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Secular Sunday #176 - A Better Life || 10 May, 2015
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek WalshI attended the screening of A Better Life (see News section below) on Friday and a Catholic funeral yesterday. The odd juxtaposition highlighted for me the stark difference between the atheist and religious mindset. While the deceased had indeed found plenty of meaning in her life, much of the focus of the funeral service was on how it was but a prelude to an even better life that she had now begun. I understand the comfort that this can bring to those who mourn, but having spent the previous evening hearing atheists expound on how much they value life because it is precious and finite, the promise of an eternal ethereal existence rang even more hollow than usual. A life well lived is worth celebrating and its end is worth mourning. Death has a sting.

- Derek Walsh, Editor

 

News


A Better Life

Last Friday, Atheist Ireland hosted the Irish premiere of the documentary A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God, written and directed by Chris Johnson who was in attendance and introduced the film and answered questions afterwards. If you missed it or enjoyed it so much you want to see it again, it's available for purchase or rental on Chris's website, where you can also find the book of the same name on which the film was based. Video of the question and answer session is here.


United Nations Briefing

Next month Michael Nugent and Jane Donnelly will represent Atheist Ireland in Geneva, when the United Nations will be examining the Irish State about its human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
We will be briefing the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights before it questions the Irish State, and giving the Committee real-time analysis of the answers that the Irish State gives to its questions. Read more

 

Calendar


Upcoming Events


All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise stated. Listing is not necessarily an endorsement. Listings sorted alphabetically by county, then chronologically.


Clare


Sunday 31 May, 12:00 noon, Rowan Tree Cafe Bar, Harmony Row, Ennis (map)
Mid West Humanists Sunday Brunch. The Mid West Humanists are now on Facebook and Twitter.


Donegal


Sunday 17 May, 5:00 pm, Mount Errigal Hotel, Ballyraine, Letterkenny (map)
Secular Sunday Supper. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page
 

Limerick


Wednesday 20 May, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry's Mall, Limerick (map)
The Mid West Humanists will meet. (Ask at the hotel reception for a card key to get up the lift to the meeting, which is usually on the third floor.)
 

Observances


15 May


International Day of Families
 


This Week in History


Anniversaries of momentous events in atheism, science, skepticism, secularism and human rights, plundered shamelessly from Wikipedia and other sources.


11 May


1820: HMS Beagle, the ship that will take Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage, is launched.

1997: Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.
 
 

Birthdays


11 May


1918: Richard Feynman (d. 1988). American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate.


13 May


1951: Herman Philipse. Professor of philosophy at Utrecht University, the Netherlands and University of Oxford, United Kingdom, writer of Atheistisch manifest & De onredelijkheid van religie (Atheist Manifesto and the unreasonableness of religion).


15 May


1859: Pierre Curie (d. 1906). French physicist. Co-winner of the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics (along with his wife Marie, and Henri Becquerel) for pioneering research on radiation.
 

Opinion


Material collected from the Irish atheist blogosphere and beyond; used without permission, compensation, liability, guarantee or implied endorsement.


It Takes A Village To Raise A Child

by Joanne Duffy


Joanne DuffyHey Dave, how’s it going?
So I’ve just been watching this video that I found of you speaking against marriage equality, while 6 signs for YES EQUALITY that got ripped down in Galway are sitting in my house waiting to be put back up by the tireless campaigners here. You know all about tireless campaigning, I’m sure.
So, you said that this referendum is connected to protecting the 8th amendment. Now, Dave, I know you didn’t mean that. Because later in this same video you go on to tell us that this referendum is about changing Article 41, The Family in our constitution. Gay men, as you so often remind us, cannot have babies. So why would they care about abortion laws? I’m sure this was just a slip up, forgot the morning coffee did you? Sometimes I forget my coffee too and it makes me a little groggy, but it doesn’t make me confuse segments of documents upon which a Republic is founded. Read more
 

Father Ted meets Monty Python as Brother Dougal hits Limerick in the fight against the evil gays

by Bock the Robber


Bock the RobberNormally when I wake up in the morning, it isn't entirely an episode of Father Ted and it might not even be completely Monty Python, though at the moment there’s a strong feeling that it might be mostly Game of Thrones.
A man meets a man’s beloved daughter in the market for an early curry.
A man’s daughter goes for intensive hair treatment.
Meanwhile, a man wanders around town, trying not to wear too many faces until a man stumbles across a bunch of lunatics and a man’s mask slips.
Seven magnificent men, or perhaps a man detects six men and a boy, reciting prayers to the old gods and the new before setting out on a dangerous mission. A man salutes them and then a man goes for a coffee, with cream because after all it is a Saturday. Read more

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