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We’ll consider each of the four “angry atheists” from 10 years ago (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris) when they first became well-known. Where are they and their arguments now? We will review their initial statements, the criticisms, the rebuttals, and some more recent writings. Did the angry atheists spark a new consideration of atheism, agnosticism, and naturalism? We’ll look at famous atheists in history and their contributions to the current debate, as well as some recent studies on the sociology of belief. Suggested reading: Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (2006); Sam Harris The End of Faith (2004); Greg Epstein Good Without God (2009).

Facilitated by Dick Whitaker and Bill Irons. Dick is a self-described “discussion group junkie.” At Osher Lifelong Learning and UCE, his subjects have included Nature’s God, What is Religion?, New Religions, Atheist Spirituality, and Darwin’s Cathedral. He’s been a market researcher and a 48-year member of UCE. Bill is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Northwestern University. His field research led him to inquire into broader questions of biocultural evolution including the origins of morality and religion. He was the first scientist to suggest that religion is an adaptation serving as a hard-to-fake sign of commitment. In 2011 he received a Lifetime Career Award from the Human Behavior and Evolution Society. Click here to register.