SkepSun #157 (09_27_2015)

On Freethought Radio we hear that the “JESUS Welcomes You To Hawkins” sign is coming down in Hawkins, Texas, that an Arizona city will stop favoring Christian prayers, and that the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department is donating sports memorabilia to FFRF. We also hear from FFRF co-presidents Dan Barker (Annie Laurie Gaylor is traveling this week), how the FFRF is protesting the Pope’s visit to America with full-page ads in several newspapers, plus JFK and Ron Reagan ads on TV. We’ll listen to Kennedy’s 1960 Houston speech in favor of a secular government, and then hear philosopher Daniel Dennett read his Foreword to Dan Barker’s book Life Driven Purpose.

Gordon Bonnet looks at some anti-vax lunacy from Donald Trump in the last Republican Presidential candidate debate and notes how the two MDs competing with Trump for the nomination failed to stand up for reality-based public policy. Is it pandering we’re looking at, or just honest-to-goodness stupidity?

In hour two, could empathy be a bad thing?  Yes, empathy. This is the counter-intuitive thesis of Paul Bloom, professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University. He makes his case that empathy is at the root of a lot of bad decision-making with host, Julia Galef, on the Rationally Speaking podcast.

In between, somewhere, will be musical selections from Cynthia Carle and Tombstone Da Deadman.

Is empathy a bad thing? Half-human, half-Betazoid empath Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation (actress Marina Sirtis)

Can empathy a bad thing? Half-human, half-Betazoid empath Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation (actress Marina Sirtis)

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