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Secular Sunday #221 - A Brighter Tomorrow || 20 March, 2016
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek Walsh
Although still somewhat under the weather, I have managed to cobble together a slightly more complete newsletter than last week. I'm not too sure what's been going on in the world while my immune system has been battling a mutant influenza virus, but I understand there's a Seanad election coming up so if you can vote in that, find the most secular candidate and vote for them. There's probably another general election coming up too but I'm sure I'll be back to full health long before we have to face that.

- Derek Walsh, Editor

News

NCCA Submission


Atheist Ireland has been working on a submission to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) concerning its proposed course on Education about Reliigions, Beliefs and Ethics. Submissions are due by 31 March.
 

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.
Major international events in 2016 can be found at the World Secular Calendar.

 

Dublin


Wednesday 23 March, 7:00 pm, Wynn's Hotel, Abbey St., Dublin 1 (map)
A Secular Republic in 2016. The Workers’ Party invites you to a discussion on the challenges that remain to building a secular republic Clare Daly TD and Jane Donnelly of Atheist Ireland will discuss reproductive rights and education. Chaired by Cllr. Éilis Ryan, Workers’ Party. Event page


Thursday 24 March, 8:00 pm, Against the Grain, Wexford St., Dublin 2 (map)
Dublin Skeptics in the Pub: "Herding Hemingway's Cats - how do our genes work?" Facebook event page


Galway


Saturday 26 March, 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm, Shop St., Galway (map)
Atheist Ireland Information Table. Feel free to drop by if you have any questions about atheism or on the work Atheist Ireland does. Event page

 

Saturday 26 March, 2:30 pm, Studio, 20 Eglington St., Galway (map)
Atheist Ireland Lunch. Meet atheists in Galway in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.Event page 

 

 

Observances


20 March


International Day of Happiness


21 March


International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


22 March


World Water Day


24 March


International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
 

This Week in History


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

20 March


1916: Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity.
 

25 March


1811: Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism.

 


Birthdays


20 March


1904: B. F. Skinner (d. 1990). American psychologist and author . A pioneer of modern behaviourism, he argued that human free will was actually an illusion and any human action was the result of the consequences of that same action.



26 March


1941: Richard Dawkins. English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and writer. Author of twelve books including The Selfish GeneThe God Delusion and The Magic of Reality; and former Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.

Opinion


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


How Feminism Can Help Men Too

by Robert Nielsen


Robert NielsenFeminism doesn’t have the best of reputations, especially among men. Many think that it’s an issue that just doesn’t affect us, that it is a woman’s issue, something for them to worry about. Many are quite hostile to it, seeing it as an ideology that is fundamentally anti-men, that seeks to raise women by pulling men down. That some Feminists just hate men and see men as evil and the source all the problems in the world. Gender issues are often seen as a zero sum, that each side can only gain if the other side loses.
Yet Feminism can make society a much better place and improve the lives of all of us. Obviously, women stand to gain the most as they are worse off. It is good enough to improve society even if I don’t directly benefit and I could fill a blog post on how the many ways in which treating women as equals benefits us all (and I probably will in another post). However, I think it’s worth focusing on the ways in which Feminism can benefit men, especially because most men are completely unaware of them. Read more


Students Unions should support freedom of expression, not restrict it

by Michael Nugent


Michael NugentToday in London, Right2Debate and the Council of Ex Muslims in Britain are organising a protest rally at the National Union of Students, to call for the reform of policies that restrict freedom of expression, including censoring people who challenge the injustices caused by Islamism.
When I was a Students Union President in the early 1980s, we strongly supported freedom of expression on controversial issues. We would have considered it unbelievable that, three decades later, students unions would be trying to restrict such basic rights.
Our student world still had the Berlin wall, the Soviet Union, apartheid in South Africa, and the euphemistically called ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland. Even without the Internet, we supported the rights of dissidents around the world to speak out against injustices. Read more

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