Houston AAA/Freethought Convention

October 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm Leave a comment

It was good to be there.   I enjoyed seeing Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.  Sad to see Christopher looking frail, but very glad he made it out.  He hasn’t made a personal appearance in a while due to his pancreatic cancer.

The banquet was packed and the crowd was attuned to the night’s business:   Richard Dawkin’s presentation, on behalf of his foundation, of the Humanist of the Year award to Hitch.   There were at least a half dozen standing ovations in recognition of Hitchens’ contributions and his effort to persevere in the cause as well as his shear pluck to go on.

The presenters were all top notch.  I would highly recommend the convention, though I can’t imagine how they could top this year’s event.  I was torn more than once as to which lecture to attend when there was more than one.

It’s surprising at first that these lectures and presentations are directed at issues we all have.   Here in the wilderness, we’re accustomed to there being nothing that’s on topic, no consideration of our issues or wishes, no acknowledgement that we exist.  (Granted that’s better than being pointed out and dragged off to be burnt at the stake.)   So a whole lecture, germain & to the point, it’s heaven if you don’t push the analogy too far.

The presenters had multiple purposes for being there.  Most have published books, the newest being on display in the convention’s bookstore (The bookstore graciously afforded me equal display space to start advanced publicity for Post Script to a Christian Nation.).  Though we all had issues in common, some led the way for their special issue.  For instance, Barbara Taylor is battling creationism in the public schools in her state, Louisiana.

I connected with the convention’s book store for half a dozen items, books, DVDs.   We are a community by our issues; we have similar, but different interests.  Some of the ones I like to pursue I’ve mentioned in this blog. I’m interested in the philosophical implications of all sciences for humankind.  I’m especially interested in paleo-anthropology, evolutionary psychology and the study of how we evolved religion.  Beyond that starting point, is that somewhat difficult to define “spirituality” that we all seem to have is not only a nurturable aspect of the human spirit, but is better for each and everyone of us to nurture it with our highest aspirations.

I reserve a special place, also, on this blog, for any who want to share how they came to freethought, humanism or atheism.    So, again, you are welcome to share, to bear witness to your journey, the journey of the Doubtful Sojourner.

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Atheist Alliance of America/Texas Freethought Convention A god to die for

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I write for agnostics, freethinkers, atheists and humanists. In my nonfiction, the purpose is the celebration of our noble human spirit. The general pursuit may be Evolutionary Theology, though believers seem to populate that field (so maybe it's evolutionary Humanism). By looking at who we are and where we came from, we can derive much meaning, and perhaps more importantly, understanding, as well as some sense of where we could go.

Religion is God’s Way of Showing Us it’s Earlier in Human Evolution than We Thought

This title is an upcoming book at the publisher's now. I'd like feedback on this title. It's meant to make people think and feel something. And to hint at things for both believers and non- on multiple levels. The book is of a wider scope, though, one which is ultimately a way to grasp more meaning for ourselves. Believers are always telling us our lives don't have meaning without a god. We often counter that it's more meaningful to be looking for our own meaning than to be arbitrarily ascribed it by an imaginary supernatural being. Ultimately, and this is what I think is unique about this book, you'll see how we can be just as spiritual in our own way. Since we've inhertited a capacity for religion (some more than others) as an evolutionary adaptation, believers and non- are both potentially spritual in the same way--but it is an earthly, secular spirituality in which we all can share.

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