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Are there actually any African agnostics/atheists around?
Posted: 14 March 2009 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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asanta - 14 March 2009 11:14 PM
lionel054 - 14 March 2009 10:51 PM

(But catholic school.. why?)

....Because they had the best overall education available around here
....because they had an excellent sex education program that needed just a little infill from me (STD protection, birth controls, other-sexualities)
....because they did the best job of teaching evolution
....because they actually had a course on skeptical thinking

 

well, I did go to a religious school too! I didn’t turn out so bad..!

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Posted: 15 March 2009 04:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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asanta - 14 March 2009 11:14 PM

....Because they had the best overall education available around here
....because they had an excellent sex education program that needed just a little infill from me (STD protection, birth controls, other-sexualities)
....because they did the best job of teaching evolution
....because they actually had a course on skeptical thinking

my son routinely slept through religion classes, but the teacher left him alone because he usually knew the dogma when called on. Once when a teacher woke him, he told the teacher that the catholic church was history’s biggest mass murderers. Surprisingly, the teacher agreed!

Well, good for them to be so openminded. It shows that one should not be knee-jerk judgmental.

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Posted: 15 March 2009 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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lionel054 - 14 March 2009 10:55 PM
Martinus - 14 March 2009 07:27 PM

... until finally it will merge into religious Humanism a generation from now.

Religious humanism..?

sounds like a recipe for disaster.. but that is the lifestyle many religious folk live today..

but still.. religious humanism.. i don’t know..

A loaded term, but by my definition “a structured reverence for Life and Humanity”. Nothing to do with 3rd party vertical religions. Per above, I think people might like a little milk in their tea.

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Posted: 15 March 2009 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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This is Robert Price’s essay defining Religious Humanism:  http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=price_22_3  He says it really isn’t much different from Secular Humanism, yet it is different, except the Religious Humanists are belly button gazers.

Is humanism an alternative to religion, or an alternative kind of religion? It is easy to find committed humanists who’ll give either answer. Those who call it a religion define the word religion broadly, as tantamount to any dedicated philosophy of life. Those who think humanism is not a religion would rather say simply that they embrace humanism as a philosophy instead, since they associate religion with the supernaturalist claims most traditional religions make. This is ultimately a semantic argument, and both usages make sense. But the debate over whether humanism is a religion threatens to obscure a more interesting issue, namely whether there is such a thing as religious humanism alongside and distinguishable from secular humanism. Some would say there is no difference between secular and religious humanism, so long as one practices one’s humanism, pardon the expression, “religiously.” I would disagree. In fact, there is much to religious humanism that secular humanists do not share—and vice versa.

Simply put, religious humanists seek the religious experience simply as an experience. Though not believing in a God, they nonetheless seek a “God-experience.” Secular humanists prefer to give it a miss. They just aren’t interested. And chances are, they think religious humanists too much the navel-gazers, too little occupied with serious business. They should be out doing political canvassing or some such stuff.

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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: 15 March 2009 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Mriana - 15 March 2009 09:15 AM

This is Robert Price’s essay defining Religious Humanism:  http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=price_22_3  He says it really isn’t much different from Secular Humanism, yet it is different, except the Religious Humanists are belly button gazers.

Simply put, religious humanists seek the religious experience simply as an experience. Though not believing in a God, they nonetheless seek a “God-experience.” Secular humanists prefer to give it a miss. They just aren’t interested. And chances are, they think religious humanists too much the navel-gazers, too little occupied with serious business. They should be out doing political canvassing or some such stuff.

I don’t think it can be said that religious Humanists necessarily seek a “God-experience.” For myself, I sense a preternatural aspect in Life that defies reductionism or physicality; for those who dismiss such I would ask them to then define Life. If they hesitate, then they know whereof I speak.

Humanism per se can best be thought of as a sensibility that percolates up into the mindset of any aware Human being as they mature; the soft altruistic notions of brotherhood, family and a sense of place, time and being. That’s your basic Humanist.

If these notions become deeply felt and begin to border on the reverential, then you have religious Humanism. It’s all about where you choose to get off, or onto, the idea of our species/planet/Life as a rare franchise.

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Posted: 15 March 2009 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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I don’t disagree with you Martinus.  I myself seek out numinous (see definition #3 in Webster) feelings within nature, actions of others (such as a hug, sympathy, assistance, etc), even a sympathetic pet or the neurological affects of some music.  I always have.  Various sensory stimulation can trigger these feelings in the majority of people.  The problem is, many people who experience these extreme transcending feelings attribute them to a deity, when in reality such feelings are neuro-chemistry.  I thrive on positive interactions from others and view such things as part of the human need for social interaction.

Of course, there is something about nature that is also part of the human experience too and I think a better phrase, as opposed to a “God-experience”, is the “human-experience”.  To have such extreme feelings that make us feel one with our surroundings and others, is part of being human.

Yes, if I had to clarify, instead of just calling myself a Humanist, I would say “I am a Religious Humanist”, but most people don’t understand that that actually refers to the “human-experience” and not necessarily a “God-experience”.

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Posted: 15 March 2009 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Quote Mriana:

Yes, if I had to clarify, instead of just calling myself a Humanist, I would say “I am a Religious Humanist”, but most people don’t understand that that actually refers to the “human-experience” and not necessarily a “God-experience”.

That reminds me of a former minister at the local Unitarian church.  She called herself a Spiritual Atheist.  Is the kind of idea you are talking about, Mriana?

Occam

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Posted: 15 March 2009 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Mriana - 15 March 2009 09:59 AM

I don’t disagree with you Martinus.  I myself seek out numinous (see definition #3 in Webster) feelings within nature, actions of others (such as a hug, sympathy, assistance, etc), even a sympathetic pet or the neurological affects of some music.  I always have.  Various sensory stimulation can trigger these feelings in the majority of people.  The problem is, many people who experience these extreme transcending feelings attribute them to a deity, when in reality such feelings are neuro-chemistry.  I thrive on positive interactions from others and view such things as part of the human need for social interaction.

Of course, there is something about nature that is also part of the human experience too and I think a better phrase, as opposed to a “God-experience”, is the “human-experience”.  To have such extreme feelings that make us feel one with our surroundings and others, is part of being human.

Yes, if I had to clarify, instead of just calling myself a Humanist, I would say “I am a Religious Humanist”, but most people don’t understand that that actually refers to the “human-experience” and not necessarily a “God-experience”.

Very nice.

For some reason atheists require all Humanists to be dry lakebeds like themselves, and they build a derelict Hotel California Humanism as their cachet appropriation of H, that you can never leave if you still have some affect left in your cold little heart.

Again, I think it is just as likely that someday the Churches will convert, and the species will essentially be back together on the same page, as we were 1000 years ago in the West and to large degree still are, as Lionel above points out, in the fundie worlds.

[ Edited: 15 March 2009 10:40 AM by Martinus ]
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Posted: 15 March 2009 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Occam - 15 March 2009 10:07 AM

Quote Mriana:

Yes, if I had to clarify, instead of just calling myself a Humanist, I would say “I am a Religious Humanist”, but most people don’t understand that that actually refers to the “human-experience” and not necessarily a “God-experience”.

That reminds me of a former minister at the local Unitarian church.  She called herself a Spiritual Atheist. 

Occam


Yes.. the human experience.
So well put, so true… what do we want as humans? well, as Aristotle says, its nothing more than happiness
and if a ‘God’ provides that happiness then more power to them but most of the time its us humans who provide
each other with the happiness that we need.

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Posted: 15 March 2009 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Occam - 15 March 2009 10:07 AM

Quote Mriana:

Yes, if I had to clarify, instead of just calling myself a Humanist, I would say “I am a Religious Humanist”, but most people don’t understand that that actually refers to the “human-experience” and not necessarily a “God-experience”.

That reminds me of a former minister at the local Unitarian church.  She called herself a Spiritual Atheist.  Is the kind of idea you are talking about, Mriana?

Occam

I’m not actually sure what a Spiritual Atheist is.  IF, borrowing words here and redefining them, one wants to call “communing with nature” spiritual, yet they don’t believe in a deity, I guess that would be part of it.

Martinus says:

Very nice.

For some reason atheists require all Humanists to be dry lakebeds like themselves, and they build a derelict Hotel California Humanism as their cachet appropriation of H, that you can never leave if you still have some affect left in your cold little heart.

Again, I think it is just as likely that someday the Churches will convert, and the species will essentially be back together on the same page, as we were 1000 yers ago in the West and to large degree still are, as Lionel above points out, in the fundie worlds.

Thanks.  I see myself as being a “Roddenberry” humanist and there was a short 10 min Philosophy Bites podcast that emphasized the human condition as being Humanism, almost in a “spiritual” manner.  Such views that emphasize the human condition is what I view as Humanism.  Whatever makes a person human is what is part of being human.  Humanism is not just atheistic, but it is very much human centered.

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Mriana
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Posted: 15 March 2009 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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lionel054 - 15 March 2009 10:24 AM

Yes.. the human experience.
So well put, so true… what do we want as humans? well, as Aristotle says, its nothing more than happiness
and if a ‘God’ provides that happiness then more power to them but most of the time its us humans who provide
each other with the happiness that we need.

Also very well put, lionel.

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Mriana
“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: 15 March 2009 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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cheese
Thanks..
I’m just in the middle of my philosophy class on ethics!
Aristotle said some very wise things.. but he also says some horrible chauvinistic and inhumane things.
Can’t blame him though, his mentality was that of the elitist Greek.

His mentality is also similar to many African tribes..

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Posted: 15 March 2009 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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lionel054 - 15 March 2009 10:53 AM

cheese
Thanks..
I’m just in the middle of my philosophy class on ethics!
Aristotle said some very wise things.. but he also says some horrible chauvinistic and inhumane things.
Can’t blame him though, his mentality was that of the elitist Greek.

His mentality is also similar to many African tribes..

The unique perspective you have, from African fundamentalism, tribes etc. is not available or at all in circulation in the West, that I have seen, and could give you a unique advantage when you add your own contributions in good time.

It could prove to be very useful for balancing the pollyannish mentality towards many issues in Africa we hold in the West, and as you say, a little freethinking will be invaluable.

With respect to philosophy, beware of linguistic analysis, and the “British Analytic Tradition”. It’s a philosophical Ponzi scheme that has gone on for a century, sucked the life out of philosophy departments, and retarded the entire intellectual legacy of western universities. Nota bene.

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Posted: 15 March 2009 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Martinus - 15 March 2009 11:35 AM

The unique perspective you have, from African fundamentalism, tribes etc. is not available or at all in circulation in the West, that I have seen, and could give you a unique advantage when you add your own contributions in good time.

It could prove to be very useful for balancing the pollyannish mentality towards many issues in Africa we hold in the West, and as you say, a little freethinking will be invaluable.

Thanks..
freethinking is the most valuable thing..
a little skepticism here, a pinch of pessimism there and we could be one step further to unity!

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Posted: 15 March 2009 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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lionel054 - 15 March 2009 12:07 PM
Martinus - 15 March 2009 11:35 AM

The unique perspective you have, from African fundamentalism, tribes etc. is not available or at all in circulation in the West, that I have seen, and could give you a unique advantage when you add your own contributions in good time.

It could prove to be very useful for balancing the pollyannish mentality towards many issues in Africa we hold in the West, and as you say, a little freethinking will be invaluable.

Thanks..
freethinking is the most valuable thing..
a little skepticism here, a pinch of pessimism there and we could be one step further to unity!

Yes, but you can’t get rich intellectually through reiterated subtraction. Consider adding a little optimism as well. grin

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