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Re: [atheists-27] New Meetup: Meet the Organizer

From: Don W.
Sent on: Thursday, November 19, 2009 1:23 PM
Peter, Norm, Dave and others,

I do need to emphasize that members who do not want to see these discussion items can go to their membership and turn them off.  They will still get meeting notifications and can take advantage of the social calendar I expect that we will be providing over time.

In terms of discussions I am only one among over 400 in this group.  What I want is a social space where people freely and openly discuss their views.  The only constraints I will impose is one of common civility.  Feel free to present the evidence against any given assertion voiced on this forum but do not attack a person as a person.  I want no claims that the position voiced by another is voiced because of a character flaw in the person.  I will clamp down on that type of incivility very rapidly

Yes this is very much a social space.  I very much want to expand the variety of social options available to our members.  I know of people who love to go to ���pay what you can��� theater events. The typical donation at such events is $5.  This seems to me to very low cost entertainment and I imagine that it might be a delightful way to expand the options available to our community.  This is only an idea in my head for the moment and I would love for someone who goes to such events to step forward and volunteer to be the one to bring them to the attention of the group.  I hope once I have assembled our team to have a rich social calendar providing a substantial variety of social opportunities.

Peter, in the last discussion group we had, Roy Speckhardt talked about surveys that indicated that about 80 percent of religious people contributed little to their communities but the remaining 20 percent contributed a lot.  His data confirmed your thesis that a significant percentage of religious people are very ���good��� indeed.  Obviously it is a logical category error to assume that any given good or evil that we see in a given community propagates through the entirety of that community.

There is always a leading edge of social change.  At the beginning that change will appear to be ���revolutionary��� until it becomes part of the mainstream.  There are those in our group who have a revolutionary perspective and to some extent I want to make it clear that they are welcomed members of our group.  However, I don't want them to dominate in a way that precludes any relaxed comfortable socialization of the type people have enjoyed in this meetup in the past.

To some extent the positions that I personally take are intended to provoke deeper thought.  Obviously the truth or falsehood of any position I take is contingent on the evidence that support or undermines those positions.  I WANT countervailing positions and the evidence that supports those different views.  That is the essence of social discussion.  In order to have a social space we must take some delight in engaging other people including all the amazingly different perspectives we might have.

Yours in joy with our evolving community,

Don



--- On Thu, 11/19/09, David Veca <[address removed]> wrote:

> From: David Veca <[address removed]>
> Subject: Re: [atheists-27] New Meetup: Meet the Organizer
> To: [address removed]
> Date: Thursday, November 19, 2009, 12:16 PM
> All,
> Maybe it could be a hybrid of both. I for one
> would be happy to see the group get more vocally involved.
> Hopefully we could get the word out there that religion
> doesn't have the market cornered on ethics (quite the
> opposite) while still maintaining the social aspect. Maybe
> once a month or so there could be an event for the activist
> atheist community, with more common meetups amongst the
> social atheist community.
> 
> 
> Cheers,
> Dave
> 
> On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 11:32 AM,
> Norm <[address removed]>
> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> 
> 
> Don, 
> 
> 
> 
> I don't think the Atheists Meetup group should be a
> revolutionary community
> 
> devoted to pointing out the evils of religion and taking
> positions on
> 
> political issues.  Rather I think it should be a social
> group among Atheists
> 
> as it has been for the last year, at least.  I don't
> think I can agree with
> 
> you on ethical good, or on the impact of religion on
> society, and I hope the
> 
> group will not get involved in the  types of issues you
> discuss in your
> 
> letter. 
> 
> 
> 
> Peter Wolfe   
> 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> 
> 
> Thank
> you, Peter! I couldn't have said it better.
> Norm
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> --
> 
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> 
> This message was sent by Norm ([address removed])
> from The DC Atheists Meetup
> Group.
> 
> To learn more about Norm, visit his/her member
> profile
> 
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> 
> 
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> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> --
> 
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY",
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> 
> This message was sent by David Veca ([address removed]) from
> The DC Atheists Meetup
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>[masked] | [address removed]
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> 



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