‘Non-belief’ doesn’t make atheists devil worshipers

From the Des Moines Register August 7, 2016


gary_touched_upI found Daniel Finney’s July 31 column interesting [Emails show Democrats disrespect for atheists], as I’m uncertain why there is this fear or hatred toward atheists. Atheism is really one plain and simple thing — a lack of belief in any god.

Not hatred of a god or religious person, just a non-belief. I don’t hate a person who has cancer without hating cancer. I don’t hate a child who believes in Santa Claus or unicorns. I simply do not share their belief. I have no agenda. I do not worship the devil or anything else. I believe in science, but do not worship it.

The national goal of the American Atheist Association is twofold — separation of church and state and to offer support to those who are like-minded and know they are not alone in a country where the majority have a religion. I do not deny we’re in a minority, but elimination of atheism worldwide would be accomplished easily — just prove there is a god.

Proving a negative is impossible. You can’t prove there is no Easter bunny or tooth fairy, so I can’t prove there is no god. The burden of proof is on those who tell me I should worship their god. Prove it exists and I’ll be happy to worship it. Any god. Poof! Atheism gone forever.

— Gary DeSomber, West Des Moines

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IAF Sunday Meetup

This is our regular, weekly, Meetup. Please come and join us for an interesting discussion on a variety of issues.

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Guest Lecture: Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is an author, poet and environmental activist whose more than forty books include “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Blind Assassin,” and the MaddAddam trilogy featuring “Oryx and Crake.”  Atwood’s many international literary awards include the prestigious Booker Prize for contemporary fiction, Arthur C. Clarke Award in science fiction and the Governor General’s Award for fiction in her native Canada. Her critical acclaim is equally matched by her popularity among readers and following on Twitter. Margaret Atwood is widely known for her commentary on the human condition and female experience. Her forthcoming book “Hag-Seed” is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.

Margaret Atwood’s Lecture Event:

http://www.event.iastate.edu/event/38426

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IAF Sunday Meetup

This is our regular, weekly, Meetup. Please come and join us for an interesting discussion on a variety of issues.

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Labor Day Cookout and Potluck

This is a family-friendly get together for fun, food and conversation. Guests are welcome.

Please bring something to grill, drinks, and a dish to share as well as games or activities.  IAF will provide plates, cups, napkins and utensils.

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IAF Sunday Meetup

This is our regular, weekly, Meetup. Please come and join us for an interesting discussion on a variety of issues.

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IAF Sunday Meetup

This is our regular, weekly, Meetup. Please come and join us for an interesting discussion on a variety of issues.

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IAF Sunday Meetup

This is our regular, weekly, Meetup. Please come and join us for an interesting discussion on a variety of issues.

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Guest Lecture: “Rationality”­­ by Dr. Stephen Biggs

Description: Each of us has a wide array of beliefs. Some are mundane. I believe that I am typing on my laptop, that Barack Obama is President of the United States in 2016, that the temperature is unseasonably cold today, and so on. Other beliefs are comparatively interesting. Some people believe that one or more gods exist, that illegal actions are sometimes morally permissible, that our universe is one of many, that humans descend from extraterrestrial beings, that time and space are finite, and so on. We can ask two questions of any belief that one has. (1) How did one form it? (2) Is one’s holding it rational? The first question invites a descriptive answer–a good answer would describe the process that one used to form the belief, but needn’t judge the belief as rational or irrational. The second question invites a prescriptive answer–a good answer would judge the belief as rational or irrational. Correspondingly, when considering rationality, we can explore both how we, human beings, in fact form beliefs (a descriptive issue) and how we, human beings, should form beliefs, given that rationality is our aim, (a prescriptive issue). In order to understand rationality, and in order to give oneself the best chance at holding (mostly) rational beliefs, one must get a grip in both issues. Accordingly, I will spend some time briefly considering some of the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that play a role in how we in fact form beliefs and then spend some time considering how we should form beliefs. I will suggest that which beliefs are rational for one to hold depends on the total evidence one has–and so, since different people have different sets of evidence, what is rational for one person might not be rational for another.

Dr. Biggs’ Profile:

https://www.philrs.iastate.edu/directory/stephen-biggs/

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Planned Parenthood Book Sale Setup

Volunteering Opportunity! Please wear clothes and shoes that you can work comfortably in. The bulk of the work is unpacking boxes of books and arranging them on tables. Don’t worry if you can’t make it out at 4:00 – just come when you can, there will be plenty to do. The book sale is held in the 4h building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Please do RSVP if you plan to attend so we can send a headcount to the Planned Parenthood Book Sale organizers. Thank you for volunteering!

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