Even thou A|N is less then a year old, we are already making an impact in the realm of unbelief. As we approach the new year, I can't help but think (and dream) of what we collectively could accomplish in 2009.

Let's brainstorm. What are your ideas? What would you like to see us achieve this year?

Also, this shouldn't be a place to poo-poo other's ideas. Let's just dream unencumbered, and then worry about the details once we get some decent ideas.

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I think its unwise to come, new, to a site and start making assumptions about people based on your first impressions. FunkQ, despite his icon, is one of nature's gentlemen and a man of great intellect and reason. We love debate here, but why not just take a step back and get to know us before going on the defensive. We're actually a pretty nice bunch, and Funky is a very valuable and active member. ;-)
Well, Kristy, there are a lot of assumptions I make about people on this site, the main one being that they are all atheists.
Assumptions are gleaned by newbees as a result of how others choose to represent themselves. I didn't make the decision to present FunkQ as a flaming middle finger, he did. I assume he means something by it. So just what am I to make of that?
For that matter, what am I to make of your smiling face? Why did you choose to present yourself as a lovely, smiling person?
My point was not to pick a fight. Actually, just the opposite. My emphasis was on the humility we realistically assume when we abandon faith.
The average theist perceives atheists as angry, and therefore easily dismiss the faithfree as unreasonable, and, well, nothing more than a bunch of middle finger flickers. We should be working, as you obviously do, to present a different image,
That being said, where was I defensive? I responded to FunkQ because of the points he made, because I respected his opinion, not because he gives me the middle finger. I never insult, or use profanity. Yet I do feel free to aggressively make my point.
I really like this site. It is the first atheist site I have ever joined, and part of the reason, frankly, was that I encountered your avatar, smiling, joyful, happy, attractive and welcoming. I don't know what I would have thought if Funk Q's avatar was one of the first things I saw.
Anyway, that is why I listed the things I'd like to see happen in 2009. More images like yours.
Well, thank you for those lovely compliments, Asa - after that you can attack Funky as much as you like. I've just made you my new best friend! ;-)

Oh, and the reason I chose that particular photo was that it was one of the few that doesn't show my double chin. :-(
Surely you meant, OMFSM?
Kristy;
I appreciate your permission, and perhaps I shall.
Go for it! As long as you both wear tight satin shorts, battle it out in a mud pit and let me watch. ;-)
Don't you dare start without the HOB (Horny Old Broad)!
Well call me shallow, funky, but I'm happy to be labelled: "smiling, joyful, happy, attractive and welcoming". :-)
Blackie wrote: I'm dysplorkxic. Don't pick on me.

So, you don't believe in Dog?
funkQ:
OK, we will try an agreement here: I’ll try to understand you, if you will reciprocate.

funkQ wrote:
***”You must be a rather insecure person if you are able to find aggression in my response”.***
I didn’t say that, I said:
***“your avatar seems aggressive, and the flaming middle finger in the face of your fellow atheists I found somewhat off-putting.”***
And you don’t have to demonstrate your lack of aggression by insulting me. If there is one thing I am not, it is “insecure”.

#5.] Remember, atheism is the lack of something, and accept the humility of your deprivation. It is the way."

funkQ:
***”I did find this a rather strange admonition. I tried to say and you obviously didn't (try to) understand me, that many "atheists" don't like the term. I am not an atheist!”***

Interesting that you find #5 to be a “rather strange admonition”. This being an atheist site, I would have assumed that the nature of atheism would have been well discussed by now. One surprising thing I am discovering, as I explore A/N, is how many volumes of verbiage it takes to express something so simple.
Believe me, however, you are easy to understand.

funkQ continues:
***”I have no concept of gods therefore I can't accept the concept of "without gods"***.
An interesting, if empty, rhetorical circle.
Please, indulge me: atheism ain’t even a concept. It is a lack of something. No wonder you don’t want to be called an atheist as you think atheism is a “concept”. Oh yea, and we know how y’all don’t want to be “labeled”.
To “be” is to take responsibility for “being”.
How’s that for a “strange admonition”?

***”What surprises me is the condescending, rather spiritual, tone of this statement.”***
And I was “surprised” by a flaming middle finger in my face. Pardon my insecurity...and now my condescension.
I love the english language, and I don’t want to surrender its beauty, its expressive emotion, or its poetic “tone” to a monopoly by the “spiritual”... KJV or otherwise.

funkQ:
***”I lack nothing.”***
Not even humility?

funkQ:
***”my way is one of reason”***

and back on page 11 of this thread you wrote about "your way":

***”I always try to stick to plain civilty, which means I can ridicule and deride a belief or argument but always have respect for the person.”***

The only problem is that, online, belief and argument are all we know of each other. The "person", here at least, is not knowable. Ridicule and derision are inappropriate everywhere.
funkQ:
***”I did find this a rather strange admonition. I tried to say and you obviously didn't (try to) understand me, that many "atheists" don't like the term. I am not an atheist!”***

Asa Watcher:
Interesting that you find #5 to be a “rather strange admonition”. This being an atheist site, I would have assumed that the nature of atheism would have been well discussed by now.


It has. And quite a few of us here don't like the term atheism at all due to its misuse, abuse and overuse. In addition, we are in full agreement with Sam Harris -

My concern with the use of the term “atheism” is both philosophical and strategic. I’m speaking from a somewhat unusual and perhaps paradoxical position because, while I am now one of the public voices of atheism, I never thought of myself as an atheist before being inducted to speak as one. I didn’t even use the term in The End of Faith, which remains my most substantial criticism of religion. And, as I argued briefly in Letter to a Christian Nation, I think that “atheist” is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don’t need a word for someone who rejects astrology. We simply do not call people “non-astrologers.” All we need are words like “reason” and “evidence” and “common sense” and “bullshit” to put astrologers in their place, and so it could be with religion.

-- The Problem with Atheism

Your problem, I think, is that you are not really grasping that the godless are a rainbow of philosophies. That's what you get when you take the plunge to become a true freethinker - very few of us are alike. Get used to it.
funkQ and felch grogan;
I have thought about and understand your acceptance of Sam Harris’s rejection of the word atheist.

***” And quite a few of us here don't like the term atheism at all due to its misuse, abuse and overuse. In addition, we are in full agreement with Sam Harris -”***

But his rejection has never set right with me.
Back on page 18 (the start of all this) my third hope for 2009 was:

***”3.] Quit arguing about the existence or nonexistence of god. What’s important is understanding the nature of faith.
This does not mean that we should ignore distortions of atheism, but that is difficult, as I have observed some of those same misconceptions expressed by atheists in just this forum.”***

Hey, if atheists transform themselves into “proponents of reason” then reason becomes the target of derision. If we associate our lack of faith with scientific methodology, then science will be attacked (as we clearly see happening now). “Common sense” becomes what the faithful believe it to be, and “evidence” indistinguishable from faith.
To reject the simplicity of atheism is to open the door even wider for more faith-burdened distortions.
I understand the urge to reject the word atheist as long as we allow theists to define it.
And Sam’s astrology metaphor didn’t really work for me, as even theists, for the most part, reject it and everything else not based on faith in a deity.
Otherwise, I enthusiastically agree with Sam, and join his parade to examine faith, which the title of his book rightfully addressed as the real subject.

So, fletch when you diagnose me:
***”Your problem, I think, is that you are not really grasping that the godless are a rainbow of philosophies. That's what you get when you take the plunge to become a true freethinker - very few of us are alike. Get used to it.”***

I’ll point out that I did say back on page 18:

***”The fact that humans don’t organize around what they don’t believe in, opens the door of opportunity for atheists to do “something completely different”.
This site might be an example of the future of atheism and its manifestation.”***

I recognize and acknowledge the rainbow of which I also am a part.

I guess I’m an “old-school” atheist and I really do appreciate, and am stimulated, by your efforts to bring me up to date.

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