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MIMASK's Photo MIMASK Posts: 62
9/11/11 2:53 P

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Great thread! I had an argument with my brother (an Episcopalian, as is the rest of my family) recently about the definition of an Atheist vs. Agnostic. He was insistent that I am an agnostic because I cannot know for sure that there is no god, as I have no proof. I argued that as an Atheist, I "believe" that there is no god, in the same way he as a Christian believes that there is one, even though we scientifically cannot prove 100% either way. (I'm referring to the Dawkin's scale of belief in my argument.) I love this quote from Wikipedia: "About himself, Dawkins continues that 'I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden.'"

As for Humanism, I think it's a way that similar feeling people can come together outside of the construct of religion, but using the structure of a belief (non-belief?) system to work towards mutual goals, such as helping others and saving the planet. Like Christy, I grew up in the bible belt and the one of the things that makes me hella angry is when someone implies that morals only exist in the religiously pious. I help people/animals/snails/inanimate objects because it hurts ME to see someone or something suffer. I don't do it because I think it will get me through the eye of the needle into heaven.

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BRIABRIA43's Photo BRIABRIA43 SparkPoints: (0)
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5/17/11 8:55 A

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that's a great answer. I have 2 tattoos: atheist symbol and the humanism symbol. Human rights, accepting a person for who they are is more important to me than the god they serve or do not serve. Believe what you want to believe-just do it without the dehumanizing of others

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.-
Victor Kiam

I feel that everyone has a right to be insane.-
Madalyn Murray O'Hair



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LADY.ELEA's Photo LADY.ELEA Posts: 74
3/21/11 11:12 A

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Humanism can exist within a religious construct. Atheism can not. I consider myself a Scientist. I believe in what can be measured, qualified, and will hold up to rigorous testing and scrutiny. That being said, I do tend to think that there are several "religious" or "spiritual" occurrences that have a scientific explanation that we simply do not have the tools to explore and test yet. Much in the way that early man attributed a mysticism to the sun because it mysteriously rose and fell each day, we have various events that still fall into the supernatural realm that we may one day be able to explain through science. Science did not invalidate the sun's movement it merely explained the process and brought it from a position of superstitious ignorance into a readily identified occurrence.

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JGARYP's Photo JGARYP Posts: 271
3/15/11 1:14 P

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I think we should add "Possibilian" or "Possibilitarian" to the team name. (I know, too late)
I identify with Possibilianism much more than any other label.

Wikipedia defines Possibilianism as "...a philosophy which rejects both the idiosyncratic claims of traditional theism and the positions of certainty in atheism in favor of a middle, exploratory ground."


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CHRISTY0615 Posts: 64
2/22/11 9:32 A

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I wasn't sure, either, so thanks for posting. This is really a hot button topic for me. I live in the Bible Belt, and encounter a lot of people who seem to assume that someone proclaiming to be christian is better than someone who is not. They also can't understand how someone can be a good person with morals without following the bible.

Anyway, I'm new. Followed a friend here. emoticon

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URLEEC's Photo URLEEC SparkPoints: (0)
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1/23/11 9:55 A

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To me, an atheist is just someone who feels there is no evidence for any god and so they don't believe in any. Atheism is independent of any lifestyle. It just doesn't accept religion and the supernatural.

A humanist is someone who is probably also an atheist but chooses to see humanity as all of us together. A humanist would say that we're all in this together and so let's work together to make this life and this planet the best we can. I think that's a lovely philosophy.
So that's my 2 cents worth,

Ursula emoticon

To have a meaningful life, plant trees under whose shade you will never sit.


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ANN5497's Photo ANN5497 Posts: 1,591
1/19/11 6:33 A

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When people define themselves as humanist or atheist, it can have various meanings, depending on the person who is using the term.

I think you can be a humanist without being a nonbeliever. I don't see how a person could define themselves as a atheist without rejecting all religion.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin


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KRISCHICK's Photo KRISCHICK Posts: 8,470
1/18/11 6:26 A

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Welcome to this team. Unfortunately it's not very active.... maybe we can get it going a little??

Here is a link to the American Humanist Organization.
www.americanhumanist.org/

I would have to classify myself as more of a Humanist myself. Welcome!

Kris

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon

If we all did the things we are capabale of doing we would literally astound ourselves.
Thomas Edison


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LILMAHOGANY's Photo LILMAHOGANY SparkPoints: (0)
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1/18/11 2:06 A

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At first I was unsure of what a Humanist was as it was used for the naming of this group. So I researched it and found that it was the belief basically that people even if they are not religious are good. Though in my studies I didn't find where Humanist do or don't believe in God I assume that they don't. So whats the difference. Also I was excited to learn that I have been a humanist since elementary school an I have just never known it. emoticon

Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, Good afternoon good evening and goodnight
The Truman Show


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