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Peter Boghossian and Dave Rubin: Critical Thinking, Atheism, and Faith

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Dave Rubin on Faith and Critical Thinking

The Rubin ReportDec 16 '15

Dave Rubin talks about the role that critical thinking plays in atheism, religion, politics, and more. "Any time you throw reason and fact out the window to trade it with ideas that aren't provable, you create the very breeding ground that extremism needs to spread." Stay tuned for clips from Dave's interview with Peter Boghossian (author and philosophy instructor) coming today 12/16, tomorrow 12/17 and the full interview Friday 12/18.

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TRANSCRIPT FROM THIS 'DIRECT MESSAGE' WITH DAVE RUBIN:

Published on Ora TV on Dec 16th, 2015:

I'd like to believe critical thinking is woven into pretty much everything we do on The Rubin Report, but today's show is going to have an even keener focus on this all encompassing topic. At the end of the day, whether we are talking about politics, religion, or current events, it all boils down to critical thinking, the definition of which is, "the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment." Can we really look at the world the way it truly is, not the way we want it to be? Can we set aside our faith based hopes to analyze real world problems? Or is faith actually part of the problem as opposed to being the solution?Each week, I try to have conversations that exist in this space without resorting to ad hominem attacks and straw man arguments. That guiding principle is fully based in critical thinking and moral reasoning.

Joining me this week is Peter Boghossian -- philosophy instructor, critical thinker, and author of 'A Manual for Creating Atheists.' Peter's book is a really incisive, clear take on why critical thinking is important, how faith based thinking can be dangerous, and also relates what you can do to spread ideas based on fact and reason with your friends and family. He writes in an understandable and relatable style on topics that many are afraid to touch on even with the people closest to them. He gives the reader the very tools to help people trapped by faith based thinking. Yes, I did say 'help' there.Help is exactly what I believe is needed in this situation.When your beliefs aren't based in reason and critical thinking, it creates a space where extremism can creep in. This, of course, isn't beholden to only one religion or ideology. Any time you throw reason and fact out the window to trade it with ideas that aren't provable, you create the very breeding ground that extremism needs to spread. It's not a coincidence that in places where gays, women and minorities are treated poorly are also places where religion has often been a substitute for clear, moral thinking.By the way, we here in the west could do a much better job with critical thinking as well. I know we've focused more on Islamic extremism on this show, but there are all kinds extremism in the world. You can't deal with any of these ideologies with half-truths and by shooting the messengers. You must deal with them by looking them head on and tackling the ideologies with better ideas and moral clarity.

We live in a time when religious extremism is on the rise. I'm going to guess we don't have many religious extremists watching this show, so I don't know how much of an effect I personally can have on them. The people I can have an effect on, however, is you guys.People out there from every walk of life from all over the globe who want to do the work of finding out what brings us together, not what tears us apart. I firmly believe critical thinking is the solution. Critical thinking doesn't care about your race, your sexuality or your nationality. It is a road map to solving serious issues and combating superstitious thinking that has led to many real world problems. Much of the right in America is led by Christian religious ideology. Much of the left, while not guided by religion, has become as dogmatic in its beliefs. Between the two is where most clear minded, free thinking people live. It's what my guest on next week's show Ali Rizvi refers to as 'The New Center.' I think by letting go of our superstitions and focusing on real solutions we can change the world for the better. Either that or we can leave it up to the zealots...after all, the world is what you make of it.

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