Who are we? Who are you?
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31-12-2011, 07:38 AM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
OK - Maybe the Dawkins Scale is not the appropriate model to use for where I was going with this...

I'm looking at the rising numbers of Nones - in the U.S. and the world (one thing I've learned from this forum is - try to stop being so American-centric...).

Nones in America make up somewhere around 16-20% of the population (and growing at a pretty good clip!)

Within the EU that number is probably closer to 45%; Australia claims 21%; Mexico's atheist population annually grows by more than 5%. (Just numbers - but a positive trend nonetheless...)

But under the Nones Umbrella - there are a host of groups lumped in - including "spiritual" people and those that believe in a god, or some higher power, etc. As a subset of of the Nones, atheists, humanists, secularists, etc. are probably the most similar in outlooks - but still account for a small percentage altogether of the non-religious.

So the point in this question was to see if there are further subdivisions within atheism. As the numbers of Nones grow (especially at the rate they've been growing), the non-religious will be studied with more scrutiny (at least I think we will) as people will be interested in this trend data.

Will we head to a day where we find ourselves organizing in to sub groups - e.g., Unified Atheist League (UAL), the United Atheist Alliance (UAA), or the Allied Atheist Allegiance (AAA)? (This is a South Park joke - for people who may not have seen the episodes).

Not trying to stick labels on atheists - or to classify - just wondering how varied we are in terms of outlook. The most glaring division I've observed over the last year appears to me to be the (for lack of a better word) Liberal Atheist, maybe along the lines of Hemant Mehta - The Friendly Atheist; who's goals are acceptance and equality (i.e., co-existence, or accommodation) or a Hitchens-like camp that views religion as the enemy and strives for the end of religion (co-existence is neither desired or attainable).

I think this was the puzzle HoC laid out for me - He sees my stance as one of co-exist while He is all in on the end of religion.

So are these two camps viable (or accurate) descriptors? Are there more? Do we care?

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31-12-2011, 09:26 AM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
Each of the high-profile activists has a following or at last fans. That doesn't mean an atheist can't belong to more than one fan club.
I don't think they qualify as "camps" exactly, and nothing so strong as factions.

Leagues, yes, they are forming :in Europe
and even in the USA
That just means pooling information and political resources. I don't think the majority wants to eradicate religion, and most of us have been very tolerant for a long time. It's just that we now, increasingly, need mutual defense against aggressive religiosity in public life

I don't belong to any organization and have no plans to join.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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31-12-2011, 02:37 PM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
(31-12-2011 07:08 AM)The_observer Wrote:  
(31-12-2011 02:39 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Oh, I think you can claim an 8 if you admit a God, and it is us.
All right, all right! I'll read the god damn wiki article! Sjeezz... Cut it out already...
persistent mo fu...

Don't bother, you'll never get the time back.

Synopsis of article: Ultimate egocentricity. Anthropism on steroids.

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01-01-2012, 12:09 AM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
(31-12-2011 07:08 AM)The_observer Wrote:  
(31-12-2011 02:39 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Oh, I think you can claim an 8 if you admit a God, and it is us.
All right, all right! I'll read the god damn wiki article! Sjeezz... Cut it out already...
persistent mo fu...

sorry Blush

(31-12-2011 07:22 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  T_O, It's JUST a Link. You have no obligation to read it. Next thing you know you'll be rubbing gel on your boys at night.Dodgy

Wait, ... what? I just finished doing that.

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01-01-2012, 02:57 AM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
Allowing that it is possible that a god may exist by the strictest application of logic, I still consider that possibility so ludicrously infinitesimal that I am convinced that NO god exists. Saying "but he *could* exist" carries no more weight to me than saying, "but I *could* have flown in from Jupiter on my spaceship this morning". Yeah, right, you *could* have done that, but if I live to be 120 yrs old, I will never believe for one second that you did (unless you can actually prove it, of course). So wave your bibles around and tell me how much you can "feel" god in your heart all you want- the probability of your god existing is so far-fetched it merits exactly zero consideration. I presume that's as atheist as it gets.

The way to see by Faith, is to shut the eye of Reason. - Ben Franklin
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01-01-2012, 06:01 AM (This post was last modified: 01-01-2012 06:03 AM by houseofcantor.)
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
8 is transcending God. Wink

And as for logic, never liked the stuff; thus naive philosophy. How is it not more logical that I consider "myself" in terms of being and perspective as part of evolution and emergence rather than part of theistic tradition after parsing the information of the LC?

"God" is three letters that form a conceptual blueprint in the mind's eye. Any manifestation in reality of scientific understanding becoming congruent to mind's eye design gets mind's lips to flapping - which is never about god and always about my god. Like my Gwynnies. The "god shaped hole" in my soul is trumped by a certain blond devouring my soul. A certain poetic justice resides in this functional insanity being primed and ready to do a similar devouring to dysfunctional theist insanity; whether extant, inchoate, or hypothetical. Angel

The scientific method is logic enough in providing the foundation of objective reality; the conservationist mainstream contributing temporal stability in rational philosophy to weather the storm of localized emergence. In the past hundred and fifty years, the formalization and standardization of mathematics has turned the laws of nature into the laws of physics. The relation of man to god has only ever been one of identity; the historical record is clear on this, that the fortunes of the tribe rose or fell with the status of their gods.

Now there is one tribe; humanity. There is one scripture; mathematics. One uses pencil, rather than entrails of goat; and it works all the time, no animals are harmed in the working of the calculus. Who you are, who I am, is homo sapiens sapiens; atheism merely antibody, response to the virulent invader that is religion. It is not exclusion, it is evolution; god is vector of philosophical causation no longer beneficial to species survival.
(31-12-2011 02:37 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(31-12-2011 07:08 AM)The_observer Wrote:  
(31-12-2011 02:39 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Oh, I think you can claim an 8 if you admit a God, and it is us.
All right, all right! I'll read the god damn wiki article! Sjeezz... Cut it out already...
persistent mo fu...

Don't bother, you'll never get the time back.

Synopsis of article: Ultimate egocentricity. Anthropism on steroids.

Says the egotist. Big Grin

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01-01-2012, 11:59 PM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
(30-12-2011 06:02 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I would say I'm a strong 2.

I would've guessed that... certain but open-minded.

I'm the same way on the other end. I'm a 6. I'm pretty damn sure that I'm right, but evidence for a God stronger than the evidence against would convince me. As a skeptic, I don't feel "1" or "7" about any topic. Saying that I know something for a fact is saying that I know it until someone proves me wrong, which is always a possibility. I'm only human.

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02-01-2012, 09:55 PM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
Quote:1. Strong Theist: I do not question the existence of God, I KNOW he exists.
2. De-facto Theist: I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe in God and I live my life on the assumption that he is there.
3. Weak Theist: I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.
4. Pure Agnostic: God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.
5. Weak Atheist: I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.
6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.
7. Strong Atheist: I am 100% sure that there is no God.

Definitely a 2 right now. Though there are sometimes when I feel like a 1 and sometimes I feel like a 3.

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world"

"Atheists express their rage against God although in their view He does not exist." C.S. Lewis
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03-01-2012, 03:30 AM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
I never really saw a need to define and divide us into types. Dividing us will be, well, dividing. We're stronger if we don't care what brand of atheists we are. The moment we start dividing ourselves into "strong atheists" and "weak atheists" we build a hierarchy and a way to exclude others.

That's what a good deal of religions do, and it has made them extremely isolationist and frail. It's actually thanks to the hierarchies that so many religions and splintered and fallen apart - though they grant temporary power to those with the greatest rank in the hierarchy. (Think of Luther) As the structures of the religions fall apart, more and more people start to doubt the authorities, and join us in Atheism.

Let's not make the same mistake that they have.

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03-01-2012, 04:18 AM
RE: Who are we? Who are you?
(03-01-2012 03:30 AM)dreamingfifi Wrote:  I never really saw a need to define and divide us into types. Dividing us will be, well, dividing. We're stronger if we don't care what brand of atheists we are. The moment we start dividing ourselves into "strong atheists" and "weak atheists" we build a hierarchy and a way to exclude others.

That's what a good deal of religions do, and it has made them extremely isolationist and frail. It's actually thanks to the hierarchies that so many religions and splintered and fallen apart - though they grant temporary power to those with the greatest rank in the hierarchy. (Think of Luther) As the structures of the religions fall apart, more and more people start to doubt the authorities, and join us in Atheism.

Let's not make the same mistake that they have.
I agree with that. There is power in unity, but division only causes kaos and confusion. I think I would also agree with Richard Dawkins, he is to inteligent to list himself as a 7. That would be like saying we have all of the answers of the universe. I would list myself as 6.8 on his scale. If it were not so easy to prove the gods I have looked at false, I would be much lower on the list. I still believe there were many great seekers who may not have found all of the answers, but they were on the right track. Unfortunately religion itself might have forced them unto the wrong track. I was once a 1, like the hell bent preacher, but that was a journey with mountains and valleys, highs and lows.

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