Reason Project launches

Sam Harris, author and neuroscientist.
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I have been very busy these past few weeks, among other things, I have to advance to candidacy within a month. So, starting mid-June expect a bunch of new activity at this site. I have had time to think on my daily commute, and I have had a nice chance to organize a number of different thoughts.

Among the things that I have been kicking around in my mind is to really focus on how to word ideas and questions to create the largest impact on the listener.

I'm in the planning stages of starting (modifying) a Student Organization that will have as its goal something very similar to the Reason Project (a Sam Harris non-profit foundation which very recently got officially launched). The mission statement would be something like:

Mission Statement of a University Chapter of the Reason Project—A student organization devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society and on campus. The campus organization draws on the talents of prominent and creative thinkers in a wide range of disciplines to encourage critical thinking and erode the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world.

I posted a poll over at the Reason Project website (the response to which has so far been encouraging): http://www.reasonproject.org/forum/viewthread/12179/

I would like for this Student Organization (whether affiliated with RP or not) to do is to actively engage the student community in a productive way. To this end, I envision a number of forums being made available. The tentative plan is for an informal weekly gathering with a specific topic announced to start the moderated discussion, with a more formal monthly debate. There are an entire range of possible topics that can be worded in a number of ways. For example:

Is religious faith a force for good in the world?

Has a much different ring to it than,

Is religious gullibility a force for good in the world?

Now, to be honest, neither is not really a fair question because 'faith' has a positive connotation and 'gullibility' has a negative connotation. The second question might be a stupid idea as a debate topic, but might be an excellent tool for conversing with fellow atheists who have a problem with a policy of challenging the faithful.

Anyway, I will get back to frequently updating this site very soon!

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