You can subscribe to our Sentientism YouTube channel to get notified of new content (mostly me interviewing other people about “what’s real?” and “who matters?”and check out our playlist of other channels’ videos that are relevant to Sentientism.
This video is a presentation about Sentientism given to a group of UK Humanists:
Here’s a sample of one of our #SentientistConversations series – this one is with John Adenitire:
If you’re a content creator and would be interested in making videos about Sentientism, please get in touch using our contact form on the right of this page or via @Sentientism. We’d love to help and will happily share your work in our communities.
Sentientist Conversations: Jeff Sebo
“Change is possible but hard”
In this video, Jamie talks to author, activist and academic Jeff Sebo. Amongst many other roles, Jeff is Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program at New York University, is a board member at Animal Charity Evaluators and is a Senior Fellow at Sentient Media.
We talk about spanning philosophy disciplines and taking academic thinking into the real world through activism for a multi-species political society. We discuss Jeff’s journey from considering Christian ministry, through reactionary atheism, then to a more generous interpretation of religious thinking. We cover naturalism, sentience, the nature of consciousness and much more!
Sentientist Conversations: Claudia Hirtenfelder
“Imagining a better future through our everyday decisions”
We talk about cycling 6,000km across Asia using vegan power! and Claudia’s journey from Christianity to atheism. We discuss how to temper our rationality with humility and by considering diverse perspectives and how to temper our focus on the value of individual sentients with a recognition of social factors.
Sentientist Conversations: Mikko Järvenpää
“Breeding into suffering is the root of the problem.”
In this video, Jamie talks to tech start-up founder and CEO (now https://candle.to/), Mikko Järvenpää. Mikko founded & is now board chair of Sentient Media – an organisation dedicated to making the world a better place for all sentient beings through journalism.
We talk about growing up in the public eye in a political family in Finland, befriending and understanding sheep, the need for scepticism and humility in our rationality and the need to recognise the importance of society and relations even in an individualistic ethics.
I had the pleasure of co-hosting this live call-in show with Objectively Dan. We talked about Sentientism then fielded caller questions – including some about UFOs and whether snake monsters lie at the root of all human religion!
Sentientist Conversations: Jasmin Singer
“A Fabulous Vegan Future!”
In this video, Jamie talks to author, activist, non-profit co-founder and podcast host, Jasmin Singer. Jasmin is the author of “The VegNews Guide to Being a Fabulous Vegan” and the memoir “Always Too Much and Never Enough“. She co-founded Our Hen House and co-hosts their podcast.
We talk about growing up celebrating both Hannukah and Christmas, going vegetarian at 19 because it fit Jasmin’s cool New York image – then going vegan and instantly dedicating her life to animal advocacy. We also discuss the parallels between religious and carnist indoctrination, the intersection of different forms of oppression and the balance between institutional and personal social change.
Sentientist Conversations: Randall Abate
“How can I have been morally asleep for so long?”
In this video, Jamie talks to author and environmental, animal, climate and constitutional law professor Randall Abate. Randall’s books include “What Can Animal Law Learn From Environmental Law?” and “Climate Change and the Voiceless: Protecting Future Generations, Wildlife, and Natural Resources”.
We talk about Catholic and eastern religions and spirituality; the social challenges of giving up animal products; neoliberalism, capitalism and eco-marxism and how the animal and environmental law fields can learn from each other and help drive change.
Sentientist Conversations: Josh Gellers
“De-centring the human”
In this video, Jamie talks to author and associate professor Josh Gellers. Josh’s work spans animal, environmental and artificial intelligence ethics and law. He is a research fellow with the Earth System Governance Project and is a Fulbright scholar. He is Author of “Rights for Robots”.
We talk about growing up in a culturally Jewish household, non-human rights (animal, robot or otherwise) and how to take a pluralistic approach that “wades in the waters of other ways of knowing” without slipping into a relativism that excuses causing needless harm.
Sentientist Conversations: Graham Bessellieu
“Diverse sentients could live in mutual symbiosis”
We talk about Graham’s Christian upbringing (and singing), his turn to a naturalistic, Sentientist ethics, ending animal farming and exploitation and the potential for a Deutschian, Star Trek future for all sentients.
Sentientist Conversations: Gill Coombs
“Being in balance with ourselves and the biosphere”
In this video, Jamie talks to author, coach & counsellor, Gill Coombs. Gill was a UK parliamentary candidate for the Green Party. She focuses on helping people live in balance with themselves & the rest of the living world. Her books include “The Trembling Warrior”, “Hearing our Calling” & “The Game”.
We talk about turning away from Christianity but retaining a personal sense of the transcendent, the intrinsic value of sentient life, whether plants are sentient and whether “life eats life” justifies some consumption of animal products.
Sentientist Conversations: Jamie Harris
“How can we do the most good?”
In this video, Jamie talks to Jamie Harris. Jamie is co-founder of and researcher at the non-profit Animal Advocacy Careers, a researcher at the Sentience Institute and host of the Sentience Institute Podcast (subscribe!).
We talk about growing up in a non-religious environment, going ~vegan at 4-5 years old!, which types of entities might be sentient, whether other factors beyond sentience have moral value, Effective Altruism, long-termism and how best to make social change happen.
Sentientist Conversations: Paul Shapiro
“Let’s end humanity’s war on the rest of the planet.”
We talk about Paul’s animal advocacy journey (he co-founded Compassion over Killing, now Animal Outlook, while still at school) and the potential for new technologies to render animal farming obselete.
Sentientist Conversations: Roman Yampolskiy
“Humans might one day need to beg AIs for our sentient rights.”
We talk about radically open-minded naturalism, the moral importance of freedom and the implications for human, animal and even artificial intelligence ethics.
Sentientist Conversations: Vicky Bond
“As a vet I felt helpless… but change can happen so fast now.”
Vicky tells me about her personal philosophical journey and how, after working as a veterinary surgeon in the animal agriculture industry, she left to focus her career on campaigning for non-human animals.
Sentientist Conversations: Floris van den Berg
“No victim, no problem!”
In this video, Jamie talks to atheist, vegan, activist philosopher and author, Floris van den Berg.
We discuss Floris’ “Eco-Humanism”, his new book “On Green Liberty“, as well as how he is “not a moral realist, not a moral relativist, but a moral universalist.”
Sentientist Conversations: Naomi Smith
“We’ll look back on this era of humanity as barbaric.”
We discuss how Naomi’s personal philosophy has evolved, including her experience of religious sectarianism in Northern Ireland, being excluded from a religious education class and feeling a deep affinity for non-human animals from an early age.
Sentientist Conversations: David Pearce
“Compassion alone is not enough – We need to systematise benevolence.”
We talk about the evolution of David’s naturalistic, sentiocentric philosophy and his “Hedonistic Imperative” – the moral obligation to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life.
Sentientist Conversations: John Adenitire
“From Sunday School Teacher to Sentientist Academic.”
We talk about John’s life story so far and the implications of his naturalistic, sentiocentric philosophy and his pluralistic perspective on moral value.
Sentientist Conversations: Stijn Bruers
“My enemy, which I will destroy, is arbitrariness!”
We talk about what’s real, what matters and how rejecting unwanted arbitrariness, both in epistemology and ethics, leads us to Sentientism.
Sentientist Conversations: Joe Wills
“We have a golden opportunity to re-imagine our relationships with non-human animals.”
We talk about what’s real, what matters morally, and the implications of Sentientism for animal advocacy, wild animal ethics and human animal ethics. We talk about the challenges of breaking social norms and indoctrination and how we can tap into latent human cross-species compassion.
Sentientist Conversations: AJ Jacobs
“I love the Sentientism philosophy – we should see all sentient beings as our extended family.”
We talk about what’s real, what matters, and how AJ’s “personal experimentation” writing projects help us all learn about evidence, reason and compassion. From living biblically for a year and thanking everyone involved in making his morning coffee, to helping us understand how we’re all connected.
Sentientist Conversations: Carole Raphaelle Davis (parts one and two)
“Sentientism feels like home!”
In this video, Jamie talks to actress, singer/song-writer, author and activist Carole Raphaelle Davis about Sentientism, what she believes and what matters morally. In our second conversation, we talk about the intersection of Hollywood and Sentientism – and what it’s like to have Prince throw a creationist tantrum when you take him to a natural history museum.
Carole is an actress, recording artist, writer and activist best known for her roles in Sex and the City and Madam Secretary and for her songwriting with Prince. Find out more about her activism and her work at https://caroleraphaelledavis.com/
Watch the video of our conversation about Sentientism on YouTube here. You can also listen to the audio via Apple, Spotify or the other usual podcast platforms.
The Future Design Podcast by Takatoshi Shibayama is about the technologies and ideas that improve ourselves and the world around us.
As well as covering the basics of Sentientism and its implications, we discussed how it’s much harder for some communities to move to rationality & compassion where their way of life is deeply bound to animal fishing/farming and to tradition. We also discuss how individuals can make personal changes but also help to drive institutional changes that might have even greater impact.
Ask A Philosopher Live Stream
An interesting, open question and answer session hosted by Anna Gullub and Daniel Estrada of “Ask A Philosopher“. I cover the basics of Sentientism but go into some of my personal views too – so many Sentientists will disagree. Our central discussion focuses on whether morality should be grounded in sentience, suffering and flourishing – or not be grounded at all, rather emerging from a negotiated consensus.
Free Thought Prophet:
This is the video version of our Sentientism conversation on YouTube (I’m audio only due to the state of my Covid19 lockdown beard). You can also listen to the Sentientism podcast episode online or on any of the usual platforms. The Free Thought Prophet focuses on freedom of thought, atheism, science, secularism and Irish whiskey (apparently there is no other kind).
This was a less formal conversation, partly because of the whiskey (I may have had a beer too). The hosts and I agree when it comes to religion, the supernatural and atheism. One of the hosts, John, has been vegetarian for years. He continues to see animal farming as an ethical horror but is now relaxing his vegetarianism re: eating wild, culled deer. Our conversation continues on Twitter.
All Things Risk:
The YouTube version (audio only) of our podcast (listen to the episode about Sentientism on their website, via Apple or all the usual platforms).
The All Things Risk podcast by Ben Cattaneo explores the themes of risk, uncertainty and resilience in every aspect of life.
This was an engaging, broad ranging conversation about sentientism. Assessing and managing risk (in simple terms, the potential for bad things to happen) is an important part of the sentientist commitment to evidence and reason.