Monthly Archives: September 2011

Russell’s Tea Party

Topic TBD.

We meet in Wylie Hall 115. Wylie is located on the eastern border of the Dunn Woods, just south of the IMU. Map here: bit.ly/wyliehall

Movie Night – The Invention of Lying

This week, we will watch The Invention of Lying, by popular demand. IMDb sez: “A comedy set in a world where no one has ever lied, until a writer seizes the opportunity for personal gain.” The movie stars Ricky Gervais and allegedly explores morality and atheism.

We meet in Lindley Hall 102. Lindley is located on the southeast corner of Dunn Woods, north of Rawles Hall. Map here: http://g.co/maps/pgtx

Respond to the Facebook event!

Why I Oppose Capital Punishment

Note: After Sunday’s meeting discussing the death penalty, members of the SAIU were given the opportunity to write an op-ed defending their position. The opinions expressed in this piece are not necessarily those of the SAIU.

Why do we punish criminals? We punish as prevention — to keep the criminal from causing further harm, or to deter potential offenders. We punish as rehabilitation — to heal the criminal’s psyche, or to make him a functional member of society. And we punish as retribution — to give the victims peace of mind, or to balance the scales of Justice itself. This is why we lock human beings up in very small rooms with other very bad people, and why we sometimes give money to corrections officers to kill them. But having been made aware that these are our reasons, we can question whether they are good reasons.

Focusing on the death penalty sharpens the question. Given corpses’ incorrigibility, rehabilitation is ruled out. Nor has it been proven that execution is a better deterrent than life in prison. Murderers do not systematically weigh all the consequences before acting. And even if they were rational and well-educated enough to do so, they’d be crazy to give much thought to the death penalty: In the United States, 40% of homicides go unsolved, and even among the convicted, only 3% of murderers are sentenced to be executed.

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Why I Support Capital Punishment

Note: After Sunday’s meeting that discussed the death penalty, members of the SAIU were given the opportunity to write an op-ed defending their position. The opinions expressed in this piece do not reflect or represent those of the SAIU.

A few days ago, I volunteered to participate in a class exercise where I was to briefly answer questions that other students asked in order to try and guess where I lean politically. After a handful of questions that covered issues like abortion and the environment, the class concluded that I was a very liberal voter.

They’re right, of course, as I do lean to left quite a bit. But it would have been interesting to see what they would’ve concluded had they asked me about the death penalty. Unlike most liberals, I am very much in support of the death penalty, both in theory and in practice.

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Atheist Billiards and Bowling

This is the first of two Thursdays on which Lindley 102 is not available to us for movie night purposes. Instead, we will meet up at the normal time (7pm) in the Indiana Memorial Union’s Back Alley to play some pool and hit the lanes. No hustling. Big Lebowski cosplay welcome.

The Back Alley is on the ground floor of the IMU, downstairs from the Starbucks.

** NOTE ** This costs money. Billiards is $5.50 per table per hour, which we can split between whoever plays. I don’t know how much bowling costs but it’s surely not much.

Russell’s Tea Party

Join us for our weekly discussion meeting! Our topic this week will be the death penalty. Is it moral? Should we do it? Is Rick Perry the best ever for overseeing the execution of 234 criminals in Texas? We’ll discuss this and more over tea and biscuits. Bring your electric chairs so you can execute dissenters!

Wylie Hall is located on the east border of the Dunn Woods, south of the IMU. Map here: bit.ly/wyliehall

Movie Night – The Book of Life

Join us in Lindley 102 this week to watch The Book of Life. Summary: Christ arrives in New York City on Dec. 31, 1999, pondering whether to fulfill his mission to trigger Armageddon. The universe’s fate lies in the hands of the indecisive Christ as he mopes through the city streets and receives moral guidance from Satan and his assistant, Magdelina.

Lindley Hall is located on the southeast corner of Dunn Woods, north of Rawles Hall. Map here: http://g.co/maps/pgtx

Ask an Atheist

Ask an Atheist, October 2010
Once a month, SAIU members gather outside Ballantine Hall (at the crossroads south of 7th street, by the kiosk with the posters on it, you know the one) to educate the huddled masses about our people. This event is a chance for us to interact with the IU community by answering questions IU students may have about what it means to be an atheist or agnostic. We will put our best foot forward and let IU know that yes there are atheists on campus, we are good people and it’s ok for people to have differing beliefs. It’s much more difficult to demonize people you’ve met. Furthermore, this will also be good advertising for the club.

Other times that we’ve had this event, it’s been a great deal of fun. You can come for any small amount of time that you want to, and even if you’re a bit shy your fellow SAIUers will appreciate the company. Feel free to post here if you’ll be coming, along with the times you can be there!

Russell’s Tea Party

This week’s discussion will be primarily an introductory meeting. We’ll talk about various relevant things, including the secular movement, what it means to be a humanist, signs you may be closed-minded, and whatever else our secular hearts desire. This is an opportunity to get to know other members of the Secular Alliance! As always, there will be plenty of tea and perhaps baked goods.

Wylie Hall is located on the east border of the Dunn Woods, south of the IMU. Map here:bit.ly/wyliehall