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Atheist/Humanist Spokesmen With a Positive Image {200 word post maximum}
Posted: 12 August 2008 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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jholt - 11 August 2008 09:03 PM

The first thing that came to mind when reading the OP was something Richard had said in a Discussion between Richard and PZ Myers - At one min.. He says that at Oxford College when he happens to be the senior fellow he says the Grace - Halfway down page. He does so because he thinks it is polite, a tradition and it would be petty to refuse to say Grace which would give atheism a bad name. The prayer is obviously contrary to Richards beliefs, but he recites them for the above reasons.

Edit: I apologize, on second thought I realize it’s not really related to the topic. Besides it gave PZ a chance to say he was less of an ‘appeaser’ than Richard.

Zarcus? smirk

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Posted: 12 August 2008 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Dawkins is surely not everyone’s cup of tea - and probably Hitchens even less so. But they have made atheism (and therefore humanism), if not acceptable, at least acceptable to talk about.

I personally am not a massive fan of The God Delusion but because of the discussion it engendered, became exposed to a whole range of arguments and reasoning I’d previously never heard. Before I knew it I was listening to DJ Grothe, the NESS and Brian Dunning on my iPod and eventually ended up gulping down the brilliant arguments and discussions between the guys at this site. (How Brian keeps on fighting I’ll never know. Let it go, Dude).

Sagan is gone and Tyson is doing his own stuff. (He does sometimes come out to play though. He recently spoke at TAM 6.) But the fact that Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens and the rest are out there ruffling feathers and annoying people means that there’ll be others who’ll become more aware of the fight who can push forward in ways that are less “cringe-worthy”....

And George, I think it’s sad you couldn’t find the romance in the Selfish Gene. I thought it was a book of great beauty.

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Posted: 12 August 2008 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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traveler - 12 August 2008 05:42 AM

Thanks Occam,

I agree with danlhinz in his estimation of Neil deGrasse Tyson. Tyson has terrific charisma - but he does not (so far as I know) draw attention to atheism. I’m not saying he should either, because his role as a science teacher should be devoid of such matters because that silence speaks volumes.

Beyond Belief video #2 Tyson on Atheism

Video of Tyson on Atheism

He argues all scientist should be atheists! Very interesting discussion.

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Dan

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Posted: 12 August 2008 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I was pointing out that the science network is an entire organization endorsing atheism. Science teachers should endorse atheism every single one should be a spokesperson.

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Posted: 12 August 2008 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Schtumpy - 12 August 2008 11:40 AM

And George, I think it’s sad you couldn’t find the romance in the Selfish Gene. I thought it was a book of great beauty.

Hi Schtumpy,

The Selfish Gene has changed my life; I am still trying to figure out if it was to my advantage, though. It has sent me on a long path toward reductionism and it won’t permit me to see life around me the same way I used to.

I loved the book. But I am sure of one thing: I wouldn’t want any of my sons to even glance at it until they are trough their “real” romantic, innocent, and beautifully naive period of adolescence.

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Posted: 12 August 2008 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I don’t agree with the criticism of Dawkins (particularly the claim that he confuses opinion and fact, but also the gross mischaracterization of his very gentle and mild manner).

I’d also name David Attenborough.

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Posted: 12 August 2008 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Tony Sidaway - 12 August 2008 12:45 PM

I’d also name David Attenborough.

David Attenborough is great!

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Posted: 12 August 2008 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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danlhinz - 12 August 2008 11:49 AM

I was pointing out that the science network is an entire organization endorsing atheism. Science teachers should endorse atheism every single one should be a spokesperson.

danlhinz, thank you so much! I loved the Tyson videos - I didn’t know about the Islam scientific collapse of 1100ad.
I also did not know the science network endorsed atheism. I agree every science teacher should be a spokesperson.
Thanks again!

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Posted: 12 August 2008 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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YES to Attenborough!
Have you seen him present the lyre bird? LINK

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Posted: 12 August 2008 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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What sort of job would this spokesperson be expected to do?  Market atheism?  Educate?

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Posted: 12 August 2008 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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FatFlightlessFowl - 12 August 2008 01:37 PM

What sort of job would this spokesperson be expected to do?  Market atheism?  Educate?

No, I think “spokesperson” would be secondary to his real job. Sagan, Attenborough, Tyson and the like who attract people to science, truth, and the cosmos are great examples with potential (if they weren’t dead, quite old or whatever).

I think the universal spokespersons in the science classes is a great start, as danlhinz mentioned.

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Turn off Fox News - Bad News For America
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Posted: 12 August 2008 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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FatFlightlessFowl - 12 August 2008 01:37 PM

What sort of job would this spokesperson be expected to do?  Market atheism?  Educate?

It’s not a question of expecting something from outside. Exceptional people bring their talents and abilities, and they choose how best to use them. I can see people raising consciousness about planetary ethics, inspiring a new generation about evolutionary biology, celebrating the beauty of a universal ethic (very similar to what the current Dalai Lama does). I see Bill Nye the Science Guy as a role model of sorts, only he doesn’t explicity promote secularism under that name. The list is very long. There are thosands of ways for someone to make a contribution.

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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: 12 August 2008 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Tony Sidaway - 12 August 2008 12:45 PM

I’d also name David Attenborough.

Attenborough is one of my heros, along with Tyson and Sagan. An amazing guy, and his series are the best.

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Posted: 12 August 2008 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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traveler - 12 August 2008 01:34 PM

YES to Attenborough!
Have you seen him present the lyre bird? LINK

That was great! The chainsaw portion was very sad, because I know the sound marks the destruction of it’s habitat (unless it is being done in a responsible manner, of course).

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Posted: 13 August 2008 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Susan Blackmore of course.

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