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Old 08-28-2013, 10:18 PM
 
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Almost makes me want to get licence plates that say IAMGOD *grin*
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:06 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,108,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
There is still a stigma attached to the term "Atheist"; it's fading but still strong in some quarters.
Wouldn't have thought the New Jersey DMV would be an example of "some quarters"
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:25 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
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Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
Anything can be offensive to anyone really.
Entirely true. Which is why I foresee serious problems in the moral relativist future, as social conventions continue to erode (mostly because I fear the common right-wing moron of today without some dogma to tether him to reality...I realize that reality is far more complex than my fear, but...there are other reasons where that come from)

I (currently) think the best worldview is a whimsical one. Life is obviously meaningless (which is not merely a current view, but a long-standing one, for me), therefore just observe what happens. Detach oneself from the inevitable oblivion. Like underrated British philosopher John Gray (I'll add my all-time favorite book "Straw Dogs" to the atheist reading list thread in a second) remarked, "is it not enough just to see?" Schopenhauer-esque...just observe. But it was easier in Schopenhauer's Deutschland or even Gray's present-day London than it is the ever-changing ****show that is America.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,084,119 times
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Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
... Which is why I foresee serious problems in the moral relativist future, as social conventions continue to erode (mostly because I fear the common right-wing moron of today without some dogma to tether him to reality...I realize that reality is far more complex than my fear, but...there are other reasons where that come from)
All morality is and always has been relative. The "moral relativist future" is today. It's just a question of whether or not we admit it and how much diversity we are willing to coexist with.

I believe that the human psyche is quite supple and adaptable in this regard; the problem with people needing dogma to tether them to reality is that they were socialized that way from the cradle and have had no practice in thinking and comparing and deciding for themselves.

My wife and I are a study in contrasts in that regard. She grew up in Berkeley, stepping over passed-out stoners on her way to school every day, at the height of forced busing. I grew up in FundieLand. She takes everything in stride; I have had to work hard to bring myself up to speed in the Real World but manage quite nicely, thank you.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,349 posts, read 2,976,604 times
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
All morality is and always has been relative. The "moral relativist future" is today. It's just a question of whether or not we admit it and how much diversity we are willing to coexist with.

I believe that the human psyche is quite supple and adaptable in this regard; the problem with people needing dogma to tether them to reality is that they were socialized that way from the cradle and have had no practice in thinking and comparing and deciding for themselves.

My wife and I are a study in contrasts in that regard. She grew up in Berkeley, stepping over passed-out stoners on her way to school every day, at the height of forced busing. I grew up in FundieLand. She takes everything in stride; I have had to work hard to bring myself up to speed in the Real World but manage quite nicely, thank you.
As a born and raised pseudo deist/agnostic/basically atheist except in a few usually irrelevant ways, I'll agree with that. I've always been baffled about why people felt a need for organized religion.

The urge for a belief in life after death though, or the continuation of certain important things through eternity...I can understand that. I still have a sort of, pseudo belief in a perpetually mutating goddess of gaps, whose characteristics change whenever new information is discovered that makes her past characteristics impossible. I've never seen the point in being as honest with oneself as many atheists insist on being...but, to each his or her own.

I wonder if honesty to oneself is more important to some people than others. There are a lot of very clever believers in the goddess of gaps. I think that's a fine alternate to atheism for those who like the idea of a more happy fantasy land of rainbows and unicorns. Atheism is a fine alternative to that too.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:09 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Keep in mind this is the NJ DMV. Personally I would say there is a 90% chance it was rejected by incompetence, 9% chance it was rejected because the clerk rejects every request and 1% chance because someone actually thought it was offensive.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,084,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I wonder if honesty to oneself is more important to some people than others. There are a lot of very clever believers in the goddess of gaps. I think that's a fine alternate to atheism for those who like the idea of a more happy fantasy land of rainbows and unicorns. Atheism is a fine alternative to that too.
Everyone has to do whatever they need to do to get through the day. Telling yourself comforting stories while at the same time aware they are just stories, is a strategy that can work. If that weren't so, we'd all be pretty depressed. Most of us are pretty good at telling ourselves that better things are just around the corner. And anyone who has been through the pain of divorce and nevertheless remarries is said to represent the triumph of hope over experience, for example. Doing that in relationship to the unknowns / unknowable is no longer possible for me because I overplayed that hand in my theist days and got burned pretty bad. To each their own.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,350 posts, read 7,828,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
There is still a stigma attached to the term "Atheist"; it's fading but still strong in some quarters. The religious and some other groups think they have the right to control their environment to the extent that they don't have to see certain people or words that they disapprove of. Slowly, they are learning that they just have to suck it up and live in the Real World with Other People.

It's very similar to how fundamentalists would claim to love gays but would somehow be creeped out by, say, the license plate my publisher, who happened to be a lesbian, had years ago in Seattle: IM OWT. Love 'em, but keep 'em out of your neighborhood, if not your city, because they're icky. Yeah, that's real love, alright. Agape love, to boot, I'm sure.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:54 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,347,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
I have a feeling this isn't the last we will here about this. It would be interesting though if someone tried to get "theist" as a licence plate.
I live in a very Pentecostal corner of the state, and the proliferation of hyperchristian license plates gives me the chills some days. There is a guy in my town who drives a lime-green Jeep and has a plate that reads PFUNDI. He also happens to be a dead ringer for Ned Flanders -- the same moustache, the same sweaters and khakis, everything.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:41 PM
 
Location: USA (dying to live in Canada)
1,034 posts, read 1,561,402 times
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Even if it would be allowed, the car would most likely be vandalized and the driver would get the finger pointed while driving. Not worth the risk! Lots of religious people in NJ.

Why need to show that he/she is an atheist?! Keep it to yourself.
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