Objectively Dan is the host of Truth Wanted, a call-in talk show that’s part of the Atheist Community of Austin.Truth Wanted focuses on how and why people believe what they believe – and how we can talk about beliefs in more effective ways – whether it’s karma or Christ, Bigfoot or crystals.
In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”
Sentientism is “evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” The audio is on our Podcast: https://apple.co/391khQO & https://anchor.fm/sentientism.
- Dan “coming out” as #vegan during Jamie’s co-hosting of Truth Wanted
03:08 Dan’s Intro
- Listen to Truth Wanted! Is space real? Are there bug creatures on Mars?
- “Americans in particular – not super great at the whole #epistemology stuff”
05:07 What’s Real?
- Growing up #Methodist , then switching to a #baptistchurch
- Community more than theology “your parents went to church so you went to church”
- “I did believe”
- doing evangelical ministry
- Being baptised twice!
- Talking to @Anthony Magnabosco of @Street Epistemology “It was a stepping stone on a journey… I was already deconstructing”
- “This faith thing doesn’t really make sense”
- Being an “igtheist” (basically an atheist) and a #Sentientist
- @Being Reasonable ‘s Mark Solomon
- The Bible “doesn’t really stack up.” Progressive Xtian & Xtian mystic phases
- Reading @Sam Harris
- “I was definitely homophobic… transphobic growing up”. “My Christian faith told me it wasn’t right, it wasn’t natural”
- “When you have a naturalist worldview it’s harder to be homophobic”
- Changing ethics & politics: abortion, immigration
- “Christianity was all I knew… I didn’t understand how to be a good person outside of Christianity”
- Struggles of leaving Xtianity. Lacking community (no @Secular Student Alliance in Waco) “that was tough”
- “There would be more athiests if it was more normal”
- Atheists within religious communities
- Selective dogmatism: #Qanon , #antivaxx , #goop products, #homeopathy
- “#cognitivedissonance is a bitch”
- “When you don’t have someone who is actively challenging what you think you can just think what you want”
- “Churches aren’t places for critical thinking”
- #epistemology #fideism #dogma
- Hebrews 11: “faith is the evidence of things not seen” enables any arbitrary belief
- Most Xtian apologists & QAnon people claim to believe based on evidence & reason
- “A #vegan sense of #ethics made sense”… talking to callers, reading books! “This was a blind spot for me”
34:09 What Matters?
- Does #naturalism make it harder to have bad ethics?
- Xtianity: “humans are fundamentally broken & sinful”
- “Sometimes gods way is different… that is how you get people to do atrocious things”
- Cognitive overload blocks people from changing “so many questions”
- “Religion came after people… it’s completely a human construct”
- Morality as a human construct, but with pre-human roots?
- God commanding Abraham to kill his son
- “Hell definitely scared me.” The trauma of leaving religion
- Friends “who suddenly dropped me” for leaving Xtianity “they never talked to me again”
- If your whole community disagrees with you “You might just fold”
- Church fund-raising for gay #conversiontherapy : “I can’t even go here any more”
- The “hyper-rationalist” culture in some #atheist communities
47:07 Who Matters?
- Vegans calling in to Truth Wanted & adopting a cat
- Feeding live mice to a snake
- “Why do human beings prioritise the lives of some animals over others”
- Growing up around ranches & learning about #factoryfarming
- “It just started to not make sense… I’ve gotta do it”
- “I’m the only host at the ACA that is vegan… I’m frustrated… It’s a serious blind-spot [in Atheist movements]… the conversations aren’t even happening”
- Going vegan “felt like I was coming out as an atheist all over again”
- Atheists & vegans being annoying is irrelevant to the arguments
- “I was super nervous talking about veganism at first”
- Atheists with bad reasons for being atheists & vegans with weaker reasons for being vegan (nutrition, purity, environment, spiritual)
- Does confidence on one topic spill over into others?
- Dangers of righteously motivated reasoning in veganism & atheism
- Vegan emotional appeals often aren’t sufficient for many in the atheist world
- “Sentientism [& veganism) is ‘out there’ for most of the world” – it’s going to get scrutiny
- Considering edge cases in bad or good faith (being vegan on Twitter )
- “Veganism is a complicated topic… we pretend that it’s simple”
- “People are afraid… because of the radical implications”
- “I put #Sentientist in my twitter bio” #sentience
- #PeterSinger & equal consideration of interests
- “It’s easier to convince people [that animals have interests] than this idea of sentience” to avoid the confusion around consciousness
- #MelanieJoy & #Carnism
- Can insentient entities like thermostats have “interests”? (no)
- #Panpsychism, #freewill & #determinism
01:09:34 A Better Future?
- How can we get atheist/#secular /#humanist /#skeptic /#rationalist communities to get serious about non-human sentient animal ethics?
- #richarddawkins ‘ comments on Sentientism
- @CosmicSkeptic & @Genetically Modified Skeptic going vegan & getting push-back “that was a big disappointment”
- “I still hesitate talking about it [veganism]”
- Having broad interests “helps normalise it…” vs. “veganism is your whole identity”
- Sentientism drives compassionate, non-discriminatory intra-human ethics, not just our concern for non-human animals
- Wild animal suffering “veganism doesn’t say much about what goes on in the wild”
- “Socrates… was totally cool with people being owned as slaves” & sexism
- “It’s easy to feel like we’re losing… but there are battles that weren’t happening before”
- “Eastern philosophy has a more robust understanding of animal ethics… in the west ‘this is the new hot thing that matters'”
- American politics, #antisemitism & #kanyewest
- “Have hope… don’t give up the podcasts!”
Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info.
Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on Facebook.