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Author Topic: Any secular humanists here?
Yammer
Moderator posted 05-02-2001 09:07 AM
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For example:
You believe in the separation of church and state;

You think that claims of spiritual awareness and authority should not confer leadership status in matters of politics or public administration;

You think it would be great to be reborn or accepted into paradise, but you've pretty much come to the conclusion that when you die, you rot and that's it.




doulajulie
Member posted 05-02-2001 09:35 AM
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I am, for many reasons.
I believe in humans and that we need to make good choices, that it is up to us to make this world a better place, not up to any of the gods out there.

I also find what is written in the bible to be sad and not something I want to be apart of (ex. that homosexuals should be stoned and will go to "hell", children who disobey should be stoned and for many, many other reasons)These stories in the bible are just as violent as some of the hollywood movies that are out right now that I refuse to go see.

These are my beliefs and after reading about many religions I always found myself, back to that I need to make a difference and that it is up to ME. I also believe in evolution.

I know this is a very personal topic (religion) and I hope to not get flamed

I could write tons more but I'm nursing my little honey

julie





doulajulie
Member posted 05-02-2001 09:53 AM
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Some more information if you are interested
http://www.humanist.net of Humanism

Humanism is a way of living, thinking, and acting that allows every individual to actualize his or her highest aspirations and successfully achieve a happy and fulfilling life. Humanists take responsibility for their own morals and their own lives, and for the lives of their communities and the world in which we live. Humanists emphasize reason and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, human values and compassion, and the need for tolerance and cooperation. Humanists reject supernatural, authoritarian, and anti-democratic beliefs and doctrines. • The American Humanist Association

Humanism is a rational philosophy informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion. Affirming the dignity of each human being, it supports the maximization of individual liberty and opportunity consonant with social and planetary responsibility. It advocates the extension of participatory democracy and the expansion of the open society, standing for human rights and social justice. Free of supernaturalism, it recognizes human beings as a part of nature and holds that values -- be they religious, ethical, social, or political -- have their source in human experience and culture. Humanism thus derives the goals of life from human need and interest rather than from theological or ideological abstractions, and asserts that humanity must take responsibility for its own destiny. • The American Humanist Association

Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality. • The International Humanist and Ethical Union

Humanism is a philosophy, world view, or life stance based on naturalism -- the conviction that the universe or nature is all that exists or is real. Humanism serves, for many humanists, some of the emotional and social functions of a religion, but without belief in deities, transcendental beings, miracles, immortality, and the supernatural. Humanists seek to understand the universe by using science and its methods of critical inquiry -- logical reasoning, empirical evidence, and skeptical evaluation of conjectures and conclusions -- to obtain reliable knowledge. Humanists affirm that humans have the freedom to give meaning, value, and purpose to their lives by their own independent thought, free inquiry, and responsible, creative activity. Humanists stand for the building of a more humane, just, compassionate, and democratic society using a pragmatic ethics based on human reason, experience, and reliable knowledge -- an ethics that judges the consequences of human actions by the well-being of all life on Earth. • The Virtual Community of Humanists

http://www.atheistalliance.org/lowco...rinciples.html

ON KNOWLEDGE:

We are committed to the application of reason, science, and experience to better understand the universe and to solve human problems. We disapprove of efforts to denigrate human intelligence.

We welcome new ideas, but we are skeptical of untested, unverifiable, or supernatural claims to knowledge.

We encourage the pursuit of the creative arts and sciences. Activities in both areas are essential to the growth of humanity.

IN OUR SOCIAL WORLD:

We are committed to the separation of church and state.

We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in an open, pluralistic, and democratic society.

We wish to eliminate discrimination and intolerance based on race, religion, gender, nationality, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and we strive to work together for the common good of humanity.

We encourage negotiation and compromise to resolve differences and achieve mutual understanding.

We believe in helping the disadvantaged and disabled so they will be better able to help themselves.

We respect the right to privacy and believe in the right to sexual and reproductive freedom commensurate with the acceptance of sexual and reproductive responsibility.

We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other living beings.

ON MORALITY:

We believe in guiding our lives by reason, compassion, responsibility, integrity, altruism, and unselfishness.

We do not accept moral authority based on the supernatural. Humanist ethics are derived from critical reasoning and their moral principles are tested by their consequences.

We are deeply committed to the moral education of children.

FINALLY:

We believe people can pursue knowledge, find meaning, and derive responsible ethical codes entirely free from reference to supernatural forces. We are steadfast in our optimism about the good which humans can achieve. We believe secular humanism can bring about the fullest realization of the best we are capable of as human beings.

Edited to fix link.



[This message has been edited by doulajulie (edited 05-02-2001).]



Jonah&Genevieve's mom
Member posted 05-02-2001 11:11 AM
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I'm with you Yammer, I am so tired of religion in everything. It is so hard to find good schools, even preschools that are not religious. But we can't send our kids to one, how confusing to learn something from school and then have your parents tell you that it is a crock of s***.
I used to beleive that after we died our bodies just rotted, but after my father died I would feel him in the room or hear him laughing, etc. I don't beleive in "heaven" but I do think that there is some sort of afterlife.
I hope I don't offend anyone, I know how touchy this can be for some. These are just my personal feelings.
J&G's mom


Yammer
Moderator posted 05-02-2001 11:58 AM
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(Long rant to follow)
I'm an atheist, but interested in religions and matters of spirit. I see no contradiction in that.

Physics and ethics and metaphysics are closely interrelated, in my conception of things. Minute amounts of energy are lost to entropy, but essentially the universe is a closed system, and the laws of thermodynamics are respected. Therefore, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Thoughts and emotions are, at their core, expressions of energy. And so, in a very real way, there is an afterlife -- the ripples on the pool that continue even after the rock has finished making the splash.

In so saying, I am agreeing with the concept of karma as I understand it -- that you will get back what you put in. Or, as Jesus teaches, "do unto others."

I also agree with the general notion that mankind's awareness is limited and that there are forces in the universe which we cannot perceive or appreciate. It is obvious that humans have limitations on their senses and sensibilities -- e.g. we perceive time to flow in a linear direction, with only four dimensions and a narrow visible band of radiation -- so it follows that there is much in the universe which is beyond scientific understanding.

But I do not believe in an anthropomophic God who controls things. Indeed, if there was such a being, He should be feared as a criminally neglectful parent. And I can't see how individual consciousness could extend after death, though that would be cool -- I would be into haunting people as a spectre.

I like religious people, by and large. I approve of their tendency to look beyond material things and to correctly understand the value of making moral choices rather than expedient, meek consumerism.

What I am opposed to is religiousity conferring authority. It seems to me to be the duty of intellectuals to dismantle outmoded systems of control, which may have had a survival function in past times, but which are now barriers to the happiness of individuals. Theocracy is the ultimate form of authoritarianism because it is magical and invisible. Theocrats would love us to be pious believers -- it makes us weak.

I don't want to be flamed either. I love my Mothering friends.




mom at home
Member posted 05-02-2001 12:17 PM
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Yep.
I consider myself an atheist and as much as I'd like to belief that something wonderful will happen when I die, I pretty much believe that's it, I'll just be dead.

I am into sprirituality, but not in the sense of religious beliefs, but self-growth and making myself a better person. And in the pagan sense a bit, just in terms of earth cycles and such.

I don't have a problem with others believing what they want to believe as long as it is not pushed upon me. I think because I grew up in a very religious community, one of whose main focuses was converting others, I have little tolerance for that. But I'm all for everyone believing what they want and wish the atheists were more accepted. Most people I know can't understand why or how someone could be an atheist.

Anyway, that's my view. Alison



D'smom
Member posted 05-02-2001 01:54 PM
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Yup, I'm in this camp. I find my spiritual home at our local Unitarian Universalist church. Yammer's 'rant' pretty much reflects many of my beliefs. And I don't find life despairing or hopeless just because I don't believe there's a God, per se. My background in science has allowed me to peek at the amazing construct of this natural world and experience life-altering awe at the beauty and amazing-ness of it all. I don't mind others believing in a god, etc., but I do mind if it is pushed on me. I also don't enjoy the assumption of Christianity that our society still makes (G. Bush always referring to God and 'all Americans' praying to that deity; people assuming that, because I don't look Jewish, I celebrate Christian holidays, etc.)
To each their own.



willow
Moderator posted 05-02-2001 06:26 PM
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Wow, I was beginning to think that everyone on this Board was Pagan or Christian! (not that there is anything wrong with being pagan or Christian, please don't flame me!) I just thoroughly do not believe in any form of spirituality, and I can't conceptualize how others do. Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with me. There is no spiritual need in my mind, my life feels complete and satisfied, yet so many others feel the need for spirituality. Am I "spirituality blind?" or just a happy sceptic?
Anyway, things can get pretty hot on these boards regarding religious issues, and I have cautioned my mate, Yammer, to stop flaming the religious people (he can't help himself, it's like some kind of tourettes), but I have forbidden him from entering into any religious debates on this board unless it is with secular humanists/atheists/whatevers, who may share a similar outlook, so thnks for joining in the discussion in this (hopefully) flame proof room.


mom at home
Member posted 05-02-2001 07:59 PM
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Yea, Willow, I have wondered the same thing about myself. Why can I be so accepting of my non-belief in God when so many others believe. And I too wonder why I am so content with no religion in my life.
And, as for the religious discussions on this board... there have been quite a few and as long as everyone is respectful, I don't really see the problem with these discussions. I know Yammer has gotten himself into trouble on some subjects that concern religion. But I don't see why anyone would or should flame a discussion on religion or the lack thereof, just because they have different beliefs. We are talking about ourselves, after all, and our beliefs. I guess this is what I meant in my previous post that many (I'm not saying anyone here on these boards) people are intolerant of atheists and I guess I just would like to see acceptance of all faiths, including non-faith by everyone in the world.




aussie
Member posted 05-04-2001 06:57 AM
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Secular humanism sounds pretty interesting to me but the emphasis on scientific reasoning and proof seems to be replacing the god poster on the bedroom wall with one of a bloke in a white lab coat - Yammer makes a point about limitations to our senses, how do we know what we don't know?
Now I need to look up Unitarian Universalist church, haven't come across that one before..


Yammer
Moderator posted 05-04-2001 08:14 AM
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Well, yeah. I forget who said it first -- the most intellectually defensible position regarding God is agnosticism, since belief and atheism both require certainty about that which is intrinsically unknowable.
I'm quite willing, in fact eager, to be proven wrong about the existence of an Almighty God who will forgive our sins and lead us into life eternal. Shit, who wouldn't? Except when you look at church collapses, leukemia, droughts, wars, and Benny Hinn, it's pretty clear that if there is a God, He is a senile fool. So I am left with my depressing non-belief.

I'm keeping my holidays, though.



jackarow
Member posted 05-04-2001 10:51 AM
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I guess I qualify, although I feel there is so much more to my spiritual life. It's just that none of it includes a concept of god or organized religion. If I was going to join a religion, I think it would be Zen Buddhism, because Zen is about questions, not answers. I think that would relieve some of the problems I have with religous authority, like yammer's. Also, I like the way Quakers have "meetings" instead of church, and each person is entitled to their own interpretation of God's wishes. If I believed in God I would check out that religion.

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I forget who said it first -- the most intellectually defensible position regarding God is agnosticism, since belief and atheism both require certainty about that which is intrinsically unknowable.
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One of my favorite quotes is from Arthur C. Clark's 3001. A character, when asked if he is an atheist says, "Atheism is unprovable, and therefore uninteresting." But, I consider it my working theory, until proven otherwise.


quote:
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But we can't send our kids to [a religious preschool], how confusing to learn something from school and then have your parents tell you that it is a crock of s***.
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Actually, I'm so out of step, I think my kids are just going to have to learn that about many things. Ironically, I heard about atheist parents in Kansas sending their kids to Catholic schools so they can learn evolution. One mother said her child's Catholic teacher was happy to have atheist students, but comlained about the Protestants.

I heard a funny story from an atheist parenting board once; a child came home from church preschool one day and folded her hands before her lunch and mumbled. Her mother asked her what she was doing, and she replied, "guessing." They said a "blessing" before snack at preschool. The mother liked the daughter's word for it, though.

Anyway, I hope to teach my kids to think critically about everything they hear, and also to respect other people beliefs.


quote:
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I also don't enjoy the assumption of Christianity that our society still makes (G. Bush always referring to God and 'all Americans' praying to that deity; people assuming that, because I don't look Jewish, I celebrate Christian holidays, etc.)
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Tell it! That's why I feel I should support the Pagans in light of the current government climate. We have a similar plight. I once caught a bit of the 700 club where a guest was complaining about Jewish teachers in public schools. The host reminded him that he couldn't bash Jews on the show, so he substituted the word atheist from then on. No one thinks of that as a slur, but I do!

I would also like to know what a Unitarian Universalist church is. I feel really stupid, because DD's preschool is in one. It's not affiliated. I guess the word "church" caused me to make certain assumptions. Perhaps I should re-evaluate.

I don't know though. I'm not much of a joiner. I keep reading these things that say people who go to church are healthier and live longer. But correlation does not imply causality. I think if you are lucky enough to grow up believing something that a whole bunch of other people believe, then you have a easy road and will be in good company. But if, like me, your life teaches you something different, then you have to choose between going it alone or changing to fit in. I don't think the later will bring the expected health benefits. I choose the former. But, it seems I am not so alone. Thanks for this thread!





nursing mother
Member posted 05-04-2001 05:16 PM
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It has been so interesting reading all the theories and stuff on human secularism. One point I wanted to make to Yammer and one other post I can't remember who, that Please, please, please do not judge christianity on what you see on T.V. especially TBN, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copland, Fred Prise, Jimmy Swaggert, Paul and Jan Crouse I could go on and on. Those people are dispicable and put a very bad name on christianity. They preach prosperity,success etc. That is not what Jesus preached. The 700 club is often way off too. The speaking in tongues and all, thats not christianity. Christians follow Christ, believe by faith He is their saviour and also True God the creator of the universe and all creation. Yes it takes faith to believe, spirituality is felt in the soul and mind , Its not all this fluff and junk the media and t.v. put out. If I wasn't a christian and only saw what I see on t.v. and stuff I would be super turned off. I believe Agnostism is the belief in nothing , that seems so empty. At least you secular humanist believe in something like science and the goodness of human nature. Even though I see human nature heading downward. It's better to believe in something than nothing.
Yammer, I commend you for bringing up this subject. That is so neat that you have done so much studying about secular humanism you really seem to be knowledgeable about what you believe. There is a book out called Evidence demands a verdict by Josh McDowell. He was a humanist going out to prove the Bible wrong. Anyway Its great, especially how it all turns out. I'm not here to preach my point, because I respect all people and their right to believe what they want. I just feel it's important to see both sides. I wasn't so spiritually inclined or interested in spiritual things either until I got older and realized I needed to give my kids true answers to life and why we do exist. It's not enough for me to say, we're just all here on this beautiful world for nothing, but to live and die and rot. So I did my own spiritual search as you are doing and I feel many on these posts are doing. The Bible was the answer for me. Yes, I do not like all those violent stories in the OT, It's hard to understand why God allows so much suffering and pain in this world, but I have come to the conclusion that it is people and our human nature to be cruel and want power and lie and cheat. We have a will of our own and many people use it in evil ways. I don't blame the evil and suffering of this world on God. Woops, I said I wouldn't preach. Thanks for all your input I really do find it interesting to read how different people come up with their deepest beliefs. That it the beauty of humanism, that we are human, have flaws, yet can try to make things better on this old world of ours. I believe AP parents are a gift in that most of us are seeking to spiritually enrich not only our personal lives , but to enhance and affect the spiritual lives of our children. With blessing. Nursing Mother



cat
Moderator posted 05-04-2001 10:42 PM
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double-post
[This message has been edited by cat (edited 05-26-2001).]



cat
Moderator posted 05-04-2001 10:44 PM
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Yep. Secular humanism for me...without the overabundance of lab coats. (Liked your post, aussie.) Though I also do that selective mix 'n' match thing -- a little Buddhist meditation, etc. My husband was raised Unitarian (I'm a recovering Catholic -- I'll never forget trying to explain to a nun in high school how, using existentialist terms, I was god. I remember she was utterly confused.). We were married in a Unitarian church and our son was dedicated there. We're not really involved with the church (though I can appreciate the sense of community it creates), but I do like their idea of belief in the human spirit. I also enjoyed reading doulajulie's info. I embrace the idea that we're all responsible for our actions here on earth and about building a humane society. Great post, Yammer.


summermom
Member posted 05-05-2001 08:42 AM
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I guess I don't qualify as a secular humanist because I am not an atheist, nor do I need scientific proof of something to concede that it might be true. I prefer instead to dwell in the realm of infinite possibility!
I like the idea of an overarching "higher power" who is vastly benevolent yet detached, leaving it up to us to make our own choices and do the best we can. I have no idea if god or reincarnation or an afterlife or souls or spirits exist, but I like to think they do because it's comforting. If they don't, but I had a happier life because I fooled myself into thinking they do -- so what? No harm done, as far as I can see!

Mainly though I find comfort in the essential goodness of the human spirit, though in my darker moments I wonder if that is just as much of a myth that I have invented to comfort myself.

I am interested in the spirtual strivings of human beings, and interested in the best of various religions as manifestations of these strivings, but would never subscribe to any organized religion. (Although I always fill in the religion part of any survey etc as being Hindu, because I want minority religions recognized as existing in the U.S.).

And I am VERY strongly in favor of separation of church and state, and fear greatly the repercussions of having someone like Bush in power who clearly does not honor this principle.

So what does that make me? Someone you can talk to, I hope!




summermom
Member posted 05-05-2001 09:03 AM
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Willow, I think you're just a "happy sceptic" -- congratulations! As long as you're happy and you're not hurting anyone, you're all set. Some of us need a tidy house, or a big dinner, or an extra-warm coat in the winter, and some of us don't -- you can't be worried about not needing something, just because a lot of other people seem to need it!
Yammer, if there is a God, I don't think HE should be considered a senile fool -- that's US you're talking about! I mean if you believe he (/it) "created" the universe and put the force of life into motion via evolution, then for crying out loud, what more can we ask for? The rest is up to us -- whether we make something wonderful of ourselves and our earth, or choose to wreck it, is entirely up to us!

There's this old George Burns movie called "Oh God" in which God comes to earth in the form of George Burns, to see what his creations are up to, and having seen what he needs to, decides to go off and hang out with the animals!

I don't think of myself as an eternal infant and God as the eternal AP parent whose sole job is to hover over me and feed me and wipe my butt!



sweetwater
Member posted 05-07-2001 11:36 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by summermom:
I don't think of myself as an eternal infant and God as the eternal AP parent whose sole job is to hover over me and feed me and wipe my butt!
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Ha, summermom, that was great! I'm going to have to remember that one.

I'm not an atheist not only because it's the least provable theory (not even the possibility of revelation, which can be considered as experientially valid (or not) as anything having to do with our earthly senses) but also because I can't intellectually deal with the philosophical ramifications of it. Anybody here into Nietsche? Nihilism, anyone? Ack! Depressing, indeed.





Yammer
Moderator posted 05-08-2001 08:45 AM
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I don't think that atheism or agnosticism have to lead to nihilism or to emulating Nietzche (a sentimental, p-whipped dolt).
I'm a skeptic. But I do believe in something -- the species. That is the basis of my political principles, which are realistic ("liberal" in the classic sense) but idealistic. I would not so desire liberty or scorn ideology if I didn't care.

In my view, no responsible parent could possibly be a nihilist.





k'smami
Member posted 05-08-2001 11:23 AM
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My beliefs are more in-line with what summermom said. Furthermore, No organized religion for me. However I do find it comforting to believe there is a "Creator". (Not detached, just passive) And I find this belief in spirits helps me reconcile the encounters I've had with non-corporeal entities. (I'm not comfortable with believing I'm hallucinating or something like Carl Sagan thinks).
Thanks for the humanist info. I'm going to check it out.



k'smami
Member posted 05-08-2001 11:25 AM
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By the way, what is a nihilist?


Mom2Be
Member posted 05-08-2001 01:23 PM
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Well, I think that secular humanism sounds about right to/for me!
However, as a recovering Catholic married to a tried and true atheist, who was raised Lutheran, whose mother is Quaker, Whose grandparents were Baptists............there is a weird little corner of my heart (prolly that good ole Catholic guilt) that won't let me give up hope. As true as it probably is that there is no "afterlife," the idea that this is all the time I get with my family does make me sad. So I guess in a very perverse way, I refuse to believe in anything, but hope I'm wrong! In the meantime, I think Sec. Humanism sounds pretty good .



Yammer
Moderator posted 05-08-2001 02:07 PM
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It is sad, Mom2Be, to think that this little bit of time is all that we get to spend with our families.
But it makes it more exciting. No "do overs."



Mom2Be
Member posted 05-08-2001 06:54 PM
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Thanks Yammer! I never thought of it that way! You always make me smile


sweetwater
Member posted 05-09-2001 09:51 AM
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Nihilism... well, basically that there are no moral absolutes and that there is no purpose or meaning to our existence. Seems to me to be a logical consequence of atheism -- I'd be interested to hear, Yammer, why you don't think so.
I'd say I'm a classic skeptic too... can only truly have faith in things like my consciousness and my love for my children. Intangible, "unprovable", but I can't seriously doubt the existence of these things.

Yammer, what do you mean when you say you "believe in the species"? I think I know what you mean, but I don't want to assume.

K'smami, that's very close to where I'm at, with a few twists. I LOVE Carl Sagan, by the way; have you read Contact? I loved the way he treated the science vs. religion issue in that book.



nursing mother
Member posted 05-09-2001 02:17 PM
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Thats downright depressing to believe there is no after-life. I believe we all have spirit's and souls that go on, I've got two little kids floating around up there that I know I will one day see again, their spirits never leave me. Hey and I will just keep on APing clear into the hereafter!!


mom at home
Member posted 05-09-2001 07:46 PM
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I don't find it depressing to think that there is no after-life. Maybe it will make me appreciate what I have now, in this life, more. I hope so. I've always thought it would be nice to think that there was something to follow death, but I don't and I'm content with it.
Alison

[This message has been edited by mom at home (edited 05-09-2001).]

[This message has been edited by mom at home (edited 05-09-2001).]



Yammer
Moderator posted 05-10-2001 12:04 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by sweetwater:
"Nihilism... well, basically that there are no moral absolutes and that there is no purpose or meaning to our existence. Seems to me to be a logical consequence of atheism -- I'd be interested to hear, Yammer, why you don't think so."

I understand your position. With no God in Heaven to judge us, why shouldn't we all become raving sociopaths?

The answer: because some of us are not sociopaths. We may voluntarily undertake responsibility, whether for reasons of ideology, practicality, ethics, or the sporting joy of challenge. My disinclination to obey the alleged proclamations of invisible beings does not excuse wanton misbehaviour. I am a member of a species of sociable mammals, incapable of independent existence. It behooves me to avoid harming my species, both to secure a place for myself and my family, and for more abstract conceits, e.g. that my death will be perceived as a loss rather than a relief in the hearts of decent people.

Conversely, I do not see where mere religiousity creates social responsibility. The phrase, "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out," nicely illustrates this fallacy.

"Yammer, what do you mean when you say you "believe in the species"? I think I know what you mean, but I don't want to assume."

Simply, that I wish the human race to continue. That desire does not inform my every action, most of which are pretty selfish, but it's a core belief and the root of my politics. For example, it is the reason why I am skeptical of all forms of sectarianism and separation. Our tribal wars are now of sufficient scope that we could turn this planet into a radioactive billiard ball. Or we could reproduce ourselves out of existence, or pollute ourselves into extinction, etc. etc. Just think of what assholes we will look like to Martian anthropologists. Our politics must be geared towards figuring out what behaviours maximize the happiness of our species.

I don't overrate my contribution here. At best, my life will be a brief but pleasant note in what will hopefully be a very long symphony, i.e. the aggregate of human experience. That is a marvellous thing, equal in my mind to descriptions of heaven. It is a delicious honour to be alive. So many good people ain't!

That is belief enough for me.

By the way, while I jest about religious beliefs, I don't dislike the religious. Indeed, I envy the reassurance they must feel. I study religious affairs pretty closely.

However, I fully admit to despising political leaders who attempt to parlay their religiousity as an endorsement of their policies. Sacred experiences may be subjectively real, but are no basis for government. The reasons include the ease of malingering, and the high probability of abuse of "infidels."




k'smami
Member posted 05-10-2001 09:35 AM
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Thanks Sweetwater for your explination. Nihilism is depressing. And thank you Yammer for your latest explanation of believing in the species. I like it, it seems natural.
Sweetwater, I like Carl Sagan too. I haven't read Contact yet. I saw the movie and that was my introduction to Carl. I read some of his essays when I had to write a paper about him in college.



Lena
Member posted 05-10-2001 10:54 AM
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Hello, everyone! I guess I belong to this group, too. Agnostic describes me and DH pretty well. I am new here, and I just wanted to say hello, and nice to meet so many parents that feel like I do.


Margaret of Arabia
Member posted 05-14-2001 01:44 AM
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Have always been Agnostic with tendancies towards Buddism. I agree with Yammer. I like what has been written here for the most part. Part of the trouble I have is the strong Christian influence over my children. It is difficult when my 12 year old comes home with really heavy qustions about life and death. Boy, this is the part of parenting that is the toughest. You want to make them secure but the answers I have to some of her questions are weak at best. Maybe some of you can let me know how you handle questions on religion. THanks, marg


jackarow
Member posted 05-14-2001 01:52 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by sweetwater:
Nihilism... well, basically that there are no moral absolutes and that there is no purpose or meaning to our existence. Seems to me to be a logical consequence of atheism
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I think Zen refutes this pretty well, and I don't feel too good about trying to paraphrase any Zen masters. But I will say that even as an atheist I feel a deep sense of meaning to my existance, and a deep commitment to what I guess one would call ethics. This is not a choice on my part. It is the result of my exploration of myself and the world around me. To do other than follow my "ethics" violates my integrity and detracts from the meaning of my life.

Also, regarding life-after-death, I think one way to look at it is to ask the question, does the fact that a thing exists only a limited period of time diminish its value? I'm not usually poetic, but I do believe that one special moment is worth a lifetime of moments, and there is a universe in a grain of sand, and all kinda stuff like that there.

I know it's hard for people to believe I have a spiritual experience without God, (one of my friends has told me I beleive in God, I just don't know it) but I can only tell you what I know. Nihilism seems to be the farthest thing from my experience.





talapas
Member posted 05-18-2001 01:29 AM
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Yammer,
You said you wish to believe that our species will survive. So do I, check out my post on your Bush topic for my "fears" about this! After I posted my rant over there I got to thinking, why should it matter (to me) if the Human Species survives? I say that I believe that life, all of it, is sacred and special, ( which is what keeps me, personally, from raving sociopath status), yet I keep hoping we human destroyers will survive. Like I said over there, DNA will survive, life will (probably ) go one in some form, and what makes a human more valuable than an ant anyway?

I guess I am not an atheist because I want to believe there is a univeral life force that is "love".

So here's my question for us all. What if what you believe to be true is what you experience? i.e if you believe in heaven, voila, that is what you see when you "die".


quote:
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Physics and ethics and metaphysics are closely interrelated, in my conception of things. Minute amounts of energy are lost to entropy, but essentially the universe is a closed system, and the laws of thermodynamics are respected. Therefore, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Thoughts and emotions are, at their core, expressions of energy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yammer, that sounds like Quantum Physics. Anyone ever read "Evolutions End" by Joseph Chilton Pearce? He's got a good explanation of quantum physics, I just wish I could remember it all!

Dang, I'm too tired tonight, but this is a really interesting thread. I will post a quote tomorrow when I can find the time.

Tala




Becca
Moderator posted 05-18-2001 04:51 AM
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Hi Tala,
Just wanted you to know I am working on those rituals and will get them to you soon, I promise.
Blessings, Becca


jackarow
Member posted 05-18-2001 11:03 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by talapas:
So here's my question for us all. What if what you believe to be true is what you experience? i.e if you believe in heaven, voila, that is what you see when you "die".
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I believe that, though perhaps not so literally. I believe in subjective reality. I think that my beliefs are no more or less real or correct than anyone else's. The fact that some one else believes something different than me does not trouble me. To me it can all be real and co-exist, even if it contradicts.

BTW - I was looking at some of the other threads on spirituality (now that they are so neatly organized) and think it's interesting that I have not found another thread where some one cast out an invitation for others of similar beliefs and got responses from people who came to say they are not of that particular belief and why. For example, I did not post on the Christian thread explaining why Christianity does not work for me. Why does secular humanism in particular invite this kind of response?


[This message has been edited by jackarow (edited 05-18-2001).]



frolix
Member posted 05-24-2001 04:00 PM
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this is a very challenging thread. For most of my 20s I considered myself a 'good faith' existentialist a la Camus. Humanism had less appeal because its focus on the rational -I am still not convinced that things 'add up 'ie function within a closed system. Science to me is yet another 'big' theory that circumscribes its own reality to explain itself and in this sense has much in common with the religions.
To me it has seemed too that the models of 'enlightenment' that are prevalent in west and east are predominantly focussed on individualism. eg you lead a sinless life you get riches in heaven, you lead a good life you get a leg up the karmic ladder. In my understanding, many smaller cultures believe that spirituality is what lies between us and is not that much about deity as it is the means by which we explain our relationships to each other. And that space between us is in my mind a political one. The most real way I understand this is that only in relation to others do I have a knowledge (reflection) of myself (very lacanian) - when I am gracious to others then only do I experience grace. Oh no I have to go... anyway my main point is that spirituality to me is extremely political because we can only achieve enlightenament in relation to each other.



suseyblue
Member posted 05-24-2001 09:13 PM
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Yammer, how 'bout two out of three (except on a bad day )
I don't agree with your definition of humanisim anyhow; I used to work for a whole nest of 'em & there was more to it than that. If I, as a Christian can, on ANY day, agree wholeheartedly with the first two statements- Good Lord! You think mandated school prayer & ruling by a bunch of fundamentalists is something I'd consider a GOOD idea? (See my response to the 'Taliban' post under Activism. I'd say, pray for Afghani Hindus- and not for the reasons you'd expect a Christian would say so.)

Edit again: Ah, I see you have seen my re to the recent events with the Taliban. Yes, I was aware of their connection with certain administrations. So nice to be uninvolved with either *major* (cough, gack cough) parties.

Suse the Mortified

(btw, because of time constraints, I have only replied to the first post. If somewhere in here someone has already addressed this, my apologies.)

[This message has been edited by suseyblue (edited 05-24-2001).]

[This message has been edited by suseyblue (edited 05-24-2001).]



Yammer
Moderator posted 05-25-2001 12:39 AM
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Originally posted by frolix:
"Humanism had less appeal because its focus on the rational -I am still not convinced that things 'add up 'ie function within a closed system."

Rationality is not an ideology, it is a methodology. Of course it does not tell you all that is real, only that which is provable. I don't see the connection between rationality and the need to make things a closed system. The universe is very slowly leaking entropy, anyway.

"Science to me is yet another 'big' theory that circumscribes its own reality to explain itself and in this sense has much in common with the religions."

I would disagree insofar as science already comprehends the limitations inherent in any attempt to describe reality. There are standard examples of this -- Schroedinger's Cat, Heisenberg Uncertainty. Science understands that it is a structure of notions rather than things -- no one actually claims to see the number seven, for example.

Furthermore, there is a considerable difference in perspectives of reality. Faith is a subjective feeling, abstracted into an overarching reality. Science is external, attempts to test hypotheses about certain aspects of reality.

"To me it has seemed too that the models of 'enlightenment' that are prevalent in west and east are predominantly focussed on individualism. eg you lead a sinless life you get riches in heaven, you lead a good life you get a leg up the karmic ladder. In my understanding, many smaller cultures believe that spirituality is what lies between us and is not that much about deity as it is the means by which we explain our relationships to each other. And that space between us is in my mind a political one. The most real way I understand this is that only in relation to others do I have a knowledge (reflection) of myself (very lacanian) - when I am gracious to others then only do I experience grace. Oh no I have to go... anyway my main point is that spirituality to me is extremely political because we can only achieve enlightenament in relation to each other."

This is a profound notion. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Spirituality as necessarily political...hm...it's relativistic, then? If Helen Keller does a good deed in the forest, she does not make a virtue?

I think you mean that spiritual practice is best undertaken with the goal of improving one's relationships with others rather than God, per se. This is practical wisdom -- requiring God to have a personal relationship with a person puts the congregation under enormous pressure to obtain an authentic mystical communion, whether by false declaration or a break with objective reality. Much easier to see God as the social lubricant and omnipresent Good Vibe.

Anyway, to finish this ramble, I want to add that I don't actually know the proper definition of Secular Humanism. I like the term and adopt it because it is the label given by the Moral Majority to its enemies. I consider it an honour to be part of the group demeaned by Jerry Falwell and his right-wing fundamentalist ilk. I consider them to be sanctimonious prigs, disgustingly obsessed with excoriating people's private business. I might actually believe in God were it not for the fact that that bunch might consider me in league with their loutish, contemptable hunt for naughtiness.

Oh, and, uh, no offense anyone.




shine
Member posted 05-26-2001 09:55 PM
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Yammer -- just curious, is your other name Robert Pirsig? I'm enjoying you as I enjoy him.


nursing mother
Member posted 05-27-2001 04:45 PM
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Calm down Yammer. Thats pretty strong language. I know you don't agree with the Fundamentalist, but we are not all right-wing wacko's as you seem to feel we are. Believe it or not alot of us are AP parents. If I used that language on a group of people I disagreed with I supposed I would be booted off this forum. I'll tolerate you (in fact I do and I find your post very stimulating and well-written), so please tolerate me. Yes I am a fundamentalist christian, but not in the way the media protrays us or as many here see us. We are just christians who believe passionately in our cause. I wouldn't put down the pagans, witches, gays, etc. just because I don't believe in their beliefs or lifestyle. I respect them and their right to believe as they wish. There are many other groups who try to push there ways and ideas on people and I don't here them being called those names. I am not taking this personally, just want to remind you that there are more of us so-called fundamentist christians here than you realize and we want to feel respected, even if you disagree with what we believe in. With Love, nursing mother

Yammer
Moderator posted 05-27-2001 08:21 PM
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Originally posted by nursing mother:
"...We are not all right-wing wacko's as you seem to feel we are."

Clearly you did not notice that I specified a particular political activist group: "Jerry Falwell and his right-wing fundamentalist ilk." You have taken pains to dissociate yourself from that group of discriminators, and so you are.

"If I used that language on a group of people I disagreed with I supposed I would be booted off this forum."

Excuse me, but what example of language? "Sanctimonious prigs"? What else are they?



nursing mother
Member posted 05-28-2001 09:00 AM
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Yammer I didn't mean that you were cussing or anything. I guess just the words "disgustingly obsessed" "excoriating peoples private business" "loutish contemptable hunt for naughtiness". I just thought that was pretty strong language and seem to protray an extreme hatred for not just Jerry Falwell, but for the fundalmentist christians in general. Nursing Mother




frolix
Member posted 05-28-2001 11:46 PM
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hi yammer ...thought provoking response... hmmmn ...
is rationality officially a methodology? not how I remember my philosophies but then I've long since lost my capacity to remember .. But, if it is so then it would be easy to argue that as its functionality has come to be 'believed in' and has become ideology as well. Hence notions such as 'everything can be explained if we put thought to it' and ' we can use our ideas to find truth'. To me empirical science is a closed system of thought (tautological would be more accurate I guess) because as it puts out a hypothesis it also reduces enough variables to prove the hypothesis. Sure, from my understanding of post newtonian science this is different.

But I do think that science is more than a structure of notions. Is it not discourse too?, continually shaping ideas about truth, reality etc and being shaped too by subjective concerns of interest groups. It exists as a social phenomenon and has much power. Yes it is self conscious but I'm not sure it is self aware enough, it needs therapy.

I'm not sure that I meant that spirituality should be about improving human relationships alone, more that it is there to explain things like the complexity of ourselves: our existance and who we are in relation to each other. Love, and also death.

Personal practice? Well I'm still trying to figure out where that fits in. I think its about keeping healthy, maybe our bodies are closest to the spiritual within than our thoughts or emotions. So no, Helen is not making a virtue she is working out?!

Oh I don't know - its all speculation really isn't it. Right wing religious types are anthropologically interesting though. I've seen some that would make Jerry quiver in his socks.

Nursingmom, not all fundamentalists are right wing. Its great to hear that you value diversity , so do I.





[This message has been edited by frolix (edited 05-28-2001).]



Sofiamomma
Member posted 06-03-2001 08:01 PM
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Yammer, this question does not, obviously, belong here, but....you remind me so much of some people I used to know. I'd like to ask you if you or Willow know some old friends of mine I've lost touch with, but I think are in your neck of the woods. I'm just not sure if it is kosher or safe to post their full names here. Their first names are Suzanne, Jared, and Jenessa. We'll start there.


nursing mother
Member posted 06-03-2001 08:51 PM
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Hi Frolix, I call myself a fundamentalist christian, but am not sure exactly what right-wing means. Of course the opposite of left-wing. I know left-wing means very liberal, and right wing conservative, but why are most fundamentalist called right-wing? Just because we are conservative by nature, or by biblical doctrine? I would like to think there is a balance here. I know alot of so called fundamentalist christians tend to be political, is that why they are called "right-winged". For me what is important is that I am conservative in my biblical beliefs, but do stay away from political activism. Yet I do admire those who are on the battle front fighting against extreme liberalism. I am trying to learn more and am confused why people seems to hate the conservative fundamentalist so much. Is it because we are so "closed minded" about our biblical belief's and so conservative? Tell it like it is, I'm pretty tough, and try not to take things personally.


willow
Moderator posted 06-04-2001 07:15 AM
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Sofiamamma, sorry, we don't know people with those names!


frolix
Member posted 06-04-2001 02:07 PM
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Hi nursingmom - the way that I see it is that people who are right wing tend to draw on tradition to make rules (laws) and people who are left wing tend to draw on reason to make law. For right wingers 'tradition' may originate from religion or from the existing power structure or both. For example in days gone by right wingers were the nobility who were infavour of keeping things as they were - poor peasants worked to keep them wealthy - and now corporation owners are at the top of the power structure in our society and everyone works for them. Their political beliefs are such that they get to keep all the wealth, and it favours them to have a 'right wing' governmnet in power that looks after their interests - low taxation, globalisation etc. Education and healthcare for all is not high on their agenda. People who are right wing often draw from religion to justify their position. They often believe that their God gave out one law (one truth) that everyone should obey it. Fundamentalists - be they Christian, Jewish, Islamic or whatever - believe in a very literal interpretation of their texts (bible, torah, koran ) and do not necessarily believe that a text can be read in many ways - that it is open to interpretation. For example, many fundament. are creationist- believe that the world was made by God in 7 days. Other, non-fundamentalist interpretations could be that God directed creation through the laws of nature ie evolution. Or another simple interpretation is that the biblical story of creation is a metaphorical lesson that we create when we speak (and the lord said, let there be light and there was light). I digress...
"right-wing ideas and movements are associated with traditional values, conservative ideologies, support for a strong military, resistance to legal equality or protection for disfavored minorities, censorship of expressions of sexuality and nudity, nationalism, disfavor of too much immigration, and much reverence and support for symbols of the state, such as the flag " I copied this off a website

This is what they said about left wingism:
"Left-wing ideas and movements had once been associated with a tolerance for diverse religions and races, opposition to censorship, basing morality on reason, favoring equality before the law, "liberal" ideologies centre on human beings whatever their nationality, a disdain for military assertiveness, and opposition to privilege."

Not all fundamentalists are right wing but the majority are because the style of thought is consistent with right wing thought(only one way is right) and their aims are often similar too, to maintain a unchanging status quo. I think a lot of people are fearful more than hateful of fundamentalists and right wingers because of these things.

Personally I'm into many interpretations, debate, human rights (diversity) and peacefulness. I have known many devout religious people who see these things as the cornerstones of their beliefs. Ssimply put I beleive that that there is more than one truth.




Sofiamomma
Member posted 06-05-2001 10:08 AM
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Willow, Thanks anyway!
P.S. If you did know them, I think you'd really like them!


nursing mother
Member posted 06-05-2001 10:09 AM
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Hi Frolix, excellent discription and information. Thanks a million for doing the re-search. You know as I was reading I was thinking that Jesus would have been a left-winger. He came to change the old laws, and tradition, to add new insight into what it meant to be a true follower of God. Funny thought huh!
Yes ,I guess I am a borderline right-wing fundmentalist, but only in the context of not believing socialism, and liberalism are the answers to this countries problems. (My dh is from a very socialist country and the country is being ruined by this in the way of high taxes and extreme liberal law. The Netherlands is wher he is from) Many people use that country as a shinning example of how we should be here in the U.S.

I believe no person has a right to push God on anybody, especially the government. No person should be persecuted for their beliefs . (unless those belief's go against the written laws to protect children and such)

Don't you think it would be better if churches and private organizations took over in helping the poor, the needy, the uneducated? The government is getting way to involved in peoples lives in my opionion, and supporting to many people who could be very productive if given a chance. I wish there were more churches that would get involved in helping people more than just catering to middle-class america. Jesus taught us to help the poor and to give our lives in service to one another and to spread the good news of salvation. There are people and churches doing that, but not nearly enough.



frolix
Member posted 06-05-2001 06:36 PM
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hi nursing mom - yes I think Jesus was really radical. But what is interesting to me too is that you sound like a 'lefty' too?
I'm curious to know in which way you think that the government is getting too involved in people's lives?



cat
Moderator posted 06-06-2001 08:22 AM
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Nursing Mother, I just want to say that I admire you for opening yourself up here the way you have and for having the desire to understand. And Frolix, you've done a great job of explaining some concepts without judgment and with clarity. Kudos to you both!
Re private organizations and churches getting more involved in social work. First, there are many non-profit (private) organizations that do work with the needy, uneducated, etc. There are also churches doing this work. However, more funds are needed to help more people.

As you may know, Pres. Bush wants to have the gov't fund religious organizations doing social work. The concern with this is that people seeking help from churches will not be able to get the help freely, meaning they may have to subscribe to that particular faith or submit themselves to their teachings and beliefs. And this would still mean that the gov't is involved -- many churches have already complained of the increased paperwork and reporting that would be necessary when receiving gov't funds.

Unfortunately, lack of funds is always the problem when it comes to helping others.

Cat



nursing mother
Member posted 06-06-2001 09:00 AM
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Cat, that is one reason I voted for Bush. I believe that money given to local churches and organizations is a great idea. Now of course the people being helped would be exposed to that organization's belief system, but what it so bad about that as long as they DO NOT with- hold help unless that person converts. The Catholic church has done much to help many others that do not belong to the catholic church, some join ,some don't.
I use to work for the Union Gosple Mission. We would serve meals every night, but the men had to sit through a short service while we sang or gave testimomy or just offered spiritual help before they got their meal. Some would be interested other were quite disrespectful, but we served them all as Jesus would have done. I believe there are many wonderful christian organizations who would do that as well as Jewish, Buddist, etc. whoever, That could really have an impact in our country if given the chance to serve. The money given out would have to be fair. I just don't see why people freak, when they hear about "christian organizations" helping. Like the Life Choice Centers here in Seattle, they say "Oh these people are just trying to convert others and push there religion on others." Well the Planned Parenthood sure gets alot of money, my money if fact and I resent that because they often push abortionon others. I would love the fact that my tax dollars may be going to a religious organization that is truely out there to help peoples souls and well as their bodies.

I don't want to make this thread political, but unfortunetly politics is involved when talking about some of these issues. Bear with me.



madison
Member posted 06-06-2001 02:52 PM
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Hi nursing mother, in regards to you quote "I am trying to learn more and am confused why people seem to hate the fundamentalists so much" [and fundamentalist who hate non-f's].
Most hate is based in fear. People fear what they do not understand or control.

I'm sorry, but what is running through my brain as I say this is Yoda's words in Star Wars - anyone have a full quote from that?





Yammer
Moderator posted 06-06-2001 02:59 PM
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Nursing Mother,
Of course church missions and faith groups that do charitable work should be given money. The problem with Bush's actions is that he is diverting public funds which might have gone to a government department (a secular agency) to a religious organization.

Even if that agency does a good job servicing its clients -- and I have no reason to think they wouldn't -- the fact remains that the government would have acted to build up the prestige, power, and responsibilities of that particular faith group.

This is very close to promulgating theocracy.




Yammer
Moderator posted 06-06-2001 03:11 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by frolix:
"is rationality officially a methodology? (...)If it is so then it would be easy to argue that as its functionality has come to be 'believed in' and has become ideology as well."

By "ideology," I refer to schemes of ideas which are used to justify actions, and are held or maintained regardless of outcomes.
Rationality, typified by the scientific method, is a process whereby ideas are tested by being compared to outcomes in a logical and replicable manner.

Something is rational or irrational regardless of how I might feel about it emotionally, whereas ideologies only have power over me if I feel them in my heart.

"One plus one equals two" is a rational statement; "Coke is It" is an ideological one.





Yammer
Moderator posted 06-06-2001 03:15 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by madison:
Hi nursing mother, in regards to you quote "I am trying to learn more and am confused why people seem to hate the fundamentalists so much" [and fundamentalist who hate non-f's].
Most hate is based in fear. People fear what they do not understand or control.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quite right. It is not true to say that I hate fundamentalists -- I know some personally and like them just fine as people.

But it is true to say that I fear fundamentalist groups as political forces. I absolutely fear them. I fear for my freedoms and I am greatly disturbed by some of their policies.




madison
Member posted 06-06-2001 03:55 PM
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K'smami/Summermom/sweetwater,
If you cannot jump into atheism, have you ever read any of the writings of Bishop John Shelby Spong? He describes himself as a *non-theistic* Christian, and after reading his books and much pondering, so do I. I cannot believe in a masculine, patriarchial God or even it's opposite, a feminine Goddess necessarily, yet I cannot toss the concept of god out the door entirely. I believe more in Spirit. Check out his books and tell me what you think. Maybe we could open a new thread?

There are theists, non-theists and atheists. Non-theists believe somewhere between a-theists and theists - there may be a life-force but not a superhuman, invasive Godlike being.



cat
Moderator posted 06-06-2001 04:02 PM
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Nursing Mother,
I think that if someone is truly in need of help and goes to a gov't funded agency for it, then they should just get the help. No strings attached. Isn't that kind of like preying on the disadvantaged if those people are forced to comply with or be subjected to someone else's faith in order to get the help they need? When one goes to a faith-based agency, well, you know what you're going to hear.
Re Planned Parenthood, I believe they just present all available choices to women. That is very different from "pushing" abortion, which I do not believe they do.



boobybooby
Member posted 06-06-2001 04:55 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by cat:
Isn't that kind of like preying on the disadvantaged if those people are forced to comply with or be subjected to someone else's faith in order to get the help they need
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry for jumping in but I need to say something here. Bear with me because the later part of this topic has upset me a bit.


That is the most sad thing I have heard in a long, long time...
Preying? Hmmm, I have a hard time thinking that there is a motive of converting people and pushing religion on them. It's amazing to me that even when the religious are helping people with their own money and time, they are still yet accused of preying on people. What may I ask would they be preying on them for, power, control? How about the thought they may just want to love and give to those who need it, could that BE possible?

I have a great idea, lets all go out and name all the religious and faith founded places that serve the poor, needy, widowed, abandoned, pregnant teens, abused, elderly, orphans, sick, drug addicted,lonely, ........

I have yet to hear of a religious org that says "well, we will feed you but you must come to our service and think about joining our church before you can eat." I am not sure people are aware of how many churches of all different faiths are making a huge difference in peoples lives.

I guarantee that if the volunteers and money from members donations to these churches stopped today, we would see major chaos in our world because so many of the people in need would be left with nothing, and no one to rely on.

We have already seen how the government has major spending problems, too often they put our wonderful tax dollars in the pockets of the wealthy and politicians, etc. I for one would rather donate my time, money and efforts to any non-profit org. that is going to use it wisely. Volunteers tend to stay focused... there's no temptation of money!

BTW, I don't think that PP necessarily "pushes" abortion, but I know they are quite vague and uniformative when counciling young pregnant women about their options... and names and numbers of helpful places they can contact if they choose to keep the pregnancy.

Posted in love
boobybooby




cat
Moderator posted 06-06-2001 10:24 PM
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I was *clearly* referring to agencies that would be receiving gov't funds, NOT faith-based organizations with their own financial base through private donors, grants, etc. Please read my posts a little more carefully, booby.
Like I said, I believe that GOV'T FUNDED agencies should not subject people to having to pray, for example, as part of their getting help. (I know of one faith-based organization that does terrific work in training and helping disadvantaged people to find jobs. Prayer is part of the program.) And I do believe that conversion is on the minds of some of these organizations -- it may not be required, but it sure is encouraged!

Faith-based organizations that help people are wonderful! We need more of them. I hope more people donate to them so they can help even more people. Do I think the gov't should fund them? No.

All this just turns into a separation of church and state issue. You know how I feel about this and I know how you feel about it. End of story. Now...back to secular humanism...

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 06-06-2001).]



boobybooby
Member posted 06-07-2001 10:04 AM
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Cat,
Gov't funded or not, I still think that assuming religious org prey on people in need is not very nice, and way off base in most cases. The gov't *subjects* our children and young people to many worse things than prayer, with our hard earned tax dollars, on a daily basis.
But, in any case, you're right, lets get back to sec humanism.
boobybooby


k'smami
Member posted 06-07-2001 10:05 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by madison:
I'm sorry, but what is running through my brain as I say this is Yoda's words in Star Wars - anyone have a full quote from that?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Fear leads to anger
Anger leads to hate
Hate leads to suffering"





madison
Member posted 06-08-2001 09:52 AM
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Thanks K'smami, that's it

cynthia mosher is online now  
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