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On the Term Brights
Posted: 04 December 2006 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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I think that the word ‘Bright’s’ get’s everyone’s attention. That is the key here. Regardless if you or I like the name, the idea behind the name was likely devised to get people talking about it, as opposed to just being catchy or cocky. If you talk or write about it as we are in this forum, then that mean’s that people will go to the website to see what the message is. Is that not the key to getting out the word you want to put across to people? If someone say’s that they are brighter or smarter than you, you would likely take that as a personal challenge. That is exactly what the name ‘Bright’s’ entail’s. Let’s face it most of us think we are alot brighter than the average person. We certainly know were’re smarter than the theist’s.  :wink:
  I myself like the term Atheist, as it really grate’s on the religious when they hear that word. It get’s their attention, much like the word’s ‘apathy’ and ‘apostacy.’ It’s worth looking at the meaning behind this last word. “Renuciation of a belief or faith, abandoning of principles, etc.” Here’s the part that I like best, I read this back in high school and have never forgotten the end. >  [Greek, = defecation] That last part sum’s up the meaning for us. :D May the child-like amusement’s live on in all of us.

CDN

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Posted: 05 December 2006 01:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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I’m reading Dennett’s Breaking the Spell now, and I love his writing, but I think “bright” is just bad style, besides being obviously arrogant.  I agree with whoever said that he must have a “tin ear” on this issue.

I’m not into labeling myself, but I think “freethinker” is as descriptive and accurate as anything, and as Susan Jacoby has illustrated, it has an honorable and rich history.

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Posted: 05 December 2006 02:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Well…if Thomas Jefferson is the example of an “honorable history,” than the term has lost all its meaning.  Sorry, Jefferson hater here.

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Posted: 05 December 2006 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Well, I wasn’t thinking about the dishonorable bits when I used that phrase.  But certainly one can appreciate Jefferson’s contribution to the founding of our secular republic without declaring him a saint.

But not just Jefferson:  Thomas Paine, John Adams, to a certain extent Washington and Franklin, the roots of the abolitionist and women’s rights movements, Robert Ingersoll, Walt Whitman, to a certain extent Lincoln…

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Posted: 05 December 2006 03:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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I know what you meant.  I just wanted to rail him a little.  I am the biggest fan of Alexander Hamilton one could encounter, at least in my experience, so his mortal enemy needs a shot now and then.

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Posted: 05 December 2006 05:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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There is a potential for adverse reaction and comment when someone calls himself a Bright but does not follow standard usage of the apostrophe. My point is not so much grammatical as it is psychological.

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Posted: 05 December 2006 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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How about “The Sane”?

Let’s face it, there are plenty of dumb atheists, and plenty of smart theists.  Thus, equating atheism with intelligence is not merely arrogant, but it is also wrong.

Theistic belief is, however, delusional, so. . .

-Matt

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Posted: 05 December 2006 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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OH yeah! Blew up in Bluejay’s FACE! All up in his/her face!

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Posted: 05 December 2006 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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It seems ironic to me that christians have a problem with the “arrogance” of atheism, when they claim to be #2 in the universe!  Naturally just behind God.  How arrogant and intellectually dishonest does one have to be to maintain bronze age convictions?  “Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.”-Nietzsche

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Posted: 08 December 2006 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Dennett defends “bright” as not implying anyone else is dumb and suggesting believers create a similar name for themselves.

It doesn’t really work though.  When I read his “I am a bright” it just clunked.

I use atheist or skeptic.  If someone tries to talk to me about God I just say I have no interest in religion.  The funny thing was that last time I used it, on the Mormon missionaries who came to my door, they rolled right over me.  They were inviting me to a church singalong and said “Oh, it’s not about that.  We’re just going to get together and sing about Jesus and things everyone can enjoy” or words to that effect (I wrote about this earlier and the quote was more accurate then, I’m sure).

Maybe they thought “religion” was as in “organized religion” or “your religion”.  To me, Jesus implies religion.

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“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

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Posted: 17 December 2006 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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I will admit to being an atheist (not being a theist) if someone asked if I am one, but I see no need to use the word like some red badge of courage.  Why use a negative term to designate your world view?  Let the superstitious call themselves non-naturalist.  LOL.

When asked what I “believe” or what my “religion” is, nowadays I usually answer that I am a panmonist.  That usually makes people stop in their tracks and reconsider whether it is worth it to continue to bother me.  LOL.

As for the term “Bright” - that has got to be the stupidest idea I have heard in a long time.  It reminds me of the scientologist term “Clear”. LOL.

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Posted: 31 December 2006 03:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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The logic and the illogic of “bright” as a better label for “atheist:”

Like most self-labeling, it seems arrogant because of the inevitable implication of a self-acclaimed and superior intelligence.  And it’s also embarrassing in a pitiable way, almost as if one’s favorite though obese sister suddenly declared that all should call her “Slim” henceforth.

But that aside, there is a modicum of logical value to it in that most or all religious believers clearly do seem demonstrably “stupid” to believe in their claptrap either on the basis of blind faith or an idiot’s misconception of the basic requisites for reasoning soundly from empirical fact to valid, true conclusions.  But there seems little present chance of scrapping “theist,” or Judeo-Christian, for “dummy,”  doesn’t there?

More importantly perhaps, just because a thinker is not a frog is insufficient proof that he is a prince.  For one thing, religious claims are such obvious nonsense that one doesn’t have to be very bright to see them for what they are, if one but chooses to look.  Only, it seems to me, if one generally and consistently reasons well, and on somewhat more thorny questions, could one logically merit the label “bright.” Otherwise, one is hoist by the illogical fallacy of the illicit, or false conversion.

Do atheists reason well generally? They might, but I have seen no proof for it. Many or most might even be atheists either on blind faith or faulty thinking.

Neither have I seen proof that all religious believers are generally stupid in a general way.  Most may be, but some others may tightly compartmentalize their religious beliefs and may generally be as bright, or hopefully much brighter, than I myself seem to be.  <s>

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Posted: 31 December 2006 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Interesting take, Feppish. I would add that, since intelligence or lack of it is only one of many factors that contribute to whether a person is religious, populations always have at least a few extraordinarily dull-witted atheists as well as extraordinarily gifted religionists. Terms such as “bright” works only in a population-study sense. In the real world, the stupid and the brilliant alike earn their accolades or insults individually.

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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: 31 December 2006 04:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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I saw a cartoon of JC as a Borg.
The tagline was: “resistance is futile.”
Funny but also to the point.

The only term I can come up with for us would be The Unassimilated.

As for this whole Bright thing; yeah, that will improve our standing in the USA.
Not only evil and untrustworthy, but arrogant too.

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“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools.
But that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever.”

From the autobiography of A.A.Mills, ‘The passage of time, according to an estranged, casual tyrant.’

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Posted: 31 December 2006 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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[quote author=“Sander”]I saw a cartoon of JC as a Borg.
The tagline was: “resistance is futile.”...The only term I can come up with for us would be The Unassimilated… .

Wow, I really like the term “unassimilated”.  It is a shorter way of saying one is a radical individualist, that is, not a member of any group-think scenario. 

It is a MUCH better negative term for oneself, I think, than atheist, agnostic, non-believer, unbeliever, non-theist, etc., since everyone always assents to the shibboleth “we each have a right to our own opinion”, whether they are sincere in saying this or not. 

The Unassimilated, by definition, rejects membership in any and all group-think, thus we are not identified with anyone else, famous or not, atheist or not, and thus can’t be challenged, at the get go, to defend “X”, i.e., what the so-called “atheist” group, the “agnostic” group, the “materialist” group or some famous atheist “believe” or think/say is truth.

As the “unassimilated”, I only have to defend the rationality or underlying factuality of my personal expressed understandings, assumptions, and reasons for believing “X” - or “not-X”.

The unassimilated is unassailable. 

I AM the Unassimilated.

Cool.  8)

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