2 of 8
2
Marketing CFI—its name and mission
Posted: 12 November 2007 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1214
Joined  2007-09-21
zarcus - 12 November 2007 12:04 PM

This is all I was saying, that under the umbrella of the Center for Inquiry there is a set of principles that set it apart from scientific skepticism, science.

Sure.  I agree that the Center for Inquiry asserts many principles that lie outside of the physical sciences.  Although, philosophy is a social science and both the physical and social sciences are built upon the same rational methodology.

Would it be fare to say that deploring the effort to look outside nature for salvation is to say one does not approve of the attempt to hold a belief in a personal God?

A belief that inherently contradicts “inquiry?”  Sure.  Isn’t that one of the fundamental distinctions in asserting Secular Humanism as opposed to just plain old humanism?.

Doug, sorry to hijack your thread.  I mean to respond to your initial thread topic, but I am still thinking about it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 November 2007 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  895
Joined  2007-05-09

Do you mean Philosophy of social science? The second part, yes, as laid out in the principles offered as part of the belief system of Secular Humanism. Yes, I think we can leave this now and let the thread run its course.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 November 2007 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

How weird - I agree with Doug completely. LOL  I would NEVER have come to a site called CFI or Center For Inquiry.  I started because I happened to see a notice for a program being given at the “local” Secular Humanist facility.  When I got there I learned that it was really called CFI West.  If we wish to be a secret society, then the name is great, but if we hope to attract more members we must change to a more clearly descriptive name. 

While I understand the argument of avoiding being too narrow, I think the opposite is the case.  By encompassing a wide number of loosely related fields CFI spreads itself too thin, and dilutes its efforts and impact in all of those fields.

I’m here for my primary interest in humanism and my secondary interest in atheism.  While I’m strongly interested in science, this organization doesn’t deal with it at a level of my knowledge and interest.  I don’t need anyone to guide me into a coalition.  I prefer to choose my own organizations specific to my interests.  As such, I may be in the wrong place and should, instead, switch to more specific groups such as the American Humanist Association, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, etc.  I’ve just logged onto the Internet Infidels, and will start checking out the other organizations to see where I should be.

Occam
(Wordpad)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 November 2007 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
Occam - 12 November 2007 01:39 PM

How weird - I agree with Doug completely. LOL  I would NEVER have come to a site called CFI or Center For Inquiry.  I started because I happened to see a notice for a program being given at the “local” Secular Humanist facility.  When I got there I learned that it was really called CFI West.  If we wish to be a secret society, then the name is great, but if we hope to attract more members we must change to a more clearly descriptive name. 

While I understand the argument of avoiding being too narrow, I think the opposite is the case.  By encompassing a wide number of loosely related fields CFI spreads itself too thin, and dilutes its efforts and impact in all of those fields.

I’m here for my primary interest in humanism and my secondary interest in atheism.  While I’m strongly interested in science, this organization doesn’t deal with it at a level of my knowledge and interest.  I don’t need anyone to guide me into a coalition.  I prefer to choose my own organizations specific to my interests.  As such, I may be in the wrong place and should, instead, switch to more specific groups such as the American Humanist Association, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, etc.  I’ve just logged onto the Internet Infidels, and will start checking out the other organizations to see where I should be.

Well, Occam, I DO hope you’ll stick around at any rate; there’s certainly room for more than one organization taking on these topics.

I should make clear that I find the questions that started this thread interesting because I can see both sides of the issue. One argument for the “big tent” approach is really displayed in your message: we can be a larger, more effective organization because we can bring together people with different though allied interests.

So, if you’re interested in humanism, we have a place for you. If you’re interested in skepticism, we have a place for you. If you’re interested in fringe science, we have a place for you. And so on. While each individual person may have different interests, I don’t think it’s too far afield to say that these interests are allied, in that they tend to go together.

That, I think, is going to be DJ’s response. And I can see the force of it—I find each of CFI’s subject areas to be interesting. (Some more than others, of course, but I do enjoy hearing about them all).

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 November 2007 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7614
Joined  2007-03-02

While I think they are all interesting, I have found CSER very interesting.  Although they have not done much lately. From what I hear, the Jesus Project doesn’t seem like it’s going to get off the ground.  I rather like Hoffmann’s idea of starting from the angle of “Did Jesus exist?” (something like that)  He’s taking it in reverse, which is ironically what I did.  Thing is, they aren’t able to get people together.  The other thing I want to see more information on online is Medicine and Mental Health.  I know they have redone the site recently, but I haven’t seen much noted about these areas online.  I get all my info secondhand from those potential members of the Jesus Project and work with CFI, but I know of no one in the Medicine and Mental Health area of CFI.  :(

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 November 2007 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1214
Joined  2007-09-21

I have often felt overwhelmed by the divergence of “non-religious” groups out there.  On the surface it seems ironic that “not” being something would cause the formation of any group at all. After all, being “non-religious” in a predominantly religious society suggests some degree of not being a joiner.  We are individuals first and foremost and we don’t want an authoritarian body telling us what to think or do.

That being said, I have no problem joining in with a collective cause when I agree with it on my own terms.  Of course, I can not speak for the vast diaspora of “non-religious” persons with its divergent and often contradictory interests.

No doubt, there is an important place for the distinct efforts of the Secular Coalition for America, Americans United for The Separation of Church and State, and The Godless Americans Political Action Committee as platforms for secular activism.  Also, The American Humanist Association, The Ethical Culture Society, American Atheists, The Freedom from Religion Foundation, The Skeptics Society, The Atheist Alliance, etc. provide interested persons with valuable community to the degree that interested persons find value in them.  Without any interest in one particular organization dominating another, I think that there is plenty of room for all of the ones I named.  Did I leave anyone out?  I think that it may be best that way.  After all, we are not all the same.

What divergent sorts of interests might “non-religious” persons have?  I have at least three.

1. In the case of humanism I find social value in associating with persons of common humanistic interests.  This principle applies across the broad spectrum of my other interests, so why shouldn’t it apply to humanism?  Since humanism is a positive philosophy, as opposed to atheism, it is a philosophical interest that can be shared.  I don’t think that this point necessarily applies to atheism or antitheism, accept to the degree that one may feel these ideas relate to a humanism or some other positive philosophical stance.

2.  There are secular causes associated with being non-religious.  These are matters of civic importance in the sense that non-religious persons need to work together politically if they are to thrive unsuppressed.  This point applies as much to religious minority groups as much as it does to non-religious persons.

3.  Humanism embodies ethical concern for all people.  It has gone hand in hand with the promotion of human rights and civil liberties for decades.  Indeed, humanism is the most rational and true form of humanitarianism.  If we wish well for the world and others it is only natural that we feel compelled to promote humanistic ideas socially.

Keeping these three points in mind, one can’t help noticing connections. between them I don’t think it is realistic to expect all non-religious persons to see this, nor should we try to force the horse to drink the water.  But, I think that CFI seems to recognize it.  I also like the fact that CFI does not require the wearing of a particular label.  What do CFI people call themselves?  Inquirers?  Non-religious persons often disagree about a great deal, and that’s OK as far as I’m concerned.  In fact, I think that it’s good.  Absolute freedom of inquiry is the goal and this includes the freedom to criticize one another. Tolerance is key.  Respecting the right of individuals to form their own conclusions is not the same thing as respecting the ideas that they embrace, however sacred.

CFI may not be a “big money” label, but I think that it is a good one and contributes an essential component to “the cause.”  Let people call themselves atheists, brights, freethinkers, humanists, secular humanists, skeptics, or whatever else they see fit.  (I would particularly like The Council for Secular Humanism to retain some degree of independence from CFI.)  The Center for Inquiry can be most effective as an umbrella by retaining its broadness as it is and continuing to grow.  As it is currently going, it does not devour other groups but enhances and encourages them.  Such an umbrella is desperately needed, not as a vehicle to provide leadership but as a tool that fosters cooperation.

Someone made a point, in another thread on this forum, about how a blockbuster film with a “funky atheist” could be the best way to promote atheism.  Call me crazy, but I really do think that this is the true place where a “big money” reputation comes from.  Christian fundamentalists have keyed into this reality with their megachurches, rock bands and left behind video games.  All it would take to boost CFI involvement, exponentially, would be one heavy FX action thriller starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as CFI affiliate genius kung fu ex-green berets combating Christian fundamentalist terrorists with a lunatic plot to bring on a nuclear apocalypse.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 November 2007 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1214
Joined  2007-09-21

Oh yes, and Occam… please stick around.  I enjoy reading your thoughts.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 November 2007 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  895
Joined  2007-05-09

Very well said, erasmusinfinity…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2007 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  983
Joined  2005-01-14
George - 12 November 2007 12:38 PM

The flame above the lower case i looks like a sperm to me. What is it, anyway? A candle? How does a candle represent “inquiry”?

As in “a candle in the dark”.  That’s the way I’ve always thought of it.

And I’d agree that the name “Center for Inquiry” doesn’t reach out an grab me.  I joined back when it was called the “Campus Freethought Alliance”.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2007 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
advocatus - 13 November 2007 07:36 AM

And I’d agree that the name “Center for Inquiry” doesn’t reach out an grab me.  I joined back when it was called the “Campus Freethought Alliance”.

Actually, “Campus Freethought Alliance” was only the name for what is now called “CFI On Campus”; even during the CFA days the umbrella organization was still CFI.

And yes, I do think that the flame is supposed to represent a candle, as in the subtitle for Sagan’s book.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2007 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  573
Joined  2007-08-21

I’m quite proficient in Flash. I could create a realistic animated version of it. (The logo)

 Signature 

Vi veri veniversum vivus vici

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2007 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  137
Joined  2006-01-21
dougsmith - 13 November 2007 07:53 AM

Actually, “Campus Freethought Alliance” was only the name for what is now called “CFI On Campus”; even during the CFA days the umbrella organization was still CFI.

No, to clarify: when it was called “Campus Freethought Alliance,” the sponsoring organization was the Council for Secular Humanism. The campus outreach didn’t focus on science and skepticism then, just freethought, atheism and humanism. Many professors were reluctant to give support because we were thought to just be atheistic.

Possibly times have changed and its not as big an issue now.

 Signature 

"Few have the courage of their convictions. Fewer still have the courage for an attack on their convictions." - Nietzsche

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2007 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14

OK, thanks for the clarification, DJ.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2007 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
dougsmith - 13 November 2007 07:53 AM

And yes, I do think that the flame is supposed to represent a candle, as in the subtitle for Sagan’s book.

Fine. But I still see a sperm entering an egg:

GP2061.jpg

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 November 2007 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  573
Joined  2007-08-21

hahahaha. Thats funny

 Signature 

Vi veri veniversum vivus vici

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 8
2