kcrady, monkeymind, kin hell, I'm really thankful for your comments! I assure you that all of them are much appreciated by me!
You all, guys, seem to be pretty astute, indeed (especially monkeymind).Unhappy Christians
is exactly the group of theists that I plan to focus my forum on – this is the group of Christians that will be most open to everything atheists have to tell them. Furthermore, their perspective would perfectly fit into the intended mission statement of my forum.kin hell
, I guess I have to make it very clear – I have never claimed that my ideas are something revolutionary, something that we can't find in this forum! I am not surprised they seem familiar to you – that's exactly how it was meant to be. My forum will be only slightly different form the WWGHA forum. The trick is that when we deal with sensitive topics like religion, the slightest differences might make a big difference.
The idea that the needs of the members are of primary importance I copied from the WWGHA forum. The only difference is that in my forum this idea will clearly be the basis of the forum.
Nobody denies that the most typical problems of an atheist are a significant impetus for much of the energy drawn in the WWGHA forum. All I'm saying is that solving the problems of the atheist doesn't seem to be the main purpose of this forum, and as a result its structure might not be fit enough to serve this necessity.
And I am very far from the thought that the members of the WWGHA forum are trying to save the world. Quite the contrary – my impression is that most members are pretty grounded people with very realistic expectations.
The idea to focus on specific failings of Christianity I also copied from the WWGHA forum and then I modified it slightly.
In the WWGHA forum those failings are always linked to the idea that god is imaginary and Christians are delusional. This is something that won't happen in my forum – I will cut this link, because it leaves the impression that every discussion of a failing is actually a trap set by the god hunters.
The other modification is that I will focus on failings that cause real problems to society
and discuss those problems at length.
I agree with you observation that the typical unhappy atheists are not some of the most fruitful in this forum – either they seem to be unbalanced and spoil other members' discussions, or they rarely login, or at best they are quite new to this forum. That's why they need a new forum – I truly believe in their capacity to contribute to a thoughtful and fruitful discussion. Monkeymind
, thank you for sharing your concern that focusing on unhappy atheists might limit the size of my forum – I think it's quite reasonable! Personally I am not afraid that this might happen – judging on the experience of the WWGHA forum. In my opinion WWGHA focuses on a much narrower slot – the confrontational atheists. Also, "intelligent Christians" is an extremely narrow slot, I can't even think of something narrower than that. Yet, there is a great diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in this forum. How does this happen? There are two reasons for this:
The first reason is that a particular type of people is hard to find in its purest form in nature. As I've said earlier, happy-unhappy, confrontational-accommodational, etc. are just extremities of a scale, nothing more. Few atheists are always happy/unhappy that they are atheists. I personally, would put myself in the less happy part of the bell curve, but I also recognize quite distinct features of the happy atheist.
The second reason is that when a forum focuses on a particular type of people, it doesn't mean that it is designed exclusively for those people. I won't say: “Hello this forum is for unhappy people only, so if you feel kinda happy, please don't make an account!”. Everyone's perspective will be valued! Most definitely, there will be various types of sections serving various needs and various perspectives – similarly to the WWGHA forum. They will mostly serve the needs of the unhappy atheists and unhappy Christians, but not exclusively their needs.
I wonder how one goes about explaining what being a human being is all about?
Monkeymind, that's the big question! Christians believe that their whole moral system is derived directly from the bible, so they have this constant fear that if they lose their faith they will lose their morality along with it. Because of this fear, it is indeed very hard to convince them to abandon Christianity.
The greatest advantage of my decentralized method is that I don't have to make Christians abandon their faith, therefore I don't have to explain what being a human being is all about. I wouldn't try to give Christians a new meaning of life, my goal is to make them abandon their most harmful beliefs and superstitions.
They only reason why I would try to explain what being a human being is all about is when there are people who really feel they want to give up their faith, but they are not sure what to substitute it with. I would try to help such people, only because I feel sorry for them. Their state is a really miserable state – I know this from my personal experience.
How do I help them? I'm pretty sure that to this question you can give a much better answer than me! You certainly have more knowledge and experience. I have some ideas too, but they are not fully developed yet – I am still working on them.
Are you proposing debate rooms for this one-by-one or do you mean only one question at a time? Or do you mean addressing each Christian on a person-by-person basis? Not sure what you are proposing here.
With “one-by-one” I rather meant that failings of Christianity should be discussed independently – independently from each other and independently from the idea that God is imaginary. Kcrady
, to be honest, I don't have a clear vision of what christians should be like, and I don't feel obliged to have such a vision. Evolution of Christianity is none of my business, and I'm really not interested in it. As I've already said, my dream is to make Christians abandon their most harmful beliefs and superstitions. I really don't care whether they will transform into more bearable Christians, or they will completely abandon Christianity.
So how do I make Christians abandon their superstitions? Like I've said in my previous posts, I will try to explain to them how their superstitions affect them personally. I will give you an example to make it more clear:
If I make a video about prayer, similarly to GII video, I would also take some time to explain why it is illogical to expect that prayer would work and I would also claim that prayer is a superstition. There are some differences though:
Firstly, instead of addressing this video to intelligent christians, I would address it to unhappy christians.
Secondly, I would try to explain to Christians why leaning on prayer is bad for them – how substituting knowledge and action with prayer might completely destroy their life.
Thirdly, I would not claim that god is imaginary, I would not call christians delusional and I would not ask them to abandon their faith.
All in all, WWGHA is a really successful forum. I like it and I can hardly make a better forum than that. My goal is to make a forum that is a good partner of WWGHA.