Unfettered Thought: the Atheist Show

program date: 
Fri, 08/27/2010

Maire Cullen hosts a pilot edition of "Unfettered Thought: the Atheist Show," for, by and about non-theists, but open to all. Listener calls are welcome. 


 It's good to hear this sort

 It's good to hear this sort of programming on the air, and to have non-belief presented in a context of open and non-confrontational dialogue.

I've finally arrived at a wry acceptance of most people's emotional response to the fact of awareness of their own mortality, which gets expressed as "spirituality" or "religiosity". The former is more personal; the latter is more about being a member of a crowd. Ms. Cullen seems well-aware of these distinctions, and I hope that this program will continue to explore this distinction.

Following on what Sylvia said, I'd characterise myself in the Hitchens mold, someone unforgiving of "bad thinking". I only express it when someone purports to be doing "good thinking" that is not scientific. I'm more or less beyond worrying that anyone else will be offended by my unbelief. Anything that helps to desensitise the religious to the fact of non-belief will be beneficial.

I don't see much of a future in trying to wean people away from their emotional needs for "religiosity" or "spirituality" and just try to discourage the intrusion of religion into the public sphere. I hope this programming will keep the focus on acceptance of people's personal belief and discourage its public projections.

A kinder voice, more representative of most atheists

Maire Cullen's style of presentation is something fresh in the conversation about atheism. There is the ascerbic, hysterical presentation of many YouTubers who seem to hate religion more than they embrace reason. There are atheist intellectuals like Christopher Hitchens, who are erudite and precise in their expression, and who are not so much "militant" as they are unforgiving of bad thinking, but who do not strike bridges to those who find the world of the sharp intellect a little prickly.

The vast majority of us are actually rather ordinary people with concerns for their children, community and careers, and who are perceived as perfectly pleasant until someone finds out we are atheists. Maire Cullen shows a face of atheism that is more representative of most atheists. I think she adds an important voice to the conversation about faith, and I hope the show will continue.


Excellent Show

Are there any plans to continue this show?  This is a great concept and I hope it continues.

Out of Body Experiences

Excellent show. I hope it continues. Regarding the caller discussing out-of-body-experiences; it sounds as if we're getting close to understanding what these are. Research has been done on it and we can even reproduce the experience on demand. The best description that I've heard was "It's when the brain loses sensory feedback from the body and so starts inventing sensations to compensate". There was a good Radiolab on this subject: <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2006/05/05">http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2006/05/05</a>



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