Science, not Re: [FoRK] Brownback defines science

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at> on Sat Jun 2 10:51:14 PDT 2007

Whew, what a messy thread.  It seems that lack of specific context signals, i.e.
one of our previous threads about non-religious leaders and "marketing" atheism
(or rather the viability of the option of personally avoiding religion),
confused the message.  A certain style of writing (and thinking?) certainly
seems to be off putting in our little society, even when the core ideas are
points we would like to discuss.

Atheists don't need leaders.  Atheists don't need anyone.  Apparently, some take
offense to that or consider it crazy or something.  That wasn't the main points
that I think were being referred to: it was that

a) since religious-based leaders were unpalatable and sometimes downright
offensive and scary to atheists that perhaps some atheists / secularists should
strategize on actions to improve the viability of an atheist and/or secularist
candidate / leader for elected offices.

b) since atheists, especially fully enlightened superrational humanistic
atheists, are happy as they could imagine with their beliefs and philosophy of
life and since religious people are variously tormented and often ineffective at
living and being well, perhaps it is a worthy pursuit to consider ways of
sharing the enlightened viewpoint that would compete more favorably with
apparently less enlightened dogma.  I.e.: meme-war!

I think both of these are valid points and discussion articles, and I helped
propose both of them weeks ago.  Perhaps we can focus on these or other
similarly proposed contexts.  Tom, below, doesn't want to be a "used car
salesman".  I suppose that I can see that a general principle of "help other
people" can translate into proselytizing my viewpoint, which I have worked to
validate and refine, as much as religious people feel they are "saving" people
when they proselytize.  It's rare that I have actually given my full viewpoint
to anyone, mostly out of deference to other's sensitive and fragile views.  Part
of the point of these threads is to question that politeness and come to new
rules of engagement that are constructive and no longer codependent or contributory.

> Tom Higgins wrote:
> On 6/1/07, Lion Kimbro <lionkimbro at> wrote:
>>     "How do we **INSPIRE?**"
> here we go again, Lions need to be a Charismatic Leader or a follower of one.
> How to deeds and actions, by not being
> dishonest in your thoughts and deeds such that you come off sounding
> like an asshole used car salesman.
Dishonesty is definitely out.  I think this refers to couching rationalism et al
in ways that try to reuse the irrational frameworks and mantels that exist.
That's probably a bad strategy, but it has worked to some extent in the past.  I
always thought that Yoga was a good example.  Maybe Scientology is a bad example.

> I do not need your used cars Lion and I do not wish to become an
> asshole used car salesman...further I think it could well be the case
> used cars are not the want of many folks and pushing them into buying
> one would be DISHONEST.
A salesman is only dishonest if he doesn't believe what he is saying and in what
he is selling.  I dislike sales generally because it often ventures close to or
into this territory.  On the other hand, I "sell" friends on my favorite gadgets
all the time.  Selling your viewpoint isn't dishonest unless you know that your
viewpoint is wrong and/or twisted for illicit benefit.  That's probably why many
of us have intense dislike of televangelists, et al.

> 8 fold, 4 to the it??
> -tomhiggins 


Lion Kimbro wrote:
> On 6/1/07, Jeff Bone <jbone at> wrote:
>> On Jun 1, 2007, at 9:38 PM, Lion Kimbro wrote:
>> > As far as I can see, you and Jeff are just seeing the words
>> >  "leader" and "atheist" together, and that's pushed your hot-button--
>> >  "Oh! I know the answer to this one!"
>> How do you lead a non-movement centering around a lack of belief in
>> something?
>  My point is, -- I never **once** said the slightest thing about how
>  atheists need leaders and organizations for their communities!
>  Not one time!
>  You and Tom are just in automatic replay!
>  I was talking about presidents..!
>  I was talking about-- how the population at large wants presidents
>  with faith.  And I was commenting on that, and how-- if you *wanted*
>  a leader-- a president-- who was an atheist-- ...
>  You know, shedding light on how and why of why people don't
>  like or trust atheists.  You guys honestly can't see this?
>  You guys *still* think I talk about how "atheists need leaders," and how
>  "atheists need to form an organization?"
>  Nutters!
>  The both of you!
>  I wish I could call you "intellectually dishonest," or whatever
>  insults Tom lobs when he freaks out, but I can't supress the
>  knowledge that you two are just posting at the seat of your pants,
>  not really paying any attention at all.
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