Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
January 16, 2012
Hi. Jonathan here. Registered Libertarian and atheist. Great to find this group. I find myself with extra time on my hands of late and am really looking forward to meeting new friends.
I am a registered Libertarian. I am also an atheist, although I recently got in an argument with someone over this. I do not dogmatically assert that there is no God; I only say that, thus far, I have seen no rational evidence for one, and it's not for lack of looking. Since I am not a "theist," I am therefore an atheist.
I believe the best I can do is share my experience, having been raised in the third generation of a family devoted to a religious organization that emphasized submission over individual liberty--and took harsh measures against those who wouldn't conform. You see examples of institutional suppression in so many places. Something I always try point out are examples of "unintended consequences." A certain government (or personal) policy may seem "good" because of its apparently noble intentions, but it is in fact a very, very "bad" thing if its results are harmful in the real world. Also, "guilt-inducing tactics" are something I like to spotlight for others when they let me. It's funny, because people seem to be able to reject them when they happen in their personal interactions, but willingly tolerate them if related to a government policy or social construct they favor. I also promote Ron Paul's candidacy for President and share articles from Reason magazine.
The right a person has to conduct his or her life in the way he or she chooses as long as an action does not harm another's property or person.
I was born into the 3rd generation of a now 4 generation Jehovah's Witness family. I was taught that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society was the representation of God's sole channel of communication to the planet, and allowed myself to believe it, even becoming an elder in my congregation in Michigan, delivering public talks and teaching Watchtower propaganda in local homes. I was 38 when I finally gave myself permission to conduct an objective investigation into this organization's history and claims of divine backing, and soon awakened. As a result, I am now shunned by my family (except for my daughter) and the community of friends I knew my whole life. Unfortunate as that is, I would never sacrifice my freedom for subservience and their approval. I am not interested in restricting freedom of religion, but am happy to shine the light of scrutiny on this and any other thing I find to be legalistic, authoritarian, restrictive and manipulative.
Thanks for the welcome :) I am new to this meet up stuff and I am looking forward to my 1st event!
Thanks for the lively chat Thursday evening =0)
Hi Jonathan, welcome to our group! I hope you're able to make it down for one of our meet ups. I won't be able to attend the next one, but I believe a few from my family will be able to. I too have grandparents who where Witnesses. Glad to be out now! Cheers, -Randy
Hi, Jonathan, we had our organizing meeting last Thursday evening--you can see the results in the posting for our next meeting on April 3. We decided to limit our membership to 35 members so that we can each participate and be heard. I look forward to having you in our Club and meeting you on April 3!
Welcome to our mastermind group Jonathan!