Skeptics and Atheists of Durango NEWSLETTER SEPT. 2016


Editorial opinions and story selection do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the leadership or members of DS&A.

If you have an item that you would like to see included in the next newsletter, please send the link and your comments to larrybollinger@comcast.net

Thanks to the following for contributing to July’s Newsletter: Wray Boswell, Lou Fontana, Marc Masor, Maria Doucette, Bob Smith

How can people believe in evolution when they’ve never seen Darwin appear in a piece of burnt toast? ”     -Uncle Bob Smith (timeless)

toasted-darwin

Next meeting WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 21

Meetings are at Irish Embassy, 900 Main Street Durang

Dinner, for those interested, from 5:30PM.  Discussion starts at 6:30

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August 2016 Newsletter

The discussion topic for this month:

How can society distinguish between the violent actions of extremists, and those of the mentally ill, and should they be treated differently?

This discussion will be led by Sebastian Pivnicka, who has this to say about the topic he suggested:

“The Aurora theatre shooting was clearly (in my opinion) carried out by
someone with serious mental issues. Yet, the Charlie Hebdo shooting was
portrayed by the media as a “terrorist act” carried out by “religious
extremists.” Is it fair to characterize the latter as purely a religious
issue and not acknowledge a mental component to it?

SEBASTIAN GRAPHICS HOLMES AND CHARLIE HEBDO REDUCED REZ

In contrast, the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs was
not widely characterized as a “terrorist act”, though it clearly had a
religious motivation, complete with rhetorical support from certain
religious groups (though they denounced the act after the fact). But
surely, there is a mental illness component to his actions as well?


We are familiar with the existence of religious extremists, but
there are also violent acts carried out for many other reasons. Race,
homophobia, left wing causes, right wing causes, and many others have been
cited as influencing people to carry out violent acts.

RELIGIONINSANITY

We tolerate (in this country) a wide variety of religious thought.
Some of which seem every bit as extreme as the groups in the Middle East
that are getting all the press these days.

Snake handling, faith healing, and the shunning of modern technology and medicine are examples. But,looking at the Amish, they are pacifist and content to not force their views on people outside of their communities. And we would hardly consider them to be suffering from mental illness. Misinformed (mal-informed?) perhaps, but not ill, and not violent.

Do religious beliefs contribute to mental issues (as might occur
with a homosexual trying to fit in with a religious community that is
intolerant of his sexuality) and does this cause more violent acts?

SEBASTIAN GRAPHICS 02 REDUCED REZ

Thanks, in advance, to Sebastian for suggesting this topic and for volunteering to lead this month’s discussion!

WHAT TOPICS WOULD YOU LIKE TO DISCUSS IN FUTURE MONTHLY MEETINGS? BRING YOUR IDEAS TO THE GROUP NEXT WEDNESDAY!
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July 2016 Newsletter

Editorial opinions and story selection do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the leadership or members of DS&A.

If you have an item that you would like to see included in the next newsletter, please send the link and your comments to larrybollinger@comcast.net

Thanks to the following for contributing to July’s Newsletter: Betsy Norton, Lou Fontana, Rebecca Martinez, Marc Masor, Wray Boswell, Dan McGuinness, Kathleen O’Conner, Ray Polidori, and Uncle Bob

 

“There ain’t no answer. There ain’t going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer”.  
                                                     -Gertrude Stein (1874 – 1946)
 

Next general meeting, July 20

Meetings are at Irish Embassy, 900 Main Street Durango

Dinner, for those interested, from 5:30PM.  Discussion starts at 6:30 

The discussion topic for this month:

When was the moment that you decided you were an (choose one) Atheist/Agnostic/Humanist/Secularist/Free Thinker/Rationalist? 

What was your first inkling that the religion of your birth was seriously deficient? When did you first set both feet firmly on the Road to Perdition? What led you to your Atheism? It’s always interesting to hear about others’ personal stories and what led them to reject religion. At this month’s general meeting, you will have the opportunity to learn more about your fellow members and what events shaped their lives. Share your own story and then sit back and listen as others do the same!

doesn't it bother you

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June 2016 Newsletter

The discussion topic for this month: “Street Epistemology”
Presented by Kathleen O’Conner

Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from mere opinion. What is the most productive way for atheists to converse with believers about matters of faith? Should we even try? street-epistemologyThis is a topic that was suggested by an episode of Seth Andrews’ The Thinking Atheist in which Seth interviews Anthony Magnabosco who is an advocate (one of many) of ‘street epistemology’. Magnabosco interviews random people on the street about their religious beliefs with the goal of gently leading the respondent to seriously examine the roots of their beliefs while advancing the atheist/rationalist world view.

Editorial opinions and story selection do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the leadership or members of DS&A.

If you have an item that you would like to see included in the next newsletter, please send the link and your comments to larrybollinger@comcast.net

Continue reading

May 2016 Newsletter

Editorial opinions and story selection do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the leadership or members of DS&A.

Discussion topic for this month:
Grief Without Belief
Presented by Maria Doucette

grief

Maria says: “I would like to do a contrast and comparison of the stages of grief and how they relate to people who do not have a higher power to rely upon. I have seen firsthand how believing in a higher power makes grief easier in some ways. Atheists often comment that the only thing they envy about people who have a faith in God is their belief that they will be able to see their loved one later and that it is part of God’s plan.”

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April 2016 Newsletter

Editorial opinions and story selection do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the leadership or members of DS&A.

Discussion topic for this month: Violence and the Human Condition
Presented by Adrian Tillery

violence

Adrian writes:
“What motivates violence? 
Why do compassionate people kill others, or themselves? 
Most acts of violence are actually committed by people that feel they are doing the right thing.  What role does violence have in regulating our social relationships/contracts? 
When speaking of violence, the issue is not black and white, but grey.  I want to explore violence in our history, in our society, and in our lives.

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Interview with Bart Erhman RE: the source of the Gospels

I ran across this brief interview with Bart Erhman and I thought it might interest the group.

An Interview With Author Bart D. Ehrman

Q: What is it that drives your fascination with how Jesus has been “remembered” and “misremembered”?

A: When most people today read the Gospels of the New Testament, they nearly always assume that these accounts were written soon after Jesus’ death by people who knew him and his disciples: these are transcripts of the things Jesus said and did, down to the minute detail. What people tend not to realize is that these accounts were written 40–60 years after Jesus had died, by people who did not know him, who did not live in his same country, who did not speak his same language.

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