Dave Fregon organising an Atheists Convention

Dave Fregon.. ‘Hiding the roast babies”

‘ABC broadcaster has shown up at the blogger breakfast. Weird. Had to scramble to hide the roast babies. // LOL ‘

Dave Fregon
That was this morning’s tweet from PZ Myers, one of the presenters at the Convention.

Must be the world he occupies – you’ll find more of the same at his blog.  But I did go to the bloggers’ breakfast, as I was kindly invited by the organiser Jason Brown of mycolleaguesareidiots.com – and I am, for the moment, a blogger.

Jason intends gathering together at his blog a list of the blogs coming out of the Convention and Questions of Faith will pass it on.  The bloggers I met at the breakfast tended to come from established atheist groupings, state-based and national.

Dave Fregon, one of the Convention organising committee, was at pains to point out that atheists came in different kinds and with different emphases, but that agnostic was a false category: there were atheists and there were believers.

The Convention was, he said, designed as a point of consolidation rather than as a place for debate – hence the lack of invitation to non-atheists.  (Again, I was intrigued that encounter with difference could only be conceptualised in terms of debate.)

But even this brief breakfast meeting conveyed some small sense of diversity of paths to atheism. Of the two women present when I arrived, one was an older retired woman of immigrant background (she contributed ethnic diversity).

This woman was passionate about creating a new world where women, in particular, were not ‘trammelled’ by religion.  What she had to say was obviously borne out of difficult experience.

Dave Fregon wrote on March 15, 2010:

“Margaret, the reason behind the ‘encounter with difference could only be conceptualised in terms of debate.’ is that the religious groups themselves that contacted us, were” after just that.

We had a huge amount of christians specifically asking us via email why we would not debate.

Indeed, outside the venue, we had a creationist with a big sign stating that Richard Dawkins would not debate creationists.  Don’t you think this continual call for debate from the religious is reasoning enough to ‘conceptualise an encounter as debate’?

Personally, as with many at the event there is no reason to give religion yet another podium to speak.  Where were the atheists at World Youth Day?”