DISCUSSION:Why do people come together socially on basis of lack of faith?

The new format for Wednesday evening discussion will be:

18:30: NEWER PEOPLE/First Timers at a Meetup; MEET & GREET (all members (new & 'veteran') welcome, but this extra time will be dedicated for our newer members to meet, socialise, to discuss their thoughts etc. Would be great to get some regulars along as well, to help welcome our new friends!)

19:00- 19:20 Arrival for all, social chat, get drinks/ order food if you like, and get seated

19:30 Discussion /Talk starts PROMPTLY

21:00 (flexible): Social, nibbles. Till 22:30 (Pub close)

This Month:

Lorna Mumford is a PhD student in anthropology at University College London. For the past year she has been conducting research among Meetup groups in the London area which cater for nonreligious people (LAAG being one of them).

Her research explores the experiences, concerns and opinions of atheists, Humanists and ex-Muslims and, in particular, asks 'Why do people come together socially based on a shared lack of something' (in this case a lack of religious belief)? And what do people mean when they talk of 'living a good life without God'?

Lorna's presentation will present some of the preliminary findings of her research. It will explore the idea of these groups forming a moral, or value-based, community; reflect on whether differences exist between atheists and Humanists; and discuss how the official divergent discourses of scientific and Humanistic atheism are often utilised by nonreligious people 'on the ground'.


But more importantly it will offer YOU the chance to give feedback and opinions on Lorna's preliminary research results, and on current ideas and theories within the field of non-religion studies. The session will take the form of a part-presentation/part-debate giving people lots of opportunity to share their own opinions and ideas on these topics.


Lorna is just about to finish the field research phase of her project and the next stage will involve many months of careful analysis of data and producing the written outcome of her research. Come along to the meeting and help her figure out if she is on the right track and have an opportunity to have your ideas included in her project (n.b.your real name, or other identifying data, will never be included in any published article or public presentation of this research).

HOUSEKEEPING

Though these Wednesday events are usually structured debates/discussions, they are nevertheless fairly informal; so the bar is usually open upstairs and feel free to order food and have it during the discussion (it's simple food but pretty good apparently).

We aim to start the discussion promptly at 19:30. Please try to turn up in plenty of time to order drinks and get seated by 19:30 ... if at all possible :-) ...  a courtesy to others. If a late arrival can't be helped, no worries, just come in quietly :-)

Directions: map showing route here: http://www.meetup.com/London-Atheist-Activist-Group-friendly-community/photos/9242882/#[masked]

'Official' end time for discussion is 9-9:30pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion; usually we have some social time afterwards till 10:30 (until the pub throws us out!)

The £2 fee either goes towards costs of running the group, including prizes etc, or towards specific campaigns and causes. The latter are specified on the appropriate events page.

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  • Georgi L.

    Well done Lorna, & all for another constructive & affable meeting. Perplexing that 4 people didn't recognise themselves as atheists! Maybe we should have explored that a little after all... perhaps not fair to put people on the spot though. Hopefully we'll cover it at the Nov meetup; the 2nd part of exploration of "terms, use, misuse and abuse". Also interesting that the only difference between those that identify as humanists in preference, and those that rather identify as atheists primarily, was the degree of "impatience" or activity to do something to change things, LOL. This is something that will also be discussed more in November. Lorna has kindly agreed to give us her slides to put up ...coming shortly.

    Next month's meetup is about superstitions in medicine !!,...& how NHS patients lives at put risk. Many of us are likely to get really angry at this one I think!

    1 · June 13, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      And well done to our prize winners - Roger won 3 prizes this month! A 'smart remarks' prize, a thank you in recognition for 1 year of supporting LAAG so wonderfully, & another prize, though I had forgotten what it was for. It's for his 3ff work. Details here: http://www.meetup.com...­. (Perhaps Roger deserves a prize for winning the most prizes, too ;-))

      Jason deserves his accolade for his work on MPs. Would be great if we could all support this excellent work by taking 1 min to write to our MP. Details: http://www.meetup.com...­

      I also forgot to mention Valentin, who received a random prize this month just because he works so hard, is so constructive & a pleasure to be around! :-) Thanks all!

      June 13, 2013

    • Daniel

      Good talk. Thanks for the e mail Ginny. Think i clicked away by mistake! Nice to meet you alll

      June 13, 2013

  • David M.

    Thanks to Lorna for a great talk. Will need to look into Humanism in more detail.

    June 13, 2013

  • rodney k.

    interesting talk, had lively discussion with members.

    June 13, 2013

  • Adrian

    Excellent job by Lorna and a great turn out so thanks to all who came and it was especially nice to see so many from the London Ex-Muslim group (some of whom stuck with us 'till the very end - which was quite some time after we left the Devereux I can tell you!) Also very nice to see so many new faces. A great evening all round :-)

    1 · June 13, 2013

  • Roger

    Yes, a thoroughly enjoyable and useful session. I will get there earlier next time, I will, I will.

    June 13, 2013

  • Jason

    Thanks Lorna for an excellent talk and the interesting Q&A

    June 13, 2013

  • Alejandro

    This was my first meetup with the group, and found quite enlightening the presentation made by the speaker.

    June 13, 2013

  • Kieron

    Well done Lorna, excellent. And good to see more new people attending.

    June 13, 2013

  • Joanne

    Sorry bad timing but something has come up this afternoon.

    June 12, 2013

  • Rich H.

    Really sorry, but I have an early start next morning...

    June 12, 2013

    • Adrian

      That's a shame! Oh well, enjoy your dawn raid ;-)

      1 · June 12, 2013

  • Roger

    Happy to turn up at 6.30 & be one of the "greeters" if required - otherwise just have a drink & a chat...

    May 27, 2013

    • Roger

      Ah, I'm used to meeting and chatting with attendees buying drinks down in the bar first that I forget you're already lurking upstairs. No problem, I will also lurk.

      June 10, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Lurking= shifting of heavy tables and chairs & room set up ;-) We'll be lurking earlier, Meet and Greet new LAAGers from 18:30 UPSTAIRS.

      June 11, 2013

  • Sasha

    Hey. I got a 15:00-00:30 shift, sadly, so can't come anymore. Which is a shame, since I'm a new member. Really wanted to be there

    June 10, 2013

    • Roger

      Bummer, as it looks like being an interesting session. Are you able to make Speakers' Corner at the end of the month? We'll have a little getting-to-know-you & planning session in the pub first!

      June 10, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Roger, Sasha and all - actually this time we're meeting at SC itself; there will be a picnic site alongside, so plenty of opportunities to meet and socialise there - weather dependent of course! Here are the details in case you didn't clock the email sent out a couple of days ago: http://www.meetup.com...­

      June 11, 2013

  • Rebecca

    I work till 7.30pm, when I am lucky, so I might show up a bit later. I always work late, but would really appreciate such a meet up, as my religious friends are driving me crazy :D So I hope nobody minds me being impolitely late.

    June 10, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      No problem at all, Rebecca. Thanks for letting us know, and a very warm welcome to LAAG! You'll miss the new members section at the beginning of the event unfortunately, but hopefully we can make up for that a little during the social time at the end - look forward to meeting you :-)

      June 10, 2013

  • Andre

    I think alcoholism may have something to do with this. If Jesus really loved you things would be very different. We would, to mention an obvious example, spend less time worrying about bills and much more time having fun and, therefore, loving our fellow human beings. And because we can't really bring ourselves to believe in something higher, we get high ourselves. I would like to say that I've gone teetotal myself, by which I don't mean anything requiring interpretation.

    1 · June 7, 2013

  • Joanne

    If how we thought was the majority then I probably wouldn't be hanging around with you reprobates :-) But as it is you lot are my oasis of sense and sensibility.

    June 6, 2013

  • Cloe

    The answer perhaps lies in shots.

    2 · June 3, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Tsk Tsk ;-) (No wonder your nickname here was so quickly established...usually takes much longer for people to 'earn' one!)

      June 4, 2013

  • Sasha

    It's a pack instinct. Also, I think we realize, that together we can do a lot more, than by ourselves. Just like religion, lack of religion creates a common interest and usually some of the morals, which are the result of not having a bible (or another holy book) to tell u what to do.

    1 · June 3, 2013

  • Daniel

    Hi I regularly attend Humanist talks but thought I would come along and try your group, come say hello.

    June 3, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      A very warm welcome, Daniel. Look forward to meeting you.

      June 3, 2013

  • Brian

    For me it is because most people have a belief in some-higher thing-or another, and when questioned about it they get upset. The first time I spoke out at a LAAG meeting I thought there would be some opposition, but nay they shouted yes and clapped. I realised I was among friends, singing from the same hymn book! (Yea yea you know wot I mean)

    1 · June 2, 2013

  • Valentin B.

    This sounds really interesting... the sciences which studies humans are my favorite. Of course I'm in!!!

    1 · May 29, 2013

  • Roger

    Met Sofia this morning (Lorna's colleague) & encouraged her to come!

    1 · May 29, 2013

  • rodney k.

    No guest, but I look forward to the meet

    1 · May 29, 2013

51 went

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Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

Optional Contribution

GBP10.00 to laag.events@gmail.com

This covers: This is to help with LAAG's activism and the Ministry of Reason project.

Payment is accepted using:

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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