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Atheist Community of Austin
On god

Theists argue that god exist, especially a certain type of god exists. Atheists claim to be with out a god belief, yet they believe that their assertion is true. It seems to me both sides are ignorant of god. We could argue what characteristics god has or does not have or whether god exists or not. I think the best option is not to presume to know either way. Whether you believe in god or not god either exists or does not exist. So, it seems to me being an atheist or theist does not matter, because we do not know either way and the possibility of both positions of being wrong. Does calling yourself something make you all feel special? Scientists should not be making statements about god. There is a lot we do not know and understand. We will die out before the answers present themselves to us. I am neither an atheist or theist and if my position remotely resembles them I would rather not be associated with them. I would consider myself an agnostic but considering that we cannot properly define what knowledge is in epistemology maybe I should not be that either.

Atheists don't call themselves Atheists to feel special. We do it so you understand from the start, we have not been convinced that there is such a thing as a God.

The Atheists people typically refer to ARE Agnostic. There are Agnostic Theists, Gnostic Theists, Agnostic Atheists, and Gnostic Atheists.

Agnostic Atheists do not claim or assert their position as fact and even those that do are tentative. As an Atheist, you are NOT buying what the Theists are selling. There are some Gnostic Atheists and Matt Dillahunty has said he was leaning towards the Antitheist position. Penn Jillette has also said that he is a Gnostic Atheist.

So as far as ignorance goes, you've done what many people do and jumped to conclusions without taking the 5 secs of your time it would have taken to find that out.

Scientists should not be making statements about God, which is actually the Atheist position.

If atheists do not assert or claim their position as true or false then why speak at all?

The same reason why one would speak out against a con game that one doesn't believe in: Because people are being harmed.

Consider the holy wars between all the religions that supposedly worship the god of Abraham and all of the people that have been killed and are being killed based on religion. Consider the harm from the suppression of science. Consider the money made by the Catholic Church from their various scams and boy fucking. Consider the subjugation of women, persecution of gays, and trashing of our Constitution. Consider this article: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html that shows how religious belief is correlated with higher infant mortality, lower life expectancy, higher teen pregnancy rates, higher abortion rates, teen suicide rates, higher sexually transmitted diseases. Etc, etc, etc.

Consider how nobody has any real evidence for their god and how all of the fallout could simply be stopped.

We're trying to make the world a better place. I guess for theists, they're here to shit on the floor and wait to die so they can get their perpetual orgasm. Please be my guest in believing such crap, but if you do, why not go meet Jesus today? And leave the real world to sane people who care about it.

You cant be neither be atheist nor theist. It's one or the other.

It's funny how you post this when there was recently an episode done about this very topic. Check out "agnostic delusion" ep 669.

Joec,

Did you decide you don't want to discuss the God belief thing? Atheists do not believe your claims. Nobody has to believe something for which there is no evidence. I don't have to prove God isn't real. Either you have some facts or you don't. If you do then you need to present something that supports your case because no evidence has turned up so far.

There is no evidence of other deities that you do not believe in. I bet you think that they need to prove something don't you? They probably think that you need to prove that God inspired your Holy Book and that He is the one true God, if so why didn't he leave anything to prove that. After all there are so many. He also couldn't explain how the Universe and life in that Universe evolved. He couldn't explain anything scientific if his almighty life depended on it.

God and all of the nonsense in the bible was borrowed from existing myths and conveniently never returned.

God came to earth in human form and He didn't even make a small dent in all the suffering. The one true God religion was actually the cause of an increase in suffering. Why worship that? If there were a God who came here He should have anticipated the inquisitions, and He should have made disease and hunger impossible.

Theists need to produce actual feasible evidence that their claims are true. The "you can't prove there is no God" is not evidence. I can't prove that there is no Peter Pan. It is plainly absurd.

We do not believe in things, which we conveniently cannot observe. He has reasons for waiting to prove He exist I'm sure. What are they?

In the final analysis you have nothing but presumed euphoric twaddle. I don't care who believes in invisible supernatural beings, but I don't have to prove anything about their fantasies in order to reject them. People who have no use for facts prefer fantasies.

Linda,

Don't belive what? My claim that there is no third option from atheism/theism? Are you saying there is a third option like the OP is claiming?

All I'm saying is degree of certainty is irrelevant to your a/theism. Its binary. You either have it or don't.

As for rest of your post I don't know what to reply because that's all I've stated. I'm not sure why you assumed that I was a theist. Maybe you got me mixed up w/ OP?

Joec,

I said, "Did you decide you don't want to discuss the God belief thing?" Yes, I was referring to the crap in the original post that you didn't address.

However, the statement that you made was not correct. Basically what you are saying is that it isn't possible to be neither atheist nor theist. It's one or the other.

Most of the people of the world can be regarded as a type of Atheist. They no longer worship all of the Gods and Goddesses who have been worshiped throughout history; Horus, Isis, Mithras, Odin, Ra, Thor, Zeus etc. Today most people around the world believe in one deity the Christian Trinity (three gods in one), Islam Allah, Judaism Yahweh being the tree major religions. They all deny the existence of thousands of other deities. Such people can be considered atheists towards these other Gods.

Of course Arthur Farmer is missing it by a mile and a half. I think Arthur's argument is since nobody can know anything about god/gods, nobody can really dispute theist claims. Arthur seems to have the idea that dismissing absurdities is the same as believing in something for which there is no evidence. Some claims are rejected as absurd nonsense and other claims are rejected because there is no evidence. Theist claims fit both categories.

Arthur Farmer said, "Theists argue that god exist, especially a certain type of god exists. Atheists claim to be with out a god belief, yet they believe that their assertion is true. It seems to me both sides are ignorant of god. We could argue what characteristics god has or does not have or whether god exists or not. I think the best option is not to presume to know either way. Whether you believe in god or not god either exists or does not exist. So, it seems to me being an atheist or theist does not matter, because we do not know either way and the possibility of both positions of being wrong."

I guess it would be a waste of time to tell Arthur that atheists do not articulate a definition of what god/gods are; theists do that. Atheists dismiss the claim since there is no evidence what so ever. I guess that Arthur overlooked the fact that different denominations of Christianity contradict each other's claims. It's as clear as mud. That's why it's hard to believe that any theist thinks they got it right.

Theist claims involve more than Arthur is willing to discuss. Theists claim that a supernatural power created everything and can change reality through divine intervention. Theists do not believe that the Universe was brought into being through natural causes. Theists do not think that man or anything evolved through natural forces or evolution. Many theists do not look for what is behind an event because their reality is limited. True believers do not look for answers in science, physics or natural causes. Science outright contradicts the bible on these issues. There are theists who say that they support the scientific method and theories, but they believe their Holy Books were inspired by a perfect being. I think it is the theists that want to have it both ways. Since theists are making the fantastic claims that defy anything we know scientifically they shoulder the burden of proof. We know that the Universe was not created in a week. God made him a man (in our image) as the contradictory bible states, and He made man out of the dirt and blew the breath of life into him. I guess he ran out of dirt so He made a woman out of a man's rib. Evolution disputes these ridiculous claims.

Arthur Farmer said, "Does calling yourself something make you all feel special?"

It's the Christian label that is worn on the bumpers of cars and T-shirts like badges of courage. They are the one's who consider themselves special and deserving. It is exactly the opposite for the atheists who are the most hated people in America according to every pole. Throughout the history of America atheists (artists and writers) had to leave in order to work.

Arthur Farmer said, "Scientists should not be making statements about god.

Scientists do not make statements about God; they find the answers to questions that can't be found in Holy Books, because what is there is wrong. And that's why theists hate them.

Arthur Farmer said, "There is a lot we do not know and understand. We will die out before the answers present themselves to us. I am neither an atheist or theist and if my position remotely resembles them I would rather not be associated with them. I would consider myself an agnostic but considering that we cannot properly define what knowledge is in epistemology maybe I should not be that either."

I guess it does help the theists out when people who say stupid things claim they are not theists. What answers are Christians looking for, and what questions have they ever answered? None! That's why we will likely all be dead before they find any answers.

There are theists claiming that atheists have "beliefs" concerning their God. Atheists simply dismiss theist claims as hogwash. Some theists want their religion mixed with our government and education system. Someone had the bright idea to claim that by preventing theists religious beliefs from being mixed with education and the government we are allowing atheist "beliefs." That's why atheists are suddenly people with "beliefs" and some theists claim "atheism" is a religion. They have no concept of "Separation of Church and State," but putting ism after a word does not make it a belief system. Is heroism a belief? To be considered a religion or belief system teachings and guidance are needed. Atheists do not offer either one. If someone tries to force their beliefs on an atheist they will find out that we do know what the facts are concerning their beliefs usually better than they do.

Linda, you wrote:

"Joec,

I said, "Did you decide you don't want to discuss the God belief thing?" Yes, I was referring to the crap in the original post that you didn't address."

except that sentence was followed by:

"Did you decide you don't want to discuss the God belief thing? Atheists do not believe your claims. Nobody has to believe something for which there is no evidence. I don't have to prove God isn't real. Either you have some facts or you don't. If you do then you need to present something that supports your case because no evidence has turned up so far.

There is no evidence of other deities that you do not believe in. I bet you think that they need to prove something don't you? They probably think that you need to prove that God inspired your Holy Book and that He is the one true God, if so why didn't he leave anything to prove that. After all there are so many. He also couldn't explain how the Universe and life in that Universe evolved. He couldn't explain anything scientific if his almighty life depended on it."

I don't know what prompted you to write all that from my first comment. Which is why I asked if you were mistaking me for someone else. You seem to have ways with running off with walls of texts and they're interesting most of the time. But I don't see how your post is relevant to anything I said.

Okay back on track... You also wrote:

" However, the statement that you made was not correct. Basically what you are saying is that it isn't possible to be neither atheist nor theist. It's one or the other.

Most of the people of the world can be regarded as a type of Atheist. They no longer worship all of the Gods and Goddesses who have been worshiped throughout history; Horus, Isis, Mithras, Odin, Ra, Thor, Zeus etc. Today most people around the world believe in one deity the Christian Trinity (three gods in one), Islam Allah, Judaism Yahweh being the tree major religions. They all deny the existence of thousands of other deities. Such people can be considered atheists towards these other Gods. "

I don't care if christian dismiss 1000, 5000, or over 9000 other deities. What you said on second paragraph quoted, I don't disagree with... that they can be viewed as atheists toward other gods (or even different belief toward same god as you pointed out). But it doesn't contribute anything to your argument. Anyone that subscribes to more than ZERO belief in god is still a theist. All others with zero being atheists. Looks pretty binary to me.

Joec said, "You cant be neither be atheist nor theist. It's one or the other.

It's funny how you post this when there was recently an episode done about this very topic. Check out "agnostic delusion" ep 669."

You said you (instead of putting the person's name) and you didn't cite the exact comment that you were addressing. I sort of did the same thing! I didn't specify whom I was talking to except when I said; "Did you decide you don't want to address the God thing." I was saying that you did not address the God thing at all. Why would I then say you did? You can accept that it was the mistake of not making it clear who or what I was addressing, I do not really care, but It was.

I just went to the claims and said "your" that was confusing, but what the hell. I thought it was clear who was making the claims (that you didn't address) but it wasn't, so I wrote the second post with the original statements and that is why it is sooooo loooong. I've heard that before. That is why I used to put in everything I was answering, but someone got all bent out of shape over that too. I guess I will be sure to do that in the future. Maybe you should do the same. By the way every post would be loooonger if that were always done.

Don't you think using text messaging on a message board is annoying? It's like saying "natch" instead of naturally. It's just tacky. Oh! That's off topic.

BTW, I don't think you addressed the claims that were made at all. I don't think that he was saying, "You cant be neither be atheist nor theist."

Grammatically speaking, that was one hell of a sentence! I think Arthur's argument concerning god is (nobody knows) there is no knowledge. That would make everyone an agnostic.

Arthur has no concept of "what can be claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence", and he thinks it is the same as believing in something for which there is no evidence. These are the real issues.

The comment "You cant be neither be atheist nor theist." Is not about being just an atheist. You said, "It's one or the other." No, it's not. Certain religions consider anyone who denies their god atheists even though they are theists. Although, most of the people of the world have a religion they can be regarded as atheists concerning thousands of other deities. Such people can be considered atheists towards these other Gods.

You would think it would be about something bigger than this. Even when I wrote that looooong post making it clear who and what I was talking about. I think it would be better to dispute what Arthur really did say (if that is who you were referring to) instead of what he was not saying, and than complaining about my looooong post. But that's just uninteresting looong winded me.

Joec, " Maybe you got me mixed up w/ OP?"

Looks like you had an inkling that the comments were about the OP. If OP means Original Post?

One never knows what anyone from what they write. There was a person, who claimed to be an atheist, who thought that the elements were encoded in Genesis? He complained about posts that were so long that he couldn't dispute them. Besides all that, he complained that the replies were off topic.

Arthur Farmer "It seems to me both sides are ignorant of god."

Joec, "My claim that there is no third option from atheism/theism? Are you saying there is a third option like the OP is claiming?"

No, that is not what he is claiming. Arthur's claim is that both atheists and theists are ignorant of god. You just need to say; "yes, but the atheists are not making claims."

Arthur Farmer, "Whether you believe in god or not god either exists or does not exist. So, it seems to me being an atheist or theist does not matter, because we do not know either way and the possibility of both positions of being wrong.

I repeat, "the theists are the ones making all the claims."

Arthur Farmer, "Does calling yourself something make you all feel special?

What do you care if you have no opinion one way or the other?

Arthur Farmer, "Scientists should not be making statements about god."

Scientists do that in order to prevent Creationism or Intelligent Design (teaching the controversy) pseudoscience being taught as science.

Arthur Farmer, "There is a lot we do not know and understand. We will die out before the answers present themselves to us."

Some of us will be dead before we even know what the questions were.

Arthur Farmer, "I am neither an atheist or theist and if my position remotely resembles them I would rather not be associated with them."

Good for you Arthur, but it's, "I'm neither an atheist nor a theist." It's either or and neither nor. An agnostics claims to have no knowledge. That says nothing about what one believes.

Arthur Farmer, "I would consider myself an agnostic but considering that we cannot properly define what knowledge is in epistemology maybe I should not be that either."

The agnostics just let out a big sigh of relief.

Isn't it contradictory to claim that one knows that knowledge is impossible?

Knowledge requires indisputable evidence. If there is no evidence it is not knowledge and can not be considered true.

These were the points made in the actual argument in the OP. I'm sure the snappy reply, "You cant be neither be atheist nor theist. It's one or the other" was not the question. Bitchin' and whin'n

Joec,

You stopped posting my comments just before I said "you can't prove there is no God" is not evidence. I can't prove that there is no Peter Pan. It is plainly absurd." In the original posted Arthur stated, "We could argue what characteristics god has or does not have or whether god exists or not. I think the best option is not to presume to know either way. Whether you believe in god or not god either exists or does not exist. So, it seems to me being an atheist or theist does not matter, because we do not know either way and the possibility of both positions of being wrong."

Obviously my comment was about the the OP since it is the only comment about proving something one way or another; its clearly the only thing I could have been answering. Especially after I wrote the second post stating that is what I was commenting on and not your comment.

Arthur is saying you can't be an atheist or a theist because nobody can prove anything one way or another. If theists and atheists can not prove anything about God I think Arthur believes that nobody could be either one. It's not binary or a third option. He said, "Does calling yourself something make you all feel special?" That is not suggesting that there is a third option.

Joec, "Anyone that subscribes to more than ZERO belief in god is still a theist. All others with zero being atheists. Looks pretty binary to me."

Pantheism contends that God and the Universe are one and the same, and the concept of a transcendent deity is abandoned. They do not believe in god or gods that transcends the world. Theists believe in a god or gods that transcends the world. Most theists believe in a personal god. Pantheists are not theists or atheists. Theists believe in god/gods that are transcendentally beyond all things.

Panentheism is not the same as Pantheism. Panentheism is the belief that the universe is just part of God, who is transcendent.

Pantheism is considered an alternative to theism. Pantheists believe everything existing is one. It involves a denial of at least one, and usually both, central theistic claims. Theism is the belief in a god or gods that transcends the world. Pantheists usually deny the existence of a personal god/gods. Pantheism is about everything is god. Everything is god is not the same as there is a god or gods.

It doesn't seem all that binary to me.

Joec wrote: "Anyone that subscribes to more than ZERO belief in god is still a theist. All others with zero being atheists. Looks pretty binary to me."

I don't understand how you're concluding this. I don't know for 100% certainty that life exists outside our solar system in this universe. I think the chances are pretty darn good though, but by your logic the fact that I won't commit 100% belief in it means I'm a disbeliever in that possibility. Or am I only a disbeliever if I'm absolutely 100% certain that there is NOT other life in the universe. Even such, I would call myself a believer it in.

You can't have it both ways. This isn't a binary, and neither is Theism/Atheism.

cbr - you are incorrect. Belief is binary. You either believe that a god exists (i.e., you are convinced) or you don't. If you can't say that you're convinced that a god exists, you are an atheist.

Matt did a lecture on this some time ago. You might want to go to the ACA website and look for under Lectures.

'Rational' Jen said: "cbr - you are incorrect. Belief is binary. You either believe that a god exists (i.e., you are convinced) or you don't. If you can't say that you're convinced that a god exists, you are an atheist. Matt did a lecture on this some time ago. You might want to go to the ACA website and look for under Lectures."

I'm sorry, I'm not really that interested in what your favorite authority has said. Let's approach this rationally (please): Is our knowledge complete? Has science come to final conclusions on all matters? The entire point behind the scientific endeavor is a continual progression of knowledge. This means that we're not done. And until we're done, nothing is 100% certain. You can feel certain all you want, but then how different is that from Theists who believe they're 'certain' about things like the afterlife and Mohammed or whatever? In the absense of conclusive proof in either direction, there is no certainty either way.

I use the example of other life in the universe because it represents a gaping unknown that we may well 'discover' (if we're lucky) in the next century, but of course we haven't yet. Astronomers are just beginning to unravel the vastness of our universe. As yet, we haven't encountered any life outside of our own planet. However, it could well be inferred from the number of rocky planets continually being discovered outside our solar system and the near-unfathomable vastness of the universe that the likelihood of other life out there is actually quite high. As Carl Sagan was famous for saying, "if it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space".

However, seeing as how we haven't encountered ANY life out there (yet), noone can truly 'believe' that there is. It's nice that things worked out for us here on earth, but a single case study wouldn't be regarded that highly in empirical circles. Nor can we say for certain that they're isn't (that would be much more difficult, as it would require having scoured the entire universe, would it not?). This is an unknown. If belief in life on other planets was religious, I'd have to say I'm not sure either way. What about you? Since you seem to be convinced one way on religion, have you decided on extraterrestrial life as well? Since we haven't encountered any yet, would your conclusion be that you're certain on that? I can't say I believe that there is, and I can't say I believe there isn't. I need more knowledge to support belief. Mathematicians typically assign alpha (0.05 generally) as a cut-off point for the boundary of reasonable probabilty. At that point, we're allowed to be reasonably certainly. I don't see that cutoff being approached either way on the life on other planets issue, and I daresay I don't know about the religion one either. The universe is just too big. I know which way I lean on both issues, but I definitely wouldn't say I'm certain.

I consider myself agnostic. I think there's not very amuch evidence for the existence of any gods, but with the minutia of our own 'discoveries' thus far and knowledge in relation to how much there is out there in the universe that we have no clue regarding, it seems virtual hubris to assume that we're certain and have settled the issue.

I read Rosenbaum's Slate article and then watched the AE#669, and I agree with Rosenbaum's thesis over Jen & Matt's.

As an FYI, it's generally distasteful to begin any rebuttal with 'you are incorrect' and then merely follow such with a list of vague assertions rounded off with an authority quote. If I'm truly incorrect, then you should be able to show me the logical fallacies that I engage in by debating in a organized and reasoned fashion. Or not, I really don't care that much.

Arthur Farmer's (original post) "Theists argue that god exist, especially a certain type of god exists. Atheists claim to be with out a god belief, yet they believe that their assertion is true. It seems to me both sides are ignorant of god."

Atheists are not making a claim. Theists are making all the claims based on faith without proof. What can be claimed without proof can be dismissed without proof.

Arthur Farmer, "I would consider myself an agnostic but considering that we cannot properly define what knowledge is in epistemology maybe I should not be that either."

Theories should answer questions, but divine intervention or a creator has answered nothing, and has become less believable in view of scientific discoveries. That is not what happens with logical, plausible evidence about things that are true. Belief that god exists is not based on anything that could in fact be described as knowledge.

Atheism is not a worldview, philosophy or a religion. Atheists are not defined by what they do not believe. A philosophical theory is a worldview based on what one believes. Religion demands faith without proof. There are no religious beliefs that are backed by any reliable evidence. Since nobody has produced any tangible evidence or knowledge of god, it is without evidence. Religious beliefs are outside the methodology of scientific investigation to confirm or disprove them because there is no physical evidence to examine. Spiritual beliefs are not based on reason, logic or evidence. People who believe just believe. One can believe things without evidence or in spite of contradictory evidence, and lots of people do. Throughout human history there have been millions of people who claim to have personal knowledge of god through spiritual experiences. Theists claim that their personal spiritual experiences are evidence of god, but in fact personal experiences are not evidence of god. Religion or "belief" has never been based on knowledge, facts, or reason. There are plenty of people who "believe" things in spite of the facts. Some of us know that knowledge is not assumptions that are based on nothing.

Joec said, "You cant be neither be atheist nor theist. It's one or the other."

The primary reason for equating religious philosophies without a deity with atheism is the assumption that a religious belief requires a personal god; it doesn't. Atheism is not a philosophy. Putting ism after a word does not make it a philosophy. Metabolism is not a philosophy.

Nevertheless, some forms of Buddhism are godless, with the ultimate goal in life being to cease the life-and-death cycle and be absorbed into a non-personal nirvana. It's not atheistic in its theological orientation.

Pantheism is regarded as an alternative to theism. Pantheism deny the fundamental theist claims. Theism is the belief in a personal God, which transcends the world. Pantheists deny the existence of a divine being with human characteristics or a personal god. Pantheism is an alternative to, and the denial of, theism and atheism, Pantheists believe in an all-inclusive divine unity, but they deny that god is something other than or distinct from the universe. Pantheism is not a philosophy about a transcendent deity.

Theists believe in a personal god, not an impersonal force, and they believe god is actively involved with humanity. They believe god is moral and will ultimately judge everyone. Their god communicates with man through inspired writings and other forms of spiritual communication. All religions have teachings but not all religions have a creator god that judges them. Neither Confucianism nor Taoism is founded on faith in a creator god. They are religious philosophies that do not promote the existence of a god. Confucianism requires reading the texts and following Confucian teachings. Also, there is no belief in a deity required in Taoism. An atheist does not follow teachings and there are no texts. A theistic religious view prevails in the Western world but not in the East. An ignostic maintains that they cannot even say whether one is a theist or an atheist until a sufficient definition of theism is put forth.

Jains do not worship any higher spiritual beings like gods nor do they worship or pay homage to any idols. Jains believe that the universe has always existed and will always exist, so there is no need for any sort of creator god, and every soul or spiritual being is worthy of the exact same praise. Jains are not theists by western standards. Atheists don't profess a religious philosophy or ideology, and (generally) speaking atheists do not believe in spirits, souls or that the universe has always existed.

Hinduism teaches all is one. The Sanskrit word nirisvaravada translated means disbelief in a creator god. It does not require disbelief in anything else that might be a god, but for many anything less than a creator isn't a genuine god in the first place. Both the Samkhya and the Mimamsa schools of Hindu philosophy reject the existence of a creator god. Hinduism is a philosophy or religion, but from the perspective of Western religion they are not theists.

The three major groups of worldviews are naturalism, transcendentalism and theism. Existentialism has been associated with theism, however it is not compatible with theist philosophy in many respects.

Scientists discovered that the laws of nature govern the universe. The forces within the universe are the cause for all motion and life. The laws of quantum physics can describe even the subatomic world. Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and others of the "scientific" community view any religious thinking as outdated superstition that must be replaced by the certainty of scientific discovery.

Belief and non-belief in God are not equivalent positions. Belief in God is confusion between an object of your imagination and an external operator of some sort. The dichotomy is resolved by attempting to accurately define the external God. This cannot be done rigorously and therefore if someone speaks about an external God they literally do not know what they are talking about. The only sensible position to take is that God lives in your imagination so long as you wish Him to.

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