PATASCON2015: Breaking through with reason and humanism

Nizrhane Abdallah
PATASCON2015: Breaking through with reason and humanism
Are you irreligious? Check out this convention for Filipino atheists, agnostics, and irreligious individuals

This is a press release from Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society:

MANILA, Philippines —Are you irreligious? 

On May 31, 2015, all roads will lead the irreligious to UNILAB Bayanihan Center in Pasig City for a momentous occasion: The second international irreligious convention in the Philippines — otherwise known as PATASCON2015, an event organized by the Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS).

It will be attended by atheists, agnostics, and various irreligious individuals from the Philippines and abroad.

Many irreligious get negative reactions whenever they “come out” as atheists or agnostics. It seems that their existence is very trivial for some Filipinos. Many believe that there are only very few irreligious Filipinos, hence they are incapable of organizing or having any social traction. 

Irreligious Pinoys

A recent study by the Dentsu Communication Institute in Japan presented figures that the population of the irreligious in the Philippines is around 11% or around 11 million individuals. This means there is at least one irreligious for every 10 Filipinos.

If you have not yet met an irreligious Filipino in your circle, it is probably because she or he is afraid to “come out” in fear of discrimination. 

Filipino society is not yet welcoming to the irreligious compared to other developed countries. Many local organizations, however, are already working to change this.

This is where the PATASCON2015 comes in. The event aims to show the Philippines and our neighboring countries that there is so much more beyond religiosity and even irreligiosity.

Reason and humanism should be used to help understand our situation as a society and resolve social issues today.

PATAS held its first international irreligious convention, which is also the first in Southeast Asia, in April 2012. The convention brought the idea of irreligion into public awareness, and presented the fact that there are Filipino atheists and agnostics.

This year, the PATASCON will again try to further break barriers, misconceptions, and myths surrounding religious and the irreligious. 

Guest speakers

This year’s international convention will be graced by speakers from different parts of the world and from across the nation:

  • David McAfee: Acclaimed author of Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist and Disproving Christianity
  • Bob Churchill: Communications Director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union
  • Bill Flavell: World-renowned freethought groups consultant,
  • Willie Poh Kaw Lik: Web developer, humanist, and TEDx Malaysia speaker
  • Red Tani: founder of Filipino Freethinkers
  • Diogenes of Mayberry: Satirist and author of Manifest Insanity
  • Rodion Herrera: Manager and Head Astronomy Lecturer of Voyager Philippines in Davao City,
  • Prof Eric Julian Manalastas: UP faculty member and LGBT psychologist
  • Atty Lily Macabangun-Milla: International Affairs Director at the Commission on Higher Education

PATASCON2015 will also be joined by its sponsors, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, British Humanist Association, Atheist Foundation of Australia, Norwegian Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance International, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, and the YLF Contracts and Costs Solutions, Inc.

Conference tickets cost P1,000 for official PATAS members, P1,200 for non-PATAS members, and P200 for students.

To register, please send an email of intent to patascon@patas.coPlease indicate whether the registrant is a student, a PATAS member, or a non-member. To know more about the upcoming PATASCON2015 event, please visit our website. – Rappler.com

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