Episode Archive for June 2015

Bangladeshi Blogger Asif Mohiuddin: Attacked, Imprisoned, and Undeterred

June 29, 2015

This week we welcome Bangladeshi atheist blogger and social activist, Asif Mohiuddin, for a special episode of Point of Inquiry, recorded before a live audience at the Center for Inquiry’s Reason for Change conference. His is a harrowing and deeply inspiring story of courage.

Mohiuddin is among the many secularist bloggers in Bangladesh who have been targeted for death by Islamic extremists, and several attempts have been made on his life. (He was a friend and colleague of Avijit Roy, who was murdered when he visited Dhaka in February.) Rather than provide him protection from those trying…

Richard Dawkins: LIVE at the Reason for Change Conference

June 22, 2015

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes Richard Dawkins for a special episode recorded before a live audience at the Center for Inquiry’s Reason for Change conference in Buffalo, New York on June 13, 2015. Dawkins is easily one of the world’s most influential and controversial scientists; a pioneer in evolutionary biology, science communication, and the public visibility of atheists. He is the author of several bestselling books including The Selfish Gene, The God Delusion, and Unweaving the Rainbow, and he is founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

Dawkins is joined by Point of…

Overwhelmed by Celebrity Culture, with Tim Caulfield

June 15, 2015

Celebrities have always played an oversized role in our culture, and there’s nothing new about them using their star power to endorse ideas or products. But we now live in a time in which mass media consumption is greater than ever before, and the celebrities we revere are now at our fingertips, often only tweet away. This constant bombardment of celebrity culture is proving to have a greater impact on how we live our lives than we may even realize. Even if you aim to ignore celebrity endorsement, the ripple effects in our hyper-connected world are often unavoidable.

Anti-Abortion Terrorism and Free Speech, with David Cohen

June 08, 2015

Opponents of abortion have been largely successful in wielding the First Amendment in their fight to protest abortion providers and patients, and according to this week’s guest, this freedom has too often resulted in the terrorization and harassment of providers who are forced to live each day fearing for their lives. Few realize just how dangerous it is to be a doctor who preforms abortion procedures, who often feel that they have no choice but to wear bulletproof vests or carry a firearm for protection.

David Cohen is associate professor at the Drexel University of Law and…

The Benefits of Religion Without the Belief, with Jeff Rasely

June 01, 2015

Religion is a very comforting aspect of many people’s lives, providing a community of like-minded individuals, as well as more than a little nostalgia. But even within the same faith groups, one can almost always find tension over theological technicalities.

This week on Point of Inquiry, Jeff Rasely, author of Godless: Living a Valuable Life Beyond Belief, talks about how beliefs tend to leave people divided, whereas secular values unite. Rasely spent 25 years of his life as a dedicated member of the Presbyterian Church, and even studied to become a minister. As comforting as religious belief…