Thank you for your invitation to join your group.
I spent the first years of atheism learning what it wasn't and then learning what it is. This is an oversimplification of my thinking, but it kind of sums up at least a starting place to be able to describe what it means for me to be an atheist. The concept is not original with me, but I internalized the ideas and can no longer remember who wrote about it on Atheist/Nexus. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know.
The atheistic outlook rejects all concepts of God.
There is a general consensus among participants that the particular social justice issues it focuses on are important to them.
There are a number of people whose words have proven helpful in clarifying the need for such a movement, and whose consistently enlightening contributions have engendered a certain level of trust.
There is a commitment to take seriously the need to have and maintain space where atheists, without interference from those opposed to the whole endeavor, can discuss social justice issues.
There is no dogma,
There is no hierarchy,
There are no membership requirements.
Atheism, to me is looking at the universe with knowledge of today instead of knowledge of humen who existed 2000 years ago.
Amer, I am sorry I have not responded to our project ... I spent the holidays with my daughter's family and am catching up on my mail.
I am curious why you look to the future "instead of" the past. To me, they both require attention and understanding in order to identify the foundation upon which I stand. Having a memory of the past and a "memory of the future" are necessary in order to build on a sound foundation. I KNOW my past history created dysfunction. Knowing that makes it easier to shed dysfunction and concentrate on healthy, positive, principles that empower flourishing.
My goal is to be fully human as defined by my internal characteristics, to work at some "productive" action, to belong to a loving, caring, compassionate community, and to use my full capacity to think, reason, and understand all that I am in community.
Joan, you are perhaps right. But how you concluded about me I am too futurestic, ignoring past upto dangerious levels?
To understand human behavior, and to get some sense of continuity, I want to know the background story, even the geologic time scale, the migratory patterns out of Africa, cultural diversity, and economic, political and religion histories of the past as well as imagine a preferred future. If I look only at the past or only to the future, it is like reading one page in a big book or like reading one book in a huge library and claiming to be educated. The only things I have any control over are me, here, now. There are an infinite number of choices I can make about what to do in this moment. Knowing and understanding the meaning of past historical events, and having a vivid imagination of how I want to live and what I want to leave my great-grandchildren, I make decisions and take action that help me fulfill my imaginings. Because there are so many uncontrollable variables, I have to remain flexible, imaginative, creative and intelligent. What a wonderful way to spend my time and energy. Being 76 years old, retired, with no children to raise, I have plenty of interesting and exciting choice. These are the Golden Years.
To follow up on the Opus Dei story, to show how underhanded and dastardly the religious right can be, after the election the new pope Benedict XVI visited Washington and the president broke protocol and greeted him at Dulles Air Port. It was the first time in American history that the president ever left the White House to greet a dignitary.
They talked, fraternized in jovial camaraderie, had lunch and came to an agreement on how the president can repay Benedict for his help during the election.
THERE ARE PRESENTLY NO PRIESTS LISTED ON THE NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER LIST.
I guess the public needs to speak up louder, more often, with demands for separation of church and state and for priests being listed on the National Sex Offender List.
Is anyone at A/N as infuriated as I am about the Opus Dei event? I can’t even stand to look at the pope after what he did to humanity. He changed the history of the world like some evil mafia don pulling the strings of power. And young American GIs pay the price with missing limbs. Is anyone connecting the dots the way I am?
The whole religion is so sick. And to think I went to Catholic school. I feel like writing a letter to my old religion teacher, who’s principal now, and telling him off.
That's why I advocate a militant position.
Richard, I am responding to this older message I missed reading it the first time around and I think you should write that letter to your old religion teacher/principal and tell him your truth. If you don't tell him, who will? Does he need to hear your thoughts? Is life better for not saying your truth?
Thanks for the comment, Joan. My old high school is only a shell of what it once was in the ‘60s. I doubt my old religion teacher would have any insight or appreciation of chaos theory without which the whole argument falls apart. It’s only when we consider the long-range repercussions the 2004 elections have had and will have on human history that we appreciates the extent of the damage.
To most people, Ratzinger told American bishops to support W. Bush, big deal. It’s difficult to see the connection between that event and the thousands of young lives destroyed by the stupidity of electing a moron and his militant junta.
Yes, I agree, "thousands of young lives destroyed by the stupidity of electing a moron and his militant junta." For me, the connection between RCC and the Bush Bunch is their reliance on delusions, denial, lies, deceptions and just old fashioned craziness. You are correct, our old teachers wouldn't be able to see what we come to realize about natura laws.
When I learned about tectonic plates, my father was adamantly opposed to that concept. Perhaps it is true, we make progress one funeral at a time.