Happily living without religion

CFI Transnational has a new ad campaign that just kicked off today: Living Without Religion — here’s the video for the campaign:

Didja catch the 2 smiling mugs at the :33 second mark?  That’s Jerry and I!  I’m very happy to lend a picture of myself to such a campaign.

To hope, to care, to love. We have all experienced these powerful, fundamental feelings. They help define what it is to be human. These important elements of a fulfilling human life are experienced by religious and nonreligious people alike.

There are some common myths about the nonreligious—atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists. One popular myth is that the nonreligious are immoral, or at least that they can’t be relied upon to be as good as those with religious beliefs. If you know any nonreligious people (and almost everyone does—see below), you already know this is not true. Human decency does not depend on religious belief. There are good believers and good nonbelievers; there are wicked believers and wicked nonbelievers. You can’t predict a person’s moral character just from knowing his or her metaphysical beliefs.

more here

Californy is the place you oughta be

This October, Jerry and I (along with several of our good friends) will be attending the “Setting the Agenda: Secular Humanism’s Next 30 Years” CFI conference in Los Angeles!

I am just *beyond excited* about all the speakers I’ll get to hear and the people I’ll finally be able to meet. Here’s part of the conference description:

Scheduled speakers include Richard Dawkins, who will accept a very special award (to be announced); authors Sam Harris and Robert Wright, who will dialogue on humanist stances toward faith; and a glittering roster of speakers, including James Randi, P. Z. Myers, Eugenie Scott, Paul Kurtz, Lawrence Krauss, Chris Mooney, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Victor Stenger, Shadia Drury, Mark Johnson, Barry Kosmin, Ibn Warraq, and many more.

Oh. my. goodness.  I’m not exactly who I’m more excited to see/hear in person — Dawkins (!), PZ (who it’s no secret I just adore), the debate between Harris and Wright (who’ll have his ass handed to him, I have no doubt), Lawrence Krauss, Eugenie Scott … I could go on!

For the last 3-4 years, I’ve listened to these speakers on various podcasts and YouTube videos, I’ve watched movies or I’ve read (or listened to) their books — now I’ll have a chance to be in the same room with them, AND be surrounded by fellow atheists, agnostics, skeptics, secular humanists, etc.  I know I don’t believe in a heaven anymore, but I think this conference sounds like it could be pretty close.

And, we’ll be in California!  Without a toddler!  Emma will be staying with some family (who’ll I’ll be forever indebted to) — but Jerry and I will have a chance to be actual adults who won’t have to carry around granola bars and coloring books and wipes and all the other parenting paraphernalia required on most trips to the States.

The hard part now will be to have enough patience until October rolls around.  Stay tuned!