Annie Laurie Gaylor Speaks About the History of Women in Freethought

I haven’t had a chance to watch this yet, but if it’s Annie Laurie Gaylor speaking about the history of women in freethought (from CFI’s Women in Secularism Conference), it’s bound to be good.

As always, if you hear anything especially noteworthy, leave a timestamp and summary in the comments!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Chakolate

    Does anybody know if the audio-only version will be posted anywhere?  I just don’t have the bandwidth for an hour video.  :-(

    • Drew M.

      I’d like a transcript, myself. I hate spending an hour listening to something that’ll take me ten minutes to read.

      • Bruce Kopetz

         Dear ding-dong,

        1) Do you feel A.L. Gaylor doesn’t deserve 58 minutes of your respect?

        2) If Ms. Gaylor devoted the time to prepare the speech and then traveled to the conference to deliver it,  isn’t that worth 58 minutes of your precious time?

        3) A speaker’s personal touch is the whole point.  Are you suggesting that  A.L. Gaylor should have merely shipped a boxful of handouts to the convention and herself remained back in comfortable Madison?

        4) How do you suppose your casual dismissal maker her feel?

        • Drew M.

          I already watched it, you presumptuous, syphilitic, goat-felching, buffoon of a bilge rat.

          An intelligent person would understand that I meant no disrespect, but rather was only desirous of a more efficient means of intake since not all of us have the copious amounts of free time you seem to have.

          But then again, you’re special, aren’t you.

        • Chakolate

           Excellent!  I’ve read many comments on the web, but never have I read one with such good grammar, spelling and punctuation, and so much thoughtful foolishness.  Bravo!

  • Timelessapologist

    For all the metaphysical naturalists in here:

    You do realize that ‘free-thought’ requires ‘free-will’ right?

    • ortcutt

       And so what?  Sorry, but no one needs to believe in dualism or spooky supernatural souls in order to make choices and be a freethinker.  Haven’t you ever heard of Compatibilism?  I really hate ruin your attempt at a gotcha moment by actually knowing something, but better luck next time.

      • Timelessapologist

        A metaphysical naturalist cannot be a compatibilist you ignoramus LOL

        • ortcutt

           That would certainly come as a surprise to the many metaphysical naturalists who are Compatibilists, like Dan Dennett.  I know some people deny the existence of god, but I’ve never heard someone before deny the existence of Dan Dennett.

          • Timelessapologist

            Yep but that doesn’t mean Dennett is correct, and here Sam Harris shows why he is wrong and speaks on how compatibilism makes absolutely no sense.

            http://www.amazon.com/Free-Will-Sam-Harris/dp/1451683405/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346731062&sr=8-1&keywords=sam+harris+free-willIt's one of the few philosophical topics Harris has ever gotten right!

            • ortcutt

               Sam Harris has written great stuff on religion, but he is truly godawful on philosophical subjects.  You’re also shifting from claiming that Dennett isn’t a naturalist compatibilist to claiming that he’s wrong about free will.   He may be the latter (although I’d say he’s in the right ballpark), but he’s certainly the former.

      • Timelessapologist

        Do you understand what soft-determinism and hard-determinism is?

        Do you realize what metaphysical naturalism is?I do know something, in fact I know a heck of a lot more philosophy than everyone atheist on this site combined

        here let me destroy your argument for compatibilism anyways, (which really denies free-will)

        No one has power over the facts of the past and the laws of nature.

        No one has power over the fact that the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every fact of the future (i.e., determinism is true).

        Therefore, no one has power over the facts of the future.
        According to the Consequence Argument, if determinism is true, it appears that no person has any power to alter how her own future will unfold

        Therefore my original argument stands and well….. I GOTCHA

        Also you don’t have to believe in dualism in order to believe in free-will

        LOL Peter Van Inwagen = materialist that believes in free-will

        http://www.amazon.com/Essay-Free-Will-Peter-Inwagen/dp/0198249241/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346729216&sr=8-1&keywords=essay+on+free-willPlease stop the ignorance and go over your posts before you spout out your nonsense that can be so easily refuted.

        You village atheists are just like Theistic Bible-Belt fundies

        • Timelessapologist

          Here are more reasons why metaphysical naturalism cannot be anything other than fatalism or hard-determinism when it comes to free-will.

          Compatibilism is just for the atheists who want to feel ‘special’ and in control of their lives, as they need to come up with some nonsense to aid them in this.

          Compatibilism actually makes more sense under Theism:Anyways here is why incompatibilism > Compatibilism

          Garden of forked paths = destruction of compatibilism

          1. Any agent, x, performs any act a of x’sown free will iff x has control over a.2. x has control over a only if x has the ability to select among alternative courses of action to act a.3. If x has the ability to select among alternative courses of action to act a, then there are alternative courses of action to act a open to x (i.e., x could have done otherwise than a).4. If determinism is true, then only one future is possible given the actual past, and holding fixed the laws of nature.5. If only one future is possible given the actual past, and holding fixed the laws of nature, then there are no alternative courses of action to any act open to any agent (i.e., no agent could have done otherwise than she actually does).6. Therefore, if determinism is true, it is not the case that any agent, x, performs any act, a, of her own free will

          If a person acts of her own free will, then she could have done otherwise (1-3).If a person acts of her own free will, then she could have done otherwise (1-3).If determinism is true, no one can do otherwise than one actually does (4-5).Therefore, if determinism is true, no one acts of her own free will (6).

          In conclusion ortcutt doesn’t have any clue on what he is talking about.

          • ortcutt

             You keep saying that while ignoring the indisputable fact that there are metaphysical naturalists who are compatibilists.  There are a wide variety of dispositional theories and reasons-responsiveness theories that don’t require anything in the way of contra-causal power.  You clearly haven’t kept up with the literature and you’re trotting out the same irrelevant arguments over and over.  It seems like you’re blinded by your prejudice against naturalism, and I can’t help you with that.

          • ortcutt

             You keep saying that while ignoring the indisputable fact that there are metaphysical naturalists who are compatibilists.  There are a wide variety of dispositional theories and reasons-responsiveness theories that don’t require anything in the way of contra-causal power.  You clearly haven’t kept up with the literature and you’re trotting out the same irrelevant arguments over and over.  It seems like you’re blinded by your prejudice against naturalism, and I can’t help you with that.

            • RobMcCune

              He’s a troll who went by LeibnizianChristian a week or two ago, for his superior knowledge of philosophy his thinking is sadly one note. 

              I know it’s obvious by now, but don’t expect productive conversation, or honesty, or for him to act in good faith.

        • ortcutt

          Wow.  You’ve managed to copy van Inwagen’s thirty year old argument.  Let me tremble before your mighty powers of copying and pasting.  It’s a pointless argument against compatibilists because compatibilists don’t conceive of free will or choice in terms of contra-causal power.  So, again, so what?  You keep talking as if no one has considered these arguments in the last few decades. 

          • Timelessapologist

            Yes, the argument still stands!!!  And you are wrong, this argument has actually been around since Epicurus ROFL

            But, logic will tell us that it doesn’t matter how old the argument is, an argument can be 1000 years old, but that doesn’t make it any less credible if it is sound to begin with.   Please learn philosophy!

             Inwagen who is a materialist that denies dualism (something that refuted one of your ignorant comments) has put compatibilism on ice, and incompatibilism is sound .http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/vaninwagen/

            Now you say compatibilists don’t conceive of free will in terms of contra-causal power,  but are you saying “all” compatibilists or just some?

            • ortcutt

              Well, naturalist compatibilists don’t conceive of free will in terms of contra-causal power, given that no such power can exist.  I suppose there could be non-naturalist compatibilists that don’t but I don’t see any need to study such a creature.  Yes.  Van Inwagen’s argument still exists and still proves nothing interesting.  So, … so what?

              • Timelessapologist

                Even if that’s true, not all compatibilists think like this.

                There are different forms of compatibilism  cf:  link below

                See John Fischer in this article on naturalism.org , and look at his views on free-will.

                http://www.naturalism.org/fourviews.htm^Notice the naturalist site that….I guess thinks they can speak for naturalism (notice the author holds to incompatibilism)^

                So maybe this little misunderstanding is between the naturalists.  

                I’m only going by what the big names have to say, so I believe you should take it up with them.   Otheriwse I’m in my epistemic right to state that metaphysical naturalism is inconsitent with any type of free-will.

                I can help the fact that naturalists are all over the place trying to decide what exactly they are.

                I go by what makes sense, and I’m inclined to agree with people like Sam Harris on this issue IF metaphysical naturalism is true.

                ty

          • Timelessapologist

            Lastly it doesn’t matter if compatibilists do not conceive of free will or choice in terms of contra-causal power, it matters what makes sense if metaphysical naturalism is true. 

            There arguments are faith-based and just plainly against virtually every naturalist site I’ve looked at:

            “What’s special about this naturalistic view
            ourselves, that’s quite different from the supernatural or common sense view, is
            that we don’t have free will, defined as the power to do something without
            yourself being fully caused to do it….We aren’t “first causes” and we don’t cause ourselves – nothing in nature does
            this, so far as we know. We are not “causally privileged” over the rest of
            nature, that is, we don’t get to cause without being fully caused ourselves…And one of the main ways we cause them to act ethically is by holding them
            responsible and accountable. You say to them, “If you act deliberately in such a
            way as to endanger my child, then we will take steps to lock you up. If you hurt
            my child, I will hold you responsible, so you better not.” People who are
            capable of being warned in this fashion, who are capable of having their
            behavior shaped by the prospect of being held responsible, are moral agents”^Hence, free-thinking does not exist as we do not have the power to do something without being fully caused to do it.^ 
            QEDhttp://www.centerfornaturalism.org/faqs.htm

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

          “No one has power over the facts of the past and the laws of nature.
          No one has power over the fact that the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every fact of the future (i.e., determinism is true).
          Therefore, no one has power over the facts of the future.”
          You should have stopped there because that doesn’t follow at all.
          Define “laws of nature.” Because I’m pretty sure that doesn’t control every fact of the future. People’s choices play a very significant role. Are they part of the laws of nature? Because if they are, you’re saying that natural law and human choice control every fact of the future, therefore humans don’t have control of the future. 
          If that’s not what you’re saying, then you’re saying that humans are powerless to control the past and the laws of nature, therefore we don’t have control of the future.
          Neither of those statements makes much sense.

    • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

       Yeah, but it only needs to be “free” in the sense of a “free variable”.

  • ortcutt

    Really interesting talk.  I wish the profiles of each woman were longer, but that’s as much as you can fit in in 58 minutes.  FFRF is a great organization and it’s quality leadership like this that explains that.

    • Timelessapologist

      Oh yes just great.

      They are hypocritics that say all Thiests are irrational, but yet they are afraid to back up their claim.

      http://www.moralhealth.com/2009/12/the-freedom-from-religion-foundation-relgion-social-progress/They are all cowards, and a religion in itself that is anti-Christian.

      I completely destroyed two of their members in a FB debate on morality and got them to point where they admitted that Theism could be rational, but then after that they got angry and cursed me out then banned me from their site only because they fear disagreement.

      ortcutt it might be better if you actually dropped your bias and looked more into the situation.  That is a ‘skeptical’ approach that would be in good form.

      • http://www.facebook.com/abb3w Arthur Byrne

        If they are part of a religion, in what ways does that religion express each of the “Six Ways of Being Religious” from Dale Cannon’s book of the same title?

        (Reasoned Inquiry, I’ll stipulate. The other five are the Ways of Right Action, Sacred Rite, Devotion, Shamanic Mediation, and Mystic Quest.)

      • Glasofruix

        I don’t know what’s less plausible, you bringing actual arguments to a debate (even if it’s against 8 year olds on facebook) or a rational theist…

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger GodVlogger (on YouTube)

       I agree. FFRF is awesome, and so is Annie Laurie Gaylor in particular (and Dan Barker, Patrick Elliot, the whole team!)  I am glad to call myself an FFRF member, and certainly recommend others join too. They are fantastic watch-dogs on violations of church-state separation.

      Meanwhile, should we all just ignore the CluelessApologist TROLL?
      (i.e., “Don’t feed the trolls”)?

      • RobMcCune

        I think he trolled here a week or two ago under the name LeibnizianChristian, same derailment with philosophy shtick. Sad when an adjunct professor at some seminary snaps and decides to take their frustrations out on the world.

  • RobMcCune

    This was a great talk, it was interesting hearing how many commonly used phrases were coined by women freethinkers I hadn’t heard of.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carmen.johnson.5891 Carmen Johnson

    thanks


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