Thank you for the warm welcome. I don't deserve any credit for my atheism. My parents made the mistake of letting me read science fiction. It was a straight shot from Salmon of Doubt to Blind Watchmaker to mom and dad I have something to tell you. I only wish I could have met Douglass Adams and thanked him before the end.
Terance: Thanks for the invite. Reading your bio, you were one of the lucky ones to have parents who didn't try to brainwash you. Mine, while well intentioned and very good people, could not live without their imaginary god. Ultimately, I watched them morph into much less dogmatic and open people, which was a big positive for my relationship with them. They actually became missionaries to Mexico when they retired, but cut out most of the religious BS and just tried to help people. I like to think I had some influence on their move to less dogmatism.
I just published my third book, The God Virus: how religion infects our lives and culture, as you noticed. After 20 months of writing, editing and publishing, it is time to get the word out and let people know about it. You can download two free chapters on our website www.thegodvirus.net and can order it from there as well. We are having a devil of a time keeping it in stock with Amazon.com. I hope you will take a look at it. I would love to get some exposure in the UK. For about 10 years I had clients in Wales and traveled to the UK to work with them. I really enjoy the UK and have been there many times.
thank you for the warm welcome. i will definitely get on the message boards and tell some of my great stories of living here. probably start with the one about my son getting a c.t.r. ring sent home with him from school from a friend. i guess they thought it would burn my eyes out or convert me. neither happened, it just got thrown in the pits of hell....... or the garbage whatever you call it.. thanks again for the welcome..
Dr. Meaden, thank you for the welcome. I suppose I could have written something with more content in my profile other than my age. I will look at your Origins group now as that is a significant part of my interest in this site along with Separation of Church and State. Regards.
Searching for answers is a good thing. Creating happiness is however the main issue, as far as I'm concerned.
I think that if we are to take away religion from people (which is a primitive kind of psychotherapy), we could give something far better in return. The advances in positive psychology in the last decades have prepared science for the task of making people genuinely happy... So I'm very enthusiastic about this whole thing. We in Romania are starting to organize activities as atheists, and have begun spreading "the good news", but we still have a lot of work to do to clean up the old passive-aggressive morale systems.
Thank you. I personally don't find the concept of "truth" a useful one, however it just so happens that I like science, I study physics, and welcome the idea of networking among people caught in this new modern Renaissance. Natural selection will eventually kill a large number of religions, and I'm proud to be here at this moment when I can witness this great revolution in human thinking.
Thank you so much! I'm a big fan of science. I'm educating myself on evolution and natural selection right now. I'm also a big fan of Dawkins and Sagan. I will certainly check out the groups you mentioned.
Terence, I agree, steering clear of pedantry over semantics is important. Understand I'm not pursuing this idea out of dead-end nit-pickery.
It's important to distinguish between sheeplike ritual, and thinking for oneself --- however odd one's ideas seem in comparison to others' ideas.
An instance of groupthink in atheist circles that I come across often is repeated in the Atheist Foundation of Australia's philosophy statement - the opening sentence:
"The Atheist Foundation of Australia recognises scientific method as the only rational means toward understanding reality. To question and critically examine all ideas, testing them in the light of experiment, leads to the discovery of facts."
The problem is - the scientific method is not the only rational means of understanding reality. That method uses inductive logic, whereas the means of establishing how the scientific method works is deductive logic ---- a whole other ballgame.
Would you consider changing your welcome to "welcome to Atheist Nexus, which promotes reason in society as the key to truth" ?
I'd like to end with a flashingly witty joke, since humour tends to help people relax and feel like "we're all in this together", but .... Though of course, we are all in this together.....
Yes Kelly, your point is rational enough.
Don’t be alarmed, though, by how a few people react to Dawkins et al. Atheism is not and never can be a ‘crazy’ sect. It represents the truth as regards an unbiased world view that is not ‘infected’ by the fictions of religious belief.
A difficulty has arisen because of the use of the expression “common sense”.
We must not get pedantic about this.
In common parlance, it means “rational sense”. It does not imply that it represents something that is common to the majority of people. This is because for many matters the people can be wrong when applying ‘common sense’. E.g. to the uneducated human being, common sense tells that the sun is going round the earth because we ‘sense’ that is what is happening by not realising that motion between two objects (here, sun and earth) is relative.
You mention the physicist Richard Feynman. Most people use words without being too conscious about their true meanings, and therefore use them without much thinking (as in a ritual) and so sometimes wrongly
Yes, I see your point. But rationality isn't really common, is it?
I'm interested in why people accept certain things as explanations of causes. I remember Feynmann saying that people the world over brush their teeth every morning and evening, much like a religious ritual. They don't really question it.
To me it points to religiousness that isn't so easily shoved into the box of "those crazy people who worship superstitious nonsense" or the like.
It seems to me that many people worship science in this religious way. I'm not playing Devil's Advocate, or taking sides with any religion (in the common sense of the word)--- this is truly what I observe. Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, etc. are literally worshipped by many young "atheists" as if they were Greek gods. They rage if you criticism their reasoning.
I wonder how many people can truly lay claim to being rational. I think that's a wonderful ideal, but I don't think it's one that most "atheists" can claim.
I just don't want to replace one crazy sect with another --- do you see my point?
Kelly Jones: "Welcome to Atheist Nexus and the world of common sense." Thanks for your welcome, but does it mean that I have stumbled on to common sense for the first time in my life?
Is reason the same as common sense, or is common sense that sense that the majority have? Isn't the majority religious? ;-)
Terry replies: "Well, the world of religion offers a world view that is nonsense. I see 'common sense' as standing for rationality. The religious /superstitious are irrational, so in terms of theistic debate they display no common sense when proferring their irrational arguments about nonsensical beliefs.
So I suppose that in this respect the word 'nonsense' is the antonym of sense and 'common sense'.
Of course yes, there is 'common sense' present in the everyday common world but in areas other than religion. Rather, I am supposing that in the atheistic world of nontheism we enjoy a special world of rational 'common sense'.