T + 629 Enquire Conference Part One
There will be a medical update to the blog later this week as this Wednesday I am attending the transplant clinic for what will be the first time since I started tapering off my dose of ciclosporin.
Enquiry 2010 Conference
This weekend just gone I attended the Enquiry 2010 Conference put on by the Chris Worfolk Foundation on the topic of "Atheism in the 21st Century" and held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Birmingham.
One of the main reasons I went to this event was because of the calibre of the speakers they had there, as you can see from the link on the conference website. Professor A C Grayling and Professor Chris French were people I had heard speak on radio on various topics and I donated funds to help the, sadly unsuccessful, campaign to ensure Dr Evan Harris held his seat in the recent election.
As it turns out it was an excellent conference and really opened my eyes to a number of issues raised not only by the people I was expecting to perform well, as it were.
I've spoken before on this blog of being an atheist ( though as a result of this conference I would also describe myself as a humanist, but more of that anon).
You might think this is something of an academic pursuit and as one friend teased me perhaps I was only going there to get reassurance from being with other atheists that I was doing the right thing and wouldn't regret my choice when I awoke in the afterlife feeling rather warm.
However what the conference brought home to me is that being an atheist and humanist in the UK in the 21st Century is far from an academic exercise but one that has real practical implications. More specifically the corollary of that is that the influence and impact of religious belief in the UK has real practical and detrimental effects on the lives of many people who don't themselves have religious beliefs.
So whilst it was a fun conference with some very informative, entertaining speakers and some academic elements it also had some serious points to make or questions to pose.
As you can see this blog post is headed Part One as I intend to write a more detailed review of the talks I heard and my thoughts on them over the coming days across more than one blog post.
As ever with this blog, part of why I write it is just to have a record of things for me to look back on and I appreciate not everyone will be interested in the proceedings of this conference but in a couple of key areas I would ask you to give some consideration to the issues I'm writing about. ( I'll probably flag those up in a summary post at the end of the reviews.)
If you want a sneak preview of what I'll be writing about then here are some links to follow:-