On this episode, I speak with Zerin Firoze, a courageous young woman and ex-Muslim from Bangladesh, a country where many atheist and agnostic bloggers have been murdered by fundamentalist Muslims in recent years. She is currently living in the US as an asylum-seeker and describes herself as an atheist, feminist, NASA geek, and aspiring doctor.
Zerin has talked and written about her transition from Muslim to atheist feminist in other places. From a young age, she started questioning the Islamic faith of her community and school. When she first learned in school about the Battle of Badr, fought by Muhammad in 624 CE against the Pagan tribes of Mecca, she started to think about how morally backwards it is to praise the exploits of a religious warrior spreading his religious dogma by the sword. As an apostate in Bangladesh, boldly and openly taking the “leap of doubt” after being exposed to information on the Internet critical of Islam, she faced death threats from the same people who murdered atheist bloggers in that country who made themselves even more visible.
In our discussion on this episode, Zerin talks about her day-to-day life in the US as an asylum seeker and full-time nursing student, how she has managed the transition from one culture to another, and how that process has shaped who she is today and her love of science, medicine, and progressive humanist values.
Zerin M. Firoze, “Journey of a Bangladeshi Woman from Islam to Atheism,” Faithless Feminist, https://faithlessfeminist.com/blog-posts/journey-bangladeshi-woman-islam-atheism/
Zerin M. Firoze, “Journey of an Ex-Muslim Atheist from Bangladesh to the USA,” Faithless Feminist, https://faithlessfeminist.com/blog-posts/journey-ex-muslim-atheist-bangladesh-usa/
Zerin Firoze at the American Atheists 2017 National Convention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93h0fO78Gcw
This week’s shout-out: Guy P. Harrison, author of the new book “At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life” (https://tinyurl.com/y7qgmfys).
Check out the interview I did with Guy last year on the Trolling with Logic podcast: http://www.trollingwithlogic.com/055-race-even-real-guy-p-harrison/
Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt
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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.
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In this episode, there is plenty for us to doubt, because we’re talking about philosophy of mind with some moral and ethical philosophy thrown in like sprinkles on top. In what may well become a recurring theme on this podcast, we’re doing another philosophical deep-dive into a television series. This week, we’re analyzing HBO’s Westworld, a cerebral, high-concept series which explores the emergence of artificial consciousness in a theme park modeled after the American Old West and populated by highly sophisticated robots that look and act just like humans from that era.
In this episode, we are applying our doubts and critical thinking toward the myth of “alternative facts” and other lies and fictions of our day that has infected our democracy, ushered in a post-fact era and the digital misinformation age, and helped propel Donald Trump into the White House. My guest for this episode, Nathan Bomey, the author of a new book titled After the Fact: The Erosion of Truth and the Inevitable Rise of Donald Trump. Nathan Bomey is an award-winning business reporter for USA Today, and previously a reporter for the Detroit Free Press.
In this episode I welcome David Madison as my special guest. He is a former Christian minister who is now an outspoken atheist, author of the 2016 book Ten Tough Problems in Christian Thought and Belief. He earned a PhD in Biblical Studies from Boston University School of Theology in 1975 and for nearly a decade served as pastor for two liberal congregations in Massachusetts. His lifelong interest in the Bible was eventually overshadowed by the kind of skepticism that an impartial consideration of serious historical and textual scholarship tends to foster. David joins me to discuss his transition from devout Christian minister to the vocal atheist and formidable critic of Christianity he is today, as well as to discuss a handful of the most devastating problems Christianity has tried and failed to answer.
This week I am very excited to bring you an interview with Karen L. Garst, PhD. She writes for the Faithless Feminist blog and website and is the editor of the book Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion(published in 2016). She has also edited a new book which has just been published, titled Women v. Religion: The Case against Faith – and for Freedom. She joins me on this episode to talk about the intersection of atheism and women’s rights and to make the case that religion is the last cultural barrier to gender equality.
My guest on this episode is Dr. Abby Hafer. She holds a doctorate in zoology from Oxford University and teaches human anatomy and physiology at Curry College. She is the author of the 2015 book The Not-So-Intelligent Designer—Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not.