87 episodes

Want a philosophy or worldview that's grounded in reality and has compassion for all sentient beings (mostly humans and other animals)?
Then you might find Sentientism interesting. It's "evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings."
In this podcast, you'll hear about "what's real" and "what matters" from a wide range of celebrities, academics, activists, writers - and interested lay people like me.
Find out more at https://sentientism.info/ or join one of our open-to-all, global community groups, like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism

Sentientism Jamie Woodhouse

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

Want a philosophy or worldview that's grounded in reality and has compassion for all sentient beings (mostly humans and other animals)?
Then you might find Sentientism interesting. It's "evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings."
In this podcast, you'll hear about "what's real" and "what matters" from a wide range of celebrities, academics, activists, writers - and interested lay people like me.
Find out more at https://sentientism.info/ or join one of our open-to-all, global community groups, like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism

    87: "You CAN change other people!" - Howie Jacobson of Plant Yourself - Sentientist Conversation

    87: "You CAN change other people!" - Howie Jacobson of Plant Yourself - Sentientist Conversation

    Howie (@askhowie & plantyourself.com) is a coach & author & podcast host. His coaching work with people & organisations focuses on leadership, values, productivity & health.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    02:01 Howie's Intro

    - Coaching & writing

    - "Not a big fan of capitalism"

    - Effective altruism through organisations

    - "Helping people respond to reality"

    - Not knowing "what's real?" or "what matters?" but let's try to work it out

    04:54 What's Real?

    - Growing up in a conservative Jewish household in New Jersey

    - Culturally Jewish but "kind of atheist"

    - Mother's history of the holocaust & kindertransport

    - Father's "Jewish identity & socialism." Needling the Rabbi: "We have to rest on the Sabbath so now I have to walk up 30 flights of stairs?!"

    - Being given "The Truth About the Bible" book. Bible inconsistencies & immorality

    - "The Jews have learned to argue & doubt & question"

    - "The Jewish people must survive" as a core commitment

    - Einstein, Marx, Freud

    - A militant zionist phase

    - "It was safe." There was no danger to the ritual vs. sweatlodges

    - A "safe, conventional, suburban religion"

    - Attending an Ivy League college

    - "There are smart people who believe in ghosts"

    - Exploring parapsychology

    - "There were serious academics questioning my worldview which was completely materialistic"

    - Rejecting the exclusive tribalism & the simplistic narratives of religion but "There is a big effing mystery out there" 

    - Shamanic practices "oh honey, it's all b******t"

    - Being sceptical of our own perceptions & reasoning. Be open

    - Predictive dreams

    - Contextualism... "How is this working for me?"

    - "Look for & assume positive intent... then act like it's true"

    - Talking to trees, brambles as defences, mycorrhizal fungi as comms networks

    - Narratives of dominion vs. "consciousness in everything"

    - Arbitrary vs. narratives grounded in reality

    - "Supposedly using evidence & reason we've destroyed the planet"

    - Checks: 1) consistency with the natural world & 2) compassion

    32:50 What Matters?

    - Be nice to people

    - Mother's experience of Nazi occupation of Austria. "The teachers & her so called friends were wearing Nazi armbands" & "Punch a Nazi".



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info and on YouTube.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 20 min
    86: "There's not a huge difference between how we treat farmed animals & how we treat people - as resources" Nandita Bajaj of Population Balance - Sentientist Conversation

    86: "There's not a huge difference between how we treat farmed animals & how we treat people - as resources" Nandita Bajaj of Population Balance - Sentientist Conversation

    Nandita is the ED of Population Balance which works to address the impacts of human overpopulation & overconsumption on the planet, people & animals. She is the co-director of the Fair Start Movement, which works on legal & educational reform towards a sustainable & just family-planning model. As faculty with the Institute for Humane Education, Nandita teaches a course “Pronatalism & Overpopulation” about the pervasive pressure on women to have children & the impacts on them, families, non-human animals & the planet. Previously, Nandita worked as a high school physics & math teacher & an administrator in both the public & independent school systems as well as an engineer at Bombardier Aerospace. She has a B.Eng. (Aerospace Engineering) from Ryerson University, a B.Ed. from University of Toronto & an M.Ed. (Humane Ed.) from Antioch University.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    01:10 Nandita's Intro

    - Engineering to teaching maths/physics to studying & teaching at the Institute of Humane Education (animals, humans, environment)

    - Pronatalism: The pressure to have children

    - Population stabilisation

    04:26 What's Real?

    - Growing up in a fairly liberal household in North-West India

    - Moving every 3 years. "Wired to desire change"

    - Following Hindu religious holidays & traditions

    - Transactional religious compliance: fear-based & conditional

    - Tribalism & superstition "It didn't make a lot of sense to me"

    - Moving to Canada

    - Becoming non-religious was fairly straight-forward

    - Dabbling in self-discovery & studying psychology: Realising "These pieces of my identity were for the most part socially constructed"

    - De-constructing values & beliefs "Who I was made to believe I was was very limited & finite & self-serving." Reputation, wealth, success, family

    - "What motivates me deeply?" rather than "what do people expect of me?"

    - Exploring eastern & western philosophy

    - "There is this deep reverence that I hold - not for a god... but for the entire evolutionary process" "There seems to some kind of a kind of miraculousness to it"

    - Interconnectedness, scale, deep time, human humility

    - "There is something much bigger going on." Mystery - driven by science - but not limited to evidence, because there may be things we'll never have evidence of

    - Evidence might be limited but that's not an excuse for "making stuff up"

    - How supernatural beliefs can warp compassionate ethics

    22:18 What & Who Matters?

    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info and on YouTube.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    85: "If you have experienced suffering you're aware of its badness" - Philosopher Michael Huemer - Sentientist Conversation

    85: "If you have experienced suffering you're aware of its badness" - Philosopher Michael Huemer - Sentientist Conversation

    Michael Huemer (@FakeNousBlog) is a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado. He is the author of more than seventy academic articles in epistemology, ethics, metaethics, metaphysics, & political philosophy, as well as eight amazing books that YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY BUY including Skepticism & the Veil of Perception, Ethical Intuitionism, The Problem of Political Authority, Approaching Infinity, Paradox Lost, & Dialogues on Ethical Vegetarianism. He blogs at fakenous.net.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    01:31 Mike's Intro

    02:20 What's Real?

    - Reading bible stories at 5 yrs old & declaring "This is stupid!... I don't believe in god"

    - "all the major religions are false... incredibly implausible"

    - Bible & other religious texts: "just so obviously the sort of things a primitive human would write"... obsessed w/sex, different human tribes

    - "If I'd created a universe containing 100 bn galaxies... I don't think I'd be obsessed with this particular tribe of humans"

    - "God in traditional religions doesn't even seem like a decent person, let alone the greatest... If he was a human we'd have to lock him in jail" 

    - Mike's "Scary Bible Quotes" page

    - Jesus contradicting the Old Testament

    - Atheism to agnosticism. "There could still be a creator". Fine tuning

    - Intelligent design, multiverse, anthropic responses

    - Methodological naturalism & metaphysical naturalism

    - "I don't even really know what supernatural means"

    - "There can be natural things that are beyond our understanding"

    - "I think I'm conscious & I don't think my consciousness is physical"... many naturalists say that's not naturalism

    - Direct realism: "You should assume that things are they way they seem unless you have specific reasons for thinking otherwise". Most people who object don't know what it is. "The main problem is people refuse to listen."

    23:52 What Matters?

    - "It was always bizarre that people thought you needed religion in order to have ethics"

    - Divine Command Theory: "The boss is going to mess you up". That's not ethics

    - What does "where does ethics come from?" even mean? Where did numbers come from?

    - "We thought about it - then it was obvious"

    - "If you've felt pain you're going to notice that it's bad"

    - The is/ought gap "is supposed to be between such & such is painful & such & such is bad"

    - "If you have experienced suffering you're aware of its badness"

    - "In a way I'm following what I thought when I was a small child"

    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info and on YouTube.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    84: "Nobody likes hypocrisy but we're all hypocrites" - Dr. Brian Earp - Sentientist Conversation

    84: "Nobody likes hypocrisy but we're all hypocrites" - Dr. Brian Earp - Sentientist Conversation

    Dr. Brian Earp (@briandavidearp) is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics & Health Policy & a Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. His work is cross-disciplinary, following training in philosophy, cognitive science, psychology, history & sociology of science and medicine, & ethics. He has written extensively on resisting traditional & religious justifications for causing harm – particularly to children through genital mutilation / circumcision. He wrote the book "Love Drugs" w/Julian Savulescu. Brian is also a professional singer & actor.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    0:00 Welcome

    02:00 Brian's Intro - Academically trying to understand the world & lay out how it should be.

    03:04 What's Real?

    - Growing up in Seattle in a Free Methodist Evangelical Christian society

    - Mum: Christianity & god. Dad: A more naturalist perspective

    - "Evolution was something that might tempt us away from the path of righteousness"

    - Unthinkingly accepting Christianity at first

    - Asking questions of the pastor at 12/13 yrs. Is it fair to send people to hell who have never even heard of Jesus?

    - The problem of evil... while being emotionally sensitive to the pain of others

    - Taking "a very serious concern with morality" from mum's Christian worldview even as a kid

    - Divine command theory: things are right/wrong because god says so

    - Agnostic re: metaphysics: "What do you mean by god?"

    - The burden of proof is on the claimant... "Wow - how are you confident about that?"

    - Bible college vs. secular Yale

    - Studying philosophy at college

    - The fundamental fact claims fell apart

    - Ethical concerns: religious homophobia etc. The tension between strict religious rules & personal compassionate intuitions "something has to go here!"

    - "Unless I have an independent reason to believe one view over another..."

    15:37 What Matters?

    - Supernatural worldview risks to universal compassion

    - Can compassion go too far? Undermining justice/fairness?

    - Agnostic about the grounding of ethics / meta-ethics

    - Instead a Quinian web of beliefs & intuitions I'm pretty darn sure about: "Needless suffering of an innocent person"... "Treating people differently without reason"... "concern for the disadvantaged / those without power or representation" then reasoning about cases

    - "We should believe what we have best reason to believe"

    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info and on YouTube.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 58 min
    83: “If I can open my mind about veganism… I can do anything… it was so liberating” - Jamila Anahata of the Afro-Vegan Society - Sentientist Conversations

    83: “If I can open my mind about veganism… I can do anything… it was so liberating” - Jamila Anahata of the Afro-Vegan Society - Sentientist Conversations

    Jamila (thesoulfulveganista.com & @Jamila_Anahata) is an activist, blogger & holistic lifestyle coach. She is aso Marketing Director of the Afro-Vegan Society. Sign up for their NAVCON2021 summit on Nov 13th - open to all!.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    0:00 Welcome

    01:12 Jamila’s Intro - Soulful Veganista & the AfroVegan Society

    - Community, creativity, connection to resist oppression and help others

    - "All the isms & justices". Veganism, racial justice / food justice / climate justice...

    - AVS: Veganism through a black lens

    02:45 What’s Real?

    - Growing up in Maryland in the Southern US

    - Raised Southern Baptist Christian. Bible study, daily church, Sunday service

    - "I used to down religion... that industry"

    - The church as a powerful community for black southern people... "throwing our pain at the altar"

    - Experiencing deep racism... beyond bias

    - A hunger for something beyond the suffering of "this realm"

    - "I was always a gothy kid... a punk kid"

    - "3 seconds after I went vegan I decided I wasn't going to be Christian any more"

    - "If I can open my mind about veganism... I can do anything... it was so liberating"

    - Leaving religion because of evidence, ethics or rebellion

    - "My dad is a natural activist... he reminds me of Malcolm X"

    - Learing the painful history of Christianity

    - Not wanting to support the religion or animal product industries

    - Empathy as a moral compass. I didn't need religion for that

    - Keeping the compassion & community

    - Looking within for ethics

    - Spirituality. Connection & oneness

    - "There's more to life than my own suffering or flourishing"

    - Languages, class, religions, castes, hierarchies, status & how they separate us

    - "I swiped away all the titles"

    - Eckhart Tolle

    - "I am not what they think I am... I am divinely guided"

    - "If we wiped away all the oppressive things from Christianity that's what we'd be left with"

    - "I feel like I receive intuitive messages from my spiritual team"

    - Scepticism & believing in science... but that can't be all there is

    - Other planes or dimensions

    - "I was that faith based person where science was the enemy"

    - "This pandemic helped me... I learned that medicine is OK..."

    - Believing in 'what is' doesn't make me a less of a spiritual person

    - Naturalism on this plane, spiritualism for the others?



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info and on YouTube.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    82: "It's the greatest transformation in human history... Who wouldn't want to be part of that?" - Dr. Sailesh Rao of Climate Healers - Sentientist Conversations

    82: "It's the greatest transformation in human history... Who wouldn't want to be part of that?" - Dr. Sailesh Rao of Climate Healers - Sentientist Conversations

    Dr. Sailesh Rao (climatehealers.org) is Founder & Exec Dir of Climate Healers, a non-profit working to heal the climate. After a glittering career in tech he switched to focus on solving our environmental crises. Dr. Rao is the author of two books, Carbon Dharma & Carbon Yoga, & is an Exec Producer of several documentaries including, The Human Experiment (2013), Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014), What The Health (2017), A Prayer for Compassion (2019) & They’re Trying to Kill Us (2021).

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    0:00 Welcome



    01:14 Dr. Rao's Intro - from India to the US, from tech to saving the world!

    - Growing up in a Hindu family in Chennai, India

    - "God is in charge & you are just an instrument" vs. the materialism of engineering training

    - Being inspired by the moon landing

    - Landing his dream job at Bell Labs

    - Starting a consulting firm creating the high-speed internet

    - "I had achieved, but I wasn't happy"

    - Frustrations with commercialisation & cut-throat competition

    - Seeing Al Gore talk about climate change... "If half of what he's saying is true I'm wasting my time"

    - Jumping to work on climate change "the biggest systems change around"

    - Being trained by Al Gore to take the message out

    - Asking Al Gore "If we take all the land we're currently using for raising animals & turn it back to forest can we not reverse climate change?" but he didn't want to talk about it

    - Starting Climate Healers



    07:23 What's Real?

    - Becoming disillusioned with religion "This is poor work if God's in charge"

    - "We're the only species that's a mistake on this planet"

    - Visiting a sanctuary forest "I felt this sense of perfection"... "We did nothing... we gave it back to the animals... make sure no human being comes inside"

    - "My granddaughter was born... I felt as if I was holding humanity in my arms"... "I belong exactly as I am... you are a fool!"

    - Writing "Carbon Dharma" & "Carbon Yoga"

    - "Any 5 year old can tell you... be kind to all life"

    - Transforming from caterpillar to butterfly

    - "We are the climate regulating species"

    - Fire, weapons, partnerships with animals... then fossil fuels

    - Be a caretaker species, not a predator species

    - "If you insist on being a narcissistic predator species you're going to die"

    - "My granddaughter brought me back to faith"

    - "We're here to serve the animals not to eat them"

    - "The evidence... is that the Bhavadgita is actually correct"



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info and on YouTube.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 18 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

just looking for a good pod ,

Great listen!

A podcast about what really matters. Super engaging discussions about what drives the moral and epistemological approaches of some super interesting and impressive people.

AN321651 ,

Fascinating conversations

This podcast is such a valuable resource for those interested in the philosophical underpinnings of veganism. It’s become my go-to podcast recommendation for people interested in thoughtful conversations related to ethics and animal rights that isn’t dumbed-down for the broadest possible audience. The production quality is still a little rough around the edges, but I’m sure as time goes on that will only get better. I’ll take good ideas over flashy soundbites any day. My only other minor complaint would be the lack of episode numbers which makes sharing specific episodes a little harder. But overall, this really is a great podcast.

ChristinaH83 ,

Excellent Discussions

I really enjoy listening to Jamie and his guests. He's very skilled in connecting with a whole variety of people, and knows how to get them to address the important issues and questions. The conversations seem informal and friendly but are really informative. Strong recommend.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

You Might Also Like