Inquisitive Minds Podcast Critical Thinking on History, Religion, Politics and Culture

This week we continue our discussion about the advent of Donald Trump as president of the U.S. We will once again focus on the content of Trump's inaugural speech and say a few words about the culture of "alternate facts" that has permeated the politics of this new White House administration.

00:0000:00

This week we discuss the advent of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America. Many were surprised and shocked to hear that he had won the election and still really wonder why people voted for him. In this episode, we will try to understand the implications of this election for the American people and the rest of the world. We will end with a few remarks concerning the religious content of the inauguration and Trump's speech.

 

00:0000:00
* Please note that our next episode will be on Monday, November 28th, 2016.
 
In this week's episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we look at how education can play a significant role in preventing religious radicalization leading to violence. The type of education needed should equip students to discern between what is mythological and what is historical; students essentially need to acquire critical thinking skills in order to protect themselves against fundamentalism. A lack of critical thinking about religion is precisely what can lead to radicalization. Students, therefore, should not be given religious education in high school or in college - this should rather be the role of religious communities - but rather, students should be taught about religion from historical, comparative, anthropological, social, and cognitive perspectives.

 

00:0000:00
In the next two podcasts, we discuss some aspects of a recent conference entitled: Assaulting Cultural Heritage: ISIS's Fight to Destroy Diversity in Iraq and Syria. The event was organized by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and was held at Concordia University on September 25-26, 2016. These episodes will focus on a paper given during the first panel of the conference on ISIS and the Intellectual Roots of Assaulting Cultural Heritage.

00:0000:00
This last episode on Whitmarsh's Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World focuses on atheism in the Roman Empire. The rise of Rome brought with it the belief that the Empire's existence was the result of a divine mandate. Some opposing voices were raised against this idea of divine providence. Atheistic arguments circulated through various doxographies written mostly by people opposing non-believers. These texts give us insight into how disbelievers argued somewhat successfully against theistic perspectives. As Rome embraced Christianity, rulers such as Theodosius I (379-395 CE) established that it was now insufficient to simply adopt the right religion; one also needed to adhere to the right theological position on the right religion. Codex Theodosianus goes as far as treating "heresy" (which was now clearly understood as an incorrect theological position) as crime against the state. According to this law, "any crime committed against divine religion is treated as an aggression against everyone".

00:0000:00

In this third episode dedicated to Tim Whitmarsh's book, Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World, we review his section on the Hellenistic Era where kings were sometimes worshiped as "gods". Some philosophers, however, were skeptical of such ideas and adopted an agnostic position toward the existence of gods. Epicureans, on the other hand,believed in gods but not in their involvement in the world, and since the gods were different in matter and not part of this world, they even thought that there existed a plurality of universes; a concept similar to what is now referred to as "multiverse".


00:0000:00
We continue our discussion of Whitmarsh's Battling the the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World. The second part of his book deals with the atheism in Classical Athens (5th-4th centuries BCE). In this episode, some important figures of that time period such as Thucydides (author of the Peloponnesian War), Protagoras, Democritus, Aristophanes, Euripides, Plato, as well as Anaxagoras, Diogoras of Melos, Socrates, and Theodorus of Cyrene and their impact on atheistic thought are reviewed.

00:0000:00

This is special episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast on the terror attacks which happened earlier today (March 22, 2016) in Brussels, Belgium.

00:0000:00
This week, we start a series of podcasts discussing Tim Whitmarsh's, Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World. In this episode we will discuss how the ancient Greek world differentiated between the sacred and the profane, despite the fact that people embraced polytheism. We will also note that Greeks did not consider their texts as sacred, certainly not in the sense Jews, Christians and Muslims understand their own scriptures. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were not sacred texts even if they are comprised of divine characters; these are rather to be understood as myth. We will end our podcast with an important note on the concept of "mimesis" and how such a practice could be understood as a "battle with the gods" (theomachy), a way to contest their very existence.

00:0000:00
In this week's episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we share our thoughts about the recent terror attacks which happened last November in France. We discuss the mechanisms of radicalization, the place of religion in violent extremism, the issue of reform in Islam, the role of the Canadian government in the fight against ISIS, the current refugee crisis, the complex geopolitical situation of the Middle East and several other topics.

00:0000:00

- Older Posts »