‘How Can We Help Young Atheists?’ My Speech at the 2012 Freethought Festival

Last spring, the Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison held a Freethought Festival. It was a free conference with tons of speakers — very impressive for any student group to pull off — and they’re planning to do it again next year. (If they invite me, I’m *so* there.)

I bring it up because they just released all the videos from the event! (I assume it’s because they hate everyone who works during the day and can’t watch these videos until the weekend.)

There are some incredible talks in here, though. The titles include “What the Pope Does Not Know About Human Sexuality,” “Recovering From Religion,” and “Debunking the ‘Christian Nation’ Myth.”

You can check out the full list here.

I gave a talk, too! If you’re going to see me speak in the next few months, I would urge you not to see it just yet since I’ll be giving a revised version of the same speech… but if you’re not, have at it!

It’s a preview of my forthcoming book on young atheists:

Feel free to critique the video. I refuse to see it because… well… I hate watching myself.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://twitter.com/moother moother

    you are gracious and eloquent, i like.

    do watch yourself, though, because you’ll learn and improve.

  • stojadinovicp

    Whoa! House MD is not a likable character??? Duuude?!? Blasphemy!

    • Gordon Duffy

       I sure like him, a lot

  • homelessgirl1

    Its a great talk 

  • flyb

    I only watched the first minute or so… is it explained why “ballsacks” is written on the board??

    • stojadinovicp

       nope

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Came to ask this myself. Care to explain Hemant?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

        I wish I knew…

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

        I wish I knew…

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

        I wish I knew…

  • advancedatheist

    You can help young atheist guys by telling them not to believe the christian propaganda about atheists’ swinging sex lives. Women find most men sexually unappealing, regardless of the women’s beliefs, except for a minority of the alpha male bad boys and cads. So a young beta male christian who becomes an atheist doesn’t look any more sexually desirable to those young atheist women he might meet at conferences than he did before his apostasy.

    I mean, consider the irony: The very godless women whom theologians and clergymen have denounced for generations as “whores” because of their unbelief have demanded policies from the organizations which sponsor their conferences to publish and enforce policies against sexual harassment. Just think of it as evolutionary psychology in action.

    • Dan

      Congratulations, you win the bizarre comment of the day award!

      Do you really think many Christians are becoming atheists for the sex?

      • Patterrssonn

        His comments always incredibly bizarre. They all come across as attempts to explain his inability to get laid.

        • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

          I read it the same way.  I fail to see how his comment had anything to do with the subject of Hemant’s talk.

  • dearestlouise

    You did a great job!

  • http://northierthanthou.com/ northierthanthou

    Very cool presentation.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Nice talk.  You have a very likable, easy-going demeanor.  That is why organizations like Focus on the Family fear you so much.  Keep up the good work.

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

    Great talk.  My only comment on it is that it is really hard to hear the audio for the film clips that you showed.  Is it possible to re-edit this video to substitute in the actual clips in those places?

  • Waltz707

    You were fabulous!

  • Sheila G

    Hemant, you said this happened in Oklahoma.  Would you mind saying where?  And, was this the talk you gave at the Oklahoma Freethought Convention in Tulsa recently?  I bought a ticket and kicked in extra cash too, but a family emergency made it impossible for me to attend at the last minute.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Hardesty was the town, and yes, this is what I spoke about in Tulsa, too!


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