Re: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion

From: Craig C.
Sent on: Friday, August 30, 2013 2:23 PM
I've reached my breaking point and must speak up. No this is NOT the conversations we should be having in my humble opinion. We have enough challenges and issues as a group of non-believers without adding divisive societal issues like racism and sexism. If it occurs within our ranks then fine, let's deal with it appropriately and swiftly but from a general or philosophical perspective absolutely not. We need to reach out to all types of people (yes INCLUDING those with different racial and sexual opinions). I would argue we should even accept "racists" or "sexists" (two very loaded and subjective terms) if they do not divide our group or behave in inappropriate ways. We are not morally superior to any other group so let's get off our high horses and be more tolerant and inclusive. It seems some who made comments out of frustration earlier have been banned (a frustration I too was feeling but that does not make me racist)? This is incredibly disturbing to me and I found the angry, equally disrespectful responses to them no less inappropriate. We are all imperfect with very different backgrounds. Humans are all racist, sexist, hypocrites (black, white, Asian, men, women doesn't matter) etc to some degree. It's who we are but banishment or dividing our group for these other societal ills is not the answer and will only doom us to failure in our cause.  
 
Our goal is to spread logic, reason and humanism over superstitious beliefs. We have not yet had our civil rights movement and may never if we keep this exclusively as some kind of supposedly moral elitist group that only a tiny minority can ever qualify for. We non-believers are LESS tolerated and respected than any other group of oppressed people in America today including Muslims, blacks and gays. Atheists cannot get elected to public office. Almost 50% of people would not want their kids marrying an atheist. Another survey had us below pedophiles for people they would trust! Yet here we are bickering with each other over race, sexism and population growth?? So I implore you all to think about what topics you are introducing to this already oppressed minority with its own problems and issues to deal with. Take your personal or controversial society concerns to the chat rooms where people who actually want to engage can do so. Please stop dividing us or we will go nowhere. I prefer to keep the topics only relevant to growing our community and reducing the influence of religion on this country. That does not mean I don't care about racism or sexism and many other concerns. This isn't the venue. Just my humble opinion but if I'm in the minority of this minority then maybe I'm part of the wrong group here.
 

From: Mike Hanauer <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Friday, August 30,[masked]:55 PM
Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion

Thanks for asking, Ken.

I guess I could make a number of observations.

The first, I believe I started this thread with a discussion of US overpopulation (and we double every 60 years). I suggested people have a look at a paper I wrote (just updated and reissued) at http://npg.org/forum_series/OverpopulationandOverconsumption-revised2013.pdf.

From there, however, the discussion took a sharp turn.

I'd still appreciate it if people have a look at the paper and comment. I don't believe anyone did.

I believe population is critical in saving the planet, making us sustainable, and saving quality-of-life for future generations. This applies to all people regardless of race. Population growth continues to overwhelm all else we do for conservation and for preserving the middle class.

I'll leave other thoughts for another time (including the thought that atheists should incorporate such overarching issues into their dialog).

AllTheBest.
 
    ~Mike

From: kenneth a. thomas <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, August 21,[masked]:41 PM
Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion

Besides the name calling what are you observing from this discussion, Mike?
Best regards, Ken.

From: Mike Hanauer <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, August 20,[masked]:28 PM
Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion

I don't think labeling people -- racist, xenophobic, stupid, whatever -- has any place in a constructive society or discourse.

"Listening, not Labeling, leads to love and understanding."
 
    ~Mike

From: Alison <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, August 20,[masked]:40 PM
Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion

Though I appreciate the honesty of all responses, and though the thoughtful responses were perhaps the majority, the racism of this thread is just appalling, running the gamut from what Ken rightfully describes as "microinvalidation" to the outright hateful comments by the person above who called someone out for "black sympathy". Are you KIDDING me?!!? 

I am by nature anti-authoritarian, which is part of the reason why I'm an atheist. It's also one of the many reasons why I recognize, condemn, and fight against white supremacy and systemic racism. These things are fundamentally linked. 

I hope this discussion can continue but perhaps a little critical examination of some of the finer points is necessary.

Alison


On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 6:24 PM, kenneth a. thomas <[address removed]> wrote:
Eric, maybe your taking things a little too personal.
Or as Dr. Lloyd Sheldon Johnson's research suggests. Microaggressions come in the form of microinvalidations.
And or lets have an impersonal discussion, and believe it was worthwhile, and fulfilling. Which in my estimate is unlikely.
Best regards Ken.
From: Eric Newbury <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, August 20,[masked]:55 PM

Subject: RE: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion

Ken,
 
I think you might be taking some things a little too personal here, and I think just about everyone is of the mind that this horse is officially mash potatoes, so I think this is a good time to conclude.
 
Regards,
Eric
 
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of kenneth a. thomas
Sent: Tuesday, August 20,[masked]:43 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion
 
Hello Eric how are you?
What is a good emotional measure of the experience of White supremacy racism on Black peoples?
Expend a little more of your effort trying to determine that, and find out if you reach the same, or even a similar conclusion, as your current one.
Best regards, Ken.
From: Eric Newbury <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, August 19,[masked]:44 AM
Subject: RE: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion
 
I’m sure all those things compel people into ideologies, but I’d say it’s a peer induced coercion and intimidation as appose to some external influence. The poorer classes usually assign themselves to a deity of some kind. Maybe not Russia during the late 19th century, though.

I have no idea. Again, I’d say that you should look at the problem from a socio-economic question as appose to just ‘black males’. Prejudices against lower classes in general usually are used as false positives for racism.

Sorry, Lorraine, I did try to move the discussion in a direction that’s more pertinent to atheism, with some success, maybe.
 
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of kenneth a. thomas
Sent: Monday, August 19,[masked]:19 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: [bostonatheists] interesting discussion
 
Eric, you ask why are blacks so religous? My answer is, violence, coercion, and intimadation, are persistently applied, to compel blacks in that direction.
Eric do you doubt that black males have a harder time that most others becoming, professional physicist, chemist, engineers, and mathematicians?
Here's why, below.
Systemic Racism: A Theory of Oppression, by Joe Feagin.
Racist America.
Living With Racism. 
Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System, By Douglas Massey
American Aparteid.
Be well, and best regards, Ken.
 




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