Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Hello, my favorite godless heathens! Mark Twain once said, "Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company", and, seeing as you're all definitely going to Hell with me, he would be very much correct. This week's meeting will be in our usual location and time, Thursday, April 29, 7PM, 229 Natural History Building.
This week's meeting will be a combination Pizza Party/Elections (we gotta get you guys to come to our very last meeting and vote somehow...). I have explained the election process in previous emails, so for reference look there. If you are interested, I again implore you to consider running! Competition is always a good thing, and being an officer is quite the rewarding experience. If you are interested in running but don't, you will regret it the rest of your life, and, on top of that, when you are in Hell with me I will constantly make fun of you.
After the meeting, we will be heading over to Murphy's, but then, at 10:00, in response to the recent death threats to the creators of South Park and to promote free speech, will be chalking the quad with stick figures of a certain religious figure, before going back to Murphy's (of course). Feel free to see details and join the facebook event here. If you happen to have chalk feel free to bring some too, since at this point it's coming out of the officers' pockets. Thanks to John for the idea!
We've got a lot of things going on before the end of the year is up! Stuff yourself with as much AAF as you can so you can properly hibernate from us over the summer.
Wednesday, April 28th: Panel Discussion! It will be held in Altgeld room 314, from 7-9PM. The AAF members representing us will be Bob!, Payel, Ed, Mike, and Karthik. They have done quite a bit of preparation, and it is bound to be quite entertaining! Please come and help represent us! Here's the link to the facebook event. And here's a link to our blog where we talk more about it.
Thursday, April 29th: Meeting at 7PM, where we will do elections and pizza party! Then at 10PM we will be chalking the quad. See link in description above for details.
Wednesday, May 5th: Second Semesterly AAF Barcrawl! Wear your AAF t-shirts and come celebrate with us what a great year we've had. Facebook event will be appearing soon.
That's all! Hope to see you at our LAST AAF MEETING EVER for Franklin :(
4 min: Main response
2 min: Chance for opposing side to rebut
2 min: Free-flow back and forth until eight minutes has been reached or discussion ends (whichever comes first)
The actual name of the group is (caps are maintained for accuracy), "DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN."
First of all, why would you ever make your group's name in all capital letters? That's just annoying. Next, why would you create another group to petition it? Should we really care? I guess it might tie back into whether or not this is an actual threat to the President- Is it a threat because the original people in the group do, indeed, have harmful intentions, even though it's obvious that it will have no effect? Does the fact that this is not seen as a threat (seeing as it is still up) say something deeper about how the general public views the effectiveness of prayer? I could see why people would want it taken down if it is seen as a direct threat to the president, but since it's not going anywhere I can only assume that most people think it's pretty harmless.
This obviously isn't a big deal, but it's quite interesting that one million people are in the anti-Obama group. And that 500,000 people are affected enough by the group to join the counter-group petitioning it.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Although our last meeting will technically be next week (elections), we are still going to have a barcrawl after that because we will miss each other so much. We want to do it sometime early during the week of May 3rd- visit the google doc and choose all the dates that work for you (you can chose more than one!).
We have moved the date of the Panel Discussion so we can get a better room- the new date is Wednesday, April 28th at 314 Altgeld Hall (on the quad).
Also, a reminder that the conference is this Saturday, April 24th. At this point we really need people to drive, so if there is any way you can help out be sure to email us back.
Sunday, the day after the conference, Phil Ferguson, head of C-U Freethinkers, is hosting a barbecue at his place, and all of AAF is invited! It's from 1-5, and he's pretty far off campus, so driving will be necessary, but we can always work out rides (email back if you're interested). Here are the directions via Phil.
So, here's a summary of what we've got goin' on:
4/25: Phil's Barbecue
4/28: Panel Discussion
Early May: Barcrawl
See you Thursday! Or else.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Reprising his token atheist role on the popular daytime soap "Anderson Cooper 360" Hitchens tries to remind us the Constitution exists. Meanwhile Tony Perkins explains why a President telling everyone they need to worship God is in fact not an example of government "respecting an establishment of religion". (Spoiler: mention is made of activist judges, founding Christian fathers, and the Tradition trump card) Fans of stupefying cognitive putrefaction won't want to miss Perkins explaining the NDOP's "secular purpose" of "uniting" the people.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The year is coming to a close, and a certain AAF President is seeing his four years slowly slip away from him as the final weeks approach towards his graduation. That's why it's super important you all participate in the Elections, which are happening on April 29th (a week later than originally planned). If you are still interested in running, but, for example, don't know what position to run for, respond to the email! I will personally help you out.
While elections are by far the most important event, there are a lot of other things going on too! Here's a quick list of everything going on:
4/16: AAF Party! Join the facebook group now.
4/21, 7-9PM: AAF And Navigators Panel Discussion (location TBA)
4/24: Conference in Chicago! You can still sign up! If interested email the group back.
4/25, 1-5PM: Barbecue at Phil's house. More details coming up soon.
5/5: Cinco De Mayo Barcrawl? (if enough interest)
Wow, look at how much effort AAF is putting in to see as much of you guys as possible before the year ends when certain people are graduating! You better show up to everything or you will make me very sad :(
Monday, April 12, 2010
Any questions feel free to email us at UIUCAtheists@gmail.com. We're all looking forward to seeing you on Thursday and seeing who will be leading us next year!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
All too often in atheist circles religion and science are presented as mutually exclusive positions. However, this is a perspective that dutifully deserves to be complicated and problematized.
One way to do this is to look at the history of particular religions and the relationship they have had with and towards science. In the end, this knowledge will put atheists in a stronger position, since they will have a better and broader understanding of the complex nature of religion.
That said, I came across some information about an exhibition devoted to scientific contributions from the Muslim world. Hopefully this will help atheists have a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between science and religion and avoid making simplistic arguments or statements about science and religion.
1001 Inventions Exhibition, Science Museum, London
DATES: 21 January till 30th June 2010 (temporary closure 25 Feb to 12 March 2010)
TIMES: 10am till 6pm every day. Entrance is FREE of charge.
LOCATION: Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London. (click for directions)
What is the secret behind the way we write numbers?
When did scientists first discover how we see?
Who drew the oldest surviving map showing America?
What is the hidden meaning of the Elephant Clock?
The Science Museum hosts its latest exhibition, 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World, which traces the forgotten story of a thousand years of science from the Muslim world, from the 7th century onwards. The free exhibition, which runs from the 21 January to 30th June 2010, looks at the social, scientific and technological achievements that are credited to the Muslim world, whilst celebrating the shared scientific heritage of other cultures. The exhibition is a British based project, produced in association with the Jameel Foundation.
Featuring a diverse range of exhibits, interactive displays and dramatisation, the exhibition shows how many modern inventions, spanning fields such as engineering, medicine and design, can trace their roots back to Muslim civilisation.P.S. Ben Kingsley is playing an arab yet again!? lolz
Pope Should be Tried for Crimes Against Humanity, says United Nations Judge
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
This week's meeting will be Thursday, April 8th at our usual place/time NHB 229 @ 7:00PM. For the meeting, we will be watching the movie "Water," which Karthik mentioned in his discussion on Hinduism. It's sure to be fascinating, so come on over! And bring your friends. And popcorn. The meeting will obviously go past 8:00, so we'll have to start drinking a bit late.
PARTY! We're having a party at our mate Jordan's place April 16th. Theme is yet to be decided, but look out for a Facebook event. It's also mom's weekend, so feel free to bring her along as well.
AAF Elections are coming up at the end of the month (already!?!?). If you're interested in running and have any questions feel free to shoot us back an email. There will be a designated email about it coming out soon.
Also don't forget that our Panel Debate with Navigators is coming up. Our current set date for that is April 28th, so keep it in mind!
Cheers! See you all this Thursday!
Monday, April 5, 2010
The movement against the visit began by Peter Tatchell, a human rights activist. He started a petition on the Downing Street website, available to all citizens of Britain (sorry everyone, you can't sign up) who are against the notion. On February 22nd they had around 3,000 votes, and since then it has risen up to 11,000. The petition closes in October, which is slightly strange as the visit is scheduled for September.
As for the reasoning of the petition, I'm sure many of you can guess, but in case you were wondering, Tatchell writes,
Amen to that.
“The Pope opposes universal human rights. He rejects equality for women and gay people, condemns the use of life-saving condoms, colludes with Holocaust appeasers and he is implicated in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic priests.
A man with such objectionable views should not be honoured with an official State Visit. If he wants to come to Britain, he should pay his own way. The public should not be expected to cover the estimated £20 million cost. This money would be far better spent on schools and hospitals.
Unfortunately, the situation gets more complicated. Lawyers have been debating whether or not the Pope should be shielded from prosecution because of his "implicit statehood status," or whether it might be necessary to file a complaint for crimes against humanity under Universal Jurisdiction.
If you're interested about the politics of that feel free to take a look at more details here. Mentioned in that article is that the Vatican became a state simply because Mussolini in 1929 decided it would be a good idea-- and having one state just randomly declare the sovereignty of another is ridiculous. So really, the Vatican has no reason to be a state in the first place.
I'm not sure the protesters will be successful, but the fact that this kind of protesting is occurring in the first place is saying something quite positive in and of itself-- I would have found it hard to imagine any sort of large movement publicly criticizing the Pope, particularly in the legal sense, just a relatively short time ago. Maybe this will help improve the stigma of criticizing other things related to religion.