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Hang With Friends

Location: Earth
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Come on in, pull up a chair!

Picture yourself spending some time with congenial friends, sharing your lives and pictures from your cell phones." They're curious about that cool game, song, movie, camping trip, art show, or other event that fascinated you. You talk about all kinds of stuff, poetry, styles, personal achievements, relationships, and bad days. You can share your inner child, and laugh together. They sympathetically listen to your feelings about serious topics like politics or climate change, even when they don't agree.

Personal validation comes from paying attention to one another, giving more than you get. Everyone respects you and themselves, despite our amazing range of personal tastes and interests. They'll tell you they don't agree with an idea or behavior without implying you're a bad person or somehow deficient. It's an "I'm OK, You're OK" kind of fellowship, where nobody tries to make himself look better by picking on somebody else.

Nobody here is into mind games. A discussion started with a loaded guilt-throwing question will be deleted.

This group is not intended to compete with other groups on topics they cover but to "fill in the cracks." Whenever a discussion dwells at length on a topic for which there's an existing group, we urge you to provide members a link to that group to continue along their tangent.

A comment is a shout-out, which will get lost in a few days, because the comment wall is just a random stack.

Please start a discussion to share stories, photos, and videos. Replies will pop up in your "latest activity" and a conversation can develop from the feelings and thoughts you contributed. Groups are built on discussions.

Discussion Forum

The Most Hated Woman in America (The Thinking Atheist)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Gary S Apr 19. 7 Replies

Before Aron Ra and Matt Dillahunty, before Dawkins or Dennett or Harris or even Hitchens, there was Madalyn Murray O'Hair.  In the midst of an America where Christianity was being flaunted as a defense against the godless communists of the Soviet…Continue

Tags: Frank Zindler, The Thinking Atheist, Seth Andrews, Madalyn Murray O'Hair

Proud Dad is REALLY Proud Now!

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Todd Williams Apr 12. 16 Replies

As some of you may or may not know, my daughter is a television news producer, currently working in Nashville, Tennessee.  Her assignment is the morning news, which means she blasts herself up at umpti-ump in the morning to organize and prepare a…Continue

Tags: Emmy, news, television, daughter, dad

attacking ideas (TheraminTrees)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Grinning Cat Apr 4. 1 Reply

Attacking ideas is a considerable portion of what we as atheists do.  Why attack ideas?  Ideas earn attack when they don't serve people, not just us but those who adopt said ideas, mistakenly thinking that they have value when they don't.  Our…Continue

Tags: ideas, Islam, TheraminTrees

bending truth, or "We Can All Be Manipulated" (TheraminTrees)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Grinning Cat Apr 4. 40 Replies

The following is one of TheraminTrees' most thorough-going pieces, wherein he looks at the process and techniques whereby a "religious" organization (which will sound VERY familiar to most of us, once introductions are made!) takes a person who…Continue

Tags: indoctrination, truth, manipulation, TheraminTrees

The Playboy Interview: Richard Dawkins

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Mar 28. 16 Replies

I suppose it was the news that Playboy magazine was returning nudes to its pages after a year's hiatus that sufficiently perked my curiosity to check them out again.  I hadn't looked at Playboy since perhaps 2008, when I began to recognize that I…Continue

Tags: Richard Dawkins, Playboy

God's Annual Performance Review (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Mar 19. 6 Replies

I don't know about you guys, but there wasn't a performance review I had in 30 years of field service that I didn't LOATHE.  It seems as though Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, is up for turning the tables on the person you would expect would…Continue

Tags: review, performance, god, American's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

Comment Wall

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Comment by Sarah Walton on April 10, 2012 at 6:52pm

What about the feeling one gets when  experiencing something uncanny or strange? That feeling of being so weirded out you're not sure how to react? And I mean, really weirded out.

I'll give you two examples. Once, when I was about 5, I saw an opossum on a neighbours' back patio. They are not native to the region I grew up in, and he was likely an escaped pet. I had never seen an opossum before, and it was like seeing a freaking unicorn. It was so bizarre, and I'll never forget how weird that felt. This must be how people feel when they think they've seen Bigfoot.
 

The second time, I was 12, star gazing with my family at my aunt and uncle's house and we saw a UFO. No really--it was flying, it was in the sky, I didn't know what the heck it was. Now I know I probably some sort of US stealth or flying wing aircraft, but at the time I was unfamiliar with them. Mix in the fact that it was night, flying very high and UFO themes were popular on TV at the time, and well, there's yer problem. ;)

I'd sort of like to be able to have that experience again. I see things that confuse and astound me, but I haven't been put in my place by weirdness in a long time.

Comment by Paula T. on April 10, 2012 at 6:10pm
I like watching clips of the Atheist Experience on YouTube. In one particular clip, the caller explains how good she felt after going to church, listening to hymns, hearing the sermons, etc. The host asked her if she ever felt chills while listening to anything else...any type of secular experience and she replied that yes, she had. He explained it just as Ruth did - the mind plays tricks on us and what we may feel is the "holy spirit" is just an emotional and physiological response. I just wish more people would see the connection - there is nothing spiritual or supernatural about these feelings.

I really wonder what goes on in one's life to be so indoctrinated to truly feel they have a 'personal' relationship with god or that he talks to them. As they say, when one hears voices, they should go see a psychiatrist...not go to church...
Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 10, 2012 at 3:48pm

"today's Fresh Air story"

I heard this too (my car is NPR -24/7), brief critique: crock o' shit.

Comment by Natalie A Sera on April 10, 2012 at 3:10pm

I once had an experience at a jujitsu class where the instructor darkened the room and put on a subliminal tape. I literally went under -- my arms and legs started to gyrate without any conscious control on my part, and I fell into a golden place of ineffable joy. It was so beautiful that when the instructor stopped the tape and flashed on the lights, I started to bawl out of control, and it lasted for about half an hour. Needless to say, everyone else in the room was shocked, and tried to comfort me, but I couldn't stop crying.

I can see where people who have that kind of experience could think it was supernatural, and some of the people in the room tried to convince me it was a death-like experience (I won't know about that until I die), but I see no reason that it couldn't have come from brain chemicals crossing synapses in just the right way to create the experience. I think spirituality is what people make of it -- I'm SURE that some people would have interpreted it as a message from god, or the experience of nirvana or some such, but I'm pretty sure it was a physical phenomenon. I've never been able to recreate it, and it WAS beautiful, but I just think my brain simply happened to be stimulated in the right way to cause it. I DO wish I could do it again! :-)

Comment by sk8eycat on April 10, 2012 at 2:58pm

Similar sensations:

1. When I was a teen at Sunday evening candlelight services; lots of quiet music, low lights, silent prayers.  I did feel something, thought it was god, but I never "heard" any words.

2. Age 19 - took a course in hypnotism as part of a PR deal when I was on the road with HOI.  The teacher gave the class a post-hypnotic suggestion that we would do the best show we ever had that night, and feel wonderful.  I did (I don't know about the others), and I also realized that I was having the same "uplifting" feelings that I used to have at those Sunday evening services.

3. 2 years ago - having an MRI of my neck...same "floating" feeling after a while.  (Much better than a drink or two!)

We still don't know a great deal about how the brain works, but I have read that meditation/prayer and experiments with magnetic fields can create the same bio-chemical effect...or electro-chemical.  I don't know which.  (I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree.)

And when I'm in that twilight place between sleeping and waking, I sometimes hear my mother quietly say my name.  Mom died in 1993.

I know my own miind created those "experiences."  Except maybe the MRI.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on April 10, 2012 at 2:16pm

Thanks for the post, Simone. It's an interesting study, albeit biased toward theism. Human beings have very flexible minds. I was always fascinated by accounts of how we failed to distinguish inner voices from outer (real) voices before widespread print literacy. For example Michael Foucault's describes how we once organized reality very differently in The Archaeology of Knowledge. Most people don't realize that reality as we perceive it is largely organized culturally at a deep level prior to perception. As I see it, our collective grasp of reason and subjective vs objective is more fragile than "common sense" admits.

Comment by Simone Rosa on April 10, 2012 at 12:03am

Talk about an imaginary invisible friend!  I almost ran off the road when I heard today's Fresh Air story - http://www.npr.org/2012/03/26/149394987/when-god-talks-back-to-the-...

 

Comment by Pamela on April 8, 2012 at 10:12am

Happy Zombie Jesus Day to you too Chris.  Careful now....he wants your brain!!!

Comment by Chris Dodds on April 8, 2012 at 9:19am

HAPPY ZOMBIE JESUS DAY! 

Comment by Steph S. on April 7, 2012 at 6:49pm
Condolences Patricia. My thoughts are with you.
 

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