186 episodes

We discuss the biggest questions: "what's real?", "who matters?" and "how to make a better world?" with scientists, celebrities, activists, writers and philosophers.
The Sentientism worldview is "evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings." It's a simple, yet radical, philosophy that's grounded in reality (naturalistic epistemology) and has compassion for all sentient beings (mostly human and non-human animals)? Naturalism & sentiocentrism combined.
Find out more at https://sentientism.info/ or join a group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism. Also on YouTube!

Sentientism Jamie Woodhouse

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 18 Ratings

We discuss the biggest questions: "what's real?", "who matters?" and "how to make a better world?" with scientists, celebrities, activists, writers and philosophers.
The Sentientism worldview is "evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings." It's a simple, yet radical, philosophy that's grounded in reality (naturalistic epistemology) and has compassion for all sentient beings (mostly human and non-human animals)? Naturalism & sentiocentrism combined.
Find out more at https://sentientism.info/ or join a group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism. Also on YouTube!

    Could animal farming be good for the animals? The Logic of the Larder - with Nick Pendergrast - Cross-post bonus episode from 3CR's Freedom of Species radio show and podcast - Sentientism 186

    Could animal farming be good for the animals? The Logic of the Larder - with Nick Pendergrast - Cross-post bonus episode from 3CR's Freedom of Species radio show and podcast - Sentientism 186

    This episode is a bonus cross post of my conversation with ⁠Nick Pendergrast⁠⁠⁠ on the 3CR ⁠⁠⁠Freedom of Species⁠⁠ radio show and podcast he co-hosts. In this, my third time as their guest (thank you!), we talk about the "Logic of the Larder" - an argument that animal farming could potentially be good for animals.

    You can subscribe to 3CR's ⁠⁠⁠Freedom of Species⁠ wherever you listen. ⁠⁠3CR is a community radio station based in Melbourne⁠⁠⁠, Australia. Nick and the other co-hosts have a fascinating range of guests, conversations and also music with a message.

    Nick has been a guest on Sentientism too - have a listen to ⁠⁠episode 88⁠⁠⁠ if you'd like to hear his thoughts about what's real, who matters and how can we make a better world. You might also be interested in Sentientism episode 156 with Peter Singer where we discuss his uncertainty about the Logic of the Larder.

    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!


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    • 1 hr 5 min
    "If you combine rationality and compassion you have the essence" - Jonathan Leighton of OPIS - Sentientism 185

    "If you combine rationality and compassion you have the essence" - Jonathan Leighton of OPIS - Sentientism 185

    Jonathan is an ethics strategist, writer, social change
    advocate and public speaker. He is Executive Director of the Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering (OPIS), a Swiss-based think-and-do tank that promotes the prevention of human and non-human suffering as our overriding global ethical priority. His book, The Battle for Compassion: Ethics in an Apathetic Universe, explores the question "What matters?". His new book The Tango of Ethics: Intuition, Rationality and the Prevention of Suffering goes further in proposing a rigorous reassessment of how we think about ethics.

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

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

    We discuss:

    00:00 Clips!

    01:00 Welcome

    03:34 Jon's Intro

    - Molecular biology PhD

    - Ethicist

    - Writing "The Battle for Compassion" and "The Tango of Ethics"

    - Running the "think and do tank" OPIS (Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering) "Trying to put the ideas into practice" 

    04:41 What's Real?

    - A scientific family, physicist father

    - "A naturalistic, mechanistic way of thinking about the world"

    - "It's not that there was no #spirituality at all... a #Jewish household that was more traditional than religious... Reciting things that I didn't necessarily understand the meaning of"

    - "...a brief phase where I did take things [religious prescriptions] more literally... but that didn't last very long"

    - "Seeing the world as inherently physical"

    - "Not to say that the subjective doesn't matter... the subjective is the essence of what matters"

    - Maternal grandfather "I remember him describing himself as a Humanist... his way of saying 'don't take the supernatural too seriously'"

    - "I think spirituality is an important part of life... but I don't think of spirituality in the supernatural sense... I think of spirituality in terms of the experience... a feeling that there is an intense meaning possible in life."

    - "During spiritual experiences we might suspend the very rational perspective. You can't really be fully plunged into a spiritual experience if you're also trying to analyse things scientifically at the same time."

    - In circles with people, lighting a fire, reciting poetry... "it feels like a source of meaning at times to get into that other state of mind."

    - "It's this dance between two very different perspectives"

    - "How do we reconcile the need to understand reality as accurately as possible using the tools of rationality and science and how do we also extract meaning from our existence?"

    - JW: Instead of a scientistic denial or a mystical reification of the subjective... a recognition that our subjective experiences are part of the objective world we all share... and are the source of its value

    - Subjective experience is determined by the physical "but you won't actually know what it's like... without having experienced
    it yourself"

    13:25 What Matters?

    - "Subjective experience... it's the most important part of reality... the only part of reality that really matters when it comes down to ethics..."

    46:40 Who Matters?

    01:03:37 How To Make A Better World?

    01:19:43 Follow Jon and OPIS

    - https://www.jonathanleighton.org/

    - https://www.preventsuffering.org/

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

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Sentientism.info⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Is veganism a moral obligation? Ghostless Machine cross-post bonus - Sentientism 184

    Is veganism a moral obligation? Ghostless Machine cross-post bonus - Sentientism 184

    Welcome to episode 184 of the Sentientism Podcast. A podcast about what's real, who matters and how we can make a better world.

    The Sentientism worldview answers those deep questions by committing to evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings.

    This episode is a bonus cross-post of my discussion with Ariel Pontes. His Ghostless Machine podcast includes a series of dialogues where he has friendly disagreements over controversial topics with a variety of guests. I had the pleasure of being his first. Make sure you go and subscribe.

    I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did talking to Ariel - feedback and suggestions are always welcome. As ever I'm only one Sentientist so others will disagree!

    In ⁠⁠⁠⁠Sentientist Conversations⁠⁠⁠⁠ we talk about the three most important questions: “what’s real?”, “what (and who) matters?” and "how can we make a better future?"

    The Sentientism worldview answers those questions with a commitment to "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings."

    Find out 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 to Tarabella and Denise for chipping in with our production costs via the secret(ish) ⁠⁠⁠Sentientism Patreon⁠⁠⁠.


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/sentientism/message

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Don't underestimate your influence! - Chris Bryant of Bryant Research - Sentientism 183

    Don't underestimate your influence! - Chris Bryant of Bryant Research - Sentientism 183

    Chris is the Director of Bryant Research and the Head of Policy at the Alternative Proteins Association. He is a social scientist and an expert on alternative protein markets and marketing. He has published several papers on consumer acceptance, policy, nutritional value, and other social dimensions of cultivated meat, plant-based meat, and fermentation-derived animal product alternatives. He has worked with alternative protein companies and non-profits, including THIS, Formo, Ivy Farm Technologies, Aleph Farms, Wild Type, ProVeg International, Mercy For Animals, and the Good Food Institute.

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

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

    We discuss:

    00:00 Clips!

    00:53 Welcome

    02:55 Chris' Intro

    - Social science research and analysis helping those "trying to move our food
    system away from animals and towards alternatives"

    - "Industrial animal farming... one of the biggest utility sinks"

     06:46 What's Real?

    - Growing up in a "nominally religious" household... "vaguely Christian"

    - Turning to #atheism and thinking "what is the answer then... what does matter?"

    - An interest in philosophy at university "realised that philosophy was the thing I had been talking about"

    - Going #vegetarian

    - #effectivealtruism "an incredibly powerful tool... applying empirical evidence to altruistic intentions... trying to come up with the best ways of doing good... given limited resources"

    - "I had a good go at #hedonism in the interim though"

    - Naturalistic #epistemology and "being willing to be wrong about
    things"

    - The dangers of unquestioned assumptions

    - Crash testing ideas that go against the mainstream (e.g. are "processed" foods really unhealthy?)

    - Choosing good sources, doing research and running experiments

    - How people form and update beliefs: cognitive dissonance, motivated reasoning, working backwards to justify what we want to believe or do (e.g. consuming animal products)...

    - Even before that: ignorance (not knowing) and neglect / avoidance (not thinking about it)
    "Most people have probably never thought about that question [e.g. what % of animals are factory farmed]". "It's important to reach those people [~50%?] with just the reality and the facts"

    - Strongly and weakly-held beliefs

    - "For some people that's progress... at least they're having to do the mental gymnastics whereas before it had just never occurred to them"

    - "The fact that so few people have thought about it should be some kind of weird hope for vegetarians and vegans"

    - Push [away from animal products - ethics, environment, health] and pull [towards the alternatives - cheap, healthy, appealing, available] factors. "Really for long time we didn't have very good pull factors... appealing alternatives to offer people."

    - Motivated reasoning: "If I lose this argument I'll have to go vegan and only eat beans... but if you can have burgers and nuggets and everything else... I'm not very motivated to try and defend this view any more"

    - Social norms & the expectations of others "Not just what I think of veg*ism but what do others think of it"

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

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

    • 1 hr 50 min
    160: "Mother Cow, Mother India" - Yamini Narayanan - International Development A/Prof - Sentientism

    160: "Mother Cow, Mother India" - Yamini Narayanan - International Development A/Prof - Sentientism

    Yamini is Senior Lecturer in International and Community Development at Deakin University. Her work makes substantive contributions to the rapidly emergent field of South Asian Animal Studies through a twin focus on animals in political and urban life in India. It addresses species as an explicit identity category in Indian national politics through the intersections of #anthropocentrism, #sectarianism, and #casteism. Her book Mother Cow, Mother India offers one of the first empirical critiques of India’s cow protectionism discourse and politics from a #criticalanimalstudies standpoint. Yamini publishes widely in media on issues related to animal rights, including the Animal Liberation Currents, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Huffington Post and Animal People Forum. She has been interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Brazil, and for documentaries on cow protection politics and animal advocacy in India.

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

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

    We discuss:

    Welcome

    Yamini's Intro

    - Researching gender-sensitive urban development (e.g. urban transport in New Delhi & risks to women)

    - "It was entirely by mistake... a twist of events suddenly led me to the world of animals"

    - Animals and urban planning... then animals and nationalistic & identity politics in #india

    What's Real?

    - Being asked "how do you know?" when researching non-human animals

    - "It's also a question we need to reflect on ourselves... how much of projections... biases... are we bringing into our analyses"

    - "To do justice to the subjects of the work... we actually got to be very carefully reflective on this question of 'what is real?'"

    - Confronting "scenes of really visceral extreme physical violence & suffering"... #dairy farming, animal labour in brick kilns

    - Humans with "the flimsiest of protections... virtually none... but in the case of animals they have been completely disregarded as labour subjects at all"

    - "For me it has always been the eyes... of an animal... it is impossible to sustain any form of differentiation when we look at the eyes"

    - "The eyes are possibly one of the most real aspects of connection between two #sentient beings"

    - "When I'm talking to a butcher... or to a self-identified Hindu right-wing cow vigilante who is actually practicing a very authoritarian form of politics... when I look into their eyes... it is again difficult for me to cancel or reject them completely... a window of an opportunity of connection... the eyes are a pathway into something real."

    - Critical studies: valuing the subjective other "any being with a perspective"

    - "In an Indian dairy farm animals are heavily restrained constrained... almost like concentrated animal feeding operations (#CAFO / #Factoryfarm ) of the west"

    - "There is very limited avenue for... expressing individual behaviour... and yet they manage..." curiosity / repulsion / impatience "almost tired of futile interventions"

    - Subjective and objective value and truths

    - The "charge of emotionalism" levied against dairy researchers (vs. rationaity and intellect)... "The separation of the mother and the infant... the visceral suffering that both the infant and the mother experience as a result... when you're seeing it on a farm it is undeniable... how loud and how charged a calf's bleating for its mother can be"

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

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

    • 1 hr 39 min
    Waking Cosmos - a cross-post bonus episode - Sentientism 182

    Waking Cosmos - a cross-post bonus episode - Sentientism 182

    Welcome to episode 182 of the Sentientism Podcast. A podcast about what's real, who matters and how we can make a better world. The Sentientism worldview answers those deep questions by committing to evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings.

    This episode is a bonus cross-post of my discussion with Adrian David Nelson. His Waking Cosmos podcast (here on Apple) explores the nature of consciousness, reality, ethics, and life’s place in the universe. The video version of our conversation is now here on his YouTube channel. Make sure you go and subscribe to both if you haven't already.

    I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did talking to Adrian - feedback and suggestions are always welcome. As ever I'm only one Sentientist so others will disagree!

     We now have over 4500 subscribers on YouTube too. It's great to have your support there.

    In ⁠⁠⁠Sentientist Conversations⁠⁠⁠ we talk about the three most important questions: “what’s real?”, “what (and who) matters?” and "how can we make a better future?"

    The Sentientism worldview answers those questions with a commitment to "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings."

    Find out 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 to Tarabella and Denise for chipping in with our production costs via the secret(ish) ⁠⁠Sentientism Patreon⁠⁠.


    ---

    Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/sentientism/message

    • 1 hr 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

E.P. Clark ,

Thought-provoking and enlightening

Really enjoying this combination of philosophy, ethics, and what it means to be sentient. Recommend to all animal lovers, activists, and philosophers everywhere.

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.

TDawgyDogg ,

I Like it

Been trying to find a show about animals and how we can help them. Even as a meat eater, I believe every sentient being deserves respect, and I appreciate that Jamie Woodhouse is bringing light to a topic that is rarely found in podcasting. A bit critical at times to things, such as religion, but other than that, a wonderful show!

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