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New Meetup: Discussion Night -Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins – helping or hurting?

From: Ulrich
Sent on: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 7:08 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The San Diego New Atheists!

What: Discussion Night -Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins ? helping or hurting?

When: October 13,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: Some people tell me that reading Dawkins or Harris makes them feel less forlorn in an America where questioning religious dogmas still seems to be one of the big taboos. They feel that atheist writers like Harris and Dawkins are urgently needed in the US today where being a ?confessing atheist? is still perceived by many as a recipe for isolation; where a presidential candidate either has to be religious or pretend to be in order to have a chance to be voted into the White House; and where the influence and might of the religious right is widely perceived by secular Americans to be over-inflated and dangerous.
But many also criticize Harris and Dawkins. Harris for example has been accused to ?foster an intolerance towards faith, potentially as damaging as the religious fanaticism which he opposes?. Other critics find his analysis of religious extremism flawed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Harris_(author)). Harris and Dawkins both at times seem to be fighting a straw man or a caricature of religion that might reflect views held at the extreme fringes but overall has not much in common with the religious realities of the vast majority of Christians or Muslims alike.

In our next discussion night we would like to discuss the question if writers like Harris and Dawkins are ultimately helping America to become a more secular AND a more tolerant place - or if they are ultimately worsening the situation.

If people want to read a little bit beforehand there are many interesting links on the wikipedia article on Sam Harris http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Harris_(author)
I am sure there is much more and if I find other interesting articles, critical of supportive, I will post them later. (Let me know if you find interesting articles that you want me to post.)

We will restrict the size of the discussion group to 9 people this time. But if there is a lot of interest, we will just repeat this discussion a week later.

Learn more here:
http://atheists.meetup.com/518/calendar/8869066/

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