Speaking Tour Reviews: Day 1 March 31, 2009

Speaking Tour Reviews: Day 1

Last night, I gave a talk for the Secular Alliance of Indiana University (Bloomington).

The reviews are in!

David Ernst had very kind things to say:

So, I went. And I liked it. So much of what you hear from atheists is harsh, negative, religion-bashing, often mocking, scornful, and generally hateful. I’ve been seeking a way to express pride in what I consider my religious beliefs in a way that doesn’t sound offensive to people, but rather just inspires their religious tolerance even if they suspect I’m a doomed heathen.

Mr. Mehta’s approach is not exactly what I’m seeking, but on reflection I have to wonder if it might be better than what I was hoping for. Or, if not that, at least an added perspective that has its own merits. And that is, basically, he just presents himself as an atheist, and otherwise just seeks to have fun and meaningful interactions with people.

His talk was largely about how he ascended to his current quasi-famous position…

Wait… did David just call me “quasi-famous”? Pssh. I am *so* done reading that posting 🙂

Stephanie Doctrow with the Indiana Daily Student had to stick with the facts (curse those unbiased reporters):

“It’s grown into something much bigger than I thought it would be,” Mehta said.
He said more and more Americans are “coming out” as atheists, and the atheist movement needs to continue to work to improve its image.

Mehta said secular organizations need to move away from negative stunts and work to change the militant, angry stereotype. He pointed out recent positive events, such as the creation of a secular lobbying group in Washington, D.C.

He also encouraged atheists to give back to their communities by volunteering.
“It’s something we should be doing, because if we don’t believe in heaven, we should at least be doing something good on Earth,” Mehta said.

After Mehta finished speaking, he was met with applause.

The applause was nice. Much better than the alternatives…

Thanks, IU! That was a blast.

Purdue, you’re next.

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  • andrew

    You should definitely take video and post it on YouTube

  • mkb

    No You Tube until they free James Randi.

  • no2religion

    This is something that you should speak about at Stanford since you will be just down the road from Googleplex. Also, because there some of the attendees may be interns at Google. You should also bring this up at UC Berkley and UC Santa Cruz as it is a possibility that one of the students has a parent working for Google or knows someone who works for Google.

    I will do my part tomorrow as I leave my hotel in Palo Alto and show the Googleplex that I think it is #1 as I drive by.

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