ScepThink Podcast #1: Robot Rights

Hi everyone,

We’re starting up a new podcast featuring fun discussions on ideas, questions, science, politics, religion, current events… anything under the sun!

Let me start off by introducing the podcast. I’m Arun Cherian a.k.a @Cherrybhai, and this podcast is intended to be a platform to share and discuss ideas that are important or might become important in the near future. This shall be a regular feature and a strong focus on this series will be in making sense of our world through reason and dialogue.

In this pilot episode, we’re joined by Carl @PhysicistFrosty, a Physics nerd and maker of cool things, to discuss Robots Rights. In a world where the rate of advancement of science and technology is exponentially fast, robots with artificial intelligence are inevitable and may demand the same rights as human. We discuss how this might happen and whether Robots deserve rights.

Story time: ISIS and Islam…

Yesterday an ISIS member stopped the car of a Christian couple.

ISIS: Are you Muslims?

Man: Yes, we are Muslims.

ISIS: Okay. If you are Muslim, then recite a verse from the Quran.

Imaginary crimes…

One of the things that has brought human beings far ahead to every other animal on the planet is their conception of society. It wasn’t intentional; evolution drove us to it. We were evolving to be increasingly difficult to take care of as infants and it became necessary for humans to be closer to one another than they ever were. To ensure there was harmony among the members in a society, it was essential that they come up with a few ground rules. ‘Do not kill another one of us’, was a pretty reasonable request – so much that murder is universally considered a crime, almost. Somehow, the rulebooks of every single culture got that right. Of course, humans are not perfect as is evident from many of our fellow primates’ insistence to, most often physically, hurt those who abide by a different rulebook than theirs (which is basically what religious fundamentalism, fanaticism and patriotism is all about).

Islam will die on earth…

I keep getting asked all the time why it is that I wouldn’t criticise Islam for all the evil its adherents have brought to this earth, and instead concentrate on “hurting the sentiments” of the “extremely tolerant” Hindus. The simple answer: I live in India, for now, and it’s Hindu lunacy which personally affects me more than any other religion. This is definitely not to suggest I don’t find Islam a reprehensible cult. I could write endlessly about the horrors brought forth by Islam’s true followers (the Islamic State) or assert my opinions on its significantly less truer followers (other comparable terrorist organisations) or the inactions of its supposedly devout followers (moderate Muslims) or the extremely distasteful goalpost shifting tactics of those championing Muslim theology, but to be honest, there is nothing I can think of that can viably add to what has already been said.

The extremely pseudoscientific Hinduism (Part 2)

When I published systematic deconstructions of 25 pseudoscientific claims about Hindu traditions, I felt I had overdone it. ‘I should’ve gone 5 or 10 at a time.’, I thought to myself. Yes, I did say that Hinduism is a goldmine and it wouldn’t be too long before more claims of that kind are made for me to refute, but one can never be too sure. Turns out my apprehension was for nothing. Hinduism has achieved the stature of being a self renewing source of bullshit.