Why are we here?
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04-12-2011, 10:38 AM
Why are we here?
No, this is not a philosophical question of existence, and if this thread already exists, I apologize. I did a search and couldn't find one.

Obviously, many of us enjoy this forum for the exchange of ideas or the community, or just the entertainment of reading HoC's posts and the comments of people trying to understand him. But why The Thinking Atheist forum? How did you happen to join this particular forum? What was your goal, if any, and how has your experience met or not met your expectations?

I found The Thinking Atheist Website after listening to 4 or 5 of Seth's Podcasts. I found his podcast through iTunes when I was searching to see if there were any Richard Dawkins or Dan Barker podcasts. Seth and I are of a certain age and have a similar Christian history. Only recently moving from identifying myself as an agnostic to an atheist, I was looking for a place to hear other people's ideas and see how they fit with my own. And I wanted to have a safe place where I could test my ideas without fear of rejection (i.e., the reason why I don't post anything "controversial" on Facebook).

I can happily say this forum has more than met my expectations in giving me a sense of real community.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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04-12-2011, 10:59 AM
RE: Why are we here?
Google. Seriously. I'd been on a couple of forums before; one dematerialized years ago; one changed over time so that it was no longer a good fit. This happens sometimes.

I'm a bit isolated, living in the country; it's pretty and peaceful, but there isn't a lot of intellectual stimulation. So i put in the relevant search terms and Google came up with a whole page of forums. I checked out maybe a dozen, joined half, quit three, kept three. I like this one best, because there is a variety of opinion and background, a high level of tolerance, much liberty, little name-calling and good humour.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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04-12-2011, 11:05 AM
RE: Why are we here?
I was feeling a little down after having to move into the menno house and felt I needed to hear some rational thought outloud. I found Seth and his podcast on iTunes by typing in rational. I listened to random episodes an found I liked them so I swallowed them all like a hungry new shark. I have since gone on to listen to numerous other atheistic podcasts some of which are good but none have I found to be more soothing ( maybe its his voice? ) anyways I heard him mention the website I went to check it out an signed up before even realizing there was a forum.
I'm not a real forum person which is why when I do forum I find myself here mostly. I belong only to two other forums neither of which am I or anyone else particularily active in. Neither deals with atheism at all. This place feels more comfortable maybe because the amount of idiocy is rather low and the silly is cranked up to 11. Maybe because the majority of people on here seem like intelligent individuals. Maybe the lack of oppressive moderation? I don't actually know why really, I can only state the reasons I keep coming back.
Yes there have been times I have felt like leaving which I'm sure would delight some and undoubtedly cause mass suicides of others. But who doesn't want to tell their family to fuck off once in a while?

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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04-12-2011, 11:11 AM
RE: Why are we here?
(04-12-2011 11:05 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Yes there have been times I have felt like leaving which I'm sure would delight some and undoubtedly cause mass suicides of others. But who doesn't want to tell their family to fuck off once in a while?

I don't think I'd be driven to suicide, but I wouldn't be among the delighted; you are starting to feel like family. That may or may not be a positive thing, but it is what it is.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-12-2011, 11:11 AM
 
RE: Why are we here?
I will be flippant first: I tried elsewhere first but it was closed.

Now the serious reason: I could elaborate but it very closely matches what Peterkin said, so I won't repeat it.

Actually, it was Peterkin (a very good friend of mine) who told me about this forum. We are both refugees from another forum that turned mimozaish on us.

Happy to be here. Smile
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04-12-2011, 11:12 AM
RE: Why are we here?
Just a little good humor? Tongue

Man, I'm a happy, bouncy, crazy-in-love-nutbag! Big Grin

That's a lot of good humor. Wink Came here from a link on Atheist Nexus - which I hardly use. There's a more mature element here that is lacking from TJ's forum where I began as an atheist. Just really don't have a lot to talk about as an atheist, as a position. Talk about non-existent stuff? Better to play D&D, no? Get right into the non-existent stuff. Wink

Yeah I'm rambling... I go way now. Wink

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04-12-2011, 11:25 AM
RE: Why are we here?
I was locked away in a Jesus concentration camp for a year. Dodgy

I just need the psycological rehabilitation of being surrounded by a mix of non-believers. Big Grin

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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04-12-2011, 11:26 AM
RE: Why are we here?
It started with an interesting Youtube video by TTA I chanced upon. I watched more and more of the videos and got interested. Saw a link to the forum and decide to visit a bit. "There's a SCIENCE section, wonderful!" I thought, and entered. There was a thread on some challenge by some theists to answer 10 questions. Challenge accepted, and been here ever since.

I'm not a really active member, just come here once in a while to read interesting threads or reply to those which I have something to say, which is quite rarely the case Smile

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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04-12-2011, 11:55 AM
 
RE: Why are we here?
I have to add a bit more here: I don't strictly belong here, because religion has never been a problem for me -- I was raised an atheist, in a culture and school system that was also atheist.

Frankly, not being a social scientist, religion bores me a lot, the finer points of the bible, jesus or theology in general, means nothing to me, since I find the basic concepts totally undefined.

After a while though, I realized what an important topic it is to a lot of people who were not as fortunate as I was and, after Defacto connected the dots for me, I realized how insensitive I had been when dismissing the topic altogether.

I have tried to bring a lot of new topics to this forum, mostly in the area of social justice, and I was so happy to get the interested, intelligent, insightful responses that my threads received -- that is when I finally decided that this is home for me.

You guys will be stuck with me a lot longer. I am old, but not that old, I should last for a while yet. Big Grin
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04-12-2011, 12:25 PM
RE: Why are we here?
An accidental iTunes download lead me here. I'd heard the podcasts for quite some time and thought they were great but, not a regular listener. Then, Seth started interviewing some YouTube personalities that I sub, and so I thought I'd at least download one or two, just for posterity. I pushed one button, turned my head, and half a page of podcasts loaded into my computer. Crap. I still haven't listened to most of them, but I was curious about the site and before long, I checked out the forum. I think I am here now possibly more than even YouTube.
I guess I have to count myself lucky; I've checked out some other forums and they are either quite restrictive or allow a high level of bashing. I was raised a free thinker and many times find myself walking a social tight rope between the restrictions of others. Here, I don't feel pressure to commit to anything, and honesty with myself has never been a tight rope walk. I'm honest with who I am, and you're all honest enough to handle it... that's how I want to live.
I had a happy accident, and found myself part of an ever-changing community of diversity and tolerance… the exact things I find lacking in the community where my house is planted.
_ _ _ _
And I don't know what you people are talking about... I understand every freaking thing Cantor writes! Tongue

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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