Entries by Nathan Dickey

#030: Westworld and Philosophy (w/ Kimberly Engels and James South)

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.

#029: The Post-Fact Era and the Rise of Trump (w/ Nathan Bomey)

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.

#028: Falsifying Christianity (w/ David Madison)

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.

#027: Women versus Religion (feat. Karen L. Garst, PhD)

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.

#025: Of Apes, Men, and Gods (feat. Hector Garcia, PhD) | A Leap of Doubt

Why has the belief in a single, all-powerful, and dominant male god been so widespread and pervasive throughout human history, and why does it continue to be so influential and intuitive to human beings today? In this episode, I interview Dr. Hector Garcia, a clinical psychologist and author of the 2015 book Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression, to tackle this question. Garcia traces monotheistic religious belief to our primate origins and points to religious differences and our evolved psychology as the common denominator underlying most of the world’s violent conflicts. We talk about religious violence and oppression within the context of Darwinian natural selection and about the ways in which religion is built upon and exploits the human obsession with dominance and submission dynamics and sex.

#024: On Love, Sex, and Dating (feat. Harris O’Malley, aka Dr. NerdLove) | A Leap of Doubt

There are all manner of misconceptions and potentially harmful myths surrounding what women want, what men want, and about how best to navigate romantic relationships, from flirting to dating to long-term relationships. On this episode, I speak with special guest Harris O’Malley, aka Doctor NerdLove, to dive into these issues and set the record straight on the complications and nuances of love, sex, and dating in the 21st century.

#023: On Human Conflict and Progress (feat. Nabila Jamshed) | A Leap of Doubt

Where should we look to find the origins of political violence and crisis? Is political crisis and conflict inevitable? If so, what can we possibly do to improve the human condition and ground a rationale for effecting change in a universe that really is devoid of any ultimate, transcendent meaning? For this week’s episode, I am very excited to welcome Nabila Jamshed as my special guest to talk about these questions and how they bear on the nature of existential crisis in overwhelmingly disastrous times of global confusion and how we might face the world being on fire without being inundated by despair.

#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.”

#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.