Next Meetup

Why do we dream and what does it mean? (by Stephen)
This talk will compare and contrast new evidence and unexpected ideas from neuroscience and psychological research. It will bring up interesting questions for discussion. AFTER-MEETUP SOCIAL: The Group Organizer invites members to attend an after-meetup social gathering two blocks away.

Vancouver Public Library Central Library

350 West Georgia Street · Vancouver, BC

What we're about

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder."

A NEW KIND OF ATHEIST GROUP — When atheists confront religion, supernatural beliefs, or pseudoscience we call it skepticism. However, to invest our energies in fighting against obvious falsehoods is to "let our enemies run our lives." When atheists focus instead on positive moral actions we call it humanism—but in practice humanists mainly fight the negative. In contrast, when atheists focus on the natural world we call it wonderment…

WONDERMENT DEFINED — Wonderment is a feeling caused by something surprising, beautiful, or amazing, or from understanding a profound concept (“aha!”). Wonderment is curiosity for things that are in principle understandable—not for beliefs that require faith.

ATHEISM DEFINED — True atheism is "philosophical materialism," which includes disbelief in all ideas that depend on a god-like influence, such as reincarnation and astrology. True atheism is skeptical of all extraordinary claims that lack extraordinary evidence. If you want to understand the naturalistic worldview, watch this entertaining 5-minute animation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOCaacO8wus). If you think the probability of god-like influences is extremely low, you are a de facto atheist. Most importantly, atheists recognize that gods and spirits are obviously make-believe stories created by people, so there is no need to "know for sure" as if it were a real issue. ("Whatever is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Hitchens) Consequently, agnostics have nothing in common with atheists.

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Meetings are in downtown Vancouver. The format is talks given by members (or book readings or video screenings) with lively discussion and a post-meetup social. Read the blog (http://hereinspace.com/tags/friends-wonderment) on some of our past talks.

..."Why do we separate the scientific, which is just a way of searching for truth, from what we hold sacred, which are those truths that inspire love and awe? Science is nothing more than a never-ending search for truth. What could be more profoundly sacred than that? ... I think we still have an acute case of post-Copernican-stress syndrome. We have not resolved the trauma of losing our infantile sense of centrality in the universe." — Anne Druyan (http://www.csicop.org/si/show/ann_druyan_talks_about_science_religion/)

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