“A Better Life”, Chris Johnson on Atheists Talk

One of the main ideas that is celebrated by our atheist and humanist communities is that we can be good without god, that we as nonbelievers can live happy, fulfilled, satisfying, beautiful and good lives without having or wanting to involve supernatural beings. Chris Johnson is sharing this narrative with his new book of stories in writings and photographs of atheists from the US, Canada and UK, A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God. From his website:

I decided to travel through the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and put together a book of photographic portraits. From the airline pilot, to the musician, I wanted to document my fellow atheists and ask them what brings meaning and joy to their lives. The goal of the book was to visually capture the diversity of non-believers and the ways they maintain a better life, not in spite of their atheism, but because of it.

Among those those who were interviewed and photographed  for the book are A.C. Grayling, Steven Novella, Daniel Dennett, Rebecca Watson, Christopher Hitchens, James Randi, Carolyn Porco, Julia Sweeney, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, James Watson, Jessica Ahlquist, Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker.

We hope you will join us this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central time when we speak with Mr. Johnson about his journeys and what he found along the way.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“God Bless America”, Karen Stollznow on Atheists Talk

By training, Karen Stollznow is an Australian linguist with a background in history and anthropology. In addition, she has spent years writing and talking about pseudoscience and the paranormal. All of this means that when she turns her attention to American foibles of belief, the results should be clear and devastating. This was true in her last book, Haunting America: The Truth Behind Some of America’s “Most Haunted” Places. It is just as true in her newest book, God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States.

Don’t worry, this isn’t just some foreigner poking fun at those daft Yanks. Dr. Stollznow has made the U.S. her home for many years, and her fondness shows through. Though she forthrightly points her fingers at fraud and other injuries to the followers of these beliefs, she demonstrates sympathy for the believers as well. From fundamentalist, polygamous Mormons to Scientologists who believe that the universe started with an alien war, she draws parallels between these “weird” religions and religions that are fully respectable in our current society. Besides, what religious groups didn’t start small and emerge from fringe beliefs?

This Sunday, Dr. Stollnow joins us to talk about her new book and some of the American religious practices that fall well outside the mainstream.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

 

“Think: Why You Should Question Everything”, Guy P. Harrison on Atheists Talk

Author Guy P. Harrison, honored guest of Atheists Talk, returns once again to discuss science, skepticism and critical thinking. His recently released book, Think: Why You Should Question Everything, is an easy to read work, accessible to learners of all ages and experience. In the book he defines what skepticism is and isn’t and devotes an entire chapter to the concept of evidence. Harrison challenges readers to explore the differences between beliefs and believers, science and superstition, skepticism and intelligence, and simply, to think.

We hope you’ll join us this Sunday for the interview.

Related Links

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“Abominable Science!”, Donald Prothero on Atheists Talk

It has been a while since palaeontologist Donald Prothero visited us on Atheists Talk, and he’s been busy. We have some catching up to do. Just this summer, Prothero released two books to help us sort out good information and good science from poor information and pseudoscience. In Abominable Science!, he and Daniel Loxton sort through the nature and the quality of the evidence for and against creatures like Bigfoot and Nessie. They highlight the differences between science and pseudoscience and examine the will to believe.

In Reality Check, Prothero looks at science denialism and the topics that hit closer to home. While a belief in Nessie won’t hurt most people, denial of the scientific consensus behind childhood vaccination or global warming has a much more serious effect. Prothero lays out the motives and methods of denialists.

This Sunday, he joins us to talk about both books.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“50 Great Myths About Atheism”, Russell Blackford on Atheists Talk

Philosopher Russell Blackford and bioethicist Udo Schüklenk are back with another book on atheism, 50 Great Myths About Atheism. From the publisher’s description:

Tackling a host of myths and prejudices commonly leveled at atheism, this captivating volume bursts with sparkling, eloquent arguments on every page. The authors rebut claims that range from atheism being just another religion to the alleged atrocities committed in its name.

  • An accessible yet scholarly commentary on hot-button issues in the debate over religious belief

  • Teaches critical thinking skills through detailed, rational argument

  • Objectively considers each myth on its merits

  • Includes a history of atheism and its advocates, an appendix detailing atheist organizations, and an extensive bibliography

  • Explains the differences between atheism and related concepts such as agnosticism and naturalism

Russell Blackford joins us this Sunday to talk about the book.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“Perv: The Sexual Deviant In All of Us”, Jesse Bering on Atheists Talk

Writer. Psychologist. Promiscuous Mind.”

The tagline on his website summarizes this week’s guest, Jesse Bering, in a more succinct manner than we could ever hope to do, but we can certainly build on it: PhD, notable contributor to Scientific American, Slate, The New York Times, The Guardian and Discover Magazine, and author of the books Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? and The Belief Instinct. We are pleased to welcome Jesse Bering back to Atheists Talk to discuss his newest book Perv: The Sexual Deviant In All of Us. From his website:

“You are a sexual deviant. A pervert, through and through.” We may not want to admit it, but as the award-winning columnist and psychologist Jesse Bering reveals in Perv, there is a spectrum of perversion along which we all sit. Whether it’s voyeurism, exhibitionism, or your run-of-the-mill foot fetish, we all possess a suite of sexual tastes as unique as our fingerprints—and as secret as the rest of the skeletons we’ve hidden in our closets.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“Deliverance at Hand”, James Zimmerman on Atheists Talk

When a Jehovah’s Witness has doubts about the faith or how the doctrine of their faith fits in with a fact that they have learned about the natural world, a fact that seems to contradict the doctrine of their society, they are encouraged to do “research.” For them, research is a matter of poring over the literature of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in order to find a way to reconcile the natural world with the teachings of the Society. When a Circuit Overseer suggested that James and Jennifer Zimmerman carry out research on a subject in order to help rebuild their enthusiasm for Jehovah and The Truth, they agreed that digging into the “facts” of Noah’s Ark and the Flood would be a good project for both of them to work on together.

This turned out to be a mistake by the church, because James and Jennifer carried out their research a bit too enthusiastically. They discovered that the flood could not have been global, but more importantly, their research led to an agnosticism and a realization that the people who have “The Truth” did not, in fact, have the truth.

Deliverance at Hand!: The Redemption of a Devout Jehovah’s Witness is James Zimmerman’s new book on his experiences in the Jehovah’s Witnesses and leaving them behind. This book is just out and available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes and Noble as either e-book or in paperback. However, if you purchase the book in hardcopy through Minnesota Atheists a portion of the sale will benefit our organization.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“A Diverse Nation”, Grant Steves on Atheists Talk

This program, “The Founding of a Diverse Nation and Ensuing Struggles”, will cover the diversity of our Founders. It will also discuss Colonial citizens as a religiously diverse group with multiple competing interests who came together to form a secular Constitutional Republic. Our European past and Colonial history was one of religious persecution and conflict that had a major influence in separating government from religion. As our country evolves and both becomes more religiously diverse and sees its nonreligious population grow, our nation’s Founders wisdom of secular governess becomes more essential to reduce religious strife and conflict.  This program will explore this history with interviewer George Kane, host Brianne Bilyeu, and guest Grant Steves.

Grant Steves has been active in Minnesota Atheists and has hosted the Atheists Talk Television program, as well as been a host and guest on the Atheists Talk radio program, a cofounder of the Secular Bible Study, newsletter contributor, and a retired public school teacher. He has a Doctorate degree in Theology.

Steves recommends the following books:

Related Links

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

 

“Brave Genius”, Sean B. Carroll on Atheists Talk

If ever a book seemed to design to merge the “two cultures” of science and the humanities, it would be molecular biologist Sean B. Carroll’s newest work, Brave Genius: A Scientist, a Philosopher, and Their Daring Adventures from the French Resistance to the Nobel Prize. Nominally the story of the friendship between biologist Jacques Monod and philosopher Albert Camus, the book is also a history of World War II from the French perspective, as well as an exploration of the work and ideas of both men who were so profoundly affected by the war. Coming out of one of the most dismal periods in living memory, the humanism that both of these men embodied pushed them both to accomplishments deemed to be among the highest of our species.

This Sunday, Carroll will join us on Atheists Talk to tell us about the book and what prompted him to spend the years required to research and write a book of this scope.

Related Links

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“Skeptic’s Annotated Bible”, Steve Wells on Atheists Talk

The Skeptic’s Annotate Bible (SAB) is a website dedicated to spreading the Good Word…and the bad word, the violent word, the misogynistic word, the unjust word and the contradictory word. These are a few of the categories that the SAB has created to capture the messages that can be found in the King James Version of the bible. The individual books of the bible are able to be easily searched, and the creator (that’s a lowercase “c”) offers handy notes which distill and summarize the key messages of each section.

The goal of the SAB is to encourage believers to examine more closely this book that so many of them claim as the cornerstone of their faith and worldview. As the SAB FAQs state: “I’d like people to look carefully at the Bible and decide if it is worthy of their belief. When, if ever, people stop believing in the Bible, I’ll take my site down.”

This Sunday Steve Wells, the creator of the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible joins Atheists Talk to discuss his research and the website. Since its inception, the SAB has expanded to cover the Quran and the Book of Mormon. Steve Wells is also the author of the nonfiction book Drunk With Blood: God’s killings in the Bible.

Relevant Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.