Sound Thinking Manager: Scott Stevenson
 Summaries Page
The Enemies of Reason - Richard Dawkins
Posted on 08/24 at 12:10 AM in Video Files   -  Number of comments: 10

In his last Channel 4 series, Root of All Evil?, the evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins explored how organised faith and primitive religious values blight our lives. But the fault line runs deeper even than religion. There are two ways of looking at the world – through faith and superstition or through the rigours of logic, observation and evidence – in other words, through reason. Reason and a respect for evidence are precious commodities, the source of human progress and our safeguard against fundamentalists and those who profit from obscuring the truth. Yet, today, society appears to be retreating from reason. Apparently harmless but utterly irrational belief systems from astrology to New Age mysticism, clairvoyance to alternative health remedies are booming.

Jesus Camp
Posted on 07/14 at 11:30 PM in Video Files   -  Number of comments: 8

Jesus Camp is a 2006 documentary about a charismatic Christian summer camp for children who spend their summers learning and practicing their “prophetic gifts” and being taught that they can “take back America for Christ.”. According to the distributor, it “doesn’t come with any prepackaged point of view” and tries to be “an honest and impartial depiction of one faction of the evangelical Christian community”.

Christopher Hitchens vs. Al Sharpton Debate
Posted on 07/13 at 11:17 PM in Video Files   -  Number of comments: 1

Christopher Hitchens, who is the author of “God Is Not Great”, debates Al Sharpton at the New York Public Library (NYPL) on May 7 2007. ... all » Debate topics include God, religion, and atheism. Debate moderated by Jacob Weisberg of Slate magazine.

“Taking on possibly the greatest issue of our time - the malignant force of religion in the world - Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion through a close and learned reading of the major religious texts, citing numerous historical instances in which sexual repression and outrageous acts of violence have been committed in the name of God. He argues for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.”—from Hitchens’ new book “God Is Not Great - How Religion Poisons Everything”.

The Lost Book of Abraham
Posted on 06/27 at 01:27 PM in Video Files   -  Number of comments: 17

The Book of Abraham is probably the most clear and documented evidence that Joseph Smith had no special ability to translate ancient documents. This has left apologists with the mind numbing task of reinventing the Book of Abraham and Joseph’s translation methods. The response from apologists has been that it wasn’t a literal translation, but a “spiritual translation”. This is an ever increasing trick by apologist. When the evidence doesn’t support the claim, just make the claim more and more broad and vague, despite Joseph’s own description of the process. Once you redefine a literal translation into a “spiritual translation,” you’ve effectively made it unfalsafiable. The problem with making a claim unfalsifiable however, is that you’ve effectivly made it unverafiable and completely meritless. This is the same trick apologists have used to redefine the Book of Mormon because of the total lack of evidence to support it.

Here I Am With President Romney
Posted on 06/25 at 02:16 PM in Audio Files   -  Number of comments: 3

Parody of Allan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”
Lyrics by M. Spaff Sumsion

Guru Busters
Posted on 06/22 at 09:25 PM in Video Files   -  Number of comments: 6

This is a great documentary that may help increase your perspective on religious leaders and the devotion of their followers. Questions often asked by Mormons are “What if you’re wrong?” and “What about all the witnesses testimonies that they never denied?” After watching this ask yourself how worried you are that you might be wrong about Sathya Sai Baba. Isn’t it easy to see that the testimonies about Sathya Sai Baba aren’t credible despite the sincerity of the believer? There are well educated people that believe him. There are people that have abandoned their devotion for Sai Baba and still profess belief in his mystical abilities. Sathya Sai Baba has millions of followers that believe he’s divine. With perspective it’s quite easy to see he’s a fraud and does cheap parlor tricks to produce “holy ash” and trinkets.

There is one warning about this video though. At about 40 minutes into the program the rationalists challenge a faith healer to heal a snake bite in front of the entire village. They take a dog and have a cobra bite it and the faith healer proceeds to try and heal the dog. The dog slowly dies and the faith healer is forced to admit in front of the entire village that he is unable to heal snake bites.

Skepticism and Critical Thinking Vol. 1
Posted on 06/18 at 07:38 PM in Podcasts   -  Number of comments: 0

Thanks to dbradhud for these two great podcasts that everyone should check out.

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe

This is the official podcast of the New England Skeptical Society in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation.

Each week, NESS president Steven Novella fires up Skype and rounds up his Panel of Skeptics to take a skeptical look at recent news and listener questions.  Some weeks he throws in an interview.  Each show has a segment called “Science or Fiction” in which the panel and listeners try to identify a fake news story from among three selections.  A panel member also presents a diabolical puzzle each week.

The podcast does not address religion, but confines itself to secular topics.  The panel has a light, bantering style, which makes for enjoyable listening.

Point of Inquiry

This is the official podcast of the Center for Inquiry, an umbrella organization committed to “science, reason, free inquiry, secularism, and planetary ethics.”
Each week, host D.J. Grothe interviews guests concerning the main subject areas on which CFI focuses:  paranormal and fringe science, religion and society, and alternative and complementary medicine.

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