part-of-a-twitter-mob-that-attack/ For Todd’s post-episode reflections, check out: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:00:10
May 14, 2021
Episode 10: The Seven Types of Atheism
In this episode, Nathan and Todd discuss the book, The Seven Types of Atheism, by John Gray. We talk about the seven types and offer comments and criticism along the way. Among the questions we raise are: Must atheists be miserable? Can atheists celebrate Christmas? Is there meaning in life for atheists? It’s not necessary to read the book before listening, but if you want a shorter entry into Gray’s writing, check out his article, “What scares the new atheists”: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/03/what-scares-the-new-atheists For Todd’s post-episode reflections, check out: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/ If you find the podcast valuable and want to support it, go to https://anchor.fm/beyond-atheism and click the “Support” button. We are grateful for every contribution.
01:00:51
May 07, 2021
Episode 9: Politics, Atheism, and Secularism in France, with Dr. Charles Devellennes
In this episode, Todd and Nathan talk with Dr. Charles Devellennes about atheism in the French Enlightenment, the recent gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests in France, next year’s French presidential election, and France’s model of secularism. Charles is a Senior Lecturer in Political and Social Thought at the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent, and the author of the recent books: Positive Atheism: Bayle, Meslier, d'Holbach, Diderot (Edinburgh University Press) and The Gilets Jaunes and the New Social Contract (Bristol University Press). Positive Atheism: Bayle, Meslier, d'Holbach, Diderot: https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-positive-atheism.html The Gilets Jaunes and the New Social Contract: https://bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/the-gilets-jaunes-and-the-new-social-contract Follow Charles on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CDevellennes For Todd’s post-episode reflections, check out: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/
01:05:01
April 29, 2021
Episode 8: The Limits and Possibilities of Escapism, with Dr. Greg Sharzer
In this episode, Todd and Nathan talk with Dr. Greg Sharzer about his new book, Late Escapism and Contemporary Neoliberalism: Alienation, Work and Utopia (Routledge). We talk about religion as a means of escapism, as well secular ways of escaping the current neoliberal moment through things like video games, BTS fandom, DisneyLand, and the alternatives to market capitalism that informed his previous book No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won't Change The World. Late Escapism and Contemporary Neoliberalism: Alienation, Work and Utopia: https://www.routledge.com/Late-Escapism-and-Contemporary-Neoliberalism-Alienation-Work-and-Utopia/Sharzer/p/book/9781138242319 No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won't Change The World: https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/zer0-books/our-books/no-local If you would like a PDF of any of these books, feel free to email Greg directly: greg.sharzer@utoronto.ca For Todd’s post-episode reflections, check out: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/
58:29
April 26, 2021
Episode 7: Sex, Suffrage, and Secularism, with Dr. Kimberly Hamlin
In this episode, Nathan and Todd talk with Dr. Kimberly Hamlin about her new book, Free Thinker: Sex, Suffrage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener. Gardener (1853-1925) lived a fascinating life: she was a freethought lecturer, a world traveler, and a key organizer for women’s suffrage. She was described as the “most potent factor” in the passage – in 1919 – of the 19th Amendment to the US constitution which granted women the right to vote. We talk about a range of topics including how her agnosticism was the starting point for her feminism, the question of race and women’s suffrage, and the interesting fate of HHG’s brain. Free Thinker: Sex, Suffrage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener: https://wwnorton.com/books/9781324004974 For more on Kimberly Hamlin: http://www.kimberlyhamlin.com/author/ Follow Kimberly on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProfessorHamlin Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander For Todd’s post-episode reflections, check out: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/ Buy Kimberly’s book first, but if you are in the mood for a second, check out Nathan’s Race in a Godless World: Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850-1914: https://nyupress.org/9781479835003/race-in-a-godless-world/
01:00:30
April 19, 2021
Episode 6: Atheists and Freethinkers, Past and Present
In this episode, Todd and Nathan discuss the history of atheism and its lessons for the present. How have atheists in the past lived? What barriers did they face? What values and politics did they espouse? We uncover some surprising commonalities and differences. Nathan’s article on the history of agnosticism:  https://thehumanist.com/magazine/march-april-2019/philosophically-speaking/philosophically-speaking-an-atheist-with-a-tall-hat-on-the-forgotten-history-of-agnosticism/ Nathan’s book, Race in a Godless World: https://nyupress.org/9781479835003/race-in-a-godless-world/ Twitter thread on the British Census of 1851: https://twitter.com/ClareGS87/status/1372905963607441418 For people in the United States who have belonged to secular communities, please fill out the Secular Communities Survey: https://secularcommunities.com/survey For Todd’s post-episode reflections, check out: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/
52:13
March 29, 2021
Episode 5: Doing Secular Activism, with Andrew Grossen
In this episode, Nathan and Todd talk with Andrew Grossen, the Communications Manager at Secular Coalition for America. Among other things, we talk about the referendum campaigns Andrew worked on while in Ireland for the legalization of abortion, same-sex marriage, and blasphemy, and his current work with the Secular Coalition. Secular Coalition for America: https://secular.org/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/seculardotorg Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SecularCoalition Andrew’s recent piece about Ireland: https://secular.org/2021/03/stpaddys/ The tweet dunking on Ted Cruz: https://twitter.com/seculardotorg/status/1285168729119170560?s=20 For Todd’s post-episode reflections, check out: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Nathan’s website: https://www.nathangalexander.com/
46:23
March 22, 2021
Episode 4: Understanding Secular Communities, with Dr. Juhem Navarro-Rivera
In this episode, Todd and Nathan are joined by their first ever guest, Dr. Juhem Navarro-Rivera, the Research Director and Managing Partner at Socioanalitica Research and a scholar of politics, race, and religion. We talk about his latest project, the Secular Communities Survey, and learn a lot as he details some of the remarkable findings from his past research on the politics of nonreligious people. For people in the United States who have belonged to secular communities, please fill out the Secular Communities Survey: https://secularcommunities.com/survey For more info on the survey: https://secularcommunities.hfa.ucsb.edu/ For more on Juhem: https://juhemnr.com/home/ And follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuhemNR See also Juhem’s 2020 Secular Voices Report: https://secularvoices2020.socioanalitica.com/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Follow Todd on Medium: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/
01:01:09
March 11, 2021
Episode 3: Can Atheists Be Moral?
In this episode, Todd and Nathan discuss whether atheists can be moral. Is everything permitted without God? Where do we get our morality from? And what does jaywalking (or lack thereof) say about different societies? Secular Community Survey: https://secularcommunities.com/scs2021 Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander Follow Todd on Medium: https://todd-tavares.medium.com/ (Addendum: in the episode, Nathan mentioned research about conservatives and disgust reactions. Here is an article about this: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/the-yuck-factor/580465/ But recent research shows things might be more complicated: https://digest.bps.org.uk/2019/11/27/no-conservatives-dont-experience-feelings-of-disgust-any-more-than-liberals/)
50:21
March 02, 2021
Episode 2: Identity Politics and Atheists
Our most controversial episode yet! In this episode, Nathan and Todd ask: what is identity politics? Is ALL politics really identity politics? Todd has some thought experiments for Nathan. Le Chiffre (atheist villain in Casino Royale): https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=62&v=J0U0oY_nqbg&feature=youtu.be Secular Community Survey: https://secularcommunities.hfa.ucsb.edu/ Follow Nathan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathGAlexander
54:04
February 19, 2021
Episode 1: Are Atheists a Voting Bloc?
In this episode, Nathan and Todd discuss atheist and other nonreligious voters and the 2020 American presidential election. We ask: why did these voters support Biden and the Democrats at such a high rate? For more, see their article: https://thehumanist.com/magazine/winter-2021/up-front/nonreligious-americans-the-key-demographic-that-no-one-is-talking-about
45:04
February 10, 2021