September 9, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | atheism, Books, Censorship, Center For Inquiry, Events, Food Bank of the Rockies, Metro State Atheists, Poetry, Press Release, UCD Atheists | Food, Food Bank of the Rockies, Food for Freethough, Freethought, Metro State Atheists, UCD Atheists | 2 Comments
August 22, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | atheism, Events, Humor, Metro State Atheists, News, Party, Sam Singleton | Atheist Evangelist, Beer, Metro State Atheists, Party, Sam Singleton, Sam Singleton Atheist Evangelist, Wynkoop Brewing Company | Leave a comment
What is “Food for Freethought”?
Food for Freethought, inspired by the Center for Inquiry’s Campaign for Free Expression, is a food drive that also encourages freethought, freedom of expression, and free inquiry. We plan to accomplish this by giving “Banned” and Freethought books away in exchange for non-perishable food donations that will be going to Food Bank of the Rockies, during “Banned Books Week”, September 27 – October 2 (specific dates below). Our goal is to raise an enormous amount of food for those in need. Most food drives are done during the holidays and tons of food is raised and distributed. That is all well and good, but what about the majority of the time that it isn’t the holiday season? The hungry don’t stop being hungry after the holidays, they are hungry now too! Given the existing goals of Metro State Atheists, it is only natural that we would attempt to help the hungry by promoting freethought, freedom of expression, and free inquiry. With the proper support, we can have an immeasurable positive community impact!
The event will be taking place at the Auraria Campus (1201 5th St, Denver, CO 80204). September 28-30th, 9am-4pm (Times Subject to Change)
Metro State Atheists will have SIGNED COPIES available at Food For Freethought 2010 by the following authors:
Hemant Mehta , Daniel Dennett , James Randi, Michael Shermer, Dan Barker, and…RICHARD DAWKINS!. If you’d like to obtain any of these signed copies, donate food!
Largest donors receive signed books!
Metro State Atheists would like to formally thank the above and the following groups for their support:
How can I help?
Click here and check out the Food for Freethought 2009 wishlist. From there you can buy the books directly and they will be sent to us!
A special thanks to Tanya J. Higgins of Boulder, CO for setting this up.
If you have any of the books on the banned book list (http://banned-books.com/bblist.html) and would like to donate it to the cause, please email Joel Guttormson at email@example.com to set up pick up/delievery of your donation.
July 28, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | Art, Astrology, Astronomy, atheism, Awards, Bacteriology, Bible, biology, Blurb, Books, Calculus, Censorship, Center For Inquiry, Charity, Chemistry, Christianity, Chromatography, creationism, Differential Equations, Epistemology, Events, evolution, First Century, god, Group Theory, Guest Bloggers, Humor, Interview, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Language, Lecture, Mathematics, Medicine, Metro State Atheists, Microbiology, Morality, Movies, New Testament, News, Newsletter, Noah Mann-Engel, Old Testament, Organic Chemistry, Party, philosophy, Pictures, Poetry, Politics, Poll, Press Release, Pseudomedicine, Pseudoscience, Qoutes, religion, Resume, Rome, Sam Singleton, Sarah Schoonmaker, Satire, science, Scientology, Sirius, Skepticism, splendid elles, The Holy Bible, The Reed Secular Alliance, The Trickster, Troy Conrad, Uncategorized | ALA, America, atheism, Atheist, Atheist Evangelist, Atheists, Auraria Campus, Banned Books, Banned Books Week, Bible, biology, Center For Inquiry, Center for Inquiry On-Campus, Chalmer Wren, Chemistry, Christian, Christianity, Christians, cocore, Colorado, Comedy, creationism, daft, Denver, evolution, Faith, Food, Food Bank of the Rockies, food drive, Freethought, god, Humor, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Joel Guttormson, Lecture, Metro State Atheists, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Morality, MSA, MSCD, philosophy, Politics, religion, Sam Singleton, Sam Singleton Atheist Evangelist, Satire, science, Sept 26-Oct 3, The Trickster, theology, Victor J. Stenger, Victor Stenger | 10 Comments
President of Metro State Atheists, Joel Guttormson, will be on the MetRadio show, “Take Issue”, on June 8, 2009 from 2pm-3pm . Joel will be on for 45 mins, the first 15 mins are for news. You may listen to the show on the Auraria Campus on 91.7; best reception is in the Tivoli. Metro State Atheists is a Center for Inquiry affiliate. MetRadio is the radio station of Metropolitan State College of Denver.
If you are not on the Auraria Campus you must listen to the show online.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW: (You will need Real Player, get it here)
-SUBSCRIBE TO THE METRADIO PODCAST HERE
June 2, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | Astrology, atheism, Bible, Blurb, Books, Censorship, Center For Inquiry, Chemistry, Christianity, creationism, Epistemology, Events, evolution, First Century, god, Interview, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Language, Lecture, Metro State Atheists, Morality, New Testament, News, Newsletter, Old Testament, philosophy, Politics, Press Release, religion, Scientology, Skepticism, The Holy Bible, Uncategorized | America, atheism, Atheist, Atheist Evangelist, Atheists, Auraria Campus, Bible, Center For Inquiry, Center for Inquiry On-Campus, Chalmer Wren, Christian, Christianity, Christians, cocore, Colorado, creationism, Denver, evolution, Faith, god, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Joel Guttormson, Joel Guttormson Interview, MetRadio, Metro State Atheists, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Morality, MSA, MSCD, philosophy, Politics, radio, radio interview, religion, science, Take Issue, theology, Tivoli | 1 Comment
May 7, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | Events, Metro State Atheists, News, Newsletter, philosophy, Press Release, Pseudomedicine, Pseudoscience, religion, Skepticism | BarCamp, Canada, Colorado, Colorado Skepticamp, Colorado Skepticamp 2009, Conference, Denver, Metro State Atheists, Skepticamp, Skepticism | Leave a comment
Metro State Atheists
Schedule of Events (Spring Semester 2009)
2/12- Darwin Day party- Time and Local TBA
2/16- Why Intelligent Design is not science. Tivoli Tavern Space. 10am-4pm
3/11- Think you know the 10 commandments? Think Again. Tivoli Tavern Space. 10am-4pm
4/7- R-Harmony: We match you with the religion of your dreams! North Classroom Atrium A2. 10am -4pm
4/22-4/23- Spring Fling Our event will consist of demonstrations of the failure of some pseudo-medicine, including the famous Kinoki Footpads. . Tivoli Commons 10am-3pm
5/9- Skepticamp. This event is being brought to us by the Denver Skeptics. It is a gathering of skeptics in which they will present in a lecture type format, certain findings that they have discovered on phenomena spanning a whole host of different fields. President, Joel Guttormson, and Vice President, Chalmer Wren, will be presenting on the language of pseudoscience. Tivoli room 320 9am-8pm
This list is subject to changes and additions as it is TENTATIVE.
January 25, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | atheism, Center For Inquiry, Events, Lecture, Metro State Atheists, Pseudomedicine, Pseudoscience | atheism, Atheist, Atheists, Auraria Campus, Bible, Chalmer Wren, Christian, Christianity, Denver, evolution, Faith, god, Jesus, Joel Guttormson, Metro State Atheists, Metropolitan State College of Denver, MSA, MSCD, religion, science | Leave a comment
As many of you know, I was a guest on the KGOV program, Bob Enyart Live. Bob is the pastor at Denver Bible Church and host of the show bearing his name. If you missed the show you can listen to it here. Since the show is only half an hour, there were things I didn’t get to explain or talk about in the detail I would have liked. Further, since Bob is the host, he is obviously going to control the speaking time and thus I was left with less than he had, further added to the lack of time I had to explain and expand on my points. However, this is not way a swipe at Bob or the way he conducts the show, it’s the way it is with any radio show regardless of topic. The topics I wanted to address are: the discussion towards the end relating to my statement that design and beauty are subjective, that “Bob and Joel agreed that Christians do not assert that God came into existence with the writing of the Bible. Thus inconsistencies, even if they were shown to exist in Scripture, would not disprove God’s existence.”(Source: http://www.kgov.com), and that “being a person has more to do with the non-physical realm of ideas, logic, relationships, and reason, than it does with chemistry and physics.” (Source: http://www.kgov.com). I was going to tackle the Einstein quotation, but a comment left on a previous blog addresses the topic/point well enough that I don’t not feel that further elaboration is necessary.
1. Beauty and Design are subjective
“The eye may be useful, and apparently well adapted for vision, however it could also serve as a moderately good tetherball for some appropriately sized people or sophisticated mice.”
As previously stated, this discussion occurred toward the end of the show and left neither I nor Bob the sufficient amount of time necessary to address each other’s point to the extent they deserved. In an effort to state this correctly I will quote directly, both myself and Bob. Bob begins by claiming “there is a universe of extraordinary beauty and sophistication and obvious design”. To which I responded “…everything you just said, design and beauty, those are subjective claims”, to which Bob said “design is not subjective”. Here is where the discussion prematurely ended due to time constraints. Thus, this is where I’d like to begin my expansion of my claims and a refutation of Bob’s.
Bob and I agreed that beauty is subjective but disagreed with me about my assertion that design is. When it comes to object of human manufacture, this is true. However, to reverse the ‘watchmaker’ example, suppose one does in fact come upon a watch. One who is ignorant of clocks and watches and possibly the idea of time itself may derive a alternative idea of what the device, that we call a watch, is designed for. This may be stretching a bit, given we must assume the person finding the watch is more or less an idiot. Therefore, let us examine my claim only using examples to drive the point home. When I say design is subjective, I obviously do not mean it literally. What I mean when I say that is observations of some structure or object cannot lead one to infer design automatically or because something “looks complicated”, which is what Bob and most creationists mean when they say something is designed. Further, if design isn’t subjective then creationists should stop using the term as in the following sentence: “the eye looks designed”. The word “looks” has a contextual sense of subjectivity; its a word that, used in this context, implies that the viewer/speaker is offering his/her opinion of the observation, not stating a fact of any kind. However, one need not include the work “looks” in the statement; such is the case with Bob’s statement “there is a universe of extraordinary beauty and sophistication and obvious design”. He means design in the way I described above. This is, in fact, a subjective use of the word design. Bob used the eye example, like most creationists do. He says that the eye is designed for vision. That’s a subjective claim, because evolution wasn’t trying for an eye that has vision, per say. Vision is an incidental by product of the arrangement of the different “parts” of the eye working together. I will now attempt to drive home my point using my own example. Let us suppose we have an ordinary hammer. There are those that would say that a hammer is “designed” to drive nails into wood, or some other equally pliable material. Now, suppose further that we happen to find this same hammer used as an axle for a toy truck. Now, although the hammer works as an axle for the toy truck, it wasn’t designed for this purpose; or was it? The fact that it works as the axle for the toy truck might be used as evidence that the hammer was, in fact, designed for this purpose. However, this assumption is baseless and is flawed because it is fraught with the bias of seeing it work this way in this particular, specialized instance. To bring this back to the famous eye example brought up by Bob; the eye may be useful, and apparently well adapted for vision, however it could also serve as a moderately good tether ball for some appropriately sized people or sophisticated mice. So, to wrap up my point. The appearance of design can be and is, most of the time, quite deceiving. This is precisely because the human brain is wired such that it seeks out patterns and logically systems in things that may not have them at all, such as clouds. Therefore, it will also seek out a “reason” for something being the way it is; its design.
2. Biblical/Scriptural inconsistencies do not disprove God’s existence
“God is then, at best, reduced to a highly intelligent extraterrestrial capable of creating life on a planet and futilely attempting to affect that life by writing a book.”
This, on the surface, appears to be true. In fact, on some level it is. This is useful for getting out of the circular logic of “God wrote the bible, the bible asserts that God exists, therefore God exists”; for if God didn’t write the bible, then what it says about God’s existence is irrelevant to some degree and since it’s the not the foundation of the argument for his existence, one has broken free of the circle. However, Bob asserts that the bible is “the infallible word of the living God”. Starting with this premise, the following are also true (written in order of implication): God exists, God is perfect and thus infallible, God wrote the bible, the bible then is perfect and infallible as a prefect being cannot beget imperfection. Therefore, any imperfection, however slight, would ,at minimum, call God’s perfection into question. But, following the implications of this, we see that the following would then be true if any imperfection were discovered in the bible: God exists, God isn’t perfect or infallible, God wrote the bible, the bible isn’t perfect or infallible. Thus, we’re left with an imperfect, fallible God. What good is this? God is then, at best, reduced to a highly intelligent extraterrestrial capable of creating life on a planet and futilely attempting to affect that life by writing a book. In other words, God would be a super intelligent cosmic mad scientist bent on power, self satisfaction and the cessation of boredom. Of course, this doesn’t disprove God exists but it sure lends quite a bit of doubt. In fact, it creates enough doubt to make it more reasonable not to believe in such a deity. (Notice that this line of reasoning can be applied to all three monotheisms, not just Christianity.)
3. Being a person has more to do with the non-physical realm…than it does with chemistry and physics
“Then with this 60% of soul and spirit, shouldn’t all dogs go to heaven? “
This is hefty claim, even by theological standards. I’ll start by taking a tally of those things “about us” that are physical, aka comprised of tangible matter and energy. Our DNA, made of amino acids, which are molecules composed of atoms; our nervous system is made of nerves and energy in the form of electrical impulses which are generated by internal and external stimuli which are themselves are physical; lastly, and most importantly, our brain, composed of tissue, fluid and neurons which are themselves are physical matter. Further, these neurons “communicate” with one another via chemical and electrical signals, which are also physical. The brain receives information about the world via stimuli provided by the aforementioned nervous system and its various specific subparts (ie eyes, ears). So far, we’re looking like pretty material beings. However, Bob asserts that things like memories, personality, consciousness and ideas are non-physical and thus are proof of, at least, a realm beyond the purely material. I attempted to point out on the show that memories are stored in the brain via the chemical and electrical impulses that the neurons use to communicate with each other. Personality can be seen in what is commonly referred to the “animal kingdom” (though I don’t care too much for this distinction as it implies that we’re higher than animals when we clearly are animals). For instance, any individual of our closest evolutionary cousin the chimpanzee exhibits what we recognize as personality. To “move down” , so to speak, the “animal hierarchy” (again these terms are misleading) to our more distant relatives; dogs are said to have personalities of their own. Their owners tend to use words and emotional descriptors usually and generally reserved for humans. Some dogs also have a uncanny memory that we humans have attempted to harness via artificial selection. So if dogs have memories and personalities, shouldn’t they have, at least 2/3 of soul and spirit, as Bob claims we do because we have these properties. Then with this 60% of soul and spirit, shouldn’t all dogs go to heaven? No. They don’t because they haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Poor dogs. But I digress. The only property, as far as science can tell thusfar, that we have attained that is different from the rest of the animals that cohabit this planet, is consciousness. What is consciousness exactly? Its not easily defined, is it? Let us examine what it means, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Consciousness is “The state or faculty of being conscious, as a condition and concomitant of all thought, feeling, and volition; ‘the recognition by the thinking subject of its own acts or affections’” and “The state of being conscious, regarded as the normal condition of healthy waking life”. What is conscious, you might ask? It is “having internal perception or consciousness: a. of a fact. b. of one’s sensations, feelings, thoughts, etc.” However, as far as science can tell us to this point, this is also a manifestation of the matter and energy of the brain; similar to memories and personality, described earlier. This leads to an interesting thought concerning the story of Adam in the bible. In the traditional bible story, Adam and Eve are walking around naked without a care in the world. That is until, according to the story Eve eats the apple and all the sudden they become “aware” of themselves. So one could in a sense posit that Adam and Eve weren’t conscious until this point. According to Bob consciousness is an important, if not the most important part of what he called the soul and spirit. So, Adam and Eve weren’t conscious human beings until they ate from the tree of knowledge. The last of the non-physical things Bob brings up is ideas. It is true that ideas are nebulous. However, what can be said is that not all ideas are 100% original. Ideas stem from combining, sometimes consciously and subconsciously, memories, stimuli, and logic. Thus, like the other things our brain does ideas are also is a manifestation of physical matter.
I hope this has helped clarify some of my points and my refutations of Bob’s points. This isn’t in anyway intended to be an attack on Bob Enyart, his show or anyone close to him. I don’t want this to be misconstrued as me “getting back at him” nor is it saying that I was shortchanged during the show in terms of time. This was simply an expansion of my views and thoughts on certain topics of the show I didn’t feel got enough explanation or attention.
January 11, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | atheism, Bible, Center For Inquiry, Christianity, creationism, Events, First Century, god, Interview, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Language, Metro State Atheists, Morality, New Testament, Newsletter, Old Testament, philosophy, Politics, religion, Rome, science, The Holy Bible, Uncategorized | Argument from Design, Artificial Intelligence, Bible, biblical, biblical history, Biblical Literalism, biblical truth, Bob Enyart, Christianity, Consciousness, creationism, Denver Bible Church, design, eye argument, God's Existence, God's Truth, ideas, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Joel Guttormson, memories, scripture, Soul, Spirit, The Holy Bible, the new testement, the old testement | 3 Comments
In case you missed the show, you can listen to it online here.
Soon, Chalmer and I (Joel) will have blogs up commenting on different aspects of the show. Watch this page tomorrow as we’ll be posting links to the blogs in this post, in case you don’t see them on the main page.
Metro State Atheists
January 8, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | atheism, Bible, Calculus, Center For Inquiry, Christianity, creationism, Differential Equations, Events, First Century, god, Interview, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Lecture, Mathematics, Metro State Atheists, Morality, New Testament, News, Newsletter, Old Testament, philosophy, Politics, Press Release, religion, science, The Holy Bible, Uncategorized | atheism, Athiest, BEL, Bob Enyart, Chirst, Christianity, creationism, empiricism, epistimology, evolution, god, God of Abraham, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Joel, Joel Guttormson, Joel Guttormson Debates Bob Enyart, KGOV, Metro State, Metro State Atheists, MSA, New Testament, radio, theology, Word Of God, www.kgov.com | Leave a comment
From Theology Online:
“Atheist Billboard spokesman, Joel Guttormson, (“Don’t Believe in God, You’re Not Alone”) will debate Radio talk show host Bob Enyart this Wednesday on Bob’s radio and Internet show (AM 670, Internet www.KGOV.com) .
Both sides have been sent information on the other (Bob’s show with his interview of Dan Barker was sent to Joel, and Joel’s website https://metrostateatheists.wordpress.com/ was sent to Bob).”
The show will at 3pm MT, Wednesday January 7th.
Here is the link to Bob’s interview with our friend Dan Barker.
Commentary on the show can be viewed by using the links below:
Metro State Atheists
January 6, 2009 Posted by Metro State Atheists | Art, Astrology, Astronomy, atheism, Bacteriology, Bible, biology, Blurb, Calculus, Censorship, Center For Inquiry, Chemistry, Christianity, creationism, Differential Equations, Events, First Century, god, Humor, Interview, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Language, Lecture, Mathematics, Medicine, Metro State Atheists, Microbiology, Morality, Movies, New Testament, News, Newsletter, Old Testament, Organic Chemistry, Party, philosophy, Pictures, Poetry, Politics, Poll, Press Release, Pseudomedicine, Pseudoscience, Qoutes, religion, Rome, Satire, science, Scientology, Sirius, splendid elles, The Holy Bible, The Trickster | AM 670, Atheist, Atheist Billboards, Atheist Billboards CO, Atheist Billboards Denver, Bob, Bob Enyart, cocore, Debate, Joel, Joel Guttormson, Joel Guttormson Debates Bob Enyart, KGOV, Metro State Atheists, MSA, Theology Online | 11 Comments
Tim Baily of Humanist of Colorado is circulating the following message regarding a lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) against the Cherry Creek School district and their endorsement of the 40 Developmental Asests.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has a very important challenge regarding the separation of church and state in the Cherry Creek School District in Denver. The lawsuit challenges the District adoption of the “40 Developmental Assets,” of which number 19 is a recommendation of a “religious community” for children. The school district is recommending that children spend at least an hour a week in a church or other religious setting.
In a document specifically written for children, the endorsement reads: “I spend time with my religion.” A poster of a praying child next to this wording is displayed in various ways. The asset appears on a master calendar at the District website and various District documents.
FFRF has uncovered a religious agenda of the “40 Developmental Assets” program (in which the Lutheran Brotherhood, which developed it, cites bible verses which inspire each “asset,” even the secular-sounding assets).
Due to a child of a plaintiff graduating, FFRF is down to a single plaintiff. We are requesting anyone having a child in the school system who supports the separation of church and state to join the suit.
If you have a child in the Cherry Creek School system (or sympathetic friends or relatives with children in the District) and you might be interested in joining our action against this establishment of religion by the school district, then please let me know. Plaintiffs must have children who use the Cherry Creek public schools.
If we are to add additional plaintiffs, they need to be added before 2009. There is no cost involved and very little time required, and you would be helping to ensure we can challenge a violation that is occurring nationwide. The Court has a protective order which keeps parent (and child) names out of the court documents and newspapers. If interested contact me ASAP
Tim Bailey 303.921.0641
Humanists of Colorado
For more detailed information, visit the Freedom From Religion Foundation
December 23, 2008 Posted by Metro State Atheists | atheism, Events, god, News, Press Release, religion | 40 Developmental Assets, Cherry Creek, Cherry Creek Public School, Cherry Creek School District, FFRF, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Humanists of Colorado, Lutheran Brotherhood, Religious Community, Time Baily | 3 Comments
Metro State Atheists is an affiliate of The Center for Inquiry (CFI), Secular Student Alliance and American Atheists; Which are not-for-profit organizations uniting freethinking, skeptic, secularist, atheist/agnostic, and humanist students and student organizations.
Our purposes are:
- To encourage freedom from superstition, irrationalism, and dogma;
- To further the acceptance and application of science, reason, and critical thinking in all areas of human endeavor;
- Advancing the public understanding and appreciation of science;
- To challenge misrepresentations of non-religious convictions and lifestyles;
- To create a campus community for freethinkers and skeptics.;
- To counter all forms of religious political extremism;
- To defend religious freedom, promote freedom of thought and inquiry concerning religious beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals, and practices, and, to advocate, labor for, and promote in all lawful ways the complete and absolute separation of state and church;
- To defend individual freedoms and civil liberties for all persons, regardless of race, sex, gender, class, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability and Fighting racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, and heterosexism;
- To unite freethinkers, skeptics, and humanists and consolidate campus resources to engage in such social, educational, legal, and cultural activity as will be useful and beneficial to the members of Metro State Atheists and to society as a whole;
- Exposing pseudoscience;
- Investigating claims of the paranormal;
- Safeguarding the freedom of expression and opposing censorship;
- Defending academic freedom;
- Challenging academic fads and orthodoxy;
- Debating the philosophy of science, skepticism, and theism;
- Exploring secular and humanist ethics;
- To collect and disseminate information, data, and literature on all religions and promote a more thorough understanding of them, their origins, and their histories;
- To encourage the development and public acceptance of a humane ethical system stressing the mutual sympathy, understanding, and interdependence of all people and the corresponding responsibility of each individual in relation to society;
- To develop and propagate a social philosophy in which humankind is central and must itself be the source of strength, progress, and ideals for the well-being and happiness of humanity;
We are also a member of College Atheists of Colorado.
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