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cactusmush
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2007 :  19:08:44  Show Profile Send cactusmush a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A member alluded to Daniel Dennet in another post --which I wiki'd and this led me to and interesting article on the "Brights" movement.

Does anyone care to comment on this movement? Is this movement picking steam? Are there any Brights out there in SFN?

I am intrigued because such a movement appears to package or "brand" atheism in a more positive fashion than can sometimes be interpreted. (I don't use the words "package" or "brand" negatively btw..). Some skeptics can be a pretty assertive lot in their discourse (check out the serious furball happening on the Environment Global Warming thread, for example).

I suppose by embracing various Skeptics, Atheists, Humanists, Rationalists and such in an umbrella association this may assist in the furtherance of rational man.

Any comments?

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2007 :  19:34:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Is this movement picking steam?
More like foundering.

It sounded like a good idea when I first heard about it several years ago, but the movement never really amounted to anything. There was a pretty substantial backlash against the name "Brights," as many people felt that it implied mental superiority, or that anyone not a Bright must be a "dullard." Even some who supported the cause expressed distaste for the name.

I'm not sure how politically successful they've been. It's often been remarked that Humanists and atheists are by nature free-thinkers, not followers, and that isn't a trait which necessarily lends itself to political cohesiveness.

You could try signing up for their newsletter and seeing if any of it appeals to you. I still get missives from them occasionally, but I usually no more than scan them before pressing the delete button.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 03/06/2007 19:39:21
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2007 :  23:36:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always found that funny H. We free thinkers can't get on the same page to further free thinking because of the damned free thinking!

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  00:18:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are several members here who are Brights, including myself. I've never been active and truth to tell, I joined on a whim. I haven't heard anything from them since I changed my ISP, and not much before then. I think that it is quietly dying from a lack of interest.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  02:18:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I signed up. Not much has happened with it. I've also joined the Scientists and Engineers for America They've just gotten started but plan to be like the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Neither of those two groups has a specific religious component like the Brights does. But they all are intended to promote science and critical thinking.


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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  08:06:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I joined the Bright's early on but quickly lost interest. I still think a freethinkers umbrella organization for lobbying purposes is a good idea. But it has to be done differently and with a name that doesn't turn people off…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  08:25:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Grrr, "brights" makes Papa angry!!! (Swings arm and knocks down a skyscraper)

You should join my group instead, OMoWoBeWYoB (pronounced as "Up Yours"), which of course stands for "Only a Moron Would Believe What You Believe"

"...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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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  08:26:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We already had gampac.org, atheists.org and ffrf.org and probably some others that I've forgotten.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  08:41:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
At the time that the whole Brights things came out I was deeply entrenched in international freethought. I was on the Board of Directors for the Secular Student Alliance and went to the annual conferences of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Humanist Association. I personally immediately hated the term "Brights" and refused to sign up. Over time I've become less and less annoyed with it, but still haven't signed up. I will sign up if it takes off, but it really doesn't look like that is going to happen.

Here's why I dislike the term: We already had an umbrella word: freethinker. To add more words just dillutes an already full pot of labels (rationalist, Humanist, secular humanist, scientific humanist, skeptic, atheist, agnostic, non-theist, naturalist, yadda yadda yadda) "Freethinker" is a word that was coined in the 17th century in Western Europe. It has ties to the Enlightenment, historically the first shining rays of a growing movement to embrace skepticism and reason that inspire secular government and that has become the mainstay of modern Western culture, opposed to being a contrived "repackaging" of religious skepticism. Yeah, fuck this "Brights" crap. I'm a mutha fuckin' freethinker.

Kil wrote:
quote:
I joined the Bright's early on but quickly lost interest. I still think a freethinkers umbrella organization for lobbying purposes is a good idea. But it has to be done differently and with a name that doesn't turn people off…
Already covered: http://www.secular.org/ Our highly competent and friendly lobbyist's name is Lori Lipman Brown. She used to be politician and since becoming the lobbyist representing freethinkers, she has been on the Bill O'Reilly show twice, and neither time did she lose her cool or let him make her into a fool. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lipman_Brown

"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 03/07/2007 08:44:14
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cactusmush
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  09:21:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send cactusmush a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting feedback, thanks all. Yes the name "brights" is a little smug. I read that attempts were made to buff that over a bit by recognizing their opposites as "supers" as in supernatural or superstition but still…

I see that there are Brights pins and such…sort of the rationalist equivalent of the Christian fish pins that one sees now and then… (as an aside I find the Darwin Fish to be very witty)… The Brights graphic/logo is nice….but the word “Brights” would best be omitted (this would actually enhance the curiosity factor of the pin to observers)

Hmmm well the various champions of rational thought must continue to bang away at the issues at hand and the Brights movement is one of a suite of organizations, loose associations and such to do so. I may sign up to the Brights to get newsletters and such and see what is available locally (Toronto) for meetings and discourse.

Someone also noted a couple of posts up that free thinking is by nature difficult to coral into focused movements without the various free thinkers subdividing into their various slices of political faction. As the saying goes…it would be like herding cats.




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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  10:03:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Freethinkers" and skeptics are like a giant herd of cats.

If you get a room full of them and throw in some issues to discuss its like turning on the sprinklers in a room full of cats.


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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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26009 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  13:29:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BigPapaSmurf once came up with a new name, which I still greatly prefer.

- 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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cactusmush
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  15:46:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send cactusmush a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

BigPapaSmurf once came up with a new name, which I still greatly prefer.



"anuminous" eh? Instead of Brights? Well that certainly is arcane enough so as not to appear smug, since maybe .005% of adults would know what the word means (I certainly didn't until reading your link just now).

cheers


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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  18:01:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox



Kil wrote:
quote:
I joined the Bright's early on but quickly lost interest. I still think a freethinkers umbrella organization for lobbying purposes is a good idea. But it has to be done differently and with a name that doesn't turn people off…
Already covered: http://www.secular.org/ Our highly competent and friendly lobbyist's name is Lori Lipman Brown. She used to be politician and since becoming the lobbyist representing freethinkers, she has been on the Bill O'Reilly show twice, and neither time did she lose her cool or let him make her into a fool. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lori_Lipman_Brown

Covered for secularists but only tangentially covered for skeptics. I did see Lori Lipman Brown speak at TAM5, and her efforts should be supported…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2007 :  18:10:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude wrote:
quote:
"Freethinkers" and skeptics are like a giant herd of cats.

If you get a room full of them and throw in some issues to discuss its like turning on the sprinklers in a room full of cats.
Yup. Our greatest weakness and our greatest strength.

Kil wrote:
quote:
Covered for secularists but only tangentially covered for skeptics. I did see Lori Lipman Brown speak at TAM5, and her efforts should be supported…
Well, with regards to politics, secularism (secular government) is a clear platform. Sure, many of the issues have some grey areas, but at least there are clear issues. Skepticism is much broader. I don't think you could have a political organization that advocates "skepticism" as a platform. Skepticism is much better as a cultural movement, advocated by a variety of organizations and millions of outspoken individuals.

"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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