Hello Atheists
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31-07-2012, 09:19 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
Welcome.
I would like to recommend a perusal of variety of threads to get the feel of this place. The one KC highlighted, is one of the longest but will prove most informative.

Speaking as a not-so-red-Celt but celt nonetheless, may I offer an opinion to your enquiry: "why spend time and energy thinking of ways to prove He doesn't exist?"

The Hitchens answer, I recall from the depths of youtube somewhere was "cos the religious won't let us"

This boils down to the upholding of secular values (I'm a non-yank so I will not preach the constitution to you, us Brits do not formally have one and do not have a separated church/state).

It's the view on one hand that the political / social spheres of ideas are either:
a) a marketplace where the most dominant ideas should win the day (generally the theist view and ironically kinda Darwinian too) or
b) a neutral sphere (the secular view)

Of course, not all atheists are secular and also many theist are secular but it's the thought of i.e. creationism being taught as science that tends to get the blood boiling.

I am in danger of attempting secular reasoning so I will stop here.

I think most here will look forward to hearing / reading your views but be prepared for rebuttals and perhaps a little ridicule.
I get ridiculed all the time. It's what I enjoy most.

There is also poetry here and games and general silliness. Enjoy.

Oh! and best not to mention your off-spring. Don't forget we eat babies.

:-)

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31-07-2012, 09:23 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
(31-07-2012 08:36 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(31-07-2012 08:29 AM)Chas Wrote:  Contrary to popular belief, this forum is not magic. There are actual people doing actual technical work to keep it running.

And one of those people is a Christian? Am I the only person to find that ridiculous?

He's not a Christian, he's a Calvinist.Drinking Beverage


Wait, that's actually worse.Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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31-07-2012, 09:30 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
Edit: this in reply to Red Celt, and with apologies to the OP for the thread derail. I'll stop now.

What bearing does being Christian have on being forum mod? Bizarre... well yeah. It's kinda weird that he's hung around here this long. He must be a masochist.

Anyway you missed me again Tongue What I meant, and should perhaps have explained in more detail, is that attitudes towards atheists will only change if we talk to people. It's about them understanding our common humanity. Not necessarily our beliefs.

Moreover, even the most hardcore theists have been known to change their ways. They deserve that chance. Many of us made it to where we are today because someone was willing to take the time to talk to us. If we refuse to pass the favour on we make ourselves less.

It's not even about KC changing his ways. Plenty of people read the stuff he writes. Some of them don't even comment on the forum. Christians see a guy standing for what he believes in, and they see *us* too. And we're joking around. And we're being normal human beings. And we're giving KC a hard time and arguing with him. Those guys will take away: a. Christians and atheists can get along, not all of what my pastor tells me is true. b. some nice things to think about. Hard things for a theist to digest. Things where maybe the theist answers that they saw on the forum seem not so good. Maybe they'll go ask their pastor about it. Maybe they'll read the Bible. Maybe they'll read a science book.

If you want a place where no theist goes, make a thread called "Theists, keep out!" Wink Even then though, you'd be relying on their politeness, since we don't go for forum rules in a big way here.

PS You gotta admit his wife is damn pretty Big Grin
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31-07-2012, 10:06 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
(31-07-2012 09:30 AM)morondog Wrote:  Anyway you missed me again Tongue What I meant, and should perhaps have explained in more detail, is that attitudes towards atheists will only change if we talk to people. It's about them understanding our common humanity. Not necessarily our beliefs.

OK, yes. I get where you're coming from.

Allow me to explain my reservations... the background of which I've already commented upon elsewhere, so excuse me if I'm repeating myself.

My first home on the internet was alt.atheism. I spent a long time there, and became very aware of the patterns that would develop - especially when Christians would come along. And there were a steady stream of them. Which is (in part) why I'm resentful about an atheistic forum suffering a similar fate.

But anyway. When a new Christian came along, their primary purpose was to proselytise (even if their introductory statement said that they wouldn't). After a while, they'd either give up... or they'd stay and steadily lose their sanity. There were a few long-term Christians who were very borderline, when it came to their mental faculties.

KC doesn't fit that pattern. So, he's a new thing (to me) and I'm curious. Whenever anyone does anything, it is done for a reason. There is a motivational background to all of our actions. What is it for KC? And how does he integrate such a heavy involvement here with his life in church? How does he explain that involvement to his church? Are they happy about it?

Why does anyone go along to a place containing people who have the opposite view to their own?

In alt.atheism, it was an unpleasant experience as far as Christian proselytisers were concerned. It was never pretty.

Interested in trying the experiment for myself, I went along to a British Christian newsgroup. I, too, made the "I'm not here to convert you, if you allow me the same courtesy" introduction... only I kept to that. I had some interest in Christians in the UK (alt.atheism was almost exclusively American) and sated my curiosity. After a few weeks, I moved along... because it wasn't a place that was designed for (nor intended for) non-Christians.

KC doesn't seem to share that sentiment. And, again, I'm curious about that.

As a footnote to this, I had decided to do the same with other faiths, sampling their memes for short periods before moving on. I ended up dropping that plan. After leaving the Christian group to their conversations (mostly about homosexuality) I moved to a pagan group. After introducing myself (in the same polite manner as I'd done previously) I received so much hostility that I didn't bother staying. If there's a message there, it's that some pagans are a lot more aggressive towards atheists than some Christians. Or perhaps I was unlucky and found a group of particularly unwelcoming pagans.
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31-07-2012, 10:13 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
(31-07-2012 10:06 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(31-07-2012 09:30 AM)morondog Wrote:  Anyway you missed me again Tongue What I meant, and should perhaps have explained in more detail, is that attitudes towards atheists will only change if we talk to people. It's about them understanding our common humanity. Not necessarily our beliefs.

OK, yes. I get where you're coming from.

Allow me to explain my reservations... the background of which I've already commented upon elsewhere, so excuse me if I'm repeating myself.

My first home on the internet was alt.atheism. I spent a long time there, and became very aware of the patterns that would develop - especially when Christians would come along. And there were a steady stream of them. Which is (in part) why I'm resentful about an atheistic forum suffering a similar fate.

But anyway. When a new Christian came along, their primary purpose was to proselytise (even if their introductory statement said that they wouldn't). After a while, they'd either give up... or they'd stay and steadily lose their sanity. There were a few long-term Christians who were very borderline, when it came to their mental faculties.

KC doesn't fit that pattern. So, he's a new thing (to me) and I'm curious. Whenever anyone does anything, it is done for a reason. There is a motivational background to all of our actions. What is it for KC? And how does he integrate such a heavy involvement here with his life in church? How does he explain that involvement to his church? Are they happy about it?

Why does anyone go along to a place containing people who have the opposite view to their own?

In alt.atheism, it was an unpleasant experience as far as Christian proselytisers were concerned. It was never pretty.

Interested in trying the experiment for myself, I went along to a British Christian newsgroup. I, too, made the "I'm not here to convert you, if you allow me the same courtesy" introduction... only I kept to that. I had some interest in Christians in the UK (alt.atheism was almost exclusively American) and sated my curiosity. After a few weeks, I moved along... because it wasn't a place that was designed for (nor intended for) non-Christians.

KC doesn't seem to share that sentiment. And, again, I'm curious about that.

As a footnote to this, I had decided to do the same with other faiths, sampling their memes for short periods before moving on. I ended up dropping that plan. After leaving the Christian group to their conversations (mostly about homosexuality) I moved to a pagan group. After introducing myself (in the same polite manner as I'd done previously) I received so much hostility that I didn't bother staying. If there's a message there, it's that some pagans are a lot more aggressive towards atheists than some Christians. Or perhaps I was unlucky and found a group of particularly unwelcoming pagans.

I would hazard a guess that KC enjoys conversing with other educated, intelligent, thoughtful people and there are many here and few in his church.

My hope is that he actually has nagging doubts about his conversion and is trying to come to a final conclusion about it.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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31-07-2012, 10:20 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
(31-07-2012 10:06 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  Or perhaps I was unlucky and found a group of particularly unwelcoming pagans.

... Yeah, I forgot you've been on the web a lot longer than this n00b Tongue Not surprised that the Christian forum didn't work out in the end. They tend to be interested in atheists to the extent that they think they're "seekers" and looking to be told comforting things about Christianity. As soon as it becomes apparent that conversion is hopeless they tend to lose interest.

But since being unwelcoming isn't pleasant for the unwelcomee I'd rather be nice instead... a lot of people who come here are surprised and sometimes even angry that we tolerate Christians and others here. They tend to mutter darkly about atheists shouldn't be like this and the ghost of Hitchens rolling in his grave etc. Well, there's a full spectrum of fora out there. We happen to be one of the less dogmatic. IMO, a place like this serves as an important staging post. People who're wavering in their faith (or indeed, strong in it) will be put off by some of the more hardcore places out there, I would hope that somewhere like this would give them freedom to relax knowing that even if they say something totally clueless we'll at most laugh at them, maybe troll them a bit, but it's all in fun.

And KC is a total freak. Even the people at his church think he's a devil worshiper. I think he was dumb enough to tell them that he hangs out with us and we're not that unpleasant Big Grin

O lordy OP I've been an' gone an' done it again. My apologies.
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31-07-2012, 10:31 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
(31-07-2012 10:20 AM)morondog Wrote:  ... Yeah, I forgot you've been on the web a lot longer than this n00b Tongue Not surprised that the Christian forum didn't work out in the end. They tend to be interested in atheists to the extent that they think they're "seekers" and looking to be told comforting things about Christianity. As soon as it becomes apparent that conversion is hopeless they tend to lose interest.

Oh, no, it was nothing like that. They were a bunch of pleasant people, and we all got on fine. We deported our most hardcore Christians to the American colonies. Wink

Well, when I say we got on fine... a couple of them tried to convert me... and there was a vehement homophobe that I (naturally) took a dislike to, scummy liberal that I am. I left because it was a Christian newsgroup and I wasn't a Christian. I'd gone there in order to understand why non-atheists found the need to go to alt.atheism or (more widely) why someone would go to a group that didn't coincide with their own beliefs.

I'm not sure how much I learned from the experiment, tbh.
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31-07-2012, 10:37 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
(31-07-2012 07:39 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  The "forum team"? What is that?

Its a group of super villains made up from the mods, admin and veteran members.

Our base is in the forum management team section, where we Plot world domination, eat babies and take embarrassing pictures of you lot using your webcams.Evil_monster
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31-07-2012, 10:55 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
(31-07-2012 10:37 AM)FSM_scot Wrote:  Its a group of super villains made up from the mods, admin and veteran members.

Our base is in the forum management team section, where we Plot world domination, eat babies and take embarrassing pictures of you lot using your webcams.Evil_monster

Except for me 'cos I superglued a dog's butt to my webcam. Since then the PM rate has dropped, but only slightly.

RC: I think we're on the same page. Just one of them newfangled com-monkey-nation breakdowns I've been hearing about.
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31-07-2012, 10:58 AM
RE: Hello Atheists
(31-07-2012 10:06 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  After a while, they'd either give up... or they'd stay and steadily lose their sanity. There were a few long-term Christians who were very borderline, when it came to their mental faculties.

A quick Google provided this list (alt.atheism Guide to Current Kooks) and there are some real beauties in there (whose names I can still remember).

John P Boatwright's mental train was derailed long ago. He was a bible literalist who went out of his way to prove that the bible didn't contain any errors. His argument about the incorrect value for pi was one of my favourites: Proof PI is Not Given as 3.0 in the Bible.

Hmmm? Thread hi-jacking? Oh, sorry, OP.
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