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Christopher R Lamke's Discussions

Hello from a fellow thinker!

Started this discussion. Last reply by Christopher R Lamke Jun 7, 2009. 4 Replies

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Christopher R Lamke's Page

Latest Activity

Christopher R Lamke posted photos
Jun 18, 2009
Christopher R Lamke posted albums
Jun 15, 2009
Christopher R Lamke posted photos
Jun 15, 2009
Christopher R Lamke replied to kj's discussion What is it that encourages people to behave like assholes?
"kj, I believe you were speaking poetically above. I'll be generous and say that the folks who were ridiculing your comment are either trying to be ironic (given that this is a discussion about what makes people behave like assholes) or they…"
Jun 12, 2009
Christopher R Lamke commented on Christopher R Lamke's blog post Scientology Advertises on Atheist Nexus
"Right you are! Maybe we should form an A|N Ghostbuster team so we'll be ready when needed. Where can we get some proton packs to arm ourselves? Let's put Egon Spengler and Raymond Stantz on retainer as advisors and get Peter Venkman to…"
Jun 11, 2009
Nate commented on Christopher R Lamke's blog post Scientology Advertises on Atheist Nexus
"Let's just hope that Xenu never escapes from the electronic mountain trap. Then we'd be totally fucked!"
Jun 11, 2009
Christopher R Lamke posted a blog post

Scientology Advertises on Atheist Nexus

I was commenting on a blog entry here when I saw a huge Scientology ad taking up the right border of the screen. Hilarious! I realize that these ads are placed by an algorithm designed to place ads in context with other elements on a page, but that makes it more funny, not less, for me.I guess it's just a small step from atheism to signing a billion year contract to get rid of those pesky body…See More
Jun 11, 2009
Christopher R Lamke commented on tom arcaro's blog post Social believers -- How many are out there? More about "Coming Out as an Atheist"
"Rosemary, I agree with you 100%. I have thought many times about forming a community of people with similar beliefs and values. We could turn the City on a Hill analogy to our benefit. My wife and I live at odds with most of our neighbors in several…"
Jun 11, 2009
Christopher R Lamke commented on tom arcaro's blog post Social believers -- How many are out there? More about "Coming Out as an Atheist"
"I think that, at least here in the United States, remaining silent on your atheism in certain situations is all but necessary to remain in good standing with your co-workers and social contacts. US culture is permeated with religion to an extent…"
Jun 11, 2009
Christopher R Lamke replied to Little Name Atheist's discussion Favorite cat quotations in the group Atheist Ailurophiles
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. - Albert Schweitzer Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man. - Paul Gray The problem with cats is that they get the…"
Jun 11, 2009
Christopher R Lamke commented on Lindzee's video
Thumbnail

The Coolest 8 Year Old In The World Talks About O'Reilly

"This girl is an actress. This is a commercial for a band called "The Bastard Fairies." While I'm not sure I approve of using a young girl for this message, it's a great message and this girl might be old enough to understand it.…"
Jun 10, 2009
Christopher R Lamke posted blog posts
Jun 10, 2009
Christopher R Lamke commented on Christopher R Lamke's blog post Working like a dog this week
"Definitely. Barb is not a cat person, but she's kind to all living things and she's a real softy, so the cats push her around to get what they want. Buster in particular (the cat I'm holding in my profile pic) comes in several times…"
Jun 10, 2009
Little Name Atheist commented on Christopher R Lamke's blog post Working like a dog this week
"Is this partially to keep the cats in the style they've become accustomed to?"
Jun 9, 2009
Christopher R Lamke posted a blog post

Funny sign of the day

"Jesus Saves! ... passes to Buddha ... He Scores!"I found a sticker of this on EvolveFish. I'm getting this for my soccer loving boys.See More
Jun 8, 2009
Christopher R Lamke replied to Christopher R Lamke's discussion Hello from a fellow thinker!
"Thanks for the welcome, Angie! My wife Barbara Lamke (also new on Atheist Nexus) was a single mother when I met her. We were and still are very different (I'm very intense and intellectual and she's easy-going and just likes to enjoy…"
Jun 7, 2009

Christopher R Lamke's Blog

Scientology Advertises on Atheist Nexus

Posted on June 11, 2009 at 2:30pm 2 Comments

I was commenting on a blog entry here when I saw a huge Scientology ad taking up the right border of the screen. Hilarious! I realize that these ads are placed by an algorithm designed to place ads in context with other elements on a page, but that makes it more funny, not less, for me.



I guess it's just a small step from atheism to signing a billion year contract to get rid of those pesky… Continue

Christian Group Blesses Sotomayor Hearing Room

Posted on June 10, 2009 at 10:30am 0 Comments

I jut saw on HuffPo that a Christian group called "Faith and Action in the Nation's Capital" blessed the Senate room where Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing will likely take place. They gave it the works, annointing the doors with oil. They probably checked the TV monitors for poltergeists too.



This would be comical if only these people… Continue

Working like a dog this week

Posted on June 9, 2009 at 1:37pm 2 Comments

I'm working like a dog this week. A working dog, not one of those poof dogs that travel in purses.

What to Call Myself

When I joined Atheist Nexus yesterday, reading some of the conversations there caused me to return to the idea of what we nonbelievers should call ourselves so as to most easily be accepted by the masses of believers.

There is a debate about how best to represent our cause, whether to call ourselves atheists, humanists, brights, or something else. Throughout history, going back to the Classical Greeks at least, atheism has been a pejorative term applied to those who refused to honor the god(s) of the day and were usually thought to be otherwise immoral. I have thought about this quite a bit, especially after the misguided attempt to get everyone to sign on to using the term bright as a collective description of non-theists. I think the term bright is a very poor choice because it seems to support one of the worst stereotypes about nonbelievers, that we think we are brighter (more intelligent) than the simple people who believe in god(s). Also, there are a large number of undoubtedly brilliant people who believe in a personal god, a fact that I've struggled with over the years and that tells me that this issue is far from straightforward and that in order for so many intelligent and inquisitive people to believe in a personal god that is inherently unapproachable using our reason, the primary tool we use to navigate the world, there must either be a deep human need that this belief addresses, or the theists possess some faculty of "god perception" that we nonbelievers lack. Since I have studied religion (all the major religions), formally and informally, for many years, and the very idea of a personal god with the properties ascribed to him by monotheists is an affront to our reason, I must reject the latter possibility. If a god existed, it seems extremely unlikely that he would require us to put aside reason, the faculty that has allowed us to survive and thrive in the world, in order for us to perceive him. But to simply dismiss theism as a mental aberration or a comforting story that simple people tell themselves is a gross oversimplification of the issue.

Of course, everyone is free to choose their own term to describe themselves. But to help our struggle to win public acceptance and respect, I think we need to pick a group term that is hard to represent as negative, that shows that we regard the world (and other people generally) in a positive way. With few exceptions, the nonbelievers I meet in everyday life (those who publish that fact to me) are very intelligent, compassionate, and actively engaged in making the world a better place. We need a story that tells the world that this is who we are and a simple term that serves as a symbolic pointer to this story.

This is not a finished project. I'm just writing down my current thinking on this. It's likely that there are atheists out there who want to publish their lack of belief but do not agree with the basic tenets of humanism, so humanism might not be an option for all. Maybe the term atheist is the only common ground we will be able to find in our common cause to separate the shadow of religion from the structures of official power and gain acceptance as a group that contributes greatly to society. I find it more appropriate to describe myself as a humanist, which describes what I believe and mostly has a positive connotation right now, than an atheist, which literally describes a lack of belief and currently has a negative connotation for most people. I think we have work to do in reforming public perceptions of the term atheist and I am happy that we have chosen to reform the term rather than abandon it. But for now, I think I'll call myself a humanist in general conversation and use the term atheist when others need to understand that I do not believe in god(s).

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Comment Wall (6 comments)

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At 8:57pm on June 12, 2009, kj said…
Superb message in your "What I call myself". Plus you like Carlin... shit, brothers don't shake hands... brothers gotta hug! hehe
At 12:48pm on June 8, 2009, Nate said…
I love Ricky Gervais.

Check out The End of Faith by Harris. I recently started a Sam Harris group on here. You'd be very welcome.

The profile pic is actually something I took entering a wooded path in Longwood Gardens.
At 8:08am on June 8, 2009, Little Name Atheist said…
She's also one of those cats who lets you know she wants attention (usually when you're sleeping) by putting her claws first on your belly, then your face, then your eye ... that's when I always get up.

Hahaha! I suspect folks in Atheist Ailurophiles would find your two comments on my comment board interesting. We don't have a discussion on "Semi-feral" cats yet.

A cat section on your site sounds good. I'm still running into people who believe many of the myths about cats (giving them cow's milk; cats bond to places, not people), so actual, scientific information in as many places as possible can only help.
At 11:46pm on June 7, 2009, Nate said…
Welcome, Christopher. Very insightful comments in What to Call Myself . Reminded me of some similar thoughts expressed by Sam Harris. I mentioned on your wife's page that I was just down your way at a wine festival. Beautiful area you live in.

Regards,

Nate
At 6:46pm on June 7, 2009, Little Name Atheist said…
You're welcome!

My cohabi-tater is the cat regulator here. I reckon one cat per room would be the maximum. Not that they'd all stay each to a room. I'm curious how you socialized the semi-ferals to be part of your household?
At 10:15pm on June 5, 2009, Little Name Atheist said…
Welcome to Atheist Nexus! If you are a cat fan, you might enjoy Atheist Ailurophiles.
 
 
 

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