Next Meetup

Dr. William Irwin speaks: 'God is a Question, Not an Answer'
Dr. Irwin joins us for a special speaker event at the beginning of January during which we will talk about his new book -- 'God is a Question, Not an Answer: Finding Common Ground in Our Uncertainty' and answer questions. William Irwin is the Herve A. LeBlanc Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Philosophy at King’s College in Pennsylvania. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including The Simpsons and Philosophy, The Matrix and Philosophy, and Seinfeld and Philosophy. His writing has appeared in the New York Times blog The Stone, and he has been interviewed by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today, the BBC, CNN, NPR, and MSNBC. Irwin is best known for having originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books with Seinfeld and Philosophy (1999), The Simpsons and Philosophy (2001), and The Matrix and Philosophy (2002). He was editor of these books and then General Editor of the Popular Culture and Philosophy Series through Open Court Publishing. In 2006, Irwin left Open Court to become the General Editor of The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series which includes Metallica and Philosophy (2007) and Black Sabbath and Philosophy (2012) among other volumes. From his book ( "Uncertainty is the essence of the human condition, and nothing is more uncertain than God. Yet passions run hot when it comes to God, both among believers and non-believers. God is a Question, Not an Answer aims to unsettle readers on both sides of the issue. William Irwin argues that because belief occurs along a continuum of doubt and we can never reach full certainty, believers and non-believers can find common ground in uncertainty. Beginning with the questions of what we mean when we talk about God and faith, Irwin shows that from a philosophical perspective, the tendency to doubt is a virtue, and from a religious perspective there is no faith without doubt. Rather than avoid uncertainty as an uncomfortable state of emotional despair, we should embrace it as an ennobling part of the human condition. We do not have to agree about the existence of God, but we do need to practice intellectual humility and learn to see doubt as a gift. By engaging in civil discourse we can see those who disagree with us as not only fully human but capable of teaching us something." -- Meetings are open to all interested parties. We look forward to meeting new people and seeing familiar faces. We will be using the private meeting room at our new location -- Costello's Italian restaurant in Edwardsville near Planet Fitness in the Gateway Shopping Center -- to hold our meeting. The room offers a quiet atmosphere, privacy, ample space, and a new regular group venue generously offered for no cost to the group (thanks to Kim and Mike for the venue suggestion). The room allows for a two hour timeslot (3PM-5PM). Members are welcome to stay in the room following 4:30 and/or move to the general restaurant area for more conversation. Order from Costello's full menu, including alcoholic beverages from their bar area, which includes options for many diets. Might you need transportation? Members are willing to carpool to help you attend meetings. Post in the comment section here to coordinate with group members. Kim and Mike suggested this idea and can help. Make a donation or become a dues-paying member to help keep our site online ($15/month) and help account for other group expenses by paying with cash at a meeting. Donations will be collected each event. Your support is appreciated. Join and participate on our group Facebook page ( to engage with group members and interesting links outside of group events. Comments, suggestions, and feedback are welcome. Message Justin Vacula though Meetup messages with input.

Costello's Avenue Salads

67 South Wyoming Avenue · Kingston

What we're about

The NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) Freethought Society is a social, educational, activist, and philosophical coalition of atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists, and skeptics predicated on support and community which upholds the separation of church and state and promotes critical thinking.

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