The JW's come a-calling
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16-09-2010, 08:56 PM
 
RE: The JW's come a-calling
Sorry, but for me this is just bull. If people want social gatherings, they go to work, school, or a weekend bowling league. Church is one of the most horrible, depressing things to put up with because it's an hour or two of people telling you how bad of a person you are and how you can never be what you are expected to be but you should at least try, and then fail, and then ask to be forgiven and try harder next time just so you can fail again. These gatherings are not high in spirit unless you're talking about the ones that do not do this sort of negative reinforcement of beliefs. Society will be better off without sunday morning propaganda hour. Atheism has no responsibility whatsoever to replace it.
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17-09-2010, 12:20 AM
RE: The JW's come a-calling
Without religion's bullshit destroying people's interest in science, there would be a greater demand for classes in different fields of science, including evolution. Scientific discoveries would appear in the news more frequently, with evolutionary discoveries having the greatest rise in media attention. Social structure would be organized by people who would better informed, more socially concious and more realistic than the structure we have now.
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17-09-2010, 02:31 AM
 
RE: The JW's come a-calling
(17-09-2010 12:20 AM)No J. Wrote:  Without religion's bullshit destroying people's interest in science, there would be a greater demand for classes in different fields of science, including evolution. Scientific discoveries would appear in the news more frequently, with evolutionary discoveries having the greatest rise in media attention. Social structure would be organized by people who would better informed, more socially concious and more realistic than the structure we have now.

I'm not so sure that the decline of interest in science is due primarily to the growth of religious involvement in the USA. They may be connected, but I don't think the cause of declining interest in science has much to do with religion as a cause.

Science as a career requires personal discipline and a lifelong commitment to learning. In today's MTV and Internet world, most people get instant gratification. Anything that requires a decade or more of effort is just asking too much of them. They want the perks without any effort, or with only minimal effort. Fortunately, there always are some students who do understand what they need to do to become successful scientists, but it's disturbing to me to see how many who don't want to become scientists believe that science is irrelevant to their lives. Most of what people see and use in everyday life in this technology-dominated world is due to science. I believe if you know nothing about science, you're ill-equipped to function in this world.

I think people turn to religion as a way to find comfort and unity of purpose. Most folks find it disturbing to think that their life might have no purpose.
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17-09-2010, 05:54 AM
 
RE: The JW's come a-calling
(16-09-2010 04:37 PM)Soldieringon Wrote:  
(16-09-2010 12:36 AM)No J. Wrote:  Not everyone is prepared to run their life without outside help, guidance and affermations. Many people rely on the structure of the customs they grew up with, or adopted. ....

This, better than anything states why I stayed in the military as long as I have. It, on the surface explains why anyone falls into patterns, whether they are beneficial or detrimental to them.

It's hard to leave anything that has a structure, whether it is religion, the armed forces or the Boy Scouts. Without that structure, you can feel adrift. I do not need atheism to provide structure for me, since it is that specific type of structure (and scripture) that I am using atheism to avoid.
(16-09-2010 10:01 AM)xperdunn Wrote:  ... My conviction is that we must divide our priorities in two: people need to fulfill their individual dreams AND society needs the participation of the people. I believe that people underestimate the importance of community--especially American community. Hence the get-out-the-vote drives: they are desperately begging their fellow humans to participate in this one simple way--and for their own good. I think we need to go further and I think the internet will continue to make this easier in some ways but more difficult in some other, very important ways.

Communities do not run themselves automatically--they take their cues not just from government, not just from consensus, but also from the ethical underpinnings of their citizens.
Taking religion out of people's lives completely would have practical consequences--and loss of a central social location, weekends off, and a barrier against eating disorders are only the most obvious examples.

You do not see it as atheism's role? of course you don't--atheism is an idea, not an institution. But you're overlooking the fact that religions start the same way, with ideals and faith and hope, and end up doing evil through the institutions that their ideas produce.

Community leadership is a job for a person--not a theory in my mind, or yours--and that person's take on 'atheism' will effect the course of the community. But his or her atheism may be a very different thing from mine, or yours.
Atheism has no role in the community, right here and now. Most people reject it and stay faithful to their religion. But, if religion goes away, "atheism's roll" will be whatever happens from that point on.

What I'm saying is that Atheism as an idea, as you say, has no role in our present, but our possibly agnostic future, by making us all faithless will, by definition, make every decision the role of Atheists.

You essentially want to use Atheism as a social force.I think that you would be better off using a confederation of scientists, artists and poets who all happen to be atheists than trying to use a confederation of atheists that happen to be other things.

Atheism is NOT an institution, and it is not a driving force. It is the search for a better answer to every explanation that religion touted around for centuries.

i think you are venerating the lack of a belief into a belief structure, and that scares me. As an anti-theist, I am opposed to doing anything that mirrors the trappings of religion. I will be content with conventions of free thinkers held all across the world, and knowing that science will find us the provable, testable answers.

I am afraid that if your idea takes off, in two thousand years we will see a resurgence of sky-daddy religions as a backlash to the horrors of atheism. Kind of a role reversal, if you will and I think that we as a society can be better than that.

Without atheist houses of (non)worship.

What is it with all these 'that's not Atheism's role' 'Atheism isn't a religion'?--hey, I'm not saying these things.
I'm saying that humanity is a drunkard on horseback--when we fall off our horse, to make it right, we re-mount and fall off the other side.
I'm saying that a world of total atheism will still contain the same number of assholes--the pederasts won't be priests, but they'll still be pederasts; the sadists won't all be nuns, but they'll still be sadists.

Neither am I in favor of social institutions, beaurocracies, or ruining Sunday morning. I am simply pointing out that, as much as we TTA posters want to blame religion for the world's ills, plenty of our problems exist--and plenty of evil is done--because of the way people are. You and I will always look for the loophole in the rules, the way around all the fuss--we will always race each other to reach that newly opened checkout station at the A&P.
We don't need God in our lives--for good OR bad to exist.
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17-09-2010, 06:21 AM
 
RE: The JW's come a-calling
(15-09-2010 04:15 PM)xperdunn Wrote:  Now sabbaths, or holy day-of-the-weeks, have a wonderful socializing effect on the members of the congregation--it is, in many cases, the way a boy and a girl will meet. So, if we atheists want to do this up right, we must give thought to a similar regularly-scheduled gathering tradition. First, we'll need a theme: book club? bingo? bowling? civic projects? and we'll need a special building (think up a name) where once a week people come together without exclusion, age limit, or political leanings.

Just as days of rest and society are important to a local culture so, too, we may want to consider an annual lent or fast, which has been seen to be healthful in that it frees the mind for other concerns and allows one's innards a healthy respite.

Beyond those few items, I suppose the weekly meeting might attempt to include philosophical discourse (just so long as we give it ANY OTHER NAME than that) as a embankment against the resurgence of charismatic faith groups. And beyond that, the less said the better--any additions or niceities of expression will only guarantee off-shoot groups who want their own, different guidelines. But, trust in Murphy, if we did that we would still have offshoots of people who want just this one extra thing--thus offshoots are guaranteed.

(15-09-2010 04:15 PM)xperdunn Wrote:  So that, on the day atheism takes it's place as our primary religious view it will be endowed with more than a majority--it will also have the seeds of all the evils perpetrated by religious systems of history--and just as small a hope of making everyone happy all at once, perhaps smaller once we've torn apart the web of fantasy most people enjoy today.Wink

(17-09-2010 05:54 AM)xperdunn Wrote:  Neither am I in favor of social institutions, beaurocracies, or ruining Sunday morning. I am simply pointing out that, as much as we TTA posters want to blame religion for the world's ills, plenty of our problems exist--and plenty of evil is done--because of the way people are. You and I will always look for the loophole in the rules, the way around all the fuss--we will always race each other to reach that newly opened checkout station at the A&P.
We don't need God in our lives--for good OR bad to exist.

Now I am confused. You seem to want gatherings but in the face of an unpopular vote may be reversing yourself. I don't know. I'm walking away from this.

Maybe I missed something in translation, some note of sarcasm, or whatever, but I am going to to on record one last time and say that a loose net of free thinkers that uphold their own moral code is more than capable of meeting on the internet at random and bouncing ideas back and forth. This forum is all that I need. Cool
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17-09-2010, 06:54 AM
 
RE: The JW's come a-calling
(17-09-2010 06:21 AM)Soldieringon Wrote:  
(15-09-2010 04:15 PM)xperdunn Wrote:  Now sabbaths, or holy day-of-the-weeks, have a wonderful socializing effect on the members of the congregation--it is, in many cases, the way a boy and a girl will meet. So, if we atheists want to do this up right, we must give thought to a similar regularly-scheduled gathering tradition. First, we'll need a theme: book club? bingo? bowling? civic projects? and we'll need a special building (think up a name) where once a week people come together without exclusion, age limit, or political leanings.

Just as days of rest and society are important to a local culture so, too, we may want to consider an annual lent or fast, which has been seen to be healthful in that it frees the mind for other concerns and allows one's innards a healthy respite.

Beyond those few items, I suppose the weekly meeting might attempt to include philosophical discourse (just so long as we give it ANY OTHER NAME than that) as a embankment against the resurgence of charismatic faith groups. And beyond that, the less said the better--any additions or niceities of expression will only guarantee off-shoot groups who want their own, different guidelines. But, trust in Murphy, if we did that we would still have offshoots of people who want just this one extra thing--thus offshoots are guaranteed.

(15-09-2010 04:15 PM)xperdunn Wrote:  So that, on the day atheism takes it's place as our primary religious view it will be endowed with more than a majority--it will also have the seeds of all the evils perpetrated by religious systems of history--and just as small a hope of making everyone happy all at once, perhaps smaller once we've torn apart the web of fantasy most people enjoy today.Wink

(17-09-2010 05:54 AM)xperdunn Wrote:  Neither am I in favor of social institutions, beaurocracies, or ruining Sunday morning. I am simply pointing out that, as much as we TTA posters want to blame religion for the world's ills, plenty of our problems exist--and plenty of evil is done--because of the way people are. You and I will always look for the loophole in the rules, the way around all the fuss--we will always race each other to reach that newly opened checkout station at the A&P.
We don't need God in our lives--for good OR bad to exist.

Now I am confused. You seem to want gatherings but in the face of an unpopular vote may be reversing yourself. I don't know. I'm walking away from this.

Maybe I missed something in translation, some note of sarcasm, or whatever, but I am going to to on record one last time and say that a loose net of free thinkers that uphold their own moral code is more than capable of meeting on the internet at random and bouncing ideas back and forth. This forum is all that I need. Cool

I don't want gatherings--I'm suggesting they would be beneficial to a community because they've always served as a meeting place. I'm beginning to think you all are younger than me--you're not seeing a bigger picture.
Sunday morning sitting in a wood bench listening to the most deluded member of the community rant for hours--no, not a good thing--also, NOT what I meant. Consider using Friday night instead, consider hors d'ouvres and free drinks, consider karaoke--I bet a couple of you wouldn't mind that too much--plus, an atheism meetinghouse wouldn't make attendance mandatory, so if you weren't in the mood to party on Friday night that week, no one would bug you about it.
This Forum is quite an auto de fe! No matter what I type, the replies are always hostile and specious--don't you folks ever discuss anything in less than a gladitorial style?
I've done a fair bit of ass-reaming on TTA myself, but I was dealing with the Evangelical morons who try to attack this site and its users. Here I'm being attacked for proposing we discuss what shape an atheist community would take. And I think some of you are young enough not to realize that an atheist society would still be dealing with people--and people are animals.
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17-09-2010, 09:19 AM
 
RE: The JW's come a-calling
O, The Thinking Atheist website is a strange affair—lots of young people, traumatized by both their family’s faith and their own rejection of that basic tenet. Their parents, teachers, ministers, priests have misjudged them, frightened them, disapproved of them; --you name it. In some cases, there may have been abuse, that is ‘sexual abuse’—but beyond that, all of these crises leave an emotional scar as deep as pederasty’s, so it doesn’t require such grotesque savagery to traumatize young people.

I know—I became an Atheist at age ten, forty-four years ago—and my deliberate and unavoidable disbelief have caused many a head-hurricane and heart-storm. Even now, my feelings on this issue are strong as granite; I’m as ready to pounce on religious mumbo-jumbo and turn it inside out as I ever was. The only real difference is that I’ve grown tired in the fight—arguing with others over what they believe is an enormous waste of time and energy.

I‘ve (well, We’ve, actually) raised our kids as atheists. I really felt tempted to give God a grace period during their toddler years, a la Santa Claus—but, you can’t mess around with theism—there are multitudes of people ready to reinforce and over-inflate any nod in that direction!

And our kids are very unexcitable over the whole subject—apparently, being raised to disbelieve any religion avoids implanting any strong reaction to the issue. Being raised a Catholic son of a Methodist-Catholic union, I have numerous buttons to push should anyone want to get me riled up—but the kids, I’m happy to say, just don’t care—they don’t believe, but they also don’t care what someone else believes.

It’s a big factor in my present attitude—I don’t want believers to renounce their faiths—I don’t try to argue someone into admitting their religion is bull—I used to, but that was before my kids gave me an example of what true atheism is—lack of contact with churches, chapels, etc., lack of indoctrination in ‘Sunday School’, lack of judgment against another person’s beliefs.

But this thread has gotten way out of hand—yes, when I said we (me and the Jehovah’s Witnesses) had a good time, I was being facetious—what I really enjoy is making them squirm—I’m very good at it—the one thing they can’t handle is de-constructionism—debate their use of particular words, the logic of their bible quotes, the history of the church (and Christianity in general) and don’t forget to occasionally ask “Do you REALLY not believe in science?” in a pitying kinda way, that’s all there is to it. In the past, I have actually gotten through to some evangelists, not many, but still, those few got a look on their faces, like they were looking into a world of sadness and despair—well, anyway, I don’t go that far anymore—I was obviously hurting some of them by debunking their fairy-tale existence.

But youse guys—jeez! I suggest atheists get together sometimes and you all jump to the conclusion that I’m talking about church on Sunday—I mean really, we’re all atheists here—did you really think I meant we should copy the theists?

I guess I got off on the wrong foot with this thread—my point is this: we don’t believe—fine—let’s get on with our lives. The best thing about apostasy is all the free time and cancelled ‘rules’—but atheism should not be a springboard for social disintegration—some of our traditions have real value, even if they’ve been co-opted by the church, and we’ll want to keep some of them (though in very revised form), especially after they’ve been shorn of their dogmatic subtext.
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