Cellar Door Skeptics #78: Mindless Morality from Prager University

The months are getting warm and so is Tanner’s desire to talk about religion while corelating it with his love of science and politics. This episode of Cellar Door Skeptics will feature the hosts taking down one of Prager Universities videos called If There Is No God Murder Isn’t Wrong. Later they talk with Dr Gleb from Rational Politics Project to look at actual examples of how to talk to people about their irrational beliefs within politics. For the political portion of the show, they will look at the ACA and see if it was a job creator or job killer. And to close out this well rounded show, the hosts tackle the hot topic of the $400 Billion stole from your pockets by the Telecommunications Companies.

#prageru #morality #aca #communication #charter #comcast #intentialinsight #rationalpolitics

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Intro Music: http://aloststateofmind.com/

Link
——
https://www.prageru.com/courses/religionphilosophy/if-there-no-god-murder-isnt-wrong
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrcQ_PTkVD4&feature=youtu.be
https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/SBEStatementonLGBTQYouth_534576_7.pdf
http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/only-an-atheist
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Morality
https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/02/why-our-children-dont-think-there-are-moral-facts/
http://www.ereadingworksheets.com/reading-worksheets/fact-and-opinion-worksheet-answers.html
——
http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/international-women-s-day
http://glebtsipursky.com/
http://intentionalinsights.org/
http://intentionalinsights.org/collaborative-truth-seeking
http://intentionalinsights.org/guide-for-talking-to-irrational-people-whispering-to-the-elephant
——
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-obamacare-jobs-20170407-story.html
——
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-kushnick/the-book-of-broken-promis_b_5839394.html
http://newnetworks.com/bookofbrokenpromises.htm

#23: Astronomy Saves The World

Are the presidential rallies getting too violent and losing sight of what they were supposed to be for? Chris and Christopher weigh in on the hypocrisy rampant on BOTH sides lately. After that Daniel Batcheldor stops by to explain to us how astronomy can save the world and plug his amazing upcoming book! To close out the show, some bunk arguments against GMO foods were crushed and Christopher got Chris a bit ripped, leading to his first rant about teaching the controversy. You have been warned!

http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/astronomy-saves-the-world

Segment
——
00:00 Bernie & Super Pac/Crazy Shit Christopher Used to Believe
35:00 Astronomy Saves The World Interview with PhD Dan Batcheldor
69:00 Answering Anti GMO Apologists
88:00 Teaching the Controversy

Episode: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/astronomy-saves-the-world
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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/cellardoorskeptics
Intro Music: http://aloststateofmind.com/

Links
——
https://www.gofundme.com/exqv3qyc
——
http://www.factcheck.org/2016/03/temperature-at-trump-rallies/
http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/15/obama-criticizes-trump-violence-rallies/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/12/politics/donald-trump-protests/
——
http://danielbatcheldor.com
http://cor.gsfc.nasa.gov/copag/rfi/Extreme_Contrast_Ratio_Technologies.pdf

http://www.fit.edu/faculty/profiles/profile.php?value=553
@DanBatcheldor
——
http://thescientificatheist.com/responses-to-popular-anti-gmo-rhetoric/
——
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/05/creationism_and_evolution_in_school_religious_students_can_t_learn_natural.html

International Women’s Day Episode 21 Notes

International Women’s Day

Theme: Pledge For Parity

Definition: noun

  1. the state or condition of being equal, especially regarding status or pay.

 

#PledgeForParity

 

Links

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme

***All the information has come from the International Women’s Day website.  I have consolidated it for the purpose of my notes on the podcast.  Chris Hanna and Myself felt that it would be a benefit to everyone to have all the links in one place along with the flow.  Please check out the links below and listen to our podcast here.

What is International Women’s Day About

 

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. International Women’s Day is all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for over a century – and is growing annually from strength to strength.

 

2016 and Beyond

 

The world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation may feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so each year the world inspires women and celebrates their achievements. IWD is an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more. Many global corporations actively support IWD by running their own events and campaigns. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google often changes its Google Doodle on its global search pages to honor IWD. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status.

 

Why it is Needed Still In 2016

 

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. And we have much to celebrate today. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.

 

So make a difference, think globally and act locally!

Make everyday International Women’s Day.

Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

 

So how do we want to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016? We say by Pledging For Parity!

 

Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

 

Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action – and with men and women joining forces – we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies the world over. We have urgent work to do. Are you ready to accelerate gender parity?

 

———

 

Take The Pledge

 

  1. Help women and girls achieve their ambitions.

 

The most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness is it’s human talent via the skills and productivity of its workforce.

Organizations must illuminate the path to leadership, showing women the career and advancement opportunities that match their skills and professional objectives and provide the experiences necessary to fulfil their potential.

Individuals can commit to advocating for themselves, and when appropriate, becoming effective role models and sponsors of women to help them achieve their goals.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer, Karyn Twaronite, interviews Deborah Gillis, CEO of Catalyst on accelerating the pace of women’s advancement in the workplace

EY report: Mentoring and sponsorship is an overview of mentoring and sponsorship at EY and why they’re critical to reaching gender parity

Forbes article Beyond The Olympic Flame: How Mentoring Guides Former Athletes discusses the importance of a mentoring program for athletes and how a background in sport can help accelerate a woman’s leadership

 

  1. Challenge conscious and unconscious bias.

 

Studies show that gender-balanced organizations and teams deliver stronger results, and that inclusive societies are more progressive, but ingrained bias slows the progress of equality.

Organizations must build cultures where all people feel valued and included and can contribute fully according to their capabilities.

Individuals can commit to learning about their own biases, adjusting their behaviour as needed and welcoming different experiences and points of view.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

UnderstandingPrejudice.org is a website is for students, teachers and others interested in causes and consequences of prejudice

Projectimplicit.net is a nonprofit organization and international collaboration between researchers interested in implicit social cognition (thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control)

 

  1.  Call for gender-balanced leadership.

 

Companies with women board members outperform in return on equity, net income growth and price-to-book value as well as a host of non-financial measures.

Organizations must ensure women are exposed to strategic operations and functions to gain the experience needed for senior positions and set measurable targets for appointing women to leadership.

Individuals can show potential or current employers that they value and expect gender-balanced leadership. They should seek out leadership, sponsorship and mentoring programs, exposure to strategic and financial roles and integrated networks designed to help women advance.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s The power of many is a global survey on the correlation between teaming, diversity and corporate performance and how critical strong leadership is for high performing teams

EY report: Diversity drives diversity looks at US diversity in boardrooms and C-suite

EY’s Chair, Global Accounts Committee & Global Vice Chair, Markets, Uschi Schreiber, explores methods for increasing female leadership

 

  1.  Value women and men’s contributions equally.

 

Raising the female labour force participation rate to match that of men will have a positive impact on GDP in both developed and developing economies.

Organizations must ensure all their talent processes are equitable, fair and that they further their gender parity and diversity objectives.

Individuals can seek out perspectives different from their own, prioritize building diverse teams and engage in mixed networks that build trusted relationships.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

Forbes report Fostering innovation through a diverse workforce highlights how diversity is a key driver of innovation and critical for success

EY’s short video Differences matter reveals the importance of diversity in organizations

 

  1. Create inclusive, flexible cultures.

 

After competitive pay and benefits, workers in eight countries rank working flexibly and still being on track for promotion as what they value most in a potential job.

Organizations should recognize that lines between career and personal lives are becoming more fluid. They should create progressive policies like flexible working that allow everyone – regardless of age, gender, rank or geography – to manage their personal and professional lives and realize their ambitions.

Individuals can create trusting, team-oriented work environments by encouraging flexible working supporting choice about the times, places and ways work gets done.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s brochure Inclusive leadership – Accelerating progress in gender equity from the inside out explains how EY is working to lead the way on gender parity

Building inclusion is research by Diversity Council of Australia into an evidence-based model of inclusive leadership

 

Further Resources for Gender Equality

 

EY’s The time for gender parity is now survey documents the economic imperative of gender parity and outlines three accelerators to help achieve it

EY’s Women. Fast forward on ey.com is a digital hub with resources and guidance for women in the workforce, women in leadership, women entrepreneurs and women athletes

McKinsey & Company report Unlocking the full potential of women at work features 60 companies that show how women have fuelled the US economy and its largest corporations

McKinsey & Company study, in partnership with LeanIn Women in the workplace discusses the state of women in America

EY’s Women in the public sector report reveals women are woefully under-represented in the public sector but a significant part of the workforce

EY study: Global generations is a survey of workers in eight countries about what they want from their jobs

#17: DEBATE “Is There Sufficient Evidence For The Christian God”

Listen Here: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/17-debate-presup

This week is a first us here at Cellar Door Skeptics, a formal debate on the topic “Is There Sufficient Evidence For The Christian God?” Chris Hanna will be taking the moderator position in an effort to quell the fire and the flames between his co-host Christopher Tanner and our guest, Aaron Furlong. Aaron will be taking the positive with a strong background in presuppositional Christian apologetics and Christopher will be representing the skeptics and atheists who believe there simply just isn’t enough evidence.

Check out the link below for both of the presenters bios along with the rules for the debate.

Segments
——
00:00 Debate Introductions / Rules
05:21 Aaron’s Introduction
13:06 Christopher’s Introduction
21:00 Aaron Questions and Christopher Answers
37:58 Christopher Questions and Aaron Answers
54:11 Aaron’s Monologue Rebuttal
58:57 Christopher’s Monologue Rebuttal
65:00 Back and Forth with Christopher and Aaron
83:22 Audience Questions for Christopher and Aaron
113:30 Aaron’s Closing Statement
118:40 Christopher’s Closing Statement

Episode: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/17-debate-presup
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Website: http://cellardoorskeptics.com

Bios: http://wp.me/p6yn1U-1Yp

Links
——
Aaron Furlong
http://proofthatgodexists.org
——
Christopher Tanner
http://www.justinsweh.com/#!debatespresentations/cemp

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2013/08/14/andrews-vs-schieber-2/
http://treesearch.org/debate/summary-giunta-schieber-debate-2014
http://www.apologetics315.com/2013/08/john-frame-interview-transcript.html#more
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Presuppositionalism
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Begging_the_question
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evoscales_01
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01

The Power of Touch, the Immediacy of Presence

For more from David, click HERE

“Life is too sweet and too short to express our affection with just our thumbs. Touch is meant for more than a keyboard.” – Kristin Armstrong

Lamenting the loss of real relationships in light of the focus on social media and technology has become so commonplace, it’s reached that vaunted realm of yesteryear wisdom, a symbol of generational differences rather than a legitimate critique of modern behavior. Such a cultural change is not without fallout, however, as human practices taken for granted are now puzzled about. Living in a world in which “the stranger” has become synonymous with all that is perilous to children and free society, we focus less on how touch can be good or bad and more on avoiding it altogether.

How often is touch fully considered? Attempt keeping a small journal entry, making a mark each and every time an object or a person is touched, no matter how slight. Then start keeping track of personal mood. It’s practically a guarantee of human psychology that the more touch one participates in, however casual it may be and in so long as it isn’t negative, the more positive one’s mood will be. Psychology Today recently did an article on the benefits of human touch, coming up with a list connected with various research, notably that done by Dacher Keltner.

Benefits of human touch:

1. Decreased violence

2. Greater trust between individuals

3. Economic gain

4. Decreased disease and stronger immune system

5. Stronger team dynamics

6. More non-sexual emotional intimacy

7. Greater learning engagement

8. Overall well-being
Continue reading “The Power of Touch, the Immediacy of Presence”

An Open Letter to the Whole Christian World

Here is what I wish I could say to the whole Christian world:

 

Christians, the hour of your deliverance is at hand. My paraphrase of St. Paul is quite intentional: it is he and his awful system that I wish to engage on your behalf. Your freedom depends on a single, simple act. Winning it will be almost effortless, and probably painless as well. All you need do is give close and honest consideration to a single proposition.

 

Rather than tell you outright what that proposition is, I’m going to illustrate it with a passage from a book which you consider to be the perfect, divinely-inspired Word of God. In Numbers 15 we find the story of a man who was caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath. He was brought before Moses, who then consulted God in the matter. God’s judgment was unequivocal: he is guilty – stone him to death (just how God’s voice was perceived by Moses, we are not told). The stick-picker-upper received the very same penalty incurred for being homosexual (Leviticus 20:13) or for being a bride found non-virginal on her wedding night (Deuteronomy 22) or for being accused of witchcraft (Exodus 22:18) or for being disobedient to one’s parents (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Note: he received this penalty from the creator of a hundred billion galaxies, each of which contains a hundred billion stars (I’m rounding for convenience), orbited by uncountable billions of planets. Such a creator levied the death penalty against a man who was “guilty” of picking up sticks on the Sabbath. Does anything seem slightly askew in this picture?

Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Whole Christian World”

Moving the Values of Myth: A Reflection on Easter

© David Teachout

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From moment to moment, our lives can embody any of the multiplicity of purposes that we can identify with. The stories we tell, from socially created myths to benign exaggerations expressed to friends and colleagues, project the particular purpose we want to make front and center. This can be due to a desire to express an idea to another or to make sure we’re on the same track we first set out upon. Whatever that purpose is, the values that come along for the ride, both in the telling and the type of story chosen, do so in the form the story takes. Thankfully stories are more than single-use thought-devices, else we would never be able to reuse them or get something new regardless of repetition. Because of a shared human experience, we are able to remember lessons imparted through literature or voice because they continue to resonate with new situations. Importantly, this allows us to determine whether the form the value took before is how we’d like it to continue. Take the example of a father telling a joke, a form of story, about how he’d scare his daughter’s date with shotgun in hand. The value on hand is paternal care, a value most of us hold in some fashion and have no problem promoting. However, the form it takes in the joke makes that value so prominent that it overshadows any other, for instance respect and personal integrity. As time has gone on the joke is no longer the best form to express paternal care, precisely because the values of respect and integrity have increased in significance in association with that situation. Consider it like a movable hierarchy, where the original story form presented paternal care at the top of the pyramid and respect and integrity being derived and below it. It’s not that respect and integrity didn’t exist, it’s just that rather than being equal, they were subservient to the form of paternal care being presented.

 

I know of no situation where a person’s values have utterly disappeared, though certainly they will rise and fall in conscious consideration as time and experience go by. I grew up with stories, my father sending me and my siblings to sleep with short made-up stories that imparted humor or whatever lesson he’d considered that day. I am also a voracious reader and, like the bed-time stories the form they take has changed over the years. There came a point when the bedtime stories stopped and simplistic fiction no longer sufficed. I still held the same values of honesty and valor, dedication to an ideal and perseverance in the face of adversity, but the way those values stood in form had become more complicated. For others the original form no longer made any sense.
Continue reading “Moving the Values of Myth: A Reflection on Easter”

For the Sake of Your Children…

I begin this entry with a metaphor that I recognize as clumsy but that seems to be the best I can muster: sometimes when I’m thinking about my 30-year-old son Jim, my mind does something that I could almost describe as throwing up two projection screens side-by-side before its own gaze. On one of those screens I view vignettes from the years that Jim and I have known each other and spent together. On the other I view snippets of my own childhood and the role my father played in it. Those two sets of vignettes always present themselves in such a way as to suggest complementarity and invite comparison. It’s invariably a cathartic experience, as deeply honest moments almost always are. I never fail to emerge from such experiences sobered by the resulting insights and wrung-out from the effort that the attaining of them cost me.

 

The relationship that Jim and I enjoy is thoroughly good. We have the deepest respect and admiration for each other. We understand each other on a level that I think might be far rarer among parents and their children than one might wish, and our conversations are accordingly deep and meaningful. Despite his having avoided some of my mistakes and charted a more reasonable and promising course in life than I ever did, we’re very much alike in many ways: we’re both possessed of a native curiosity that drives us to distraction and gives us no peace; we’re both musically talented and we both love language (these two traits are often bound up together); we both derive great joy from writing and from reading what others have written; we’re both pretty well aware of the way the big game is played and have equal (although not always openly-expressed) contempt for the “playas” and we both recognize how hopeless the human condition is; we both have a well-developed sense of irony, which is another name for a sense of humor; we’re both adept at sarcasm, but we tend to be restrained in its use by our humane instincts – which we also share. We both have a finely-calibrated ethical sense. We’re both atheists, but he wears his atheism much more lightly and comfortably than I do mine, probably because unlike me, he didn’t have to fight his way to it. And when I look at him I see the man I might have become had my relationship with my father been like Jim’s with me.
Continue reading “For the Sake of Your Children…”

A Letter from the Editor

Recently a response from a dear friend of mine made its way through one of the many channels of social media and rightly states a case for introspection within our community –  a self analysis, an understanding of opposition perspective, and – most importantly – a change if deemed necessary; to refuse change would be to act with an ideology akin to what we regularly rally to ridicule and weaken.

 

The entirety of the response can be found immediately below and is being reproduced with complete consent of its author- once again, someone I respect highly and genuinely value in perspective and friendship.

 

“I found this to be an interesting article regarding Atheists. What illuminated for me was this quote, “I, for one, would just like to be able to express my views in an intelligent and heart-felt way without fear of reprisals, shunned, or otherwise being looked at as an abomination just because I do not believe in God” My assumption is the author is referring to his/her frustrations with theists when presenting his/her convictions regarding God, gods, or the lack thereof. The author emphasizes a desire for acceptance, but does not find it with theists, particularly Christians.“

 

“What strikes me about this is that the exact same sentiment is shared by Christians regarding Atheists by changing the phrase to “….because I do believe in God.” Often, the narrative of Atheists contains a tone of hubris and the assumption of undisputable intellectual high ground, while offensively attacking religion. Consider these titles from Atheist Analysis: “Ignorance Loves Ignorance, the Religious Wall Around You” , “Christianity Isn’t Irrational… It’s Worse Than That.” In my opinion, the berating tones of these titles alone quickly discredits the individual and the view they’re presenting. I make no excuse for the Christian who can’t speak truth in love, however, I believe some in the Atheist community need to apply some introspection and identify their own hypocrisy to build credibility amongst other communities in order to open a more diverse dialogue regarding the quest for truth.”

 

I agree with the majority of the message here, that we are only going to create a secular state, one of equality and hegemony, if we truly respect the thoughts and positions of those we do not agree with, on philosophical terms or otherwise, and are willing to protect their basic human rights as they would ours.  Applying the golden rule, we have to act as we would wish the rest of world to treat us.
Continue reading “A Letter from the Editor”

Divine Causation Results In An Absence Of Meaning

Mockery is easy, particularly when presented ideas are so clearly farcical. There exists so many examples of religious absurdity, from declarations of the end of the world to seeing Jesus on a piece of toast, that poking fun and snorting with laughter has become a past-time akin to baseball for some. Unfortunately for the practice of mockery, it offers little help for any form of engagement to result in an increased understanding. Perhaps expanded understanding isn’t the goal and, forgetting the silliness of their own childhood beliefs, the simplistic humor of mockery serves as a protestation of distance, each joke a declaration that “I am not like him.”

 

Recently having watched the movie “Fury,” a scene plays out when one soldier asks another why the Germans haven’t given up as they are so clearly beaten. The other soldier looks at the questioner and asks: “Would you?” Whether it’s nationalistic pride or ideological allegiance, there’s a level of safety being sought in both, an identification with something bigger than one’s self. In issues of meaning and purpose, this identification can take on a great deal of weight, scrambling to hold onto it even as the mental fingernails scrape and break over the gravel of reality. So it is with Divine action, there exists a social confluence of potential mockery and abject devotion to a belief.
Continue reading “Divine Causation Results In An Absence Of Meaning”