Is God a Figment of our Imagination?

Religion and Society Debate: Dr. Michael Shermer and Dr. Alister McGrath

“Is God a Figment of Our Imagination?”

Is religious belief a vestige of a past age, destined for extinction,
and are the many religious adherents of the world, merely ignorant and
misguided?  Or is there within the theistic framework a resonance with
reality that presses the notion of God beyond the mere subjective
musings of those that claim it to be so?

Join CFI Canada and Wycliffe College for a dialogue between two
leading thinkers who have thoughtfully wrestled with this question,
each not only having embarked on a personal pilgrimage, but each
bringing a lifetime of erudition, experience, and insights to bear on
this theme. Dr. Alister McGrath, the atheist who would become a
theist, and Dr. Michael Shermer, the theist who would become an
atheist. Join us at Convocation Hall, University of Toronto for an
engaging two hours of thoughtful dialogue on one of histories greatest
questions.

For a quarter century, Dr. Shermer has been a leader in the promotion
of Science, Reason, and Secular Values. He is the Publisher of Skeptic
magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a
Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism
101. He is the author of Why People Believe Weird Things, Why Darwin
Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, and The Moral Arc. His next
book is Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife,
Immortality & Utopia.

Dr McGrath holds the Andreas Idreos Professorship in Science and
Religion at the University of Oxford. As a former atheist, McGrath is
respectful yet critical of the movement. In recent years, he has been
especially interested in the emergence of “scientific atheism”, and
has researched the distinctive approach to atheist apologetics found
in the writings of the Oxford zoologist and scientific populariser
Richard Dawkins. He regularly engages in debate and dialogue with
leading atheists, and is presently researching the iconic role played
by Charles Darwin in atheist apologetics.

The debate will be at 7:30 p.m., Friday 15 September, at University of
Toronto’s Convocation hall. Details and tickets available at:
https://www.wycliffecollege.ca/religionandsociety

Exclusive CFI members luncheon with Dr Michael Shermer

CFI Toronto is pleased to offer members the opportunity to attend an
intimate luncheon with Skeptics Society founder Dr. Michael Shermer.
The luncheon will be held at 12:00 noon, Friday 15 September, at the
Duke of York (39 Prince Arthur Avenue).

Dr. Shermer will be available for an exclusive lunch with CFI Canada
members ahead of his evening debate with Dr. McGrath.  Dr. Shermer
will be making brief remarks at noon, so it is recommended that you
arrive early. Funds raisied by this event will go toward CFI Canada’s
mission to promote science, reason, and secular values.

This event is only open to CFI Canada members in good standing.
Tickets are $75 per person. As part of the admission price, attendees
will be sent a $50 tax receipt (note that your full name and postal
address must be provided to receive your tax receipt).

Advance tickets available at:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/cfi-canada-member-luncheon-with-michael-shermer-tickets-37489084862

To become a member of CFI Canada, or to renew your membership online,
visit http://centreforinquiry.ca/support/)

A Talk by Gary Bauslaugh – Assisted Death in Canada – What Went Wrong

Date: Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Location: Mount Royal University, Room EA 1004 (Faculty of the Arts) (see map below)

Cost: free for CFI and MRU Secular Humanists members (with card) and $10 for the general public

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View this event on Meetup.

Gary Bauslaugh is the author of three books related to assisted death in Canada; his most recent (The Right to Die, April 2016) tells the stories of the courageous Canadians, from the 1940s to the present, whose often heroic actions helped create a climate of acceptance of the idea that assisted death should be legalized in Canada.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s historic ruling in February, 2015, declared the law prohibiting assisted death unconstitutional, and provided guidelines for new legislation which would be in tune with our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Then it was up to the politicians to pass actual legislation, an exercise that many of whom have been advocates for progressive reform on assisted dying looked forward to with great hope and anticipation.

The results, however, were problematic. Bauslaugh spoke out against the proposed legislation and on May 6 was called to Ottawa to speak on the matter to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. His views were reflected in the Senate’s initial rejection of the legislation.

Still, the flawed Bill was passed in June – a negation of the efforts of many Canadians, over many years, to protect the right of grievously ill and suffering Canadians to have a dignified and peaceful death.

In his talk Bauslaugh discusses how and why this happened and looks at where we go from here.

Gary Bauslaugh is a Victoria writer who has served as President of the Humanist Association of Canada and on the board of CFI Canada. He was Editor of Humanist Perspectives for five years. Recent books include The Right to Die – the courageous Canadians who gave us the right to a dignified death; Robert Latimer, a story of justice and mercy; and The Secret Power of Juries. (All published by James Lorimer and Co., Toronto).

Tickets will be sold at the door. This event is free for CFI and MRU Secular Humanists members (with card) and $10 for the general public.

2016 Calgary Pride Parade

When: Sunday, September 4th, 2016 at 10:45am

Where: Centre Street and 8th Ave. (Stephen Ave), Calgary, AB

Visit our Meetup Event page for up-to-date information.

Join us for CFI Calgary’s 6th year of participation in the Calgary Pride Parade on Sunday, September 4, 2016.

At CFI Calgary we support Pride because we stand for secular values and freedom of inquiry, and oppose religious based bigotry. This is a Humanist opportunity for people to join us in support of positive social change.

We have CFI Calgary Pride T-shirts that will be available for $10. The T-shirt design is the same from previous years, so you can wear your old one.

The Parade starts at Center Street and 8th Ave S (aka, Stephen Ave), and proceeds West towards Shaw Millennium Park. This family friendly parade sees upwards of 60,000 spectators as over 125 entries from community groups, corporations, politicians, churches and public services roll through the heart of downtown, and celebrates the tremendous diversity of Calgary’s community.

The parade starts at 12 noon and we will need to be in place at 11:30. More exact details as to where we will meet will be released closer to the event.

Pride Calgary is all about, well, Pride! So please, have fun! Make some noise and promote equal attitudes and treatment of all citizens of Canada!

Jerry Coyne talks about his new book “Faith vs. Fact” in Ottawa (February 26, 2016)

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Audience for Jerry Coyne in Ottawa talk “Faith vs. Fact”

 

Over 170 people crowded into Centrepointe Friday night to hear Jerry Coyne talk about his new book “Faith vs. Fact”.

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Jerry Coyne lectures in Ottawa discussing his new book Faith vs Fact.

Jerry Coyne talks very well and drew some great questions after his talk.

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Jerry Coyne being asked a question

Discussion continued at the reception afterwards.

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Audience members at reception after Jerry Coyne’s talk “Faith vs. Fact”

 

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Merchandise table was kept busy

All in all a very successful evening!

Bob Ripley – “Life Beyond Belief”

On Friday, November 21st Bob Ripley, a former Christian apologist and religion columnist, gave an inspiring talk to a full house as to why he is now an Atheist. He is involved with the Clergy Project and CFIC hopes to build a closer relationship with Bob.

In his new book Life Beyond Belief: A Preacher’s Deconversion, Bob tells the story of what led him to take early retirement as well as offering a thoughtful digest of the problems and delusions of religion.

So what would lead the minister of one of Canada’s largest mainline Protestant congregations, a syndicated religion columnist, broadcaster and author of Christian devotional material, to change his mind and become an Atheist? You’ll have to get a copy of the book.

Bob is a graduate of Western University and the University of Toronto. For over three decades he served as an ordained minister including work as Director of Communications for a relief and development organization and the host of a syndicated radio show. During that time he has been a weekly syndicated columnist and author.

His website: bobripley.ca For more information on the book: lifebeyondbelief.ca