Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Southampton University Atheist Society - Atheist and 2 religious atheists

Dorset Humanists

source: highlights comments
  • Chris Street anybody interested. If you can get to Bransgore 7, bH23 8nd we could share petrol to Southampton
  • Matthew Coussell That sounds like a really thought provoking and interesting debate. It's great to see them holding an event like that.
  • John Kingston I'd love to go but can't make this evening. Excellent subject for debate.
  • Matthew Coussell Chris, if it would be possible to pick me up from Ferndown on the way, then l would be more than happy to pay all the petrol costs for the whole trip.
  • John Davison Yes please Chris Street, give me a time at yours, if you still have space.
  • Matthew Coussell How was the talk?
    4 hours ago · Like · 1
  • John Davison Livia Stacey (Non-religious Atheist) Vice President of Southampton Atheist Society:

    Good account of her atheist position, reflecting a probable trigger in the tension of a nominally xian mum and atheist dad. She remembers a childish thought that her dad may be condemned to ever lasting hellfire. Most of her observations were of a personal non-belief nature with little reflection to wider society.
    Tim Rouse (Quaker Atheist) AHS Communications Officer

    Probably had most work to do in rationalising a cultural attachment to the 'friends' whilst being atheist in outlook. Articulating the 'political' dimensions of the 'friends', particularly pacifism. It would not be difficult to imagine him in a couple of years time realising he can port all of his political instincts to atheism without any loss.
    Sean Oakley (Buddhist Atheist) Founder & Former President, Reading Atheist Society:

    A non reincarnating ('but but we are all reused atoms') buddhist had no distance to travel to atheism. Very articulate about the value of meditation, to which all of the atheists present concurred.
    A worthwhile trip (thanks to Chris for notice and lift) to hear youthful debate. Questions from the floor were interesting, after the Uni 'chaplain' ('I'm also a scientist') gave assembled 15 or so folk the usual interfaith pep-speak.
    3 hours ago · Unlike · 2
  • Chris Street I agree with John Davison summary of the 90 minute discussion. 

    2 beliefs of being 'religious' seem to be 1) belief in a supernatural being AND/OR 2) using a 'holy' or 'sacred' or 'important' book as a basis for a worldview. 

    None of 3 atheists, by definition, believed in 1) but Tim (Quaker Atheist) found Quaker books (eg 'Advices and Queries') updated yearly to be useful and these books reinforced his worldviews, but he harked back to abolishing of slavery whilst not articulating any current benefits of Quakerism eg pacificism.

    Alan de Botton's daily reminding us 'to do good' was cited as was Don Cupitt's 'God is a human construct'. 

    The Quaker chaplain said that 'love' was a fundamental principle of Quakerism (see: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
    New International Version - UK (NIVUK)). He drew a distinction between 'atheist quaker' and '

    Sean Oakley (Buddhist Atheist) Founder & Former President, Reading Atheist Society spoke about:-
    Buddhas' sayings. Fideism. 'science v religion'. Concept of Brahman 4000BC, 'enlightenment' (moral awakening / free from suffering (Samsara, flip between happiness and fearfullness?); dislike of authoritarian rules v spirituality. Rationalism v Empiricism. Objectivity v subjective morality. Wisdom, Knowledge, Happiness / Eudemonia. Sean Oakley (Buddhist Atheist) described the 3 categories of Religion (Abrahamic, Chinese, Indian). Research on brain wave patterns of buddhists and nuns are same cited.

    Livia Stacey (Non-religious Atheist) Vice President of Southampton Atheist Society: spoke 'scientifically', degree geophysics. Spoke with passion about critical enquiry and her sceptical attitude. Dune - 'there is no point in living as if you don't have freewill'

    Problems about words 'Faith' and 'Worship' were discussed. Everyone liked 'meditation' cf 'prayer' which externalises agency.

    This discussion should be on Youtube - but nobody filmed it!

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