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Strong Atheists

A group for those who actively rebel against religious bullshit. Religions harm our society, poison our mind and threaten our mental health. This is an Anti-Religions-Group! No discrimination against a certain group of imbeciles, but all of them

Members: 409
Latest Activity: on Sunday

Discussion Forum

What makes someone become a "Strong Atheist"?

Started by Sentient Biped. Last reply by Richard Lawrence Jul 18, 2013. 43 Replies

A great talk by PZ Myers.

Started by Idaho Spud. Last reply by Napoleon Bonaparte Apr 18, 2012. 2 Replies

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Comment by AtheistTech on September 5, 2011 at 5:37am
Where do we Atheists get organized so that we can voice our opinions when voting. We need to send a message to the religious right that we will no longer stand for their delusions. We need Atheists in Congress and as President in order for this country to be a leader in science and education. So, as Atheists, and hopefully, scientists, how do we get organized?
Comment by sk8eycat on August 3, 2011 at 6:46pm

@Craigart14  You wrote, "...and a lot of my understanding of the world comes from fiction."

 

Exactly!  I have heard so many people, including friends, who say things like, "Oh, I never read fiction," the same way one would say, "Oh, I would never wear sweats to a formal dinner."

 

When I have tried to explain that well-written fiction of any genre teaches more about human thoughts and feelings than all the psychology and philosophy texts in the world, they look at as if I'm crazy.  Or hopelessly declasse'

 

I did not have the opportunity to continue my formal education after high school (I had to earn a living), but I've never been able to live without my books.  I think I have learned more about people from reading mysteries, SF and fantasy fiction than my friends and acquaintances who believe that such fiction is beneath them.

 

A lot of Robert A. Heinlein's SF is hopelessly outdated as far as technological developments go, but his basic advice to young people, repeated in many different ways throuhout his novels is timeless: "Make up your own mind.  Before you make up your mind, think it through. Before you think it through, get the facts."  That's what I did when I was in my early 20s, still struggling to find the "right" religion...I discovered, on my own, that there were infinitesimally few facts to support any of them.  I stopped struggling, started living, and never looked back...except when I'm in the middle of a story where the protagonist is having similar problems.

 

Right now I'm re-reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, and I've reached a point where I want to slap just about everbody, from King Arthur on down, involved in the Christian/Goddess-Worship conflict.  It's a marvelous book, but some of the main characters waste their entire lives obsessing over whether or not they have committed sins, and believing their suffering is punishment for their behavior.  Nobody ever asks, "What is 'sin'?"

 

I sometimes wonder what the world would be like today if the people of the British Isles had tossed the priests out on their ears way back then.

Comment by Craigart14 on August 3, 2011 at 11:48am
There are lots of people who have faith but don't confuse faith with fact.  I'm an English professor, and a lot of my understanding of the world comes from fiction.  The difference is that I think critically about what I read and use it as a tool to teach thinking.  It doesn't really matter if Ahab really chased a white whale around the world for revenge, what the book says about evil, revenge, and obsession is still likely true.  The other difference is that secular literature generates thinking and discussion while touching our feelings.  We learn from it, but not blindly, and we don't force other people to bow down to our interpretations.  Too many people make the leap of faith only so they can look down on the rest of us--and maybe throw a few bombs.
Comment by Keith Sewell on June 5, 2011 at 12:51am

Of possible interest:

 

For the proposals of any of our theisms to inhabit the same mind as those of science can be seen to require a fundamental compartmentalization of that mind. The two systems offer logically exclusive explanations for the nature and behavior of reality. I do not understand our justification for continued maintenance of such compartmentalization. [How we can continue to say, with intellectual honesty, “I will embrace reason as my primary determinant for knowledge in this sphere, but not in this other one”. From where, or on what basis, have we been making that cut?]. If we must do it, if the best picture of reality that science and reason can now offer is still in some respects ultimately unsatisfying to human minds, then OK. But I can’t see this to be so. Instead, I think that the science/reason picture is now unsatisfying only to minds in which reason’s development has been sabotaged, through childhood incorporation of irrational proposals as the actual state of reality (i.e., as ‘truths’). Most simply, that we have been maintaining a vast negative feedback loop. My main essay, ‘Truth?’, is about making this loop visible, and then starting to wind it down.

 

http://www.poppersinversionapp.blogspot.com

 

Comment by Tommy on June 2, 2011 at 5:47am
@Ian We are all proud of your daughter and tell her from me I think she is a hero. Its shame there are not more like her. We have suffered the religious nuts in silence way too long.
Comment by Gautham Ganapathy on June 2, 2011 at 12:18am
@Ian, my congratulations to your daughter, too !
Comment by sk8eycat on June 2, 2011 at 12:12am
@Ian Please tell your daughter that she has my most sincere admiration.  Wish I'd had her brains and bravery when I was her age!  *Applause-Applause!*
Comment by sk8eycat on June 2, 2011 at 12:05am

FFRF Press Release (Hooorayyyy!!!)

CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL SHOULD INVESTIGATE

FFRF calls for fraud probe into Rapture campaign

June 1, 2011

The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants California Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate how many innocent people may have suffered financially, emotionally and physically due to Pastor Harold Camping's $100 million campaign predicting Armageddon on May 21.

FFRF is a national state-church watchdog with over 16,500 nonreligious members, including over 2,400 in California.

In a May 31 letter to Harris, FFRF noted numerous calls for apologies by victims of Camping's "Rapture" crusade and concerns for the untold numbers of people he and his organization duped.

"Our organization seeks to hold Camping accountable in a more tangible way," said the letter from FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker. "We ask you to investigate Camping's 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Family Stations Inc., for fraud and deceit."

Family Stations is an umbrella for Camping's religious projects, including a radio show broadcast worldwide and streaming online, an online repository of religious commentary and the distribution of sectarian tracts and pamphlets. "Through these endeavors, Camping convinced droves of his loyal listeners and adherents that the end of the world was rapidly approaching and that people had only until May 21, 2011, to 'find' religion," the letter said.

"We understand that Family Stations Inc. maintains that the primary source of the $100 million was the liquidation of property owned by the nonprofit, whose reported donations totaled more than $18 million in 2009 — well before his Rapture campaign reached its zenith. It is not unreasonable to believe that at least that amount comprised part of the total advertising budget in 2010 and 2011. There are media reports of dozens of Camping's followers who liquidated their own assets to contribute tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars to Camping's organization, convinced (by Camping) that they would have no need for the money or material goods after May 21 and that they were needed by Family Stations Inc., in order to advertise for the proclaimed Rapture. Others incurred thousands of dollars in debt through extravagant purchases and family vacations, allegedly convinced (by Camping) that they should enjoy the world before its impending destruction. Some quit their jobs, sold or abandoned their homes, packed their families and moved in preparation for the 'end of the world.' "

The letter continued, "Tragically, there are even reports that some of Camping's followers committed suicide to avoid the terror promised by the Rapture stories. A Florida man drowned in California as a result of his Rapture-related delusions, according to detectives, and in doing so, he pulled family members into the cold waters, endangering their lives as well. Perhaps one of the most horrifying stories related to the Rapture predictions comes from California, where a woman slit her children's throats and then her own in order "to prevent them from suffering through [the Tribulation]."

Many other people may not be speaking up "due to the embarrassment of losing their financial security as a result of their loyalty to a false prophet."

"The California Attorney General's Office has a duty to protect the public from predatory charities, and we hereby request that the Charitable Trusts Section investigate and, if appropriate, take legal action against Family Stations Inc. for its potential fraudulent misuse of charitable assets," said the letter, which listed relevant portions of the California Civil Code on deception and fraud.

"Camping's actions and the actions of Family Stations seem to show that they neither behaved nor conducted business as if they sincerely believed that the world would end on May 21, and they continued to solicit donations up to, on and after that date," the letter said.

"Camping did not commit deceit and fraud in being wrong about the date of the Rapture; the question to be determined is whether he may have committed deceit or fraud in persuading his followers to donate often large sums of money to his organization based on a claim — that the world would definitely end on May 21, 2011, and that he needed to advertise this 'fact' — while objectively conducting his business as though he knew it to be untrue."

The letter concluded, "If self-proclaimed 'prophets' are fraudulently enriching their coffers at the expense of their impressionable members, the Attorney General's Office must take action."

**************************

I'd love to see the twit held accountable for at least some of the damage he caused. (Whatever happened to the old story about "The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf!' "???)  DUH!

Comment by Keith Sewell on June 1, 2011 at 11:33pm

 

Mike,

 

In response to your message: 'I found myself in a large room, crowded with people. I smelled smoke and saw flames, so yelled "Fire!! Here's the door, let's leave." But nobody moved or spoke. Nobody even said "You're wrong about there being a fire because.....", or "Yes, OK, there is a fire, but we can't leave because......". There was no reaction at all.' 

Until I can get some feedback on my observation about the fire I just haven't got anything else that's important enough to discuss. But thanks for asking, and regards,

 

Keith

Blog URL:  http://www.poppersinversionapp.blogspot.com

 

  

Comment by Ian on June 1, 2011 at 9:54pm

A (small) victory - My daughter was upset that her school were planning to include a prayer in her graduation. Public schools in the south are like that. She got the American's United for Separation of Church and State, AND the ACLU to contact the school board to complain/threaten this afternoon.

Tonight... no prayer! the first time I have been to a graudation or public event in Bob Jones's backyard and not had my intellect insulted with prayers to the invisible cloud being. I'm very proud of her for her finesse--she even managed to do this without the Nutters of God finding out it was her.

Brilliant.

 

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