This is our regular, weekly, Meetup. Please come and join us for an interesting discussion on a variety of issues.
The IAF Book Discussion Group is an ongoing effort to provide interesting intellectual conversations for members of IAF and other interested parties on texts and topics relevant to the Secular perspective.
For this session the group will continue our three-part series on the mechanics of Propaganda, a particularly relevant topic in this day and age. The text of choice for this series is “How Propaganda Works” by the author Jason Stanley.
The Reading Schedule for the rest of this series will be as follows –
November – Chapters 3 & 4
December – Chapters 5 – 7 & the Conclusion
For this, and all subsequent sessions, please be prepared if possible, to present things from the reading assignment that stood out for you so that we can gain a good cross-section of individual perspectives where the reading is concerned. Consider questions of content, such as particular passages that really jumped out at you or particular facts/ideas you found interesting that you might want to explore further. Definitely don’t be afraid to ask questions about concepts and ideas that are new to you.
The conference room that has been reserved at Kirkendall Public Library has a maximum capacity of 20 so RSVP early to get a seat. Social time will be available from 6:30 to 7 PM if you want to come and just chat before the discussion begins. We’ll see you there. 🙂
You can read about the book by going to the Goodreads page for the title HERE.<a href=”https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1348990566l/5470.jpg”></a>
If you prefer, though, here is a brief synopsis of the title from the same –
“Our democracy today is fraught with political campaigns, lobbyists, liberal media, and Fox News commentators, all using language to influence the way we think and reason about public issues. Even so, many of us believe that propaganda and manipulation aren’t problems for us–not in the way they were for the totalitarian societies of the mid-twentieth century. In “How Propaganda Works,” Jason Stanley demonstrates that more attention needs to be paid. He examines how propaganda operates subtly, how it undermines democracy–particularly the ideals of democratic deliberation and equality–and how it has damaged democracies of the past.
Focusing on the shortcomings of liberal democratic states, Stanley provides a historically grounded introduction to democratic political theory as a window into the misuse of democratic vocabulary for propaganda’s selfish purposes. He lays out historical examples, such as the restructuring of the US public school system at the turn of the twentieth century, to explore how the language of democracy is sometimes used to mask an undemocratic reality. Drawing from a range of sources, including feminist theory, critical race theory, epistemology, formal semantics, educational theory, and social and cognitive psychology, he explains how the manipulative and hypocritical declaration of flawed beliefs and ideologies arises from and perpetuates inequalities in society, such as the racial injustices that commonly occur in the United States.
“How Propaganda Works” shows that an understanding of propaganda and its mechanisms is essential for the preservation and protection of liberal democracies everywhere.“
For October, we have a two-part program:
Part 1 – The Humanist Society of Iowa will remember Carl Sagan’s Nov. 9 birthday by joining with the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers to help buy a telescope, a microscope, and, yes, even a stream table! to donate to the Des Moines Public Schools.
Part 2 – “I’d say you’re a humanist if you…” Gwen Harvey shares thoughts of Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association.
This program is free and open to the public.
Please join the Fort Dodge Area Freethinkers for their Quarterly Meetup! The IAF has had regular visitors driving down from Ft. Dodge for many of our events so it is time to return the favor! Carpool anyone?
The Thursday Special at Olde Boston’s is 2 for 1 martinis and half off appetizers and flatbreads.
The IAF proudly sponsors an Adopt-A-Highway section of highway along I-35 at Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines. There is an AAH sign posted in that area with our name. We help keep the area clean as a way to help the environment, create awareness of our group and of our role in the community.
We will need a good handful of volunteers to help us out on this day! Safety vests and garbage bags are provided and gloves are recommended. We will be meeting in the McDonald’s parking lot and shuttling to and from the clean up site. Please come on out and help us beautify our Iowa roadsides!
(In the case that weather will not allow us out on this day we will reschedule on Oct 8, same time and place)
Join the Iowa State University Atheist and Agnostic Society as they present Dr. Hector Avalos-Why Intelligent Design is NOT Science. The esteemed Dr. Avalos is Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State, the faculty advisor for the ISU AAS and lifetime member of the Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers. His most recent book, “The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics” was published in 2015 and adds to an already impressive list of accomplishments and personal triumphs.
Join your fellow heathens to laugh, cringe, and groan for Bad Christian Movie Night featuring the super-popular film “God’s Not Dead”! Come see Kevin Sorbo play the bogeyman atheist intimidating his students into rejecting God! Be astounded by the complexities of the freshman’s arguments! Be in shock at the heartlessness of the godless businessman who rejects his girlfriend after she gets cancer! Soar in redemption and joy at the movie’s climax which absolutely proves God’s Not Dead!
Seriously though, God’s Not Dead is every Christian e-mail chain about liberal professors brainwashing students or the freshman schooling his professor on God’s existence (“And that student was Albert Einstein.”). The movie is a worthwhile experience is to discover what so many Christians think the world is like for them and what they think atheists are like. Remember that this is a movie that made over $60 million on a $2 million budget, so it resonates with many people.
Attendance is free. Popcorn, candy, and drinks will be provided as well. You needn’t suffer any more than necessary.