For those who won’t be at the Saskatoon Freethinkers meeting, here’s the rough draft of what I intend to say, complete with source links. I don’t plan on reading this out loud like a book but I’ll certainly have a copy on hand for reference. I might also do like Marci McDonald the other night, and admit to the room that I’m more a writer than a speaker.
After the meeting I’ll post about what developed out of discussion.
Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments, too.
I could whine about low attendance but having a dozen or so people there wound up being a good size for a group discussion later.
Do oaths work better in situations where there’s a strength of community? As we create these transitory societies now where people don’t tend to know one another well (or long), does that translate into people get a different sense of commitment?
Should married couples who became atheist later redo their vows to reflect that if God was in the original version?
Does losing belief void other oaths that would have been sworn by a god? Is there a sense that people this is true in cases where atheists are assumed immoral or not trustworthy?
Saskatchewan courts will ask people, “do you want to swear on a bible?” but perhaps making the choice more obvious would be a good idea. What if people pick the bible because they worry their vow of truthfulness won’t have the same effect if the idea of god isn’t acknowledged?
One of the guys said that men used to grab each other’s nuts during oath taking, which later turned into handshakes. That felt like something that needed looking up, though, and I found reference to the Latin word “testis” that means both testicle and witness. (http://feministlawprofs.law.sc.edu/?p=3967)
World history is way more interesting when this is the kind of stuff you get to look up…
I am real sorry I had to cancel. My sister was in town.
No worries. Hope that was fun, too.