On January 26, Pastor Nathan Lewis will share the pulpit with his two friends, one an atheist and one a Hindu. They will each be discussing what their respective communities are doing to be 'good' citizens. Representing Hindu thought will be Ramesh Krishnamurthy, and representing an atheistic viewpoint will be Bernie Dehler. Bernie is a former evangelical born-again Christian, and now heads-up the Center for Philosophical Naturalism in Beaverton. All details for the Jan. 26 event can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/khmf4zk .
Many times a Christian will think that without God, they would be selfish and evil people. Why do good if there is no eternal reward nor punishment? Why restrain oneself? Many atheists have also feared this, and for that reason think it might not be a good idea to try to de-convert such religious people.
But then there are atheists who claim that to truly do evil, one needs religion. For example, one may never really want to kill a fellow human being, but if the target victim can be viewed as an evil corrupter of society, then it becomes easier to kill them. For those who pledge allegiance to God, if the killing is for God, then their conscious is cleared (for example, in the Old Testament there's the story of Abraham preparing to kill his first born son because he thought God told him so). But if the atheists are right and there is no God, this kind of killing is done under a delusion and is very upsetting, as a needless and senseless death.
The format for this event is very unique and will feature significant time for audience Q&A.
To see other events sponsored by the Center for Philosophical Naturalism, click here: http://www.meetup.com/Philosophical-Naturalists . They also have videos available on their free YouTube channel here: http://tinyurl.com/ltub9aa .
Other community, secular, and philosophical groups can also be found at meetup.com . For example, these are some of the groups that Portland has to offer:
-- Westside Science & Religion Discussion Group: http://tinyurl.com/bkmhdl5
-- Sunday Assembly: http://tinyurl.com/kkc8nyw
-- Center for Inquiry: http://tinyurl.com/mps923r
-- Humanists of Greater Portland: http://tinyurl.com/kmbmt57
-- Atheists Etcetera: http://tinyurl.com/nhjr3ha
-- Philosophy Workshop: http://tinyurl.com/pzs4ajc