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Are there actually any African agnostics/atheists around?
Posted: 15 March 2009 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Point taken

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Posted: 15 March 2009 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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I find it extremely appealing that Paul Kurtz tries to use the term
Secular Humanism to be distinct from the various forms of Religious
Humanism.

I think that language subtleties are important here,
and removing the religious references is a good step
towards clearing up the confusion about Humanism that exists
out there.  Some people think that Humanism is a religion (e.g.
TORCASO v. WATKINS “[Footnote 11 ] Among religions in this country
which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the
existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism
and others.” merely a footnote, but what will the Supreme Court say
about Humanism the next time?).  I realize that religion is a word with
a wide variety of meanings for different people: some of them very small
(just Church at Christmas-time), while on the other hand some are very
large including all daily habits, voting, births, deaths, marriages,
all holidays and celebrations, and so on.  Because that word is so
variable I think that cannot rely on how others will interpret it, that
is a great asset if you want to blend in and not be questioned, but is
a damaging detriment when you want to change peoples’ assumptions about
you and the world of secular options.  Additionally there are so many
religious references in language, and in US culture there are so many
religious symbols, assumptions, institutions, laws, and infrastructures.

I want that to change, where the irreligious can have as much respect
as the religious.

Where Paul Kurtz further tries to separate from religious
implications the very secular sounding eupraxsophy (the loving
practice of wisdom and knowledge) that he tries to coin.  This sounds
excellent to me! “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength,
not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and
Hindus—and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture,
drawn from every end of this Earth; ...” (from Huffington) Obama has inspired
my hope in that human community growing.

And, by no means, have I said nor intended to imply that the good
feelings that some choose to inspire with religious practices truly
belong to anything but humans.  The good feelings all belong to us to
do with as we please, and that choice should be as fully free as any
of the most free choices that we have.  Freedom not only to experience
them in religious ways, but also the freedom to know of and practice the
secular means of inspiring good feelings individually and communally!
And I think that the good feelings are not only a secular experience
(despite any religious settings), but that secular means of inspiring
good feelings are better than religious ones: you aren’t limited to
Sundays and prayer time with the secular options, for example; also,
the secular options not only deliver those feelings but deliver them
with fact and a greater connection with humanity, rather than fiction
and distancing away from humanity reaching for an alien creature!

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Posted: 15 March 2009 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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“...And I think that the good feelings are not only a secular experience
(despite any religious settings), but that secular means of inspiring
good feelings are better than religious ones: you aren’t limited to
Sundays and prayer time with the secular options, for example; also,
the secular options not only deliver those feelings but deliver them
with fact and a greater connection with humanity, rather than fiction
and distancing away from humanity reaching for an alien creature!”

Nicely put.

Humanism is like sex. Involving a third party may short-circuit it (if you already love people).

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Posted: 15 March 2009 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 15 March 2009 06:16 PM

(despite any religious settings), but that secular means of inspiring
good feelings are better than religious ones
!

Right! No need for limits or impositions for the feelings achievable..
I can’t remember who said this but..“now that I’m a [humanist] I don’t have to hate anymore.”

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Posted: 15 March 2009 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Where Paul Kurtz further tries to separate from religious
implications the very secular sounding eupraxsophy (the loving
practice of wisdom and knowledge) that he tries to coin.  This sounds
excellent to me! “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength,
not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and
Hindus—and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture,
drawn from every end of this Earth; ...” (from Huffington) Obama has inspired
my hope in that human community growing.

And, by no means, have I said nor intended to imply that the good
feelings that some choose to inspire with religious practices truly
belong to anything but humans.  The good feelings all belong to us to
do with as we please, and that choice should be as fully free as any
of the most free choices that we have.  Freedom not only to experience
them in religious ways, but also the freedom to know of and practice the
secular means of inspiring good feelings individually and communally!
And I think that the good feelings are not only a secular experience
(despite any religious settings), but that secular means of inspiring
good feelings are better than religious ones: you aren’t limited to
Sundays and prayer time with the secular options, for example; also,
the secular options not only deliver those feelings but deliver them
with fact and a greater connection with humanity, rather than fiction
and distancing away from humanity reaching for an alien creature!

How can Obama inspire your hopes in a “human community"when he is sending thousands more combat troops to Afghanistan?
What do you think would happen if Obama sent 17000 care-givers,social workers,doctors,teachers and engineers to Afghanistan?
What are the positive benefits of escalating the Afghan conflict?Can any humanist be inspired by the deployment of any combat troops,anywhere,at any time?
He’s escalating the war in Afghanistan-this is empiricaly(sp?)true.How does this action by Obama compare to what we can ONLY refer to as rhetoric,when he speaks of all the peoples of the World coming together?

[ Edited: 15 March 2009 09:19 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 17 March 2009 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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lionel054 - 26 February 2009 09:26 PM

Besides the Infidel Guy and Norm Allen there are basically no African atheists.
To top that off I’m African, Nigerian to be more precise so i feel like 1% of a percent of a fraction of the African atheists..

I love Norm Allen.  LOL I’m always poking around on the net for podcast interviews but they always link back to POI or the Infidel Guy’s show.

Anyway in his anthology “African American Humanism” there are essays from African humanists like Emmanuel Kofi Mensah and Freda Amakye Ansah. (I have the book but I can’t recall if I actually read their essays.)


Mike Estes is an African American atheist.

[ Edited: 17 March 2009 01:06 PM by T. Ruth ]
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Posted: 17 March 2009 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Lately I’ve been hearing news like that (because, really, it is news to me).. I’m glad that there are, I was beginning to feel lonely here.

And, yeah, Norm Allen’s great.

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Posted: 17 March 2009 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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I think D. Eric Harmon is a freethinker.  He produced the documentary Bondage and the Bible. It looks at the Bible’s support of slavery and African Americans’ support for a book that does so. I wanted to check it out, so I purchased the DVD. I sort of wish that he featured familiar authorities on the subject, but like, we’ve counted, what? three black atheists in this thread alone?  gulp  smile

[ Edited: 17 March 2009 05:08 PM by T. Ruth ]
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Posted: 18 March 2009 12:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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>...really?! Thank g..dog… Africans have the stereotypical view of African Americans. (Overly religious, gangsta and sagging)..
>but definitely not non-believers..

I’m an African American and I am an atheist, have been all my life born & raised in NYC, now living in Virginia. I’m an avid religious radio show listener. Horror movies never scared me but these guys do.

lionel054, where are you going to school ?

  R.

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Posted: 18 March 2009 01:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Im at UIC, Il

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Posted: 20 March 2009 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Mriana - 15 March 2009 09:59 AM

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.

`

very nicely said Mriana :)

a friend of mine recently described her first meeting with someone she’s since become quite attracted to ~ she said that what happened (her sense of ‘immediate connection’ with this person) felt like it was something ‘more’, something ‘universal’.  I asked her why she felt that or why she came to that conclusion and she couldn’t really describe why…....

this is what fascinates me.  I wonder what makes us different ~ why one person will attribute ‘emotionally affecting/meaningful’ experiences to something ‘outside’ of them and another, though being just as deeply affected by an experience, won’t automatically believe/feel that it’s something ‘more’ than what they are personally experiencing.

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Posted: 20 March 2009 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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I just listened to Point’s new podcast with Norm Allen.
Good stuff.. encouraging and disappointing at the same time.

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Posted: 20 March 2009 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Axegrrl - 20 March 2009 12:13 AM
Mriana - 15 March 2009 09:59 AM

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.

`

very nicely said Mriana smile

a friend of mine recently described her first meeting with someone she’s since become quite attracted to ~ she said that what happened (her sense of ‘immediate connection’ with this person) felt like it was something ‘more’, something ‘universal’.  I asked her why she felt that or why she came to that conclusion and she couldn’t really describe why…....

this is what fascinates me.  I wonder what makes us different ~ why one person will attribute ‘emotionally affecting/meaningful’ experiences to something ‘outside’ of them and another, though being just as deeply affected by an experience, won’t automatically believe/feel that it’s something ‘more’ than what they are personally experiencing.

Thanks. As for your friend, IF I were to put it simply, it was a positive chemical reaction, but that put it up there with something like friendship at first sight if one didn’t understand that I was referring to neuro-chemistry.  I can’t explain why but something about that person and vise-versa triggered a positive neurological response.  There are people who repel us, people who just ok with us, and others we hit it off with.  I chalk it all up to neurology.  The religious though, and I cringe almost every time, say “God brought us together”.  They virtually know nothing about neuro-chemistry.

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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: 25 March 2009 01:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Mriana - 20 March 2009 05:50 PM

Thanks. As for your friend, IF I were to put it simply, it was a positive chemical reaction, but that put it up there with something like friendship at first sight if one didn’t understand that I was referring to neuro-chemistry.  I can’t explain why but something about that person and vise-versa triggered a positive neurological response.  There are people who repel us, people who just ok with us, and others we hit it off with.  I chalk it all up to neurology.  The religious though, and I cringe almost every time, say “God brought us together”.  They virtually know nothing about neuro-chemistry.


`
That was precisely my response/reaction too Mriana:)

I told her that even though she didn’t yet ‘know’ this person, sometimes all it takes is an introduction/handshake for you to get a ‘feeling’ about someone ~ and that that ‘feeling’ has neurochemical origins that we’re not even aware of consciously.

I’m still left with the question….........

Why do some people seem to need to feel that something is ‘destined’ for them by something outside of them to feel it is ‘special’?

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‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

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Posted: 25 March 2009 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Axegrrl - 25 March 2009 01:18 AM

I’m still left with the question….........

Why do some people seem to need to feel that something is ‘destined’ for them by something outside of them to feel it is ‘special’?

I don’t know.  That is one of the things, concerning the human condition, that I am still trying to figure out.  I do know, given that a belief in gods has been with humans since they first learned to share thoughts, has been part of this.  The fall back for many is to explain that which is unexplainable at a given time as relating to some deity, with the except of the skeptical who are brave enough to investigate that which is in question.  Both skepticism and superstition appear to be part of the human condition. It is good, in some respects that we have both- superstition sometimes protects us from harm, while skepticism helps us to learn and advance.  The problem is, why are some people superstitious about things that are not necessarily harmful to us?  Secondly, why, in a day and age when we don’t need to be superstitious for our protection and safety (like our primitive ancestors needed), are some people delusionally superstitious above and beyond what is necessary?

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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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