Registration is now open for the
CFI Student Leadership Conference 2013
As a leading secular organization, we believe that it is an important part of our mission to train student leaders and to pass on the collective knowledge that we've gained from decades of grassroots organizing and advocacy. For more than 15 years, CFI has inspired and educated the secular leaders of tomorrow so that they can expand on the limits of our knowledge and bring reason to the coming generations. With these goals in mind, we work to connect students with the people who will help them deliver science, reason, and secular values to their communities.
Each year, CFI hosts a Leadership Conference focused on grassroots organizing, activism, advocacy, and the real skills that student leaders need to run an effective group and do effective outreach. The CFI Student Leadership Conference is the meeting place of young secular activists, passionate freethinking group leaders, and the professionals and thinkers who shape our world. Many of the presenters you'll meet are former student leaders and young people who gained experience by being a part of the movement, and now it’s time for us to give you a foot up by sharing our expertise.
If you're a CFI student group leader, or if you're a student starting a group at your high school or college, don't miss this event!
Trigger warning for discussion of suicide
My reaction to the suicide of Dominique Venner, the right-wing French historian who committed suicide by shooting himself in the head at the altar of the Notre Dame cathedral, has been one of incredibly mixed feelings. Venner’s views were hateful and downright repulsive; I find it difficult to mourn his loss. Yet he was still human and no one should be driven to take their own life.
As most of you probably know, the atheist and secular movements are having some…hiccups lately. There has been arguing and arguing about the status of women and minorities in the movement, about priorities, about harassment. Most recently, there was a lot of upset flung back and forth at the Women in Secularism conference. I see a lot of arguing about the details of who said what and this issue vs. that issue, but I think that at its root some of the differences is something a lot deeper. I think that in order to get at our differences we need to have a theoretical heart-to-heart about where our priorities lie. I’d like to propose that the divide is as follows: ideas vs. people.
Canada and science have had a rocky relationship over the past few years. This relationship reached a point of turmoil when scientists gathered on Parliament Hill to “mourn the death of evidence”.
It's getting to be that time of year again. You know. Gradamutation time. The time when you evolve from Undergrad to GRADUATE. It's exciting, I know. And now you get to go out into the big bag world and get a low-paying mind-numbing job and convince yourself that your degree was worth something. That bit is less exciting. Now I know all you STEM folks out there are patting yourselves on the back and feeling pretty smug about your life choices when you look at your humanities friends, but yours truly was a philosophy and religion major, and over the course of my time in school I got a little bit sick of skeptic and atheist scientists looking down their noses at me.
If you watch the first minute of this video clip you'll see Penn Jillette perform a logic trick. I greatly respect his ability to point out the tricks magicians use to fool people. As a logician, I'd like to follow his lead and point out the trick he has used here. He claims that if you're an agnostic, then you (pretty much) don't believe in God. That is, he claims agnosticism implies atheism.