Free in Kentucky
Posted: 01 August 2011 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Greetings, fellow free thinkers:
I hope you will indulge me while I introduce myself.

I have spent the better part of a half century locked into a fundamentalist Christian prison of my own making. Well, at least I was a willing participant in my imprisonment. But cracks began to appear in the prison facade about 5 years ago, which started me on a gradual course of enlightenment. I changed churches a couple of times, progressing toward ever more liberal flavors of Christianity. But once that snowball started rolling, it quickly gathered momentum. (My metaphors are all over the place—sorry about that!)

Finally, I left Christianity altogether and just referred to myself as the trendy “Spiritual but not religious.” However, spirituality without religion is not all it’s cracked up to be. It is mostly a quagmire of strange claims and practices that are impossible to evaluate. I was looking for something more rational, more grounded in reality. Next I found the Deists. They appealed to me quite a bit due to their very rational approach to the world. However, the one thing they are unwilling to give up is a firm belief in some form of singular deity. Eventually, I realized that I have arrived at a state of agnosticism and so I reluctantly said goodbye to the deist philosophy. Today, I tend to gravitate toward secular humanism.

As I have tipped over my “sacred cows” one by one, I have grown more and more excited as I feel connected to the person I was as a youth. That person was curious, skeptical, rational, always seeking answers but slow to take anyone’s word for anything without some evidence. That person loved science and read voraciously. He was also very non-judgmental of other peoples’ values. He was never afraid of what might be hidden under any rock he overturned.

Flash forward 40 or so years, and that wild-eyed young freethinker had somehow over the years morphed into a middle-aged right-wing nutjob fundamentalist Christian. That guy was miserable and neurotic, still retaining the curiosity of his youth but now terrified of turning over any rocks, for fear that the information underneath would bring down his house of cards. To satisfy his love of science, he turned to the “Intelligent Design” crowd, knowing deep down that it was all crap but superficially satisfied as he whistled past the graveyard.

Now, I again feel the excitement and wonder that I felt as a child, gazing through a telescope at the cosmos or hungrily devouring the latest discoveries in a science magazine or blog. Once again, I am unbound by rules handed down from on high that dictate to me what I can believe, who I can associate with, what I can approve of and what I must renounce. I am free to do what my heart and mind tell me to do and that is quite simply to live and let live.

Jesus Christ promised that the truth would set us free. He was right about that, even if his followers terribly perverted what those word meant. Or maybe he never said it—maybe he never even existed. At any rate, the words are true: Truth does indeed equate with freedom. But one must be willing and able to seek the truth wihtout any compriomise or restriction, and must be willing to let the turth lead where it will.

That’s my story. I am happy to have found a group of people like myself who have discovered the true meaning of truth. I look forward to learning from and with you all. Here’s to free and honest inquiry!

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Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

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Posted: 01 August 2011 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welome to the CFI Forum, FIK, great to have you here. With your background and interests I’m sure you’ll find some interesting conversation among our members. Please feel free to dive right in!

Cheers,

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Doug

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El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

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Posted: 01 August 2011 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Welcome aboard, Free. I sympathize with the thoughts in your narrative.
Nice piece of prose/poetry too.

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If you see God, tell Him I’m looking for Him.

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Posted: 01 August 2011 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m happy to have you here.  Wow, you’ve had quite an impressive philosophical trip.  You’ve found many flaws in the systems you’ve gone through, but don’t expect the Secular Humanits to be perfect.  You’ll see that each of us has his/her own, often disparate, ideas.  I’m looking forward to reading your comments in the various threads.

Occam

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Succinctness, clarity’s core.

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Posted: 01 August 2011 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I am happy and excited to be here. I probably won’t post much until I get a feel for the culture around here—I always find that to be best. Occam, I appreciate your comment about not expecting anyone here to be perfect. To do so would require the same from myself,  and I certainly can’t live up to that! All I expect is what I hope to contribute: rational, thoughtful discourse, light on the value judgments. I like to say that all things should be tolerated, except intolerance itself. Along with a little civility for seasoning. smile

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Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

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Posted: 01 August 2011 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Don’t forget the humor. We’re quite fond of humor around here. tongue wink

Welcome aboard. I also look forward to your contributions.

Edit: Fixed typo per DM’s urging.

[ Edited: 01 August 2011 12:47 PM by DarronS ]
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“In the beginning, God created the universe. This has made many people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”
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Posted: 01 August 2011 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes! Humor, absolutely! I actually have a pretty warped sense of humor, once you get to know me. (Douglas Adams rocks, by the way!)

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Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

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Posted: 01 August 2011 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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DarronS - 01 August 2011 11:34 AM

Don’t forget the humor. We’re quite fond go humor around here. tongue wink

Darron, you’re slipping.  You’re gonna have to give back your Grammar Nazi certification at this rate. LOL

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 01 August 2011 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I suppose I should jump in and say welcome!

You’ll find that everyone here has a pretty good sense of humor, and a good grasp on rational thinking/inquiry.

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Ignorance and Reason are two sides of the same defunct coin

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Posted: 05 August 2011 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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FreeInKy, welcome.  Must be a little like being free in MO.  smile  Glad to have you here.  Jump right in and join us.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 05 August 2011 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Mriana - 05 August 2011 07:17 AM

FreeInKy, welcome.  Must be a little like being free in MO.  smile  Glad to have you here.  Jump right in and join us.

Thanks! At least you guys gave us Mark Twain. Although nominally a theist, he was a freethinker, science buff, and a huge critic of organized religion, which makes him terrific in my book. Oh, and I have heard he could spin a decent tale from time to time.

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Free in Kentucky
—Humanist
“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”—Edith Sitwell

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