Jefferson Center Roundtable: Religion, Atheism and Critical Thinking, May 21, 4 P.M.

Religion, Atheism, and Critical Thinking:  A Roundtable Discussion

More than ever, Americans describe themselves as atheists, agnostics, or
“nothing in particular” when surveyed about their religious identity
(about three in ten, according to the Pew Research Center).  But what do
these terms mean?

The Jefferson Center invites members and guests to discuss their ideas on the
subject at 4 pm on Sunday, May 21.

Having “no religion” might just mean it is not present in one’s life.
But claiming atheism or agnosticism suggests that one has pondered the
concepts and practices and made a decision not to be religious.  Just as some
religious proselytize, some non-religious people assert that good critical
thinking means one should be atheist, or at least agnostic.  One such person,
arguably, was Thomas Jefferson.

At the same time, stereotypes and discrimination against non-religious
people, especially atheists, remains strong in our society.  Atheists, for
example, may be assumed to have no morals because they have no god, or to be
incapable of deep feelings such as awe and reverence.  (Atheists themselves
disagree.)  What do non-religious (or anti-religious) people think about
faith, belief, and the source of goodness?  Should non-religious people keep
quiet about their ideas in order to avoid offending the religious?  Or to
avoid being stigmatized by some religious?

For its next salon, The Jefferson Center will host a “Roundtable”
discussion in which participants sit in a circle and everyone has a chance to
share thoughts about the topic.  Very brief opening remarks and facilitation
will be provided by the Program Committee.

The program will be held in the Jefferson Center space, suite 101, in the Old
Armory Building, 208 Oak St., in Ashland.  Light refreshments will be served.
This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact: Sandra Coyner,

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