I’m proud to be an Evangelical Atheist
Posted: 09 December 2006 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
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On the most recent episode, Paul Kurtz denigrates the phrase "Evangelical Atheist."  I don’t take offense from the phrase, and also unlike Kurtz, take pride in the term ‘atheist’ as well. 

Frankly, I don’t understand him when he says (paraphrasing) "I don’t believe in God, but I don’t call myself an atheist."  His argument against the term is mere wordplay.  We all know what the term means, and whether or not other terms exist for other forms of disbelief is logically irrelevant, IMHO.

I don’t believe in gods, and I try to improve the world by encouraging others to examine their faith with a critical eye.  Therefore, I’m an Evangelical Atheist. 

With all due respect, Dr. Kurtz, you’re an Evangelical Atheist too.

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Posted: 09 December 2006 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m proud to be an Evangelical Atheist

On the most recent episode, Paul Kurtz denigrates the phrase “Evangelical Atheist.”  I don’t take offense from the phrase, and also unlike Kurtz, take pride in the term ‘atheist’ as well. 

Frankly, I don’t understand him when he says (paraphrasing) “I don’t believe in God, but I don’t call myself an atheist.”  His argument against the term is mere wordplay.  We all know what the term means, and whether or not other terms exist for other forms of disbelief is logically irrelevant, IMHO.

I don’t believe in gods, and I try to improve the world by encouraging others to examine their faith with a critical eye.  Therefore, I’m an Evangelical Atheist. 

With all due respect, Dr. Kurtz, you’re an Evangelical Atheist too.

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If you won’t pray in my schools, I won’t think in your church

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Posted: 09 December 2006 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Please understand:  I have a lot of respect for Dr. Kurtz and his work.  No question.

But it always has bothered me that so many people think atheism is a negative thing.  To me, it’s an extremely positive thing, and we need to make people aware that being an atheist is nothing to be ashamed of.

Dr. Kurtz should define himself in whatever terms make sense to him, of course.  Still, when he calls the term “denigrating”—as he did on the show—he’s buying into the religious take on the term, and he’s doing that in such a way that makes how I want to define myself a negative thing.

I’m sincere when I say Dr. Kurtz needs to rethink how he wants to refer to those of us who are proud of their atheism.

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If you won’t pray in my schools, I won’t think in your church

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Posted: 09 December 2006 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Well now, he didn’t say that “atheism” was a denigrating term. What he objected to was the description “evangelical atheism”. I think it was the religious, faith-based connotations that he may have considered denigrating.

Atheism is ‘negative’ analytically; that is, by the meaning of the term. It is “a-theism”, or “anti-theism”. That isn’t to say it’s wrong or bad, but it is a negative. Rhetorically it is a little weaker than starting out with a positive proposal.

But of course, if you prefer arguing the atheist position, go for it. Clearly it also requires ability.

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Posted: 12 December 2006 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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For me, the modifier “evangelical” is the key here. It implies an aggression and self-righteousness in promoting one’s world view that I would object to even in service to an ideology I agree with. Perhaps it was not so much the idea of atheism as a faith that Dr. Kurtz intended to denigrate as it was the arrogance and intolerant tone of those who would promulgate it as Christian evangelicals promote their beliefs. I’m absolutely in favor of promoting atheism and secularism myself, but I try to do so with greater open-mindedness and humility than evangelicals of whatever stripe.

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Posted: 18 December 2006 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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There is a thin line between being enthusiastic and being obnoxious.  Some atheists cross it, and it doesn’t do anyone any good. 

For me, not believing in gods is about as important as not believing in Santa.  If someone wants to discuss it, great, I’m there, but otherwise it’s not all that important to me.

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Posted: 31 March 2007 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hello everyone

Question about Evangelical Atheist.

When you meet someone from another faith, what do you say to him or her.

How can you convince someone God does not exist, when they don’t use facts or reason and only believe what is written in their holy book. And think you are only a test from GOD.

Religion and magical think are more like alcoholism; you cannot help someone until they know they have a problem, or have doubts.

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WoodGuard from Canada
I am 95% skeptic, 4% Believer and 1% unknown.

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Posted: 31 March 2007 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Re: Hello everyone

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Posted: 31 March 2007 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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To remove God from my life,  LOL
it took 5 year, heart surgery, lung surgery, almost dieing each time. To this day, I still fall off the wagon; I just get back on faster.

It has nothing too do with logic or intelligent, my gut tells me there is a God. And my gut is wrong.

I remind myself each day, Science keeps me alive, God had nothing to do with it.

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WoodGuard from Canada
I am 95% skeptic, 4% Believer and 1% unknown.

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Posted: 31 March 2007 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Re: I’m proud to be an Evangelical Atheist

[quote author=“Impish”]We all know what the term means, and whether or not other terms exist for other forms of disbelief is logically irrelevant, IMHO.

Well there are fierce debates throughout our own community on what the term does and should mean so I expect people outside our community will field even more confused by the term.

I’m more in agreement with Kurtz, Shermer, Krause, and Sagan. The term while perhaps technically accurate can cause problems in forwarding our real world ambitions. As some many said in Beyond Belief, it depends on what you want to achieve, and with who. My own argument (used here with Doug I believe) is that Weak, soft, less filling, tastes great, Atheism is agnosticism dressed for a battle. That can be useful, but often only in a temporary skirmish.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 03:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’m tired of the media using “clever” wording to make atheists appear to be mirror images of believers. Every time a new article comes out I see headlines using words like “crusaders”, “evangelists”, or even “acolytes of Dawkins.” etc.

According to the dictionary “evangelical” basically means “good news from the angels”. It’s pretty silly to associate that word with atheism!

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Posted: 13 April 2007 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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http://www.examiner.com/printa-648818~A_new_fundamentalism?_Some_decry_strident_tone_of_fellow_atheists.html

We need humanism, not militant atheism!

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Barry F. Seidman
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Posted: 08 July 2007 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Barry - 13 April 2007 05:35 PM

http://www.examiner.com/printa-648818~A_new_fundamentalism?_Some_decry_strident_tone_of_fellow_atheists.html

We need humanism, not militant atheism!

Indeed, it is what comes after atheism that will open the door to potential fulfillment.
The need for certainty can be strong in peoples lives and, depending on which of the many definitions of atheism you may subscribe to, is destined only to leave a sizable gap to be filled.
I have heard some scientists referred to as ‘strident atheists’ rather than being described as strident in tone alone. This is a clear sign that either scientific methodology is poorly understood (ie that conclusive evidence for a given theory will be accepted, even by those described as stridently opposed if they are sufficiently honest) or that journalists simply misuse their adjectives and create much confusion in the process.
There exists much fear of the ‘other’ and yet, even an introductory psychology textbook will attest to the sheer weight of similarities between us. Too little consideration is given to the effects wrought by pulling the rug out from under foot and simply leaving others to pick up the pieces.
I should add that many militant atheists do stick around in the aftermath and I commend them for that, but there will inevitably be those who are left isolated and wondering what comes next.

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Posted: 08 July 2007 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Not so fast: having the ‘rug pulled out’ is a metaphor that suggests the person is falling into an endless abyss.
Nice picture but hey: all that really happened is that someone caught on to the fact that he had been caught up in false and fanciful explanations of reality, and now needs to take it from there. Sure, that can be hard, but people can handle it. And it’s not like that person is only losing things, he’s also gaining freedom, comprehension, her circle of potential friends has just widened to include those outside the congregation, etc pp.
People tend to cope with tragedy (loss of a loved one, professional failures, addiction, bankruptcy, illness) but I tend to see losing one’s faith as a gain, not a tragedy.

[ Edited: 08 July 2007 11:38 AM by moreover ]
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Posted: 08 July 2007 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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moreover - 08 July 2007 11:10 AM

Not so fast: having the ‘rug pulled out’ is a metaphor that suggests the person is falling into an endless abyss.
Nice picture but hey: all that really happened is that someone caught on to the fact that he had been caught up in false and fanciful explanation of reality, and now needs to take it from there. Sure, that can be hard, but people can handle it. And it’s not like that person is only losing things, he’s also gaining freedom, comprehension, her circle of potential friends has just widened to include those outside the congregation, etc pp.
People tend to cope with tragedy (loss of a loved one, professional failures, addiction, bankruptcy, illness) but I tend to see losing one’s faith as a gain, not a tragedy.

Your interpretation of that metaphor is not what I intended. I am not arguing that losing faith is a tragedy nor that the potential benefits are not extremely positive. Please remember however that for some people, it is like pulling the rug and it is very like an abyss for them. I admit I have oversimplified things in the recent post but nonetheless, do not think for a second that people have not put a rope around their neck and finished what to them was a life of lies in light of losing their faith. Examples of this do exist and it is here that our attention should be. I would assert that at least some of these cases may have been avoided if these individuals were able to be supported by more than atheism. Here, Humanism is a fine example among many of something structured and tangible that may help individuals to adjust. Leaving people to their own devices more often than not leads to no harm, I agree. There should be room in the discussion however to account for those who fall by the wayside.

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