Episode 72

Published on:

15th May 2023

Christopher Hitchens: Rhetoric, Religion, and Ramadan

Our short-lived Christopher Hitchens ends in our second episode and full-length decoding of the punchy Brit.

This time we are examining one of his well-known religion-themed debates, debating the question 'Is Islam a Religion of Peace?' for The 92nd Street Y, New York with the academic and writer Tariq Ramadan. This one feels like a bit of a throwback to a post-9/11 & Iraq war world. New Atheism was still a cultural force with some punch but it had also received its own fair share of body blows since its earlier days as a plucky new contender.

Regardless of how you feel about that particular genre, we suggest you don a fedora, pour yourself a stiff drink, and be prepared for a heady mixture of substantive points, moralizing rhetoric, and witty retorts from both of these seasoned debaters.

Also covered in the episode Andrew Huberman and whether sad women's tears have unique properties, Jordan Hall teaches everyone how to play the guitar, James Lindsay discovers the Logos... and Chris tells us all about his office fridge adventures.


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About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
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About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

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A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

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An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.