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A New Atheist Group?

I know some of you have already been active in this discussion over at atheist.ie.

To give some background Dick Spicer from the HAI wrote an article on atheist.ie suggesting a new more assertive atheist group should be set up.

While there has been much to and fro on the topic the general feeling seems to be supportive of such a move.

The suggestion I made for a next step is below, what do people here think? What would people think of the MWH offering to host such a convention?

Do people think we need a new national organisation? Should we concentrate on building the membership of the HAI instead?

If we do want a new group I’d suggest we call a convention. What I mean is that we form a temporary organising committee and then select a date and location and advertise as widely as possible with the aim of starting a mass movement with local branches throughout the country. The convention would have to run over a couple of days and work on a constitution, name, aims & objectives. This might need to be done by a series of committees and then voted on by those present. Existing groups like the HAI and ISS should be invited to participate.

As I see it the rationalist position will only be treated seriously when we have numbers, another 200 member group won’t change anything. People have criticised the HAI but please remember that it is a entirely voluntary organisation. If we can garner enough support we can have full time paid staff, that means people who are available to write press releases/blogs and appear on TV or radio. There is only so much free time people can give to any organisation.

Irish Skeptics Meeting

The Irish Skeptics next meeting is on Tuesday November 18th at 8.00pm in the Gandon Suite of the Davenport Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Their speaker is Julian Baggini who’ll talk about his latest book “The Duck that Won the Lottery“. More details about the event can be found here.

It sounds like it’ll be an interesting discussion, to help get you in the mood you can listen to Julian being interviewed on the Little Atoms Podcast.

Today’s Budget

As I type this the Irish Minister of Finance is delivering this years budget. FXM over at Irish Atheists asks the question why not remove the tax exempt status from the Catholic Church?

I can see no good argument for continuing to give tax breaks to any religion. The Catholic Church in particular owns large amounts of property throughout the country and doesn’t face the sort of inheritance tax that helps to keep property in circulation.

So today’s questions are  – Why am I wrong and what did you think of the budget?