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Posted: 13 November 2006 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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[quote author=“bouncing”]
Yes, I think the “Brights” movement is misguided in so many ways. The idea is to promote people with naturalistic beliefs, right? And what do they do? Come up with a word that they happen to like, with no evidence whatsoever that the word will actually achieve the stated goal.

On the other hand we have plenty of evidence that societies founded on religion based ethics are not able to achieve the goals of liberty, equality and justice.

We don’t care for the results religious based morality promises us after we die for the simple reason we don’t believe in what religions tell us about life after death. We are concerned about the good stuff in this life. We might fail in numerous ways in accomplishing quickly what we hope for but at the same time we know from evidence that our secular ways of addressing the problems of society work better than the religious ones.

Don’t get me wrong. I give to religions what is due. I appreciate their role in creating stable societies and providing comfort to individuals. The world probably would be a worst place without religions. But at this point in our history it is time to discard religions and replace them with secular ethics and science.

Thomas Orr

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Posted: 13 November 2006 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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[quote author=“Thomas Orr”]
On the other hand we have plenty of evidence that societies founded on religion based ethics are not able to achieve the goals of liberty, equality and justice.

Thomas, I think you’re misunderstanding me.

Our mutual goal: Secular society

How the Brights movement proposes we get there: Start calling functional atheists—people with naturalistic worldviews—“brights”.

Evidence indicating that will work to achieve our objective: None.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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I’m thinking “shiny people” will get you where you want to go.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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[quote author=“frankr”]I’m thinking “shiny people” will get you where you want to go.

Frank, Pete, in my opinion, had a momentary lapse from his usual high degree of cogency.

I’m not a fan of Dennett, so I suppose that makes me biased . . . but, I can’t imagine a group of people, other than perhaps in an Ayn Rand novel, referring to themselves as “bright,” or by any other synonym for intelligence or goodness. It’s one thing to study intelligence and goodness and analyze who may or may not have access to an abundance of it, but quite another to openly call yourself bright. I’ve never in my life referred to myself as being bright and intelligent, or ignorant and stupid either, though I can easily lump myself into either camp, depending on the subject being considered. I’ve known church-going machinists with permanently greased fingernails who are infinitely brighter than exotically educated professors who can barely open a beer can.

(I am a fan of Rand’s fiction masterworks but only some of her overall points of view.)

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 13 November 2006 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Thomas Orr

I give to religions what is due. I appreciate their role in creating stable societies and providing comfort to individuals.

Religion can only arise long after a stable society is in existence.

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Posted: 23 November 2006 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Are brights those people with the blue headlights?
it’s the same familiar smug declaration of enlightenment used as a recruitment tool. Wouldn’t you like to be bright too?
I agree that atheism has been a marketing dissaster.
“Come! Non-exist with us in senseless world of random chance that we have no hope of ever knowing! Come and discuss the futility of personal experience! Be shunned by your family and community! Give no reason for your neighbors to believe you’re capable of moral restraint!
Join Today!”

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Delude responsibly.

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Posted: 23 November 2006 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Religion can only arise long after a stable society is in existence.

Are you serious?

It seems to me its easy enough to have any sort of crazy belief no matter how big or stable your society is.  With less understanding about the world, a smaller group of people to be around, less resources so that you can’t allocate less time to the necessities of life and more time to pursuit of knowledge, then it would seem those people would fall more into the trap of religion.

IF your point is, we don’t need religion to create a stable society, in what you said, a stable society is going to exist before religion, then I would agree.  Like Sam Harris talks about in “Letter to a Christian Nation” religion isn’t making society any more stable, it has the opposite affect!


ON the point that atheists need an agenda, a goal, a way to send out a message, a vocabulary, a movement I agree completely.  I also agree the word atheist, simply stated, sucks.  I don’t want my views to be defined by the opposite of another view.  I actually don’t believe any of my views have anything to do with theism.  Its necessary now to disprove religion and point out all the atrocities, and point out that you can have moral codes and civilation without the belief in fairy tells, but as a movement I would like to see it go the path of not having to point out its opposition to religion. 

I want it to get to the point there isn’t needless arguments and time wasted on the existence of an almighty being. 

We exist, we don’t know why, and we don’t know what will happen when we are done existing.  That doesn’t matter to how we need to live.  Maybe a main simple point is since all we know is that we do exist, we may as well try to exist as long as possible and as efficiently as possible. 

I guess after writing this (and not including some of my thoughts), I kindof think there is no need for any type of movement after the disproof of religion.  There are plenty of developed nations that aren’t burdened with too much religion.  There are tools in place, laws, economics, politics, just whatever else that make society function well and they have nothing to do with religion. 

Do people need to know why to be good to eachother if we take away their religion?  No.  Because the educated, or just the thoughtful know that there are universal reasons for subscribing to a moral code and setting up institutions that protect that. (perhaps?) I can’t give any reason or proof to that end, and I have no idea why I would agree with any sort of law.  Why do I think its morally wrong to kill my neighbor and steal his wife?  Why do I care if there is order in this world?  Why would I want an advanced society? 

Anyway, Im going on tangents and a bunch of nonsense.  I guess my question is what is the next step after disproving religion.

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Posted: 23 November 2006 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]Religion can only arise long after a stable society is in existence.

You can watch religions stabilizing failed societies as we speak. Somalia is going through the same Islamization/Talibanization process as Afganistan went through before.

The entire Western Europe is the product of planned Christianization of the land, which started about thousand year ago. Christian Emperors had dreams quite similar to what Romans dreamed about before them.

You may not like the sort of stability in the examples I gave but it was nevertheless a stability.

Thomas Orr

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