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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.