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The WSU Secular Student Alliance Meeting & Event Summaries

Theistic Argument Rundown/Defining Atheist and Agnostic

There were a couple meetings that never ended up getting their own posts, so this is a quick summary of both of them. One meeting was a run-down of a bunch of different theistic arguments, and the other was a discussion of words that we use to describe ourselves (atheist, agnostic, humanist, secular, irreligious, etc.). » More ...

The Best Arguments For God

At this meeting we shared the most compelling theistic arguments we've ever encountered. Theistic arguments are arguments which attempt to prove that there must be such a thing as a deity. There are many theistic arguments that have been developed over the course of human civilization, and any individual will find some of them to be more compelling or well-articulated than others. Here, we weren't looking for arguments that are correct (atheists generally don't find any of them to be correct), just arguments that are creative and interesting. In fact, we didn't even really focus on theistic arguments precisely - we looked at any argument which says, "it's reasonable to be a believer, and to live a religious life." » More ...

Al-Ghazzali and The Alchemy Of Happiness

At this meeting we discuss the life and works of Al-Ghazzali, and enormously influential Islamic philosopher from the 11th Century. Shannon and Alex discuss the context of his life and outline one of his major works, "The Alchemy of Happiness." We discussed some of his proofs of God, and investigate a bit of Sufi erotic poetry (only because Al-Ghazzali mentioned it). » More ...

Religion and Irreligion Across the Political Spectrum

In the US at least, there is an association of religion and right-wing politics. We talked a bit about atheism on the right, epitomized by Ayn Rand's philosophy and libertarian thought, and religion on the left, epitomized by Liberation Theology, a sort of Catholic Christian Marxism, which is popular in South and Central America. » More ...

Dr. Richard Carrier

Dr. Richard Carrier was one of the speakers at Darwin on the Palouse 2016. Dr. Carrier is a historian of religions, and has published books on a variety of topics. We spoke about two topics that Dr. Carrier has written about: the historicity of Jesus, and the role of historical facts in religiosity; and naturalism as a worldview, as well as what it means for something to be a "worldview" rather than a "religion." » More ...

Religious Education & Humanism in Public School

In the UK, there is an unfolding legal situation regarding the teaching of religion in state schools. Students must choose 2 of 7 major world religions to learn about, but "irreligion/humanism" is not available as a choice. We used this situation as a launching pad for several discussions: If humanism were taught in school, what would the curriculum look like? Should religion be taught in state schools at all? If so, how should they be taught, and should humanism be included? » More ...

“Is Religion Inherently Harmful?”

Among the irreligious, there is a great variety of opinion and passion regarding this question, and the answer to the question has serious implications for the idea of "organized secularism." To address the question seriously, we took on each position in turn (yes, religion is inherently harmful; or no, it's possible for religion to be un-harmful), and then considered the implications in each case. » More ...