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jade
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: houston, tx usa
Insane since: Mar 2003

IP logged posted posted 11-13-2007 16:03 Edit Quote

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/DineshDSouza/2007/11/12/are_atheists_the_new_gays


I really am at a disbelief in regard to the means in which RD's new vision in getting atheist to become a more acceptable cult by aligning atheism beliefs with gays rights in the, "out of the closet mentality” If more people accept homosexuality with the word "gay" they will accept atheism with the more friendly term "bright. " He is saying all will refer to atheist as bright meaning others are not. Seems he suffers from a swelled head just because he has an ideology that counters the "God design theory." If he wants to group in numbers to go out and spread the good news of atheism, that is his right, but don't try to stop others from spreading the good news of their faith. He does not seem so bright if you ask me.

hyperbole
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 11-13-2007 19:06 Edit Quote

Hi Jade,

I'm not sure what you're referring to. The article that you referenced didn't agree with the position taken by Dawkins

quote:

Dawkins is in some ways a terrible representative for atheism, which I'm glad about because a bad cause deserves a bad leader. He is also a terrible advocate for science, which I'm sad about because science deserves all the support it can get.



So D'Souza seems to agree with your position that this is a stupid idea.

If on the other hand, you are referring to Dawkins idea itself, I was confused by you referring to an article that only references his idea and doesn't think much of it.

From what I understood of the article you reference, I don't think there's much chance the idea of calling atheists "brights" will take off. As D'Souza points out:

quote:

Basically Dawkins is saying if you are religious, then science is your enemy. Either you choose God or you choose science. [...] Indeed Dawkins takes the same position as the most ignorant fundamentalist: you can have Darwin or you can have the Bible but you can't have both.



This is not a position to win him supporters among scientific, atheistic, or religious thinkers. It looks a lot like a publicity stunt that is bound to fail

.



-- not necessarily stoned... just beautiful.

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 11-13-2007 20:44 Edit Quote
quote:

hyperbole said:

This is not a position to win him supporters among scientific, atheistic, or religious thinkers. It looks a lot like a publicity stunt that is bound to fail



Like much of what he does. It is a shame that of all the well written atheists with good ideas, Dawkins has become the media mascot...

He has done as much to hurt the fate of atheists as he has to further it.

Tao
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Pool Of Life
Insane since: Nov 2003

IP logged posted posted 11-14-2007 02:41 Edit Quote

Are you Bright ? I've not come upon this attempted meme propagation before, and it's been going since at least 2003 as far as I can tell.

quote:

DL-44 said:

Like much of what he does. It is a shame that of all the well written atheists with good ideas, Dawkins has become the media mascot...

He has done as much to hurt the fate of atheists as he has to further


In fact it seems that Dawkins himself invented the term meme according to the Wikipedia entry I linked to. I tend to agree with you DL-44 anyone would think he's trying to sell more books after a talk with his publicist.


Those who look for monsters should look to it that
they do not become monsters. For when you gaze
long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Mad Librarian

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

IP logged posted posted 11-14-2007 03:23 Edit Quote

I appreciated Dawkins' The Selfish Gene (this is where the term "meme" comes from by the way--if you haven't read it, I would recommend it). I thought it was a well-written and informative book. Some of this other stuff has been a little more... inflammatory, shall we say? Personally, though, I find Daniel Dennett to be far more condescending and annoying. Dawkins gets more press, maybe, but he's definitely not the worst out there.


Dennett, in Breaking the Spell (I wrote a review of the book on my site last year, if anyone is interested--it is a bit on the long side, though, so be warned), elaborates on the analogy to gays, at least in terms of terminology. His reasoning is that "gay" is a term with a positive connotation embraced by the community to which it refers. It was intended solely to act as a replacement for offensive slurs aimed at homosexuals, not as a value judgment on non-gays. That is, homosexuals can be "gay," but this doesn't necessarily mean that heterosexuals are "glum"--they are "straight." In the same way, non-brights are not necessarily "dull," they are whatever term they choose to identify with.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with this logic. Words like "gay" and "glum" refer to variable states of mind. I can be gay one day and glum the next. It doesn't really say much about me as a person. If you tell someone that they are happy or sad, that is not an insult, even if it is not true--it's just not true, that's all. But "bright" and "dull" are words with connotations of intelligence and intellectual capability, and their use can be construed as either a complement or an insult. Because of the human tendency to see things in binary terms, calling one group of people "bright" implies, whether you like it or not, that those who are not bright are dull. The reason that no one got upset about not being gay is because happiness is not an aspect of character, while intelligence is.

On the other hand, I can understand the quest for a positive term to describe atheism. Terms like "atheism" or "non-theist" are negative versions of the positive "theism." In other words, atheism is defined as being the negative of theism. In fact, I get the impression that at least part of the impetus behind the brights movement is to demonstrate to theists how it feels to be defined in the negative.

The problem is that terms dealing with values, beliefs, etc. have to be defined from a certain point of view. Take the Sea of Japan, for example (which isn't even a value or belief, just a really big puddle). The name of this body of water is derived from the fact that it is more or less ensconced by Japan, at least on the eastern side. In Korea, though, this body of water is referred to as the East Sea. Most of you are probably unaware of this, but there are many Koreans who are quite adamant about getting this body of water renamed in English texts. I don't happen to agree with them, mainly because "East Sea" is just as biased as (if not more biased than) "Sea of Japan." What good is it to simply replace one bias with another? What about other bodies of water, like the Indian Ocean? It washes up on the shores of many countries, not just India, and you don't see them complaining. Anyway, my point is that you will never be able to come up with a single term for an idea or issue for which there are varying viewpoints. I call the Sea of Japan the East Sea when I'm here in Korea, but if I were to go over to Japan I would call it the Sea of Japan. If atheists want to call themselves "bright," more power to them. I won't call them "bright," but they can call themselves whatever they want--as long as they understand that, yes, the term is indirectly insulting to those not part of their group.

Of course, that's all just a big, long rant on terminology. As for atheists being the new gays, well, I don't know. Just for the record, though, D'Souza is a committed theist, so he would probably rather choke on his own blood than agree with anything Dawkins might support.

[Edit: Fingers, meet brain. Brain, fingers.]

[Edit2: Yet another flub fixed.]


___________________________
Suho: www.liminality.org | Cell 270 | Sig Rotator | the Fellowship of Sup

(Edited by Suho1004 on 11-14-2007 03:25)

(Edited by Suho1004 on 11-14-2007 05:21)

tj333
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Manitoba, Canada
Insane since: Oct 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-15-2007 03:03 Edit Quote

I would not say that atheism is the new gay or a cult. Vague similarities in being a mistrusted minority but it shouldn't be stretched too far.
The idea in that as far as I can tell is to separate the idea from its negative associations while getting more people to be vocal about it. I dislike the method but applaud the goal.

There are 2 reasons that I can see for using a word besides atheist.
This is one. The term atheist has negative connotations in our culture and if you, like Dawkins, are spreading an idea that is more then just atheism there is no reason not to get away from that term.

The second is that saying I'm an atheist only tells you what I am not, that I do not believe in gods. Thats about as useful as pointing at a dog and saying it is not a cow.
Of course not, but what is it?

We don't need a new word for atheism but to use the word for what we are.
My goal is to show that while being an atheist I can and will make the world a better place. To redeem the word rather then replace it. Though I will leave it behind when I find a word that describe me better then what I have found so far.

__________________________
Eagles get sucked into jet engines and weasels are oft maligned, but beavers just make nice hats.
WCG|FA@H

jade
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: houston, tx usa
Insane since: Mar 2003

IP logged posted posted 11-15-2007 15:08 Edit Quote
quote:
My goal is to show that while being an atheist I can and will make the world a better place.



Well that is my goal too, to make the world a better place by speading love. Why can't athiest and theist live together in harmony to achieve this. Theist gravitate towards a god who directs them internally to spread a message of love. You are an athiest. What directs you?

Quote of the Day:
Be who you are and say what you feel because those that
matter.... don't mind....and those that mind.... don't matter." - Anonymous

DL-44
Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 11-15-2007 23:28 Edit Quote
quote:

jade said:

Why can't athiest and theist live together in harmony to achieve this.



Usually because theists won't tolerate atheists, from my experience and observation.

"Atheist" is thrown with more vitriol than most words available...

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 11-16-2007 03:21 Edit Quote

One athiest. Two athiests. I find it fascinating when people have trouble pluralizing words ending in -st.

The grammar troll will now squat shamefully beneath his bridge ...

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Mad Librarian

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

IP logged posted posted 11-16-2007 03:38 Edit Quote

One atheist. Two atheists. I find it fascinating when people have troubling spelling words with "ei."

The spelling troll will now squat shamefully beneath his bridge ... (upstream from the grammar troll)

(Sorry, Wes. I couldn't help myself. )


___________________________
Suho: www.liminality.org | Cell 270 | Sig Rotator | the Fellowship of Sup

tj333
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Manitoba, Canada
Insane since: Oct 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-16-2007 04:21 Edit Quote

I direct me. That will work out because I will find what works and do that.

In my point of view love has nothing to do with it. Just the desire for things to be better.
One reason atheists and theists (Hopes to avoid troll bridges...) do not get along is it seems to me that theists have all kinds of religious nonsense that get in the way of making the world a better place. Religions will never all work together and continue to split people into groups.

Atheists can adapt to the situation as it changes without being held back by doctrine written centuries ago. There is less of a divide by philosophy as to who is right and wrong.
For example the Humanist movement I'm currently looking at says that we are all people first and foremost and the differences come second.

__________________________
Eagles get sucked into jet engines and weasels are oft maligned, but beavers just make nice hats.
WCG|FA@H

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-16-2007 12:30 Edit Quote
quote:

DL-44 said:

quote:hyperbole said:This is not a position to win him supporters among scientific, atheistic, or religious thinkers. It looks a lot like a publicity stunt that is bound to failLike much of what he does. It is a shame that of all the well written atheists with good ideas, Dawkins has become the media mascot...He has done as much to hurt the fate of atheists as he has to further it.



I agree with this 100%.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 11-17-2007 10:48 Edit Quote
quote:
One atheist. Two atheists.



Hell of a moment to screw that up.



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