Sunday, October 26, 2014

Welcome, freethinkers!

Central Minnesota Freethinkers is a nonprofit charitable, social, and educational organization created to foster a community of reason. We are atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists, and freethinkers in and around St. Cloud. We live our lives happily free of dogma and the constraints of religion.

Central Minnesota Freethinkers is a member of the Atheist Alliance and the Minnesota Secular Council. Learn more...

coffeeWe get together for coffee on the first Sunday morning of each month. Please join us at the Good Earth Co-op in St. Cloud's Centennial Plaza. (map)

Freethinkers Night Out happens the second Tuesday after each coffee social. Join us for an evening of freethinking conversation, dinner if you like, and drinks. Watch the events calendar for location.

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meetingGeneral membership meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. on third Mondays in February, April, and October at either the public library or the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall in St. Cloud. We often host guest speakers on a range of interesting topics.

In June and December we get together around the Solstices for a potluck celebration. Watch the events calendar for time and location.

penCentral Minnesota Freethinkers doesn't have an office or a postal address.

Please contact us at or simply show up at a meeting or social gathering.

This is the fifth in a series of six essays by St. Cloud freethinker Joel Bartos.

When two or more people disagree on something, why not find out what reality is dictating on the subject? Do not go by things only in people's heads, things that cannot be justified by scientific machinery and analysis. If you see a tree you know it is a tree because people can see it, go up to it and touch it, and put a machine in front of it to detect it. The tree exists outside people's minds and therefore reality dictates that there is a tree there. Why not do that with everything, and let that determine your belief system. All religions are wrong on many subject areas because reality dictates something totally different than what all religions are saying, regardless of how each religion has a different take on each subject area.

It is possible for most people to be wrong. Just look in history. Before Greek civilization most people thought the Earth was flat. Before Copernicus published his book in 1543 most people though the Earth was at the center of the Universe and that celestial objects revolved around that Earth.

Nowadays most people say they believe in things like God, life after death, angels, miracles, Divinity, etc. when these things are just constructs of the mind. Reality is dictating things much different, and doesn't allow for anything supernatural.

This is the fourth in a series of six essays by St. Cloud freethinker Joel Bartos.

There is no afterlife. Once you are brain dead you are in permanent blackout. 

Everything that makes us conscious is in our brains. There are neurotransmitters, chemical-electrical impulses generated that make all of our thoughts, imagination, comprehension and memory, etc. When we die, all of this chemical-electrical activity comes to a halt. It ceases to exist. How can anything go on?

Your heart can stop, but your brain can still be functioning. You are not dead until a part in the brain stem shuts down and you die at that moment with no recovery.

A lot depends on how one dies. For example one can die suddenly in their sleep. One can get hit by a car, have a heart attack, pneumonia, etc.

Near death experiences involve feeling peace, seeing a tunnel, seeing relatives, etc. Generally a pleasant experience for those you have experienced it. Even an atheist had a near death experience and saw aliens and a red light. But you are not conscious of dreams nor near death experiences until after you start to wake up/regain consciousness. So if you never wake up or regain consciousness, you would never know you had the dream nor near death experience.

This is the third in a series of six essays by St. Cloud freethinker Joel Bartos.

Religious fantasy: Life is fair because heaven rewards good people and suffering, while bad people get punished with hell. But no crime is worth getting punished with torment forever. And some people suffer more than others on earth in the same number of years, then get equal rewards in heaven.

Life is more complicated. Some people, in their lifetime, do 99 good things and one bad. Some do 70 good and 30 bad. Some do equal amounts good and bad. How do you divide people up to go to heaven or hell? Rich people can be good or bad. Poor people can be good or bad. There is everything across the board.

For religious people there must be a disconnect with what they believe and what they observe in reality. This probably trips them up fairly often.

This is the second in a series of six essays by St. Cloud freethinker Joel Bartos.

In 400 years of science, no legitimate scientist or scientific instrument has ever detected anything other than matter, energy and space. No legitimate scientific instrument has ever detected anything supernatural. No scientific instrument can detect a God particle. How can there be something where there is nothing?

In 400 years of science, nothing has defied the theories and Laws of science. No miracle has taken place that has defied any of those theories or Laws. All throughout the Universe the Laws of Nature (science) are the same. The Laws of Science do not allow for a God.

Randomness. In our world and in the Universe, almost everything is random. Particle motions and collisions are random. Car accidents are random. Animals eating each other is random. When people die or get sick is random as a whole. The galaxies in the universe collide on random. The list goes on. There is no rhyme or reason. One can try to make sense of things by making up rules, but there will always be things that do not make sense. soon as one sees that it is all random, then it ALL makes sense. There is no room for a God in the randomness of the Universe.

Read more: Why I Do Not Believe God Exists

This is the first in a series of essays by St. Cloud freethinker Joel Bartos.

I am an Atheist because I know too much about science, reality, and the way the brain, world and universe operates to be anything else. The Laws of Science do not allow for a God, an afterlife nor anything supernatural.

As an Atheist my belief system (in my brain) agrees with what the outside world (external reality) is dictating. Nothing throws me a curve ball nor throws me for a loop, so I tend to be more stable mentally.

I tend to feel superior because I know things that most people do not know. They say religion is mass delusion, and I can see that.

I am an Atheist because it is better to know the truth. I am awake now. If I went back to believing in God and supernatural phenomenon, it would be like going back to playing with Legos and Hot Wheels. I could, but I would know it is not real life.

greg-ladenOn October 20,2014 the Central Minnesota Freethinkers are proud to present a program by Greg Laden, noted writer about climate change, evolution, science education and more at National Geographic, Science Blogs and other venues. His presentation will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall in St. Cloud at 7:00. The admission is free and the program is open to all who wish to attend.

While trained as a biological anthropologist and archeologist and having research experience at many locations in the United States and in the Congo and South Africa, and, having taught at several colleges and universities, today he mostly engages in climate change related science communication.

Read more: October Guest Speaker: Scientist & Blogger Greg Laden

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