The Dallas-Plano Atheists Meetup Group Message Board › Any interest in more self-educational activities?

Any interest in more self-educational activities?

Wes
WesW
Dallas, TX
Post #: 15
I've talked about this a lot since our recent trip to Austin so some of you may have heard it before, but I'm struck by our having locally so many non-theistic groups doing different things. Our bunch is strictly social -- dinner every Tuesday -- which is very cool; There's a need for this. Other groups have social activities, like game nights, monthly get-togethers, etc.

Some groups, like Metroplex Atheists, are more active in political activities, which are also meaningful and very important to some of us.

But I haven't found a group yet that has an active educational purpose, people getting together to increase what they know about religion, non-religion, anti-religion, etc. The NCTOF does have a monthly forum, but I don't think they're doing the things I describe below.

Talking to you guys every Tuesday night, I'm constantly struck by how many books I've not read, questions I can't answer, and people I've never heard of. I never went through a stage of questioning my beliefs, because one day it was just obvious to me that religion was superstition and I just abandoned it without a long period of searching my mythological soul. I'm happy in that, but I find my ignorance makes it hard to argue with believers and that is a problem. If I have to learn what I want to know on my own, I can, but I'd much rather be part of a group doing this together.

And I'm curious whether any interest exists for this very vague idea. Details of what, when, where, and how can be worked out later. Is anyone just interested?

By the way, here are some more specific ideas. Get comfortable, because I do tend to go on. And please feel free to comment.:


  • a book group that reads one book then gets together to discuss it. There have been a great many books published in the recent years, and I know I'm way behind on reading them. This could be open to anyone, those reading it for the first time or who've already read it. The more public-spirited (and prosperous) among us could even donate the book to their local library afterward, to make it available to more people.
  • a sort of anti-apologetics training. Each month we'd learn the logical response to some common Christian excuse for believing what they believe. This could be very useful if you find yourself explaining your beliefs. Churches are actively training their members on how to respond when the other guy says X. I think I would benefit from some of the same.
  • Regular lectures on some topic. I tried to organize these in a political group: rather than everyone try to stay abreast on every issue, one person adopted an issue. They worked hard to do all the reading and periodically reported to everyone else on what was going on with their issue. Down the road, if money and facilities exist, we could even invite speakers into Dallas to talk about whatever.


I'm sorry to go on like this, and I'm even more sorry if this is inappropriate for a Meetup group. But it seems a shame to me that a place a large as the Metroplex doesn't have things like this happening.

If they are going on, please let me know. If I should better take my ideas to another group, please tell me who.
A former member
Post #: 95
i really love the idea of a book group. the other things are great ideas, just not something in which i'm really interested. i'm sort of an apathetic atheist :)

but i do love to read. too bad we don't have a central meeting place... we could start a little library.
A former member
Post #: 16
I like all of your ideas, Wes.

We could investigate meeings in a public library meeting room or at the Center for Nonprofit Management. However, to use the latter we must be a 501(c)3 organization.

KD
Wes
WesW
Dallas, TX
Post #: 16
Someone has to create a better term than "501(c)3." I know that it's very specific in a legal/accounting sense, but it conveys no meaning to ordinary citizens. Every time I hear it, it seems like I'm talking to a Borg. wink
Wes
WesW
Dallas, TX
Post #: 17
As to meeting place, I'd first like to see whose interested in what, and then where they live and/or work. That would give us an idea of what is central.

The Ethical Fellowship did offer the use of their offices to us for these purposes, but they're in Richland Hills and I don't want to ask anyone to drive that far -- not that very many would.

Myself, I like the idea of meeting rooms in libraries, although some cities have residence requirements for reserving a room. I can qualify in that regard for Dallas libraries, but some branch libraries charge for their rooms.
david
user 3456878
Plano, TX
Post #: 8
I suppose I could qualify for libraries in Plano. I will look into it and see what i can find.
A former member
Post #: 18
I can check my local Dallas public library branch (Forest Green.) They have 2 meeting rooms. On Tuesday & Thursday evenings they have GED classes in these rooms, so those evenings are out, plus Forest Green is closed all day Friday & Sunday.

KD
A former member
Post #: 19
I checked out the meeting rooms in my local Dallas Public Library Branch, Forest Green (corner of Forest & Greenville.) They are willing to let us use their meeting rooms at no charge provided we open the book club to the public. I don't think we would object to that. Plus a librarian offered to help us set it up if we need help.

Forest Green is closed all day on Fridays & Sundays, closes at 5 pm on Wednesdays, and has GED classes on Tuesday & Thursday evenings. That leaves us Monday evening and Saturday morning/afternoon. I assume we'd meet in the evening because people work during the day.

BTW, I told the librarian that we are starting a philosophy book club. I didn't use the A-word.

Cheers,

KD
Wes
WesW
Dallas, TX
Post #: 18
I've drafted an email to six branches of the Dallas Public Library regarding using their meeting rooms, but I need to know what day is best for those interested.

Given our Tuesday dinners and limited library hours, I calculate that we have four options: Monday evening, Wednesday evening, Thursday evening, and Saturday afternoons. And I've asked Linda to add a poll with those options to our Meetup site.

Personally the Forest Green branch seems more helpful than the two branches nearest me, so I hope that works out.

If Dallas can't accomodate us, we can then check with Plano and Richardson.
A former member
Post #: 21
The Forest Green librarian was very pleasant and helpful. She runs her own book club (for current fiction and nonfiction bestsellers) and she offered to help us if we need it.

KD
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