Some problems I'm having with some of the groups here

I know that atheists aren't immune to groupthink, but I mean come on people!

I'm seeing discussions pop up in groups like "pro-choice atheists" and then think to myself: 'how productive can these discussions possibly be?

The trend continues with feminist groups and discussions by established members catering to biases.


Come now! I spend all day fighting christian groupthink and come back to see it exhibited here!! This is supposed to be my release from closed mindedness!


I agree with pro-choice. I agree with feminism (at least the concept. applications debated). But segregating ourselves from opposite opinions and having discussions about the 'effectiveness of our opinion' is WRONG (willing to debate that =P)!!!

The reason that I come here to A/N is to enjoy free thought discussions and bring any group knowledge (not from debating, more factual stuff) to other places. If you consult the same opinion, you will always be right. This isn't how we learn. It isn't how we make ourselves well-rounded persuaders.

Go ahead and make your groups. Share your information with each other and rejoice in your group's opinion. Don't discuss your opinion here though!

Make another group (discussions on feminism? Discussions on pro-choice?) that invites opposite opinions and take your group's knowledge here and anything you learn back. This is the way openmindedness works. This is the way progress works.

Sorry if this is overly critical or anything. I'm feeling rather discouraged seeing after some of these same tendencies from my debates with theists. Nobody's perfect of course. I just thought I should get the thought out there.

Anybody like to contest my opinion?

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Comment by Johnny on December 17, 2009 at 10:42am
aw, well said skepticat. I second that. That's why I try to NEVER judge a book by its cover. All that humans who follow the illusion of free will try to do is look at the face value and say "troll," "jerk," "extremist."
As a determinist, I know that if I were to talk to anyone willing, find out what makes them tick, and see why they are what they are, there is something sad or precious that was lost in all of their pasts that made them the way they are.
Jaqu was pretty mad at my freethought stuff at first and extended the olive branch after we agreed on some key issues. We've talked a bit and she is by no means the "wolf" that everyone she may offend might like to paint her as. That's another lesson in group think: blame. I like how this came up. Thanks Skepticat =)
Comment by Johnny on December 17, 2009 at 10:34am
Why don't you do that, since this issue seems so important to you.

perhaps I will but I thought it might be more appropriate if Nerd or another popular feminist might do it and ditto for the other groups like vegans. I know plenty view me as biased and I don't want their preconcieved notions of my thought experiments to make them stay away. Plus, the insiders start all the good discussions. I just like to join in once thoughts are made and try to pick at them a bit. I like the Socratic method so I like to pick at things to test if I should trust them or not. It wouldnt really feel like the group was mine. It is meant also to be for the group thinkers (two words) too. Obviously it is another area of openminded thoughts to share their ideas.

It has been repeatedly pointed out to you, Johnny, that not all feminists think alike, and that there are different schools of thought.

Yes, yes. I know. I use the term loosely and obviously (or maybe not? o.O) don't think that the examples I talk about at times apply to all, most, or even half of feminists. When I say feminists it just means the ones im talking about. Just too lazy to clarify that usually.

oh and by here I think I meant there. Of course people are entitled to stay in their turtle shell if they want to, but I was just making a suggestion and hoped that some of them would stop. No harm in an opinion if nobody wants to heed it.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on December 17, 2009 at 9:50am
Awww... Skepticcat... domesticated sheep weren't bred for smarts.
Comment by Nate on December 17, 2009 at 8:48am
So Jacqueline left. I guess I didn't realize this, but she threatened this a few times. I guess I don't really care one way or another.

If you can't take the heat... :^)


She didn't just leave. She produced a rant that condemns all of maledom on A|N, ignoring the empathy and patience she was shown here by many.
Comment by Edward Teach on December 17, 2009 at 8:45am
gravitating more to the crusty old dogs at the end of the bar... That is until one says something about voting for Palin

Same here... I'm actually a lot more tolerant of neo cons and religicons at the end of the bar than I used to be. I kind of smile inside and see them as little kids who "don't know no better."

I'm sure I have that aversion to being labeled too. I agree with the liberals on about 75% of the issues, but still do not consider myself a liberal
Comment by Little Name Atheist on December 17, 2009 at 8:43am
I think the point I was trying to make and now that I've had my nightly 5 hrs of sleep, is that people are coming to A/N all with their own expectations of what it should be.

Here here, Bill S., here here. Or maybe that should be... hear hear. Possibly see see.

I'm going to copy-and-paste from the site home page: The World's Largest Social Networking Site Exclusively For Nontheists!

Anyone who has listened to Brother Richard will know that one of his priorities is building non-theist community. That's why I'm here. Before I came to the Nexus, I knew two other atheists in my state. Now I know of a Meet-up group, as well as the 20 + or - people in my state group here. People in my state are in the initial stages of community organizing for non-theists, and a lot of that has to do with Atheist Nexus being here, and being a tool/community for social networking.

Bill S wrote: "Some think it should be purely Atheist agenda driven with no other purpose, but you know what? I find that boring. (Or maybe tiresome is a better word.) Like people who constantly dwell on a certain band, or tv show or entertainment franchise with no other focus to their lives at all. You know trekkies. (I was a Deadhead back in the day, but I woke up proving you can overcome a too narrow focus...)"

Those who think that the Nexus is only here (or should be) for a purely atheist agenda are certainly welcome here, and they are certainly welcome to create their own group where they discuss how the Nexus should be only for the discussion of atheism. They can also write about it in their journal, and start a discussion about it in the forum. I'm generally going to ignore most of those discussions, as exclusively discussing atheism is not the reason I'm here. Also, it's not the reason for the site. That is a fact.

Good point, Rusty H.

Johnny wrote: Go ahead and make your groups. Share your information with each other and rejoice in your group's opinion. Don't discuss your opinion here though!

Where should people not be discussing their opinion? Did you mean in this journal post? Your original post is not clear on that point.

It has been repeatedly pointed out to you, Johnny, that not all feminists think alike, and that there are different schools of thought. You keep ignoring that. You seem to be unaware of your own bias. Also, if you actually paid attention to what goes on in a lot of groups, you'd see that people don't always agree.

Johnny wrote: Make another group (discussions on feminism? Discussions on pro-choice?) that invites opposite opinions and take your group's knowledge here and anything you learn back

Why don't you do that, since this issue seems so important to you.
Comment by Edward Teach on December 17, 2009 at 7:33am
my nontheism is not who I am only a facet of it

I like that. Also, I think free thinkers have always had some difficulty organizing for just that reason.

I bet there is a negative correlation between level of critical thinking and the number of groups into which one fits. The lower the level of critical thinking, the more likely one would comform to group think and "fit" into more groups.

Like your deadhead analogy, when I was young I fit well with liberals and hippies and new agers. But I find myself "fitting" in fewer and fewer groups at this stage of the game...
Comment by Edward Teach on December 17, 2009 at 7:23am
that's the main theist argument i ever hear

Good point, but don't we sort of do the same thing as A/N members? Our starting place for discussions here is that we have come to similar conclusions about religion. A discussion about whether or not the Bible is the word of god wouldn't happen here, because our starting place excludes such discussion.

Maybe groups like "Vegan Atheists" operate in the same way. Their starting place is that they have come to similar conclusions about religion AND diet. So, a discussion of which meat is healthiest wouldn't happen there, because their starting place would exculde such a discussion.
Comment by Johnny on December 17, 2009 at 12:18am
well... i can't say im extremely bitter towards anyone because i don't believe in choice or fault, but I'm trying to spread some awareness about some of the things im seeing and try to get people to open their minds a bit and 'discuss with' rather than 'talk at.'

I guessed right that my examples might set some people off, which is rather sad, but maybe someday Jacq and others will realize that thought experiments and 'not ruling out another opinion that you disagree with at face value' is very valuable to the progress of ethics and society.

I hope we can avoid some of these bitter feelings in the future. I'll give it awhile and maybe try to bring it up again.
Comment by Glenn Sogge on December 17, 2009 at 12:10am
Bill_S: I think, unfortunately, that part of your characterization has nothing to do with nontheism but the dynamics of groups of people interacting, especially if they are passionate about something. (Thanks, Nerd, for pointing this out to me elsewhere.)

You know be free of the bullshit. A safe place to openly voice an opinion with out having someone trying to ram it back to your keyboard practically before you finish typing.

I've run into degrees of this in a couple of the places I spend (or in some cases, use to spend) my time.

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