Asking the Big Questions

My university is running a year long open seminar called Asking the Big Questions, in which speakers are brought in to more or less informally discuss ideas with an audience. This year’s theme is “faith and spirituality”.


Anyway, they’ve brought in people to discuss Chinese philosophy, Wicca/paganism, Islam, etc. I think it’s good that students are getting exposed to diverse ideas and that proponents are given an open forum in which to discuss them, even if what it means is that often bullshit is getting presented as serious thought. Let people listen and think.

Except now they’re dragging me into it. I’m speaking on Thursday evening, 7:00 in the Briggs Library McGinnis room (6:30 if you want to come for socializing) on atheism, agnosticism, and secular humanism. The library is also providing a few short, serious readings on the natural selection, atheism, agnosticism, and humanism for attendees to read ahead of time. (You can get to them by going to the library’s Electronic Reserves page and searching by instructor for “Bremer”; look for course number “Lib5000”.) Dayyum. I thought I was just supposed to show up with a flamethrower and set the room on fire.

The format for the evening is that I should say a few words for 15 minutes, and then the discussion is open to questions. It might be fun, if people turn out, so I’m hoping to get a good mix of enlightened atheists and ignorant, savage believers in the audience. Show up if you’re in the neighborhood of Morris on Thursday.