Secular Sunday #137 || 10 August, 2014
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
John Hamill
Don’t worry. Derek is just on holiday. He is not dead. God on the other hand is quite dead, as Nietzsche showed by growing increasingly preposterous moustaches, without any obvious celestial intervention. The quality of the jokes will improve considerably when Derek returns from his sojourn ... said return possibly to involve riding on a cloud while blowing a trumpet (Matthew 24:30-31).

In the mean time, as Guest Editor’s prerogative, I’ve posted a link to my favourite popular science presentation below (with apologies to those who have already seen Sean Carroll scientifically prove that you have no soul).

Apologies in advance also for my lack of formatting competence,
- John Hamill, Guest Editor



A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

The work of Sam Harris will already be familiar to many people and he has recently published a new book. Rescuing the numinous from purely religious explanations has been a consistent theme within his material. He has previously blogged in defence of spirituality and on spiritual truth. He has also written extensively on the concept of "The Self", driven in part by his background in neuroscience.

This new publication and the blog posts linked to above, will be of interest to many atheists who are seeking a rational and objective spirituality, informed by the best contemporary psychological research around meditative practices.


You will have often heard it said that you can’t prove a negative. Here, following the discovery of the Higgs Boson, Sean Carroll proves you don’t have a soul that interacts in any way with your physical body (so there is nothing that lives on after your body dies, which can be held accountable for your physical actions).

He also has good jokes.

Sean Carroll at Skepticon



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 17 August, 12:00 noon, Mount Errigal Hotel, Ballyraine, Letterkenny (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event pageFacebook event page


Tuesday 19 August, The Workman's Club, Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 (map)
Dublin Atheists in the Pub. This month the speaker is Paul Redmond from Adoption Rights Now. More information on Paul's talk to follow. Facebook event page

Sunday 24 August, 3:00 pm, City Hall, Dame St., Dublin 2 (map)
LGBT Noise March for Marriage 2014. Facebook event page

Saturday 13 September, 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin 2 (map)
TEDxDublin. A day of short talks on interesting subjects. Tickets from €25, available here.


Sunday 31 August, 12:00 noon, Oslo Bar, Upper Salthill, Galway (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event pageFacebook event page


Sunday 31 August, 12:00 noon, Woodlands Hotel, Dunmore Road, Waterford (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page. Facebook event page


This Week in History

Castilian sailors in Barcelona set fire to a Jewish ghetto, killing 100 people and setting off four days of violence against Jews.

A crusade against the Moors of Morocco is routed at the Battle of Alcazar-el-Kebir.

Brigham Young is chosen to head the Mormon Church, succeeding Joseph Smith.

Mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Ramzi Yousef, goes on trial.

A gunman in Wisconsin opens fire in a Sikh temple, killing six before committing suicide.


William Rowan Hamilton, Irish physicist and astronomer.

Louis Leakey, palaeontologist who established the African origin of human evolution.

Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon.



Does Christianity Harm Children?

"The notion that Christianity is good for kids has been trumpeted for centuries, virtually unchallenged and uncontested. We need to talk more openly about the abusive aspects of Christian theology."
Phil Zuckerman Ph.D.

The Toledo Guiding Principles

In 2007 the OSCE published the Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching About Religion and Beliefs in Public Schools. The principles were prepared by an advisory council of experts on freedom of religion and belief. These principles focus solely on the educational approach that seeks to provide teaching about different religions and beliefs, as distinct from instruction in a specific religion or belief.
Michael Nugent

Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world




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