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RE: [atheists-501] 2 meetings, attached article

From: Stephen P.
Sent on: Thursday, June 18, 2009 1:13 PM

I had to type quickly so apologize in advance for typos and bad gramma.


Like some others I am not sure if I am doing the right thing by posting as many of my opinions will not align with many here. I don’t see myself as a member of the left or right politically but more a “third path” person with many different and varying views some of which would fit quite comfortably in one sphere or the other.


To give a controversial example I don’t ‘personally’ agree that women should have an ‘absolute right’ to choose to terminate after a certain fetal age but I would not enforce my view on others. No, I am not looking at it from strictly a male perspective but of that of an adopted child who is glad to be here and quite glad my birth mother did not take that option. I also have an innate feeling that “I have a right to exist”.


It’s a point of view not often considered and I am sure, many here will still think this is not a valid point of view, but here’s the kicker!  I have a godless world view just like many here who would disagree with my position on this subject. If we got past that topic we would probably discover we have more views in common with our fellow atheists than to the contrary.


We have a herding cats problem with ‘Atheism’ so to speak in that most of us cannot even agree on a term to describe ourselves (I refer to myself as a secular materialist) let alone a woman’s right to choose. We are a dysfunctional group of often like minded individuals who will splinter and divide on just about any issue and as a result will achieve nothing like the true potential we have as a community or lobby group.


It’s just like global warming, where in my view I feel I still have some room to be skeptical but take the position, as I did many years ago, that solar power is the future. Yes I do have panels on my roof and I certainly don’t believe we should dispose of our industrial or any other waste for that matter in the air, creeks or oceans. It’s just not the right thing to do from a “moral’ point of view and I hold my view independent of whether global warming is occurring or not. Many here I suspect would prefer ‘to take me on’ and call me a climate change denier and worse, even though both views are generally compatible.


Until we can find common ground or form a central set of tenants that are inclusive rather than divisive and avoid some of the more difficult to sell views, our point of view will remain irrelevant. If our world view is to prevail we need a platform that is comfortably accommodated by the middle class and avoids the ‘Dogma’ of the left vs. right political debate.


Just an opinion!


Steve P




From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of jean townsend
Sent: Thursday, 18 June[masked]:47 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [atheists-501] 2 meetings, attached article


Hi folks,

We all know the meaning of atheist - and it gives a clear message about us.  Other comparable words like rationalists, humanists, mean something different.  So if we want others to know what we are about we cannot call ourselves anything else. 


Byron has a good point about knowledge and action though, and I want to suggest that we promote knowledge of the latest findings in genetics, evolution and neuropsychology.  Yes, as well as supporting birth-control and Women's Choice about their bodies.  Bear in mind though that in some minds the connection of ATHEIST/ABORTION may do our cause no good.


Are any of you able to spread the word in community groups etc.?




From: byron

Sent: Tuesday, June 16, [masked]:02 PM

To: [address removed]

Subject: Re: [atheists-501] 2 meetings, attached article


hi, my name is byron barillas, i added my name recently to your group.  i have read the e-mails going from a to z. it is interesting what you are doing.  i really do not know what activities you had in the past or what are your plans for the future. but i can notice some interesting things; to start with, for me atheists is a name without purpose, from my point of view, we are humans first of all. what make us different from other animals is our brain and humanity. so we must to put this two in ACTION, otherwise what is the purpose. one other thing are the topics you discuss, practically you are all over the place: Brain development, global warming, etc. they are important topics of course, but what is the aim. knowledge and action is the best combination and going from general to specific is a good  way to go, overpopulation is the big thing, to prevent teenager pregnancies in Brisbane could be one specific achievable target. (you show your brain and humanity).

the fact that there is no god, is providing us with freedom; it make us owners of our acts in this life, there is no devil or god forcing us or pushing us to do or not to do anything.  thanks


From: Jaime Francisco Mejia <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, 16 June,[masked]:00:44 PM
Subject: RE: [atheists-501] 2 meetings, attached article

After reading Geoffrey's email, I feel compelled to reply. Please accept my apologies if I have acted inappropriately, but I believe this is a very important issue and as someone involved in air quality research I feel obliged to join in the debate.

There is no doubt that there is a genuine concern about the current state of the environment and the future of the planet. And I am firmly convinced that there is a lot of good-will among ordinary people. But good intentions alone are not sufficient. We cannot cure a disease unless we have a knowledge of medicine, and we cannot guide a ship unless we have a knowledge of navigation. In the same way, we cannot restore the earth's ecological balance unless we have an understanding of the causes and processes causing the environmental crisis.

There are several arguments about the causes of the environmental crisis and the scientific community is divided about these issues. However, there is a general agreement (except among those who have put personal interests over professional ethics) that the earth's is getting warmer as a result of increased greenhouse emission.

We need to look at the real causes of this crisis, and we need a concerted effort at international level, because this is a global crisis, transcending national boundaries.

Our solution should seek to balance the needs of society and the environment. Blaming the crisis on the population explosion does not solve the problem, because it is in my view a very dangerous proposition. If we believe this argument, what would our solution be? Reduce the size of the population? How are we going to achieve this? By killing entire nations? Through mass sterilization of "inferior" people? Why not trying to find new environmentally sustainable technologies? Why do some of the biggest polluters, for example the coal mining sector, has consistently attempted to discredit the scientific findings that the earth is getting warmer?

I believe we need to integrate social, technological and scientific approaches to deal with the crisis. The social component will seek to identify alternatives to satisfy social needs with minimal environmental impacts, for example, through improved public transport services to minimize the dependence on private vehicles; the technical component will explore the available technologies selecting those with the lowest environmental impacts; the scientific component will continue investigating the physical, chemical and biological processes in the environment, monitoring the progress and effectiveness of the applied environmental policies and technologies, and doing more research to stop and even reverse the existing damage to the environment.

Well, this is what I think and I might be probably be wrong. And please once again accept my sincerest apology if I have acted inappropriately by replying to Geoffrey's comments.

Yours in solidarity,

Jaime Mejia

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