Joyce Arthur is a founding member of FIRST, a national feminist sex worker advocacy organization based in Vancouver that lobbies for the decriminalization of prostitution in Canada. Joyce works as a technical writer and pro-choice activist, and is the founder and Executive Director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, a national pro-choice group in Canada. She has written articles for numerous publications and has regularly made many television appearances on Canadian news networks. As a badge of honor, Lifesite (or rather, LIEsite) News has called Joyce an embarrassment to feminism.
Joyce spoke with us from Vancouver on a number of topics including the recent victory in the Supreme Court (http://www NULL.theglobeandmail NULL.com/news/national/supreme-court-rules-on-prostitution-laws/article16067485/), striking down a number of prostitution laws in favor of safety, several Ottawa physicians who refuse to prescribe contraceptives (http://www NULL.ottawacitizen NULL.com/news/Some+Ottawa+doctors+refuse+prescribe+birth+control+pills/9450917/story NULL.html) or even refer patients to other doctors who will, and the tactics of anti-choice weasels.
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Welcome to episode 97 of the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world. It’s February 23rd and Kris, Haysn, Twylla and I discuss the report of a potential 500% or so increase in minor tremors in the state of Oklahoma due to fracking (http://www NULL.msnbc NULL.com/rachel-maddow-show/fracking-caused-quakes-oklahoma) and dissention (http://energyindepth NULL.org/national/wastewater-seismic-activity-and-fracking/) with that report. Local bishop Fred Henry earns my ire yet again (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/health/Henry+Unclear+language+clouds+push+euthanasia/9505745/story NULL.html) in his quest to vilify dying with dignity as murder in a letter to the Calgary Herald. Finally, Haysn has a report on a recent debate between physicist/cosmologist Sean Carroll and Christian apologist William Lane Craig (http://www NULL.preposterousuniverse NULL.com/blog/2014/02/20/god-and-cosmology-debate-with-w-l-craig/). But first, we discuss Pope Francis, fresh off the spanking he got from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/world/vatican-slammed-by-un-human-rights-committee-over-sex-abuse-1 NULL.2523737), and his busy week in the Vatican (https://www NULL.google NULL.ca/search?q=vatican+survey&oq=vatican+survey&aqs=chrome NULL. NULL.69i57j0l5 NULL.8898j0j4&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8#q=vatican+survey+ctv&tbm=nws) with keeping their financial institutions from laundering money and what to do about the sudden realization that Catholics no longer follow their teachings, a situation that everyone else knew about decades ago.
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Later on in the podcast, Kris takes us through a bit of satire from the Borowitz Report (http://www NULL.newyorker NULL.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2014/01/stephen-hawkings-blunder-on-black-holes-shows-danger-of-listening-to-scientists-says-bachmann NULL.html) in the New Yorker that she didn’t find funny, but first we take up where we left off in episode 95a (hence the super-intelligent choice of ‘95b’ for this release) with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child kicking the Vatican right in the doctrine (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/world/vatican-slammed-by-un-human-rights-committee-over-sex-abuse-1 NULL.2523737) where it hurts.
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Welcome once again to the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world! Later on in the podcast, Kris, Twylla, Haysn and I discuss a recent New York Times interview of philosopher and theologian Alvin Plantinga titled “Is Atheism Rational?”, but we prefer the title “Is Plantinga rational? (http://opinionator NULL.blogs NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2014/02/09/is-atheism-irrational/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0)“. And finally we voice our opinions on The Atlantic’s article about one of a number of universities around the world that has a department dedicated to investigating the paranormal (http://www NULL.theatlantic NULL.com/health/archive/2014/02/there-is-a-paranormal-activity-lab-at-the-university-of-virginia/283584/). But first, we invited Amy Davis Roth (http://skepchick NULL.org/author/amy/) and Rebecca Watson (http://skepchick NULL.org/author/rebecca/) onto the podcast to have an energetic discussion of skeptical activism.
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We are very pleased to have with us today particle physicist Victor Stenger, who received his PhD in that arena from UCLA and whose research was focused on gluons, quarks and neutrinos. Even though he was a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii till his retirement in 2000 (where he is still Emeritus Professor), he lives in Colorado where he is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy. He has authored a dozen books for lay audiences on physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology, religion and atheism, and pseudoscience, and their intersection and have greatly influenced my own thinking. “God The Failed Hypothesis” had the most impact on me, getting me to realize that the absence of evidence of the existence of god IS evidence of absence if one has looked for the evidence and removing a blind spot that I think is prevalent. “The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason” showed me that atheism is no longer limited to the realm of philosophy. And his most recent book “God and the Atom: From Democritus to the Higgs Boson” demonstrated something I had not realized, that atomism is an inherently atheistic concept, and was the subject of his talk at last year’s Imagine No Religion conference in Kamloops.
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Welcome to episode 93 of the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world. Later in this instalment Kris, Twylla, Haysn and yours truly Randy discuss the premiere of an infomercial- I mean, documentary, of local street minister Artur Pawlowski that three of your co-hosts were involved in to supply an opposing viewpoint, Calgary city councillor Sean Chu’s climate change denial tweets (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-councillor-stands-by-global-warming-alarmist-tweet-1 NULL.2484828), a modern ghost story in Gary (http://ux NULL.indystar NULL.com/story/news/2014/01/25/the-disposession-of-latoya-ammons/4892553/), Indiana, exorcism using 21st century technology (http://www NULL.vocativ NULL.com/01-2014/skype-exorcisms-worthless-say-full-time-exorcists/), and our favorite kicking bag Bishop Fred Henry and the manifestation of his twisted sense of morality in the destruction of a historical landmark in Calgary (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/news/calgary/City+urged+heritage+home+save+from+wrecking+ball/9437116/story NULL.html). But first, I attended the media ‘scrum’ at the unveiling of the latest Centre for Inquiry’s billboard promoting atheism (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/calgary/atheist-billboard-ad-hopes-to-get-calgarians-thinking-1 NULL.2519561) in a positive light and challenging widely-held beliefs about the efficacy of prayer.
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