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Dr. Terence Meaden's Comments

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At 8:46am on January 20, 2009, Vlad Ardelean said…
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.
At 1:09am on January 20, 2009, Little Urban Achiever said…
Thanks for the welcome, Dr. Meaden. You've got a nice page here. I'll have to check out some of the groups here.
At 11:18am on January 19, 2009, Stephanie said…
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.
At 11:33am on January 18, 2009, Karamoko said…
thanks for the welcome
At 9:06pm on January 17, 2009, Kelly Jones said…
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.....

At 7:48pm on January 17, 2009, Gene Gordon said…
Thanks for the welcome, Terry. Yes, I do plan to participate in the ORIGINS group and I will argue vigorously against the big bang.
At 7:18pm on January 17, 2009, Dr. Terence Meaden said…
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
At 6:55pm on January 17, 2009, Kelly Jones said…
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?

At 6:32pm on January 17, 2009, Dr. Terence Meaden said…
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'.
At 5:39pm on January 17, 2009, Kelly Jones said…
"Welcome to Atheist Nexus and the world of common sense."
Thanks for your welcome, but does it mean that I have stumbled onto 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? ;-)
At 3:28pm on January 17, 2009, Miranda said…
Thank you very much for your welcome. The group you have told me about sounds very interesting and right up my alley. I will definitely look into it!
At 3:04pm on January 17, 2009, GibMan said…
Thank you for welcoming me! It will be fun to join the groups where I can read and discuss matters with fellow free thinkers.

It wasn´t so much as an escape it was more a gradual opposition to the absurdity of religion. In my family we were like a type of cultural Catholics and my relatives’ haven´t really had a problem with it. They just follow the traditions anyway so they don´t take offence to any comments that I might make. Although it would be fun if they joined me in being attentive to the damage that religion does to societies.

Have you got a link to "ORIGINS: Universe, Life, Humankind, religion, Darwin..." I would like to join that group.

Thank You in advance.

At 11:49pm on January 16, 2009, Kevin said…
Dr Meaden, thank you for the welcome and the suggestion to join your very interesting group, Origins.
At 11:44pm on January 16, 2009, Mark said…
cool stuff dr. meaden..=)..i enjoy reading your blog and by the way thanks for be-friending me. have a nice day!..
At 6:35pm on January 16, 2009, thecodepounder said…
Thanks for the warm welcome, Terry.
At 6:10pm on January 16, 2009, Rationalwoman said…
Thank you for the greeting.
At 1:45pm on January 16, 2009, Big Heat said…
Thanks fer the welcome Doc!
At 12:40pm on January 16, 2009, Salles said…
thanx for the welcome!
At 11:38am on January 16, 2009, Darkone said…
thank you for the Welcome! i am i hope to have finally found a community that i can finally feel apart of. i've feel so alone in my none-beliefs. (i live in Wisconsin)
At 6:56pm on January 14, 2009, Dustin Sanders said…
Dr. Meaden, I stumbled upon this after another professor at my college was talking about it. I thought it might be useful to you

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