9 episodes

Political polarization is one of the big problems of our time. That's why I started a series of dialogues where I have friendly disagreements over controversial topics with a variety of guests. These conversations are guided by three core principles: scout mindset, non-violent communication, and radical honesty. When I'm not disagreeing with guests, I read my blog posts about atheism, rationality, philosophy, science, and sociopolitical issues. I have a BSc in computer engineering, an MA in analytic philosophy, and I volunteer at secular humanist and effective altruist organizations.

Ghostless Machine Ariel Pontes

    • Society & Culture

Political polarization is one of the big problems of our time. That's why I started a series of dialogues where I have friendly disagreements over controversial topics with a variety of guests. These conversations are guided by three core principles: scout mindset, non-violent communication, and radical honesty. When I'm not disagreeing with guests, I read my blog posts about atheism, rationality, philosophy, science, and sociopolitical issues. I have a BSc in computer engineering, an MA in analytic philosophy, and I volunteer at secular humanist and effective altruist organizations.

    #9 Is astrology real? | A dialogue with Adrian Cotora

    #9 Is astrology real? | A dialogue with Adrian Cotora

    In my third dialogue, I talk to Adrian Cotora about astrology. Adrian is the vice-president of the Romanian Astrologer's association and, as you can imagine, he believes the position of planets in the sky at the time of our birth correlate with different personality traits. I, on the other hand, as a naturalistic atheist, don't believe the position of planets correlate in any way with our personality. In this conversation we discuss how our different epistemic values lead us to these different conclusions, and we also discuss the possibility of a reformed astrology that focuses on its value as a potential psychological tool for exploring our relationships with different archetypes while avoiding untestable claims about the nature of the universe. So, what do you think? Is astrology real?

    00:00 Teaser
    00:26 Topic Introduction
    01:14 The guest Adrian Cotora
    02:05 Where do you think we agree?
    03:17 Where do we disagree?
    09:19 How does Astrology work?
    17:21 The Barnum/Forer Effect
    27:44 Pseudoscience and Popperian falsification
    36:07 What would change your mind about Astrology?
    49:02 How do you view Pseudoscience?
    01:04:13 How sure are you about your version of Astrology?
    01:09:15 Not believing but using astrology for personal growth?
    01:30:29 Value of intuition in knowledge creationFor Adrian's Podcast (in Romanian), you can visit  @Transformarecontinua  .

    And if you like my content, make sure to follow me here:

    - Website/Newsletter: http://ghostlessmachine.com/
    - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ghostless.machine
    - Facebook: https://facebook.com/ghostlessmachineblog
    - Instagram: https://instagram.com/arielpontes
    - Twitter: https://twitter.com/arielpontes
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    • 1 hr 33 min
    #8 Is nonverbal consent ever enough? | A dialogue with Kitty

    #8 Is nonverbal consent ever enough? | A dialogue with Kitty

    In the second Ghostless Machine dialogue, I talk to Kitty about verbal vs. nonverbal consent. Kitty jokingly refers to herself as a “consent-nazi”, meaning she thinks the only legitimate way to obtain consent is verbally. I, on the other hand, tend to think that such an approach fails to take into consideration the full complexity of human behavior and sexuality. Because of that I tend to favor alternative ways to tackle the issue of accidental violations of consent. So what do you think? Is nonverbal consent ever enough?



    00:00:00 Teaser

    00:00:42 Intro

    00:01:50 Kitty's intro

    00:02:30 Where do we agree and disagree?

    00:06:47 How to ethically make a move on the first date?

    00:08:35 Are there legitimate alternatives to verbal consent?

    00:12:26 Steelmanning

    00:15:59 What about people who are turned off by verbal requests for consent?

    00:16:53 Nurture vs. Nature

    00:33:43 How plausible it is that asking for verbal consent could become a dominant social norm?

    00:39:36 If verbal consent wasn't an option, what would be the second best alternative?

    00:43:23 Should we promote verbal consent as an admirable option rather than an obligation?

    00:44:59 How confident are we about your opinion?

    00:46:42 How confident am I?

    00:47:20 Asking for consent in a non-robotic way

    00:51:23 Why do guys reject the idea of asking for consent verbally?

    00:55:33 What would make you change your mind?

    00:57:25 What would make me change my mind?

    01:00:20 Tips and final thoughts from Kitty

    01:01:30 Do you think being dogmatic about verbal consent risks backfiring?



    If you’re interested in Kitty’s work, you can learn more about it in the following links:



    - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thekittyrea/

    - Podcast: https://eropedia.ro/

    - Influx: https://influx.events/



    If you’re interested in tips about relationships, dating, and masculinity from her recommended sources, you can check them out here:



    - https://www.tiktok.com/@mattcama23

    - https://www.tiktok.com/@justinbaldoni

    - https://www.tiktok.com/@remasculine

    - https://www.tiktok.com/@watchfulcoyote



    And finally, if you like my content, you can always follow me here:



    - Website/Newsletter: http://ghostlessmachine.com/

    - Podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ghostlessmachine

    - Facebook: https://facebook.com/ghostlessmachineblog

    - Instagram: https://instagram.com/ghostlessmachine

    - Twitter: https://twitter.com/arielpontes

    - Medium: https://medium.com/@arielpontes

    - Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/arielpontes

    • 1 hr 13 min
    #7 Is veganism a moral obligation? | A dialogue with Jamie Woodhouse

    #7 Is veganism a moral obligation? | A dialogue with Jamie Woodhouse

    I think political polarization is one of the biggest problems in our society right now. That's why I started a series of dialogues where I have friendly disagreements over controversial topics with a variety of guests. These conversations are guided by three core principles: scout mindset, non-violent communication, and radical honesty.



    In the first episode of the series, I talk to Jamie Woodhouse about the ethics of veganism. Jamie tends to believe veganism is a moral obligation, while I tend to believe there is no such thing as moral obligations, only better and worse actions.



    00:00:00 Teaser

    00:00:22 Intro

    00:02:29 Jamie’s intro

    00:03:39 Where we agree

    00:07:02 Where we disagree

    00:11:58 Moral obligations

    00:19:09 Analogy with tallness 

    00:24:11 Levels of confidence

    00:30:23 Is it natural to eat meat?

    00:35:45 Does it matter?

    00:43:03 Moral conventions 

    00:49:12 Individual vs. systemic change

    00:55:27 Reducetarianism vs. abolitionism

    01:00:45 Virtue ethics and rule-based utilitarianism

    01:07:27 Jamie’s criticism of utilitarianism

    01:11:33 Would this change your mind?

    01:17:04 Is humane farming possible?

    01:21:14 Jamie’s final message

    01:24:46 Ending



    If you’re interested in Sentientism, you can learn more in the following links:




    Website: https://sentientism.info/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@Sentientism
    Podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/sentientism
    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2000192466918170



    And if you like my content, you can follow me on these links:




    Website/Newsletter: http://ghostlessmachine.com/
    YouTube: ⁠https://www.youtube.com/@ghostless.machine
    Podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ghostlessmachine
    Facebook: https://facebook.com/ghostlessmachineblog
    Instagram: https://instagram.com/ghostlessmachine
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/arielpontes
    Medium: https://medium.com/@arielpontes
    Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/arielpontes



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    • 1 hr 25 min
    #6 The moral relevance of intentions

    #6 The moral relevance of intentions

    The moral relevance of intentions
    Why intentions are important even for utilitarians
    This is the second of a series of articles defending a compatibilist interpretation of utilitarianism, which can be reconciled with all major moral theories. In this article I explain why intentions are important even for consequentialists. You can read the written article here.

    • 5 min
    #5 Cultivating virtues is utilitarian

    #5 Cultivating virtues is utilitarian

    Cultivating virtues is utilitarian
    Virtues are traits that contribute to a better society

    This is the second of a series of articles defending a compatibilist interpretation of utilitarianism, which can be reconciled with all major moral theories. In this article I explain how utilitarianism is compatible with virtue ethics. You can read the written article here.

    • 10 min
    #4 Are pain and pleasure all that matters? – What utilitarians mean when they promote pleasure over pain

    #4 Are pain and pleasure all that matters? – What utilitarians mean when they promote pleasure over pain

    This is the first of a series of articles defending a compatibilist interpretation of utilitarianism, which can be reconciled with all major moral theories in Western moral philosophy. In this article I explain what utilitarians mean by "pleasure" and "pain" and debunk a few myths that result from a misunderstanding of these terms.

    Original article: https://medium.com/humanist-voices/are-pain-and-pleasure-all-that-matters-4d45ac0a3e18

    • 12 min

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