by George Kane
I have a new job with a financial services company that provides a lot of training that I have to attend. One recent training session dealt with theoretical mechanics of the market system. As you might expect in a business-training session, the presentation was freighted with assumptions, such as that the self-correcting mechanisms of the market will always return to the way they were before an episodic crisis. I consider this to be a superstitious view of the market economy.
But while listening to the lecture, I was thinking how market precepts apply to the marketplace of ideas. We are involved in a marketplace battle on several fronts, or products: atheism vs. god-belief, evolution vs. creationism, science vs. superstition, reason vs. belief, and ethics based on consequences in peoples' lives vs. divine declaration. We are confident that we have already won the intellectual arguments on merit, but the question is: why can we not drive our opponents out of the marketplace?
by Bjorn Watland
Face it. Just by identifying as an atheist, you will offend some people. If you go one step further and voice your opinion and one more step to actually question what someone means when they say, "I'm a believer," you've already turned a lot of people off.
This is the main reason why people engage in self-censorship. I've done it myself. I would rather keep my mouth shut than cause a rift between friends or family. However, how can we benefit from keeping quiet? How can we benefit from speaking out?
By Crystal Dervetski
the course of writing publicly about atheism, I have come across some
questions, and many times opposition, regarding belonging to a formal
organization for freethinkers. As with most questions, they are
repeated multiple times by a variety of people, and oddly enough,
many times they come not from religious persons but from fellow
atheists. I plan on sharing a few great statements and questions I
have received over the last year, and my answers to them.
At the March cable show taping James Zimmerman produced and hosted two programs. The first was an interview with Bjorn Watland on Minnesota Atheists' Meet-ups. This was an overview of meet-up activities listed on our meet-up site and easy-to-follow instructions on how to sign on to our meet-up. For the second program, Grant Steves joined the panel, and they reviewed and discussed Two Atheist-themed books. The first was 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God, by Guy Harrison, and the second book was Godless, by Dan Barker from the Freedom of Religion Foundation. If you would like to help on the cable program or sponsor the program on your cable access station or have ideas for a future program please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cable Crew: Art Anderson, Brett Stembridge, Shirley Moll, Steve Petersen, George Kane, Todd Erickson, and Grant Hermanson.
Podcasts: MinnesotaAtheists.org. Made possible by Grant Hermanson.
By Vic Tanner
Easter: A Christian holiday with a pagan name dated with a Jewish calendar? There aren't many holidays in which the date needs to be calculated. Moreover, minor variations in the criteria for these calculations has resulted in different Christian groups, specifically the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, celebrating Easter on different dates. In 1928, the British Parliament made a suggestion to the Holy See to alter the dating method of Easter, not because of any great insight into theological issues, but merely to simplify the date to make the scheduling of secular affairs around Easter easier. The Holy See accepted the proposal.