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Will 2012 Be the Year of the Atheist?
Posted: 01 January 2012 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Will 2012 Be the Year of the Atheist?

Brandon G. Withrow, Assistant Professor of History of Christianity, Winebrenner Theological Seminary
12/30/11
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brandon-g-withrow/2012-the-year-of-atheism_b_1173730.html

Being an open atheist . . . is a path toward marginalization.

I suggest three reasons . . . to resist the urge to silence the atheist voice. Underlying each of these points is The Golden Rule: to treat others as you would have them treat you. . . .

Firstly, open atheism not only helps the religious understand “the other,” but it is also a tool for understanding oneself. . . . if you want to understand why people leave religious communities, either for rational or experiential reasons, then dialogue with an atheist is essential. . . .

Next, consider the social consequences when one forces the atheist into silence. . . . Maintaining relationships is not the problem of the atheist alone; religious family and friends can set that tone as well. . . .

Lastly, inviting atheists into the open is an investment in the future, which currently appears to be a world of religious decline. . . . it may not be too long before the shoe is on the other foot and the religious minority will be the ones hoping for a place at the social table. . . .

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Posted: 01 January 2012 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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josh_karpf - 01 January 2012 05:54 AM

Lastly, inviting atheists into the open is an investment in the future, which currently appears to be a world of religious decline. . . . it may not be too long before the shoe is on the other foot and the religious minority will be the ones hoping for a place at the social table. . . .

Now that’s what I’m praying for.  LOL

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Turn off Fox News - Bad News For America
(Atheists are myth understood)

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Posted: 01 January 2012 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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josh_karpf - 01 January 2012 05:54 AM

. . . it may not be too long before the shoe is on the other foot and the religious minority will be the ones hoping for a place at the social table. . . .

In my sheltered life, before I looked around on the internet, I just assumed that time was already here.

It still slightly suprises me that others are having such a different experience.

Stephen

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Posted: 02 January 2012 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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As a newcomer to these circles, it seems that there are two important things that atheists need to keep in mind:
(1) not all religious people are anti-atheists (a very small minority, granted, but potentially vitally important as allies in the struggle for separation of church and state and freedom of thought);
(2) getting the word out and getting people connected is both vital to the ability to make a difference, and easier said than done.

May 2012 be, indeed, the Year of the Atheist—and may all agnostic and “questioning” seekers of human good and a better world with a future worth living join the cause.  (Amen—“so be it”—old habit, but one I’m considering retaining… )

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The Muddler (Diane)

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Posted: 03 January 2012 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I could care less about having a “place at the social table”, simply because I’m an atheist. I want a place at the social table because I’m reasonable. If people would put religion in its proper place (outside of the public policy realm), then they can have just as equal of a place at the table as me. All that matters to me is a table that is centered around a focus on reason and humanistic values. They can keep their “Gods”, as long as they know how to leave that “God” at home when they come to the table…

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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 04 January 2012 03:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Every year is the year of the atheist…...cause we’re better. cheese  Realistically, atheists will always be a minority in humankind.

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Raise your glass if you’re wrong…. in all the right ways.

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Posted: 04 January 2012 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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“I want a place at the social table because I’m reasonable. If people would put religion in its proper place (outside of the public policy realm), then they can have just as equal of a place at the table as me. All that matters to me is a table that is centered around a focus on reason and humanistic values.”

I completely agree—and used to feel that way when I was christian, and know people who are still christian (and a couple of jews, at least one hindu, some bahai’s, a buddhist and a couple of muslims) who would agree as well—and I don’t think it’s overgeneralizing to think that my friends in my little corner of the world are not the only ones. My point being that reasonable people who promote humanist values from within a faith stance can help communicate why fundamentalist and anti-human faith-based arguments are detrimental to the common good (maybe even from a theological perspective that would “make sense” to other people of faith). Assuming that a person with a faith stance is against reason and humanist values is as counter-productive as assuming that an atheist is incapable of being ethical.  Having a place (like these forums) to support one another from the onslaughts of religious fundamentalists is understandable. Deciding that one needs to become equally extremist doesn’t cut it for me. 

I’ll still give a good shout out for a “Year of the Atheist” if it means achieving a level of acceptance and legitimacy in the wider culture that allows for hope that the cause of reason and humanistic values is advancing despite the very vocal, well-funded and, quite frankly, frightening attempts of religious extremists to take control of our society.

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The Muddler (Diane)

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Posted: 08 January 2012 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It is a myth that religion will one day not exist…

People have been making up gods and beings since the time we gained the ability to formulate an opinion…

I actually laugh at atheists who believe it…

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As I look back on my life, If I could have the glorious moment
The wondrous opportunity to comprehend
The chance to see my younger self
One time, To converse
To hear his thoughts

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Posted: 09 January 2012 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Affluenza
As I look back on my life, If I could have the glorious moment
The wondrous opportunity to comprehend
The chance to see my younger self
One time, To converse
To hear his thoughts

I assume you wrote this little musing.

I am not that interested to know what your younger self would say, but I’d be very interested to know what you would tell him…..... oh oh

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

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Posted: 09 January 2012 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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People have been making up gods and beings since the time we gained the ability to formulate an opinion


So, your contention is that despite the now continuous breakthroughs in science from astrophysics to mircobiology that mankind is further doomed to ignorance and superstition? That somehow the “god of the gaps” will widen the chasm and leap back to prominence answering all of life’s questions with a “that’s a mystery my son?” I don’t think so. As the pundits say, we may not be able to answer every mystery but science is ongoing and loves to fill in those pesky gaps. Fortunately (or unfortunately for those who believe in the good old days), we can’t go back to “inventing gods” as they mno longer serve a useful purpose, although Athena has always been my favorite. I just may take a goat to Nashville and sacrifice it to her 40 foot statue! Now, that’s impressive, nah they smell.


Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

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Posted: 09 January 2012 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 09 January 2012 05:11 PM

People have been making up gods and beings since the time we gained the ability to formulate an opinion


So, your contention is that despite the now continuous breakthroughs in science from astrophysics to mircobiology that mankind is further doomed to ignorance and superstition? That somehow the “god of the gaps” will widen the chasm and leap back to prominence answering all of life’s questions with a “that’s a mystery my son?” I don’t think so. As the pundits say, we may not be able to answer every mystery but science is ongoing and loves to fill in those pesky gaps. Fortunately (or unfortunately for those who believe in the good old days), we can’t go back to “inventing gods” as they mno longer serve a useful purpose, although Athena has always been my favorite. I just may take a goat to Nashville and sacrifice it to her 40 foot statue! Now, that’s impressive, nah they smell.


Cap’t Jack

But that developing schism is the fundamental premise of evolution. Some species (even if related) advance while others get stuck in a comfotable environment in which they do not need to advance.
Perhaps a thousand years from now we might be able to say that 2012 marked the year when the evolutionary paths of “modern enlightened man” split off from a “common” human ancestor….. cheese

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

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Posted: 09 January 2012 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Will they then return to the trees, fling their own poo at each other and leave the rest of us alone? If we give them a banana will they just go away and invent a god to worship? You know what happened to the other hominid we diverged from. Maybe they’ll all go to a cave in the south of Spain and die out. One can only hope! smile

Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

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Posted: 09 January 2012 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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You mean the north of Spain, Jack.  wink If you’re referring to the famous cave of Altamira, it couldn’t be any more to the north.

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Posted: 09 January 2012 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Damn, I should have said near the South and West of France!  cheese

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

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Posted: 09 January 2012 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Actually George It was Gorham’s cave at Gibraltar where the Neanderthal remains we’re last found that I was thinking of in my earlier post! The analogy was where ignorance would, like the Neanderthal, die out of natural causes.


Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

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Posted: 10 January 2012 06:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Oh, I see. Okay, nevermind.  grin

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