Junebug, I was going to comment on some other aspects of the recent discussion but seeing as you're about to do an internet flounce
, I'm feeling that there's some things that might need to be cleared up. I say that because some of them are at the heart of what you perceive to be attacks on you, and some. Well, I'll get to that.
First, Spiritual But Not Religious
With religion receiving bad press, many people are trying to distance themselves from the label "Religious"
but seem to also want to hold onto emotionally appealing beliefs such as gods, spirits, and afterlives which are firmly rooted in our pre-scientific and superstitious past. Essentially it's a form of [wiki]Greenwashing[/wiki] - "Oh, look at the kinder, gentler, more eco-friendly
detergent packaging spiritual movement. Oh, and pay no attention to the environmentally-damaging surfactants continued rationalisations for gods and the like"
And I bring this up because, from reading your posts, one gets the distinct impression that you feel that by attaching the tag "SBNR"
to an argument similar to what a "religious"
person might make ("I know what god wants... because the bible"
, for example) it is transformed from a self-serving rationalisation, to something that is deep, insightful and, somehow, profound. It doesn't and it isn't.
Arguments are not good or bad because "SBNR", "Religion", "Atheist"; they are judged on their merits, not their PR agent.
Now this common ground thing. First, I'm one of those people that thinks that atheist is a word that really isn't needed. Being blunt, really blunt, not believing in imaginary things sounds like a tautology to me. So when you keep appealing to "common ground", it's a real head-scratcher.
You see, atheism doesn't define who I am, it's just a label about one small part of me, and I don't think there is an "atheist agenda". However, speaking as someone who is an atheist, I don't have a common ground of ridding the world of religion, per se. The more accurate assessment would be that I'd like to see us approach and resolve the societal issues (education, welfare, etc) that put people in the 21st century in the position of embracing pre-scientific and superstitious beliefs - then having to go through all manner of mental gyrations to justify those beliefs.
It doesn't matter to me if that belief is based on a so-called Holy Book, "being in touch with the Universe"
, or feeling energy from a Vortex in Sedona. As I see it - they are all as far-removed from reality as each other. So, no, I don't think your god-claims are any-more reasonable than any other god-claim. I can't speak for others, but I doubt the consensus would be that they were. So, common ground. What is it?
Why is this important, and why do I care?
Well, in general, besides the obvious such as it's really disrespectful to skilled, and caring, professionals to have their efforts ascribed to some god-thing, it really breaks my heart to see people not recognising their true potential.
In your case, it wasn't "god" that got you through hard times. It wasn't "god" that gave you the strength to carry-on. It wasn't "god" that did any of those things - it was you. And if only you and all the other people who "thank god"
could embrace their own abilities, just think what else they could succeed in and accomplish.
But there's also a dark-side to some of the recent events. You've set yourself as somewhat of a spokesperson for SBNR. So I want to visit what happened on a different forum in a galaxy far, far, away.
During a time when I think you were absent from WWGHA, a poster called Xena appeared on the Happy Atheist Forum (HAF). Like you, she self-identified as SBNR and she had significant complaints about her treatment on a another forum. In fact, an entire thread was dedicated to that subject. I'm paraphrasing somewhat, but one of her complaints was that people couldn't handle her because of her devastating arguments. Additionally, she felt that the people on the other forum didn't "support" her through her cancer treatment. And that some of the posters and mods had it in for her. That forum was subsequently identified as WWGHA. Gosh, Junebug, that sounds like you, particularly as you recently returned to this forum making similar complaints about HAF.http://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=12904.0
I'm trying to figure atheist out. I just spent almost a year on another forum and the atheist there were really mean. I shared my personal battle with cancer there and was called all kinds of names and bullied by the mods. There were a few that actually supported me.
Well, it didn't long before the sympathy and attention moved in a direction that Xena didn't like. She then started insulting people and was warned for her passive-aggressive behaviour. Gosh, that's so... familiar?
Why so touchy? I have been an atheist. I have spent a year talking to them. Do you even know what an accomplish that was. Most theist on that site don't last a month. Besides you took something personal there that wasn't meant personal. Roll Eyes
You have just exposed part of how your mind works. It's not that hard. You don't believe in God. You want to touch, see and hear God. Atheist are very good and pointing out flaws in religion but once that religion is stripped away it gets harder.
I think you took that way too seriously, Mr sensitive.
No they are upset with me because I won debates. I made picking on theist not as much fun. I was a stronger moral character. Now I don't necessarily believe that's because they are atheist but more to do with their arrogance and lack of concern for human feelings. It is just as wrong to call people LUNATICS, stupid or delusional as it is for people to sentence you to hell. You can't beat religion by stooping lower than their level. I say the only way to beat religion is with God. Whether God is real or imagined I believe this is so.
Well, long story short but Xena got banned but what she said as a SBNR was chilling, insulting, and quite ominous. Emphasis mine.
I don't remember saying anything about atheist being deluded, heartless, ignorant, prejudice, fools but now I'm glad I did. I've been nice to you fuckers for a God Damn year. Nothing but pricks and cowards. Vultures that's what you really remind me of vultures. Can't wait to attack a theist. Prey on their weakness of doubt. If atheism doesn't assist with morality then it is as useless as tits on a boar hog.
So since I'm being accused of stereotyping I'll stereotype the atheist. Not highly moral characters. I bet that gets your blood pumping. You better believe I have lots and lots of evidence to prove that claim.
Don't worry God has already forgiven me. hahaha Even on a bad day, like just now my moral character makes yours impotent. Yes I said you have the moral character of a limp dick. I enjoyed doing it too.
If Tank is posting here I'm ignoring him. I think he is trolling me.
For individuals you all sure do a lot of similar things. Hum?
Bringing this up is something I have tried not to do. But seeing as you keep presenting yourself as some ever-loving, ever-right, person, maybe it's time to look at what it is you want to achieve with these discussions, and perhaps it's an insight into why you may become frustrated when people don't jump in and join your bandwagon.
Now before you offer that "Xena" replied in anger, note that the topic wasn't theists. "Xena" brought that into the discussion. That's her goal and after that post she was banned. Shortly after that, you returned from HAF, claimed HAF couldn't handle you, and started laying into OCG and others.
So, if that is you, then I truly hope you can work out how to get past that anger. You have every right to be angry, absolutely you do. But you don't have a right to similarly attack other people based on their association with the people who used your views against you.
Whether you are Xena, or whether you aren't; it's a call-to-action based on attacking people through their beliefs. That's how religious wars promulgate and this one is SBNR vs Religion. Not so loving and profound, is it?
Frankly, it pains me to say this, but what is described above isn't so much a goal as a vendetta. It's a search for vengeance and seeking vengeance tends to eat people alive.
Now despite everything I've said above, perhaps even because of the circumstances that has brought us all to this point, I truly wish you well and I hope that you find peace and happiness.