Episode Archive for December 2014

Christmas Extra: Tom Flynn’s 30th Year of Anti-Clausing

December 25, 2014

Tom Flynn is Executive Director of The Council for Secular Humanism, Editor of Free Inquiry magazine, as well as professional anti-Christmas advocate and author of “The Trouble with Christmas.”

Tom is on his 30th year of being completely Yule free and he’s here to talk about why the rest of us should join him in protesting the holidays.


Greta Christina on Coping with Death, No Afterlife Required

December 22, 2014

Our Guest this week is Greta Christina, popular atheist blogger, speaker and author of several books on atheism including her newest, “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do With God.”

Christina discusses with Lindsay Beyerstein the tendencies we have to avoid and deny death and how it affects our abilities to cope. Christina explains how the concept of an afterlife may actually be failing to prepare people for the end of their lives, and how we can use our humanism and skepticism to find comfort in the midst of mortality and grief.


Frank Schaeffer on Cynicism and Paranoia in the “War on Christmas”

December 16, 2014

Fox News’ “War on Christmas” is already in full swing, as Bill O’Reilly wasted no time jumping into battle this year to defend the holiday from the great secular menace. However, it looks like Bill might be able to leave the trenches a little early this year; according to a new Pew survey, just over 70 percent of Americans believe that Jesus was literally birthed from the womb of a virgin (a staggering percentage considering that only one third of Americans report interpreting the Bible as the literal word of god). The question is why are conservative Christians so…

Ronald A. Lindsay: Why God Can’t Tell Us What to Do

December 08, 2014

Despite the fact that the United States was founded as a secular state, government neutrality toward religion remains a tumultuous and controversial issue—a conversation-stopper in most public policy discussions. This week on the show, Lindsay Beyerstein welcomes Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, the organization responsible for Point of Inquiry. Ron joins us to discuss his just-released book, The Necessity of Secularism: Why God Can’t Tell Us What to Do, in which he explains how the language of secularism is the most ethical and productive language for believers and nonbelievers alike, the missing puzzle…

Deciphering Alan Turing, with Andrew Hodges

December 01, 2014

Alan Turing was a true visionary. Founding what we understand today as computer science, he was also a mathematician, a philosopher, and an early trailblazer for gay equality. Without his genius for codebreaking, the Second World War might have gone in a much darker direction. He saved millions of lives and potentially the world as we know it, yet his efforts for humanity were not enough to spare him the inhuman treatment he received for his sexual orientation.

Andrew Hodges was one of the first people to realize the multifaceted brilliance of Alan Turing, which eventually led…