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

  • Recent Posts
Author Details
I am a freelance writer and podcaster. I attended Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, where I majored in Journalism. My interests are many and diverse; they include investigative reporting, science, philosophy, history, and pop culture analysis. My motivation in writing and podcasting is to contribute what I can to the promotion of critical thinking among the public. My goal is to use my journalism training to be active in the secular humanist movement, helping more people come to an appreciation of philosophy and history, and analyzing dubious but popularly-believed claims involving the supernatural, the paranormal and religion.
  • Website_ Episode #022 Changing Our Myths (feat. Marissa Alexa McCool)
    #022: Changing Our Myths (feat. Marissa Alexa McCool) | A Leap of Doubt

    On this episode, I speak with my friend and LGBTQ-rights activist and speaker Marissa Alexa McCool. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with three degrees in English, Anthropology, and Cinema & Media Studies. She hosts multiple podcasts, including The Inciting Incident Podcast, The Cis Are Getting Out of Hand, and We Too – Our Stories, and in the space of two years has authored six books with a seventh in the works, including two novels. She won a 2014 Keystone Award for Excellence in Journalism and co-founded The Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative with Callie Wright in 2017. According to her website, Marissa “tends to blend her theatrical background and fiery passion for atheism, humanist and secular values, and intersectionality.”

  • Website_ Episode #021_ The Good Place and Philosophy
    #021: The Good Place and Philosophy | A Leap of Doubt

    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.

  • Episode-020_-Zerin-Firoze-Ex-Muslim-Atheist-and-Asylum-Seeker
    #020: Zerin Firoze, Ex-Muslim Atheist and Asylum Seeker | A Leap of Doubt

    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.

  • Website_ EPISODE 19_ EMPATHY, ENGINEERING, AND FEMINISM
    #019: Empathy, Feminism, and Mechanical Engineering (feat. Sarah Nicholson) | A Leap of Doubt

    In this episode, we tackle the issue of sexism in STEM education, both in the past and in the present, and the important yet seemingly counter-intuitive roles emotional intelligence and empathy play in the way scientists, technologists, and engineers design and build for people. My guest for this episode is Sarah Nicholson, who has recently graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. She is also a freelance graphic designer and activist who writes and speaks about feminism, environmentalism, and emotional intelligence. Fun fact: Sarah is also the one who designed the image graphic and logo for this podcast.

  • Website_ EPISODE 18_ UNPACKING JORDAN PETERSON
    #018: Unpacking Jordan Peterson (feat. Tylor Lovins) | A Leap of Doubt

    On this episode, I am joined by Tylor Lovins to discuss the work of Jordan B. Peterson, the controversial clinical psychologist who has in the last two years become something of an academic rockstar. Our discussion mainly focuses on Peterson’s theological and philosophical claims as we try to unpack the complicated and often controversial ideas and concepts Peterson presents in his writings and online lectures and interviews.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply