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Brainstorm Podcast

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Nov 17, 2015

Episode 33

Woo Report

Lanka is a member of a group of AIDS denialists that holds the view that no viruses exist, the disease cause. AIDS was not caused by a virus, but AIDS is a superfluous invention to open up new markets for the chemotherapy. 

Religious Nuttery

Faith-Healing, Child-Killing Christian Parents Will Finally Go to Prison


Skepticism 101
what does it mean to be a skeptic? What is skepticism and how do we do it?

Skepticism in the sense that we use it means using critical thinking, and reason to determine the validity of a claim
Quite often this gets mistaken  for cynicism or flat out incredulity. However a skeptic will accept evidence and change their mind when the burden of proof has been met.

What do we mean by evidence?

It should be testable and reproducible and depending on the subject published in peer reviewed high impact journals. We’ll go further into what that means in an upcoming segment of Skepticism 101

Why is there a skeptical movement?

The Skeptic movement is and attempt by those who trust the scientific method and empirical evidence to spread that trust and to educate the public on what that means. Not just the positive side of science but also the flaws and where we can fix them. Quite often there is a disconnect between what people think is real because of their own experience and what can be shown to be real based on facts, logic and evidence. The job of the skeptic movement is to reconnect people to science in a way that not only helps them trust the method but those who employ it as well as to help people understand it.

So what are a few examples of topics that fall within the scope of skepticism?
to my view  : 

  • Religion
  • The supernatural
  • Health practices
  • Farming methods
  • Conspiracy theories
  • and anything that claims to be scientific

Skepticism and the scientific method is a very broad subject, that’s why there are specialties. Some people stick to the health industry and alt med practitioners. Some prefer ag science and food information. Some people prefer to discuss monsters and creatures as of yet unproven. Some go for ghosts and some go for psychics. Pretty much, if you can think of it then there a skeptic for it.

Atheism For Dummies
For starters, what is an atheist?

An atheist is someone who, quite simply, doesn’t believe in god or gods. Often for lack of evidence or a good reason. Not all atheists are atheists for that reason however. Quite often people are atheistic because of something about religion that they disagree with, or as a rebellion, or simply because they were never raised to believe in a god or gods. My own opinion is that rejection or ignorance of religion isn’t by its own merit a good enough reason to not believe in god. I think that one needs to use that as a takeoff point and delve deeper into the evidence and reasons for belief or lack of belief. For me, atheism and skepticism are intertwined because good skepticism leads one to reject the claims made by people who have faith in a god or gods.


What is an agnostic?

There is a little bit of contention on this subject and but I think it goes something like this. Agnosticism is about knowledge. Nearly everyone should be agnostic about certain things, an example could be that a being outside of the knowable universe created our universe and then left it to its own devices. It’s not really possible to know whether or not that is a true statement and as such we can all be agnostic about that. I’m personally of the opinion that we don’t have to be agnostic about the claims of religion because those claims directly intersect with the known universe and quite often contradict the things we know to be true. An example of this would be the virgin birth of Jesus. Virgins can’t have babies and so the bible contradicts what we know about the universe. Some people think that the idea of god doing magic and placing a baby into Mary is a good explanation but we know that all things that can happen within the universe are natural occurrences with natural explanations and so the explanation of “god did it” isn’t satisfactory. Things that go against the natural laws of the universe don’t happen and if god were able to interact with the universe then it too would be subject to those laws.


What is atheist activism and why is there a movement?

How is it different from the skeptical movement?

Main topic
Election on Monday. Parties, promises and potential consequences

Misc. Topics