This event is focused on a better understanding of atheist culture in today's world. This is part of an ongoing series on faith and non faith from OIC. The location we have chosen is nice.
The cost is a main dish or $15 to get in to the event and there will be a full buffet of food. One main dish or salad dish per person. Veggie items encouraged. Exceptions for volunteers who email us ahead of time.
Here is the bio of our speaker. We may have a panel discussion, but are very pleased to have Seanna speak on this issue:
Seanna Watson is an electrical engineer currently working as a freelance technical writer. Growing up in Toronto, her early religious upbringing was liberal/Reform Jewish, though her grandfather was a staunch atheist. Despite having skeptical and freethinking tendencies as a child and young teenager, she encountered some very convincing evangelists and converted to Christianity at the age of 15. As a Christian, Seanna was heavily involved in the local United church,
however, continuing with a skeptical and free-thinking approach, Seanna gradually abandoned various aspects of Christianity over the subsequent years, becoming an atheist around the turn of the century.
Seanna is currently director of the Ottawa branch of the the Centre for Inquiry (cficanada.ca).
Some additional comments from Seanna: "As can be seen from the diversity of opinions in the links provided below, saying that a person is an "atheist" or "skeptic" does not give much information about the details and implementation of their worldview and approach to life. I hope to be able to shed some light on atheism and skepticism, and I am looking forward to some lively discussion."
This event will have more to be announced in time. Below are some videos giving some idea where we are going with this event.
Questions often asked of atheists... There can also be skeptical thoughts about how some skeptics define absolute reality. While this is essentially a philosophical question, is it not extremely narrow to believe that everything starts and ends with human beings?Are we not innately self serving and by this very tendency are very limited in our deeper understandings of our universe, mega galaxies and way way beyond?
Laws of universal form must be distinguished from generalizations, such as “All chairs in this office are gray,” which appear to be accidental. Generalizations, for example, cannot support counterfactual conditional statements such as “If this chair had been in my office, it would be gray” nor subjunctive conditionals such as “If this chair were put in my office, it would be gray.” On the other hand, the statement “All planetary objects move in nearly elliptical paths about their star” does provide this support. All scientific laws appear to give similar results. The class of universal statements that can be candidates for the status of laws, however, is determined at any time in history by the theories of science then current.
Several positive attributes are commonly required of a natural law. Statements about things or events limited to one location or one date cannot be lawlike. Also, most scientists hold that the predicate must apply to evidence not used in deriving the law: though the law is founded upon experience, it must predict or help one to understand matters not included among these experiences. Finally, it is normally expected that a law will be explainable by more embracing laws or by some theory. Thus, a regularity for which there are general theoretical grounds for expecting it will be more readily called a natural law than an empirical regularity that cannot be subsumed under more general laws or theories.
Universal laws are of several types. Many assert a dependence between varying quantities measuring certain properties, as in the law that the pressure of a gas under steady temperature is inversely proportional to its volume. Others state that events occur in an invariant order, as in “Vertebrates always occur in the fossil record after the rise of invertebrates.” Last, there are laws affirming that if an object is of a stated sort it will have certain observable properties. Part of the reason for the ambiguity of the term law of nature lies in the temptation to apply the term only to statements of one of these sorts of laws, as in the claim that science deals solely with cause and effect relationships, when in fact all three kinds are equally valid.--
Hopefully all of this gives us food for thought before the event. :)