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Website_ Episode #021_ The Good Place and Philosophy

#021: The Good Place and Philosophy | A Leap of Doubt

Welcome to this week’s episode. Everything is fine. In this episode, I am joined by my good friends Aaron Rabi and Bethany Futrell to discuss NBC’s The Good Place, a show which is a testament to the fact that sitcoms can actually be philosophically robust and make people think deeply about morality and ethics. Who knew? Created by Michael Schur, The Good Place is a fantasy-comedy that explicitly incorporates ideas and concepts from moral and ethical philosophy via the narrative vehicle of a story about a group of people who die and find themselves in an afterlife.

In our conversation, Aaron, Bethany and I discuss moral contractualism, utilitarianism, the famous trolley problem, the moral and ethical implications and consequences of existential crises, the role of moral luck in the lives and actions of the show’s characters, whether or not eternal beings are capable of human morality as we know it, whether it’s morally justifiable to kill sentient A.I in order to upgrade their capabilities, and finally, the question of moral valence and why Aaron is ready and willing to pass moral judgment on Bethany for eating a banana for lunch. We also speculate on possible future directions for the show. Will we get our wish and get to see Jason Mendoza throw a Molotov cocktail at God?

Links:

Aaron Rabi’s podcast “Embrace the Void”: https://voidpod.com/

“Embrace the Void” on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ETVPod

Aaron Rabi’s other podcast “Philosophers in Space”: https://0gphilosophy.libsyn.com/

Bethany Futrell’s “She Talks Atheism” podcast: https://www.patreon.com/SheTalksAtheism and https://twitter.com/shetalksatheism.

Thomas Scanlon 2013 lecture on morality and contractualism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXrVyVqqzJ0.

The Trolley Problem Experiment in Real Life by Vsauce: http://thenerdweb.com/trolley-problem-experiment-in-real-life-by-vsauce/

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution

Website_-EPISODE-3_-BLACK-MIRROR-AND-PHILOSOPHY

#003: Black Mirror and Philosophy | A Leap of Doubt

You can blame me, try to shame me, and still I’ll create podcasts for you! And anyone who knows what “Black Mirror” is (which should be everyone) will understand.

This episode is devoted to a deep-dive discussion of some of the philosophical ideas and issues explored in the television series “Black Mirror,” including such meaty areas as the nature of consciousness, the problem of personal identity and its relationship with memory, existentialism, morality and ethics (especially as these relate to the question of retributive justice), and of course technology and the role it plays in our lives.

Joining me for this discussion are two friends of mine, Jeremiah Traeger and Michael Schaffer, who are big fans of the series and whose most interesting contribution to this episode is their heated debate over whether the simulated counterparts of various characters are conscious beings or not. . .

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at https://www.facebook.com/groups/alopdiscussion/

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist

Follow “The Romantic Nihilist” page on Facebook: https://facebook.com/RomanticNihilism/

 

Relevant Links:

Jeremiah Traeger on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jerbivore

The SJW Circle Jerk podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-sjw-circle-jerk

Michael Schaffer’s “Reasonable Risk” podcast: https://twitter.com/ReasonBroker and http://www.reasonableriskpodcast.com

 

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.