Speech: “Reframing the Discussion” – Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia

I was invited to speak for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia on 6/24/12. I’ve finally uploaded the speech to Youtube. I was initially considering uploading this speech as an episode of the NEPA Freethought Society Podcast which I host, but due to the bi-weekly release schedule and many episodes recorded but not yet released, I uploaded on Youtube. This speech is an interactive one; instead of me speaking for 45 minutes, audience members offered questions for discussion during the speech. Enjoy!

Here is the speech’s blurb:

“Secular individuals face many challenges when disputing supernatural-based belief systems and reaching out theists of various stripes. Problems may arise during any sort of conversation or transmission of information because many people — rather than looking at conversation and disagreement as a positive learning experience — see disagreement, even when respectful, as a negative thing which should be avoided. Secular individuals should benefit from countering these ideas by modeling positive conversational skills and being respectful in discussions with those who disagree on various issues while still employing an effective hard-hitting approach regarding challenging of ideas. Respectful disagreement can be had and should be encouraged by secular individuals who hope to educate others and challenge others’ beliefs.”

Justin Vacula

Justin Vacula hosts the Stoic Philosophy Podcast; serves as co-organizer and spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society; and has hosted monthly Stoic Philosophy discussion groups for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia.

He has appeared on and hosted various radio shows and podcasts; participated in formal debates and discussions; was a guest speaker for college-level courses; was featured in local, national, and international news; and has been invited to speak at various national, local, and statewide events.

Vacula received bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in the Scranton, PA area attending Marywood University’s graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program and has worked with the Arc of Luzerne County’s Transition to Community Employment program as a teacher’s assistant and job coach alongside adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

He also plays poker; volunteers as a member of the website and media team for the Greyhawk Reborn Dungeons & Dragons campaign while playing at events in the Eastern United States; and enjoys metal music.