The trip to Moseley last Saturday was enjoyable and well worth the effort. Darrel Ray is a good speaker who has given the “God Virus” talk several times over the past 6 months or so.
It has been filmed on at least 3 occasions and can be viewed online via the links below:
New York City Atheists http://nyc-atheists.org/drupal5/?q=videos
You Tube http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=darrel+ray (The talks given in San Diego and Ireland + other snippets)
I’ve not watched them myself but, of the three, the opening of the San Diego talk seemed closest to the version he gave last Saturday.
He admitted that the title of the talk (and book) was chosen to catch the eye and proved a useful framework within which he highlighted the many similarities between viral infection and the spread of religions by a mixture of hypnotism, guilt, cultural activities, peer pressure etc.
Whilst personally I found his argument (that all religions are in reality completely separate viruses that manipulate aspects of human behaviour) hard to accept, most of the talk effectively addressed the matter of “How religion infects our lives and culture”.
Copies of his book are available from Amazon.co.uk.
The talk gave me the opportunity to meet, among others, members of the Lichfield and Birmingham Humanists. The latter have an on-going project to enhance communication between all humanist/secularist groups in the Midlands and maintain a Calendar to advertise events organised by the various groups. This can be viewed at http://www.birminghamhumanists.org.uk/eventscal.htm.
Report by Bob Coalbran