This is our regular, weekly, Meetup. Please come and join us for an interesting discussion on a variety of issues.
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:
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!
This a meeting of the IAF Board and elected officers. It’s purpose is for the planning and implementation of IAF activities and procedures. Our commitment to transparency allows that any members who wish to observe the proceedings may do so.
Please be aware that there may not be opportunities for input from the general membership. If members have concerns, they should get in touch with our At-large board members either in person, or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humanists of Linn County and Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers are pleased to announce a half-day symposium titled, “Death and Dying Beyond Belief.” This is a cooperative effort between the Eastern and Central Iowa Coalitions of Reason and focuses on various death and dying topics including death with dignity and end of life preparations, hospice care from a non-theist perspective, memorial services for non-theists, personal stories of facing death without belief in a god or afterlife, and how death and grieving differs for non-theists. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS EVENT, HOWEVER, WE WILL BE REQUESTING DONATIONS TO HELP DEFRAY EXPENSES.
Confirmed speakers include:
State Representative Liz Bennett – Representative Bennett will speak on the Death with Dignity issue within the Iowa State Legislature.
Kay Becker – President of Compassion and Choices of Iowa. Kay is a member of First Unitarian Church of Des Moines and facilitator of the Death With Dignity Action Group at that church. She will give a presentation on what Compassion and Choices does and the importance of advanced planning and documents to aid this planning. She will also give an explanation of the Iowa Death With Dignity Act (HF65 and SF2051).
Peggy Fulton – Board certified hospice and palliative care nurse, has cared for patients and families at the end of life. Seeing families, patients and medical staff all navigate thru the end of life processes, has brought a unique perspective to Peggy’s nursing practice. Peggy and her husband Russ are active in the Iowa Athiests and Freethinkers and currently make their home in Ames.
Kevin Bradley – Final Exit Network Kevin is a writer, speaker, stress management counselor, the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, and an interfaith minister ordained in the United Church of Christ. He grew up in Southern Minnesota and started college with plans to become a minister in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, but those plans changed when his father died from lung cancer when Kevin was 21. He now refers to himself as a humanist, agnostic, atheist, or non-theist, depending on your definition of those terms. He will give a presentation on what Final Exit Network does.
Dr. Hector Avalos – Dr. Avalos is an atheist professtor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University and has experienced near death situations a few times in his life. He will present a personal perspective on what that is like to a non-theist.
Dr. Paul Knupp Ed. – Dr. Kupp is President of the Humanist Society of Iowa and is a Humanist Chaplain. Dr. Knupp will speak about memorial services for non-theists.
Alan Diehl – Board member of Humanists of Linn County and former Evangelical associate pastor. Alan will be speaking about the concept of an afterlife from a non-theistic point of view.
We are still waiting to see if a state legislator can speak and also whether or not United Coalition of Reason Executive Director, Jason Heap, will be able to attend and give a presentation.
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 begin to discuss the text “Mistakes Were Made [but not by me] (revised edition*)” by Carol Tavris & Elliot Aronson.
The reading assignment for this session will cover Preface to the Revised Edition, the Introduction & chapters 1 and 2 (to page 87). 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.
*The revised edition has a blue and white cover (as shown) as opposed to the 2007 edition which has a primarily yellow cover.
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. 🙂
*NOTE* Refreshments will no longer be provided gratis. If you require anything for drinking or snacking, you will have to bring it yourself.
You can read about the book on the publisher’s Website by following this LINK</a> or by going to the Goodreads page for the title <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/522525.Mistakes_Were_Made_But_Not_by_Me_”>HERE.
If you prefer, though, here is a brief synopsis of the title from the publisher’s site –
“Renowned social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson take a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. When we make mistakes, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right—a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong. “