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Beyond Atheism

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Beyond Atheism

Nathan Alexander and Todd Tavares

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The Beyond Atheism Podcast moves beyond questions of God’s existence to ask: what now? What should atheists and other nonreligious people be doing next in a godless world? What does it mean to be an atheist today? Is there an atheist worldview? Is there an atheist politics? Hosted by Nathan Alexander, a historian of atheism and author of Race in a Godless World: Atheism, Race, and Civilization, 1850-1914, and Todd Tavares, a political science scholar and atheist organizer, the podcast asks b ...
 
We are Godless Mom and Mr. Oz Atheist, aka, Courtney and Donovan. We’re world’s apart – Donovan in Australia and Courtney in Canada – but we’re both a part of the mighty British Commonwealth, and that makes us Common Heathens. Common Heathens is a podcast that deals with everything to do with atheism, religion and skepticism.
 
I'm an ex-Hindu Atheist. I started this podcast wanted to talk about a variety of topics related to God, Religion, Faith, Destructive & Nonconstructive Beliefs * Why do you believe there's a God, or many Gods? * What proof have you seen, other than a gut feeling or the need to feel safe knowing that an all-powerful being is watching over us? * What is it about religion that has attracted 7 billion people to one form or the other, when there are so many things wrong with religion - which I wi ...
 
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A new MP3 sermon from Generation Word is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: 22 - Atheism, Agnosticism, Evolution, ch. 13-False Ideologies, "Brace For Impact" Subtitle: Brace For Impact: Prepare Soul Speaker: Galyn Wiemers Broadcaster: Generation Word Event: Teaching Date: 6/27/2022 Length: 65 min.…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Joseph Blankholm, an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of the new book, The Secular Paradox: On the Religiosity of the Not Religious. We talk about his decade-long research project of attending secular events and interviewing se…
 
A new MP3 sermon from Bible Believers Fellowship is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: 306 Who Then Can Be Saved? (Luke 18:18-27) 1 of 2 Subtitle: Expository Study: Luke Speaker: Gregory A. Miller Broadcaster: Bible Believers Fellowship Event: Radio Broadcast Date: 6/19/2022 Bible: Luke 18:18-27; Acts 16:26-31 Length: 2…
 
A new MP3 sermon from Bible Believers Fellowship is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: 024 "One Specific God In Mind" (James 2:19) Our Daily Greg Subtitle: Evidence For God Speaker: Gregory A. Miller Broadcaster: Bible Believers Fellowship Event: Devotional Date: 7/1/2022 Bible: James 2:19; 1 Peter 3:15 Length: 4 min.…
 
A new MP3 sermon from Bible Believers Fellowship is now available on SermonAudio with the following details: Title: 023 "The Argument From Miracles" (John 14:11) Our Daily Greg Subtitle: Evidence For God Speaker: Gregory A. Miller Broadcaster: Bible Believers Fellowship Event: Devotional Date: 6/24/2022 Bible: John 14:11 Length: 4 min.…
 
In this episode, we’re joined by Maddy Goodall, the Humanist Heritage Coordinator for Humanists UK. We talk about her current project outlining the century plus history of humanism in the UK. What follows is a surprising tale of political activism, liberation for women, and the unexpected humanist roots of everyday symbols and objects hiding in pla…
 
In this episode, Todd and Nathan discuss the strange inclusion of “God” in Canada’s constitution. Follow along as Nathan walks through Canada’s history to reveal how and why the otherwise secular Charter of Rights and Freedoms came to recognize the “supremacy of God” in its 1982 preamble. Todd and Nathan consider the significance of these symbolic …
 
In this episode, we’re joined by Dr. Will Gervais, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Brunel University. We learn a bit about evolutionary psychology before finding out what it tells us about why people become atheists and the difference between the reported and observed power of rational thinking. Will also explains how his survey methodology reveal…
 
In this episode, we consider some of the ways the growing nonreligious population will shape future societies. To do so, we’re joined by Dr. Lori Beaman, the Principal Investigator of the Nonreligion in a Complex Future project. We talk about the numerous and sometimes unexpected effects and changes this project has been examining. Listen in to lea…
 
In this episode, Todd and Nathan get personal about death. Atheists still fear death, but don’t have the comfort provided by a belief in an afterlife. They discuss how rational their own fears of death are, how technology might allow us to deny death, and the importance of accepting death as a prerequisite for giving meaning to life. This deep, far…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Mark Solomon, host of the Being Reasonable podcast. We talk to Mark about “street epistemology”: having conversations with people to find out why they believe what they believe. We learn how Mark gets people to question the foundations of their knowledge, and we discuss how this can challenge deeply held (but untru…
 
Ahoy, godless Street Pirates! In this episode we are joined by Evan Clark, the executive director of Atheists United, a growing organization in California. He tells us about how the organization has been changing to meet the needs of the atheist community, including through its innovative Atheist Street Pirates program. It is a great how-to on gett…
 
In this episode, our guest is Emma Park, the new editor of the Freethinker magazine. Join us as we discuss the magazine’s incredible history and its impact on creating a secular society in Britain. Emma talks about the paradox of Britain’s growing nonreligious population and the stubborn persistence of institutions like the monarchy and religious p…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Leigh Eric Schmidt, the Edward C. Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, and the author of a new book, The Church of Saint Thomas Paine: A Religious History of American Secularism. In a far ranging discussion we learn why after his death the eighteen…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Sam McGuire, the National Field Director of American Atheists. She imparts wisdom on how atheists can organize as well as offers resources and opportunities for groups and individuals. We learn a lot about organizing as we talk about her experience with the Southern Maryland Chapter of the Washington Area Secular H…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Eiynah Mohammed-Smith, an author, illustrator and the host of the Polite Conversations podcast. We talk about her time growing up in Saudi Arabia, her break with Islam, her involvement in New Atheism, and her subsequent disillusionment with that movement. Along the way, we talk about Sam Harris, ex-Muslims, hijabs,…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Alison Gill, the Vice President for Legal and Policy with American Atheists. We talk with Alison about her recent work charting the challenges and priorities of nonreligious people in the US today. We find out why she has said that “2021 was the worst state legislative session for civil rights in more than a decade…
 
After almost a year of Beyond Atheism, it is time to take a brief look back to take stock of what we’ve learned so far. In this episode, Nathan and Todd talk about their 10 main takeaways from the podcast, ranging from politics to activism to history. Stick around to hear their reflections on what true atheists can and cannot do. In the bonus conte…
 
As societies become more and more religiously diverse, and more and more nonreligious, secularism takes on greater importance. But what is secularism? In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Jacques Berlinerblau, Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and the author of the new book, Secularis…
 
Sweden is one of the most secular countries in the world. Around half of the population claims to be non-believers; one survey even found that only 18% of Swedes believed in God. But why is this the case? How does Sweden’s history explain its secular nature? To talk about these questions and more, we are joined by Dr. Anton Jansson, an associate pr…
 
Without a God to author morality, does this leave atheists adrift? What is morality, are there absolute moral truths, and how can we know about them? To examine these questions, we are joined by Aaron Rabinowitz, a PhD student in the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, and the host of two podcasts, Embrace the Void and Philosophers in Space. Aaro…
 
Effective secular activism takes on a number of forms and issues, and builds connections across many different – and often unexpected – groups of like-minded people. In this episode, we talk with Monica Miller, the Legal Director and Senior Counsel for the American Humanist Association and an attorney with the Nonhuman Rights Project, and learn how…
 
In this episode we are joined by Dr. Jacqui Frost, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Rice University, to discuss the atheist practice of the Sunday Assembly. Although this burgeoning movement is sometimes referred to as an “Atheist Church,” we learn about what makes these communities different from religious practices. In a wide-ranging conversatio…
 
Christopher Hitchens was perhaps the wittiest and most vibrant of the atheist “Four Horsemen” until his passing in 2011. In addition to religious criticism, over his long career as a writer and journalist, “Hitch” turned his critical pen against many figures, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and even Mother Teresa. But his caree…
 
In the past, critics contended that atheists were simply wrong. Now, however, we have found a critique saying that atheists have overreached in their claims. So says the Notre Dame professor Christian Smith in his new book, Atheist Overreach: What Atheism Can’t Deliver. In this episode, Todd and Nathan respond to the arguments made in Smith’s book …
 
This week’s guest drops some shocking information: not only is religion declining around the globe, but atheists are proving to be more moral than fundamentalist Christians. To discuss how this came to be, we’re joined by Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and the author of several books, including …
 
In this episode, Todd and Nathan talk about the different labels we use to describe ourselves as nonreligious people. Terms like atheist, agnostic, secularist, freethinker, and bright all have specific definitions – but they are also loaded with connotations and carry different social stigmas. What do these terms mean and how should they be underst…
 
Imagine a true believer writing a letter to God. How would they reconcile reality vs. their belief system? I wrote a satirical letter - I wanted to imagine what it would be like, if a True Believer wrote a letter to God, what they would say, and how they would sound while trying to reconcile reality and what's in their own head - their belief syste…
 
Atheism, narrowly defined, is only concerned with the absence of gods. To build a foundation that grounds ethics and morality we need a positive worldview free from dogma and the supernatural. In this episode, we examine one worldview that goes “beyond atheism”: namely, religious naturalism. To discuss this idea, we are joined by Carol Wayne White,…
 
In this episode, we talk with Sarah Levin, the founder of Secular Strategies, a political consulting firm that works with policymakers, lawmakers, and non-profit organizations to be effective champions of secularism in the United States. We discuss her political work – from the grassroots to lobbying to serving on the Democratic National Committee’…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Lucien Greaves, the co-founder and spokesperson of the Satanic Temple. We have a wide-ranging conversation about the founding of the Satanic Temple, their various legal battles for religious neutrality, the Baphomet Statue, Lucien’s appearances on Fox News, Satanic rituals, and the place for atheists in the congreg…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Thomas Lawson, a writer, eulogist, and crematory operator, to talk about his new book, The Secret Clergy Bible. The book reveals some surprising doubts among clergy members in the nineteenth century about the Bible, Jesus, hell, miracles, and religion itself. After discussing the book, we turn toward Tom’s work as …
 
Do certain political views flow from atheism? This is the question we tackle in the podcast, with reference to the slogan, “No Gods, No Masters.” The discussion brings up many reasons to reject the rule of religious authorities. But with no gods and no masters, are there any legitimate authorities for atheists to follow? What does it mean for an au…
 
This episode was inspired by 4 separate interactions I had online - 3 with my friends and 1 on Twitter. The Twitter video I discuss on the show is just one of a million other things that have happened just this week alone, to show that god doesn't do crap, and hasn't done crap, or even raised a damn finger, EVER, to help a single person who is suff…
 
Episode 16: Black Nonbelievers, with Mandisa Thomas In this episode, we talk with Mandisa Thomas, the president and founder of Black Nonbelievers. We discuss her unique journey to atheism, how she created Black Nonbelievers, and how they are building a community to address the needs of Black atheists and others. We also find out, among other things…
 
In this episode, we talk about the “Harm Principle.” This principle claims government should only prohibit actions that harm someone else, and it guides much of our political discussions. We talk about whether this principle is actually valid, with reference to – among other things – littering, polygamy, blasphemy, mask-wearing, and one very evocat…
 
Even in the most secular countries, some regions are very religious while some are more secular. In this episode, Prof. Tina Block takes us through the history of irreligion in the Pacific Northwest, traditionally the region with the lowest church attendance, religious identification, and participation in both the US and Canada. She describes the f…
 
Today we talk about what happens when a government tries to create an atheist society. This was attempted at various times in the brief history of the USSR – with surprising results. To help us understand the Soviets’ campaign against religion, we are joined by Dr. Victoria Smolkin. We discuss the Soviets’ struggle against religion, from building a…
 
In this episode, Nathan and Todd are joined by Dr. Clare Stainthorp, an expert in atheism and freethought in nineteenth-century Britain. We talk about Clare’s exploration of the brief but amazing life of freethinking scientist/poet Constance Naden. We draw links between freethought and radical politics, and also make connections between the way fre…
 
In this episode, Todd and Nathan discuss Nathan’s recent article, “Reading John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty in the Age of ‘Cancel Culture’ and ‘Fake News’.” We discuss Mill’s famous defense of free speech and its limits. Along the way, we talk about the implications for present-day issues like “cancel culture,” Antifa’s answer to hate speech, and reli…
 
In this episode, Nathan and Todd discuss the book, The Seven Types of Atheism, by John Gray. We talk about the seven types and offer comments and criticism along the way. Among the questions we raise are: Must atheists be miserable? Can atheists celebrate Christmas? Is there meaning in life for atheists? It’s not necessary to read the book before l…
 
In this episode, Todd and Nathan talk with Dr. Charles Devellennes about atheism in the French Enlightenment, the recent gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests in France, next year’s French presidential election, and France’s model of secularism. Charles is a Senior Lecturer in Political and Social Thought at the School of Politics and International…
 
In this episode, Todd and Nathan talk with Dr. Greg Sharzer about his new book, Late Escapism and Contemporary Neoliberalism: Alienation, Work and Utopia (Routledge). We talk about religion as a means of escapism, as well secular ways of escaping the current neoliberal moment through things like video games, BTS fandom, DisneyLand, and the alternat…
 
In this episode, Nathan and Todd talk with Dr. Kimberly Hamlin about her new book, Free Thinker: Sex, Suffrage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener. Gardener (1853-1925) lived a fascinating life: she was a freethought lecturer, a world traveler, and a key organizer for women’s suffrage. She was described as the “most potent factor…
 
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