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Skeptics of Tucson Message Board › skeptics, atheists, message boards, ereligion and politics, etc

skeptics, atheists, message boards, ereligion and politics, etc

A former member
Post #: 3
I am not sure why the Skeptics group has a message board, but the Tucson Atheist group does not. Am I missing something? Or is it expected that everyone should use both on-line resources? I also find it difficult to follow who is saying what on the Skeptics message board. For instance, who said this:

"I find that statement completely baffling. Is not religion on of the main subjects that we discuss at the Skeptics meetings?" To whom am I to reply? Mike, Saul, or someone else?

Not knowing whoI am addressing, I would like to put in my two-bits on the religion and politics topic. So, I guess I am addressing the whole of both groups!?

Firstly, I would be against banning, i.e., censoring, any topic from our discussions, rational or not. IMO, atheists and skeptics both have an urgent need to discuss religion and politics. Secondly, I doubt if these topics can really be banned at all, since almost all declarations carry political or religious implications.
Thirdly, discussion of religion and politics and their relationship with atheism and skepticism is a primary reason for my joining the groups. Without these, I will not continue.

I think that there is a real danger in these group discussions of preaching to the choir. Instead of semantic and trivial disagreements, I think it would be more constructive and stimulating to invite groups to meetings that have widely differing viewpoints from ours. For example, invite the group IONS, Institute of Noetic Sciences (http://www.noetic.org...­, or perhaps attend one of their meetings. This is inviting confrontation, I know, but isn't that what we need? Perhaps we could have a debate?

I also think that we need to be more politically active for our cause. When Saul, in the last TA meeting, asked me which of our civil rights I thought were being violated, I stumbled a little and my reply was cut off. I wanted to say that President/s Bush has said that I, as an atheist, could not be considered a US citizen. That is what I would consider a violation of my civil right. But it is not enough to simply complain about it. Perhaps a group like TA can take some sort of political action or protest. My government professes to separate church and state, yet we are still called "one nation under God' in official documents, and assumed to be in line with "In God we trust". Can TA take a stand on these issues and protest them officially?
A former member
Post #: 38
Larry wrote:

“I also think that we need to be more politically active for our cause. When Saul, in the last TA meeting, asked me which of our civil rights I thought were being violated, I stumbled a little and my reply was cut off. I wanted to say that President/s Bush has said that I, as an atheist, could not be considered a US citizen. That is what I would consider a violation of my civil rights.”

Larry uses a poor definition of what constitutes a “right”. President Bush made a stupid statement. But people make stupid statements all the time, and we can not have a right to have people not make stupid statements. That would infringe on their freedom of speech, and there can not be a conflict of rights.

Thus, I am still waiting to find out what rights we as atheist do not have.

There was a mention that at one point an atheist in some states could not hold public office, but I am sure that is not the case any longer.

Saul
Don L.
AZAtheist
Group Organizer
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 126
First, to answer Larry's question: Tucson Atheists and Skeptics of Tucson both have message boards. They are separate groups even though there is substantial overlap of the leadership and membership. Some of the discussions also overlap.

Secondly, no discussions are banned. The back-and-forth that occurred here was about whether we should concentrate our efforts on "harder" subjects. The thought being that most of the supernatural stuff we discuss is so stupid it's not worth discussing. Saul suggested we talk about more political questions. My only objection is that many of these discussions boil down to opinions.

Perhaps a good topic of discussion for one of our future Tucson Atheist meetings would be "Atheism and Civil Rights"...

Don
A former member
Post #: 94
Larry,

I agree with you that there seem to be a lot of semantic and trivial disagreements at meetings that aren't necessarily conducive to a smooth evening. I hope that as the group matures this will sort itself out, but some people just like to argue or want to put their two cents into things right away and don't care if it derails the flow of the evening. Don't get me wrong, I am not pointing fingers or trying to put people down. I am just saying, that we can work together better as a group.

You mentioned being more politically active.

Check out

The Secular Coalition of America
http://www.secular.or...­

I have heard the spokesperson give numerous presentations and she is very articulate and engaging. If you wanted to research what sort of projects are being proposed politically, I would enjoy being informed. Maybe you can make some quick announcements at the meetings. It can't hurt.
A former member
Post #: 95
I also breifly looked up that Noetics Society. Here is a quick description on their home page. Very interesting.

They write:

We are a nonprofit membership organization located in Northern California that conducts and sponsors leading-edge research into the potentials and powers of consciousness—including perceptions, beliefs, attention, intention, and intuition. The Institute explores phenomena that do not necessarily fit conventional scientific models, while maintaining a commitment to scientific rigor.

Background

The Institute is not a spiritual association, political-action group, or a single-cause institute. Rather, we honor open-minded approaches and multiple ways of knowing, bring discernment to our work, and support diversity of perspectives on social and scientific matters.

Through our publications, events, and educational media, we inform our members and the public about the findings of our frontier research on consciousness and its relationship to the physical world.

Our 200-acre Retreat Center hosts workshops, retreats, and educational activities. We support community-building through local community groups, online discussions, and other networking opportunities.

Tour the IONS Campus: Regular tours of the IONS campus take place on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 2:30pm to 3:30pm. . Please RSVP at 707-775-3500 or via email.
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