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Among the Unbelievers
14
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Among the Unbelievers

On free will, God, and the search for personal meaning, with Rachel Rizzo
14

Why is therapy replacing God on dating apps? If bad things happen, were they “meant to be”? When we say that everything happens for a reason, what do we even mean?

This week, Shadi and Damir are back on the podcast together with close friend and guest

to discuss her stunning new essay, Do Liberals Have a God Problem?” Recently, Rachel noted a striking contrast on dating apps: men who openly state their involvement in therapy and the dearth of those professing religious faith. This opens up one of the most personal and searching episodes in WoC history. The three delve into free will, sin, and why spiritual alternatives like therapy and “self-care” are, perhaps insufficiently, supplanting belief in God.

Rachel draws on her upbringing in Utah as a non-Mormon among Mormons and as a professional struggling for personal fulfillment in Washington’s environment of brute ambition.

In the full episode (for paying subscribers only) the conversation turns to how a distinctly American emphasis on “freedom” creates a series of dilemmas for young Americans searching for meaning and structure. They also debate the influence of generous welfare states on religious identity and how Rachel’s essay may contrast with the experience of a European. And a very special bonus that you won’t want to miss: how easy (or hard) is it to convert to Islam, according to Shadi Hamid?

Required Reading:

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Appears in episode
Rachel Rizzo
Damir Marusic
Shadi Hamid