Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
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28-06-2013, 10:15 PM (This post was last modified: 28-06-2013 10:25 PM by Golbez.)
Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
So I don't consider myself overly poetic, but I have penned several tens of poems, though none of them terribly special. Enough that I have a basic understanding and sense of poetry.

On the other hand, I've played guitar for over 15 years. And so I'm a better musician than a poet. But I'm interested in combining the two, for the cause of atheism. And if there are interested takers, I'd prefer a collaborative effort.

What I first have in mind (though I'm open to any suggestions), is that we write a poem or 10, modeled after the arguments for atheism or against religion. As an example, I started one by lifting a speech from Sam Harris:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HthQ6a7FZeA

And so, at first, it started by simply me writing up a transcript of the passage. And then I kind of rephrased some lines and words to make it more lyrical. So at present (unfinished), it looks something like this:


Impotent or Evil

Every year, nine million children die before age five.
That's 24,000 children each day who won't survive.
Or a thousand children each hour, and about 17 a minute.
A few children likely will have died in terror and agony
by the end of this line, or some point within it.

Think of their religious parents, praying in this moment
Asking god for their children to be spared of this torment.
And their prayers will go unanswered.
More children fall to an unstoppable cancer.

[Chorus]
What god is it who would allow
A child to suffer this way? A parent to grieve such pain?
It must be one who cannot help or cares not to.
A god who commands either impotent or evil rule.


Worse than that, so many of them are going to hell.
Because they were so foolishly born somewhere else.
Born to a different culture who prayed to the wrong god.
Through no fault of their own, sent to Satan's plot.

So God created the cultural isolation of this population,
Engineering the circumstances of their deaths in ignorance of revelation.
Then created the penalty for this ignorance in a rage:
An eternity in conscious torment set ablaze.

On the other hand, if you're an American-born serial killer,
Raping and torturing children, fixing for murder,
You need only come to god or Jesus from death row.
And you're free. “Let my people go.”

[Chorus]
What god is it who would commit
A lost people to damnation? A psychopath to salvation?
It must be one who cannot help or cares not to.
A god who commands either impotent or evil rule.

It should now be clear to you, of a crystalline lucidity.
This vision of life is completely bereft of moral accountability.
And notice too, the double standard applied.
To exonerate god of this evil; upon which one frequently relies.


We're told that he's loving and kind, intrinsically good.
But when evidence presents that renders that a falsehood,
Because he visits suffering on the innocent on a scale so serious,
The defense inevitably and invariably arises, “ain't he mysterious?”

It's a crime in logic that the faithful nevertheless abet.
But this is surely what it means to play tennis without a net.

Who can understand his will? We're merely mortal.

--------

I actually wrote his blog, asking for permission to do this, months ago. No response. So I don't really have a sense about the legality of it. But I imagine that if we crafted awesome songs spreading his powerful messages, that would be 1) an excellent tribute to his work (which obviously will be credited to him) and 2) a great tool to spread the message.

My idea was originally to have a concept album where all the songs were mirrored off his arguments, and the title would be something like "What in the Sam Harris's Hell?"

So anyways, yeah, I'm a guitarist. And I write poetry-ish. And I'm looking for help to do something like this on a larger scale, that maybe one day could be recorded and freely distributed (even if it only reaches the poem stage.) Anyone interested in joining me? Please share any thoughts, suggestions, or concerns. This is definitely a malleable concept, as are the lines of poetry themselves. =P

Edit - So I'm thinking, for anyone interested, we'd start with the poetry. This thread might serve as the back-and-forth of crafting it. Maybe it's discussing which speech/argument to poeticize next. (I just worded that up - that's how much of a fucking poet I am.) Then we can spend a few minutes posting segments of the transcript and/or working on the poem. It can be an incremental back and forth. No musicianship skills required for this part, so all are welcome to engage.

After we have a finished poem, we can begin writing some tunes to accompany the lyrics. There are a few music programs I've used, one much more extensively than others, that can help in the writing process, which can be shared along the way for constructive criticism. We can discuss the style/direction of the music as we progress. As long as it's melodic/catchy, I'm good with it.

Religious but open minded about the arguments of atheists? You may have spent your whole life learning about the arguments for religion. May I present to you 10 segmented hours for the case against it?
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28-06-2013, 10:43 PM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
I like what you're doing there. Thumbsup

I used to fancy myself as somewhat of a poet when I was younger. I'm just a guitar player nowadays. If I can come up with anything useful I'll let you know, but no promises. Most of my truly inspired stuff usually comes to me when I don't expect it, so I tend to lack in the "planned" inspiration department. Undecided

I've seen alot of pretty clever stuff from alot of members here, there's also a poet's corner. Plenty of talent to conspire with. Sounds like fun, I hope you get some good ideas here! Welcome!

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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28-06-2013, 11:09 PM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
Appreciate the info, offer and enthusiasm. I'd be happy to have the help. No harm in trying. I don't imagine what I have is anything spectacular. But it's (I think) at least passable, and maybe a good starting point/frame to work on. With enough eyeballs and help, I imagine we can coin some stuff that can hopefully perk some eyes and ears. Though there are some pretty great atheist songs, on the whole, still seems like there's a bit of a dearth of atheist music. So I feel like I could contribute in helping round out our approach in challenging accepted dogmas. The more avenues we have in our disposal, the better, right?

Religious but open minded about the arguments of atheists? You may have spent your whole life learning about the arguments for religion. May I present to you 10 segmented hours for the case against it?
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04-07-2013, 06:08 PM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
(28-06-2013 10:43 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  I like what you're doing there. Thumbsup

I used to fancy myself as somewhat of a poet when I was younger. I'm just a guitar player nowadays. If I can come up with anything useful I'll let you know, but no promises. Most of my truly inspired stuff usually comes to me when I don't expect it, so I tend to lack in the "planned" inspiration department. Undecided

I've seen alot of pretty clever stuff from alot of members here, there's also a poet's corner. Plenty of talent to conspire with. Sounds like fun, I hope you get some good ideas here! Welcome!

I used to write a lot of songs, I haven't written lyrics for a long time to be honest. I'm always coming up with new pieces of music, need to force myself to knock out some words to accompany. Guitarist like yourself.
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04-07-2013, 06:09 PM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
I can neither rhyme nor keep time.

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05-07-2013, 04:54 PM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
Should I take that as an expression of interest? Wink

Religious but open minded about the arguments of atheists? You may have spent your whole life learning about the arguments for religion. May I present to you 10 segmented hours for the case against it?
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11-07-2013, 12:49 AM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
(28-06-2013 10:15 PM)Golbez Wrote:  So anyways, yeah, I'm a guitarist. And I write poetry-ish. And I'm looking for help to do something like this on a larger scale, that maybe one day could be recorded and freely distributed (even if it only reaches the poem stage.) Anyone interested in joining me? Please share any thoughts, suggestions, or concerns. This is definitely a malleable concept, as are the lines of poetry themselves. =P

Edit - So I'm thinking, for anyone interested, we'd start with the poetry. This thread might serve as the back-and-forth of crafting it. Maybe it's discussing which speech/argument to poeticize next. (I just worded that up - that's how much of a fucking poet I am.) Then we can spend a few minutes posting segments of the transcript and/or working on the poem. It can be an incremental back and forth. No musicianship skills required for this part, so all are welcome to engage.

After we have a finished poem, we can begin writing some tunes to accompany the lyrics. There are a few music programs I've used, one much more extensively than others, that can help in the writing process, which can be shared along the way for constructive criticism. We can discuss the style/direction of the music as we progress. As long as it's melodic/catchy, I'm good with it.

I really like the motivation and incentive you're putting into this. Reminds me of a lot of my local friends. Though where I live is particularly small, there are so many musicians, both aspiring or just doing it as a hobby. My boyfriend plays drums and writes lyrics for his band. To be more general, most of my friends write as a hobby and play some type (if not multiple) instruments. I've been into writing for years, but less poetry. I've always added a musical intent to my writing though.

You seem full of awesome, productive ideas. Have any friends that share the same hobbies, intentions and ideas as you? You have the potential to create something pretty cool here.
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11-07-2013, 04:53 AM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
I'm a blues guitarist. I'm the kind of guy who will just sit outside his house with his acoustic and play away whilst having a few beers and a doobie... however, the weather here in Scotland doesn't permit that very often. Tongue

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11-07-2013, 04:27 PM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
Wow, thanks Ferdinand. I seldom see such support for my creative brainstorms. Smile Unfortunately, my friends don't seem to share the same passions for the cause of atheism as I. And most aren't quite as musical either. Thus my desire to collaborate online. I've been part of a few projects that have turned out well, so I know it can be done.

I think my next step with this project (to keep it alive and rolling) would be to either finish the started poem to having something tangible to work on, or to scout for the next speech or argument to poeticize.

Frankie, are you voicing your interest in participating in the creative musical process? I'd love the help. And I could definitely stand to improve my blues.

Religious but open minded about the arguments of atheists? You may have spent your whole life learning about the arguments for religion. May I present to you 10 segmented hours for the case against it?
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11-07-2013, 08:13 PM
RE: Any Musical/Poetic Atheists Here?
I am poetic at heart, but I don't write any poetry because I see it as a bit "oh look at me I'm better than you because I put my thoughts on paper."

I usually just keep the poems in my own head.
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