Oct 4, 2013 · 8:00 PM
Robert Ahrens' home
A secular world view creates a strong motivation toward the use of science and logical thinking to define the cultural assumptions of our secular group. We do not have the 'word of God' to abort the use of the more effective tools to understand our universe. A good general question is what can we assume to be shared among other secular members of our community by virtue of our shared world view? There is general support for evolution, the science of global warming, standard scientific notions of cosmology, effective sex education in our schools and gay rights to name some of the more obvious. In each of these areas the religious right makes Bible based claims that directly contradict what is scientifically known. As a community, I do not think that atheism is intrinsically left leaning at all. We we will vote more with the liberal left just because so much of the right is based on appalling anti-science lunacy.
What other values can we assume to be shared in our secular community? While it seems that we have decent general support for feminism in our local community, it is most certainly not unanimous. Religious communities often strongly support not having any children until marriage. Science very much confirms the notion that outcomes for children are better if there are two adults sharing the child rearing. Single parenthood is increasingly accepted in our secular community. Given the conflict with the data from science, should this be the case? What about the broad area labeled social justice?
The Atheism+ movement is seen by some as being divisive because it seeks to include values such as feminism. Their reply is that the secular movement is strengthened by expanding the understanding of secularism to include values that we wished to see expressed. We once had a regular member of our Rockville Discussion group who came out against gay marriage. He got a rather ferocious push-back from the rest of the group. Shortly thereafter he ceased to find our meetings to be enjoyable. I have had a number of others assert that we should focus primarily on the criticism of religion because that is what we know we have in common. This leaves us with the question, how do we best nurture our secular community if we have an understanding of our shared values?
Robert Ahrens as usual will be hosting this meeting. The meeting will start at 8 pm. People may arrive as early as 7:30 so that we can actually start at 8 pm. Please bring a small contribution of food and/or drink to be shared with the group. The home is in Rockville near Viers Mill and Aspen Hill Road. Transport to and from the Twinbrook Metro stop can be arranged if needed.
Mr Ahrens address and phone numbers are not posted here to preserve the privacy of his home. Those details will be emailed the week of the meeting to those who are coming (see note below). Affirmative RSVPs should be posted before 8 pm the prior Thursday to allow time to notify all attendees.
Note: an occasional problem with Meetup emails is that some spam filters will preclude delivery of Meetup email. If you RSVP Yes and want the email informing you of a meeting held in a private home this can be a problem. To prevent this a member can add [masked] to their personal email addresses. If a member does not receive the directions to a Friday meeting by late Tuesday evening he/she needs to directly contact to the organizer. Use the Meetup option for this. A phone call to[masked] leaving your email address is another option. Posting a comment saying that you did not receive the directions (without including your personal email address) is not helpful since if your spam filter stopped the first email it will also stop subsequent email. We want people to be comfortable in opening up their homes to other meetup members and this technical difficulty is a small price to pay to preserve the privacy of those who host events in their homes.