Public Meeting: Relevance of Religion for Atheists
Grant Steves is a past member and chair of the board of directors as well as host for the Atheists Talk program on both cable and radio. He has presented several lectures to Minnesota Atheists, including one on cults and fundamentalism and another titled “Ethics: Science or religion – Which has the Answer?” Grant has also been a regular speaker at our Day of Reason annual event at the Minnesota Capitol. His presentations are always very organized and thought-provoking, and generate vigorous discussion.
On September 21, 2014 at 2:00 at the Roseville Public Library, Grant will present for atheists an expanded perspective on religion. From that perspective he will provide an analysis of religious thinking and advice on how to communicate with religious people.
The first part of the presentation will be concerned with the modern approach to the study of religion. Critical study of religion is relatively new, dating from the early 19th Century. This led to a movement begun in 1889 by Max Muller to study religions scientifically. Diverse, contending definitions of religion in Western thought has impeded this study. Redefining religion has led to progress in understanding it, and explaining what it means for an atheist in the 21st Century.
Another topic of the presentation will be how to communicate with religious believers. We can understand the cognitive process that is used to construct a believer’s world view. Grant hopes the presentation will encourage a discussion of religion and our understanding of the difficulties we encounter with religious groups. He will provide links to recordings of debates that illustrate the problems of communication between believes and non-believers.