Atheist Alliance International Convention 2007 (Recap)

Highlights from the Atheist Alliance International Convention 2007:

  • Getting into the hotel ballroom only after going through the hand-held metal detectors and handing over my bag to the people in the storage room.
  • Realizing that it was the second time that day I had to go through a “special screening.”
  • Being told that atheist conventions in the future would have to use these security measures due to “terrorists, fatwas, and death threats” (Those weren’t exaggerations. Ayaan Hirsi Ali had bodyguards around her at all times due to reaction to her previous work and her anti-Muslim book Infidel.)
  • Stealing Daniel Dennett’s second-row reserved seat in the hotel ballroom… which gave me the opportunity to take great pictures… and sit right behind Sam Harris and his wife.
  • Seeing Dennett walk into the room seconds after I took his seat (crap!)… and then seeing him move permanently to the other side of the room (I win!)
  • Hearing Richard Dawkins say that The God Delusion had sold over 1,250,000 copies! There are also 31 foreign editions already published or in the process of being published.
  • Seeing a picture of PZ Myers put up on the screen as Dawkins read one of his postings on Pharyngula: The Courtier’s Reply. As soon as the picture of PZ was up, there were cheers from the crowd. (PZ, you had fans at the convention!)
  • Hearing an audio clip of comedian Marcus Brigstocke (Dawkins played this during his talk).
  • Getting to ask Dawkins a question (When you’re Daniel Dennett for a night, you can do many things): Was he ever going to go back to writing science books? He said he was currently editing an anthology of science writing, but more importantly, he wanted to write a book for children: a book that taught them how to think critically. He hadn’t started writing it, but it was in his head.
  • Deciding that I needed to have babies now, so that by the time Dawkins book came out (if it came out), my kids would be of age to enjoy them. I need help on this matter, though. Applications are forthcoming.
  • Hearing Dawkins state that imposing religious labels on children was wrong (in his book, he calls this a form of child abuse). That is, we shouldn’t call them “Catholic children” just as we would not call them a “Democrat child” or a “Republican child” or a “Socialist child.” They’re just too young to think about those issues.

    More interesting was when he put a chart on the screen that showed the number of hits he found on Google when he typed in “_____ child” (or children or kid or kids). He used a number of adjectives and ranked them all, getting this total (from most hits to fewest hits):

    • Jewish child
    • Christian child
    • Muslim child
    • Catholic child
    • Israeli child
    • Irish child
    • Iranian child
    • Conservative child
    • Republican child
    • Atheist child
    • Liberal child
    • Democrat child
    • Marxist child
    • Socialist child
    • Agnostic child

    What does it all mean? That’s for you to figure out.

  • Catching Dawkins in a rare free moment and getting a picture with him:

    HemantandDawkins
  • Seeing the standing ovation given to Dawkins after he finished his talk… and then not seeing a standing ovation given to Sam Harris after his (more on that below).
  • Hearing Sam Harris talk about certain faiths: “Mormonism is Christianity plus some very stupid ideas.“
  • Seeing the crowd reaction (not everyone was thrilled) to Sam Harris’ suggestion that using the term “atheist” was a mistake. There are no “non-racists,” he said, so why are we defining ourselves by something that should simply be the case? Victory for our side would not result in a world where everyone called themselves an atheist; rather, atheism would just be an obvious afterthought. (I was surprised to find out that Harris managed to write The End of Faith without ever using the word “atheist” or “atheism.”)

    The label also carried liabilities, he said: people don’t like “atheists” and they have stock responses ready when we use the word to describe ourselves: “Stalin was an atheist,” for example. Granted, we can respond to those claims, but Harris said it was as if religious people had “drawn a chalk outline of a dead man and we just sit in it.”

    Instead, he argued, we should be saying that we advocate intellectual honesty, reason, and evidence. Who wants to be an enemy of “reason”? This terminology will be much easier to spread than “atheism.”

    Of course, the reaction was swift. One commenter spoke for many when she said that they did use the term “abolitionists” to band together the non-racist crowd at one time. Sometimes, you need an umbrella term to rally the troops even though the label may one day be obsolete.

  • Going up to Richard Dawkins with a stack of seven of his books plus two of mine and asking him to sign them all.
  • Seeing his reaction to that.
  • Watching Christopher Hitchens pull a cigarette out of his pocket, in the middle of his speech, waiting for the moment he was done so he could go outside and light up.

    HitchensWantsaSmoke

    Also, note that this is a rare photo. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen non-alcoholic liquid near Hitchens. Amazing. Unless that’s vodka inside… a thought that hasn’t escaped my mind.

  • Giving Friendly Atheist wristbands to the various authors (a la Stephen Colbert’s WristStrong campaign). Daniel Dennett put a yellow one on immediately. (I win again!)

    DennettWristband
  • Watching African-American, military veteran, and atheist rapper Greydon Square perform in front of a mostly older, whiter, male crowd… and watching the crowd get *really* into his music and lyrics. (Greydon was phenomenal.)
  • Seeing Greydon Square’s t-shirt:

    GreydonShirt

    So Carl Sagan was a rapper, too? :)

    (If I had a “Brown Carl Sagan” shirt, I would wear it every day.)

  • Hearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali start a sentence with “Fundamentalist Islam…” and then quickly correcting herself by saying, “well, Islam… ”
  • Listening to a question posed to Ali: “Why are Americans so stupid?” Her response: “Well… [it’s] only half of them…”
  • Seeing Richard Dawkins stand in line to ask Ali the question, “May I nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize?”
  • Hearing Christopher Hitchens avoid answer one attendee’s query by saying: “Your question didn’t give me enough of an erection.”
  • Hearing Charles Darwin’s great-great-grandson and Hollywood screenwriter Matthew Chapman explain why he should be up for sainthood: “If an old lady who argued against contraception in the slums of Calcutta can be up for sainthood, so should I for having done nothing.”
  • Hearing Chapman also say that for a woman to be religious, it was like “a freed slave still living on the plantation.”
  • Staring at the word “ATHEIST” and realizing that you can unscramble it and get “EAT SHIT.”
  • Being really upset that at one point, Dawkins, Harris, Ali, Hitchens, and Dennett (all of whom have made The New York Times bestsellers list) were in the same room, and there was no photo opportunity with all of them together.
  • Hearing Dennett joke that “Atheism is a chick magnet.”
  • Seeing the banana that one person had Dawkins sign:

    DawkinsBanana
  • Finding out that one can get on Hitchens’ good side by buying him a drink like my friend Ashley did. He even thanked her when he signed her book:

    HitchensSigned

    (It says “Thanks for the scotch.”)

  • Realizing that Ashley should have bought him a drink after he signed my copy of God is Not Great. He signed it: “For Hemani.” (To his credit, he caught the mistake without me saying anything and corrected it.)
  • Having every major speaker and atheist leader in attendance sign two copies of I Sold my Soul on eBay:

    SignedeBayBook

    Who signed the books? Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Daniel Dennett, Greydon Square, Eugenie Scott, Nica Lalli, Mike Estes, Margaret Downey, Paul Geisert, Mynga Futrell, Matthew Chapman, Julia Sweeney, Rob Boston, Brian Sapient and Kelly, Pastor Deacon Fred, and Ellen Johnson.

    Those books will go up on eBay at some point with proceeds going to a secular non-profit group.

If you were at the conference and have highlights of your own, please share them!

Also, interviews with many of the speakers and more amusing pictures will be posted in the coming days!


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • Charles

    I wish atheism was a chick magnet!

    Sounds like you had fun there.

  • http://20gramsoul.com Richard

    Seeing the crowd reaction (not everyone was thrilled) to Sam Harris’ suggestion that using the term “atheist” was a mistake.

    I must admit, this is something I’ve thought about too… while I don’t think using the word atheist is necessarily a mistake (I’m getting more comfortable with it as time goes on), I still think it’s something that should be considered – why SHOULD be feel the need to identify with a negative label (not negative in it’s connotations, although this is often true – but negative in the sense that it’s a label defining something that DOESN’T exist, i.e. a belief in a god)

    I posted on this a while back on my own blog.

  • http://lifebeforedeath.blogsome.com Felicia Gilljam

    Dying with envy over here. When will this happen in Europe? I mean the conference in Iceland last year was fun and all but nothing like this! (Besides, Iceland is really expensive to get to. Mainland convention plx!)

    Arrgh. It’s so unfair. ;_;

  • Pingback: UAAR Ultimissime » Archivio » Importante convention atea

  • Mriana

    Hitchens was nervous, wasn’t he? I’d be too ashamed to pull a cig out in the middle of a speech. :lol:

    I’m dying with envy of you too, Hemant. You are one lucky dog- you even have a pic with Dawkins! I’m jealous. :lol:

    There is one question I have to ask him- what does he think of the words Bi-racial child? If I had my way, these labels would go too. I have always hated fighting with the school system about my sons’ “racial” background. They are both Black and White, yet they are neither. That’s my pet peeve because we are all human and all part of the one and only race: human, regardless of skin colour. I wonder, since Dawkins is on this kick of not labelling a child of a particular religious group, if he’d help me with the so called racial labelling thing too? There is power in numbers. :D

  • Pingback: Importante convention atea | My.netsons

  • Karen

    My problem with “atheist” is that it’s so widely and solidly misunderstood semantically. EVERY fundamentalist I know was taught that atheists believe strongly that there is no god, which makes them arrogant because how can they know? And that they are anti-theist and out to destroy religion.

    Society in general finds the word toxic. Atheists in the popular imagination are angry, miserable, bitter. I think we can change that toxicity as more atheists come out of the closet – just as gays have succeeded in great measure by being visible in families and communities.

    But I fear that we can explain the difference between strong and weak versions of atheism until we’re blue in the face and the message won’t get out to even a small percentage of the people who need to hear it. And even then, I suspect a portion of them won’t understand the difference.

    It’s a dilemma, because agnostic isn’t the right word either. And Bright was ill-conceived (IMO) and seems to be falling out of use. Maybe Sam Harris is right.

  • http://amused-muse.blogspot.com Kristine

    Going up to Richard Dawkins with a stack of seven of his books plus two of mine and asking him to sign them all.

    And here I was feeling guilty for asking him to sign three, in that feeding-frenzy after the talk on Friday night…to make up for bringing only my dog-eared copy of The Extended Phenotype to the Galapagos…

    Dawkins gave moi a continental kiss on the cheek, such a gentleman! So I got you beat. ;)

    Hitchens was hilarious: As I was telling him the story of learning of Dawkins and I watching Hitchens’ appearance on CNN while we were on the ship, he said, “And what was I burbling about again?” [Falwell after his death.] :D

  • http://badidea.wordpress.com/ Bad

    I think I agree with Harris. While I use atheist, non-theist and so forth all interchangeably, and probably will continue to, the real fact of the matter is that the result is almost always confusion and a waste of time. While there’s something to be said about roaring THIS. IS. ATHEISM!!!!! and kicking Kirk Cameron down a hole, in the end we really AREN’T a group, we’re an outgroup. Acting like a group, running around under the banner of atheism just flat out confuses the heck out of people. And it means that we have to spend the vast majority of our time and energy just explaining who we are and aren’t, leaving far less time to get at the really important functional and practical issues.

  • Jim

    What’s sad is that Richard Dawkins can’t nominate Ali for the Nobel Peace Prize — but a professor of theology could. (Eligible nominators include “professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology”)

    Nobel Peace Prize nominators

  • Pingback: Sam Harris & the End of “Atheism”…. as a term « The Bad Idea Blog

  • miller

    There are already a ton of different labels, many of which are positive assertions. There’s humanist, rationalist, skeptic, secularist, bright, naturalist, materialist, infidel, agnostic, nontheist, freethinker, etc. The thing is, the instant you change the label to something else, you no longer have the same group of people, just an overlapping one. We could change the dominant label, but I think it’s far more important to consider who you’re including or leaving out than it is to consider whether the label is defined by a positive assertion or a negative one.

  • http://badidea.wordpress.com/ Bad

    But are labels always even important? Especially when we’re making arguments, or pushing specific values, your identity is kind of irrelevant, and spending lots of time on it starts to seem more like an invitation to distraction than necessarily a key issue.

    Anyhow, I posted some thoughts on the subject and would certainly welcome further discussion over it. It’s worth thinking about.

    Honestly, the idea of going to a convention and just having non-stop applause at and agreement on everything seems kind of boring. I’m glad Harris stood up and said something controversial and interesting, even if it wasn’t popular.

  • http://blog.lib.umn.edu/fole0091/epistaxis/ Epistaxis

    Seeing the crowd reaction (not everyone was thrilled) to Sam Harris’ suggestion that using the term “atheist” was a mistake. There are no “non-racists,” he said, so why are we defining ourselves by something that should simply be the case? Victory for our side would not result in a world where everyone called themselves an atheist; rather, atheism would just be an obvious afterthought.

    I think atheists (or whatever we call ourselves) can benefit from some identity politics right now. The LGBT movement, which is similar in that the people it represents are prone to hiding in the closet, could never have gotten off the ground if it had let “queer” continue to be a derogatory word instead of seizing it and using it positively, even though (or precisely because) it describes such a large, diverse group of people. Until journalists stop adding “self-proclaimed” before “atheist,” we haven’t done enough to disarm and reclaim the word.

  • http://kellygorski.blogspot.com Kelly

    I am so envious. ((sigh))

  • Mriana

    Importante convention atea | My.netsons said,

    October 1, 2007 at 8:25 am

    […] Un resoconto giornalistico sul sito della ABC, un commento “dall’interno” sul blog Friendly Atheist. […]

    Tradusca por favor.

    My problem with “atheist” is that it’s so widely and solidly misunderstood semantically.

    Yes, Karen, I agree with what you said and I do find it sad, thus why I say non-theist, Humanist, or Freethinker. I think most of the time I use Humanist or Freethinker though. The think is, in this area an atheist has to come out of the closet kicking or they will just get pushed back into the closet if they come out minkly. Thus I try to avoid the word atheist because it is met with so much hatred. Now if I lived else where, I don’t know if I would shy away from it as much. However, I find if I use the word non-theist, I have to explain myself, which I get tired of doing.

  • http://amused-muse.blogspot.com Kristine

    Other people will label us if we don’t. Like Sam Harris, I didn’t use the term “atheist” for a long time. But I was one before I even knew the word. I agree with him that the word should not have to exist and that the ideal future would not institutionalize “atheism,” but rationality and evidence-based systems.

    However, I think we are on our way to reclaiming the word, just like “dyke.” I mean, what lesbian deliberately used that in the 1970s? But now it’s all over the place. Words change meaning and connotation.

    My view is, name yourself individually what you want – diversity is great (and I don’t call myself an atheist in every single circumstance) – but if we drop the word atheist entirely (and I won’t), we risk looking like we’re dancing around the issue. There is power in what people fear; we should not adopt their fear in order to adopt their power.

  • http://badidea.wordpress.com/ Bad

    The LGBT movement, which is similar in that the people it represents are prone to hiding in the closet, could never have gotten off the ground

    This analogy is common, but highly inapt. The fact that gay people are diverse but fit under a common banner is key to having a word. But the fact that atheists are just people who do NOT have a common faith or ideology is precisely the problem with trying to group them in a movement. That is EXACTLY what confuses people, and in some respects, seizing on identity politics only further confuses the issue, playing into how believers characterize us instead of rejecting it!

  • http://misterjebsblog.blogspot.com Tina B.

    I was so happy for you, looking at the photo’s! You deserve it.

  • Darryl

    ‘Realist’ is a useful indentifier. It takes in many different kinds of thinkers, and is not threatening–I mean, most people would probably consider themselves realists, in addition to whatever else they think. I’m a plain and simple guy, and ‘realist’ is simple enough for anyone to understand. If they have questions about what that might mean, then I’ve got an opportunity to talk about the specifics.

  • http://starseyer.blogspot.com Mikel

    Are you really taking applications? ;)

    On the more serious side…I actually think Harris is right about ‘atheist’. But I’m no so sure about the other terms people have come up with either.

    And you got a picture with Richard Dawkins! I’ve got to get to one of those conventions one of these days!

  • E favorite

    I was there too – and met the Friendly Atheist – and all the other luminaries. everyone was so accessible and involved in the conference. FA’s description of the conference is very apt.

    regarding the term atheism – it perfectly describes my stance on religion. I do not believe in supernatual beings. It does not desribe my philosophy — that is humanism. I think the learning moment with theists is to explain the above, then say something like – “I understand you’re a Christian and believe in a supernatural god. That’s your religion. what’s your philosophy of life?”

    I haven’t had a chance to do this yet, but I suspect they will be stumped – having thought frequently about their religion, but possibly never about their philosophy. Maybe they’ll say ,”uma-uma – I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ.” If so, I’d ask them to name some, then point out how these are also humanist values.

    Try it and see how it works.

  • http://undiscoveredfuture.blogspot.com Rebecca

    This was a treat for the eyes! I never realized the whole atheist = eat shit thing before. Hitchens is coming to Madison next weekend for the FFRF convention; I’m so excited for it!

  • http://metamagician3000.blogspot.com/ Russell Blackford

    Damn! I wish I could have been there.

    I’m not that keen on the word “atheist”, but I think it has to be accepted at least for now. In more philosophical circles I call myself a philosophical naturalist, which goes further than atheism (though there’s some vagueness and disagreement about how far it does go). I doubt that there’s a perfect word.

    The best one is probably “sceptic”, except that there’s no agreement on how to spell it. :)

    From my viewpoint, though, the people to organise are the ones who are sceptical about religion and its claims to authority, even if they are agnostics or deists or pantheists or something. Make the tent as big as possible.

  • http://postmodernhousewife.blogspot.com Helen

    I’m dizzy with jealousy – what a brilliant conference. I’ve just bought a couple of Dawkin’s books and am abut to get Hitchen’s, though I think its is worth noting that while these guys are doing the celebrity blockbuster thing, there are surely many other fine thinkers that deserve our attention, too.

    The thoughts on the atheism label are interesting, and I agree that it is such a negative term – but I also have trouble with humanism, which has its own set of connotations.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Aj

    Instead, he argued, we should be saying that we advocate intellectual honesty, reason, and evidence. Who wants to be an enemy of “reason”? This terminology will be much easier to spread than “atheism.”

    People who believe in God reject evidence and reason, they use terms like faith (defined by lack of evidence), and non-rational (interchangable with irrational). They very much line themselves up against intellectual honesty, and will come out with the flimsiest evasions when called on it.

    This is why I love Richard Dawkins, he fully recognises that Atheist is a label that sounds aggressive, triggers strong responses, and is misunderstood by many. Yet he thinks that’s a very good reason for using the label Atheist, to provoke, rally, and put the point across, “lets stop being so damned respectful”. Also, and probably more importantly, non-Theist just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    Why should we be respectful, because of the moderates, the liberals, the equally likely agnostics, who betray us and themselves at every turn, defending these people? The ones that are bright enough to think religion isn’t for them but arrogant enough to think that other people need a shepherd, need to be sheep. The ones that are all too willing to forgive, even defend, religion’s role in suffering, indoctrination, and wilful ignorance.

    An Atheist’s Call to Arms (TED 2002)

  • Vincent

    Harris’ talk was way more interesting than Dawkins’
    (watched the webcast)
    I think he’s right in an idealist way. However, I think we need to have a label to stand under right now.
    How many people would continue to hide their disbelief and feel isolated if there were not atheist clubs and atheist web sites to rally to?
    People need to know it’s okay to lack belief in god. For now we need the label.

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Interview with Pastor Deacon Fred

  • http://infidels.org Janice Rael

    Hey, I would have signed your book… I’m not major enough? Sniff.

    I had fun and my report to the Internet Infidels Discussion Board readers is here.

    It was great to see you!

  • http://www.crazymalc.com Malcolm Trevena

    Thanks for posting this.

    You have, however, made me very jealous.

  • Mriana

    regarding the term atheism – it perfectly describes my stance on religion. I do not believe in supernatual beings. It does not desribe my philosophy — that is humanism. I think the learning moment with theists is to explain the above, then say something like – “I understand you’re a Christian and believe in a supernatural god. That’s your religion. what’s your philosophy of life?”

    I think you have it backwards- Christianity IS their philosophy of life. Theism is their stance on religion. Humanism is both a life stance and a philosophy, just as you said, but for a Christian, Christianity is their life stance and philosophy on life.

    You see, religion is a way of life for many people. Nothing else matters beyond that or outside of their religious values. Their religion surrounds their values and morals. Religion decides what they can and cannot do. In some cases, religion tells them what people are acceptable, what they can and cannot learn, and a whole lot more. It controls their thinking, learning… their whole life. There is nothing beyond that for some people.

  • Karen

    There is nothing beyond that for some people.

    Exactly. Asking these people about their philosophy of life will get you nowhere because they don’t distinguish between religion and philosophy. In fact, they will deny that they even are religious; they’ll tell you they have a “relationship with Jesus.”

    I’m reminded of the old Christian saying/hymn: “Jesus Christ, my all-in-all.”

  • http://www.skepchick.org/blog Rebecca Watson

    Great overview, Hemant! Sorry I had to miss it.

  • Keith

    Hemant,

    I’m glad you had a good time, man …

  • Mighty Favog

    When someone says something like “Stalin was an atheist,” I reply “Oh yeah? Every satanist believes in God.”

  • Mriana

    In fact, they will deny that they even are religious; they’ll tell you they have a “relationship with Jesus.”

    To which I want to reply, “You have a relationship with a mythical dead man?”

    It sounds like necrophila, even though they don’t realize what they are saying. Of course when a man says it, it not only sounds like necrophila, but what they strongly object to- homosexuality. Think about it.

  • HappyNat

    Think about it.

    Think about gay sex with dead men? I try to be open minded but I’ll have to pass on this one. :)

  • Mriana

    :lol: See what I mean? What they say is laughable! I’m telling you.

  • http://sanguinity.livejournal.com Sanguinity

    Sam Harris makes himself sound like an idiot when he asserts there are no “non-racists”. The term is “anti-racist”, and there are quite a few.

  • Polly

    You see, religion is a way of life for many people. Nothing else matters beyond that or outside of their religious values. Their religion surrounds their values and morals. Religion decides what they can and cannot do. In some cases, religion tells them what people are acceptable, what they can and cannot learn, and a whole lot more. It controls their thinking, learning… their whole life. There is nothing beyond that for some people.

    If it were a political movement it would be called “totalitarianism”…or, “fascism.” This also tends to flatten people into 1 dimensional thinkers. It’s like the whole world gets simplified to “OK with Jesus” / “not OK with Jesus.” The intellectual loss is incalculable as are the relationship losses in terms of depth and breadth. I feel bad for those who absorb themselves so fully in their religion. I know a couple people like that.

  • Mriana

    Polly, it was once a political movement. It was called… The Roman Empire. There was a LOT of intellectual loss due to its superstition, dogma, and oppressive/suppressive Theocracy.

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Spreading the Seed

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Sam Harris’ Speech at the Atheist Alliance International Convention

  • Pingback: The Meming of Life » our man in washington: aai 2007 Parenting Beyond Belief on secular parenting and other natural wonders

  • Nadeen

    http://richarddawkins.net/article,1702,The-Problem-with-Atheism,Sam-Harris

    Harris does not want us to call ourselves ANYTHING. He wants us to go under the radar and stay there for the rest of our lives “And while there, we should be decent, responsible people who destroy bad ideas wherever we find them.”

    Harris may not call himself an atheist but he sure as hell doesn’t seem to be under the radar to me.

  • Pingback: ocmpoma » aracism

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Interview with Daniel Dennett

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Interview with Daniel Dennett

  • Richard S. Russell

    I spent my professional career as an analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, which oversees the elementary and secondary schools in the state. I can tell you from personal experience that the effective lifespan of any term for slow learners is about 8-10 years, after which it’s irredeemably a pejorative. Moron, imbecile, idiot, retard, cognitively disabled, special ed, educable, learning disabled, slow learner, and so on — they’ve all had their half-decade or so in the sun before being tainted by association with dumb kids and turning into insults or derogations.

    The same would be true of any term we came up with as a potential replacement for “atheist”. Let’s not even bother. Let’s follow the lead of the blacks and the queers and develop pride in who we are, regardless of the label, and after awhile the label will lose its stigma right along with the good, admirable people who proudly proclaim it as their own.

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Rush Limbaugh on the Atheist Alliance International Convention

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Rush Limbaugh Says Global Warming is the Atheists’ Religion

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » An Atheist Celebration

  • Pingback: Daylight Atheism > On Branding

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » One More Response to Sam Harris

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Interview with Mike Estes

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Speech at the Atheist Alliance International Convention

  • Mr Kestutis Sabinicius

    It’s time to fight back all religions too long time they killing innocent people.

  • Mr Kestutis Sabinicius

    Religiious people too long fighting against science, too long time killing innocent people, too long time abusing children. Its time to UNITED and fight back.
    K. Sabinicius

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » New Atheist Symbol

  • D.

    Pray to Jesus now because someday soon it will be to late for you.Think about it

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Interview with Eugenie Scott

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » AAI Conference Photographs

  • Enoxprin

    ahhh I am so jealous of you!!!!! I watched the whole thing on Google RDF posted the whole thing! I wish I had been there. Imagine being in the same room as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Daniel Dennet all at the same time!!!!!!!

  • Elise

    So, when can I submit my application for the baby-making? Yes, atheism can be a ‘chick-magnet’. For girls who are atheists.
    I love your blog. Keep up the good work. :)

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Register for 2008 Atheist Alliance International Convention

  • Mete Toksi

    Man you are so lucky. I wish I lived in USA and meet with all those people.

  • http://ingramtech.com Dave Ingram

    Sad to hear that security was heavy. The only obvious security at the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne earlier this year was for Taslima Nasrin, again due to Muslim death threats. This was close personal protection for her, and no screening for us. After one day she was comfortable enough to dispense with the body guards.

    It was great to see the big names speak and to hear other sides of atheism. I hope these large conventions continue.

    Perhaps the metal detectors etc is a US paranoia thing? After three years things might have calmed down a bit too.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X