Speaking in San Diego on April 28th

by Luke Muehlhauser on April 26, 2010 in News

Last notice…

price center ucsd

Price Center

On Wednesday, April 28th at 6pm, I’ll be speaking at the Price Center at the University of California, San Diego.

My speech is entitled Why the New Atheists Failed, and How to Defeat All Religious Arguments in One Easy Step.

The speech will be about 20 minutes long, with time for questions afterward.

The speech is hosted by Rational Thought at UCSD. Past speakers include Victor Stenger (physicist, author of God: The Failed Hypothesis) and lawyer James McElroy of the Mount Soledad cross controversy.

A map of the event and parking locations is here.

I know Conversational Atheist is planning to attend, and we’ll grab a beer afterward. Whoever else wants to join us for a chat is welcome after the talk.

Here is the poster:

new atheists failed poster

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

RA April 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

Wow! This is going to save a lot of trouble. I hope it gets posted here afterwards so we can all benefit.

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Sabio April 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

Fantastic, Best wishes !
Looking forward to the post.

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Charles April 9, 2010 at 7:50 am

Good luck! Looking forward to the transcript.

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chuck April 9, 2010 at 8:07 am

Good luck Luke,

Plant your feet and tell the truth.

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piero April 9, 2010 at 8:22 am

That’s great news. Don’t be too harsh on the “new” atheists, though; they deserve a lot of credit.

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Silas April 9, 2010 at 8:25 am

I don’t like the title. No, you almost certainly won’t show how to defeat all religious arguments in one easy step. Sounds like something out of an infomercial or a cheesy ad.

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Bill Maher April 9, 2010 at 8:26 am

at times like this I wish I didn’t live on the exact opposite part of the country.

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James April 9, 2010 at 8:40 am

I’ll be there!

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Taranu April 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

Luke, I wish you the best of luck!

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raatrani April 9, 2010 at 10:54 am

GREAT!! we do have a small group out here in SD, and we do meet up infrequently. I’ve sent a message to the facebook group suggesting a meetup. See you there!

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curious April 9, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Will you be putting up a video or transcript onlin?

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al friedlander April 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I’ve been following your blog for a little while now. Let me wish you luck, as my first post here

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Jeff H April 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Nice stuff! Wish I could be there…but I’m a little far away. Anyway, I hope that your method for defeating all religious arguments in one step is to say, “God doesn’t exist. Any questions?”

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lukeprog April 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Cool, James; be sure to come up to me afterward and introduce yourself!

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lukeprog April 9, 2010 at 3:33 pm

See you there, raatrani!

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lukeprog April 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm

curious,

I don’t know yet. Probably at least a transcript.

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Chris Hallquist April 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I don’t like the title. No, you almost certainly won’t show how to defeat all religious arguments in one easy step. Sounds like something out of an infomercial or a cheesy ad.  

Yeah, but it’s close enough. My hunch is he’ll be presenting something like the material in this post. While it can’t literally take care of every religious argument in 20 minutes, it comes surprisingly close.

I’m more curious to know what he’ll say about the New Atheists–what goal did they fail at?

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Liam April 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Hopefully somebody gets either audio or video of this!

BTW Luke, here is an article you may be interested in since I think you made a remark about Obama and his faith some time back.

http://www.theage.com.au/world/a-colossus-who-bends-presidents-ears-20100409-ryqs.html

It’s about T.D Jakes and Obama’s faith. its short to read but very interesting.

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TaiChi April 9, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I hope it goes well for you, Luke.

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ayer April 10, 2010 at 6:28 am

Yeah, but it’s close enough. My hunch is he’ll be presenting something like the material in this post. While it can’t literally take care of every religious argument in 20 minutes, it comes surprisingly close.

That post runs into the challenge of Plantinga’s entire epistemological corpus (especially “Warranted Christian Belief”). I don’t think that challenge is easily met in 20 minutes.

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Mark April 11, 2010 at 4:28 pm

That post runs into the challenge of Plantinga’s entire epistemological corpus (especially “Warranted Christian Belief”). I don’t think that challenge is easily met in 20 minutes.

Obviously Luke doesn’t really think he can thoroughly refute all theistic arguments in 20 minutes. And he could certainly mention some of the better replies to Plantinga’s epistemology in that time (if this is indeed his subject).

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Dan April 11, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Hey dude,

I’ll def see you there, and hopefully can grab a beer with you. I come from the more New Age/Zen camp, so will be cool to hang out.

–Dan

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lukeprog April 12, 2010 at 5:15 am

Cool, Dan, I look forward to seeing you.

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Jr April 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Hey Luke,

Great to hear you are coming to Diego and I will definitely be looking forward to hearing your presentation!

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lukeprog April 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Cool, Jr. See you there.

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MarkD April 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Oh well. I was just in San Diego on Thursday. Enjoy the Seussian trees.

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lukeprog April 18, 2010 at 10:12 pm

I love Joshua Tree National Park, the home of Dr. Seuss trees.

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Hermes April 19, 2010 at 2:53 am

I don’t like the title. No, you almost certainly won’t show how to defeat all religious arguments in one easy step. Sounds like something out of an infomercial or a cheesy ad.

I like it. If you don’t get people to look and consider what you have to say — even if they’re there only because they are angry — it doesn’t mater what you have to say.

Case in point, I posted a thread on WWGHA titled;

Theology: Innovative, Knowledgeable, or Dead?

Accurate, and a bit antagonistic, but not over the top.

A few people responded, but not many, and after a few days no new people came along. So, I ramped up the title;

Is religion dead? (A question for theists about religious knowledge.)

More people posted, and the topic took off for a while.

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MauricXe April 19, 2010 at 6:15 am

That’s great news. Don’t be too harsh on the “new” atheists, though; they deserve a lot of credit.  

I tend to agree with this.

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Martin April 19, 2010 at 8:32 am

THANK YOU for continuing to criticize the new atheists. Sloppy reasoning must be beaten down, whether Christians or atheists are engaging in it.

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Hermes April 19, 2010 at 9:13 am

Context, including the audience(s) being addressed, Martin. So, be as critical as you like. Will they care, or think you’ve just missed the point?

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john April 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Hi,
Could you please post the outline? Some of us Can’t make it to SD. Thanks

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john April 19, 2010 at 5:39 pm

atheists are wrong, btw (that’s why the new atheists fail)

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noen April 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm

“I’m more curious to know what he’ll say about the New Atheists–what goal did they fail at?”

Not being total assholes. Oh, and the scientism thing too.

And it probably would have helped if Harris didn’t argue in favor of torture and if Hutch didn’t back a Holocaust denier and if Dawkins dot net hadn’t become an open cesspool of filth.

I mean, other than those all is cool huh.

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Colter April 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Have you heard about the preacher that’s occasionally on library walk? It would brighten my day to hear you challenge him & all his ramblings.

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Silver Bullet April 26, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I wish I could make it Luke, so since I can’t, I really look FWD to the transcript, questions and all.

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Taranu April 27, 2010 at 12:12 am

Luke I said this before and I’ll say it again: best of luck! I look forward to a post with your speech of maybe even an mp3 file. Go get them tiger ;)

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Justfinethanks April 27, 2010 at 5:02 am

Not being total assholes.

Actually, I think “being total assholes” was an implicit goal of the New Atheists, so it’s hard to call their success in that area a failure.

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noen April 27, 2010 at 7:20 am

Have you heard about the preacher that’s occasionally on library walk?It would brighten my day to hear you challenge him & all his ramblings.  

Why? He is nobody important and very likely needs access to mental health services. Screaming back at him is unlikely to dislodge his delusional belief system.

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Keith Taylor April 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Sigh! The so-called “new” atheists have only been around a few years. The religions we’re faced with more often than not have been around for two to six centuries. Already you’re calling us a failure.
Like hell! The only way to stop irrational thought from continuing to destroy the world is to point out the obvious: they are silly and their ideas are silly.

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lukeprog April 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Keith,

But you haven’t heard my speech yet. You don’t even know what I’m going to say.

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jr April 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Luke,

Thanks again for coming to San Diego and for providing an insightful presentation. Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to hang around for more of the Q & A and introduce myself, but if you have another presentation in the SoCal area, please post it on your site. Keep up the great work.

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James April 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Pleasure meeting you this evening and I regret that I could not stay and chat afterwards.

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Mathew Wilder April 28, 2010 at 10:49 pm

“New Atheist” is a total misnomer, as Ophelia Benson and PZ Myers have both pointed out several times. If we knew our history better, we, atheists and non-atheists alike would know this.

I just finished re-reading Jennifer Michael Hecht’s Doubt: A History which was published shortly before the books of the so-called “Four Horsemen” who are typically thought of as representative of the “New Atheism.” It’s an excellent resource, and provides a sweeping history of doubt of various forms across the globe, and in great depth.

What I noticed upon re-reading it was how similar many of the doubters of the past were to the “New Atheists.” Whether it be the Carvaka from ancient India, or ancient Greek critiques of religious belief, to medieval Muslim doubters like al-Rawandi and al-Razi, to Rabelais, Baron D’Holbach, or more recent figures like Bertrand Russell and Margaret Knight, everything “New Atheism” is saying has been said before – in content, tone, what have you. And I don’t intend that as a slam against “New Atheists” for lack of originality. Some things need to be said repeatedly until people understand, and sometimes they need to be said harshly, satirically, pointedly. “Rudeness” has been part of the history of doubt for literally thousands of years.

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lukeprog April 28, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Thanks, jr!

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lukeprog April 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm

James,

Yes, a pleasure meeting you. You and J. keep up the good work!

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Reginald Selkirk April 29, 2010 at 5:21 am

I just finished re-reading Jennifer Michael Hecht’s Doubt: A History … Whether it be the Carvaka from ancient India,

I have also read that book, and enjoyed it. You should be aware however that her coverage of the Carvaka was not very good. Most researchers who have looked into Carvaka in depth agree that the Tattvopaplavasimha, an 8th century work of what might be described as pure pre-scientific Pyrrhonism (i.e. we cannot trust even our senses), is not representative of Carvaka as a whole. The Wikipedia entry for Carvaka is actually pretty good.

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Mazen Abdallah April 29, 2010 at 5:44 am

Overall, keith parsons makes an interesting case when he distinguishes between theoretical atheists (people who profess atheism and are fairly certain that organized religion and the idea of God are false) and practical atheists (people who have a religion, but don’t live their lives by faith). Overall, we should be thanking the porno industry and the world’s drug dealers for helping people realize that religion kinda sucks if you’re the fun-loving type. No amount of atheist literature can rival the love men have for blow jobs

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lukeprog April 29, 2010 at 7:04 am

If God outlaws blowjobs, he loses.

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Al Moritz April 30, 2010 at 10:47 am

So Luke, what was your argument “How to Defeat All Religious Arguments in One Easy Step”, and how did the audience react?

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lukeprog April 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Al,

I hope to comment when the video is up. It was great fun!

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