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Count me out: CFI statement on NYC Islamic Center
Posted: 27 August 2010 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]
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CFI just issued a press release to the effect that no house of worship should be built near ground zero. http://www.centerforinquiry.net/news/cfi_releases_statement_in_response_to_the_proposed_islamic_religious_center/

I hate calling anyone stupid, so I won’t. This is idiotic. I am cutting my ties with CFI as of now.

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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: 27 August 2010 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I will be sorry to see you go PlaClair. I agree, it is a stupid message on the part of CFI. The community center is not even within sight of ground zero. We cannot allow inflammatory rhetoric dictate public policy.  I wish you would stick around and fight from this side, I doubt you would find many on this forum agreeing with their statement.

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Posted: 27 August 2010 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t think anybody is being stupid here. Lindsay is merely wrong to suggest that,“The 9/11 attacks were an example of faith-based terrorism.” I am once again reminded of the conversation between Atran and Harris at the first Beyond Belief, where Atran disagreed with Harris on religion being the cause of terrorism. I agree with Atran and see no reason why the mosque should not be built near ground zero. I understand people may not like the idea of the mosque being built there (maybe I don’t either, I am not sure), but we should probably stay away from justifying our personal beliefs with what in this case simply seems to be wrong science: People do not act immorally because of religion.

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Posted: 27 August 2010 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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One of the problems is equating an organization with statements made by an individual or small group.  Were we to take a vote of all the members of CFI, PLaClair, I wouldn’t be surprised if fewer than half of them agreed with the published statement.  Unfortunately, we often get tarred with the same brush as the spokesman when only s/he deserves the feathers.  I agree with Asanta - stick around PLaClair.  And each of us who was bothered by that press release should send a strongly worded e-mail to the CFI administration.  They need to hear from the membership if they hope to represent them.

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Posted: 27 August 2010 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’m inclined to agree with Massimo Pigliucci’s claim on his Philosophy and Skepticism Facebook page. Viz., the first two paragraphs of this statement appear logically contradictory. It’s a confusing, and confused, statement. Whatever it was they meant to say about this matter, they weren’t being clear. It seems to me rule number one for corporate press releases is to say something clear. If you’re having trouble coming up with a clear position, best to rethink or avoid putting out a press release. IMO.

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Posted: 27 August 2010 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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And the problem with press releases is you can’t take them back.  Retractions don’t work; they make you look confused, weak, or as if you believe the opposite.

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Posted: 27 August 2010 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I also agree that the statement is poorly worded and poorly thought out. It looks like a pretty shallow attempt to appear to be nobly defeding the rights of all Americans while blaming religion generally for acts of terrorism. For all that I have little use for religion myself, suggesting that somehow banning all religious-themed buildings from an area associated with an act of religious-themed terrorism is appropriate or productive strikes me as ridiculous.

Sadly, this press release seems to fit the recent spate of problems managing CFIs public image as well, though I may be pilloried for saing so, the new leadership’s tone of generalized hostility to religion that disturbs at least some of us.

Still, Paul, I hope you continue to offer your voice here on the forums despite your disagreements with the leadership at CFI. Like Asanta, I value your contributions.

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Posted: 27 August 2010 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Is faith based religion ok or is it not ok? Does faith based religion cause harm and shouldn’t be supported? It causes harm and should be supported. Or there is nothing harmful about religion?

I think the intent was to deliver a consistent message.

The reasoning offered isn’t so good. Individual make decisions… However if circumstances were different, would they make the same decisions? If people weren’t led to believe they would be rewarded by God for their actions?

Tough call to allow for individual responsibility and not consider the circumstances which led to the decisions made.

Freedom of religion is one of the basis of the US. So does one support religion on principle or attack an institution that they feel is harmful to society?

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Posted: 27 August 2010 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Despite my request earlier today that my account be deleted, it’s still open. So I’ll renew that request, this time publicly and use my continued access to explain my reasons in more detail.

I would strongly prefer not to leave CFI and these forums. However, there are two ways of looking at an organization like CFI in this plane of analysis.

One is that we are a repository for OPOGs (old pissed-off guys) who want someplace to vent about how awful it is that we have to live in a world of irrational people, woe is us. This could be characterized as a circle-j—-.

The other is that CFI could some day be a respected organization with national influence, to which people might turn for guidance or a little thoughtfulness when these issues come up. The head of an organization like CFI, which issues press releases, should resign immediately if his vision is not along these lines. Sadly, this second vision died today. If CFI ever rose to a position of significance, where its leaders were being sought out for their views, Mr. Lindsays’s statement, which he condensed nicely into a single sentence so that it would fit on Fox’s TV screen, would drown out anything else he was trying to say. The game is over. Any hope of CFI ever rising to this status is dead, at least while the current leadership remains in power and likely for long beyond that. This one press release will haunt CFI for decades, and it may never recover.

I will not be associated with an organization that says that no houses of worship should be built in any area. It is wrong and consummately (politically) stupid. I will not be a part of it.

Secondarily, there is no longer any point to my being associated with an organization whose leadership obviously does not take CFI’s role in the national community seriously. Were this the only reason, I would remain on these forums but there is an ethical point, which requires me to disassociate myself immediately and unequivocally.

Doug, please delete my membership without further delay. If the leadership changes, or maybe if Lindsay’s statement is retracted and an apology issued, or he’s fired and the organization issues a retraction, let me know and I will happily return. Meanwhile, I will miss you all.

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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: 27 August 2010 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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EDIT
I deleted my old post.  I reread it and it felt glib.  Didn’t want to do that.

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Posted: 27 August 2010 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The page doesn’t allow comments. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Dr Lindsey to voice our (reasoned) displeasure?

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Posted: 27 August 2010 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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PLaClair - 27 August 2010 03:08 PM

Despite my request earlier today that my account be deleted, it’s still open. So I’ll renew that request, this time publicly and use my continued access to explain my reasons in more detail.

I would strongly prefer not to leave CFI and these forums. However, there are two ways of looking at an organization like CFI in this plane of analysis.

One is that we are a repository for OPOGs (old pissed-off guys) who want someplace to vent about how awful it is that we have to live in a world of irrational people, woe is us. This could be characterized as a circle-j—-.

The other is that CFI could some day be a respected organization with national influence, to which people might turn for guidance or a little thoughtfulness when these issues come up. The head of an organization like CFI, which issues press releases, should resign immediately if his vision is not along these lines. Sadly, this second vision died today. If CFI ever rose to a position of significance, where its leaders were being sought out for their views, Mr. Lindsays’s statement, which he condensed nicely into a single sentence so that it would fit on Fox’s TV screen, would drown out anything else he was trying to say. The game is over. Any hope of CFI ever rising to this status is dead, at least while the current leadership remains in power and likely for long beyond that. This one press release will haunt CFI for decades, and it may never recover.

I will not be associated with an organization that says that no houses of worship should be built in any area. It is wrong and consummately (politically) stupid. I will not be a part of it.

Secondarily, there is no longer any point to my being associated with an organization whose leadership obviously does not take CFI’s role in the national community seriously. Were this the only reason, I would remain on these forums but there is an ethical point, which requires me to disassociate myself immediately and unequivocally.

Doug, please delete my membership without further delay. If the leadership changes, or maybe if Lindsay’s statement is retracted and an apology issued, or he’s fired and the organization issues a retraction, let me know and I will happily return. Meanwhile, I will miss you all.

Er, I never saw a request to delete your account. I can ban you from the Forum, but that will only mean you can’t post under the same username. I can’t delete your membership in CFI. To do that, you’d have to talk to the Development folks at the organization.

If you want me to ban your username let me know. I’d also be very sorry to see you go, but if that’s what you want, I’ll do it.

[ Edited: 27 August 2010 05:23 PM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 27 August 2010 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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asanta - 27 August 2010 04:38 PM

The page doesn’t allow comments. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Dr Lindsey to voice our (reasoned) displeasure?

The personnel list of CFI is HERE.

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Doug

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Posted: 27 August 2010 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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dougsmith - 27 August 2010 05:22 PM
asanta - 27 August 2010 04:38 PM

The page doesn’t allow comments. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Dr Lindsey to voice our (reasoned) displeasure?

The personnel list of CFI is HERE.

Thanks. I saw an email address there, although not for Dr Lindsay. I shall formulate an email to send to their office and I hope others do as well.

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 27 August 2010 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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asanta - 27 August 2010 05:59 PM
dougsmith - 27 August 2010 05:22 PM
asanta - 27 August 2010 04:38 PM

The page doesn’t allow comments. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Dr Lindsey to voice our (reasoned) displeasure?

The personnel list of CFI is HERE.

Thanks. I saw an email address there, although not for Dr Lindsay. I shall formulate an email to send to their office and I hope others do as well.

He’s on the list as well. To find email addresses, click on the highlighted names, or hover over them. (Depending on your browser).

I will also let him know.

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Doug

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Posted: 27 August 2010 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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dougsmith - 27 August 2010 06:01 PM
asanta - 27 August 2010 05:59 PM
dougsmith - 27 August 2010 05:22 PM
asanta - 27 August 2010 04:38 PM

The page doesn’t allow comments. Does anyone know how to get in touch with Dr Lindsey to voice our (reasoned) displeasure?

The personnel list of CFI is HERE.

Thanks. I saw an email address there, although not for Dr Lindsay. I shall formulate an email to send to their office and I hope others do as well.

He’s on the list as well. To find email addresses, click on the highlighted names, or hover over them. (Depending on your browser).

I will also let him know.

Thanks Doug.

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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