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Are you willing to swap stories with me?
Posted: 23 October 2007 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Are you willing to swap stories with me? 

My name is Doug. And I’m a “believer” who wants to understand your life as an “atheist.” I want to swap stories. Why? Well, I’m asking you for your story for two reasons:
1) “Atheists” and “believers” rarely try to understand each other…as just people.
2) Respectful conversation with someone who thinks differently can be enjoyable.

You should know I’m not doing this to debate with you. In fact, to me, debate and opinion are useless. Also I’m not on staff at any church. And I’m no religious nut. That means I’m not going to try to persuade you to accept any religion. I just want a chance to share stories; a chance to learn from each other. Of course, if you’re interested and you ask me, I will share my story with you; warts and all.

So, are you open enough to swap stories?

If you have any questions or concerns about me or anything else, feel free to contact me.

Respectfully,

Doug Weatherly

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Posted: 23 October 2007 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I can not speak on behalf of “atheists” but would be happy to answer question about my own views as a person who is not religious.  I’m also happy to discuss or debate if you want.  What would you like to know about me, or discuss or debate?

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Posted: 23 October 2007 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m happy to chat,  but I’m not sure what you mean by “my story.” Typically this forum is a place for discussions of particular topics of interest to skeptics/freethinkers/non-believers, etc, though we do wander pretty far afield sometimes. Anything special you want to talk about?


I have merged the three threads with this same topic, as we do not permit duplicate threads.

[ Edited: 23 October 2007 08:28 PM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 23 October 2007 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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<>

[ Edited: 22 January 2008 08:20 PM by zarcus ]
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Posted: 23 October 2007 09:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Are you kidding me?

I love people like you. People who don’t plot your demise as soon as they find out you’re an Atheist. People who don’t threaten to beat you up (granted, that has only happened on one occasion). People who don’t shout “Stop being stupid! It’s a matter of faith! Something that you will never understand!”

Ok. Tell me a prompt. Ask me a question, and I’ll tell you stories. I love stories.

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1. God is omnipotent.
Source: Several incidents where I’ve annoyed fundamentalist Christians by challenging God’s power.
2. If God is omnipotent then he can travel faster than the speed of light.
Modus Ponens
3. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Source: Einstein
Therefore, God is nothing.
QED

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Posted: 24 October 2007 01:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sorry, I’m not at all interested in “swapping stories” with you. 

Occam

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Posted: 24 October 2007 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Occam’s razor strikes again.  Hah.  LOL

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Posted: 24 October 2007 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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dweather - 23 October 2007 07:45 PM

My name is Doug. And I’m a “believer” who wants to understand your life as an “atheist.”

Hi Doug, my name is Scott.  Most of us have had to put up with evangelists probing all our lives, so we have a knack for brushing away these sorts of inquiries.  Being as this is the Center for Inquiry, I’ll bite.

dweather - 23 October 2007 07:45 PM

1) “Atheists” and “believers” rarely try to understand each other…as just people.

You may be surprised to find out that this is not the case with the majority of Atheists.  Buddhists for instance have a long track record of understanding and respect for people.  I happen to be an Atheist that agrees with the tenants of the Secular Humanist movement.  Respect and understanding for all people is far from missing in this association.  A link to this information is here—> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism

dweather - 23 October 2007 07:45 PM

2) Respectful conversation with someone who thinks differently can be enjoyable.

I would agree.  I hope my information has been helpful for you.  If you were hoping to hear more personal information please start with yourself and we can go from there.

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Posted: 24 October 2007 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Dweather, If you’ve got the patience to plow through this forum, you’ll find that some of us have already shared our stories with one another.  But as the others indicated, we welcome the chance to promote understanding between us.  Feel free to ask questions!

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Posted: 24 October 2007 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks for the responses everybody! And thanks for the welcomes to the forum. I’ll do my best to try to address each of you. I’ll begin by addressing erasmusinfinity and everyone else who replied to my original post.

Allow me to first apologize to you all. I failed to include this one important point in my original post: I prefer not to post my story on a public forum. My story is highly personal to me. And as you know, forums anywhere can rip you apart just for sharing. In fact some here have also expressed a desire for protecting their information. Then again, others have no issue with posting theirs. Go with whatever works for you.

So, if you want to keep your story more private, e-mail it to me. And if you’re interested, I will individually e-mail you my story; warts and all.

You all should know I’m not threatened by your rejection of god or religion. You can share anything with me. That being said, and while I think this forum probably already addresses this, I’ll suggest it anyway. Let’s agree to always be respectful of each other as we converse (not to say that anyone has written anything unkind so far).

Perhaps a few simple guidelines for story exchange would help. First, do you have any to suggest? I suggest the following to foster mutual respect when commenting on stories:
1) When one of us reveals something personal, others must share something equally personal in kind. If you don’t want to do that, then write nothing.
2) We are free to ask questions about anything and to openly say when we disagree and why. But we promise to avoid criticizing the content of any other person’s story or belief.
3) Stories must have a beginning, middle, and (if applicable) an end.

Got any story exchange comment/structure guidelines to add?

erasmusinfinity,
Thanks for your willingness to participate. But I’m not doing this to debate or air our opinions. I’m not here to try to persuade you about anything. I just want a chance to exchange stories; a chance to get to know one another, to learn from each other via our personal stories.

I am open to listening to and discussing your story. Would you e-mail it to me? Please send it to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). In return I’d be happy to e-mail you mine.

mckenzievmd,
Thanks for merging the threads. Whew, less work for us all with just one! 
Good question. What I mean by asking for your story is that you please:
1) Share your history. Start at the beginning of your atheism. Tell me about your worldview then and what’s influenced it until now.
2) Take me up to the present day. Include any key events, people, books or whatever and tell me what was unique or pivital about them in relation to your atheism.
3) Share how your being an atheist makes your life worthwhile, more enjoyable, or not. I’m not threatened by your rejection of/disinterest in gods or religion. You can share anything with me.
4) Above all, include lots of detail! By detail I mean your family/childhood, education, conversations remembered, influential books and people, anecdotes, personal reflections, doubts, poetry, or anything at all like that. You could put in what others or you yourself said and did at the time. Help me understand what was/is important to you, or not, and why. 

zarcus,
As I mentioned above in my apology, I prefer not to post my story on a public forum. But I’d be happy to e-mail you a bit of it. What’s your e-mail address?

Would you then e-mail me a bit of your story? Send it to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Does that seem like a good way to get the ball rolling?

logicisrefreshing,
Your response is also refreshing, logicisrefreshing! But I have no questions for you yet. I know nothing about you! Please tell me your story (see descriptions I wrote to others above).

Occam,
Okay. Be it as you wrote.

retrospy
Thanks for “biting” Scott. And thanks for the link…interesting.

As you now know, I prefer not to post my story on a public forum. But I’d be happy to e-mail you a bit of it. What’s your e-mail address?

Would you then e-mail me a bit of your story? Send it to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Does that work for you?

advocatus,
I welcome that too. Questions? Well like I wrote logicisrefreshing above, I have no questions for you yet. I know nothing about you! Tell me your story (please read what I wrote to others above). Thank you.

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Posted: 24 October 2007 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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dweather - 24 October 2007 01:36 PM

When one of us reveals something personal, others must share something equally personal in kind.

Happy Halloween to you, too! vampire

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Posted: 24 October 2007 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Doug,

There are private messages on this forum that would work just as effectively as an email.  If sharing private stories on a forum isn’t your thing, I recommend not suggesting you share private stories on a forum.  Maybe there are more direct questions we could help you answer.  For instance, what things do you expect to hear from atheist narratives that would increase your understanding?  What did you find interesting about Secular Humanism in the link that I sent you?  Was anything unclear?

Scott

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Posted: 24 October 2007 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I have one question:  Are you doing this for a research paper?  It sounds to me like you are trying to collect data for a paper.  If so, I think it is only fair that you let everyone know this, because this will give them more to consider if you are doing this for research.

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“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: 24 October 2007 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Mr. Weather,

I am happy to discuss any topic that you wish on this forum.  Seriously.  And I promise that I will speak sincerely and honestly to you if you have honest questions and/or contributions to our dialogue.  I had initially thought, from your initial posting, that you were looking to start conversation here and/or had some sort of questions that you wanted to ask.  I have neither a story to email you nor such an essay to write about myself.

It appears to me, at this point, that you are looking to bait someone from this forum into an unspecified external agenda.  Why not just say what you think and/or ask what you want to know right here right now?  That is the point, I take it, of this forum.  In fact, if you give this forum a real chance I think that you’ll find it takes the concept of honesty to a level that you may not be accustomed to.  Spend a little time reading the many posts on this forum and you’ll find more than plenty of stories.

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Posted: 24 October 2007 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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erasmusinfinity,

It appears to me, at this point, that you are looking to bait someone from this forum into an unspecified external agenda.

This thought crossed my mind as well. After reading Doug’s post today I envisioned something nefarious, such as taking what is sent in a private email and using those words for an agenda. I do not know this person and I have no interest to suddenly find myself in an email exchange with someone who could be manipulating the situation. I also suspect this avenue is being taken on other forum boards as well.

That is what I got out of Doug’s post today.

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Posted: 24 October 2007 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I agree, Zarcus.  And, it seems a way of him getting people’s e-mail addresses.  I suggest that anyone who wants to communicate privately with him restrict themselves to the PMs on this board so they don’t open up their e-mail to whatever.

Occam

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