Secular Sunday #194 - A Little Help || 13 September, 2015
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek Walsh
I hate to nag, but if you haven't already signed our Schools Equality PACT, now would be a great time to do so. Go on, I can wait...
And even better, share it on whatever social media platforms you frequent. We need to get people used to the idea that our schools should be for all children, without discrimination.
Thanks for that. News, views and so on are below as usual.

- Derek Walsh, Editor



Promoting Secularism

Last Thursday, Michael Nugent spoke at a Humani event in Belfast on how to promote secularism. Video here


Repeal the Eighth

Yesterday, Michael Nugent and Ashling O'Brien represented Atheist Ireland at the second annual conference of the Coalition to Repeal the Eight Amendment. Detailed reports of the event will likely be available shortly.


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.


Saturday 19 September, 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm, Patrick St., Cork (map)
The Atheist Ireland Information Table comes to Cork for the first time. Event page

Sunday 20 September, 1:00 pm, TBD, Cork
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Event page


Sunday 20 September, 5:00 pm, Mount Errigal Hotel,Letterkenny
Secular Sunday Supper. A family-friendly social event. Event page


Saturday 26 September, 1:30 pm, Garden of Remembrance, Dublin 1 (map)
Atheist Ireland will be taking part in the 4th Annual March for Choice on Saturday 26th September. The march is organised by Abortion Rights Campaign and will coincide with the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. Event page


Friday 30 October 7:30 pm, The Pavillion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire (map)
An Evening With Richard Dawkins. €12/10. More info
(This talk is not being organised by Atheist Ireland, but we will organise a meetup afterwards in Dun Laoghaire.)


Wednesday 16 September, 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.) The Mid West Humanists are now on Facebook and Twitter.



15 September

International Day of Democracy

World Lymphoma Awareness Day

16 September

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

18 September

World Water Monitoring Day

19 September

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

This Week in History

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

15 September

1835: HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galápagos Islands. The ship lands at Chatham or San Cristobal, the easternmost of the archipelago.


18 September

Steven Pinker 2011.jpg1954: Steven Pinker, Canadian-American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.


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

Resolving the refugee paradox – how to feel good about saving people from certain death

by Bock the Robber

Bock the RobberRefugee

a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country;  

— 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees

That is the internationally-accepted definition of a refugee. It’s not up for debate.
To be regarded as a refugee, a person’s fear of persecution must be well-founded and that persecution must be because of their

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership of a social group
  • Political opinion

Read more

An Atheist Reads The Bible: Purge The Evil

by Robert Nielsen

Robert NielsenHello and welcome to another instalment of An Atheist Reads The Bible. Chances are that by now you all know how this works and don’t need any introduction, so let’s jump right into the second half of Deuteronomy which is a particularly violent section, obsessed with purging the evil from society.
Chapter 21 begins with a bit odd advice for dealing with unsolved murders. If someone is found murdered in a field, you must take a heifer to a valley with running water and untilled land and break the heifers’ neck. The elders of the city will then wash their hands and say they didn’t kill the man. This purges the guilt of innocent blood from the town, which begs the question, would God have blamed them otherwise? Why? Wouldn’t it be more helpful to, you know, actually find who committed the murder rather than some superstitious ritual to cover your ass? Crime fighting in ancient times was probably useless unless someone saw the crime, but at times like these, an all-seeing, all-knowing deity would sure come in handy. Read more

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