CFI Day 1

Trip Start Jun 20, 2009
Trip End Aug 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today couldn't have started off worse. I woke up at 8.45am to get ready to walk to the Motel 6 where the Shuttle to the Center for Inquiry was. I soon found out that walking was literally impossible, as the bridge to get there was a major highway and very dangerous for me to cross. Instead I decided to walk all the way there through the University of Buffalo. This was a horrific mistake as it turns out that the CFI isn’t even in the University and is on the outskirts of it. Now, I knew that it was near the west side, but given the confusing signs and misleading buildings and instructions from people walking around I got well and truly lost. After walking around aimlessly for an hour and thinking I was getting closer it was already 10am (session started 9.30am). I had no numbers to call for those wondering why I didn’t review that option. Thankfully out of absolutely nowhere, the CFI building showed up and I made my grand entrance disturbing Chris Maute’s lecture on Positive Thinking and Alternative Medicine.

I was able to pick up the gist of what I had missed and it was an interesting seminar, although a lot of the things he brought up, I had heard much of before. The class is small, about 10 participants with mainly older people with a couple of Russian girls who are from a sister university in Russia.

During the lunch I got talking to some of the participants and it was interesting to hear what they had to say. After the lunch, Tim Binga took us on a tour of the CFI Headquarters. We visited the facility and the library, as well as Joe Nickell’s office which is like a museum in itself with lots of paranormal artifacts. Given I was from Australia he (Joe Nickel) explained to me about Wooden Nickels and then gave me one with his business card on it (A Nickel from Nickel).

After the tour John Shook gave a seminar on Humanist Ethics and debunked the poor religious arguments behind 'you can’t be good without God’ and ‘Ethics comes from Religion’. He seemed to confuse a lot of the participants with his explanations on objective and subjective truth, but my philosophical background was too poor to argue with him. Despite that it was an interesting seminar.

On the way home I caught the shuttle back to Motel 6 and then ran back to my motel in the pouring rain. As a result I rang the coordinator so he would organize the shuttle to come to my hotel, but it failed to pick me up for the evening session with Mr.Deity. That was fine, as I was hungry and didn’t really want to go, but the other nights won’t be the same and I will be definitely attending those. I hope the shuttle comes here tomorrow, otherwise I will be walking again.

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