Thinking Out Loud Podcasts

The Nature of Sacrifice

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What does it mean sacrifice? Who is sacrifice for? What are the expectations that come with sacrifice? Where does the call to sacrifice come from? How can we distinguish between noble sacrifices and sinister calls to sacrifice disguised as noble? How do the concepts of duty and honor relate to sacrifice? Is sacrifice voluntary? What motivates a mother to sacrifice for her children or a soldier for his country? How can the instinct to sacrifice be abused and manipulated by propaganda and other means? What are we to make of the kamikaze pilots of World War II and the suicide bombers of the Middle East today? What does it mean to be a martyr and who decides? What about sacrifices made daily without notice? What roles do our lesser self and our greater Self play in motivating sacrifice? Join citizen philosophers Billie Lagerwerff, Carole Abel, Jnanam MacIsaac, John Loy, John Tytus, Ken Thompson and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.

 

Listen to the podcast:

Click to download in MP3 format (6.81MB)

Suffering and Creativity

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They say "you have to suffer, to sing the blues." Does suffering stimulate creativity? Are pain and suffering necessary ingredients of creation? How much is sufficient? How much is too much? Can one be creativity without pain and suffering? What are the distinctions between pain and suffering? Does suffering always lead to creativity? Is the relationship always one of cause and effect? What role does sensitivity play in the relationship between suffering and creativity? Are there times when self-numbing is preferable to self-expression? Join citizen philosophers Billie Lagerwerff, Derek Breen, Jason Varsoke, John Tytus, Ken Thompson, Mike Grosso, Paul Beckert, U.J. Fields and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.

 

Listen to the podcast:

Click to download in MP3 format (7.1MB)

What is Happiness?

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What do we know about happiness? Is it satisfaction, excitement, pleasure, all of the above or in a category by itself? Does happiness depend on circumstances, or can one be happy under any circumstance? What are the obstacles to happiness? How do we explain the transitory, fleeting nature of happiness? Are there different kinds of happiness and are they all desirable? What is the relationship between happiness and intoxication? Are we at risk of losing motivation should we attain lasting happiness? Is happiness a destination or is a property of the path? Join citizen philosophers Billie Lagerwerff, Carole Abel, Derek Breen, John Tytus, Ken Thompson, Mike Grosso, Paul Beckert, U.J. Fields and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.

 

Listen to the podcast:

Click to download in MP3 format (6.85MB)

What is Wisdom?

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What are the distinguishing qualities of wisdom? Is wisdom a kind of knowledge? If so, how does it differ from other forms of knowledge? Is it also a kind of art or skill? Where does wisdom come from? How can we, how do we, recognize wisdom? Can wisdom be taught or can it only be cultivated? How can we cultivate wisdom in ourselves and others? Join citizen philosophers Alex Patterson, Billie Lagerwerff, Cathy Polly, Jerry Huml, John Tytus, Mike Grosso, Paul Beckert, U.J. Fields and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.

 

Listen to the podcast:

Click to download in MP3 format (6.83MB)

What is Philosophy?

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In this episode of our on-going series of philosophical podcasts, we explore the question, "What is philosophy?". Is it just "the love of wisdom?" Is it the pursuit of wisdom? Is it teachings on how to pursue wisdom? What are the goals of philosophy? Is philosophy a science? Is it an art? How does philosophy differ from religion? What are the limits of philosophy and what are the rules, if any? Join citizen philosophers Billie Lagerwerff, Carole Abel, Jerry Huml, John Tytus, Mike Grosso, U.J. Fields and myself in this stimulating and insightful discussion. Music provided by David Rood.

 

Listen to the podcast:

Click to download in MP3 format (7.34MB)

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TOL Mission Statement

 

We engage together in, and record for broadcast, our earnest philosophical dialogues, so that we may:

 

  1. Enhance our understanding of life and the world in which we live.
  2. Stimulate intellectual curiosity and philosophical exploration in ourselves and others.
  3. Strengthen our intellectual skills of critical thinking and sound reasoning.
  4. Provide a forum for a diversity of thought from a broad spectrum of independent thinkers.
  5. Connect with and form a network among thoughtful and caring individuals, everywhere.
  6. Enjoy the pleasures of intellectually stimulating and philosophically insightful company.
  7. Promote the pursuit of wisdom in everyone.

 

TOL Guiding Principles

 

Civility - Treat everyone with respect. Use helpful, not hurtful language. Listen carefully and patiently when someone else is speaking.

Sincerity - Honest opinions and innocent questions are more valuable than "scoring points" or "looking smart". Strive for intellectual honesty.

Soundness - Favor sound reasoning over emotional rhetoric or sophomoric obfuscation.

Succinctness - Strive to be brief and to the point using understandable language. Speak loud and clear so others can hear.

 

TOL Rules of Discourse

 

Wait to be called on before speaking: Please don't just jump in. Restrain your enthusiasm. Hold that thought. Wait your turn.

One speaker at a time: No side conversations, comments, or noises please. They will be picked up by the recorder.

Address ideas, not individuals: Refrain from one-on-one debates, exchanges, or cross-examination. Focus on the message not the messenger.

Limit your time: Avoid the temptation to preach, teach, or lecture. Remember, others are waiting for their turn as well.

Yield to the moderator: - Always gracefully return the microphone back to moderator. Let the moderator determine who speaks next.

 

TOL Tips & Techniques

 

Listen carefully to what is being said and look for:

 

Assumptions that need to be examined.

Terms that need to be defined.

Inconsistencies that need to be resolved.

Distinctions that need to be made.

Patterns and relationships that emerge.

 

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