Hang With Friends

Location: Earth
Members: 884
Latest Activity: 21 hours ago

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

11 "unanswerable" questions for atheists - answered (Aron Ra)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Jun 6. 1 Reply

If you spend any time around YouTube and have any history of looking at atheist material (or even theist material!), you will inevitably run into: "XX Questions Atheists Can't Answer."  These are occasionally followed by: "XX Questions Atheists…Continue

Tags: apologist, answer, questions, unanswerable, Aron Ra

worshipping narcissists (qualiasoup & theramintrees)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Idaho Spud Jun 3. 1 Reply

They're all around us: people who perceive the world as revolving around them and will go to considerable lengths to make it so: narcissists.  Such beings have been with humanity, I suspect, since humanity emerged from the gene pool.  Even worse,…Continue

Tags: narcissist, QualiaSoup, TheraminTrees

Secular and Reclaimed Winter Holiday Songs

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat May 2. 42 Replies

This is an appropriate day of the year for this subject...What are some of your favorite winter holiday songs?It would be especially good to share powerful new secular lyrics to tunes that have become associated with Christmas.…Continue

Tags: singing, lyrics, reclaimed, reclaiming, HumanLight

appropriating morality (TheraminTrees)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Joan Denoo May 1. 7 Replies

We've all heard the claim: "Human morality comes from god."  And we've all seen for ourselves what Yahweh's "morality" looks like, from condemnations of homosexuality and the treatment of women as chattel to inexplicable sanctions against the eating…Continue

Tags: morality, appropriating, TheraminTrees

Bible Belt Atheist (New York Times)

Started by Loren Miller Apr 19. 0 Replies

The following showed up in my YouTube feed this morning, and I decided to have a look.  Turns out, the New York Times has given us a reasonably even-handed look at a good friend of ours, being one Jerry DeWitt, former bible-thumper and now a pretty…Continue

Tags: Bible Belt, atheist, Jerry DeWitt

How would you respond?

Started by Christina Scribner. Last reply by Christina Scribner Apr 10. 5 Replies

So, this morning, I was at my local coffee shop as I am most weekdays between bus runs. I do the editing on my husband's books so I had my laptop with me. My wallpaper is a picture I found online sometime back of a double helix with the word atheist…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2017 at 12:37pm

Spud, thanks for this information. Now I understand Chris' question about botany.

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 14, 2017 at 12:16pm

Randy, I hope you don't mind me quoting you:  "I'm looking forward to seeing greenery in parks, gardens, fields, etc., while in China. Most of my "free time" will be spent walking through parks."

Comment by Idaho Spud on November 14, 2017 at 11:56am

I remember Randy saying something about wanting to see gardens in China.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2017 at 11:50am

I don't understand Chris' botany question either. I saw no reference to it in your preparation to go to China nor in your reports of China. 

Thanks for your comments about China's right of Eminent domain. An interesting difference of perspective which may explain some of the confusion we westerners have about China's culture.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 14, 2017 at 7:06am

I don't mind the questions and comments (Joan and Chris). I'm happy to share my experiences.

The "botany" part (Chris), I don't understand. Like I said, I would have liked to see more of rural China, but so be it. The temples, etc., were part of the package--just a wee bit too much for my atheistic taste. I refrained from taking tons of photos of religious places and things.

And to Thomas, I sorta forget what that middle picture was. Sorry. 

Joan, some peanuts, watermelon served commonly as dessert. And I read "The Ugly American" years and years ago. From what I could tell, Chinese people really admire and want to copy American culture. And I think black is their favorite color!

A few words and photos regarding "relocation" due to new buildings and the 3 Gorges Dam project.

World view of the Chinese government running roughshod over the people in order to modernize, etc., was negative. Eminent domain is a priority over there. But, it works. The people are heavily compensated for being forced to move. New homes/apartments are built and lots of money is given to those relocated. They grumbled at first, but now seem happy with their lives much improved. Below is a photo of a 60 yr old grandmother who we "interviewed" about her life then and now.

I've also added a photo or two showing "new" cities (within the last 20 years). The last photo is of Shanghai (not "relocated")

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2017 at 10:46pm

Randy, I am truly sorry if I am pushy about hearing of your experiences in China. I would love to sit down and have a face to face conversation and compare notes. It seems China has changed a great deal since the early 1980s. I am sad to think you didn't see the surprise and excitement the Chinese of my time had; on the other hand, perhaps seeing "round-eyed, fair-skinned people may be common everyday events for them. I hope the "Rude American did not change their happy welcome. 

By the way, I hope you read "The Ugly American;" it is a reminder of our historical legacy of American pompousness, ineptitude, and unscrupulousness in Southeast Asia. Not a very honorable image to carry. 

I have another question, we had peanuts served at every meal, did you? 

And one more, I was in China in late summer and the streets were piled high with watermelon rinds. Trucks hauled the rinds away and yet the piles kept growing. It was an amazing sight. Did you see such a events?  

Comment by The Flying Atheist on November 13, 2017 at 8:22pm

I like your photos, Randy.  Thanks for sharing.  I can imagine that seeing temple after temple could become boring, if not irritating.  But I hope you had positive experiences with the people and the culture.  How's your cold doing?

Comment by Chris on November 13, 2017 at 8:10pm

Sorry If I'm picking on you Randall Smith.

Was the oblective of xploring of China botany?

The tour you took sound inappropriate for you goals.  It sounds as though you took a tour of  "exploring eastern religions" 

I don't thing Asians are anti-religious in an European dominance way.  It's a different phylosophy.   Perhaps if you continue your studies you will find methods of botany that may enlighten you.

Sorry, If I'm making too many assumptions.

Comment by Thomas Murray on November 13, 2017 at 2:58pm


The middle pix of the shrine with a mannequin (?) or mummy (?), is that the 14th Dalai Lama?

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2017 at 8:28am

Regarding the posted photos: The first is a "monk student" I met when I was roaming the streets of Beijing. Nice young man.

The last photo is in a Buddhist temple with a guide on the right (a modern Buddhist) and two curious native Tibetians wondering what the heck the guide was talking about. 

The middle photo is of just another alter. 


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