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Manifestos III and 2000 (I’m confused)
Posted: 15 September 2007 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]
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From what I gather, the Humanist Manifesto III was drafted in 2003:  http://www.americanhumanist.org/3/HumandItsAspirations.php  Humanist 2000 was drafted by Paul Kurtz in 2000.  OK how many manifestos are there and which one is current- 2000 or III?  I’m officially lost in this mess.

COHE has it as current too:  http://humanisteducation.com/manifesto3.html  As well as IHS too.

I only see the Secular Humanist site with the 2000 and of course the book in my hand concerning it.  I’m lost.  :(

[ Edited: 15 September 2007 06:36 PM by Mriana ]
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Posted: 15 September 2007 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Mriana,
The American Humanist Association was formed in or just before 1933, and they issued Humanist Manifesto I.

In 1973 the AHA issued Humanist Manifesto II.  As I understand it, Paul Kurtz was one of the main authors.

Shortly after that Paul Kurtz got P.O.ed at something and split from the AHA (probably because of his gigantic ego).  He formed the Secular Humanists, CFI.

In 2003 the AHA issued Humanist Manifesto III.  Kurtz didn’t sign it and almost certainly wasn’t an author of it.

Separately, Kurtz wrote a book called Humanist(?) Manifesto 2000. 

It’s important to realize that there are two very similar Humanist organizations in the U.S., but seem to have very strongly divided administrations.  I’m sure both of the powers that be would disagree with my statement that they are at all similar.  LOL

One difference is that CFI is definitely non-theistic, but the AHA accepts Religous Humanists under their umbrella.

Occam

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Posted: 15 September 2007 08:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Occam - 15 September 2007 07:13 PM

Mriana,
The American Humanist Association was formed in or just before 1933, and they issued Humanist Manifesto I.

In 1973 the AHA issued Humanist Manifesto II.  As I understand it, Paul Kurtz was one of the main authors.

Shortly after that Paul Kurtz got P.O.ed at something and split from the AHA (probably because of his gigantic ego).  He formed the Secular Humanists, CFI.

In 2003 the AHA issued Humanist Manifesto III.  Kurtz didn’t sign it and almost certainly wasn’t an author of it.

Separately, Kurtz wrote a book called Humanist(?) Manifesto 2000. 

It’s important to realize that there are two very similar Humanist organizations in the U.S., but seem to have very strongly divided administrations.  I’m sure both of the powers that be would disagree with my statement that they are at all similar.  LOL

One difference is that CFI is definitely non-theistic, but the AHA accepts Religous Humanists under their umbrella.

Occam

Yes, Paul was one of the authors of the Humanist Manifesto II.  He and Edwin H. Wilson drafted it in ‘73.  BTW, don’t let the title Religious Humanist fool you.  They don’t believe in a supernatural deity, contrary to their meshing with religion. Spong, Freeman, Rabbi Wine, Cupitt, SoF, Epstein, et al would seriously argue you with you on that one.  Even Spong insists he is a non-theist and some go as far as call him an atheist.

Anyway…  I guess since I am using the AHA’s definition of Humanism, maybe I shouldn’t use the Humanist Manifesto 2000 in my paper. Then again, it might not hurt to make mention of it either in case anyone has knowledge of it and asks.  I did make clear the III is by the AHA and the 2000 is by the CSH.  I wonder if I should have dates for when they were established.  confused

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Posted: 15 September 2007 09:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Dates:  Sure, why not?  Things like that make the paper look more authoritative and show you actually researched it. 

Religious Humanism:  Well, maybe the people you mentioned are non-theists, but the Religious Humanists had a booth at the last Universalist Unitarian Annual meeting I attended weren’t.  I stopped by and talked with them.  The attitudes of those at the booth were that secular humanists were trying to disconnect humanism with theism, but that one could quite easily believe in a god and also the principles of humanism.  They referred me to Manifesto I, and pointed out that the origins of Humanism specifically referred to god. 

Occam

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Posted: 16 September 2007 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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OK, but did they read #6 of the Humanist Manifesto?  It states, much like Spong does in his “Call for A New Reformation”, that “We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, desim, modernism, and the several varieties of “new thought”.”  The only difference is that Spong says in his “Call for a New Reformation”, “Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found.”  That is his #1 theses.  Obviously, Spong knows more about what he is talking about than the U.U. people you met.  Spong goes on to dog theism in his essay on Beliefnet:  http://www.beliefnet.com/story/88/story_8862_1.html , by stating boldly “The Theistic God is Dead.” and in it he says, “Life has taught us that theism is dead. There is no supernatural God directing the affairs of history. ”  Oh yeah… he has been called an atheist and a heretic, even though he calls himself a non-theist, but then what is the difference?  Hey, I admire a man who can stand up for what he believes even after he is persecuted for it and believe me, he has received death threats because of his views… from Christians.  rolleyes  Anthony Freeman was practically excommunicated from the Anglican church after he stated (and mind you it was taken out of context) in his book “God in Us: A Case for Christian Humanism”, “I do not believe in God.”  He said it more than once on page 9 and the Anglican Church charged him with heresy and disordain him.  Not only that, the influence of the Sea of Faith was blamed for his non-theistic beliefs.  rolleyes  That’s ok, though, he’s happy to speak at Humanists events and Jack Spong offered to authorize his ministry in the States. smile  Oh the price we pay for being “culturally” Christian and denying the supernatural deity.

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Posted: 21 September 2007 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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You know, Mriana, I’m going to have to go through my old floppies and see if I can find my original file copy of Humanist Manifesto I.  I looked at what they have up now and it appears to be different.  The first one definitely used the word, “god” in a number of places throughout it.  This one talks about religion, but doesn’t mention that word.  Either my memory’s failing me, or they modified it to be H.M Ia. 

Occam

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Posted: 21 September 2007 10:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The copy I have, which I retrieved from the AHA website, uses the word “god” a lot.  We had an in-class workshop today on our papers before we had to email the final draft to our profs and I was prepared for various reactions.  Yup!  A hardline theist attacked my paper and me.  One of my quote resources had read it and they said told me I succeeded with doing what I had set out to do in my paper and this person was expecting too much.”  Now I didn’t tell them everything the person said to me, for IF I had, my source may have been as irritated as I was.  The theist said,

Acceptance of Evolution and the belief the world wasn’t created is a leap of faith in itself, not yet proven by reason or science.  Why do Humanists rule out the possibility of intelligent design?

The moral code of Humanism seems to lack any concrete foundation.  I’d appreciate it if you clarified this a bit more, as it stands there’s elements of Kant’s Catagorical Imparative (treat men as ends, not means) and the concepts of flourishing of Aristotle.  I understand their explanation of virtues (freedom, universal education, etc) but why are they good?

That was it, word for word as written.  As you can see, said student is a theist.  One I would have loved to smacked some intelligence into, but I was nice and didn’t even dignify his comments with a reply.  My source had read my paper and none of this was part of explaining what I had set out to do, according to him, a fellow Humanist.  I sort of wish I could have gotten Paul Kurtz’s reaction to my paper and to this response too.  I would have had to written a book for everything this person wants, instead of 14 pages.  rolleyes Mind you though, I only emailed my source about the “concrete foundation” bit and the stupid question that followed.  Imagine the reaction if I had told the whole response of the student.  The philosophical history behind it would have taken me back to Classical Greece and not 1933.  rolleyes  As for I.D., what I want to know is, how these crazy Creationists explain the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a sacred text that is far far older than 6000 years and one of the sources for Christian texts.  I don’t buy “Oh God tried to fool us” bit, because any god who would lie is no deity at all.

Oh well.  I’m just glad this student didn’t take his re-action to my paper any further than what he did.  I can deal with a written response or ignore it in this case better than verbal confrontation with the potential of becoming heated.  Oh and notice, he is very sexist in his response to me- I used “human” or “humans” throughout my paper.  He uses the word “men”.  The insanity and ignorance of some theists.  rolleyes

[ Edited: 21 September 2007 10:16 PM by Mriana ]
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Posted: 22 September 2007 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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[ Edited: 20 October 2007 03:19 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 22 September 2007 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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zarcus - 22 September 2007 08:03 AM

I had a feeling research into the Manifesto might get interesting.

A couple things that came to mind reading down the thread. Paul Kurtz was acting editor of The Humanist from ‘67 - ‘78. The Council for Secular Humanism was established in ‘80 (originally with the added word Democratic - I still see it referred to at times as CODESH.). As mentioned the Manifest II was drafted in ‘73 with Paul as the driving force. It was short and published in The Humanist.

No it was not short.  It’s actually long:  http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto2.html  a little longer than the Manifesto 1:  http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto1.php

The Manifesto III was also published in The Humanist, as mentioned in ‘03. It also is short. I think the Humanist Manifesto 2000 (at the millennium) is well worth more then just a mention, but that’s just my opinion. The main thrust appeared in Free Inquiry in the fall ‘99 issue. There are similarities between the 2000 and the III, but the 2000 is by far more comprehensive. Also, the call for “planetary humanism” was a main thrust. I would also, if you have not already, read the comments about the 2000 from notables such as Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Daniel Dennet and many others, plus critiques—http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=main&page=promise

Yes, the III is very short.  It received just a mention because it did cover the same things and with a 14 page paper, it was not worth going over them again.  The 2000 (copyrighted 1999 as stated in the front of the book) got a full size paragraph, PLUS, some main people, esp. Paul Kurtz was quoted.  Since I was working with the AHA’s definition of Humanism, as well as all four documents, both Religious Humanists and Secular Humanists received attention in my paper.  The Manifesto I, II, and III were signed by ministers, as well as professors and Secularists.  Neither group was neglected in my paper.

Who would sign and why became an interesting side story. But, outside of the Manifesto’s there are other Kurtz inspired principles set out that are or are not signed for various reasons. The one I find most interesting is Peter Singer’s refusal to sign a few of the most recent documents pertaining to Humanism.

Who would sign?  Ministers, for starters.  Secular Humanists, professors, scientists, and others.  If you look at the siggy page of the Manifestos I, II, and III you will see several ministers.  Now the 2000 is strictly signed by Secularists- no ministers.  Why?  Well, Religious Humanists are not exactly secular.  They still have “god talk” and many (now days) are non-realists, which is non-theistic.  There is no theism, but still god talk.  It gets confusing and I covered this in my paper, with some help in clarifying it a bit.

And yet, the thoroughly religious idea that humans are at the center of the moral universe still seems to be alive and well in humanist circles. Last year, I was invited to sign Humanism and Its Aspirations, and so I took a elose look at the document. To my surprise, in the paragraph that follows the one about humankind being the result of unguided evolutionary change, I found the following sentence: “Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond.” Despite the sop to broader concerns at the end of the sentence and another remark at the end of (,he manifesto about “a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner,” the manifesto obviously gives precedence to the interests of members of our own species.

No, this is a misconception.  God is a human concept.  The idea of God is treated as anything but the center of anything.  Cupitt says, “God is love.  Love IS God.”  Word play, I know, but he makes love god and not a metaphysical being.  I explained Christian Humanism where I explain Religious Humanism, although, I feel I slighted Judaic Humanism and Islamic Humanism a bit, BUT only because I did not have enough time to research what they had to say on the God subject, which is mentioned in the I and II.  I focused on the Religious Humanists as I worked with those two documents and the statements concerning religion.  Secular Humanism is virtually impossible to fit within those statements.  If I decide to submit the paper for publication, I want to see if I can get Greg Epstein to assist me on the Judaic Humanism or refer me to someone who can, so I can explain that better and then try to find an Islamic Humanist to actually explain that one.  As is, esp the Islamic Humanism, I briefly say it is defined more culturally and said very little more about it.

To clarify, I discussed the Manifestos, how they changed and stayed the same over the years, and first and foremost what Humanism is.  So, most of the things you mentioned, Zarcus, did not fit into my paper.  That said, given it’s content, IF it were to be accepted and published on the web or magazine, the AHA would probably pick it up faster than the CSH.  :(  Needless to say, one of the non-class readers I asked was an atheist, who quickly forwarded my request for a Humanist prospective to the AHA to check for accuracy.  He didn’t jump to CSH to have my wish for a Humanist to read it.  However, I am very greatful (and honoured) that they were willing to take the time to go over my paper for accuracy, which I’m proud to say that I was told I did well.

I would say who did read it and the comments given (which were good concerning the content of my paper), but I fear it is a conflict of interest.  I do not wish to stir up any rivalries or what have you.

BTW, I don’t have it up on my website either, so I’m not sure how to share it just yet and I have a lot to do this weekend, which doesn’t leave me much time to place it on my site.  I don’t know if it will attach here either.  I THINK it’s less then 75 K, but I’m not certain.

[ Edited: 22 September 2007 11:34 AM by Mriana ]
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Posted: 22 September 2007 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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[ Edited: 20 October 2007 03:19 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 22 September 2007 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yes, the final draft was due by midnight last night in the prof’s email box.  The first draft was due 5 days after he assigned it, then the second draft yesterday at class time and the final by midnight.

As for the 2000, I’m going by the signers’ titles located in the back of the book.  No one’s title carries any suggestion of being affiliated with a church.  Barry Lynn is not listed, but mind you, this book says it’s copyrighted 1999 and it first appeared in Free Inquiry in the fall 1999 according to this.  So, there is no telling who has signed it since then and I have yet to find an updated copy of who signed it since then. The AHA holds the copyrights to the Humanist Manifesto I and II.  So, you can take it from there as to how the AHA is tied up with my paper.  Since they have copyright interests in I, II, and III.  So, it’s no surprise that I got help from them, which as I said, I am very thankful for.  Since I was covering the history of the Manifestos and Humanism since 1933, it makes sense to have the AHA be a focus of my paper.

The only reason why the 2000 is mentioned, in this case, is because it does exist and it is part of the history, but whatever the reasons for the split is not mentioned, because I do not feel it is important to the paper, esp since I want to shed a good light on Humanism.  If people really want to know, they can go digging for why the CSH came about sometime after the second manifesto.  I happen to like what I know of Paul Kurtz, as well as both organizations.  I don’t want people thinking that the various groups of Humanists don’t get along.  It’s enough just to know there are at least two different groups and that could be for many different reasons.  There is also a British Humanist organization, which I didn’t mention, as well as a global one too.  So, they would have an easier time finding the many different organizations than the reasons Paul started the CSH and just easily assume that different groups just want their own and find a middle ground to unite or something like that.

Yes, I did cover why Humanists are anti-dogmatic and alike in my paper, not to mention a little story covered by a reported that ended up being titled “Finley’s Conversion of Thomas”, which puts X-ians in a bad light because they are so violent when it comes to religious differences or the belief that there is no God.  Humanists 1 Christians 0 LOL

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Posted: 22 September 2007 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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[ Edited: 20 October 2007 03:19 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 22 September 2007 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I’ve learned over the years to stay focused by asking myself what are the main points of the major theme?  So, whatever the reason for the founding of CSH did not apply to my paper because it had nothing to do with the manifestos themselves.  The definition of Religious and Secular Humanism, religion (due to the first two statements at least), definition of non-theism, values, science, the history of the them, and alike did within the confines of the manifestos.  The problem is not sliding the Secular Humanists due to the wording of the first two manifestos and those involved with drafting them.  The Unitarians were very involved, esp with the first one, so clearification on what their views may have been like at the time had to be made clear because they were not theists and different from the U.U today.  The closest we may have to that today are those like Spong, Cupitt, et al, which the AHA did not object to using as an example.  I guess I nailed them.  LOL  BTW, Paul was not alone in drafting the Manifesto II.  The Preface has him and another man.  So there were two people at least hammering it out.

Upon research of today’s U.U. they are different in some respects.  Some are more theistic than others as Occam (I think it was) discovered at a conference.  So, we have to becareful how we define the original Unitarian thought of the time, although today’s members of the U.U. did sign the Manifesto III and they are probably similar in thought.  Like Spong, the original Unitarian signers believed Christianity needed to be drastically redefine (because as Spong says, “Theism is dead”) as you will see stated in the Manifesto I.  The first manifesto supports Spong’s statement in different, but similar words.  See Spong’s “A Call for a New Reformation”:  http://www.dioceseofnewark.org/jsspong/reform.html  It screams the Manifesto I’s first two statements (at least) concerning religion.  I gave this as an example of the possible thought of the 1933’s Unitarians, esp his #1 statement.  My quoted source, who looked over my paper, made no objections to this example, so I figured I came as close as possible in defining their way of thinking.  I found it difficult to use today’s U.U. sources as an example of yesterday’s thinking, yet I was a little uneasy at first using Spong et al as an example.  Less uneasy now that the AHA looked it over and made no objections about it.  I did make it clear that it was “probably” how they thought.  It’s the closest, I think, we have of an example today.

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Posted: 22 September 2007 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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“Management Style” translates to me as dictatorship.  While Kurtz is very bright, he appears to me to be overbearing, disdainful of critics, and certainly extremely loquacious.  His idea seems to be, never say in one sentence what you can stretch out to a page.  I think that’s why H.M.II is much longer than H.M.III. 

Many of the ministers who signed the first Manifesto were Unitarian and agnostic or atheist.  Unfortunately, they have mostly died off and that denomination has been taken over by the Universalists and become quite theistic.  I can’t imagine a Universalist minister signing III.

Occam

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Posted: 22 September 2007 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Occam,

That description of Paul Kurtz you offer is a surprise to me. I know he’s passionate, and what I said after “management style” was, he felt that not enough was being done. This is from my recollections pertaining to this issue.

That said, I can only say that it is more then possible there is a side to Paul Kurtz I am not aware. I have only meant him once in Albany at a Capital District Secular Humanist get together.

It saddens me to think I have not only been wrong in my assessment of the man, but it may well be a person I do not like.

As far as the manifesto’s and Humanism, I’ve been slowly disengaging anyway. There just is a current flowing through that is pretty much hate filled rhetoric, not the Humanism I want to be part of. Of course it hasn’t turned completely yet, but I do wonder about the future and what the words mean in HM 2000.

As an example, I would offer Pervez Hoodbhoy’s correspondence with Paul Kurtz - http://www.chowk.com/articles/6679

Edit: I wanted to add here, people such as Pervez, and Sardar, whom Sam Harris found time to ridicule and call on to be dismissed, are in the heart of religious repressive environments. People such Norm R. Allen Jr. (executive director of African Americans for Humanism) I would hope understands the critics to Harris, but instead he offers in Free Inquiry, June/July ‘06, that we shouldn’t “stand in the way” of the Atheist “taking atheism and naturalism to the masses”. His line, “The critics believe there is only one proper way to defend science and naturalism and to critique religion - their way”.. That is pure garbage, and he should know better. I and others have been calling on ways to approach that is not “our way”.

It’s becoming mindless us v. them, right down to how best communicate and defend science and reason. Now if you disagree, you are part of a club—the—- their way—club.

Paul’s defense of Ibn Warraq seems to miss the point. Another example I would say would be Sam Harris’ (I want to say complete attitude). But, just the call for scientist to unite against religion is absurd and widely accepted by Humanist these days. A “global community” , yeah right, when The Jesus Project is tauted as perhaps the most important commitment the council has ever undertaken, I gotta wonder what all the rhetoric is about. The forwarding of science and reason is slowly falling to the wayside.

Anyway, thanks for the heads up.

[ Edited: 22 September 2007 04:37 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 22 September 2007 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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As long as it’s on my mind and I have Norm R. Allen’s essay in front of me… “In Defense of Radicalism” - June/July ‘07 - FI

The piece isn’t really a defense of radicalism at all. He states that “Detractors accuse them of disrespecting religion and being to harsh in their speech and writings”.

That one line is it for what the “detractors” are saying. Truthfully, read it. “Harsh”, well, how about “stupid”, and not even close to try for comparison to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King. He states; “.. indeed among younger African Americans, Malcolm [X] is more popular than King”. Does he know why, does he try to analyze why this is? Has Norm taken a look around at the “younger African Americans” that hold out Malcolm X as more important then King? No, he simply states this.

He goes on with analogies to “blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and hip hop were all radical departures from the music of their respective days”. Yeah, so what of it? How many times does an African American critic of certain hip hop or rap come under fire? Are these critics wrong? But, this is nonsense, it has nothing what so ever to do with forwarding science and reason and the claims of people like Harris.

He states; “it is rare for outspoken atheist to accuse their critics of being soft or cowardly (Sam Harris comes close at times)”. Is he kidding? First off, is Michael Shermer not outspoken enough, how about Scott Atran or David S. Wilson, or E.O. Wilson, what the hell does he think they’re saying? Perhaps I am not an outspoken atheist, now that’s funny.

But, they are saying critics are soft, and much worse. Try “apologist”, “appeasers”, how about telling us to get out of the way.

Norm states; “Were Dawkins, Harris, et. al. to adopt the style of the moderates, who is to say whether they - and their message - would not fade into oblivion.” That is a stunning, mind numbing assessment. Where did he think his article was going to be published? The oblivion? Were does he think the movement came from? What is bothersome about people like Norm taking mindless swipes is they do not take into account the historical aspect of why these books are selling, and who is buying.

What I would like to see, now that enough time has passed, is a survey on who in fact bought the books. This can be done, it’s done all the time. We get to hear on occasion lovely little stories of the poor kid in a religious home who now thinks he has a mission to dismiss anyone who disagrees.

[ Edited: 22 September 2007 05:20 PM by zarcus ]
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