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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  16:24:24  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message
It seems there's never a shortage of evidence showing that religious people can be hateful, weak, and ignorant. Here's the latest from the LA Times...

A Time of Doubt for Athiests

pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  16:49:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
Hmmm, I'm not sure I want to call myself a "bright."

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25997 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2005 :  17:03:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
You're not the only one, pleco. Plenty of the movement's target audience have expressed doubt at the term "bright." Even Massimo Pigliucci, who once promoted the term.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2005 :  12:15:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
The first time I ever heard the term "Bright" in this context it made me sort of raise an eyebrow and go "huh?".

Personally I think our case (atheist or agnostic) is best made by simply insisting, at all times, that claims of fact be supported by evidence.

There is no name that we could call ourselves that will make the religious like us any better.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2005 :  23:16:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
I hated the term "bright" when I first heard it, and continued to hate it as I watched many great leaders in the movement adopt the term. I agree with Dude, no term will make religious people like us better. If anything, adding yet another label to the pot (that needs to be explained) only makes us more obscure and confusing to people.

Although the comparison sounds melodramatic, atheist activists believe the climate to be so perilous that they're considering something drastic: unity.

LOL. That is SOOO true. Then then, our lack of unity is something I respect. We're definately not sheep. Then again, while sheep get domesticated... what happens to wolves? (I think it's called extermination.) So perhaps the solution is being wolves in sheep's clothing? (I think I've taken this metaphor too far.)


Atheists often keep quiet about their worldview. Some say that to volunteer their atheism offends believers.

"We have a social idea that it's rude," says Bobbie Kirkhart, Los Angeles-based president of i]Atheist Alliance International.


This is also so true. I shocked myself a few months ago when, after 8 years of freethought involvement, I referred to my atheist club as a "philosophy club" to my bosses - both of whom were open about their religions, Judaism and Protestant Christianity. I did it totally unconsciously, and my husband called me on it later. I then had to face the fact that I did it 'cause I was afraid of discrimination. Perhaps my fears were irrational? I just don't know.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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Trish
SFN Addict

USA
2102 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2005 :  23:32:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Trish a Private Message
I wouldn't be so certain that your fears are irrational marfknox. Being openly atheist at work may be one reason I was left go by a client when I was working as a contractor. There are enough other reasons, such as it was cheaper to get someone else, that could have been issues also. But it was only after one of my counterparts at the clients location started reading one of my books while I was out of the office that difficulties started.

Then again, there seem to be a large number of 'non-religious' or 'non-specific-religious' at my current job, Target of all places, go figure.

...no one has ever found a 4.5 billion year old stone artifact (at the right geological stratum) with the words "Made by God."
No Sense of Obligation by Matt Young

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and vile!"
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.
LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943
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Tim
SFN Regular

USA
775 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2005 :  23:41:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tim a Private Message
quote:
Posted by Marfknox
I shocked myself a few months ago when, after 8 years of freethought involvement, I referred to my atheist club as a "philosophy club" to my bosses - both of whom were open about their religions, Judaism and Protestant Christianity. I did it totally unconsciously, and my husband called me on it later. I then had to face the fact that I did it 'cause I was afraid of discrimination. Perhaps my fears were irrational? I just don't know.
I don't advertise my belief system, and usually attempt to keep it out of most discussions. It seems to cloud the perspectives of 'true believers'. Most people assume that everyone is a theist to some extent, and ruining their fantasies seems to make quite a few distrustful, hurt or even hostile. That's not usually beneficial to meaningful discussion.

On the other hand, if someone asks specifically about my belief system, I don't hesitate to let them know that I'm an atheist. Some folks get a little upset, but I've found they always get over it--After awhile.

I used to call myself agnostic, but the fine folks at this web site cured me of that affliction. I found that I'd accepted the theist's definition of the word, rather than the true definition. Social acceptance was part of my problem, but these days I don't really worry about it.

"We got an issue in America. Too many good docs are gettin' out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their -- their love with women all across this country." Dubya in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 9/6/2004
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2005 :  00:27:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
I used to call myself agnostic, but the fine folks at this web site cured me of that affliction. I found that I'd accepted the theist's definition of the word, rather than the true definition. Social acceptance was part of my problem, but these days I don't really worry about it.


I've never really worried about it either. Being slightly larger than your average linebacker, I find I get very little in the way of bullshit from most people :)

But I will say that I don't voluteer the info. Mainly because I don't want to have any "conversations" with the faithfull trying to "save" me. It is also my opinion that peoples religious beliefs should be kept personal. They are of no relevence in the workplace or most other places for that matter.

If asked, I will tell people that I'm an atheist however.

Sometimes the reaction is amusing to watch.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Tim
SFN Regular

USA
775 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2005 :  02:18:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Tim a Private Message
quote:
Posted by Dude Sometimes the reaction is amusing to watch.
Yeah, that reminds me of an encounter we had recently. My wife and I were getting our bags out of her car and moving them into a hotel room in Small Town, Mississippi. A man that appeared to be of the typical southern preacher type had parked his truck next to us, and was unloading his oversized bible, his Sunday-go-to-meetin' suit and his laptop.

Anyways, this guy must have noticed the fish on the back of Dena's car. My wife is really into cherubs and angels, and has a Darwin fish with the word angel inside of it and it's playing a little harp. Well, the preacher obviously got a look at it and completely missed the feet. He looked at me, and started complimenting us on how glad he was that we'd found Jesus. Fish or no fish, I wondered how he'd arrived at that conclusion. We certainly don't look Christian, unless Christian women display multiple piercings and tattoos and the men have nearly waist length hair and wear Bob Marley T-shirts.

Needless to say, my wife was already in the room gigling when he told us he knew we were Christians by the fish on the back of her car. That's when she lost it. At the same time, I said, "Man, it's a Darwin fish."

If it wasn't for my wife's laughing in the room, you could have heard a pin drop. That guy stood there with his mouth open. I'd finally found a way to silence a preacher.

In a few seconds he'd gathered his wits and gave me a variation on Pascal's Wager, I politely shot it down as he walked quietly into the room next to ours.

I haven't seen the guy since, but I'll never forget the look on his face. Priceless.

"We got an issue in America. Too many good docs are gettin' out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their -- their love with women all across this country." Dubya in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 9/6/2004
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2005 :  04:39:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
Being atheist is not something that I broadcast in the Carolinas either. I can only think of about 9 or 10 people who know, plus a couple of strangers trying to sell me a subscription to Watchtower magazine. Most of those at a former employer where the President was also an atheist.

The most recent folks who found out are my neighbors. We were having drinks (vodka tonics) on their deck discussing our upcoming camping trip. She mentioned that she had always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. That she wanted to see the awesome result of God's flood. After I wiped the remaining vodka tonic from the inside of my nose. I asked her if she knew where the ship rest or about where they suspect that it came to rest.

Needless to say she could only support her case by claiming biblical infalibility. She also mentioned that I should stop thinking so much. To which everyone knows the reply. "You mean your God created me with this wonderful brain, capable of so much, and then expects me not to use it." Her husband laughed at that who I later found out to be much more of a deist than a christian. Neither are regular church goers so we still went camping and had a great time.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2005 :  05:15:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
I have the good fortune (lol) to work at a company where my lack of religious beliefs are shared by more than one person (my boss being one) - here in the DEEP SOUTH South south....so I have no problem openly talking about my viewpoints, even with the other theists. These people I have known for more than 10 years now...so they just know.

My family, OTOH...religion is not brought up much, despite my grandmother, who is very devout. She insists on praying over meals, the occasional prodding about going to a church, but that is about it. I don't have the heart to say anything back or to try to obstruct the prayer, other than asking why can't we just pray one time about all the food we will ever eat. No harm no foul. At > 80 years of age, I am reasonably sure I'm not about to change her mind, and that is one family squabble I can do without.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 07/20/2005 05:17:25
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2005 :  13:08:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
I wanted to kick their butts for being so completely moronic, 'Brights', hey why not the High and Mighties or the Were Right and Your Wrongs! Its this foolishness that keeps the dark ages alive.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Trish
SFN Addict

USA
2102 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2005 :  15:53:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Trish a Private Message
Well glad someones family is understanding of their atheism. My mother attempted to kick my kid out (at age 12) when she refused to go to church with her. I don't get along well with my mother.

...no one has ever found a 4.5 billion year old stone artifact (at the right geological stratum) with the words "Made by God."
No Sense of Obligation by Matt Young

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and vile!"
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.
LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2005 :  16:50:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
My own mother was rather shocked, but then I think she forgot.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2005 :  22:44:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Religion in general isn't spoken of to much in my family. My grandmother, who is 86, has been active in her local church for decades... but its a liberal Episcopal church, and she uses it as more of a social environment than anything else. My mother is one of those who go to church once or twice a year, and my dad is just as atheistic as I am.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2005 :  22:40:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
In our experiences with religious prejudice, we must keep in mind that it goes both ways. Just check out the lists of court cases concerning religious freedom that the ACLU deals with - people of faith get discriminated against just like we do. It seems a lot depends on what environment one is in. In Christian-dominated areas, some atheists have true horror stories of discrimination.

But America also has plenty of liberal areas dominated by secularists. A good example of anti-religious discrimination that I personally witnessed:

During the last MFA final reviews at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a born-again Christian artist was humiliated by his own advisor. The advisor gave the artist some very nice opening remarks, but apparently this ignorant fuck had no idea that the student's work was all inspired by Christian theology (and the student never kept his beliefs a secret; the advisor really was just thick-headed). During the critique, the advisor read the artists's statement, and right in the middle of the crit, he burst out, saying, "What? You are doing this from a Christian point of view? I would never support your art in that sense. I will only support it from the humanistic point of view." This may sound like a simple story of humiliation, but it goes deeper, since that particular advisor has a reputation for promoting the careers of emerging artists, and thus, that artists's career plans were surely damaged by his advisor's prejudice.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 07/21/2005 22:42:27
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