SkepSun #106 (08_31_2014)

On this week’s Skeptical Sunday: superstition in Africa and one man trying to do something about it. Award-winning human rights activist Leo Igwe describes how witchcraft accusations are used to prey upon the most vulnerable in African societies on the Reasonable Doubts podcast. Igwe recounts how the study of philosophy emboldened him to speak out against the dangers of superstitious and magical thinking in his home country of Nigeria. Then on the “God thinks like you” segment of Reasonable Doubts, Doctor Professor Luke Galen explains how witch-hunts often begin because of the natural envy felt by members of small communities towards their more successful peers and discusses  a related superstition, fear of “the evil eye.” Galen explains how ‘moral typecasting theory’ might help explain why the human mind is so prone to seeing supernatural agency in both tragic and uplifting events that have strong moral importance. But first, on Freethought Radio, we’ll hear about Dan Barker’s appearance on the Nancy Grace Show and the Vatican’s coddling of a pedophilic priest, then Dan Barker and Anniel Laurie Gaylor honor the birthdays of freethinking baseball great Ted Williams and early feminist activist Frances Wright. They then talk with Matthew Stewart, author of the new book: Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic.

[audio http://dl.dropbox.com/s/b3cauqfkm521cwu/SkepSun_08_31_2014.mp3]
Leo Igwe on the harm done by magical thinking in Africa and Luke Galen on the psychology of witch hunting

Leo Igwe on the harm done by magical thinking in Africa and Luke Galen on the psychology of witch hunting

 

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