Richard Carrier on why you should go to Skepticon 5.

Richard Carrier has a post up talking about why you should go to Skepticon 5.  Dr. Carrier is one of my heroes and influences…and he says my specialty is ass kicking.  My life is not complete.

This year Skepticon is happening a little earlier than usual, November 9 to 11 (2012). Things start Friday (workshops in the day, talks and events begin at night) and conclude Sunday night (the specific schedule might change but not the general plan). If you want to attend, and you haven’t already registered, you should do that now so they can plan ahead for how many will be there (as always, it’s free; but donations of any amount are welcome–the option is provided at registration). My talk is presently scheduled for Sunday afternoon but there is a scheduling conflict and I don’t know which way it will get resolved.

Skepticon is in Springfield, Missouri. And this year it’s being held in the ultra-modern Springfield Expo Center (I assume this time without the gun show next door). That’s at 635 East Saint Louis Street, roughly across the street from the University Plaza Hotel. There is a lot of useful info on the Skepticon website, including forum-based help on getting there and getting accommodations (and a bunch of other cool stuff). So check that out.

The speakers list this year is even more amazing than past years, a group of fascinatingly diverse skills and backgrounds. Returning wonderfuls are, besides myself, of course PZ Myers (evolution science), Greta Christina (gender and sexuality…and all around common sense), JT Eberhard (asskicking), David Fitzgerald (Jesus, Mormonism, and the Atheist Film Festival), Hemant Mehta (mathematics and critical thinking), Darrel Ray (psychology and sexuality), Julia Galef (education, rationality, and critical thinking), and Rebecca Watson (feminism and laser-sharp cheekiness…wait, are lasers sharp?).

Newcomers include Jessica Ahlquist (atheist activism and general bravery in the field…or translated into churchspeak, “an evil little thing”), Sean Carroll (cosmological physics), James Croft (philosophy, humanities, and humanism), Matt Dillahunty (television host and counter-apologetics kung fu master), Phil Ferguson (godless financial expert, and godless parent, who has been deep in the belly of the beast), George Hrab (all things musical…and skeptical), Deborah Hyde (cinematic make-up artist, editor of The Skeptic UK, and expert on the supernatural), Keith Jensen (a real actual atheist comic), Amanda Knief (atheism lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America; probably knows ten times more about politics than you do), Teresa MacBain (ex-pastor, atheist PR guru, and major figure in The Clergy Project…in fact hers is one of the most sensational coming out stories of the 21st century), Jennifer Ouellette (English major, science writer), and Tony Pinn (professor of religious studies, significant figure in black humanism).

Katie Hartman makes a really beautiful case for donating to help fund the event, which is almost entirely dependent on donations (with only a little help from sponsors and exhibitors).

And last but not least, Secular Woman is raising money to fund grants to send more women from around the country to Skepticon. It’s a great idea and they need your help, so donate to that cause if you can. Men can also apply for grants through Skepticon, and you can donate to their funds, too (see here).

Skepticon is free.  It’s hugely educational and even more hugely fun.  I cannot recommend the event enough.

This year I’ll be giving a followup talk to my presentation from Skepticon 3: Dear Christian 2.  Same style as the first, new arguments for god. I really hope I can see a lot of you guys there.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Evertonian Calvinist

    JT says that Dr Carrier is his hero. However, heros make little to no since in a atheist worldview. I’m sure you guys would admit that the universe can not have any ULTIMATE purpose or meaning. It came into existence by pure chance, and it will go out of existence the same way. Therefore, everything that happens in-between that time is uttlery meaningless. I know what you are going to say: ” the universe may not have ultimate purpose and meaning, but I, as an individual have my own personal purpose and meaning.” But is false as well. If you are consistence, you must admit that the atheistic universe is void of meaning both ultimately and personally. If this true, and it is, then having “heroes” is completely in inconsistent. Heroes make since to the Christian….. but they can’t make since to you guys. You mist borrow from our worldview to make since of life.

    • Anonymous

      “But if you are consistence…” Dear EvertonianCalvinist: you are an asshole. I know that life holds no meaning for you, because you believe that your “ultimate” purpose is to bow and scrape for your deity. I get it – you’re depressed and looking forward towards death because life is an endless chain of pre-determined suffering. It’s so sad, and I know you’ll say that no, this isn’t what you think, because you have to be “consistence” (in your own words). Tsk, tsk, tsk. It’s okay EC – even though I don’t know you I can tell exactly what you’re thinking, believing, and even what your “ultimate” purpose is. I know life is meaningless for you, because I just know.

      See what I did there? I acted like I knew you better than you know yourself, and any protestations you might make are meaningless, because obviously I know. I acted like a pompous asshat – just like you. Now go ahead and fuck yourself, your mom is getting tired.

  • Brad

    I don’t remember if we’re allowed to say “fuck off” in the comments.

    • neatospiderplant

      Well, even if you can’t, I would think “Fick iff” would be fine. And it ‘mist’ make more ‘since’ to the above commentor anyway.

  • Jaime Wise

    Jessica Ahlquist is going to be there this year?! Heroic doesn’t cover it. i’ve got to find some way of getting there.

  • B-lar

    Surely “my life is now complete”.

    Keep dancing calvinist. You will tire yourself out soon enough.