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Hang With Friends

Location: Earth
Members: 870
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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.

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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

punishing doubt (TheraminTrees)

Started by Loren Miller Sep 6. 0 Replies

If you are associated with religion and especially a fundamentalist religion, doubt is intolerable.  Certainty, however it may be achieved or imposed, becomes a necessary element, especially considering the utter dearth of any form of evidence or…Continue

Tags: religion, TheraminTrees, punish, doubt

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

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Joan Denoo Sep 2. 28 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

We Don't Want Your (Atheist) Money! (The Thinking Atheist)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Idaho Spud Sep 2. 17 Replies

I suppose I've heard stories like this before:Conscientious atheist donates money to worthy cause.Worthy cause initially accepts money.Worthy cause discovers source of donation.Worthy cause rejects donation.Swell, eh?  Well Matt Willbourne of…Continue

Tags: American Baptist Churches Association, Murrow Indian Children's Home, The Thinking Atheist, Seth Andrews

The Whole Bible in 30 Seconds (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Randy Hatly Sep 2. 3 Replies

Ever decide that you wanted to read the whole bible, cover to cover, only to realize half-way through Deuteronomy that the darn thing is industrial-strength BORING?!?  Well, never fear!  America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers, has done the Cliff's…Continue

Tags: bible, America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

Are You a Patriot? (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Chris G Aug 29. 22 Replies

You might think that Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, would be stepping outside of her comfort zone in tackling the concept of patriotism.  As it turns out, not only does she have a proper handle on the term and its implications, she also…Continue

Tags: patriot, America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

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Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 5:23pm

 Sidney M. Gonzalez, I agree wholeheartedly with your statement, 

"I do not believe that science alone can give purpose and direction for human life."

There is no quarrel there at all. People find a sense of meaning, purpose and direction many ways. If someone believes some power gives them direction, that is perfectly OK with me. Just don't impose it on me, or judge me by those lights. I am pretty good at rejecting such impositions. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 5:20pm
Melinda, Isn't it fun to be with people you don't have to self-monitor in order to have a good conversation. Good for you.
Please define "hump-day". I have not heard it before.
Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 5:11pm

Melinda, Can you imagine, a grown up adult has many options. 

1. Follow the teaching of a Bronze Age, desert goat herder; 

2. Look at the evidence: 7,113,921,600+ humans alive on the planet and quickly running out of food growing capacity; 

3. Consider getting tubes tied and a vasectomy.

Our response to them: 

I think it would be perfectly appropriate to hold them accountable for overpopulating the Earth. They should be ashamed of themselves.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 3:38pm
Patricia, that is the best video I have seen in a very long time. If lower animals can do it, so can Homo sapiens.
Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 3:35pm

"Patricia, Brian Cox on his days as a rocker...... http://youtu.be/buL6ATRHFqk?

Thanks Patricia. Oh this is hilarious, "Rock-star physicist" Brian Cox works on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, looking for the Higgs Boson, and he can't find a red car in a parking lot at Disney Land. I suppose that story trails him wherever he goes. 

Now, can you find any of his music?

I like the idea of music and science being very closely related. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 3:26pm

Sidney M. Gonzalez, a fair and good question and one I happily address. 

"why should anyone care about other people’s illusions?"

I don't care or have any interest in what others believe. However, when people or institutions express disagreement, I have the responsibility and opportunity to express my thinking, and do so without hesitation. When their beliefs intrude upon mine, when they want to bring their beliefs into public education or into marriage laws, or into family planning laws, I will not only challenge them, I do so with every bit of thought and action I can muster. I was not born to follow other's ideas, it is my responsibility to think through issues and arrive at conclusions I am willing and able to defend. I have paid a heavy price for my independent thought; It was worth it. 

"And what method does Dennett use to determine that complete strangers, people he, you and me, don’t know have dedicated their lives to an illusion;"

Dennett used his ability to think, reason, compare, contrast, discuss, and all the other critical thinking tools he, and everyone has. It is his responsibility to speak his truth; whether others agree or disagree is up to him to think about and arrive at his conclusions. If Dennett observed a person putting filthy, dirty hands into a wound, would he not be obligated to intervene?

"an illusion about what?"

There are so many delusions we encounter in life: the young Earth, a personal god who answers prayers, virgin birth, god, angels, resurrection, sun standing still in the heavens, a man created from dust and woman created from a rib, to start populating the world, a flood where everything died except what was on a boat, god giving tablets to some sheep herder on a barren desert mountain, god parting the seas. Oh, I am getting tired and I haven't even started on Buddha yet. 

Let's just cut to the chase. We live on an incredibly beautiful Earth that exists because of natural forces beyond our control. Human beings now have the power of destroying all this vast life as we know it. Human will probably not survive, and sharks and cockroaches  have already survived five known extinctions. 

Human beings continue to use power-over instead of power-with, to our detriment. We are no better than the eagle catching a rabbit or a snake eating a rat. We continue to act like humans are made only of claw-and-beak power, instead of realizing we have a frontal lobe in our brain that means only 1% different than the DNA of our closest primate in the super family Hominoides, Apes. That one% should be recognized as being capable of moving beyond apes into a whole new realm. Instead, we dead-end at Hominoides, Apes. There will have to be more evolution in the Homo sapiens sapiens family if we are to  see the end of Obama-GW Bush-Clinton-GHW Bush, Reagon and other war mongers. 

We have a gift given to us without any intervention on our part. It is our responsibility to take care of it or lose it. 

"why should anyone care about other people’s illusions?"

That is why!

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 2:51pm
It appears my favorite physicist, Brian Cox, plays or played keyboard in Labour's favourite band, D:Ream. I Googled those names and find nothing. Anyone from here know how to listen to Brian on keyboard?
By the way, I encourage you to watch his "Wonders of Life series. He acknowledges the role religion played in history and how it is necessary and positive to replace the information part with science. I doubt he would deny people the comfort they receive from prayer and belief in god, but quite frankly, I don't know how a scientist can be a believer in delusions. He does not.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqJxOWzr88Q&feature=share&li...
Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 2:34pm

Carl, you go in the direction of thought that works for me:

"but studies show that people who are more educated, monetarily viable, and less religious have less children.  It also helps if you don't have government trying to shut down women's health care clinics and denying access to birth control, as is the case in the US A particularly strong effort for birth control needs to take place in poorer communities and in 'third world' countries. "

Education is definitely part of the answer and the challenge is to find ways that do not dictate. You are correct about keeping open and safe all women's health care clinics and promoting family planning. 

Freethinkers, like herding cats, may not work, however, there may be an answer through promotion of critical thinking as a societal good. 

When I was in China, Chinese women wanted family planning and they have a very good contraception program ... short of killing live births, which they do. That goes too far for my value system. Women want family planning and men want sex. Now, how do we resolve that dilemma? 

Comment by Ian Mason on May 1, 2013 at 2:26pm

Agreed, Chris. The tendency in Denmark is that the children/grandchildren of immigrants (the majority from Turkey) are becoming intergrated in lifestyle and only nominally muslim.

Large families are mostly the result of high infant mortality and no reliable pensions or social security for the vast majority. As societies develop, numbers become more stable.

Immigration/emmigration: seen the news from Bangladesh? Do you wonder people want to get out? How far would YOU go to improve your family's  life?

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 1, 2013 at 2:26pm

Chris, I like your option. I wonder if there are other things we can do? Maybe educate people of the role of nature's processes to create a healthy culture. I don't like mono-cultures either, but I don't like breeding colonies, whether Christian, Muslim or whaever. Educating parents to question authority ... ops that smells of fascism. Well, I'll have to think about this one. 

 

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