Greetings from an Unusual Atheist

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 1 month ago.

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  • #44337

    Doug Hanlon
    Participant

    Greetings to all my fellow atheists here, and my best wishes [ie secular prayers] for you in your personal lives, in these turbulent times, facing an uncertain and possibly danger-filled future.

    I grew up in Houston in the 1950s, surrounded by (notional) believers, forced to say the Lord’s Prayer every morning at school for the 12 years of my schooling.  Sent to Methodist, then Baptist, Sunday School for the first years of my life — I even have a gold Good Attendance Badge for the former.  None of this hurt me a bit, and I became an agnostic at 12, after reading some Voltaire, and an atheist at 14 when a correspondence-girlfriend shamed me into manning up about my beliefs.

    For a few years, I was the then-equivalent of an obnoxious ‘New Atheist’.   I’ve mellowed since then, and an experience during my military service made me realize that openly-professed atheism can get in the way of accomplishing other objectives in persuading people of more important things.

    So … I’m an old, white, Southerner … and right-winger! But I probably don’t fit the complete stereotype of such people.  (If you’re a Lefty, know that I adhere to the Popperian ideal of always seeking disconfirming evidence for my factual beliefs, so, fire away.)  [Actually, in terms of ‘domestic’ policy, I’m an FDR/JFK Democrat. But those politics are long gone.]

    I think the most important issue in the world is the future of humanity, and saving our species from self-destruction via  a big stupid war.

    I also think that, coincidentally — and unfortunately — the American ‘Empire’ (not the right word, but I can’t think of a better one) is coming to an end, and rational people on both sides of the political barricade ought to be thinking about how to manage its demise in the least painful way possible.

    A side note: I’ve read a lot of books and can recommend some good ones to other; same for websites.  I’ll list some elsewhere, later. And I would be very grateful for quid pro quo here.  Subjects can be almost anything except the Arts, where I am a cultural barbarian, although always grateful to be pointed to poetry that rhymes, scans and makes sense.

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by  Doug Hanlon.
    #44343

    Strega
    Moderator

    Welcome Doug!  I hope you enjoy debating 🙂

    Excellent recommendations for reading are found in our Sunday School group, where Reg (the Fronkey farmer) creates our weekly digest.

    There’ll be a new one up shortly, if Reg hasn’t already posted it.

    #44346

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Greetings, Doug!

    Atheists come in all kinds of stripes and flavors, so welcome here! My daily schedule varies, so I’ll join your conversations as I read them and can get in replies.

    #44368

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Greetings, Doug!

    To address some of what you’ve said above, I would hardly put most of what FDR and JFK supported into the category of “Right Wing.” But then again, I think we’ve all gone through some worm-hole into the Bizarre World of Superman Comics where nothing means what it used to anymore. “Conservatives” no longer support limited Constitutional government and “Liberals” no longer support free expression or civil liberties. I try to address issues and individuals on a case-by-case basis rather than getting hung up on morphing labels.

    I agree we are an Empire, but we’re an ass-backward Empire that taxes it’s citizens and gives tribute to it’s colonized and even enemies rather than vice-versa. We need to let our citizens keep more of the fruits of their labor, stop supporting our enemies, and nudge our allies toward greater self-reliance.

    As for Atheism, Voltaire and Thomas Paine are good introductions to questioning religious dogma. For the full-bore Atheism, I highly recommend the book that resolved the matter for myself…Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith. The Hitch a.k.a. Christopher Hitches and Richard Dawkins are the most forthright of the Four Horsemen and Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett are pretty good too though I’ve only seen Sennett on video and haven’t broke open Dennett’s books yet.

    Again, welcome here. Hope you enjoy it!

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