Author's Greetings

Greetings from Dr. Stephen Frederick Uhl, author of No Gods, No Guilt, the audio version of his autobiographical book, Imagine No Superstition.

[Length 1:14 mins. | File Size = 1.2 MB]

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Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:01pm MST

Introduction

 

Stephen Uhl set aside his childhood beliefs as he left the Roman Catholic priesthood and became a humanist psychologist. In today's ten minute introduction, the author of No Gods, No Guilt shows how this book began as an intimate family letter. Dr. Uhl shares enough of his personal experiences and insights to show how this only life can be a real joy.

[Length 11:00 mins. | File Size = 10.1MB]

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The Chosen One

Stephen Uhl was the sixth child born on the family farm. His older brother was destined to take over the family farm, while his religious mother chose him to head for the altar as a priest. This was to fulfill one of her most precious dreams. So he recognized early in life that he was very special in her eyes; he was her favorite who would one day bring her to her highest joy as the mother of a priest with special supernatural powers.

[Length 12:49 mins. | File Size = 11.8 MB]

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The Road to Agnosticism An insight in Father Stephen Uhl's religious meditation led finally to a complete divorce from Marmion Military Academy and the Catholic Church. This was after some unavoidable hypocrisy while heading for the exit in a responsible fashion. After leaving Marmion, marriage to a fellow teacher made the Ph.D. possible.  Dr. Uhl enjoyed his Suburban Chicago private psychological practice as he helped his clients overcome their guilts and irresponsibilities.

[Length 12:30 mins. | File Size = 11.5MB]

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Why Most People Believe in God

Desperate, helpless, weak, frustrated, fearful...regular humans often want more of the good and less of the bad things in their life than they can get on their own. So they pray  for outside help. Such praying is wishful thinking that often becomes self-hypnosis. And self-hypnosis does, indeed, empower the praying person. With credulous society's approval, the hopeful praying person attributes this (totally natural) power to a Higher Power. The relation between wishful thinking, prayer and hypnosis becomes clear.

[Length 12:55 mins. | File Size = 11.9 MB]

Direct download: NoGodsNoGuilt_04.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00pm MST

Powerful Effectiveness of Fear and Greed

More of the many causes of belief in God: Fear of divine punishment and a  for heavenly happiness make a powerful combination. This stick and carrot combination is so powerful and self-reinforcing for the believer that it becomes addictive and does, indeed, make religion an opiate for hordes of the insecure. Still, religion does a lot of good works--good works that realistically should not need supernatural motivation.

[Length 21:54 mins. | File Size = 20.1 MB]

 

Direct download: NoGodsNoGuilt_05.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:00pm MST

Does God Exist?

Believers need no proof of God's existence. However, they do offer a lot of emotion based "proofs" that fail to survive close analysis. The strongest and most lasting proof of God's existence is/was the causality proof offered by St. Thomas Aquinas. It turns out that this "proof" that the Catholic Church taught for centuries is based squarely on a gratuitous assumption by St. Thomas. In law as in logic, what is gratuitously assumed can be gratuitously denied.

[Length 18:14 mins. | File Size = 16.7 MB]

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Read the Bible The Bible's Book of Genesis states very simply that "In the beginning God created..." Without any to-do God is just presumed, and that's that. Backing up centuries, now join the tired middle eastern camel drivers around the campfire. Trabadours of the various intersecting traveling groups compete to entertain, educate, and boast that 'our heroes and our gods are greater than yours.' Over time, by way of syncretism or a natural synthesis of belief systems, the Jews came to believe that they had only one god and he was the greatest.

[Length 16: 01 mins. | File Size = 14.7 MB]

 

Direct download: NoGodsNoGuilt_07.mp3
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Is Religion harmful to society?

Charles Dickens wrote that missionaries are nuisances that leave places worse than they found them. Mother Theresa seemed to serve the overcrowded slums of Calcutta while forbidding the use of condoms that could have brought real relief. Presidents and dictators abuse their power when they represent their gods. Multitudes of sects, cults, religions brainwash the young and create hateful and murderous divisions in society. Insofar as religion is anti-scientific, it tends to allow mental laziness.

 

[Length 18: 01 mins. | File Size = 17 MB]

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Historic God of wars and divisions

Joshua, King David, Constantine, Mohammad, the Popes of the Crusades, Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Bush and many more got greatly increased killing power by calling on their God. Jihads continue in America as the Eric Rudolphs and the Army of God kill adults and destroy abortion clinics. Some of the thousands of religions split and multiply even further as one side accepts homosexuals and the other insists those disagreeing believers should go to hell. Other old customs hang on and need re-evaluated.

[Length 21:04 mins. | File Size = 19.4 MB]

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Modern young minds polluted by religion

Good teachers instill curiosity about facts; religion teachers demand rote memorization of past beliefs, manipulative catch phrases. The Rosary remains a very powerful tool for the new evangelization of the Catholic Church, so Dr. Uhl gives full details of how to pray the Rosary. The official Roman Ritual makes clear that the Church still believes the devil can take possession of a human being. A more modern young minister teaches youngsters there are dogs in heaven, no toilets though, and 'maybe God has a beard.'

[Length 18 mins. | File Size = 16.5 MB]

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Credulity impedes creative research

Believers who abhor stem cell research and therapeutic cloning insist that a zygote of two or four cells is a human being. This dogmatic stance currently impedes proper funding of researchers who leave U.S. to get foreign funding for their important work. Currently the obstructive conservative stance reflects majority opinion. Galileo, Copernicus and Newton were in small minorities and paid dearly for it. Domestic terror in modern U.S. still obstructs science and human happiness in the name of God.

[Length 20:22 mins. | File Size = 18 MB]

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Chapter five: Guilt and responsibility

Religious guilt and a sense of personal lowliness (without god's grace) undermine self-esteem. A sense of dependency, then, weakens a person's conviction that he is responsible for all of his deliberate actions. Though preachers claim that self-responsibility is a high virtue, they teach that lowly sinners are saved through free grace from God rather than good works. Such a silly stance readily produces the attitude that God will provide for my lowliness and bail me out of my tough spots.

[Length 20:29 mins. | File Size = 19 MB]

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How to protect the children

Parents are powerful in forming youngsters' prejudices (pre-rational judgments). A lie, a piece of misinformation, a superstition, an unreasonable religious mystery, even an outdated family custom planted in the defenseless child's mind as factual is abusive. If every single family tradition is passed on as culture, unimproved, to the children, they will be just as prejudiced and handicapped as the older generation. The most important of the big ten commandments for parents is "Thou shalt not bear false witness."

[Length mins. 20:27 | File Size = 19 MB]

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Chapter six: Faith Can lead to Extremes

St. Paul said faith exceeds all understanding. A half century ago the faith of McCarthyism concluded that "extremism in the defense of virtue is no vice." When such a faith quickly led to the obvious destruction of human rights, people lost their faith in Joe McCarthy's unreason. Religion's much longer traditions cannot be so easily cleansed from society. Watch the articulate Franklin Graham continue the influential messages of his political genius father, Billy Graham. Religion will remain an opiate for many.

[Length 16:33 mins. | File Size = 15 MB]

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Repeated fallacies become believable

You can fool some of the people all of the time, so myths that are repeated often enough can become culturally acceptable. This helps explain how bumper sticker "truths," like "In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God" tend to supernaturalize patriotism. Politicians, following the crowd, appear to accept the popular myths. This often leads to unconstitutional extremes that threaten the Jeffersonian wall of separation of Church and State.

[Length 13:24 mins. | File Size = 12 MB]

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First Amendment to the Constitution

With the thousands of Christian denominations in U.S., there are religious leaders who believe they have divine knowledge that puts them above the civil law and the guidance of natural reason. As some of these teachers of the young pass on supernatural "truths" and non-rational myths, parents and educators take on a greater responsibility to help naive and defenseless youngsters to develop critical thinking skills.

[Length 21:20 mins. | File Size = 20 MB]

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Further extremes that faith can lead to

 

At a conference on miracles that Dr. Uhl participated in, another participant said it was a miracle that only 3,000 persons were killed by the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11/01. If there had been a miracle worker around, couldn't s/he have just given the hijackers an earlier heart attack? It behooves us to realize that a popular president who believes that about anything goes in the name of religious faith could lead religious America away from democracy into theocracy.

[Length 16:22 mins. | File Size = 15 MB]

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We unlearn our prejudices at different rates

 

Some stay stuck in the past honestly, but those who profit from preaching old myths, beliefs and superstitions may deliberately hinder others from developing into independent thinkers so that their old prophets can bring them modern profits. While so many Christians now claim America as their own, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams insisted vehemently that the stable State must remain free from the divisive opinions of religions.

[Length 14:18 mins. | File Size = 13 MB]

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Chapter Seven: Humility is truth, not lowliness

Humans have evolved into very complex thinking animals; it would be the greatest insult to nature to become less the thinker and more the believer in outdated "truths." Truly humble human beings, realizing they do not know all, work diligently to develop scientific knowledge; they voraciously "eat of the (bible forbidden) tree of knowledge (science)." A human can think and be great; he does not have to be great; he can choose to be only potentially a rational animal rather than actually a rational animal.

[Length 18:11 mins. | File Size = 16.8 MB]

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Chapter Eight: Practical Atheism

The ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, made this brief but strong case for there being No Good God: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” These are important questions that beg for thoughtful answers. Try them in situations such as tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, wars, famines, epidemics, childhood cancers, holocausts and other genocides.

[Length 13:07 mins. | File Size = 12 MB]

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Progress Toward Rationalism

Modern meteorology needs no rain god. The modern scientific farmer now harvests about 200 bushels of corn from the same acre where his grandfather harvested less than 40 bushels. With improved educational levels, astrology and polytheism have mostly disappeared from our culture. Monotheists have dropped all the old gods but just one; atheists believe in just one less than the monotheists. How long must it be until we outgrow all supernatural superstitions?

[Length 16:37 mins. | File Size = 15 MB]

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Chapter Nine: Life Without God in the United States

If we were to assume there is no power higher than the power of the clearly functioning human intellect, more of us could join the ranks of Jefferson, Franklin, Einstein, Asimov, Newton, Sagan, Ayn Rand and so many other freethinkers. And if a majority of us were to join such greats, we could enjoy fairer tax legislation, generally increased sense of personal responsibility, and a deeper sense of unity among our citizens. Then the United States would be far better friends with our planetary neighbors.

[Length 15:32 mins. | File Size = 14 MB]

Direct download: NoGodsNoGuilt_22.mp3
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Grossly improved justice system without God

Why should productive persons like Martha Stewart go to jail? Old Testament type of religious revenge says 'punish the sinner.' So our disastrously sick justice system insists that punishment must fit the crime. Reasoned consequences or responsible restitution is what should fit the crime, not revenge, not punishment as such. If non-violent criminals, on probation, were sentenced according to their ability to repay society in accordance with how they had hurt society, we would not have 2,000,000 of our citizens behind bars at an annual cost of about $40,000 each ($80,000,000,000 per year)!

[Length 13:07 mins. | File Size = 10 MB]

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Chapter 10: The Golden Rule

'Treat others as you would reasonably want and expect to be treated if your roles were reversed.' This has a long pre-Christian history, because it works. Reasonable people discovered long ago that we help ourselves best when we help others to long term benefits. This works as it shows a healthy or enlightened selfishness. The atheistic U.S. Constitution, the longest lasting democratic constitution in history, allows the people to rule themselves; and thinking people tend to treat others as they wish to be treated.

[Length 18:04 mins. | File Size = 17 MB]

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Chapter 11: Ten Commandments for the 21st Century

These modern Ten Commandments are based on The Golden Rule. So they can be posted anywhere without violating anyone's conscience or the . Your own reasoned observance of these ten guidelines serves to make our world better for your having lived in it.

[Length 2:18 mins. | File Size = 2 MB]

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Epilogue

This book has so deeply recognized that we all develop at different rates according to our very personal insights that it could have been titled The Book of Tolerance; I hope these differences in our developmental rates and insights will not divide us but will further unite us as we thoughtfully tolerate each other's unique abilities and insights.

[Length 2:19 mins. | File Size = 2 MB]

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Appendix I: The Affirmations of Humanism

The Affirmations of Humanism is a clear statement of the practical principles of humanism. These principles serve as guides to bring out the best in ourselves and others. These principles of secular humanism were distilled out of many decades of thoughtful teaching and writing by the eminent philosophy Professor Paul Kurtz; they summarize very succinctly what it means to be a secular humanist in today's pluralistic world.

[Length 4:05 mins. | File Size = 3.9 MB]

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Appendix II: A Declaration of Progressive Principles and Personal Postscript

These principles spell out how The Golden Rule should be lived in social and political life. They serve as guides for us in our efforts to defend dignity, to strengthen democracy, to promote progress and embrace leadership.

By both word and example, each of us can lead away from stupid, superstitious and shortsighted selfishness to enlightened or smart selfishness that helps everyone make long term progress. "... and the world will be better for this..."

Thanks a lot for your personal help as you enjoy all of this real life with a truly smart selfishness.

Sincerely yours,

Stephen F. Uhl, Ph.D. www.NoGodsNoGuilt.com

[Length 6:49 mins. | File Size = 6.4 MB]

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Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:06pm MST

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