LAAG GROUP DISCUSSION & COMMUNITY EVENT: Why I'm an Atheist

PLEASE NOTE: Event is TUESDAY, NOT WEDNESDAY this month, and starts (promptly) at 19:30 (doors 19:00)

ABOUT THIS EVENT:

WHY I AM AN ATHEIST

The floor is yours this month, and we look forward to hearing YOUR story and thoughts about how and why you saw reason, and became an atheist (assuming you are one!). As always, there is no pressure upon anyone to speak, you are welcome just to listen and take part as much or as little as you wish.

Questions will be posed for a group discussion - see "MORE' below...

There will also be readings from some members, of what they found inspirational, including David Eagleman's "SUM - tales from the afterlives" which gives glimpses of what will befall us after our demise. They're very entertaining...

This event and topic is particularly good for all members to get to know each other - hence a very good one for new members to come along to.  It is NOT a formal debate, rather more a chat about personal experiences. (Since COMMUNITY is an important aspect of this group's remit, we will be doing a COMMUNITY & CELEBRATORY EVENT like this every quarter - next one is our 'Friday the 13th, superstitions themed x-myarse dinner ;-))

More below about this event below... _______________________________________________________

ENTRY:

£5  non members/ non RSVP'd members
£3  LAAG/CLHG members, £2 NUS (if RSVP'd)

Please note:

  • People who are no shows more than twice in a year (from now on) will not be eligible for discount, so please update RSVP's ;-)
  • RSVP facility will close automatically, at 17:00 on the day of the event. ★★★ If you have a genuine issue after that time, or are a 'maybe' for some reason etc., just please LET US KNOW in the comment boxes below & that'll be no problem ★★★
  • This is guide only & we won't be draconican in the case of occasional slip-ups etc so don't worry! , but people just showing up or no shows makes organising difficult (& possibly denies others from attending fully booked events) so we do ask for this small courtesy, please.

__________________________________________________

19:00- 19:20 General arrival upstairs (please get drinks and order any food DOWNSTAIRS first)

19:30 Discussion /Talk starts PROMPTLY, till latest 21:30 (but flexible)

Social time, drinks & nibbles, till 22:30

_________________________________________________

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT:

"Why I'm an Atheist" - Your journey to Reason (GROUP DISCUSSION THIS MONTH)

Co-incidentally, this question caught the imagination on Twitter recently. A range of answers and stories emerged, from the touching to the silly, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and just about everything in-between.

Simple answer? "I haven't heard a single good reason not to be"

As well as sharing our histories & thoughts (for those who want to), possible questions might include:

Are we born atheist? (Or is an infant an atheist in the same way that a rock is an atheist i.e. it hasn't weighed up the evidence for or against existence of a god either?!)

Whatever your view on this, it is certainly without doubt that the paths to atheism are many. This meetup is about people sharing individual stories and for us to get to know each other's paths to reason (as far as religion goes anyway ;-)). Some of us will have been raised by atheist parents. Other raised by culturally religious - but perhaps not really practising religion - in varying degrees. And through the whole gamut of this category, to the full-blown religious upbringings in all the various faiths and gazillion sub-sets!

Are there differences in 'ideology', mindset or how ardent someone is in challenging religion/faith, between those atheists that were themselves religious at one point, and those who cannot remember ever having had god belief? If so, what?

- Can atheism be arrived at irrationally, or be held irrationally? E.g. Has anyone become an atheist 'on faith', without looking at the reasons why?

Atheism as a concept is often (wrongly!) described as a negative (being without delusion is a negative?!) But is that simplicity of premise actually its strength? - like 'abolitionism', is it a simple and singular distinct premise that doesn't 'presume' to prescribe, list or attach itself as a prerequisite of holding virtues (to do so would also get into the territory of religious arrogance and presumption perhaps?).

But do atheists themselves generally share many similar values anyway? e.g a healthy(?) questioning of rules and of authority?

  • Is monarchy another form of worship "divine right of kings", hence one that atheists generally eschew? (Should we seek alliances with republicans?)
  • Feel free to add your own questions or comments in the comments boxes below (these comments boxes are for pre and post event discussion TO DO WITH THIS PARTICULAR MEETUP - please use the forum to start discussions about anything else)
  • Though these midweek events are usually structured talks/debates/discussions, they are nevertheless fairly informal; so the bar is usually open upstairs in the break and feel free to order food and have it during the event (simple but pretty good we've been told).
  • We start the discussion promptly at 19:30. As a courtesy to others, please try to turn up by 19:20 ... if at all possible :-)   If a late arrival can't be helped, no worries, just come in quietly :-)
  • The usual end time for discussion is 21:30pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion, and usually we have some social time afterwards until 10:30pm (or until the pub closes!)

The meetup fee either goes towards costs of running the group, including  equipment, room, prizes, nibbles etc, or towards specific campaigns and causes when we can cover other costs. The latter are specified on the appropriate events page.

Join or login to comment.

  • Catriona

    I'm really sorry, but I can't make it tonight, as I'm not very well. Just got back from the doctor, and am now in bed. I was really looking forward to it!!

    September 10, 2013

    • Jason

      Hi Catriona. Sorry to hear you're not well. Take care of yourself and see you at he next one.

      2 · September 10, 2013

    • Catriona

      Thanks Jason. I'm a bit better now - the antibiotics have kicked in. Really sorry I missed this though, sounds like it was a really interesting evening. I hope there will be a similar event sometime. I hope to make next month (even though it's on a Wednesday).

      September 17, 2013

  • Ærykk S.

    Sorry it is very last minute, but i can't come tonight. my partner is having surgery and i have to move out of my dormitory tonight. very tired. i hate how it takes an hour to get anywhere in london from point a to b.

    September 10, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Ærykk, how is your partner? You've brought him along to a couple of meetups and picnics I know, but after first calling you Matt a few times, his name also now escapes me I'm afraid. DOH!

      September 14, 2013

    • Ærykk S.

      Harry is fine. He has a plaster on his nose. And a little bit of a black eye that has developed. But overall he is fine.

      1 · September 14, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    Thanks to Rich for leading the discussion with wit & charm; the perfect person to lead this event & a great start as the first of our Community Events. Well done to all the speakers, & especially those who had prepared pieces to read. Your stories were warm, funny & heart-wrenching in equal measure. Lovely audience participation too, it felt like people got to know each other, bonds were made, and you could almost feel the empathy in the room. I look forward to more of these events as there are a great many other stories we didn't have time for, and also questions we didn't have time to cover.

    (...And don't forget everyone, in case you want to drop off some soup if he's ill, David Mcguire likes Tomato, not chicken !)

    3 · September 11, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      And thanks to John Dillon for allowing us to share his atheist awe at the 'bumblebee incident' :-)

      September 11, 2013

    • Gajane G.

      Thank you, Georgi :) The chocolate was deliciousssss ))
      Look forward to more of these events, it is very interesting to learn about other people stories.

      September 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry for the late reply. Have been busy. It was great to meet everyone at the "Why I am an Atheist" meeting. Thanks for all the positive comments people have sent me. It really was a great event and I really do know that I am amongst friends in this group.

    I have stayed on in London in order to go on the Secular Europe march etc tommorow. So I hope to maybe see some of you there.

    I will then go back to Glastonbury fortified and ready to do battle with the C of E.

    Ha! I do agree with Jason on the "not so spiritual New Age nonsense". Especially in Snake Oil Central aka Glastonbury!

    I have eaten, (though also shared), all the chocs I got as a prize. Not better than sex but close to it!

    Regards,

    Fiona

    4 · September 13, 2013

  • Jason

    Heard a very wide variety of experiences, from escapees from "homeopathic" strength CofE, through not so spiritual New-Age nonsense, to scary fundamentalist cults. Some very moving stories.

    1 · September 11, 2013

  • Botan D.

    It was great listening to you talks and meeting you guys.

    1 · September 11, 2013

  • Adrian

    Great job by Rich who kept the whole evening moving along and created such a warm atmosphere that people who hadn't even planned to speak felt comfortable doing so. Thanks to all who came and especially those who spoke. Some funny, and also some very touching contributions.

    A special mention too for John Dillon, who wasn't there last night on account of living in Birmingham, so Ginny read out his excellent piece which you can download here: http://files.meetup.com/3918922/Atheist%20awe%2C%20connection%20and%20joy.docx

    3 · September 11, 2013

  • rodney k.

    good meeting, other speakers reminded us of just how harmful religion can be.

    1 · September 11, 2013

  • alastairlichten

    I thought this was tomorrow. Massively disappointed as was hoping to attend after a long LAAG break. Hope everyone has a good time. I'll catch up on the comments and see you at the next event.

    September 10, 2013

  • Alejandro

    Sorry, won't be able to attend today.

    September 10, 2013

    • Adrian

      That's a shame - thanks for letting us know :-)

      September 10, 2013

  • Serah

    is atheism compatible with the believe in fate and destiny or pre-determinism, I would be interested to know other atheists view in this

    August 30, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Hi Duncan, great comments. I've taken the liberty of copying them to the forum as it's better place to have proper discussions (these comment boxes here don't allow enough space or flexibility and are mainly just for brief comments to discuss the event itself or keep in touch with people etc). Here is where the full conversation is happening :http://www.meetup.com...­

      September 10, 2013

    • Duncan

      Thanks - hadn't found that

      September 10, 2013

  • Saleem A.

    Something came up so won't be able to come. Will do for the next one. Thanks

    September 10, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      No worries Saleem, thanks for letting us know and see you soon.

      September 10, 2013

  • Serah

    Lola from LBA not attending

    September 10, 2013

  • Robin

    Ken Ham is coming to the UK:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAlJ6Ssc-oE

    1 · September 7, 2013

    • Right Rev. Richard E.

      I agree. Metaphors are fundamentally evil and only serve Satan's agenda. I shall not be speaking tonight (for, what I hope, are obvious reasons) but I shall be with you in spirit - i.e. down the pub. Praise The Lord!

      September 10, 2013

    • Andre

      It should be said in defence of the poor sinner that nothing vaguely resembling a metaphor has been employed. I don't know why I made this unfounded accusation. Maybe it was because I was drunk and felt that was an appropriate opportunity to denounce metaphors. I don't know who or what lured me to the company of impious men. Since joining this group I have become a drinker of wine, a reverer of irony and even a procrastinator. But He who died on the Cross to save us from our sins shall lead me back to the light amen.

      September 10, 2013

  • Gajane G.

    Hey guys! I am so looking forward to this meeting :)

    Today I had a looong conversation with a muslim guy (husband of my muslim friend). I tried to apply the advice that Peter Boghossian gave, and it worked on many levels, because the the guy didn't get defensive and the conversation went in quite a friendly way. What was difficult for me to accomplish is to keep the focus - he constantly jumped from one thing to another, and I found myself dragged into that "jumping" (should work on that for the next time :)). Another significant thing was that he misinterpreted and misrepresented what a lot of what I said, so that sucked lots of energy out of me, i must say.
    Has anyone tried the new tactic in talking to theists? Would be great to hear your experiences!

    1 · September 9, 2013

    • Gajane G.

      Brian, I agree that mostly believers are not familiar with cool stuff like science, logic :) I think, the guy I talked to had a mixture of deliberate and unintentional misrepresentation of my words, he actually told me that he is good at putting words into people's mouths. But I am pretty sure it wasn't all deliberate.

      September 9, 2013

    • Gajane G.

      I know, Roger, I should have done that, I am just not that experienced in live discussions about religion with theists, so I am trying to build up a muscle in that :)

      September 9, 2013

  • Jason

    Who fancies popping down to Chessington with our "Teaching creationism is child abuse" signs?

    3 · September 7, 2013

    • Brian

      What is happening in Chessington (what have I missed)

      September 9, 2013

    • Brian

      Ho Ken Hambrain, I would explode with rage.... Adrian you could take the video.. of them having to carry me out..

      1 · September 9, 2013

  • Saleem A.

    Hi everyone, I'm looking forward to meeting you all tomorrow. See you.

    1 · September 9, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Looking forward to meeting you too! It should be a good event for people to get to know others, so especially good for new members :-)

      September 9, 2013

  • Serah

    Lola from the LBA will be attending

    September 8, 2013

    • Roger

      So the bottom line, Serah, is that if your friend joins LAAG & books, she will save herself 2 quid!

      September 9, 2013

    • Adrian

      Yes. Simples!

      September 9, 2013

  • Serah

    Love the black cat analogy

    September 8, 2013

  • Brian

    We are so privileged to be living at the moment! Science has explained so much that religion used to pretend to know about. From the knowledge of plate tectonics to DNA. The Torah, Bible and Koran, have not helped us understand anything useful about this world. Science and technology rules. a men

    3 · September 8, 2013

  • Andre

    I'm an atheist because without God there is nothing to prevent me from raping, stealing and killing. I can just be myself. I think that is the kind of answer some religious people would give if they became atheists. It follows from an argument I have heard time and again.

    1 · September 3, 2013

    • Andre

      I've looked it up: it's spelled Fuhrer, with two dots hovering over the u.

      September 6, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Yes I agree, but maybe that's when you're speaking with relative intellectuals. In other cases it is not only useful but sometimes the only way to be understood.

      1 · September 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will be there and I have decided to stick my head above the parapet to explain why I have become an atheist knowing that I will be amongst friends, or strangers who will soon become friends.

    While I am an intellectual and like that approach to life my road to atheism is based on real life events and a search for the "meaning" of what happened.

    What I know is that I searched the various religions and "spiritual" paths and expected compassion and understanding about my situation and found none there. Then I talked to an atheist friend who showed me about the Scientific Method which has turned my life around and made me feel safe again.

    Living in Glastonbury I am surrounded by delusion and some of it is really Evil. Believe me in this.

    All the kindness and compassion and validation I needed was found in atheists and humanists so now I want to give back by coming "out".

    BTW With God some people really do kill as I know to my detriment.

    2 · September 5, 2013

  • Daniel

    Cant make this one as am off to Sarajevo. Look forward to reading the discussions on the forum after.

    September 3, 2013

    • Adrian

      You remind me of a joke Micky Flanagan used to do: "..after all the fighting and bloodshed in Sarajevo U2 are going out there to do a concert. And I just thought: ain't they been through enough?"

      2 · September 3, 2013

  • Serah

    sounds very interesting, look forward to this one

    August 30, 2013

  • Ærykk S.

    Sounds good.

    1 · August 27, 2013

  • Catriona

    Glad this is on a Tuesday, as it doesn't clash with my band rehearsal!!

    1 · August 25, 2013

    • Cloe

      Tuesdays are good as I don't have to get up at 8am on Wednesdays!

      August 26, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      uh-oh, we know what that means Cloe....(Andre, get ready for your hands to start shaking...)

      2 · August 26, 2013

  • Cloe

    Student D?

    August 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will definitely try to be there. I have several illnesses so do please take this into account if I cannot be there!

    Best wishes,

    Fiona

    August 23, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      No problem Fiona, we're aware of your situation now so will try and help out/accommodate wherever we can. :-)

      August 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks!

      August 23, 2013

  • Tim

    I may be a bit late as I have a late afternoon talk just before this.

    August 23, 2013

42 went

Your organizer's refund policy for LAAG GROUP DISCUSSION & COMMUNITY EVENT: Why I'm an Atheist

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

Optional Contribution

GBP10.00 Avail in multiples of £10

This covers: OPTIONAL FUNDRAISING: for LAAG's upcoming Activism Conference + other campaigns

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Please email us and we'll send details. Or see us at any LAAG own meetup (i.e. not EXTERNAL events etc.) Again if in doubt email us.

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more
Bill

I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.

Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy