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June 13, 2024
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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 p.m. 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. Visit https://www.thejeffcenter.org/religion-atheism-and-critical-thinking-roundtable-discussion for more information.

Date & Time:

May 21 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Cost:

Free

Old Ashland Armory

208 Oak St.
Ashland, 97520

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