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Re: members (was Re: [humanism-174] Eskimo wisdom)

From: Ginger
Sent on: Saturday, July 28, 2007 12:03 PM
As for freethinking theists in the group, the group isn't called the atheist group, but the freethinkers, so I would think that would include anyone who is not bound by the shackles of organized religion or dogma and who does not treat religious ideas as sacred cows protected from debate. Austin Texas has a cool atheist group with a weekly public access show and another podcast and each week they meet for a meal and say anyone "atheist friendly" is welcome. Discussion is fine, preaching or witnessing is prohibited. But I think one of their main goals is to be themselves with fellow atheists.

ken <[address removed]> wrote:

    "I feel the same way. We can all easily find people who are already
    convinced about their own views and beliefs and are not willing to
    seriously and affably consider anything which is different. This
    intolerance precludes discussion and any possibility of acquiring a more
    enlightened view that might come of it."
Well actually, I would not say it is easy for me to find others who share my viewpoints, thus I go to meetups. :)
Is it intolerance to want to take time to socialize with people who share your views, especially if you are a minority in society who has experiences that others can't understand? Freethinkers spend 99% of their time among non-freethinkers. I don't think we need to spend 100% of our time debating and defending our viewpoints.

This is similar to why I am in the vegetarian meetup. I like to be able to eat in peace without having to deflect discussion about my diet or animal rights, and to be able to bring up topics without it turning into an emotional, defensive debate about food.

"By silencing dissenting views-- either by refusing to listen or shouting them down, by censure or fiat or exclusion-- we condemn ourselves to our own provincial views."
I agree with this, but I am not sure if you mean this in general, or in regard to the group. You do not mean to say, that we encourage people who want to preach to us be part of our group, in order to protect ourselves from being condemned to our own provincial views, do you?  I don't think by having a group of freethinkers we are silencing anyone's views. Please correct me or clarify what you mean here.

I suppose this raises the question of what is the purpose of this group. Personally I see it as an opportunity to find others who belong to the same minority group as me and to be able to have discussions without having to go over the same old ground over and over again as I would with religious folk. It's nice to finally feel free to talk (or debate!) about what we really think without worrying about offending people or correcting misconceptions about freethinkers.

PS I have only 2 cat children as well. (used to have a very old one, too) And I, too, like birding and have an aquarium.

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