This post is made here because I  want to suggest a sub-group, wherein you can ask and answer questions, but with the added layer of trying to use your reason and fighting bias or moral judgments - our goal is to understand how things work or how things are, leaving other thoughts like right and wrong for later contemplation.

I want to invite all fellow thinkers to put our minds together in a group called x_amorality_x, for the purpose of addressing whatever important questions each of us may have USING REASON WITHOUT BIAS, as much as possible. I can see the power of having a group of people who will actively think through things without condemnation, unnecessary emotion, and other bias. Imagine a free discussion and a true understanding of how things truly are (as far as we can figure them out) without having your discovery cut short by someone else's prohibitions on thought, or fear, or guilt, or shame, or anything else that will keep you from the truth!
My Art

(no subject)

Hello newbie here,

At my college they have classes called "Critical Thinking", where you can guess what the subject is, the teacher is to promote heavy debate over "hard core" matters such as illegal imagration, homesexuallity, scientific research on animals... blah, blah, blah. (these topics get boring after a while when no one really listens and just yells.)

Now don't get me wrong these "issues" are only issues because we make them issues, atleast thats my opinion for now we will get more into this at a later date. The media reports on them everyday, and people soak it up like a sponge, and everynight if you actually watch.

Its the same subject, all the time.

I sometimes watch the news,(it irratates me too much) but I listen in the backround while getting ready for work or school. Its amazing how much shit they repeat to evoke fear into society as a whole, and its amazing still how many people actually believe it.

I am not saying all news is fake. I am saying if you really listen and watch you can see who is really pulling the strings.

I know I sound like a paraniod conspiracy theorist, but whats with the news on all the birth control? Yes there is controversy over giving, what is it, middle schoolers?, birth control, but only the parents of the children seem to be giving any guff about it.

The government isn't stepping in, in fact it was probalby their idea. Form of population control, and the companies that produces these brands of the pill are in league with this grand idea because they are making money off of it.

It doesn't matter how much the media reports on it, because they are getting paid off and will be reporting on something else soon.

If the government has to much pressure and too much of a close eye on it, all it needs is another the country to band us together and evoke patriotism...imagine that!

Then the eye is off the government and off to creating more red tape, more standards that every mindless drone won't question... pay your taxes, take that flu shot that has lethal viruses in it.... SOLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!!



P.s. I just heard it on t.v again (I would love to see how this progresses)
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atheism can be therapy


It can be! Come on admit it, it's very therapeutic. "Oh, what, me? Need therapy?? *&)^ you, you $)%)@!!!!"

But wait wait it is it is, just listen to me. It is therapy of the simplest kind - self esteem building. Yes, religious targets are so EASY, aren't they? You're telling me you have a hard time thinking about this stuff? You're telling me you put hours of effort into processing your denunciations of the religious? No, it's the simplest, easiest thing! It's so satisfying too! I mean, it feels so good because it makes one feel so IMPORTANT to be able to so easily demolish the bases of faith. A faith that has such influence, such meaning, such power, for so many people. To be able to comprehensively trash and irrefutably bannish to the fringes of credulity this lunacy of faith. It can be tremendously satisfying to sit there in the comfort of one's office chair, dispensing such ground shaking reasoning. - Perhaps thinking "Look at me, just think, what could I do if I really tried?"

Atheism can be therapy and aahh, ain't it such a GOOD one!

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being a good atheist

as i was just saying to a friend

"I appreciated both Keith [former president of australian atheists] and Phillip's [catholic priest] comments. I really like Keith's idea of holding onto the JWs for as long as possible [when they come round to visit]. But that's set me thinking about what i'd say to them.

You know, i was having a really good discussion with Mum last night - and we got onto character. until the 70s (she reckoned), someone's character was very important. It's less of a concern for people now, but i still think 'character assassinations' perpetrated by atheists upon religious believers are quite common, and are a major limitation for the acceptance of atheism by those of faith. That's why i appreciate both Keith and Phillip's approaches, as Keith thinks properly, and Phillip relates to people properly - he is a 'nice guy' - considerate, most importantly. Although having good character and being someone whose word/commitments can be trusted etc is emphasised less now, i think our focus on it in discussing religion is an obstacle. Imagine me having the JWs come round. I could, and rightly so by the standards of critical thinking, direct at them a tirade of indignation about expecting others to give up their rational view of the world for a faithful one.

I could show them the great website 'god is imaginary' - and, well, probably shouldn't have to go further than the first proof about statistics showing prayer is ineffectual.

Then i could take them to another fantastic project 'god checker' - which is chock full of entertaining biographies of all the gods from all the different mythologies throughout history around the world. As fascinating as all that is (and i love the vital statistix down the bottom - i thought it was a basis for a fantastic computer game), a central message to be gotten from that site is that one's experience of god is subjective. otherwise, if there were one true god, why does, in order to be comprehensive and truthful, need to provide dossiers on over 2000 gods (and counting)?

-the fabulous rainbow snake from the australian aboriginal mythology section of the site.

I could then regale them with Mark Thomas's principles of atheism, as outlined right at the bottom here.

and then we could take a break from all the talking by watching Richard Dawkins' doco 'The Root of All Evil?' - download it down the bottom there. - where, among other things, he describes how atheism allows us to grasp the beauty and complexity of life, where religion is too simplistic and detached from reality (because it is, well, about faith and possibly therefore postmodernism (perhaps i would also summarise our fascinating postmodernism vs science lecture!)). In the last part of the second half of that documentary richard talks about just how fortunate we are to be here, what a tremendously small chance we had of coming into the world by virtue of that specific combination of genes our parents gave us. Out of this is the basis for altruism in atheists, for if we are so lucky to just get this one chance (and also the fact that it is just ONE chance), we would feel motivated to treat ourselves and others with the utmost respect, care, love, nurturance, good will and sincerity. or, conversely, recognising no outlandish process of reincarnation will take place, be fully satisfied in knowing that when we 'dispatch' of an enemy in a fashion involving their mortality, they will be gone for good, and the world will really be a better place ;-)

Then i could top it off with saying well, you know, it's not really us that ever reincarnated anyway. Early religious writers appeared to have an uncanny familiarity with the workings of genes back then, such that if one read the bible from the perspective of a guide to achieving gene replication, it would contain some invaluable advice! as an example, the last thing i would show to them would be Matt Weeks' article called Jacob and Gender Roles. here, he points out that genes advertised themselves using the beauty of the woman they were inside (when inside men they advertise themselves by getting him to show how well he can provide resources), causing a man to not only wed her and cause her to bear children (yay! say the genes) but also wed her ugly sister and cause two servants to become pregnant beforehand, as part of the deal. Really bad explanation, read the column, it's great (and did u know he's only 23 like me! i felt shamefully incompetent! the only thing i've done representing anything like his professional, polished 'oh look at me i can write columns' achievements is my livejournal entry about the emphasis on the goddess in the da vinci code and that angsty critique of that body objectification reading last semester! hehe, i've subsequently felt motivated to put it on my livejournal, just to make myself feel like i can do what he does :-P ). see, character does matter still afterall.

um, yeah, so that would like, rationally speaking, blow them out of the water (not to mention taking up a whole day!). but so what. there's something more important to them than acknowledging they've got a faulty understanding of the world and appropriately updating it. they need to protect their sense of being of good character. i am at risk of seemingly attacking it, objectifying them by their irrational belief, if i took keith's seemingly flippant (which may in other settings be appropriate) style of communicating his convictions as a guide. i would need, therefore, to employ Phillip's niceness in putting across keith's message. the problem is though, that whilst athiests might have moved on and finally realised they can live better without faith in god, they are still as invested in the enterprise of character building. when they see a religionist, they see a great opportunity to destroy their character ratings, and simultaneously increase their own, by showing the religionist to be a poor reasoner.

this, of course, shows up their lack of self confidence, since otherwise they wouldn't take an interest in such easy targets. we can address this issue by asking the atheist if they really think it's sensible to abuse other's self-confidence in the process of gaining some for themselves. i think if they really thought about it they would say no, knowing how much it sucks to have no self confidence. knowing that it can drive you to become destructive toward others, and do things like abuse those whose only fault is an incomplete understanding of reality. with this knowledge, the atheist lacking self-confidence/self esteem would be set. they would still see the faults of religionists, but also be equipped to bring about the extra understanding within the religionist that they see them as lacking in a way that the religionist feels honoured as an otherwise worthy person. this style of relating to someone is a basis for creating friendships and intimate relationships which is really what the unconfident atheist is after. but perhaps the achievement of such closeness would then cause the atheist to abandon their crusade, as they have a more sustainable way of feeling self confidence now and don't care for the labour intensiveness of confronting religionists! i don't know, but i think the latter is better still, as an insincere, disrespectful atheist confronting religionists is bad for everyone, in the end delaying their progress toward seeing the truth and giving atheism a bad name.

for example, i bet many more people think phillip is a really great guy and so nice to be around versus keith, because the former is perhaps very practiced at affirming people's worth, where keith maybe is the opposite. i'm speaking generally here, - but since they're representatives for broader causes i think these comments are still valid. i particularly appreciated phillip's appreciation of the worth of atheists that you wrote about here:

"It's not correct to say people are lacking in belief as this sounds like they are lacking a sense of values, because they are 'also looking for truth and goodness, what is true, to do what is right, to love well, but not in religious terms.'"

this is really good, and the same goes for how atheists think about religionists, even if keith complains that "
it [is] strange how atheists are thought to have no morals and are the 'lowest of the low.'"

so yeah i think i covered it, although the idea that religion is a way to find meaning... i dunno, i think that more relates to religion being many things, not just the faith in god. as you said, the bible is made up of songs, poems, stories, history. what is the potential of such writings? to explore. to expound upon the nature of living as a human (which, btw, genes couldn't give a stuff about and if they could think i'm wondering if they'd be kicking themselves for evolving us a brain to realise how we've been a slave to them for so long, and that we just might rebel and use (god save us!) contraception and the like). the bible and religion, because it is so broad, includes elements that are metaphorical, mythical, mysterious, and poetic. those four words are the way in which i break down spirituality. it is through those types of explorations that the meaning of life comes to be tied to religious experience. but correlation does not imply causation (great wikipedia article on it) -and as you well know, great meaning and profundity can be infused into the writings of anyone sufficiently proficient at or absorbed in the process of appreciating the mysterious, metaphorical, mythological and poetic nature of our existence.

i'm sending in my applications for joining the atheist foundation and the secular party of australia tomorrow!

(no subject)

Repost this!!!!

I'd like everyone to participate, as a social experiment. See how you feel after just ONE week, beginning this Wednesday.

Isn't there something wrong with the world when we wonder what's happening to fictional characters throughout the week? Isn't it wrong when a Sunday night cartoon on Fox is important in our life? Isn't it wrong when there are so many experiences to be had, but we just can't be bothered with real life because we're sitting zoned out in front of the tube? Isn't it wrong when we're away from our techno-universe and we begin to panic? The next generation won't even know the joy of building mud pies and creating cities of legos or playing telephone with a papercup and a string if we don't do something about it NOW. We let things slide, we procrastinate, we just sit there zombified in front of this little box, watching the little world within, while the real world and our real lives go ignored. TURN IT OFF FOR JUST ONE WEEK! And pass this on to your friends and definitely to your children! Get your coworkers and your classmates involved as well!!!

Go swimming, go camping, have lunch with an old friend or write a letter to your grandmother. Just LIVE and stop procrastinating, and remember the scent of flowers and what it's like to feel your toes in the summer lawn.
Imagine Minifesto

(no subject)

Hello busy and lazy bodies! MY name is Matt, and I'm an atheist. But that doesn't really yield too much conflict around here. Anyway, I would like you all to consider joining, in addition to this community, my new LJ community:
I have created this community in order to establish a contigent of academics, scientists, and debaters of non-religious persuasion. Hell, we'll take any scientist who just thinks some of the stuff out there is stupid and worth correcting. I hope to establish a union large enough to engage in successful academic debates with people espousing unrealistic world views, particularly young-earth creationists, whom are at the top of my debating hit list. Anyway, I'd appreciate more members and people who are willing to join and help form this union, and even perhaps give time. Peace, love, and dolphins!