First Event: What to Expect?

skeptical cat

At our inaugural event this evening we hope to introduce ourselves and to simply cover the basics:

What is Skepticism, what it means to be sceptical and the importance of being so?
What you want to get out of the group, and what we hope to achieve through the group?
What you are sceptical of and what areas would you like discussed in the future?
What do you accept without evidence? What superstitions do you uphold?
Are you sceptical of Skepticism?

The structure will be very loose,  so feel free to say what’s on your mind and we will listen to what everyone has to say in regards future meet-ups and events.

See you in the pub!

Duke of York, Belfast from 7pm. [map]

What is Skepticism?

skep·ti·cism
[skep-tuh-siz-uhm]
–noun
1. skeptical attitude or temper; doubt.
2. doubt or unbelief with regard to a religion, esp. Christianity.
3. ( initial capital letter ) the doctrines or opinions of philosophical Skeptics; universal doubt.
[dictionary.com]

n.
1. A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety. See synonyms at uncertainty.
2. Philosophy.
1. The ancient school of Pyrrho of Elis that stressed the uncertainty of our beliefs in order to oppose dogmatism.
2. The doctrine that absolute knowledge is impossible, either in a particular domain or in general.
3. A methodology based on an assumption of doubt with the aim of acquiring approximate or relative certainty.
3. Doubt or disbelief of religious tenets.
[Answers.com]

“Contemporary skepticism (or scepticism) is loosely used to denote any questioning attitude, or some degree of doubt regarding claims that are elsewhere taken for granted.” [wikipedia]

Skeptics groups, having adopted the American spelling, have sprung up across the world, bringing together people who are interested in discussing the issues which surround blind faith, dubious claims, and ideas of reality versus that which we are told to believe. Simply put, the Skeptics in the Pub group is a gathering of critical thinkers, those with an interest in science, who think logically, don’t take anything at face-value, and generally prefer “facts” being backed up with reputable evidence without dubious claims purporting to be so.

The premise of the group is to meet like-minded individuals and discuss these ideas and prevalent issues in current news and media, as well as a range of general topics and commonly accepted ideas and norms.

Skepticism is a state of mind, relating to having a questioning and doubtful mind; looking at evidence before deciding.

Skeptics are not simply debunkers, automatically ruling out the existence of the paranormal, the extraterrestrial, or the supernatural. Instead, a skeptic reserves judgment until the evidence is gathered. If the clues points to a mundane explanation, skeptics will accept that conclusion. If the available evidence suggests an extraordinary phenomenon, skeptics will accept that conclusion as well. The difference is in the strength of the evidence required. The more unusual a claim is, the more challenging to accepted science, the more skeptics will demand that the supporting evidence be extensive, thoroughly documented, and objectively verifiable. — K.O. Myers.

Further definitions will be discussed in future posts.

Skepticism covers a range of topics including: [list after the fold] Continue reading “What is Skepticism?”

First Meet-up: 12th Oct 2010

Date: Tues 12th October 2010
Venue: Duke of York, Belfast [map]
Time: 7pm

This is our first event! We’re welcoming anyone who would like to spend an evening amongst other skeptical thinkers, discussing whatever comes up and playing awkward social games. Come prepared to discuss topics in the realm of science, culture and life in general. Also, we’d love to hear from people who want to get involved in running BSitP and who have ideas for future events. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Register your attendance (so that we have an idea of numbers) on Facebook.

The blog will be updated with plenty of info beforehand so keep a close eye here.

Welcome

questionSkeptics in the Pub is an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and social networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and other like-minded individuals. It provides an opportunity for skeptics and rationalists to talk, share ideas in a casual, relaxed atmosphere, and discuss whatever topical issues come to mind, as well as having fun while promoting skepticism, science, and rationality. [Wikipedia]

Belfast Skeptics in the Pub aims to be the springboard for a group of people looking to further the cause of skepticism in Belfast. Drawing inspiration from groups in Dublin, America and Britain we aim to be an informal forum for the dissemination of science based evidence to fight the tide of misinformation in our society today. As well as the pub-based discussions, we may have other events. Plus we’ll hang out and have some fun at the same time!

Join the Facebook Group, and follow us on Twitter.

We’re currently planning our first meeting, leave any comments and suggestions you may have.