2014 ACA Annual Bat Cruise – Tickets on sale now!

You may have seen the prior post at this blog announcing the 2014 ACA Annual Bat Cruise specifics. At that time tickets were not yet on sale, but we now have our order form up at the ACA web page. Visit the page/form for details and costs.

Keep in mind, since it’s a cruise, space is limited. Once we sell out, that’s all the seating we have available. The boat has a capacity we cannot exceed.

Just to offer a quick summary of the event, we are pleased to have two guest lecturers, author and historian Richard Carrier, and the man behind “The Atheist Book” project, Chris Johnson. Both will be presenting at our regular lecture venue, between 1:15 – 4:00 PM, prior to joining us on the cruise. The lectures are free with purchase of cruise tickets.

Visit the prior blog article or the ACA web page for more information and details for the event. And don’t delay your ticket purchase if you’re planning on joining us in September!

Determining the Attributes and Effects of Gods

So, I was on The Thinking Atheist the last two weeks with Matt. And before going on the final night, the show’s host, Seth Andrews, submitted a very long, well organized e-mail that he’d received from a listener regarding the prior episode. It included a number of questions and concerns about statements made by all of the guests on the program, including me.

Whenever, I receive criticism regarding things I say, from someone willing to put the time in to communicate their concerns clearly and thoroughly, I try to listen. I was especially interested in this, as the topic of the program was “counter-apologetics”—something about which I’m not classically informed. So, I was already prepared for some justified correction, as I was clearly out of my depth. People who hear me on TAE know I’m informal and prefer a conversational style. I’m not out in the world doing formal debates—and, honestly, that’s not a format I suspect I’d enjoy. When I was initially invited on the podcast, I asked why I was included, since it was my view that Matt and AronRa (who was also on) were more than sufficient to cover a “Counter-Apologetics” topic. My inclusion seemed, at the very least, redundant. But it is what it is (to wax tautological). And I agreed to do it.

Out of several comments in the e-mail, only one was directed at me. I don’t know whether to feel flattered or slighted, but I would like to take the opportunity to reply to the author, G, here, starting with his original comment in full:

11:55 Tracie: “People want to talk about the attributes of God or the effects of God before they’ve actually demonstrated a God.”

I found this to be circular. If one doesn’t know at least some of the attributes that a God may have, how does one know when and if the demonstration is successful? Going back to our oak tree, if one knows none of the attributes or effects of an oak tree, how does one know when he is looking at an oak tree? How does one determine that tree X is an oak tree without comparing it to attributes of an oak tree? Must we first demonstrate it is an oak tree before we can talk about the attributes of an oak tree? In the same manner one must talk about the attributes and effects that a god would have in order to determine if that god actually exists.  Luckily, the concept of God does carry with it necessary implications; so, we can look at those and work from there. Various concepts of particular gods carry with them distinct implications, as does the concept of no God at all; by examining all of these implication we may be able to come to some sort of conclusion; but, without knowing any attributes we cannot demonstrate anything at all.

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ACA Bat Cruise 2014: Bigger and Better than Ever!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 27, 2014! This is the date of the 2014 ACA annual Bat Cruise, and we have something special lined up for this year’s cruise, you won’t want to miss.

Details of the event are still being finalized, and more information will be made available in coming weeks. But we are excited to be able to announce we have confirmed both Dr. Richard Carrier and Chris Johnson for the pre-cruise lectures. Each of these speakers comes to the table with a timely, relevant project that impacts the atheist community in different, but important ways:

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Support Romanian Secular Public Schools

So, I was tagged in a Facebook post this morning. I normally am not interested in being tagged in Facebook posts. But this was a rare occasion where it was something legitimately interesting. A group in Romania has organized a protest of religious instruction in their public school system. They have many local secularists posting images of themselves calling for secular public school and education. And this is aligned to the mission statement of ACA.

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