Am I the last person in cyberspace to discover Internet Infidels :oops: ??? I fear it's true :?.
Just in case you haven't yet stumbled upon this incredibly HUGE and wonderful freethinking online community, let me start by saying that their Member List is up over 21,000!
Here's their Forum List . . . and even a brief scan-through will reveal how comprehensive they are in dealing in all things non-theist. What a find! They have tons of practical references, resources and advertisers (who knew there were several non-theist dating services, heehee ), and just a cornacopia of areas to delve into. I've only been viewing the forum for two days and feel completely—-> :shock:
These people have been refining the posting board thing for a good five years now and are very attentive to the needs and goals of their core members. Example: they have very hands-on Moderators who do not stand for the hijacking of threads and do not allow for ad hominen attacks. Reading through the forum rules . . . hmmm, how to explain this . . . I sort of felt chastised for how easily I've let myself be tempted to the antagonistic end of things over at this board, since we're so riddled with christian postings. Over there, it appears to run as a very tight ship, allowing for *GASP* long uninterrupted conversations to take place without theist hijackings. Theists are certainly encouraged to participate, but only so long as they follow the code of behavior, and that goes for everyone. In fact, they are so onto the trolls that they have actually banned the word "troll" (make sure and read the rules), or any such name-calling, insisting that members instead simply utilize the "Report This Post" option when they spot a disruptive person.
There seems to be an appropriate place for all areas of discussion, including theology, but it lacks the scattered nature of a board like this, being that we're based on only the one book yet are naturally encouraged in all sorts of other directions. IIDB is just set-up to handle these themes on a grander scale.
If you, like me, are still finding your sea legs in this life without crutches, maybe start in the Secular Lifestyle forum. And definitely check out the Atheists' Testimony Thread—it's inspiring and heartwrenching - and I encourage anyone unfamiliar with the board to take an evening over there to explore and read.
What I found most intriquing: Many people have "woken up" over a period of years posting there. Some admittedly started on the board as earnest Christians attempting to "save" the atheists, just as we see so often here. Some were even at the scholarly level. And yet through the course of their discussions, since they were maturely handled, many a theist has gradually faced up to the inconsistencies, contradictions and general nonsense of their faith, to a point where you'll read about ex-ministers and theology fanatics "deconverting", nervously but wholeheartedly stepping out of their cages to join us in our real and uncertain world . . .
Reading those stories—most notably one about a 30-ish Christian woman who went through an excruciating deconversion and alienation from her mate and her family—can bring you to tears. People have fought long and hard to recapture their mental and emotional freedom. I'm finding their tales so fascinating, and strangely beautiful.
So . . . see ya there, fellow Infidels !
p.s. One caveat . . . it seems they're in the process of switching over to a new server this week, and are experiencing slight interruptions in access as a result. They say they expect any inconvenience to last only a few more days.
Sounds like an interesting board, I think I would appreciate it’s civility. I haven’t been here this long so I have to ask you, are there that many ad hominen attacks by Christians directed at atheists? Just curious.
Having only actually posted here for about a month now, I couldn’t really say . . . although I think the preferred tool for Christians is baiting , which inevitably irks at least someone into an ad hominen knee-jerk reaction, and then it’s just damn the torpedoes . . .
I know I’ve often been guilty of taking the bait and responding ineffectively, and realize that to graduate to the mature level of discussion I’ll need to do some conversational “growing up”. That’s the thing with traumatic life change—growing pains!!! Being that many of us are still new to this, still trying to come to grips, defensiveness is natural, however useless. I intend to work hard to change that, because I think the non-theist position needs to first and foremost remain calm and rational. I so admire all here who have maintained that.
Having only actually posted here for about a month now, I couldn’t really say . . . although I think the preferred tool for Christians is baiting , which inevitably irks at least someone into an ad hominen knee-jerk reaction, and then it’s just damn the torpedoes
I’m not sure what you mean by baiting unless you mean a leading question. The problem as I see it is that if I ask a question about the validity of some part of scripture, I will normally be addressed with disdain and maybe a little bit of hostility. And I might display that a little myself, I am only human.
No great mystery to what baiting is in this case. I think it would be safe to say that the very premise of this board includes the assertion that the Bible is a man-written, man-conceived tome, and that while you can quote it all you wish, you are merely quoting long-dead men.
You know this (the premise of the board), and yet you quote it anyway. Tends to get the juices flowing, which of course is why you continue doing it, and then we quote it back to illustrate absurdities.
I went to the site and read an interesting thread about a teacher at a public school that complained to the principal about emailings she was getting at school about bears that eat atheists and how the superior christians are fighting the evil muslims, etc.
It interested me because I get emails like that from time to time by friends and co-workers. I stew a bit then delete them.
Sometimes the email will say at the end, “if you agree with this, you will pass it on” ...
Thanks y’all for those great hyperlinks to the atheist - anti Xian websites. I really appreaciate the suggestions. I am SO glad I came to Sam’s page to re-acquaint myself with the controversy of agnosticism/atheism. I have been dormant for years, just living along, marking time, awaiting my death. Now, thanks to the Internet, I can meet hundreds of like-minded people who think and reject superstition, and aren’t afraid to argue against Christianity. It is a breath of fresh air and I feel so vindicated. I feel alive again!
[quote author=“Humble Servant”]I think I understand now, it is not how I may phrase a question that is considered baiting and therefore contemptable, but the fact that I am here at all to pose a question is enough to encite hatred.
So what you are telling me is this board should be more of an echo chamber of like minds patting each other on the back for each others implied brilliance.
All of this still doesn’t explain the hatred and lack of civility shown to people of differing views.
I have read and participated some on internet infidels, but I much prefer the nutcases over at Theologyweb
There you get a better mix of views.
But you have to understand also HS that it isn’t about you being here, and its not just about patting each other on the back.
There are many people who question their faith, and many that lose it, and for some this seems to be traumatic, so sites like these are good for people to be able to communicate with LIKE minded people.
I am sure if YOU were one of only roughly 17% to 20% of the population, you also would like to find a haven where you could express yourself without constant criticsm or phoney compassionate offers of prayers.
So, don’t take it so offensively and personally when you are not welcome at some sites.
I do not expect to be welcomed at evangelical fundamentalist sites = )
...I don’t respond to the trolls because they bait me. I really want to know how other people are addressing or confronting the decline of rationality in the modern world, at a time when we need it most. If I wanted to actually argue theology with someone, I wouldn’t spend any time on this site.
I only come to this site because the premise of Sam’s book is that religion is becoming an increasingly dangerous force in modern society. .
Today the dictator in Iran once again called for the destruction of Israel, 2 days after announcing they had successfully enriched uranium. Only a few days after if came out that we may be planning tactical nuclear strikes to ....ironically ....knock out their nuclear capabilities.
Meanwhile, Israel is calling for us to step up and do something about Iran’s
new toy…all of witch unfortunately plays right into the hands of the loonie fundies over here who just cant seem to wait for the end of the world happen.
Things are starting to move pretty fast lately and I don’t know if any of us has time to debate the fineries with these people anymore. We need to confront these ideas at their core: Iron Age mythology in a mushroom cloud world.
I am heartened to see so many like minded people on the internet. It does give some sense of hope that maybe more and more are moving into the realm of reality: but I sure don’t have any illusions about trolling on a Christian sites and convincing anyone to see the light. Atheists, agnostics and the whole spectrum of progressive realists need to come together now for our own survival. We have virtually no political voice or power in a time when we and the rest of the world are in real danger
PS: Another massive site with a lot good links and material
You guys, thanks so much for all the additional weblinks . . . but Byron, the Infidels seriously need an alternate t-shirt design ; that one is just not cool enough for this torso. Surely they must have a ton of artists volunteering their time?!
You all seem to have your fave sites. Can I ask you to tell me why they appeal to you? Is it for comfort or challenge or similar interests? Theologyweb sounds like a cesspool of God-talk . . . is it? Godlessgeeks sounds like a chatboard in need of a dating service (or at least a lap dance), and Exchristian sounds like it would fixate mostly on escapes from the bloody clutches of various Jesus sects. Please enlighten me!
Building community will become an increasingly vital thing, so I agree with Sartre2 that there is such a sense of happy relief in finding these sites . . . and each other.
Humble Servant . . . Isbliss said it well, that we haven’t really the slightest desire to debate you guys—although it surely firms up our sense of reality—we’re here for sanity, comraderie.
At Safeway tonight (a Cali grocery store), I was going through the checkout. The bagger, chatting me up, peered with interest at my carton of Cappuccino Slim-Fast (milkshakes).
“Dang,” he said, “I love Slim-Fast . . . but I can’t drink that flavor.”
Frowning, I asked him what the heck could possibly keep one from the orgasmic pleasures of cappucchino??? Okay, I didn’t say ‘orgasmic’.
“I’m Mormon,” he shrugged, embarrassed yet braced. “No caffeine.”
“Ah,” I said, not even flinching. “So, which flavor do you go for?”
“The milk chocolate! It’s sooooo good.” He looked completely blissed out.
“Um . . . I hate to break this to you, babe, but there’s caffeine in chocolate.”
To my (not) surprise, he lifted a finger to his lips, “Shhhhhhhh…” and grinned.
:? . . . Typical. But this kid was all of maybe seventeen, so what on this good green Earth is he doing carrying guilt about his love for chocolate?!
Peering at him while I chose my next words, I thought about Noggin’s nightmare tales of Mormon ‘magic underwear’, wondering what version of them was adorning this beautiful example of human maleness.
“I think your maker would probably forgive you,” I smiled, at which point the cashier snickered and Mormonboy blushed. I got the feeling he had already heard that sort of thing before, and was starting to tire of having to trot out the Mormon card to explain his ludicrous eating rituals, of all things.