Secular Sunday #27 – Why We are Atheists

Welcome to this week’s Secular Sunday.

In this issue:

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • What You Told Us


  • Atheist Ireland has joined more than twenty rights-based groups in supporting an open letter, coordinated by Amnesty International Ireland, asking the Government to include all fundamental human rights on the agenda of the proposed Constitutional Convention. Atheist Ireland has also written directly to the Government asking that secularism and human rights be included on the agenda, and asking the Government to consult more widely with the public and civic society groups. Read more
  • If you couldn’t make it to our recent Atheists in the Pub event in Dublin, you can now watch video of David Horgan’s talk about Jesus on film.

Upcoming Events

  • Monday 2 July, 8:30 pm, McSwiggans Bar and Restaurant, Woodquay, Galway (map)
    Galway Skeptics in the Pub will be meeting for another night of science and presentations.
  • Wednesday 4 July, 6:00 pm, Science Gallery, Dublin 2 (map)
    To celebrate the 4th of July, the Science Gallery will be hosting a talk on NASA’s mission to discover planets beyond our own solar system. Fergal Mullally, Science Officer at the NASA Ames Research Center, will be explaining NASA’s ground-breaking Kepler mission. Read more
  • Thursday 12 July, 7:30 pm, The Bankers, Dublin 2 (map)
    Dublin Atheists in the Pub. We’ll have details on our speaker soon.
  • Wednesday 18 July 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
    The Mid West Humanists will be meeting to discuss secularising the Irish Constitution and their plans to lobby TDs.

What You Told Us

Last week we asked for your feedback and specifically suggested telling us why you had become an atheist. We have a couple of responses on that topic this week:

  • Harvey Walnut (possibly not his real name) tells us how he worked out that he wasn’t buying what the priests were selling. Read his blog post
  • Anna doesn’t have a blog but sent us her story of how she figured things out long before many of us were even born:

    As a cradle Catholic, the first time I had my faith challenged was in teacher training college in England when a lecturer started his lesson with: “Was religion invented by man or was it revealed by God?” I thought, what a silly question, of course it was revealed by God. I ignored it.
    Some time later having been under general anaesthetic a few times I began to realise that the chloroform had completely obliterated all my consciousness. It was total nothingness. If anaesthetic can do that to my brain temporarily, I thought, how much more so will death render me totally unconscious for ever. I will become like I was before I was born.
    I have no soul, there is no afterlife, there is no God. I became totally convinced of this. That was in my mid-thirties.  And long before I even heard of Richard Dawkins or read his book, The God Delusion or Christopher Hitchen’s God is Not Great.
    At 78 I find very few of my contemporaries think like me. My siblings are shocked, but my children are atheist, and I’m so pleased my grandchildren in England do not attend a church school. They are not being indoctrinated like I was and like I’ve done to children during my teaching career, more to my shame.

That’s all for this week. Keep in touch, you know how to find us.

Derek Walsh
Editor, Secular Sunday
Atheist Ireland

Secular Sunday