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

November 27, 2017  

After strategic military loses in Iraq and Syria, is ISIS finished? This week we explore the fallout of the military battles with ISIS and discuss the different views on whether ISIS is finally over or not. We also consider the important issue of ISIS returnees and whether they can be reintegrated into society.

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In this episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we will talk about two major events which happened in Canada and in the Province of Quebec concerning the place of religious symbols and attire in the public and political spheres. We will end this episode by briefly discussing what will happen to ISIS after its loss of Raqqa, the city which was seen as the headquaters of its Caliphate.

 

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In this week's episode, we continue our discussion of recent terror attacks through the lens of propaganda used by IS and other jihadist groups or sympathizers. We try to understand the impact of terror propaganda on social media plateforms and see how "news" relegated by terrorists and their supporters serve as a way to promote an "alternate" version of events.

 

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In this week's episode, we will discuss three recent terror attacks through the lens of propaganda used by IS and other jihadist groups or sympathizers. What is the impact of this terror propaganda on social media plateforms? How much credibility should be given to "news" relegated by some jihadists channels? In what way does such propaganda provide an alternate version and interpretation of events? 

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In this week's episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we discuss two recent events which happened in the Province of Quebec: a shooting at an Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on January 29th and a bomb threat at Concordia University on March 1st. We try to understand the possible motivations behind such acts and the implications this might have on Quebec society in general.

 

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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".

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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".


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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.

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

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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.

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