Update : A small group of maybe 25 or 30 Muslim protesters rocked up to the Convention on Sunday, chanting and waving signs and condemning those in attendance to Hell. They inspired these two men (“Adam & Steve”?) to kiss.
Peter Singer‘s presentation was fairly standard, essentially liberal (& even idealist) account of human history, w reason as handmaiden to progress & state as progressive social formation (accompanied by various other problematic claims); Leslie Cannold provided some useful infos re Constitutional law & religion (ie non-/separation of church+state) in Australian context w appeal for political engagement; Dan Barker was amusing, personable & gently subversive; Political Panel was OK (v ABC) but sadly lacked genuwine fire-breathing anarchist (“God being everything, the real world and man are nothing. God being truth, justice, goodness, beauty, power, and life, man is falsehood, iniquity, evil, ugliness, impotence, and death. God being master, man is the slave.”) w seemingly most outspoken member being self-confessed & altogether chirpy Xtian Marion Maddox; Daniel Dennett was funny & philosophical (& obv addressing a much wider audience) but towards end compressed a series of arguments & concepts (esp inre epistemology) into too-brief a passage of time; AC Grayling was AC Grayling, meaning I still dunno what’s next for atheism; Lawrence Krauss was neat — & I feel like I now got moar bRanes (cf. Singer) merely having had the opp to listen to him — but otoh could have been making it all up AFAIK; Geoffrey Robertson was… Geoffrey Robertson, & v good on Catholic Church v Catholic children (note to self: read his book on subject); Ayaan Hirsi Ali articulated familiar critique of North African/Middle East politics (& I think prolly managed to induce some
white liberal guilt at the same time) but mostly ignored historical context & finally; Richard Dawkins celebrated intelligent design (as part of wider attempt to problematise language) but I still fail to see why Professor fails to appreciate the vast literature on moral philosophy…
Moar and fairer later.