The Brights

Think about your own worldview to decide if it is free of supernatural or mystical deities, forces, and entities. If you decide that you fit the description above, then you are, by definition, a bright!

Members: 629
Latest Activity: Apr 1, 2017

What is a Bright?

* A bright is a person who has a naturalistic worldview
* A bright's worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements
* The ethics and actions of a bright are based on a naturalistic worldview

* We promote the civic understanding and acknowledgment of the naturalistic worldview, which is free of supernatural and mystical elements.
* We gain public recognition that persons who hold such a worldview can bring principled actions to bear on matters of civic importance.
* We educate society toward accepting the full and equitable civic participation of all such individuals.

Daniel Dennett talks about the Brights movement.

"Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have." -Penn Jillette, active Bright of "Penn and Teller" fame

Visit Other Clusters of Brights

Discussion Forum

Demon Possession, the Apostle Paul, and Epilepsy

Started by Mark D. Zima. Last reply by Bill_Hicks_Worshipper Aug 21, 2014. 4 Replies

On my YouTube channel, I am beginning a series of videos exploring the hypothesis that the visions, hyper-religiosity, dramatic religious conversion, and perhaps even hypo-sexuality, of the Apostle…Continue

Tags: hyper-religiosity, epilepsy, hypo-sexuality, religiosity, visions

The Name "Brights"...

Started by MarkFL. Last reply by Reason Being Feb 14, 2012. 92 Replies

By definition I am a bright. However, I hate the name. Why are Brights not naturalists, which is more descriptive, accurate, and less cocky sounding. Where does the term come from and why do people…Continue

The Brights logo is interesting...

Started by Limber Lightfoot. Last reply by House Oct 27, 2011. 21 Replies

Hi All, Am I the only person who recognises the logo for this group as being very similar to the Egyptian Amarna period artistic representations of the sun god, the aten, around 1350BC. …Continue

Is anyone else going to the rally?

Started by Apeman Jim. Last reply by Charles Alexander Zorn Oct 28, 2010. 4 Replies

John Stewart is hosting a rally at the Capital Mall. I think it will be a lot of fun!   Continue

Brights Movement reported in Sacramento local paper.

Started by Davis Jacobson. Last reply by Davis Jacobson Aug 5, 2010. 1 Reply

The Brights Movement was featured in a Sacramento local paper.  There is a ton of good stuff in the article!<b>Feature Story</b> (link)The Bright sideIs atheism going mainstream? One…Continue

Planet Atheism (Blog Posts from Various Atheists)

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Comment Wall


You need to be a member of The Brights to add comments!

Comment by Dawn Meggison on July 24, 2009 at 1:49pm

Happy First Birthday to The Brights!
Comment by Robert Tobin on July 24, 2009 at 1:45pm
Thank you Nerd. This will be a relief from the Biblical Archaeology Forum and it's resident Pain in the Ass who detests Evolution, anyone who questions the bible and who does not believe in the fable of Noah's Flood. He has a strong dislike of Australians too. I am at war with him.
Comment by Rick on July 2, 2009 at 6:35am
Think tank concludes that Sharia courts should not be recognised in Britain

Sharia courts should not be recognised under Britain’s 1996 Arbitration Act, according to a new report from independent think-tank Civitas.

According to Denis MacEoin, author of Sharia Law or ‘One Law For All’?, sharia courts operating in Britain may be handing down rulings that are inappropriate to this country because they are linked to elements in Islamic law that are seriously out of step with trends in Western legislation that derive from the values of the Enlightenment and are inherent in modern codes of human rights. Sharia rulings contain great potential for controversy and may involve acts contrary to UK legal norms and human rights legislation, the report says.

Sharia law is a distillation of rulings that purport to represent the divine diktat in all worldly affairs. It provides injunctions for the conduct of criminal, public and even international law. Marriage and divorce, the custody of children, alimony, sexual impropriety and much else come within its remit. Sharia courts claim authority over the private lives of individuals in a way that is contrary to the British tradition where, as David Green points out in his introduction, ‘in our legal system no punishments can be applied to individuals who fail to live up to religious requirements’.

The fact that so many sharia rulings in Britain relate to cases concerning divorce and custody of children is of particular concern, as women are not equal in sharia law, and sharia contains no specific commitment to the best interests of the child that is fundamental to family law in the UK. Under sharia, a male child belongs to the father after the age of seven, regardless of circumstances. Thus, in October 2008 the House of Lords ruled that sharia was incompatible with human rights when a Lebanese woman sought asylum in the UK because, if she had been sent back to Lebanon, she would have been ordered to hand over her son to a violently abusive husband.

Most reports on sharia courts cite five, working in London, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and Nuneaton. However, in his research for this report, Denis MacEoin has uncovered at least 85, operating largely out of mosques. It is extremely difficult to find out what goes on in these courts, so MacEoin reproduces a range of fatwas issued by popular online fatwa sites, run out of or accessed through mosques in the UK, and in some cases, as was revealed in the earlier Civitas report Music, Chess and Other Sins , even from UK Muslim schools. These online fatwas can give a good indication of the rulings of sharia courts in Britain.

“Among the rulings ... we find some that advise illegal actions and others that transgress human rights standards as they are applied by British courts. Here are some examples: a Muslim woman may not under any circumstances marry a non-Muslim man unless he converts to Islam; such a woman's children will be separated from her until she marries a Muslim man; polygamous marriage (i.e. two to four wives) is considered legal... a husband has conjugal rights over his wife, and she should normally answer his summons to have sex (but she cannot summon him for the same reason); a woman may not stay with her husband if he leaves Islam; non-Muslims may be deprived of their share in an inheritance... a wife has no property rights in the event of divorce... sharia law must override the judgements of British courts; rights of child custody may differ from those in UK law... taking out insurance is prohibited, even if required by law; there is no requirement to register a marriage according to the law of the country... a Muslim lawyer has to act contrary to UK law where it contradicts sharia ... women are restricted in leaving their homes and driving cars... sharia law of legitimacy contradicts the Legitimacy Act 1976; a woman may not leave her home without her husband's consent (which may constitute false imprisonment); legal adoption is forbidden... a woman may not retain custody of her child after seven (for a boy) or nine (for a girl)... fighting the Americans and British is a religious duty; recommendation of severe punishments for homosexuals... a woman cannot marry without the presence (and permission) of a male guardian... an illegitimate child may not inherit from his/her father.”

As the Christian barrister, Neil Addison, explains in his foreword to the Civitas report, those who argue that sharia rulings should be incorporated into the British legal system often confuse mediation with arbitration.

* Mediation leads to an agreement rather than a judgement. It does not rely upon the application of legal rules but aims to find common ground between parties. A mediator cannot impose a mediation decision.
* Arbitration is a trial before a judge with the power to enforce a ruling through the civil courts.

The revelation that sharia rulings or fatwas are being enforced through state courts by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT) has alarmed many, especially as the Arbitration Act, under which this takes place, specifically excludes divorce and childcare cases. These are the very areas in which sharia rulings cause most concern, since, as David Green says, “there is a good deal of intimidation of women in Muslim communities and the genuine consent of women could not be accepted as a reality”. David Green calls for the exclusion of sharia courts from recognition under the Arbitration Act of 1996.

As David Green says in his introduction, equality under the law, regardless of race, gender or religion, is the bedrock of Western civilisation: take it away and you disrupt the whole edifice.

“Under most interpretations of Islam a person who leaves the faith is an apostate who can be put to death. While this threat remains, it cannot be accepted that sharia councils are nothing more than independent arbitrators guided by faith. The reality is that for many Muslims, sharia courts are in practice part of an institutionalised atmosphere of intimidation, backed by the ultimate sanction of a death threat. The underlying problem is that sharia law reflects male-dominated Asian and Arabic cultures. It cannot therefore be accepted as a legally valid basis even for settling private disagreements in a country like ours, where our law embodies the equal legal status of everyone, regardless of race, gender or religion. Our system is based on moral and legal equality or it is nothing. Moreover, further encouragement of sharia law, far from helping integration, will undermine the efforts of British Muslims struggling to evolve a version of Islam consistent with a tolerant and pluralistic society.”

As Denis MacEoin says in his conclusion: “The introduction of sharia law into this country is a recipe for a dichotomous legal system that holds Muslims and non-Muslims to different standards. This is not a matter of eating halal meat or seeking God’s blessing on one’s marriage. It is a challenge to what we believe to be the rights and freedoms of the individual, to our concept of a legal system based on what parliament enacts, and to the right of all of us to live in a society as free as possible from ethnic-religious division or communal claims to superiority and a special status that puts them in some respects above the law to which we are all bound.”

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “We are pleased that Civitas has come to this conclusion – it is one that we have been promoting for some time through our association with the One Law for All campaign. It seems self-evident that women cannot receive justice through sharia law when they start out at such a disadvantage. Our legal system has evolved through a democratic, reasoned process and it is infinitely superior to sharia. We should not permit it to be compromised by the demands of theocrats who wish to entrench discrimination into our legal system.”

What is your view on this?
Comment by MAGNA on May 9, 2009 at 9:28am
Comment by Ian on March 3, 2009 at 8:07am
I like the name 'Bright' and have been using it for some time because it removes some of the knee jerk "kill the atheist" response that you get here in SC. I also use the obverse term in discussions and like the bewildered look on the faces of the funda-mental patients when they ask if I have found the lord and I reply that I'm not superstitious.
Comment by Carlos Antonio Galeano Rios on February 25, 2009 at 11:17am
i think he is too smart to buy the religious crap, but he would never admit that in public...
Comment by Ian Mason on February 25, 2009 at 10:17am
At a guess, I'd say Obama is probably a deist of some sort. But I admit to having absolutly no empirical evidence.
Comment by Ida on February 23, 2009 at 2:44am
Understanding reality for what it is. :D
Comment by Carlos Antonio Galeano Rios on February 17, 2009 at 7:17am
I don't know about getting over the need to be loved... I guess the need to be loved exists, but i just prefer it to be love from something that actually exists..
Comment by Casey Wollberg on February 16, 2009 at 9:30pm
Has anyone ever noticed that "bright" can also describe the feel of everything produced by the organization? And I mean that in a bad way: as in, "That's too bright; it's getting on my nerves." When I read the newsletters I sometimes find myself fending off images of Care Bears. Reality isn't all rainbows and kittens, and there is a dark and gritty side to naturalism that has mainly to do with pragmatism and plain, unafraid honesty. Fear of hostility is for folks who still groom their My Little Ponies. Responsible adults who unabashedly face reality know that hostility is a part of life in a free society. We "Brights" need to get over our need to be loved, and just come right out and say it: "Yeah, that's right: naturalism is more enlightened than your silly superstitions. Get hip."

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