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Old 09-03-2012, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Ohio
10,664 posts, read 5,967,704 times
Reputation: 6060

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
A global worldview based on reason. We are a subset of that. We are not a worldview in ourselves.
Wow.

Extremely moved...

Mircea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
But, concerning "Atheism +", I would prefer that the term "atheism" not be used, as it causes confusion.
Perhaps that is the intent.

The best, most efficient, quickest, easiest way to destroy any group is from within. You infiltrate the group; co-opt members to ally with you -- often by exploiting some perceived weakness in the leadership which causes angst among members; then gain power and start running your playbook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
Uninformed people already claim atheism is a religion and it takes faith to believe in it, etc.
Point noted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
They speak of atheist values, etc. We don't need this "atheism +" coming along to muddy up the water and make it harder for us to set the record straight.
Agreeing...

Mircea

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
To my knowledge, Atheist Plus, or A+, is a "reaction" to Richard Dawkins' brand of new atheism. As a biologist, I respect Dawkins' work as a scientist. However, I do not agree with the notion that his views on atheism should have become the de facto manifesto for many. I find it refreshing to have a conversation about atheism where Dawkins is not mentioned once. A+, though, is seemingly railing against the "all boys club" that comprises the atheists' movement's heavyweights.
There's a very simple solution to this, and that is stop giving those people any credence whatsoever. Don't buy their books (except perhaps at a garage sale or 2nd hand book store), don't buy their DVDs and don't patronize anything they do.

Richard Dawkins...I have no idea who that is. The sum total of knowledge about Dawkins I got from this forum. I'd never heard of him until I saw his name here.

I don't care if he's dead, or time traveling or the ghost of Christmas future.

His existence has no bearing on my being an Atheist. I'm an Atheist because of my particular background in law enforcement, as a paralegal, my military experience and university education, and the fact that I studied biblical and extra-biblical sources plus comparative mythologies for more than 10+ years until an avalanche of evidence proved all religions -- not just christianity -- to be total fantasy.

I know what I know, and I'm quite comfortable in my decision, and I don't need anyone to validate me. The only reason I even mention that I'm an atheist is due to intellectual honesty, where one's biases or prejudices, or philosophical positions might impact the discussion, perhaps by perceiving or [mis]construing what I say in the wrong light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
The A+ idea is extremely new. It's basic premise is one of Liberal Atheism that directly challenges the chains and binds of Religion. I agree with most of the tenets, but it is a rather extreme idea that essentially declares you are either with us or against us. And if you are with us, and we have an issue with you, then you are out.
I gotta ask what the heck were those people thinking?

You just have to look at history.

Why does christianity exist? Because some couldn't accept the belief system of Judaism. And then from there, you have Manicheans and Nestorian Christians and others and they exist for the same reason -- an argument over ideology, and then comes the Schism -- again over ideology -- iconoclast and the total lack of any biblical support for a pope -- and then there's Protestantism, where once again people took their toys and went home because of ideology or doctrine.

And how did each and everyone one of the Protestant sects arise? Conflicts over doctrine and ideology.

So why would Atheism be any different?

It isn't and there's your proof: Atheism and Atheism+. What's next? Unitarian Atheism, Presbyterian Atheism, Radical Atheism, Liberal Atheism, Conservative Atheism, Congregational Atheism, Universal Atheism.....where does it all end?

It never ends.

There are Power Seekers and Attention Prostitutes and an host of others who love being in the spotlight and having people dote on them. You can fuel their fantasies, or choose not to participate. I choose not to participate.

I get immense enjoyment out of discussions with Atheists here, but I don't have to belong to uh, a particular Atheist Sect in order to do that.

Anyway, I don't like where things like that are going.

Not buying a ticket and not drinking the Kool-Aid...

Mircea
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:18 AM
 
Location: South Wales, Yes, I'm, back!
15,599 posts, read 7,815,000 times
Reputation: 2628
That's right, Mircea. But the difference is that doctrinal disputes in religion or even science are about differing idea about who is right. What is the right way to worship? What does God want?

Or about how lunar craters were formed or whether atoms behave according to order or randomly or whether birds evolved from dinosaurs or not. Of course, the science questions can be resolved through research, but religion never can as it's all speculation, so there is no way to prove who is right but to have a war about it.

Atheism cannot be like that as there is no doctrine and no disagreement about the right way to not believe.

True, there are attempts to make atheism into something that it isn't and especially militancy and organization alarms some people. It needn't. If there are those who want to remain quiet about their atheism and tell no-one, that's fine. If there are those who have no interest in pooling voices and votes, that's fine, too. Those who do and are will do their best to ensure that their rights to not be organized and to be quietly atheist are protected. As indeed will be the rights of those who want to practice their own religion as well as none will be protected.

Of course there are going to be arguments about whether there was any kind of Jesus or it's totally myth, but those are not doctrinal matters but research matters. Atheists who become Jesusist or Mythist will have fallen into a very unconcealed trap and their squabbling will benefit no-one but those who wish to discredit atheism by any means.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Sitting on a bar stool. Guinness in hand.
2,709 posts, read 3,360,167 times
Reputation: 1134
Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSTroop View Post
Apparently, there is a growing movement within the Atheist community called "Atheism +". The basic premise is to assign a set of values that many Atheists share and to unite in promoting those causes. For example, some basic tenets are:

Fighting for gay rights
Feminism
Science Education
Environmentalism
Civil Rights

I don't necessarily have a problem with any of the above. I'm an ardent supporter of all the things above and if such a thing as an "Atheist+" candidate ran for office, I'd probably really deeply consider voting for him or her.

However, I also have this "icky" feeling about it. I don't like group think. I don't like the concept of joining a group under a common set of causes. It always has the appearance of a "slippery slope" where once you're part of the group, no matter what they decide to come up with, you're committed to it. Whether the reality of this is true or not, does anybody else feel the same way? What are your thoughts on Atheism Plus? Are there other Atheists here who really have a hard time digesting the concept of organizing under a common banner of causes?

cowboys herding cats - YouTube


Getting the A/A "community" to agree on a common political platform.......I think in the end......would be like herding cats.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
114 posts, read 50,325 times
Reputation: 47
Oh come on.

Could somebody, somewhere, just once, learn to GET THE F'ING POINT?

I've been participating in A+ from the get-go. I've been a supporter of this from the very beginning, because I've been participating in the whole argument that caused this.

For the record, my anger is not at all of you specifically. It is at the continued insistence of atheists in general to pick specifically the words of Richard Carrier (who, BTW, walked back and apologized for his initial divisiveness) and insist that, for whatever reason, they represent the whole of the A+ movement... which they don't.

If you absolutely must have a representative for the movement (isn't i too young to have any at the moment?), then take your pick between Ophelia Benson, Greta Christina, and the person who started it all, Jennifer McCreight. They are the ones you should be reading.

Not. Frickin'. Richard. Carrier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
To my knowledge, Atheist Plus, or A+, is a "reaction" to Richard Dawkins' brand of new atheism. As a biologist, I respect Dawkins' work as a scientist. However, I do not agree with the notion that his views on atheism should have become the de facto manifesto for many. I find it refreshing to have a conversation about atheism where Dawkins is not mentioned once. A+, though, is seemingly railing against the "all boys club" that comprises the atheists' movement's heavyweights.
Yup. Already, you are wrong.

A+ literally has nothing whatsoever to do with Richard Dawkins. Some are including him because of his response to Elevatorgate, which is where all of this started.

So let me provide everyone with just a tiny bit of background information:

A little over a year ago, Rebecca Watson went to a conference in, I think, Ireland (could be wrong about that, though). While there, she gave a speech basically saying that women can offer more to the atheist movement (such that it is) than their breasts. They have brains, which means they have ideas, thoughts, opinions, suggestions, innovations, and so on to help move it all forward. She suggested, in her talk, that perhaps it would be best if SOME OF the men in the movement didn't look at every single female atheist as pieces of meat, and instead treat them as fully-fledged human beings.

You know... because walking up to a strange female at an atheist conference and grabbing her in the ass is inappropriate at ALL TIMES and ALL PLACES. (This is, of course, a hypothetical, though some women have mentioned it happening to them at atheist/skeptic conferences.)

Anyways... after that particular day at the conference was over, Rebecca hung out in the hotel bar with a bunch of atheists talking over all kinds of stuff. There was one guy there who didn't say anything at all... just listened. Which, of course, bothered exactly no one at the time.

But then, around 4 am, she said "I'm tired and going to bed". The important part of that statement is, of course, the whole thing. It means in, I'd say, 99.999...9% of the cases that... you know... she's tired, and wants to go to bed; NOT go have sexy time with some random strange d00d.

Instead, the silent guy who didn't say anything followed her into the elevator, then asked if she'd like to go back to his room for "coffee". Yes, I put coffee in scare quotes, because let's be real, here... his intentions were NOT to have coffee with her. If he had truly wanted what he asked for, a) he could have asked her in the bar and b) he could have suggested it for the next day. Like... "so, I'm sorry I didn't say anything at the bar, but I'd like to talk some more. Maybe we could meet back down here tomorrow morning to catch up over some coffee and talk?" Yeah, Rebecca might have still said no, but at least it wouldn't have been worth mentioning.

But what he did do, instead, is completely and utterly ignore her statement that she was tired and wanted to go to bed (I really don't understand what room is left for any kind of invitation for something happening right then and there with this statement; it's clear and matter of fact... she wants to go to bed... don't ask her to do something else, then, no matter what it is), and asked her to his room, at 4 o'clock in the frickin' morning, for "coffee". And I'm sorry, but you don't get to blame this on "social awkwardness"; especially not to me, someone who suffers from severe social anxiety... I know what it's like to be socially awkward. I'm practically the king of it. And this is NOT something I'd ever do... in fact, I would have avoided that elevator and either taken the stairs (depending on what floor my room was on) or caught another. That is social awkwardness... being intimidated by social situations, and even moreso by social situations that put you in a position where you're alone with somebody else. That would have been just as scary and uncomfortable for me as it would have been (and was) for Rebecca, though for very different reasons.

What this Elevator Guy did simply was not social awkwardness. At all. It was rude, it was callous, it was short-sighted, and it was creepy. It was him failing to respect her boundaries. That is what it was.

So she took a few seconds out of her rather long video about the conference to ask guys politely to not do that, because it's creepy (yeah... duh... obviously).

The reaction to this should have been, from the very beginning "yeah, you're right. That is creepy. It seems to be a reasonable request, so okay... also, how cool are those skulls you talked about?!? I wish I had seen them! So jealous right now..." Instead, a whole bunch of atheist men got all butt-hurt and decided to yell at her because, apparently, these guys are under the impression that, without elevators, they'd never be able to pick up a girl. So Rebecca is a total c**t for requesting that guys not do that.

And then they proceeded to start sending her death and rape threats... and they still are... to this day.

A little while later, a 15-year-old atheist girl posted, on Reddit's /r/atheism, a picture of herself with a gift she was given by her very religious mother: Carl Sagan's "Demon-Haunted World". She completely expected the thread to be about how cool it was that someone so religious was able to accept that their daughter was an atheist. And, to be fair, despite what Rebecca Watson said, this girl did get a lot of that. But she also got a lot of sexual responses and even some rape jokes/comments ("tears are nature's lubricant", as an example).

Now, leaving aside the fact that this would be illegal, I really don't care if she had been naked in the picture. This is a 15-year-old girl. You just don't respond like that.

Period.

Finally, we get to this year. DJ Grothe wonders at the sudden drop in attendance of women at TAM, and who does he blame for it?

You guessed it... the women. Cause everything is the woman's fault. Nothing else could ever explain why women might feel so unsafe except for the women (like... you know... misogynistic douche-nozzles prowling the conferences for fresh meat). It's just them and their irrational, emotional selves... and we men are never to blame because we're all perfect and stuff.

So it was asked if TAM had an anti-harassment policy...

For the record, did you know that there are sex festivals that occur every year around the world? And guess what... they have anti-harassment policies, too! I know, right? Sex festivals? With anti-harssment policies?!? THE HORROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, out of curiosity... if sex festivals can have these anti-harassment policies that can get [i]that[i] restrictive, why can't atheist/skeptic conferences have one that doesn't even come close to that?

TAM's response to the inquiry was to link to their 2008 one, then say they aren't going to have one, then to institute one in secret.

Then Thunderf00t, along with a bunch of other YouTube atheist vloggers, was invited to Freethought Blogs, where he subsequently used his new blog to bully Freethought Blogs. So... yeah... he was kicked off.

Now, as you know, they have a private listserve. Thunderf00t had access when he was a member. Then he got kicked off, yet managed to find his way back in. For just over a month, he was feeding private, confidential emails and information to other, finally scaring Natalie Reed (whose anonymity online protects her real life) out of the atheist movement completely (she's considering not even blogging about feminism anymore, all because of this lone a-hole and his supporters). He's out now, mostly because they're getting a new, more secure listserve.

Greta Christina started the very popular twitter hashtag #mencallmethings during this time, and some a-holes responded with #FTBullies. Paula Kirby went on to call feminists Feminazis and Femistasis (because... you know... asking that women be treated like and respected as human beings is totes equatable to repressive fascist regimes).

Tons more women have been coming forward with stories about harassment directed at them at atheist/skeptic conferences and just on a daily basis.

And Ophelia, Greta, and Jen started talking about the constant, daily threat they were getting... many of which got uncomfortably personal. So Jennifer McCreight came out, finally, and noted that she no longer feels safe in the atheist community. She wants a place where she can feel safe.

And that is how A+ was born.

Quote:
The A+ idea is extremely new.
Under a month old, in fact.

Quote:
It's basic premise is one of Liberal Atheism that directly challenges the chains and binds of Religion. I agree with most of the tenets, but it is a rather extreme idea that essentially declares you are either with us or against us. And if you are with us, and we have an issue with you, then you are out.
No. No no no no no no no.

Again.

Stop pretending that Richard Carrier speaks for A+.

He f'ing doesn't.

At all.

And he even apologized for it.

And I myself brought up this very concern on the forums (hopefully you won't have to join to see it... I'll try and share it all with y'all if you do). Look at the responses. The vast majority of this is not meant to be a "with us or against us" thing.

At all.

As long as you agree with the basic values we're fighting for, then we don't care if you don't want to be A+. If you have constructive criticism that could actually help us grow and isn't already answered here, here, here, here, and here, then we welcome it. Happily.

Here's one tidbit from that second-to-last "here" that y'all should read:
Quote:
6. Why do you get to decide who gets to be a part of the atheist movement? Iím not kicking anyone out of the atheist movement. Iím not going to revoke your American Atheist membership or come in the middle of the night to steal your scarlet A lapel pin. Iím not going to petition the government to take away your freedom of speech. Yes, I think itís time for a new wave, but that doesnít make the previous wave disappear. There are still second wave feminists (and I know this will shock some of you, but no, Iím not one of them).

I just want a space where atheists with a shared interest in social justice can actually discuss it and get stuff done. You are free to form your own groups or continue taking part in whatever atheist community will have you. You can even come and civilly take part in our discussions! But we donít need to tolerate the intolerant within our own space.
You are only against us if actively declare yourself against us... if you fight us, and are opposed to the values we are trying to fight for. Then, and only then, are you "against us"... but you'd also be against Secular Humanism, Ethical Atheism, and so on. And the only people I can think of being that pathetic are the atheist Men's Rights Activists (tangent: what an absolutely stupid idea, BTW... we're men... we control the rights on this planet; no need to fight for what we already control).

Quote:
Here is a link to the original blog post by the woman who supposedly started it all.

How I Unwittingly Infiltrated the Boyís Club & Why Itís Time for a New Wave of Atheism | Blag Hag
Yes. Please read that, all of you, very carefully... along with all the other links I provided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
I support the values. I am a Unitarian Universalist and we have seven principles our congregations support. I am fine with that.
Okay! Great! Awesome! That is seriously good to read! You are not (as far as I'm concerned) against us.

Quote:
But, concerning "Atheism +", I would prefer that the term "atheism" not be used, as it causes confusion. Uninformed people already claim atheism is a religion and it takes faith to believe in it, etc. They speak of atheist values, etc. We don't need this "atheism +" coming along to muddy up the water and make it harder for us to set the record straight.
Except that a very specific group of atheists are the reason this whole thing was started. It is, quite literally, about atheism. Hence why the name uses atheism.

A+, BTW, is NOT "better than". The "+" is meant to be taken as the mathematical symbol, meaning "including", "also", "in addition to", etc.

Again, I do apologize for the snarkiness and anger in this post, but you are all parroting tropes that have already been responded to, and it is annoying to see them over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: South Wales, Yes, I'm, back!
15,599 posts, read 7,815,000 times
Reputation: 2628
I see no point in one particular kind of activist (black, Gay or feminist) who happens to be atheist in trying to hi-jack the movement to become a flagship of a particular social issue. Atheism is better off without the '+'.

We flogged the lift issue to death here when it broke. It is a serious issue within or without atheism (as a movement) and we shouldn't forget it. Especially as atheism is going to be under extreme scrutiny for anything that can be used to discredit it. But it is not what atheism is about. I don't see the need for one particular leader or leaderess either. If more women become vocal in atheism, that would be great and if one is particularly good, then perhaps she would be an effective and charismatic Voice. If not, then not.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
114 posts, read 50,325 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I see no point in one particular kind of activist (black, Gay or feminist) who happens to be atheist in trying to hi-jack the movement to become a flagship of a particular social issue. Atheism is better off without the '+'.

We flogged the lift issue to death here when it broke. It is a serious issue within or without atheism (as a movement). It is not what atheism is about. I don't see the need for one particular leader or leaderess either. If more women become vocal in atheism, that would be great and if one is particularly good, then perhaps she would be an effective and charismatic Voice. If not, then not.
Again. The point. Don't miss it.

I'll simply requote this:
Quote:
6. Why do you get to decide who gets to be a part of the atheist movement? Iím not kicking anyone out of the atheist movement. Iím not going to revoke your American Atheist membership or come in the middle of the night to steal your scarlet A lapel pin. Iím not going to petition the government to take away your freedom of speech. Yes, I think itís time for a new wave, but that doesnít make the previous wave disappear. There are still second wave feminists (and I know this will shock some of you, but no, Iím not one of them).

I just want a space where atheists with a shared interest in social justice can actually discuss it and get stuff done. You are free to form your own groups or continue taking part in whatever atheist community will have you. You can even come and civilly take part in our discussions! But we donít need to tolerate the intolerant within our own space.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:33 PM
 
Location: South Wales, Yes, I'm, back!
15,599 posts, read 7,815,000 times
Reputation: 2628
Well, Ok. The only requirement for being part of the atheist movement is to be an atheist and to be part of it. The point I made about nobody attaching it it to their own particular hobby - horse is part of that. I'm finding it a bit hard to see what is the problem that you are pointing to.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Rational World Park
4,997 posts, read 1,970,522 times
Reputation: 2354
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
To my knowledge, Atheist Plus, or A+, is a "reaction" to Richard Dawkins' brand of new atheism. As a biologist, I respect Dawkins' work as a scientist. However, I do not agree with the notion that his views on atheism should have become the de facto manifesto for many. I find it refreshing to have a conversation about atheism where Dawkins is not mentioned once. A+, though, is seemingly railing against the "all boys club" that comprises the atheists' movement's heavyweights.

The A+ idea is extremely new. It's basic premise is one of Liberal Atheism that directly challenges the chains and binds of Religion. I agree with most of the tenets, but it is a rather extreme idea that essentially declares you are either with us or against us. And if you are with us, and we have an issue with you, then you are out.

Here is a link to the original blog post by the woman who supposedly started it all.

How I Unwittingly Infiltrated the Boyís Club & Why Itís Time for a New Wave of Atheism | Blag Hag
This has nothing to do with Dawkins, NOTHING at all. This is a term created and pushed by feminist Greta Christina who along with bloggers at freethought blogs are trying to co-opt the new atheism movement with radical feminism. The radical feminism push received push back so this is the new angle. Mix in a few other set social issues and tag it with the word Atheism. I guess they believe that's more palatable. In my opinion, making different factions (denominations) is a huge mistake, and very religious like. The atheist movement needs to remain a big tent. It appears that youtube atheist "celebrities" have really lost their minds. Mind you, the people who initiated the new atheist movement, Dawkins, Harris, Dennent and the late Hitchens had/have nothing to do with this fragmenting. For that, see looney egomaniacs like Matt Dillhunty, PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson etc. They have there agenda and it's to become paid celebrities. Sad actually. I want nothing to with them and their creation of divisiveness for the sake of their own popularity, nothing more.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
114 posts, read 50,325 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Well, Ok. The only requirement for being part of the atheist movement is to be an atheist and to be part of it. The point I made about nobody attaching it it to their own particular hobby - horse is part of that. I'm finding it a bit hard to see what is the problem that you are pointing to.


Quote:
I just want a space where atheists with a shared interest in social justice can actually discuss it and get stuff done. You are free to form your own groups or continue taking part in whatever atheist community will have you. You can even come and civilly take part in our discussions! But we don’t need to tolerate the intolerant within our own space.
Seriously... Jen spelled it out, and you still aren't getting it. This could not be any clearer.

A+ is a group, like American Atheists, or the Freedom from Religion Foundation, or the Secular Student Alliance. It is also a social justice movement, like Secular Humanism, or Ethical Atheism, except that it deals with problems of bigotry within the atheist movement... which are a problem, that need to be dealt with.

Seriously... what part of that is hard to understand? It's pretty obvious, IMO.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Outer Space
1,375 posts, read 2,034,812 times
Reputation: 1447
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
Oh come on.

Could somebody, somewhere, just once, learn to GET THE F'ING POINT?

I've been participating in A+ from the get-go. I've been a supporter of this from the very beginning, because I've been participating in the whole argument that caused this.

For the record, my anger is not at all of you specifically. It is at the continued insistence of atheists in general to pick specifically the words of Richard Carrier (who, BTW, walked back and apologized for his initial divisiveness) and insist that, for whatever reason, they represent the whole of the A+ movement... which they don't...
I just read that whole post and...wow. I don't even know what to say. It's been awhile since I have read anything out of the secular community, so that is some disgusting news to me.

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