The Malcontent’s Gambit

Malcontent's Gambit

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Raising Godless Children: No Indoctrination Required

A significant hurdle secular parents face is deciding how to navigate the religious dogma prevalent in the modern cultural landscape. How do they sidestep the all-too prevalent superstitious psychobabble and raise smart little critical thinkers without achieving what they most want to avoid: indoctrination. Today’s guest, writer Dan Arel, the author of a new book, Parenting Without God – published on August 22nd – will discuss the importance of raising godless children and provide some good advice. Arel is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in SalonAlterNet, The Huffington Post, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, American Atheist Magazine, and many others.

Host of The Malcontent’s Gambit, Alan Litchfield, earned a bachelor’s of science in technical journalism with a minor in anthropology from Oregon State University, and has worked in the graphic arts and communications industry for several years. His podcast, The Malcontent’s Gambit, was awarded the Best Northwest Podcast by the Center For Inquiry-Portland in 2012. Alan is a contributing member of the Center For Inquiry and a coordinator for the Beaverton Atheists.

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From Earth to Multiverse – The Evolving View of Our Cosmos

I’m honored to have Physicist Vic Stenger on the podcast today. Stenger is a retired elementary particle physicist and has written many critically well-received popular books that interface between physics, cosmology, philosophy, religion, and pseudo-science. His new book,God and the Multiverse, tells the evolving story of humanity’s understanding of the universe, from ancient times to the present. The book, and our conversation, starts with the ancient Greeks and progresses from an earth-centered model through a sun-centered model of our solar system, moving through the medieval period and onward into the discoveries of Galileo, Newton and Einstien. We discuss the current understanding of Big Bang cosmology, which posits an initial exponential expansion of matter and energy and the creation of lighter elements, and eventually, the formation of stars and heavier elements. Stenger discusses the merits of the multiverse, and ponders what we might discover in the future. He provides us with a fascinating and informative tour of the cosmos and our understanding of it. Join us while we consider this awe-inspiring journey.

The Christian Bible: A Handbook for the Subjugation of Women

The Old Testament is notorious for its stories of violence, genocide and atrocity condoned by a fictive god. This alleged scripture is especially heinous to women, and the New Testament offers no refuge, as it advocates a subservient role for women and condones Old Testament barbarism. I’ll discuss both the biblical abuse and Christianity’s ongoing threat toward women today with my guest,Annie Laurie Gaylor. Gaylor is co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Our talk features one of Gaylor’s books, Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So, published in 1981, a guide to the Bible’s mistreatment of women.

A False History of the West: The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is holy scripture for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion with more than 15 million adherents. Earl Wunderli, my guest on today’s show, was raised Mormon, but he eventually questioned the truth claims found in the book, prompting him to embark on a study that was meticulous and exhaustive, taking years to finish. He gathered his findings in a work published in 2013 titled, An Imperfect Book: What the Book of Mormon Tells Us about Itself. The results are surprising and interesting. He’ll tell us about the massive, painstaking effort he undertook, what he discovered and what it means to him. Wunderli has degrees in philosophy and law from the University of Utah. Earlier this year, Biblical scholar Dr. Robert Price praised Wunderli’s work in a book review forFree Inquiry, writing, “This may be the most important book yet written about the Latter-day Saint scripture.”

Muslim Apostate: Criticizing Islam Vital for Change

Today I’m talking with a civically active and very public American Muslim apostate, Muhammad Syed, co-founder and director of operations for the Ex-Muslims of North America.The Ex-Muslims of North America’s objectives are providing support and help to ex-Muslims, eradicating the apostasy taboo, and fighting bigotry. The organization is comprised of ex-Muslim non-theists primarily located in or from North America, with various ethnicities and nationalities participating. Syed is going to tell us more about the group and fill us in on some interesting details. He’ll also tell us why he became a non-believer in 2007. We’ll also talk about issues relating to ex-Muslims and criticizing Islam, and the recent controversy involving Ayan Hirsi Ali.

Rational Doubt: Researcher Linda LaScola’s Edits a New Blog for Pastors Leaving Faith Behind

Linda LaScola discusses the new blog she’s editing, Rational Doubt, The Clergy Project Blog. She also discusses her collaboration with philosopher Daniel Dennett on a study of non-believing clergy and a 2013 book about that work, Caught in the Pulpit, Leaving Belief Behind. LaScola is a qualitative researcher, and has traveled around the country interviewing people on numerous subjects, including health, mental health, public policy and religion. She been doing this for more than 25 years. LaScola earned a Master of Social Work from The Catholic University. The blog and the book provide unique insight into thoughts and arguments directly from the minds of those who preside in the pulpit – or used to. Both are valuable and informative reading.

Religious Conservatives Wrong on Church Freedoms

Conservative Christians complain that their religious freedoms are under attack partially because women in our country seek to use legal and effective birth control. These methods are included in a larger package of coverage offered in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.