Many thanks to the NDSU Lutheran Center and the kind hospitality of Dan Heath, the campus pastor for hosting 4 of our 12 SRLS meetings this semester! And please keep in mind the Lutheran Center's Encouraging Elements Coffee Shop for lunch. Times are always Tuesdays at noon, and locations are always provided with the announced talk, as shown below.
For our final talk this semester, I am pleased to welcome Becky Rude:
(12) 24 November. Noon. Arikara Room (Memorial Union).
REBECCA RUDE. The Realities of Heaven and Hell.
Many thanks to Clay Routledge for last week's talk, "The Existential Lives of Believers and Atheists", and I hope to provide more follow-up shortly. See ARTICLES below for the article in Current Biology he mentioned with its perhaps unexpected results that children raised in non-religious households showed greater prosocial behavior than those raised in religious households, even though "parents in religious households reported that their children expressed more empathy and sensitivity for justice in everyday life than non-religious parents [reported]". The finding is based on a sample of 1,170 children between 5 and 12 years across countries (Canada, China, Jordan, Turkey, USA, and South Africa).
I have the pleasure of passing along Jane Ahlin's comments following her 3 November talk on "The Moral Importance of Reproductive Rights" (see also ABSTRACTS below). In addition, her PowerPoint slides for her presentation have been added to the website - see TALKS ETC below. Jane writes:
The majority of questions at the presentation seemed to center on viability of the fetus. Very few questions had to do with Planned Parenthood. Given that a handful of PP clinics in two states (CA and WA) provide fetal tissue for research (about 1% of PP clinics), the videos that have unleashed an unparalleled political assault on the organization cannot be defended. Indeed, they have been debunked. That may be why there weren't questions. As far as the history of abortion rights, questioners did not seem interested in the original religious support for abortion rights because of the public health concerns over illegal abortion nor was there interest in discussing a statement by Linda Greenhouse (former Supreme Court reporter for the NY Times who co-wrote the 2010 book, Before Roe v Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling.) In an interview she said "What the research did indicate to me is how multifaceted the issue is and how the word [abortion] came over time to stand for so much more than the termination of a pregnancy. It really came to stand for a debate about the place of women in the world."
Thanks again to Syed Ahmad for providing free copies of the Life of Muhammad, and I have added the reference to BOOKS below with a couple of sample passages.
And seven other books have been added, including a history of modern science by Steven Weinberg, a defense of secular humanism by Philip Kitcher, Karen Armstrong's new biography of the Apostle Paul, a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Charles Marsh, two new books on the Salem Witch Trials, and more!
Our new category of LINKS (and thanks to Bernie Saini-Eidukat for providing our initial one) provides a link to Sarah Haider's talk at the 2015 American Humanist Association Convention. I have learned that Sarah Haider is from Fargo! (For all practical purposes - the family is from Pakistan.)
See below for ABSTRACTS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, ARTICLES, BOOKS, CRITICAL THINKING, HOW TO BE A BETTER PERSON INSTANTLY, LINKS, MISCELLANEOUS, MOVIES, PURPOSES, SONGS, SUPPORT GROUPS, and TOPICS SUGGESTED FOR SRLS TALKS with thanks to our many enthusiasts for input. In particular, please note ANNOUNCEMENTS for upcoming campus talks, ABSTRACTS to set a good example for us all, a pile of BOOKS, and the new category TALKS ETC.