Houston AAA/Freethought Convention
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.
Entry filed under: freethought. Tags: atheism, atheist alliance atheist Houston, barbara taylor, christopher hitchens, creationism in public schools, evolutionary psychology, Freethought, houston aaa, houston freethought convention, how religion evolved, humanism, humanist of the year, paleo-anthropology, post script to a christian nation, richard dawkins.