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]

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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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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.

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

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