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A Bill of Rights and Beliefs for Non-believers
Posted: 18 October 2007 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Dennis Campbell - 18 October 2007 07:20 PM

I’m less interested denigrating that huge mass of people called “theists,” then I am in, for myself at least, articulating what “free thinkers” (still have no satisfying other single label) do think and value.  Unlike Hitchens’ call, I’m not at all interested in a Jhad against theists, any more than I’m about to endorse theism as any premise for proposing social or moral prescriptions.

Dennis

I think such a project highly worthwhile, even though I am a theist.  As I’ve explained before, God cannot be the source of morality.  Morality arises as a function of the interaction between beings capable of both (a) reason and (b) being harmed.

But if I may suggest what I take to be an interesting problem for such a project:  the lack of community and organized ritual for affirming such basic views/values.

I think Western philosophers have done a fantastic job over the past two centuries setting forth moral and social prescriptions through reasoned argument.  But what free thinkers lack is any organized social structure.  And I’ve recently read interesting sociological material on the importance of ritual.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Publius - 18 October 2007 07:52 PM

And I’ve recently read interesting sociological material on the importance of ritual.

There’s no doubt about the value that people place upon ritual. It encompasses everything from white silk and mitred caps with censors to davening and phylacteries to black leather with lashes and nipple clamps. And that’s just the costume party aspect. But all the way through this variety, it’s the repetition compulsion that wins the day.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Salt Creek,

Once again, you’ve contributed to your isolation from most of the intelligent and articulate human race.  Perhaps that’s where you’re most comfortable, I’ve no idea.  Nor do I much care.  Nor does most of the intelligent and articulate human race,  Want to take a bet?  Please, do so.  No, you seem to thrive on establishing yourself as some sort of criteria of intellect and judgment.  I have unhappy news for you, you’re not. But, maybe you can appeal to some god or other. 

Dennis

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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Dennis Campbell - 18 October 2007 08:13 PM

Perhaps that’s where you’re most comfortable

Don’t take it so seriously, Dennis. As Elbert Hubbard advises, you aren’t going to get out of this alive.

The more I get to know people like you, however, the more I like my cat.

[ Edited: 18 October 2007 04:23 PM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Publious,

You have no argument from me.  The inherent problem with “free thinkers,” (although I do not consider that a problem) is that they’re NOT a coherent group.  Maybe (?) some of their characteristics are exemplified by some of the text I posted above at the start of this thread.  That post was exploratory, not conclusive nor declarative.

Posters, otherwise unidentified, like Salt Creek, are as disgusting to me as any fundamentalist theist. 

Dennis

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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Salt Creek,

That’s perhaps your main problem, you like cats.  Rational people eagerly subject themselves to being enclaved by Shelties.

Dennis

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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Dennis Campbell - 18 October 2007 08:26 PM

That’s perhaps your main problem, you like cats.  Rational people eagerly subject themselves to being enclaved by Shelties.

Nobody’s purrfect.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Salt Creek
If indeed you are a nihilist as defined below, then why are you posting anything?  I suspect you have some sense of confidence (may I say “belief”?) in yourself, or you’d not be so enthusiastically countering and arguing with almost everyone else on this forum.
I agree, of course, no one survives this life (theists keep quiet), but in the meantime, I’m sort of addicted to some values (see above postings) and beliefs. 

Dennis

P.S.

The “purrfect” comment I’ll ignore in favor of a Sheltie yoodling at 3:00 AM to go outside.  Only Sheltee I’ve had tha does that.

DEC

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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 18 October 2007 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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“Defined below” did not render.  Oops.

Wikopedia refers to that as believing in nothing.  Originated after WW-I as a philosophical reaction to the loss much of some generations in that war. 

Dennis

[ Edited: 18 October 2007 04:50 PM by Dennis Campbell]
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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 22 October 2007 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Basic rights

1.  All people have the right of questioning and skepticism, and to submit their opinions to the judgment of others without fear of condemnation or censure for having done so.  There is no assurance of acceptance or absence of criticism.
2.  Each person has the right and obligation to accept full responsibility for the articulation of any opinion, without ascribing that to any other entity or authority.
3.  No one shall be impugned nor condemned for the expression of any opinion as a person, but any and all opinions may be criticized as any may deem appropriate.

Mr Campbell, for religion to function, at any level, whether it be the size of Catholicism, or as small and minor as an indigenous folk myth, it must exist without any form of questioning or skepticism. For to question is to undo.
Religions exist because people do not, cannot, or shall not question or doubt them. The answers to these questions and thoughts can never be answered by religion, and so to remain domineering and in control, they invented the word blasphemy…...
.....consider me an unholy blasphemist….
.....best thoughts sir.

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Give a hungry man a fish, and he’ll cook himself a meal.
Give a hungry man a religion, and he’ll starve to death praying for a fish.

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Posted: 23 October 2007 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Agree re religions, all I was trying to do for myself at least was to outline ideas of importance to me.  Strikes me as worthwhile to try and articulate what “free Thinkers” do endorse.

Dennis

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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 26 October 2007 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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.

[ Edited: 26 October 2007 08:18 PM by Antisocialdarwinist]
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Do-gooding is like treating hemophilia—the real cure is to let hemophiliacs bleed to death, before they breed more hemophiliacs. -Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

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