We should welcome opportunities to explain our worldview.
Posted: 16 September 2013 05:03 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The subject of words comes up here and in other Humanist discussion groups over and over. One objection to the use of certain words, like “Faith,” “spiritual” and now even “belief” is that most people do not understand these words as we do, so that if we use them we will have to explain ourselves. That is not my experience most times. Much depends on how I use the words, and in what context.

Let’s take an example. Someone asks if one of us believes in God. We might say “No.” The person might then ask “Are you an atheist.” Most of us would say “Yes.” Or at the very least, we could.

At this point, we could easily be met with a derisive snort and comments about how atheists have no values and no reason not to engage in unspeakably evil acts. Our response, I would hope, is that atheists have values that are as good and as decent as anyone else’s, including kindness, generosity and respect.

Maybe our listener won’t understand that, or won’t be persuaded. The problem isn’t with the word “atheist.” It’s with our listener’s understanding.

We can’t force other people to open their minds but we can offer them our vision. Every time we have the chance to do that, we have taken another opportunity to change a mind. Many people are open-minded enough to change their minds.

The same is true for words like “Faith,” “spiritual,” “belief,” “religion” and even “God.” Those of us secularists who use these words, even if only on rare occasions, have a different view of them than the popular view. I welcome every chance I get to offer a Humanistic worldview to people who have asked me what I believe.

Why shouldn’t we all?

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 16 September 2013 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I completely agree.  When I was active on Christian forums, I found that most often they really had no idea what an atheist was.  One kept quoting Nietzche, and he seemed to believe that he had invented atheism, therefore anyone calling himself an atheist must also be a Nietzchian!  I also met a couple of Christians who claimed they they “used to be” atheists, but they made it clear they had just gone through a period when they were angry at God.  You have to somehow make it clear that you are just as moral as they are, you just manage to do it without reference to God.

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