Science Secularism Skepticism

Thinking Things Through: A national conference on secular humanism and science

On Sunday, December 1 2013, the SciBono Discovery Centre in Newtown will host the 3rd national conference of the Free Society Institute (FSI). The conference theme is “Thinking Things Through”, and it will focus on resources and ideas that help us to make more informed decisions about what to believe, and why.

Why “Thinking Things Through”?

We all make choices every day – decisions that impact the way we live, the health of our families, and the things we spend our money on.  The FSI believes that taking time to carefully think things through leads to better choices, and that better choices lead to better lives, and help to foster freer societies. This conference is dedicated to the idea of thinking things through – and we hope it’s just the start!

What is the Free Society Institute? What are their goals?

The FSI believes in the value of thinking things through, and that every person can improve the choices they make and the lives they live with better thinking.

We work to keep people accountable; to challenge those who take advantage of others; to make debates more informed, and to be a rational voice on issues such as free speech, free thought and other values – in short, on the things that matter in our society. We believe that thinking things through can improve the quality of life for everyone – and that we all deserve the best life possible.

Who should attend?

Anyone with an interest in science, secular humanism, skepticism and the role of religion in society will benefit from attending Thinking Things Through. The conference will address these and other themes, with an emphasis on showing how careful consideration of issues can lead us to more robust – even if sometimes surprising – conclusions!

Who will be speaking?

Chester Missing, Cecilia Haak, David Spurrett, Eusebius McKaiser, Sarah Wild, Gareth Cliff, Jacques Rousseau and Barry Bateman

For more, visit:


Contact: Jacques Rousseau / [email protected]

Daily Maverick Morality Politics Religion

Responsible reporting: At what cost?

As submitted to The Daily Maverick

Free speech is not the only value that democratic societies subscribe to. Nor does, or should, our commitment to free speech always have to trump competing values such as national security or personal dignity. But the principle of free speech nevertheless stands in need of exceptional, and exceptionally strong, counterarguments in cases where we are told that it is not permissible to broadcast or publish any particular point of view.

This commitment to an open marketplace of ideas rests on the belief that each person should have access to the points of view in circulation, so that he or she is able to exercise their right to moral independence by considering the ideas themselves. As Mill reminds us, compromising free speech costs us both the opportunity to hear things that are true, which can help to correct errors; and also to hear things that are false, where the truth is strengthened by “its collision with error”.