93 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

    93: "I believe in the abolition of cages - human & non-human" - Rachel Krantz, author of "Open" - Sentientist Conversation

    93: "I believe in the abolition of cages - human & non-human" - Rachel Krantz, author of "Open" - Sentientist Conversation

    Rachel is a multi-award winning writer, podcast host & media consultant. Her memoir, “Open – An Uncensored Memoir Of Love, Liberation, And Non-Monogomy” was published in 2022. She is on the advisory board for Sentient Media & the board of directors of Our Hen House. Rachel does nonprofit media consulting, especially for vegan organizations & brands.

    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

    01:34 Rachel's Intro

    - Journalism, writing memoir "Open", normalising veganism & liberation

    06:12 What's Real?

    - Growing up culturally Jewish. Parents wanted to leave behind the stricter ordinances (e.g. gender)

    - Jewish school (daily prayers, dress codes) "I was not having it"

    - Moving to a more liberal Jewish school

    - "Tikkun olam": helping the world as an ethos. What you do in this life - not an afterlife. Giving back

    - Immigration lawyer dad working w/Catholic charities

    - Trip to Israel w/a religious group. "I was very disillusioned... they didn't talk about Palestinian people... didn't address the conflict at all"

    - Stark contrast w/parents' sense of Jews as: "we're liberals, we've suffered... so we care about other social minorities & discrimination"

    - "The oppressed becoming the oppressors"

    - Proud to be culturally Jewish but "I identify less & less w/religious aspects... the more I examine them the more there's speciesism or sexism baked in"

    - Always sceptical of a patriarchal god

    - At 9 yrs, trying to make sense of the death of a cousin. Bargaining w/god & praying to protect loved ones

    - Realising bad/good things happen for no reason & interrogating the idea of god

    - Agnostic now. "As sceptical of staunch atheism as I am of staunch religiosity."

    - Humility, interconnectedness. Meditation, dancing with trees

    - Limits of knowledge (now or ever)

    - Credence & probabilities vs. binary beliefs

    - Psychedelics: the science & the experience. The comfort of universal interconnectedness

    - "I'm not convinced of any afterlife or a soul that will go on"

    - Terror management. Coming to terms w/the fear of death (maybe a next book!). We know we'll die but don't want to! Coping via religion, group continuity as a response...

    - "Can I confront this reality [death] & make friends with it?... what would that open up in terms of freedom?"



    ...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 29 min
    92: "Science denial is about identity, not facts" - Lee McIntyre, philosopher of Science and author of "How to Talk to a Science Denier" - Sentientist Conversation

    92: "Science denial is about identity, not facts" - Lee McIntyre, philosopher of Science and author of "How to Talk to a Science Denier" - Sentientist Conversation

    Lee McIntyre (leemcintyrebooks.com & @LeeCMcIntyre) is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy & History of Science at Boston University & an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. Lee is the author of How to Talk to a Science Denier as well as many other books, essays & papers. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, the Boston Globe, the New Statesman & the Humanist.

    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

    01:30 Lee's Intro

    - Philosophy of science to public philosophy ("it's supposed to be about making life better")

    - "Science denial & misinformation are the scourges of our age... there's an epistemic crisis"

    - Clarity & 2-way public engagement "philosophers can't just be talking to each other"

    06:00 What's Real?

    - Ontology (being) & epistemology (knowing)

    - "It's possible there are things that are real... that we cannot know"

    - Naturalistic ontology (only the natural exists) & epistemology (evidence & reason)

    - Growing up in Portland

    - Questioning: "My mom didn't treat me like a kid... That made me a philosopher early on"

    - Dad & grandmother kicked out of church

    - Raised non-religious

    - "It was good to wonder, but it wasn't good to pretend that you were certain of things that you couldn't know or that you didn't know"

    - Socrates: the real enemy isn't ignorance (because we can learn) it's false knowledge

    - "Don't let the charlatans take that sense of wonder away from you"

    - Norm MacDonald: Faith as a choice, a leap?

    - Experiencing cancer & considering mortality

    - How does Dawkins know there's nothing after death? Could there be a naturalistic afterlife?

    - "The fact that there are questions we can't answer is not an excuse for pretending we have an answer"

    - Faith is often a response to the discomfort of uncertainty

    - David Hume & empiricism

    - Skepticism, humility, hubris

    - Karl Popper, fallibilism

    - Pretend naturalism vs. good faith naturalism

    - Science denial/conspiracism: Gullibility about what you want to believe & extreme skepticism about any alternative

    - Arbitrariness

    - Hugh Mellor's "The warrant of induction" https://youtu.be/0__p0iVUi2M &  bayesianism

    38:00 What (& Who) Matters? 

    - Teaching ethics for a decade but "I've never really made up my mind"



    ...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 35 min
    91: "Learning can liberate" - Mary Pat Champeau - Institute for Humane Education - Sentientist Conversation

    91: "Learning can liberate" - Mary Pat Champeau - Institute for Humane Education - Sentientist Conversation

    Mary Pat (@mpchampeau) is the director of graduate programs at the Institute for Humane Education (@HumaneEducation & humaneeducation.org) & faculty at Antioch University. Mary Pat has been in the field of education since 1979 when she began teaching as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger. Before joining IHE, she worked in refugee camps in Asia & supervised culture & language programs for the World Trade Institute in New York.

    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

    01:12 Mary Pat's Intro

    - Humane Ed Grad Prog. One of the only graduate level social justice progs that includes non-human animal protection (w/human rights & environmental justice)

    - A place where people can be who they are with respect to non-human animal ethics. Without apology

    - Humane Education's focus on exploring questions that are central to Sentientism

    - "This is the next level... when are we going to open our circle of compassion - to humans we've never met - to animals...?"

    - Expanding both our compassion & our role in the world

    - Why do so many people committed to social justice / intersectional perspectives / resisting all oppressions struggle to consider non-human sentients?

    - Systems thinking & how oppressions (& solutions) interlink. From lose-lose-lose to win-win-win?

    10:00 What's Real?

    - "Hardcore, long-term, recovering Catholic"

    - Growing up in Buffalo, NW in a large Irish Catholic family

    - Catholic schools & public schools (per George Carlin)

    - "We kind of looked down on the 'publics' because they were going to hell"

    - "The 1960's never really touched us"

    - Taking a world religions course

    - Reading "The Religions of Man". Catholicism was only one of the religions! "Why is Catholicism even in this book?"

    - Peeking out of the nest for the first time

    - Living in muslim communities in Niger. "I could totally relate" because of the parallels with Catholicism

    - Rejecting Catholocism but being grateful for the vocabulary

    - Religious beliefs (angels, devils, god...) as "iconic representations of our psyche"

    - The human impact of the story of Christ. Finding spirituality in adversity

    - Easily rejecting & working against the negatives of religious (& non-religious) worldviews (sexism, racism, homophobia...)

    - Are religions slowly evolving towards more modern humanistic/sentientist ethics?



    ...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 14 min
    90: "We're simply asking for what we want - to criminalise abuse & killing" - David Michelson of YesOnIP13 - Sentientist Conversation

    90: "We're simply asking for what we want - to criminalise abuse & killing" - David Michelson of YesOnIP13 - Sentientist Conversation

    David is an activist & chief petitioner of the Yes On IP13 campaign (www.yesonip13.org & @yesonip13) which aims to outlaw the harming & killing of sentient animals in the US state of Oregon. That's without exceptions for animal agriculture, hunting, research or other forms of exploitation. Originally with a background in psychology & public health, David’s switch to activism began after bearing witness to pigs being killed in gas chambers.

    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

    01:29 David's Intro

    - Being new to activism

    - IP13: Criminalising killing & breeding animals in the state of Oregon

    - "We're asking for what we want"

    - Linking the academic & the real world

    04:03 What's Real?

    - Culturally Jewish/Christian family branches

    - Religion was just a label

    - Having a Bar Mitzvah to "side with my mother... it made religion seem arbitrary to me"

    - "They taught me how to read Hebrew but never taught me what I was saying"

    - "It wasn't a worldview... it wasn't used to make sense of the world"

    - "Sitcoms were more of a determinant of what's real"

    - Meeting people who had done atheist & animal outreach

    - "Free yourself from those harmful social norms!"

    - UFOs, conspiracy theories & religion

    - There's enough awesomeness in reality

    - "I was angry when I learned that Santa wasn't real"

    - Investigating Santa as a child w/a hidden camera

    - Why do we lie to children about so many things?

    - Homeopathy, "stop the steal", astrology, tea leaves...

    - "Psychedelics made me more naturalistic & gave me the final push to go vegan as well"... connectedness

    - Buddhism & Plum Village monks

    - Talking to a flat earther

    - The challenge of having enough, but not too much scepticism

    - Epistemological & methodological naturalism

    - "Pretend naturalism" (only considering evidence supporting what you already want to believe)

    - What evidence would change your mind?

    24:55 What (& Who) Matters?

    - Intuitive ethics

    - Vegetarian at 14 "I didn't want to eat animals"

    - "'I'm not very much of an animal lover"

    - "I thought that cows had to be milked" & eggs were "picked up like an easter egg hunt"

    - Going vegan, then learning about dairy/eggs

    - Watching Dominion then getting involved in activism

    - "A baseline of avoiding violence"

    - Compassion for victims vs. judging human actions...



    ...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 24 min
    89: How can Africa avoid industrialised animal farming? - Cameron King of Animal Advocacy Africa - Sentientist Conversation

    89: How can Africa avoid industrialised animal farming? - Cameron King of Animal Advocacy Africa - Sentientist Conversation

    Cameron (cameron@animaladvocacyafrica.org) is the Operations Lead for Animal Advocacy Africa (also @Animal_Africa). Cameron ran his own eCommerce business for several years before pivoting to charity entrepreneurship to have a more extensive & substantial positive impact on the world. Cameron has been involved in the Effective Altruism community for over ten years & went through Charity Entrepreneurship’s 2020 incubation program.

    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

    01:15 Cameron's Intro

    - Studying, business, Effective Altruism, earning to give, charity entrepreneurship, starting AAA

    03:01 What's Real?

    - Growing up with a logical/reasoned/scientific mindset

    - Attending church & religious school

    - Being drawn to scepticism, rationalism, atheism, Effective Altruism

    - Softening to consider Buddhism/spiritualist elements

    - Meditation "It felt like there's something more going on here". Interconnectedness, a peace with determinism (no free will)

    - There are some moral truths in religious thinking. Religion as metaphor

    - Open mindedness & humility

    15:30 What (& Who) Matters?

    - An early sense of justice "I couldn't sit back & do nothing"

    - Suffering/contentment as a core moral axiom

    - The asymmetry betwee suffering & flourishing

    - We can learn & grow & become happier from suffering

    - Over-simplifying suffering/flourishing

    - "Notes From the Underground" by Dostoevsky & Alan Watts

    - Understanding/truth/knowledge as a meta-goal for humanity?

    - "You can kind of fit everything in" to sentience

    - Considering moral scope as a teenager. Other humans. Other sentients. Veganism.

    - Watching challenging YouTube ethical debate videos (Joey Carbstrong)... "I can't answer this... It shook me."

    - A "who can be vegetarian for the longest" bet with a friend. Going vegan 4 weeks later

    - The social/family aspect was the most difficult partly because "It challenges other people's beliefs"

    - "I've now channelled my vegan angst into this charity"

    - "Changing your mind is possible."

    - Bio/ecocentrism?

    - Digital sentience?

    - Animal farming as an obvious, tractable, human wrong

    - Wild animal suffering vs. an idealistic reverence for "nature"

    - Links between naturalistic epistemology & ethics

    38:08 How Can we Make a Better World?

    - Effective Altruism: "Doing the most good you can in an evidence based & effective way"



    ...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
    88: "Punk music was my gateway into politics & ethics" - Sociologist Nick Pendergrast - Sentientist Conversation

    88: "Punk music was my gateway into politics & ethics" - Sociologist Nick Pendergrast - Sentientist Conversation

    Nick (@NickPende & theconversation) is a Sociologist who researches social movements, social change & Critical Animal Studies. He is a member of The Institute for Critical Animal Studies, the International Association of Vegan Sociologists & The Australian Sociological Association. Nick co-hosts the Freedom of Species podcast & radio show on Melbourne’s 3CR community radio station & also co-hosts the Progressive Podcast Australia podcast with his partner Katie.

    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

    01:22 Nick's Intro

    - Animal advocacy & social justice activism - doing them & studying them sociologically

    - Hosting the Freedom of Species podcast & radio show

    04:50 What's Real?

    - Growing up non-religious w/agnostic (or atheist?) parents

    - Joining a religious friend at Sunday School

    - Being very anti-religious at 5-6 years old (a mini Richard Dawkins?) "This doesn't make any sense at all"

    - "Religion or spirituality has zero impact on my ethics"

    - Softening somewhat...

    - "Myq Kaplan probably started off where I was before taking mushrooms... I've just never taken the mushrooms"

    - Non-supernatural analogues for spirituality/supernatural: Flow states, rituals, habits

    - The ethical problems of believing without evidence e.g. anti-vaxx

    - Harry Potter & the Methods of Rationality fanfic

    - Being open minded but not wasting our time on every implausible claim

    - Religion as a brake on social progress (sexism, homophobia, speciesism...)

    - Religion's positive & negative functions in society

    - Reforming religions to conform w/secular ethics

    - Threatening children w/eternal torture

    22:35 What Matters?

    - A Christian friend: "You seem like quite ethical people but you're not religious!"

    - Socially progressive, liberal parents, so ethics came naturally

    - Apathetic & apolitical as a kid. "I was more into ice hockey"

    - Punk rock as a gateway into ethics & politics. Bad Religion

    - Protesting the Iraq war

    - Anti-war, pro-env, human rights, then animal rights & veganism "It just made total sense"

    - Justice first, then compassion. More a rational than an emotional response

    - Challenging hierarchies. Human & non-human

    - "It didn't make sense that I was above my dog"



    ...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 31 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

Apple TV+ / AT WILL MEDIA
Pushkin Industries
Wondery
C13Originals
iHeartPodcasts
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13

You Might Also Like

For The Wild
The 80000 Hours team
Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan
New York Times Opinion
Siobhan O'Sullivan
BBC Radio 4