Secular Sunday #119 - Won't Get Fooled Again || 6 April, 2014
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek Walsh
There's lots going on in this week's edition. Some very positive news, events in seven different counties over the coming weeks, a few great opinion pieces and the usual news round up. A word of caution: April Fool's Day was a few days ago, and while I haven't deliberately included a hoax story, a lot of the news stories linked to are about religion and sometimes it can be very hard to tell the difference. So caveat lector.

 - Derek Walsh, Editor



European Election Candidates respond to Secular Statement

Atheist Ireland will be asking all European and Local Election candidates to sign a Secular Statement, based on the one adopted at the World Atheist Convention in Dublin in 2011. We will publish details of all responses, to enable voters to know which candidates are most and least supportive of freedom of belief and separation of church and state.
Our Cavan-Monaghan branch has started that process, with branch chairperson John Hamill telling candidates that the core principle on which the statement is based is that all citizens should be facilitated in practicing their faith to the fullest extent, up until the point where they seek to infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.

Science and Religion

BenBaz Aziz had written a third article for Atheist Ireland, in which he gives a quick overview of the historic relationship between science and religion, from Ancient Greece through Medieval times and the Renaissance to Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Newton and Einstein. Read it here.

Ireland's Unworkable School Patronage System

Atheist Ireland's Peter Ferguson has written an article for The Journal on the European Court's judgement on the Louise O'Keeffe case and it's implications  for Ireland's uniquely sectarian school system. Read it here




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.


Sunday 13 April, Farnham Arms Hotel, Main Street, Cavan Town (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page. Facebook event page


Sunday 20 April, 12:00 noon, Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Facebook event page


Wednesday, 9 April, 8:00pm, Davenport Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin 2 (map)
Irish Skeptics Society hosts Professor Luke O’Neill from Trinity College on the topic: "Drugs - good ones, bad ones and how to find new ones". €3 for members and concession, €6 for non-members. Read more

Sunday 13 April. 12:00 noon, Trinity Capital Hotel, Pearse St, Dublin 2 (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page. Facebook event page

Tuesday 15 April, The Workman's Club, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 (map)
Atheists in the Pub. An informal get-together and a great way of meeting like-minded people. This month the speaker is Atheist Ireland's very own Brendan Maher. Brendan hosts the country's first (and at present only) public Atheist information table outside the GPO on Dublin's O'Connell Street. Brendan will be sharing his 'Tales from the Table'.


Sunday 27 April, 12:00 noon, Oslo Bar, Salthill, Galway (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Facebook event page


Wednesday 16 April, 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.


Saturday 12 April, Knock Shrine, Knock (map)
Galway Skeptics Special Event 001 - Day Trip to Knock. Facebook event page


Sunday 13 April. 12:00 noon, 
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Facebook event page


7 April

World Health Day

12 April

Yuri's Night, an international celebration held every year to commemorate space exploration milestones and to promote space exploration. Named after Yuri Gagarin who became the first human in space on 12 April, 1961.


This Week in History

7 April

1994: Beginning of a genocide in Rwanda of the Tutsi minority that lasted around 100 days and saw the slaughter of as much as 20% of the country's population, or up to a million people.


9 April

1967: Sam Harris. American author, researcher in neuroscience, author of The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation and The Moral Landscape.


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

‘God of Gaps’ and the Big Bang

by Conor Farrell

Conor FarrellYesterday, David Quinn of the Iona Institute wrote a piece for the Irish Catholic claiming that it was plausible that the Universe was created by God, and it is therefore a religious discussion rather than a scientific one. In the article he recognises the ‘God of Gaps’ idea (“if science can’t explain it yet, God did it”), and then proceeds to use that concept.
I spoke with Quinn on Twitter about some of the concepts he talked about, but it became even clearer that he wasn’t arguing against a scientific basis for the Big Bang, but instead he was arguing against what he thought was the Big Bang. Read more

Preserving Ethos Argument - Does It Hold Up?

by Geoff Lillis

Geoff LillisMrs Shorts and I spent an enjoyable St Patrick's week in Cork. We rented a small castle, found a semi abandoned 18th century walled garden, toured ruins and visited Fota Island. We had lunch in Ballymaloe. We toured the Jameson distillery. When I returned to work I told colleagues about the time I spent with the woman I love, showed holiday pictures, and recommended castle rental.
I can do this in Ireland because I do not have a religious employer and my sexuality is not considered a threat to anyone's sincerely held beliefs. If Mrs Shorts was a Mr and I had chosen education as a career path I would likely have required a cover story. Read more


Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world



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