AS65: The Portable Atheist, Part 2, and More

Part 2 of The Portable Atheist features Omar Khayyam. Poet, astronomer, mathematician, husband, lover, rotary member, blood donor, etc. Omar had it all. He was a multifaceted Iranian who lived around 1050ish to 1150ish.

Then I discuss 3 comments at length. One of them has a corresponding link. Here is that link. This is not an endorsement, but I’m open to all arguments.

byu/Tentacolt from discussion

5 thoughts on “AS65: The Portable Atheist, Part 2, and More”

  1. No worries. Thank you for mentioning me on the podcast. πŸ™‚

    I should clarify the use of the terms mild/moderate/severe/very severe to describe depression or any other condition is clinical in its nature. I did not mean that having mild depression means that the patient does not have serious issues, just that they are not likely to be as impaired by the condition as someone with a worse score. Maybe it is because the words “mild” and “severe” come with such baggage. I get annoyed when someone says “I had mild/moderate/severe depression” because they are (maybe subconsciously) self-diagnosing the severity without knowing how to do so. ~It’s the self-diagnosing by lay people which makes me crazy.~

    An analogy may be the use of “stages” in cancer/other diseases (especially since untreated mild depression/anxiety can turn into moderate, etc). Someone with stage 1 cancer still needs tx because it is a dangerous medical condition, but their prognosis is better, the treatment is usually shorter/less invasive/less devastating/etc. Stage 4 patients’s cancer may have metastasized (the mental health version may be that the depression has resulted in other mental health complications such as hallucinations, catatonias, etc), and their prognosis is significantly poorer and death is likelier. If they survive, their life will be forever changed permanently due to the medication. Anyone with cancer (or depression) should get and may benefit from medical attention. Doctors just need a way to differentiate which cases are more medically serious than others (prognosis, complications, etc).

    SES = socioeconomic status πŸ™‚ Sorry; sometimes short hand sneaks into my emails, though I try to stop it. And I really wasn’t venting at you or Jake. It was a long day, and I was writing about mental health so it came out. πŸ™‚

  2. “If they survive, their life will be forever changed permanently due to the medication.”

    NOT “the medication” I meant “medical situation.”

    “If they survive, their life will be forever changed permanently due to the medical situation.”

  3. Good episode.

    Just about the men’s rights stuff, I would concede that there does need to be a group of people who examine how men’s rights are being affected by progress. Of course, and this is where your comment about feminism and men’s rights being two sides of the same coin was so apt, at the moment MR is not being done too well. Men’s rights advocates can be really nasty and abusive, and basically told me to go kill myself for disagreeing with them. So much for helping the male suicide problem…

    As far as I can see it, feminism is already working on many men’s problems. That might sound like a big claim but there does seem to be some evidence for it. Fighting gender roles and stereotypes is a large part of this. The problem comes in viewing the whole landscape in terms of “gender wars”, where gains for one “side” mean losses for another. But it’s not a tug of war. This is the wrong way to conceptualise the issue. The reality is, there are many causes to fight for which actually help both men and women.

    The prison thing – ask why the crimes were committed (let’s leave out the free will argument for now!). Men think they need to be the providers and risk takers, even when they can’t achieve it legally. The simple fact is, if more women and less men were in the same position, the problem suddenly starts to disappear (for men at least).

    Access to children in custody battles – both sides seem to be aligned from what I’ve seen. Women being granted custodianship in too many cases is also seen as a problem by the feminist movement, who don’t want women to have to look after all the kids.

    What we really need is a clean forum where positive progress can be made, but it always seems to break down due to sabotage from crazies on one side or the other. And believe me there are some feminists with problematic views (I previously described to you my issues with Atheism+, see the episode with Greta on).

    About that link you provided…

    Try as I might, I still don’t think I understand the guy’s central point about “not having a place to speak”. He’s on Redditt. You just need to rationalise whether you think that combating societal pressures to conform is important. As a man, I don’t wanna be told I need to have big muscles, simply because I have better things to do than spend my day in the gym. I’ll have as small muscles as I can get away with, and if girls don’t like it, tough. And I don’t need to feel unmasculine about it either. He never defines in what way he is oppressed or powerless and why demonstrating that to his oppressors isn’t enough to make them start to realise that they’re in the wrong.

    The statement :

    “Currently, in Western societies, women are much more free from their gender roles than men are”

    …is pretty dubious to me. I don’t see why that’s necessarily true. If it is true, it could surely be helped by more awareness of the dangers of gender roles. This is about autonomy, as you can only be as free from your gender role as you’re able to be. When he talks about about feminism it’s never intersectional, therefore the whole thing does have an element of strawman about it.

    Some of the comments below the main one are also very dubious. They clearly don’t understand feminism at all (not that I claim to be an expert, but this is kid’s stuff). In particular there’s a laughable one which says:

    “I think gender, sexuality, race, and ethnic, and religious issues are all connected, and that holistic view is way beyond the scope of feminism.”

    Right…he simultaneously hits the mark and misses it entirely ! It was long ago realised that pursuing the causes of one inequality could lead to neglect of another. Maybe the most radical feminism could be described as such, but the game’s moved on from that decades ago (for many people, anyway). Just Look up kyriarchy and intersectional feminism…

  4. I think that it is important to distinguish the difference between feeling depressed and being depressed. Two different things there.

    I’m not sure about the rating of depression, I was never rated with my depression. I may have been going to work but I was suicidal and always fighting intense angry and anxious emotions. So I may have been functioning but I almost was no more.

  5. You had asked if there were any feminists who wanted to talk on the Mens Rights issue that you could interview, an excellent person who is in both feminism and mens rights as well as relationship counseling and trying to get the sexes to understand one another is Dr. Warren Farrell. He did a talk at a mens rights conference recently but still calls himself a feminist and defends feminism. (

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