FTBCon 3 panels

Tune in this weekend for hours of live panels featuring the bloggers of Freethought Blogs and numerous guests. Here are the panels I’ll be participating in:

Secular Cults

by Russell GlasserAdam LeeKaren StollznowVyckie D. Garrison and Angie Jackson

Not all cults are religious. Attributes of a cult include traits such as: unquestioning commitment to one or more leaders, who are considered unaccountable to any authorities; punishment of dissent; mind-altering practices such as meditation and chanting; and deceptive recruitment practices. Many organizations that are not overtly religious still exhibit many of these traits. In this panel we will discuss some examples of this phenomenon, such as the Amway and other multi-level businesses, the self-help movement, and some homeschooling organizations.

5:30pm to 7:00pm, Saturday 24th January

 

The True Version of the False: Can Atheists Argue Over the “True” Version of Religion?

by Dr. Richard CarrierRussell GlasserDan FinckeAlex Gabriel and Kaveh Mousavi

A debate about the issue of “true” religion: some atheists claim that we can say that some versions (like fundementalists) of a religion are the “true” version of those religions becuase of their relative consistency and loyalty to the scriptures, while other atheists bring different reasons to refute this, for example the subjective nature of the religion. This panel is a debate between the proponents of these two positions.

10:00am to 11:00am, Sunday 25th January

For the most recently updated full schedule, visit FTBcon.org.

Embrace Your Inner Skeptic 7: Some advice on community building

This is the final section of the talk I gave at St. Charles Community College on December 2, 2014.

  1. Amazing news!
  2. Nobody loves a critic
  3. Why skepticism is healthy
  4. What about religion?
  5. Evaluating information in the internet age
  6. Is Skepticism Right For YOU?
  7. Some advice on community building
  8. Q&A

With all that in mind, I also want to say something about social awareness. Managing a group like the Secular Student Alliance is a big challenge. The Campus Crusade for Christ is a massive organization that represents one of the largest religions in the world. To many Christians, participating in a group like this can supposedly influence whether or not you will have eternal happiness. For clubs that promote skepticism and secularism, the rewards are much more abstract.

[Read more…]

Open thread for AETV #893: Russell and Tracie

Russell and Tracie take viewer calls.

Edit: Russell here, piggybacking on this post to say I’m going to be giving a talk at St. Charles Community College near St. Louis, MO next week. Here are the details to share on Facebook.

The even will be held on December 2 at 6 PM in the SSB auditorium in SCC, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Dr. The place is booked until 8:30, and then the group will go hang out somewhere to be announced afterwards. See you there! If you know any Christians in the area, spread the word, since there will be plenty of Q&A time.

Godless parenting link collection

Because we get asked so often about parenting advice by atheists, I wrote a couple of posts a few years ago laying out some basic advice on the subject. Since then I have done two appearances with Dale McGowan, author of “Parenting Beyond Belief.” Now when anybody asks about the topic I provide a short list of links, which so far have seemed to thoroughly cover most questions people have. Because of that, I am reposting that entire list here.

Hope that helps you parents out there.

ReasonCon 2015 Coming in April

Hey, Tracie here. I’ve agreed to speak at the 2015 ReasonCon, since I had such a fun time speaking at the one this year in May! That being said, I feel a little obligated to share out some of the promotional materials for the event as part of my due diligence as someone who has agreed to be involved. That being said, here is the link to the promotional video, and here is some information on the initial press release (shared with permission), for anyone interested in attending:

Hickory, North Carolina – November 1, 2014 –“It was beyond anything I would have imagined for such a small town.  To see what these groups pulled together–created for themselves–was an inspiration.  In fact, every time I turned around, I felt inspired this weekend.  The people, the event, the attitudes and dedication-were all inspiring,” Tracie Harris, speaker at ReasonCon One in 2014.

ReasonCon is an event to showcase the existence of a secular community in the southeastern United States.  It is a gathering of atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, believers, and everything in between to join the conversation about what it means to be secular, and the benefits for all in the continued and vigilant separation of church and state.

This is also an opportunity for people in the Hickory area to learn more about what it means to be an atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, etc.  This year, ReasonCon 2015 is being hosted by the Hickory Humanist Alliance, a local chapter of the American Humanist Association with 2 affiliate groups of their own, which gather in the Hickory area once a month.

Over 400 people attended ReasonCon One, as it was called, in May of 2014.  The event took place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel and featured a day full of speakers talking about everything from using analogies in explaining secularism to the question of the authenticity or existence of an historical Jesus.

ReasonCon 2015 will take place on April 24th and 25th, with a VIP dinner on Friday night at which attendees can meet, chat, and dine with the event’s guest speakers, and then a full lineup of speakers and other events throughout the day on Saturday.

Guest speakers will include: Tracie Harris and Beth Presswood of the Atheist Community of Austin, both of whom frequently appear on The Atheist Experience television show; Ryan Bell, the pastor who decided to try a “year without God”; Heina Dadabhoy, a feminist secular humanist author and blogger; Phil Ferguson, founder of Champaign Urbana Freethinkers and investment advisor; and David Fitzgerald, author, activist, and co-founder & director of the world’s first Atheist Film Festival.

Tickets for ReasonCon 2015, as well as official ReasonCon 2015 T-shirts, will go on sale beginning at midnight on November 1, 2014 at http://www.ReasonNC.com.  Early Bird prices will last between November 1 and December 20, 2014, and give attendees a discount for purchasing tickets early.  (All ticket prices will be listed on the website.)  Those who purchase tickets after December 20, 2014 will pay full price.  In the meantime, follow @HickoryHumanist on Twitter, or Hickory Humanist Alliance on Facebook to get further updates, watch for #ReasonCon2015, see the ReasonCon 2015 trailer, and see sneak previews of the events.

Contact:

Rachael Allman or Gene Elliott
HickoryHumanist@gmail.com
PO Box 294
Claremont, NC 28610
Phone: 828-548-0294