Please allow me to introduce myself...

Kane Jeeves
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Please allow me to introduce myself...

Hi all.  This looks like it's an interesting site.   Technically speaking I don't consider myself an Atheist, but rather a Secular Humanist. But to most people there's no difference so I'll still use the term.  I come at things from a philosophical standpoint, having a degree in philosophy (though it was awhile ago).  I'm also very interested in the history, psychology, and sociology of religion, especially all the fascinating books by biblical scholars like Bart Erhman.

In a nutshell I believe: organized religion has made the world a worse place than if it never existed.  I believe Jesus was a real person and had very wise things to say, just like Gandhi, MLK, and others.  If others want to believe in a god, and they do not force it on others privately or publicly that's ok.  I also understand WHY people are attracted to religion and the notion of a father figure god. 

Most importantly I think the whole debate of Atheism vs Theism, god versus no god, is a false one.  What I DO think is important is the way we talk about the subject...words matter.  For example, when asked "Do you believe in God?" most people would say Yes or No.  I answer "how do you define god, and why should I accept your definition over the definitions others provide?".  You see, the question Do you believe in God is really code for "There is a God, it's a He, He's THE only God and does exist - do you believe in this existing God?". Loaded question in other words.  Another example is when we refer to the god as a "He".  That plays into the psychology of belief in a father figure.  So when I engage in "god talk" I always use the pronoun "she".  That kind of thing is important...the way we talk about this stuff.

Anywho, let's discuss!


mellestad
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Welcome! If you do not

Welcome!

 

If you do not believe in a deity, you are an atheist.  As far as I know, all secular humanists are atheists by the proper definition of the term.  If you believe in God but follow humanist ideals you would be a theistic humanist.

I could be wrong though.

 

But hey, I was a member of the AHA for a couple years!

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Kane Jeeves
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deity?

I guess I just don't like the term atheist, as in not a theist, where Theist is a positive belief and the opposite is a lack of some sort.  Kinda like the difference between Normal and Abnormal. 

And really to take it a step further, I don't think the term "deity" has any meaning beyond some cartoonish, anthropomorphic notion of a person like us but "special".   For all we know there might be concepts that express the truth about how we got here that we can't even begin to fathom.  Think of a little bird in a cage.  Think of the concepts a bird might have.  Now compare that to quantum physics.  Not only can't the bird fathom quantum physics, she can't even realize she can't fathom it.  As far as we know, we're no different from the bird. Of course we THINK we're different, and we THINK we have all the concepts we need, but that doesn't make it so.


Atheistextremist
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Hi there Kane

 

The truth. She is out there somewhere...

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Tapey
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OMG hes here  Oh btw welcome

OMG hes here

 

Oh btw welcome


B166ER
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Welcome to RRS!

Welcome to the RRS forums! From another newbie to the forums here, it's always good to have more interesting people here to add in the discussion.

mellestad wrote:
If you do not believe in a deity, you are an atheist.

I would have to agree. If you lack belief in any deiti(es), then by the definition you are an atheist.

Kane Jeeves wrote:
I guess I just don't like the term atheist, as in not a theist, where Theist is a positive belief and the opposite is a lack of some sort.  Kinda like the difference between Normal and Abnormal.

In a world of sheeple, what's so wrong with being abnormal? I would prefer to be considered "abnormal" by those whose vocabulary consists of "BAA"

I guess that might be just me though...

"This may shock you, but not everything in the bible is true." The only true statement ever to be uttered by Jean Chauvinism, sociopathic emotional terrorist.
"A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished." Mikhail Bakunin
"The means in which you take,
dictate the ends in which you find yourself."
"Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme leadership derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"
No Gods, No Masters!


robj101
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Please allow me to introduce myself...

...I'm a man of wealth and taste...

Welcome


kidvelvet
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Welcome!Yeah, I used to

Welcome!

Yeah, I used to refer to myself as agnostic, but who was I kidding?  Technically, I would be considered a weak atheist.  I don't have either a positive belief or disbelief.  But I do lack a belief, so hence the term weak atheist.

In the end, you just aren't buying what the theists are selling, no matter what the moniker.

Have fun! 

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


robj101
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Kane Jeeves wrote:"I guess I

Kane Jeeves wrote:

"I guess I just don't like the term atheist, as in not a theist, where Theist is a positive belief and the opposite is a lack of some sort.  Kinda like the difference between Normal and Abnormal. "
I would add: theist, moron, sheep
and make: atheist, amoron, asheep etc.
Considered in the proper perspective, atheist is so much better.

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


Kane Jeeves
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Bingo

robj101 wrote:

...I'm a man of wealth and taste...

Welcome

I was wondering if someone would pick up on that!  One of my favorite tunes.


ContemptableWitness
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Hi, I'm new here too.  I

Hi, I'm new here too.  I like the term Secular Humanist over Atheist as well.  To me, referring yourself as an atheist would be like a Christian introducing himself as a theist.  Atheism or Theism really doesn't say much about what a person believes, it's what comes after that is the important stuff. It's what makes the difference between bad atheists like Stalin or Pol Pot and good ones.

The thing is though that Atheism is beginning to take on a colloquial understanding. To most people, atheism and secular humanism are the same thing. I don't call myself a secular humanist for two reasons, firstly because most of the time when people ask me to explain it and I do, they go "oh you're an atheist!" and secondly because I actually have a positive belief that no God (as defined by the majority of the world's religions) exists.  I have this belief because even though generally the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, the absence of evidences DOES count as evidence of absence when it comes to extraordinary claims. If something exists but has no measurable effect on detectable, physical reality, it does not exist in all practical terms. Once a theist makes a claim of their God having an effect on the physical universe, it can then be tested.  If they claim something is true that is known to be impossible, then the failure of this claim under controlled conditions is evidence against the claim being true.

To put it succinctly, I have two friends. One tells me he ate a ham sandwich yesterday. The other tells me he built a flying castle yesterday.  I would not be justified telling the first friend that he couldn't possibly have eaten a ham sandwich yesterday solely on the basis that I have no evidence he did. It is a realistic, ordinary claim. However, I would be justified in telling the second friend that he couldn't possibly have built a flying castle.  His claim is something not known to be possible, and the lack of evidence is enough to justify the positive disbelief in his statement.  God is something not known to be possible, so without proof I believe I am justified to actively profess the contrary: God does not exist.

I do realize that definitions of God vary. I'm not an atheist as respects to a totem-pole god worshiped by a pacific island native, or an emperor-god as worshipped by the ancient romans and egyptians. I may not believe what they claim about these gods, but what they are defining as "god" is something physically manifest, something that exists.  But when you talk to most people, they tend to have the same basic idea of what they believe to be a god, and so it's a safe assumption to refer to myself as an atheist around them.

Even Richard Dawkins conflates the atheism and secular humanism.  The problem I think is that we're not doing enough to make the distinction between people like us and mass murderers like Pol Pot.  Religion is only part of the problem, not the extent of it.  It is irrationality in general that is responsible for a lion's share of the world's ills.  In that sense, I think it should be stressed that the atheist monsters of the world are in the same camp as the theist ones.  They all committed the same evils, but just used different means in order to do so.


NoMoreCrazyPeople
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robj101 wrote:...I'm a man

robj101 wrote:

...I'm a man of wealth and taste...

Welcome

Thats kind of without taste to say.  I hope thats a quote.


Renee Obsidianwords
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Welcome Kane!Please jump

Welcome Kane!

Please jump right in and participate  ~  Smiling

I like the question you listed "how do you define god, and why should I accept your definition over the..."

Good stuff

Slowly building a blog at ~

http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


robj101
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NoMoreCrazyPeople

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

robj101 wrote:

...I'm a man of wealth and taste...

Welcome

Thats kind of without taste to say.  I hope thats a quote.

I hope you are not super cereal. Because that is a very well known song.

 

 

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin