Science and Skeptic Book Group: Thinking\, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman: 8/28/2016 at Biddle’s Escape


Where: Biddle’s Escape (401 Biddle Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221)

When: 8/28/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/232976344/

Daniel Kahneman is the only psychologist who’s won the Noble prize in economics for his work on “behavioral finance.” The book was selected as the National Academy of Sciences Best Book in 2012.

There of two of you inside you – we use two mental systems to judge the world around us. The Fast you is unconscious and makes snap judgments largely based on emotion. The Slow you is the rational, conscious you. It takes effort to activate this you. The book describes many situations where the Fast you makes bad decisions or presents blind spots in your “thinking” that can only be overcome by activating the Slow you.

The book about 400 pages long with almost 40 chapters. So each chapter is bite-sized. The ideal would be to focus on those chapters that you find most interesting and valuable. (The ones that affect personal finances were most interesting to me.) I read this book awhile ago, and for those who RSVP, I’ll send my list of chapters that I though was fascinating. (Some were not that interesting to me.)

The Carnegie Library System has 49 copies. It’s available for as low at $4.39 + shipping at Amazon. You can “cheat” and buy one of three short summaries at Amazon for as low as $.99 (Kindle)

Sunday, August 28 at 2:00 PM

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Religion-Free Voting


 

Will this be the first recent American election where religion takes a backseat … make that a “yuge” backseat? Despite the crazy talk from one candidate in particular, there has been surprising little god talk on the campaign trail.   That includes all four national nominees (Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green).

Gone from the pack are the most religious of the bunch, including the four Republican candidates who felt compelled to attend the Faith and Family Forum at Bob Green University way back in February 2016. That Forum had Jesus Bush, Ted Cross, Marc of the Devil Rubio and Benji Carson strutting their religious feathers. Throughout the Forum, there were glorious fictions spoken, such as Mark Rubio saying

“What is this country founded on? It is not founded on a political principle . America was founded on a powerful spiritual principle … Your rights don’t even come from the Constitution. Your rights come from God.”

Bush, Cruz, Rubio and Carson all failed to make the cut, so we are down to just four candidates. The one crazy candidate left in the pack, Donald Trump, self-identifies as a

Presbyterian, referring to the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination, though church leaders in Manhattan say he is not an active member in any of their churches.

However, Trump has trouble with the standard Republican god talk and instead make odd statements like:

“When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed,” he said. “I think in terms of ‘let’s go on and let’s make it right.'”

Hillary Clinton is Methodist, but she rarely talks about her faith on the campaign trail.

The Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, was raised Jewish and is married to an atheist. As such, she has no hesitation to use the A-word in a positive way on the campaign trail:

My husband was brought up Protestant but is a practicing atheist–I bring that perspective of religious neutrality–we need to be a diverse society–that’s just a condition of the modern world.

Lastly, the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, who is endorsed by noted atheist Penn Jillette, makes it clear that government and religion should remain separate.

Johnson, who said he doesn’t go to church, made it clear he doesn’t think “religion should play a role in government.” “I don’t seek the counsel of God,” Johnson said. “God doesn’t speak to me on what I should or shouldn’t do.”

Asked about his religious beliefs, Johnson said,“I haven’t gone to church since I finished my confirmation as a Lutheran.”

Add to that the new Pew poll numbers that now have religiously unaffiliated as a larger block than any other category among registered voters  (21% compared with 20% for white evangelical Protestant). Within the Democratic Party, those numbers are about double any other category.

pew2016

The tide is turning. In the meantime, enjoy the silence from the podium that might be a sign of the future.  (Not a sign from above … just a sign.)

 

 

 

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CFI-Pittsburgh Annual Canoe Trip: 8/27/2016


Starts
August 27th at 9:30 pm

Time to start planning for our annual canoe trip. A complete description of the event, including prices, can be found at: https://steelcityskeptics.net/2016/03/17/8th-annual-cfi-canoe-trip-and-picnic/

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CFI-Pittsburgh’s Annual Picnic & Shrimp Boil: 8/27/2016 at Cedar Creek Park


Where: Cedar Creek Park (Route 51, Rostraver, PA 15479)

When: 8/27/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/229733796/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

As an adjunct event to our annual Canoe Trip, we also have a picnic which can also be treated as a stand-alone event. A complete description can be found at: http://steelcityskept… .

If you have any questions, contact BillK.


Rostraver, PA 15479 – USA

Saturday, August 27 at 11:30 AM

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CFI-Pittsburgh’s Annual Canoe Trip: 8/27/2016 at Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters


Where: Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters (226 1/2 Collinsburg Rd, West Newton, PA 15089)

When: 8/27/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/229733634/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh

Time to start planning for our annual canoe trip. A complete description of the event, including prices, can be found at: http://steelcityskept…

West Newton, PA 15089 – USA

Saturday, August 27 at 9:30 AM

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Joel Osteen Protest: 5PM TODAY at Corner of Center Avenue and Washington Place


Where: Corner of Center Avenue and Washington Place (1018 Center Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA 15229)

When: 5PM TODAY

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/232996541/

Join us in promoting state/church separation by peacefully protesting Joel Osteen’s event at the Consol Energy Center. Religious tax exemption violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Please be advised that the purpose of our protest is not to attack the tenets of religion but to bring awareness to the excessive privilege that religion receives in its tax exempt status. Do you have questions about protesting and your free speech rights?
Look here: https://www.aclu.org/…

Other pertinent links:
http://bigthink.com/2…

http://churchesandtax…

http://houston.cultur…

It’s important for our message to be clear and consistent. If you would like to make your own sign, here are some group approved slogans in line with our cause:

No representation without taxation Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

1 Timothy 6:10 “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”

Ask me how you can save over $500 on your income taxes.

If you have other suggestions, post a message.

Protesters will meet at the corner of Center Avenue and Washington Place at 5:00 pm on Friday, August 19th.

Pittsburgh 15229 – USA

Friday, August 19 at 5:00 PM

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Joel Osteen Protest: 8/19/2016 at Corner of Center Avenue and Washington Place


Where: Corner of Center Avenue and Washington Place (1018 Center Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA 15229)

When: 8/19/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/232996541/

Join us in promoting state/church separation by peacefully protesting Joel Osteen’s event at the Consol Energy Center. Religious tax exemption violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Please be advised that the purpose of our protest is not to attack the tenets of religion but to bring awareness to the excessive privilege that religion receives in its tax exempt status. Do you have questions about protesting and your free speech rights?
Look here: https://www.aclu.org/…

Other pertinent links:
http://bigthink.com/2…

http://churchesandtax…

http://houston.cultur…

It’s important for our message to be clear and consistent. If you would like to make your own sign, here are some group approved slogans in line with our cause:

No representation without taxation Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

1 Timothy 6:10 “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”

Ask me how you can save over $500 on your income taxes.

If you have other suggestions, post a message.

Protesters will meet at the corner of Center Avenue and Washington Place at 5:00 pm on Friday, August 19th.

Pittsburgh 15229 – USA

Friday, August 19 at 5:00 PM

4

http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/232996541/

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CFI and PSF Discussion Group: 7PM TONIGHT at Tan Lac Vien


Where: Tan Lac Vien (2114 Murray Ave (Squirrel Hill), Pittsburgh, PA 15217)

When: 7PM TONIGHT

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/232998801/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh (formerly PSF)

Hi Everyone,

This is our monthly discussion group.  I post the discussion topic a few weeks in advance; stay tuned for more information. Please feel free to submit discussion topics to: pittsburghsecularfreethinkers@gmail.com

See you there!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accommodations.

 

Thursday, August 11 at 7:00 PM

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PSF Ladies Meetup: 8/14/2016 at


Where:

When: 8/14/2016

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/CFI-Pittsburgh/events/232833596/

Center for Inquiry – Pittsburgh (formerly PSF)

PSF Ladies is revamping. We’ll be back as CFI Pittsburgh Women’s Discussion Group. Each month we will read and discuss the work of a woman leader in secularism. Look for a new time and location in the fall.

Sunday, August 14 at 2:00 PM

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When Words Matter


There was a tragic Calebaccident yesterday at the Schliterbahm Waterpark in Kansas that resulted in the death of a 10-year boy, Caleb Schwab, who is the son of a Republican state representative, Scott Schwab.  The Verruckt slide is unique in the world with a 60-degree, 17-story near free-fall, which the designer before yesterday said it is “dangerous, but it’s a safe dangerous”.

Water_Park_SlideIt is worth adding that the Verruckt slide at the Schliterbahm Waterpark had an initial age limit of 14 and up. They have since dropped that requirement and said that riders must be 54 inches tall and the combined weight of the three riders in each raft must be between 400 and 550 lbs. They are not reporting on the height and weight of Caleb, but an average 10 year-old boy weighs 70.5 lbs and is 54.5 inches tall, so he was most likely at the lower end of eligible riders, at best.

The distraught father, Republican Scott Schwab whose job, in part, is to ensure the safety of all state residents,  offered these words to reporters:

“As we try to mend our home with him no longer with us, we are comforted knowing he believed in our Savior Jesus, and they are forever together now. We will see him another day.”

Ok. He is obviously at a loss for words and grasping at thoughts that comfort him, but think about what he just said as a Kansas State Representative. The most important thing was not to shutdown the park and protect others from a tragic death, but that his son believed in “our” savior, Jesus.   Do whatever you want, as long as you have mythical belief in something no one can prove.

To make matters worse, the Washington Post reported that

the Schwabs were at Schlitterbahn as part of “Elected Official Day.” The park was full of lawmakers and their families, who received free admission and lunch.

Rather than free admission and lunch, how about spending the day working on tighter regulations on amusement parks? How about enforcing weight and height restrictions?

Given that Scott Schwab is a representative to all residents in his district, I hope to see more from him in the coming months with regard to safety regulations. More importantly, I would ask that he keep his religion private and do not assume that the rest of his constituents share in his fairytales about an afterlife or that they are comforted by his empty words.

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