Even thou A|N is less then a year old, we are already making an impact in the realm of unbelief. As we approach the new year, I can't help but think (and dream) of what we collectively could accomplish in 2009.

Let's brainstorm. What are your ideas? What would you like to see us achieve this year?

Also, this shouldn't be a place to poo-poo other's ideas. Let's just dream unencumbered, and then worry about the details once we get some decent ideas.

Tags: 2009, dreams, goals, ideas

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funkQ:
OK, we will try an agreement here: I’ll try to understand you, if you will reciprocate.

funkQ wrote:
***”You must be a rather insecure person if you are able to find aggression in my response”.***
I didn’t say that, I said:
***“your avatar seems aggressive, and the flaming middle finger in the face of your fellow atheists I found somewhat off-putting.”***
And you don’t have to demonstrate your lack of aggression by insulting me. If there is one thing I am not, it is “insecure”.

#5.] Remember, atheism is the lack of something, and accept the humility of your deprivation. It is the way."

funkQ:
***”I did find this a rather strange admonition. I tried to say and you obviously didn't (try to) understand me, that many "atheists" don't like the term. I am not an atheist!”***

Interesting that you find #5 to be a “rather strange admonition”. This being an atheist site, I would have assumed that the nature of atheism would have been well discussed by now. One surprising thing I am discovering, as I explore A/N, is how many volumes of verbiage it takes to express something so simple.
Believe me, however, you are easy to understand.

funkQ continues:
***”I have no concept of gods therefore I can't accept the concept of "without gods"***.
An interesting, if empty, rhetorical circle.
Please, indulge me: atheism ain’t even a concept. It is a lack of something. No wonder you don’t want to be called an atheist as you think atheism is a “concept”. Oh yea, and we know how y’all don’t want to be “labeled”.
To “be” is to take responsibility for “being”.
How’s that for a “strange admonition”?

***”What surprises me is the condescending, rather spiritual, tone of this statement.”***
And I was “surprised” by a flaming middle finger in my face. Pardon my insecurity...and now my condescension.
I love the english language, and I don’t want to surrender its beauty, its expressive emotion, or its poetic “tone” to a monopoly by the “spiritual”... KJV or otherwise.

funkQ:
***”I lack nothing.”***
Not even humility?

funkQ:
***”my way is one of reason”***

and back on page 11 of this thread you wrote about "your way":

***”I always try to stick to plain civilty, which means I can ridicule and deride a belief or argument but always have respect for the person.”***

The only problem is that, online, belief and argument are all we know of each other. The "person", here at least, is not knowable. Ridicule and derision are inappropriate everywhere.
funkQ:
***”I did find this a rather strange admonition. I tried to say and you obviously didn't (try to) understand me, that many "atheists" don't like the term. I am not an atheist!”***

Asa Watcher:
Interesting that you find #5 to be a “rather strange admonition”. This being an atheist site, I would have assumed that the nature of atheism would have been well discussed by now.


It has. And quite a few of us here don't like the term atheism at all due to its misuse, abuse and overuse. In addition, we are in full agreement with Sam Harris -

My concern with the use of the term “atheism” is both philosophical and strategic. I’m speaking from a somewhat unusual and perhaps paradoxical position because, while I am now one of the public voices of atheism, I never thought of myself as an atheist before being inducted to speak as one. I didn’t even use the term in The End of Faith, which remains my most substantial criticism of religion. And, as I argued briefly in Letter to a Christian Nation, I think that “atheist” is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don’t need a word for someone who rejects astrology. We simply do not call people “non-astrologers.” All we need are words like “reason” and “evidence” and “common sense” and “bullshit” to put astrologers in their place, and so it could be with religion.

-- The Problem with Atheism

Your problem, I think, is that you are not really grasping that the godless are a rainbow of philosophies. That's what you get when you take the plunge to become a true freethinker - very few of us are alike. Get used to it.
funkQ and felch grogan;
I have thought about and understand your acceptance of Sam Harris’s rejection of the word atheist.

***” And quite a few of us here don't like the term atheism at all due to its misuse, abuse and overuse. In addition, we are in full agreement with Sam Harris -”***

But his rejection has never set right with me.
Back on page 18 (the start of all this) my third hope for 2009 was:

***”3.] Quit arguing about the existence or nonexistence of god. What’s important is understanding the nature of faith.
This does not mean that we should ignore distortions of atheism, but that is difficult, as I have observed some of those same misconceptions expressed by atheists in just this forum.”***

Hey, if atheists transform themselves into “proponents of reason” then reason becomes the target of derision. If we associate our lack of faith with scientific methodology, then science will be attacked (as we clearly see happening now). “Common sense” becomes what the faithful believe it to be, and “evidence” indistinguishable from faith.
To reject the simplicity of atheism is to open the door even wider for more faith-burdened distortions.
I understand the urge to reject the word atheist as long as we allow theists to define it.
And Sam’s astrology metaphor didn’t really work for me, as even theists, for the most part, reject it and everything else not based on faith in a deity.
Otherwise, I enthusiastically agree with Sam, and join his parade to examine faith, which the title of his book rightfully addressed as the real subject.

So, fletch when you diagnose me:
***”Your problem, I think, is that you are not really grasping that the godless are a rainbow of philosophies. That's what you get when you take the plunge to become a true freethinker - very few of us are alike. Get used to it.”***

I’ll point out that I did say back on page 18:

***”The fact that humans don’t organize around what they don’t believe in, opens the door of opportunity for atheists to do “something completely different”.
This site might be an example of the future of atheism and its manifestation.”***

I recognize and acknowledge the rainbow of which I also am a part.

I guess I’m an “old-school” atheist and I really do appreciate, and am stimulated, by your efforts to bring me up to date.
It has been interesting reading this "discussion."

I wish I didn't live in a world where I had to declare my absence of belief. However, living in America, especially in the South, there is no getting away from it.

I used to avoid the, "are you an atheist" question. I would say things like, I don't play golf, but I don't call myself an agolfist. However, this came across like I was trying to hide something. Now, I say, yes I am an atheist, just like you are a theist. However, this is just the beginning of what I am. You can't know anything about my beliefs if you judge me by what all atheists do, just like I can't judge you by what all theists do. If I did, you (if I am speaking with a Christian) would be responsible for insane actions of fundamentalist Muslims. Then I go on to explain what I do believe. I declare myself a Humanist, a Naturalist, a Skeptic, etc.

As someone who interacts and "preaches" daily with theists, this works pretty well. Someday, hopefully this will change, but for now it is a necessary evil.
Richard: I've been soapboxing for "post-theist" as a way to describe my (non) belief. I think that most former believers who have 'graduated' to atheism have reached a kind of adulthood that should be recognized as growth. My fondest wish is that our current religions and gods will go the way of the Egyptian, Aztec, Roman, Greek and the rest of discarded mythology and that all of humankind will arrive at a post-theistic understanding, hopefully before it blows itself off the planet altogether. In the meantime, I think those who have successfully left religion behind should be proud to have reached the other side and to refer to themselves as "post-theists", much as someone with a Masters Degree can call himself a postgraduate.
"Reason", "science" and "common sense" are already under a full scale assault and siege. It would change nothing.
I am not reading through all 212 comments, so this may be repetitive. When I "realized" that I was an atheist, it seemed like there was no one to relate to me. I really had to reach out and search for people who think how I think. One of our biggest focuses should be to mentor and reach out to those who are questioning and who are new atheists, especially the high school and college age crowd, and provide a community where they can feel comfortable and accepted. In particular, I think we have to be very welcoming to those who are questioning/unsure and are newly "out" of a faith community. Sometimes we scare them away :)
This is a great idea. I have been writing an "atheist starter kit," and I think it might fit well on Atheist Nexus. Thanks.
Now this would be a good project for 2009. I'm sure there would be a lot of interest in contributing.
Let's organize an effort to strike the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" off our currency.
Let's launch a political campaign to get "E PLURIBUS UNUM" back onto our currency.
Let's place an atheist ad on buses like in London, England.
maybe a A.N. magazine..
Not a suggestion, but more a hands down to the designers of this site which now made me midly suprised in a positive way, seeing all the new CSS changes! :) Now, maybe allowing people to tweak their CSS a little on their own would be allowed, I hope :)

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