AAACon2013

Now I know this is a UK site, but I highly recommend this event over in the USA. I started going to atheist conventions is the USA back in 2009 (and I was present athe the magnificent Lawrence Krauss “Universe From Nothing” talk). I have made many good friendships with our fellow heathens “across the pond” who I remain in contact with to this day (and hope to see at this convention). It also reminds me of how important the work we are doing is. The problems that do occur in the US and other countries across the word solidify how marginalised and persecuted (yes I will use that word) some people are simply for not believeing in the Sky Fairy.

It can also be the centrepiece of a great holiday!

So the Atheist Alliance of America present the “Shout Heard Around The World!” Convention in Boston over the US Labor Day weekend (30th August – 1st September 2013).

Highlights include:

Host Seth Andrews, (Host of the “Thinking Atheist Podacst”), thepresentation of the Richard Dawkins Award to Steven Pinker, and keynote speaker Paula S. Aspell (senior executive producer of NOVA who commissioned the brillaint documentary on the Dover Trial) as keynote speaker.

I’m already booked up, hope to see you there!

Empowering Women Through Secularism Conference

Atheist Ireland in accociation with the Atheist Alliance Internation present the Empowering Women Through Secularism Conference. To be held at the O’Callahagn Alexander Hotel on 28th-30th June 2013.

The Atheist Alliance International will also be holding its AGM during the course of the conference and all members are welcome to attend.

Speakers include:

For full details and booking information please go to the Conference Website.

 

Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life

At the World Atheist Convention in Dublin on 3-5 June one of the subjects being discussed is the Dublin Declaration on Religion in Public Life which hopes to build on last year’s Copenhagen Declaration. To that end a draft declaration has been circulated to start the discussion between now and June. Here it is:

Personal Freedoms

  • Freedom of conscience, religion and belief are unlimited. Freedom to practice religion should be limited only by the need to respect the rights of others.
  • All people should be free to participate equally in public life, and should be treated equally before the law and in the democratic process.
  • Freedom of expression should be limited only as prescribed in international law. All blasphemy laws should be repealed.

Secular Democracy

  • Society should be based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Public policy should be formed by applying reason to evidence.
  • Government should be secular. The state should be strictly neutral in matters of religion, favouring none and discriminating against none.
  • Religions should have no special financial consideration in public life, such as tax-free status for religious activities, or grants to promote religion or run faith schools.

Secular Education

  • State education should be secular. Children should be taught about the diversity of religious beliefs in an objective manner, with no faith formation in school hours.
  • Children should be educated in critical thinking and the distinction between faith and reason as a guide to knowledge. Science should be taught free from religious interference.

One Law For All

  • There should be one law for all, democratically decided and evenly enforced, with no jurisdiction for religious courts to settle civil matters or family disputes.
  • The law should not criminalize private conduct that respects the rights of others because the doctrine of any religion deems such conduct to be immoral.
  • Employers or social service providers, with religious beliefs should not be allowed to discriminate on any grounds not essential to the job in question.

Please remember this is only a first draft, and we want to have a full and frank discussion about this document so that we can create a final form that is acceptable to the majority of us. To that end we at AthesimUK are starting this discussion over at our forum, please contribute so that we can get as wide a set of opinions on board as possible.