Understanding Intellectual Skeptics

  • May 31, 2014 · 6:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

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.  

http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_shermer_on_believing_strange_things

http://hitchens-appearances.com/debate-with-alister-mcgrath-at-georgetown-university/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/03/26/149310560/atheist-firebrand-richard-dawkins-unrepentant-for-harsh-words-targeting-faith

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8hy8NxZvFY

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFE37062103DBB145

http://www.ted.com/talks/james_randi.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvzTzpAHm2U&list=PL50FE655E6612B777

http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/an-atheist-explains-the-real-consequences-of-adopting-an-atheistic-worldview/?utm_content=buffer506b7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.openculture.com/2012/03/richard_dawkins_rallies_for_reason_in_washington_dc.html

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. :)




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  • Tony Y.

    The day and venue are beautiful and special thanks to folks who helped us with it. It is all already set up and ready to go. I would ask a couple of favors to make this work. 1) I will need help at the door and cleanup. Please email me if this is possible. 2) Please keep a positive attitude and reach out to others with chit chat. This is why we give name tags and ask folks to list country or culture of origin. This is after all a meetup and so have your intro speech ready and under two minutes. One question or thought to guide the speaker always helps. The speaker is introduced last. 3) Please do your best to give us an idea what type of food (Veggie, meat pie, Salad, main chicken dish etc) each person in your party is bringing. We have a microwave for heating items up if need be. Please change your rsvp if you Can Not make it. The space is beautiful but tight. See you tonite. :)

    May 31, 2014

  • Tony Y.

    I have just spoken to NY Times bestselling author Frank Schaeffer, who just wrote a popular book called "Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God?" He has agreed to speak at an OIC forum ... Here is an interview he recently did: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/my-interview-with-frank-schaeffer-and-get-his-book-free-48-hours-only/

    May 31, 2014

  • Kathy

    Desole! Hopefully next time!

    May 30, 2014

  • Joan P.

    Great location, Joni

    May 16, 2014

    • Tony Y.

      I do think this is a nice cozy venue in a centered locale by buses etc.

      May 30, 2014

  • Joan P.

    Hi Tony, That "PAIN" ... is still on the left side of my face, sometimes Intense. I've been bumped-up to June 4th to see an ENDODONTIST out on Carling. (Consultation Only at this point) !!!!!
    Don't know if the problem is Dental/or/Medical ???? X-Rays are Good !!
    This Tylenol/Advil for the past month is really taking a toll on me. Hope to make it out tomorrow evening. Depending on the "pain level" at the moment.

    May 30, 2014

    • Tony Y.

      Joan I understand this is rather painful, and thanks for letting us know. Always appreciate folks de-rsvping if they cannot make it. Get better. :)

      May 30, 2014

  • Joan P.

    Hi,

    I'll bring a Dish, with pleasure,

    Joni

    May 16, 2014

  • Joan P.

    Bus # 12 runs either way...... until 2 a.m.

    and # 5 until 11:00 p.m.

    May 16, 2014

  • Joan P.

    Parking would be on Alfred St.; Cantin St.
    Ducharme St. & maybe Lafontaine St.

    I'm in the "Chateau", Chateau Janeville.

    Joni

    May 16, 2014

  • Tony Y.

    Dear folks I am now deciding between two decent places. Joan has offered her very nice place with a decent room, parking free across the street, bus stop in front of building, and great outdoor patio with grills. I liked it but it is on Montreal Road with a bus stop blocks from St Laurent. the other locale I will see tomorrow and is downtown Bronson near Somerset and I am told it is also nice but there is a cost. Any thoughts? Hope to announce place tomorrow.

    May 15, 2014

  • Seanna

    I should clarify that though I am a skeptic, and a charter member of the Ottawa Skeptics, I am not the head of that group. I am actually the Ottawa branch director for Centre for Inquiry, a group dedicated to the promotion of science, reason, and secular values.

    1 · March 11, 2014

    • Tony Y.

      Seanna I know you are very respected on these issues and we are very happy to have you lead the evening. Please have your groups join us as well. :)

      April 29, 2014

  • Tony Y.

    Interesting article from a respected scientist on physics and life after death. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2503370/Quantum-physics-proves-IS-afterlife-claims-scientist.html

    March 21, 2014

  • Tony Y.

    I think Seanna and the skeptics groups in Ottawa will give us some very good food for thought. I would encourage people to take time to look at the links below as well as my thoughts at the end of this meetup post. We still have place for one more person on the panel. :)

    March 19, 2014

  • Tony Y.

    I had the pleasure to spend some time with Seanna the head of the Skeptics group last night and I truly enjoyed the intellect and openness of the conversations. This event will be mutually with all the skeptics groups and I am sure will be a great time of learning for all who attend. While we do a great variety of events, including ones on religion, we must all be willing to listen to the Other's perspective or you only continually reinforce your own very narrow ideals. This group encourages all of us to have well thought out convictions, and i most certainly do. But none of us has all the answers. In listening and being with those outside your own beliefs, you are often awakened to the fact that those you deemed wrong, have much more in common with you than you deemed right. This is very much the mantra of this group.

    February 5, 2014

  • Tony Y.

    When we talk about skepticism, it comes in many forms. Skeptical of what? Skeptic often define themselves as atheists, and yet this cover too has many forms. Often it is a reaction to bad religion, and I personally can not blame them, because there has been a lot of bad religion in the world. This will definitely be one of the focuses of this event, so atheists...this one is for you. I think a truly objective skeptic would appreciate the following link I just stumbles across...Any brief thoughts are welcome with regards to this quantum scientist. :)
    http://www.spiritscienceandmeta...­

    January 15, 2014

  • Tony Y.

    PLEASE NOTE... I just spoke to Seanna the head of the Skeptics Group who will be one of our speakers for this event. After a great talk, we agreed that we would both prefer to take a bit more time and get a good panel talk on this event on Sat May 31st. This will allow us time to post some of their immediate larger events, that will be posted on our forum as well. We will then be able to properly prepare for our OIC event in May. Please forgive the fact that this date is changed, but the goal is to give a quality result. :)

    January 11, 2014

  • Tony Y.

    Working on our speaker to make this a great event, as well as a better locale. There is growing theoretical proof from physics, that seriously challenge the idea that when we die, that is it. Nevertheless atheist ideas are growing, sometimes as a very justified reaction to the realities of distorted and bad religion. Here is an Interesting link on something we may be discussing in the realm of Physics that ties into the theme of for or against skeptics, depending on one's approach.

    http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/scientists-claim-that-quantum-theory-proves-consciousness-moves-to-another-universe-at-death/

    January 11, 2014

    • Nadia

      wow, really interested in this event and hear different reactions. I have close friends who changed from being spiritual in any kind to Atheist, this event will help me understand better their reasoning !! Thanks Tony again.....

      1 · January 11, 2014

  • Marie P.

    I will be there if I am in town. Looking forward to the New Year Upcoming Meetups Events. May the New Year bring all of you and your loved one the best in 2014.

    1 · December 30, 2013

    • Tony Y.

      Marie always appreciate your gracious nature and contribution.:)

      January 11, 2014

  • Milana

    Sorry Tony, this events sounds really interesting, but unfortunately we will be out of town that weekend. Milana

    1 · January 9, 2014

    • Tony Y.

      Look forward to seeing you on the first of Feb :)

      January 11, 2014

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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.

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