This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Bulletins from the Dublin Atheist Conference

PZ has a first blog here. There is a brief video of the incident he describes with the Muslim questioner here.

PZ also tells us that Muslims "are hitting the twitter hashtag #wac11 hard."

There's a preview article in the Christian Science Monitor herelink text

The Irish Times has an article about the first day of the conference by Patsy McGarry, their Religious Affairs correspondent:

Bacik warns atheist convention of 'creeping fundamentalism in Irish life'

LABOUR PARTY Senator Ivana Bacik warned in Dublin last night of “a creeping fundamentalism in Irish life” which was “a real problem we have”.

She would approve, she said, a ban on genital mutilation of males in Ireland. Last Thursday she received unanimous support in the Seanad for her proposals to ban female genital mutilation in Ireland. The “creeping fundamentalism” she referred to was evident in the US, she said, but in Ireland it was “perhaps more sophisticated, where columnists talk of choice, yet oppose change where Catholic schools are concerned”, she said.

She cited the introduction by the previous government of new blasphemy legislation, a move akin to that praised in Pakistan as a victory for the fundamentalist lobby.

Ms Bacik was speaking at the first World Atheist Convention in Ireland, which began in Dublin yesterday and continues through the weekend. Organised by Atheist Ireland, on Sunday it will discuss and adapt the Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life.

Presenting herself as “the only ‘out’ atheist in the Oireachtas”, the Senator knew “quite a few others who were either atheist or agnostic”, but who remain “in the closet for now”. What she and others in Atheist Ireland sought was “a modern secular Republic where religions thrive side by side, with no dominant religion”.

As with the Swedish saying, it would be a place where “in school you teach, in church you preach”, she said. “In Ireland we have far too much preaching in school,” she said.

She said atheism was “profoundly moral. Its central tenet is respect for others’ beliefs, with an emphasis on combining reason and compassion. Ground rules for human behaviour are not just the construct of religion,” she said.

Commenting that in Ireland “we live in remarkable times”, she said “all our gods have crumbled . . . sacred texts, infallible truths have been exposed as shams”. She was struck by the “comparison between the unquestioning deference shown to bankers, developers, and economic authorities with that shown to religious authority” in Ireland.

Irish people were “too slow to challenge orthodoxy, not quick enough to question”.

In a panel discussion later on “Weird Science versus Weird Religion”, renowned atheist Prof Richard Dawkins said scientists were “not authority figures. They use a method. It’s the best method we’ve got of getting at the truth, even if it’s not perfect.”

Science does make mistakes, he said, adding that “if science can’t get at the truth, nothing else can”. It had “mystery and magic of its own. Scientists love mystery. It’s a challenge to solve, and opens the curtains to yet more mysteries which are as tantalising and mysterious.”

Quantum theory was “deeply mysterious, beyond the impoverished imaginings of any theologian, or of eastern mysticism”.

Predictions of Quantum theory “could be made to the smallest number of decimal places, and was almost certain to be right. There was “no such data on any theological claims made”, he said.



Viewpoints: Why is faith falling in the...

- - BBC News Comments

A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.

From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader

Robert F. Worth - New York Times Comments

A great article about Jerry DeWitt and the growing presence of atheist communities

Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

Chip Rowe - Playboy Comments

Playboy Interview with Richard Dawkins

Atheists On Religion, Science, And...

- - YouTube - townsquare Comments

Cara Santa Maria (Senior Science Correspondent, leads this week's panel on 'The Point' to discuss these issues and more with Michael Shermer (Publisher - Skeptic Magazine), Sean Carroll (Theoretical Physicist - Caltech), and Edward Falzon (author of 'Being Gay Is Disgusting').

Atheists find a new venue for the...

Kimberly Winston - Washington Post Comments

Last weekend, the Atheist Film Festival showed more than a dozen films about separation of church and state, freedom of religion (and no religion), the conflict between science and religion in public schools.

Albert Einstein's Historic 1954 "God...

- - eBay auction Comments

Albert Einstein's Historic 1954 "God Letter" Handwritten Shortly Before His Death



Worrying developments for freedom of...

Various - Various 289 Comments

But the key thing to note in all these cases is that it is no longer just the religious who would inhibit our freedom of expression: increasingly, secular bodies are buying into this invidious idea too, all in the name of 'tolerance' or 'community relations' or 'respect'.

Christopher Hitchens Memoirs

Various - Various 41 Comments

Christopher Hitchens obituaries

Various - Various 152 Comments

A collection of obituaries

Hitchens defeats Blair in Toronto

Various - Various 89 Comments

An Audience with the Pope

Various - New Humanist 35 Comments



Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment