Religious Skeptics Ask: Is Faith Rooted in Fiction?
Milwaukee, Wis. – On Wednesday, Mythicist Milwaukee announced the online registration and advance purchase pricing for its first Mythinformation Conference, to be held April 25, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Milwaukee Riverfront. The group also announced its three speakers: historian, author and leading proponent of the “Christ Myth Theory” Dr. Richard Carrier; Hemant Mehta, author/blogger and atheist activist for the FriendlyAtheist.com; and secular philosopher James Kirk Wall.
“Atheists, freethinkers, humanists, skeptics and the like normally have to travel to Chicago or Madison to find conferences like this,” says President and co-founder of Mythicist Milwaukee, Sean Fracek. “We want to support our local secular community by bringing regular events to Milwaukee. We know there’s a secular community in Southeast Wisconsin – with more than 520 registered members in a local atheist meetup group alone. Our expectation is for this to be a conference where like-minded individuals can come together and celebrate rational thought, science and history.”
Along with the presentations by known atheists Carrier, Mehta and Wall, the group plans to introduce the audience to “mythicism” – not a new term, but one that is gaining momentum among the secular community. Mythicism is the study of ancient astronomy and mythology in comparison to modern day religious supernatural beliefs. “Atheists seem to find the information we dig up really interesting as it tends to support the theory that the idea of a higher power was created by man. When the same story that Christians tell today was told in ancient Egypt, or when the same religious acts that Muslims practice today were performed by Persian Zoroastrians, it gives less power to the modern religions’ claim that theirs is the one true religion. It eliminates the argument for a superior belief (or any, for that matter) when you can see that these stories are not original,” says Fracek.
Dr. Richard Carrier is an atheist activist, author, frequent public speaker and blogger. He has a doctorate in history from Columbia University where his thesis was on the history of science in ancient antiquity, and is a leading proponent of the Christ Myth Theory. Carrier has particular interest in the question of the historicity of Jesus, and was featured in the documentary film “The God Who Wasn’t There.” His topic for the Mythinformation Conference will be “Did Jesus Even Exist? A Historian Challenges the Consensus.”
Chicago-native Hemant Mehta is a 32-year-old author, blogger and atheist activist who gained fame for "selling his soul" on eBay. Mehta is a regular speaker at atheist events and has sat on the boards of charitable organizations such as the Secular Student Alliance and the Foundation Beyond Belief. He also runs the popular Friendly Atheist blog and is publisher of "The Atheist Voice” – a YouTube video channel with more than 100,000 subscribers. His “15 Things Never to Say to an Atheist” video went viral in 2014 and has more than 1.5 million views. Mehta also writes for the Washington Post, has been featured in The New York Times and in 2013, was a guest on CNN to discuss the rise of atheism among the millennial generation. Mehta will speak about how “Skeptics Can Be Gullible, Too!” and give advice on how atheists can become better fact-checkers to improve their skeptical abilities.
James Kirk Wall is a writer for ChicagoNow.com as well as philosopher and author of “To Be an Agnostic: An Agnostic Approach to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Wall is skilled at the art of debate and has done so with many Christian apologists and right-wing personalities, criticizing the moral and intellectual flaws of religion and promoting independent thought, science and human progress. Wall’s presentation will address statements and arguments by Christian defenders Kevin Sorbo, Ken Ham and Glenn Beck against the reasonable positions of science and atheism – giving attendees talking points for defending reason.
Attendees may register for the event with special advance ticket pricing at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mythinformation-conference-tickets-14796957097
Mythicist Milwaukee is soliciting sponsors for the event as well. To register for a sponsorship with promotional table, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mythinformation-conference-tickets-14796957097.
For more information on Mythicist Milwaukee and other upcoming events and podcast shows with special secular guests, visit http://www.mythicistmilwaukee.com/.
About Mythicist Milwaukee
Mythicist Milwaukee is a Milwaukee-based research and meetup group that studies ancient civilizations and the parallels between past ancient beliefs and today’s modern religions. The group hosts a weekly podcast, “The Mythicist Milwaukee Show,” featuring nationally-known secular scholars, scientists, historians, religious and human rights activists and more. The group’s goal is to provide their community with the knowledge they need to help fight for the rights of others – stolen by mythological religious views currently taught as fact. Mythicist Milwaukee strives to contribute to a world free from religious oppression and religious bigotry. For more information on Mythicist Milwaukee, visit their website at http://www.mythicistmilwaukee.com/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MythicistMKE.