About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Monday, March 09, 2009

Gig reminder - "Voices of Disbelief"

Reminder to self (and anyone else): I'll be speaking tomorrow night at the Unitarian Hall in Grey Street, East Melbourne, on the topic "Voices of Disbelief". This gig is for the Atheist Society, and is a first opportunity to do some public promotion of 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists. It's also an opportunity to do a bit more, such as asking why such books are currently needed and whether they just preach to the choir.

Come along if interested.


Dan said...

Hi Russell, enjoyed the talk last night. As mentioned on the last question i am looking forward to adding your blog to my google reader and having a peruse. I am a member of the Humanist Society so will see you there. All the best

Russell Blackford said...

Thanks, Dan. I had some good feedback, though I was surprised after the talk when one person went out of her way to come down to tell me that she didn't like it - this after the whole thing had gone for the better part of two hours when I let the question time go on to give everyone a chance. Why did she stay?

This struck me as bizarrely insensitive behaviour, and it was a bit upsetting, but I suppose it takes all kinds.

Blake Stacey said...

It's like meeting a blog troll in real life!

Or, to put it with a literary air, it's like the third canto of John Shade's Pale Fire, lines 683 ff.

The Crashaw Club had paid me to discuss
Why Poetry Is Meaningful to Us.
I gave my sermon, a dull thing but short.
As I was leaving in some haste, to thwart
The so-called "question period" at the end,
One of those peevish people who attend
Such talks only to say they disagree
Stood up and pointed his pipe at me.

Dan said...

Well Russell i guess we cant please everybody. It wasnt the Christian woman was it? It was my first visit to these evenings so I guess i did not have a basis for comparison. All i can tell you is that I left with some very big life lessons. Particularly the idea that we can enter a discussion with someone who has vastly different fundamental assumptions than I do. It will change the way I discuss big issues with people in the future. I intend first to be clear where we both sit on these simplest of world views. I have made this mistake very recently when discussing that woman who claims her 9 year old daughter is psychic. I assumed most people would think this is tantamount to child abuse...... I was wrong and I really shook a friends fundamental beliefs. So thanks for that and 'up yours' to that woman.

Russell Blackford said...

No, the Christian lady was actually quite nice - I spoke to her afterwards. It was someone who objected to the PR/self-promotional aspect of the talk. I would have thought that hearing about an important/relevant new book straight from one of its two editors would have been worthwhile in itself (leaving aside whatever value there was in the points made by me and by members of the audience). But apparently not. Oh well ...