Re: [atheists-27] Secular Values???

From: Woody L.
Sent on: Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:59 AM
Mathew,

I am agree with you because locally we should help SCA on issues that matter for secularism not education ourself on liberal agenda, philosophy, or faith and religions per se.

Yesterday, I was on the excellent David T. presentation about Hispanic/Latinos education and religious situation in America.  Fox, we have a lot to do defend other people against the religious indoctrination and spread a new "culture" of reason and critical thinking in the whole American society.

The best to learn something is better to start teach others not only ourselves, check Herb Silverman book "Candidate Without Prayers" in which he stated  this thesis and I proved it in my life being to day math tutor.

Debating with theists and priests are going nowhere if no publishing latter on video or somewhere. On the lower level in any church or meetup it makes no sense because everybody is coming with a very strong disposition or believe that is right and any argumentation will not work for both sites.

Woody





On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 10:52 PM, Mathew Goldstein <[address removed]> wrote:
I favor the agenda of the Secular Coalition of America (SCA) as shown below.  This requires adopting the discipline of keeping the focus exclusively on opposing government privileging of religion.  This means avoiding taking positions on most current issues and as a result this agenda can be adopted by people having opposing political party affiliations.  Topics like free wi-fi, marijuana legalization, solar energy regulation, vegetarianism, and the like would be off of our group agenda.  This is not because those are not important issues, it's because we as a group will commit to promoting secularism.  Here is an outline of some of the issues that such a specialized focus entails:

  • Health and Safety: The health and safety of an individual should not be compromised by the religious beliefs of another person or group. 
  • Education: Children should not be subjected to religious education or exercises in our public schools.
  • Tax Policy: Religious organizations and individuals should not be exempt from the requirements and restrictions of tax policy.
  • Discrimination: Personal religious beliefs do not justify prejudicial actions that violate discrimination laws.
  • Government Actions: The government and officials acting in their government capacity, should not endorse religious beliefs, one religion over another or religion over non-religion.
  • Military: The taxpayer funded U.S. military must serve the beliefs of all service members without privileging one belief over another.
  • International: Even abroad, U.S. government funds, policies, or actions should not endorse religion.

On Sep 4, 2013, at 9:55 PM, Don Wharton <[address removed]> wrote:

I have proposed the following as the broad topic for our discussion group this Friday.
 
A secular world view creates a strong motivation toward the use of science and logical thinking to define the cultural assumptions of our secular group. We do not have the 'word of God' to abort the use of the more effective tools to understand our universe. A good general question is what can we assume to be shared among other secular members of our community by virtue of our shared world view? There is general support for evolution, the science of global warming, standard scientific notions of cosmology, effective sex education in our schools and gay rights to name some of the more obvious. In each of these areas the religious right makes Bible based claims that directly contradict what is scientifically known. As a community, I do not think that atheism is intrinsically left leaning at all. We will vote more with the liberal left just because so much of the right is based on appalling anti-science lunacy.
 
What other values can we assume to be shared in our secular community? While it seems that we have decent general support for feminism in our local community, it is most certainly not unanimous. Religious communities often strongly support not having any children until marriage. Science very much confirms the notion that outcomes for children are better if there are two adults sharing the child rearing. Single parenthood is increasingly accepted in our secular community. Given the conflict with the data from science, should this be the case? What about the broad area labeled social justice?
 
The Atheism+ movement is seen by some as being divisive because it seeks to include values such as feminism. Their reply is that the secular movement is strengthened by expanding the understanding of secularism to include values that we wished to see expressed. We once had a regular member of our Rockville Discussion group who came out against gay marriage. He got a rather ferocious push-back from the rest of the group. Shortly thereafter he ceased to find our meetings to be enjoyable. I have had a number of others assert that we should focus primarily on the criticism of religion because that is what we know we have in common. This leaves us with the question, how do we best nurture our secular community if we have an understanding of our shared values?
Don




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