Author Topic: Hello everyone!  (Read 983 times)

Hello everyone!
« on: December 19, 2017, 11:38:12 PM »
What's up guys! New here. I'm an atheist who enjoys chatting and learning from others. Hope to get engaged in some good discussions here.

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 01:24:38 AM »
Hello and welcome, BB-8. Why don't you tell us a little more about yourself? How did you become an atheist, or were you never a theist? What are you hobbies/interests?
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Offline Baruch

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 01:33:30 AM »
Welcome also.
שלום

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 02:35:08 AM »
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Hello and welcome, BB-8. Why don't you tell us a little more about yourself? How did you become an atheist, or were you never a theist? What are you hobbies/interests?
I did used to be a theist. I was born and raised in the rural South, and grew up Christian. My conversion story isn't all that interesting or spectacular. It just kind of happened overnight. Became aware of atheism, watched some vids on youtube, found myself convinced by the arguments the atheists were giving, and the dawning of a new awakening fell upon me. It was just a quick and sudden realization for me. Like someone turned on the light.

As for hobbies and interests, I'd rather not say. Trying to be as anonymous as possible.

Offline Mr.Obvious

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 02:48:50 AM »
Well, mystery person, Welcome to our little band of heathens.
"Intention is no matter. Only consequence has true form."
- Spencer Porkensenson

Offline Baruch

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 06:10:33 AM »
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I did used to be a theist. I was born and raised in the rural South, and grew up Christian. My conversion story isn't all that interesting or spectacular. It just kind of happened overnight. Became aware of atheism, watched some vids on youtube, found myself convinced by the arguments the atheists were giving, and the dawning of a new awakening fell upon me. It was just a quick and sudden realization for me. Like someone turned on the light.

As for hobbies and interests, I'd rather not say. Trying to be as anonymous as possible.

There are several like you here, who have experience with the South.
שלום

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2017, 11:27:22 AM »
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There are several like you here, who have experience with the South.
I know what you mean. However, I will say that I'm very careful with what I say regarding the South. I may have rejected the worst parts of its culture, but I still love the South and Southern culture for the most part. I'm a country boy at heart. Even though I've grown to reject some key aspects of Southern culture, I still do hold some views and values that could be considered "Southern". For example, I'm more conservative politically (more towards a libertarian bent). I also hunt and fish avidly. I get why many people have problems with the South, but I'm very reluctant to join them in bashing/shaming the South. I was born and raised here, and have lived at the nexus of it all my life. I know the people and the culture better than just about anyone. Many of the things city people and northern people say/think about the South is just as ignorant and ill-informed as they claim the South is. Not everyone here is a racist, primitive, uneducated bigot. There is also plenty of diversity here. Our hospitality and friendliness is second to none. Sure, we've got some hurdles to overcome, but so does every other culture. 

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 11:50:03 AM »
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I know what you mean. However, I will say that I'm very careful with what I say regarding the South. I may have rejected the worst parts of its culture, but I still love the South and Southern culture for the most part. I'm a country boy at heart. Even though I've grown to reject some key aspects of Southern culture, I still do hold some views and values that could be considered "Southern". For example, I'm more conservative politically (more towards a libertarian bent). I also hunt and fish avidly. I get why many people have problems with the South, but I'm very reluctant to join them in bashing/shaming the South. I was born and raised here, and have lived at the nexus of it all my life. I know the people and the culture better than just about anyone. Many of the things city people and northern people say/think about the South is just as ignorant and ill-informed as they claim the South is. Not everyone here is a racist, primitive, uneducated bigot. There is also plenty of diversity here. Our hospitality and friendliness is second to none. Sure, we've got some hurdles to overcome, but so does every other culture.
Welcome to the board.  It is good to have a person with positive views toward the South. 

But pardon me while I don't share those views. :))  I lived in Alabama as a child for 5 years; moved there from Oregon.  I was immediately branded a Yankee because I was not from the South, and had to contend with that for my entire stay.  I found the southern hospitality and friendliness to be basically a sham.  I rode a school bus from a Army ammo dump/supply post 7 miles into Anniston and passed the 'separate but equal' school shack while on my way to a modern concrete block school.  The 'colored' and 'white' signs were mind-boggling for me.  The best part of Alabama for me was leaving it.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 12:14:35 PM »
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Welcome to the board.  It is good to have a person with positive views toward the South. 

But pardon me while I don't share those views. :))  I lived in Alabama as a child for 5 years; moved there from Oregon.  I was immediately branded a Yankee because I was not from the South, and had to contend with that for my entire stay.  I found the southern hospitality and friendliness to be basically a sham.  I rode a school bus from a Army ammo dump/supply post 7 miles into Anniston and passed the 'separate but equal' school shack while on my way to a modern concrete block school.  The 'colored' and 'white' signs were mind-boggling for me.  The best part of Alabama for me was leaving it.
That was what? The 1950s? Things have changed by orders of magnitude since then, my dude. If anything, much of the bigotry has shifted to the North and to the city. I left college because I was constantly reminded there that I, a straight, white, male, was the scum of the Earth. Southern (and white) people have spent a great deal of time revamping and changing our attitudes and behaviors regarding others throughout history. In fact, we're peobably the only ones who have spent this much time and effort doing so. I don't deny that racism and other forms of backwards thinking still exists in the South, but I've been working in my state's capital city for the past year in the hospitality industry wherein I meet people from all over the world, and I can tell you that there is just as much ignorance and bigotry in the city. The only difference is that much of it is against Southerners and whites. We don't deserve it any more than anyone else. Many of us have abandonded the racism and backwards ways. It's time we figure put how to stop playing the blame game and victim poker, and moved on. That's my opinion.

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 12:25:04 PM »
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I know what you mean. However, I will say that I'm very careful with what I say regarding the South. I may have rejected the worst parts of its culture, but I still love the South and Southern culture for the most part. I'm a country boy at heart. Even though I've grown to reject some key aspects of Southern culture, I still do hold some views and values that could be considered "Southern". For example, I'm more conservative politically (more towards a libertarian bent). I also hunt and fish avidly. I get why many people have problems with the South, but I'm very reluctant to join them in bashing/shaming the South. I was born and raised here, and have lived at the nexus of it all my life. I know the people and the culture better than just about anyone. Many of the things city people and northern people say/think about the South is just as ignorant and ill-informed as they claim the South is. Not everyone here is a racist, primitive, uneducated bigot. There is also plenty of diversity here. Our hospitality and friendliness is second to none. Sure, we've got some hurdles to overcome, but so does every other culture.

I had a similar mindset when I first became a skeptic. I discarded my religious views, but my social/political opinions took longer to change. But, over time, I realized how ingrained Christianity was in Conservative ideology. Why are they anti-abortion? Because of their faith. Why do they want prayer in school? Because they want to shove Christianity down children's throats. Why are they against same-sex marriage? Because they're under the delusion that Christianity owns the ancient institution of marriage. Why are they so xenophobic? Because if it's one thing the Bible advocates, it's conformity. I live in Southern Texas, and while many people here are not racist, primitive, uneducated bigots, I can say with a high degree of certainty that quite a lot of them are. And "Southern hospitality" is bullshit. Hospitality is only offered to those they perceive as the same. If you're not the same color, Protestant Christian, Republican, or Southern, they will not treat you with kindness. Rather, they will make their displeasure known, because they do not think that you have the right to live your life as you see fit.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 12:29:22 PM by Blackleaf »
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Online trdsf

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 02:40:05 PM »
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Sure, we've got some hurdles to overcome, but so does every other culture.
This, definitely.  Lifelong Ohioan, m'self; furthest south I've ever been is Nashville... and like every other place I've ever been, it had things I loved and things I didn't love.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 02:44:09 PM »
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I had a similar mindset when I first became a skeptic. I discarded my religious views, but my social/political opinions took longer to change. But, over time, I realized how ingrained Christianity was in Conservative ideology. Why are they anti-abortion? Because of their faith. Why do they want prayer in school? Because they want to shove Christianity down children's throats. Why are they against same-sex marriage? Because they're under the delusion that Christianity owns the ancient institution of marriage. Why are they so xenophobic? Because if it's one thing the Bible advocates, it's conformity. I live in Southern Texas, and while many people here are not racist, primitive, uneducated bigots, I can say with a high degree of certainty that quite a lot of them are. And "Southern hospitality" is bullshit. Hospitality is only offered to those they perceive as the same. If you're not the same color, Protestant Christian, Republican, or Southern, they will not treat you with kindness. Rather, they will make their displeasure known, because they do not think that you have the right to live your life as you see fit.
Okay, let me try to be more clear about my own opinions regarding the South, as I think this is a topic we could all learn from. I'm right there with you on the problems of bigotry, racism, homophobia, etc. that have a long history in the South. I fully acknowledge them, and am completely on board with you that these are terrible things that can't be purged from our world too soon. Where I diverge from my other liberal counterparts is on their tendency to believe that these bad things are localized only to the South, and the belief that the South is nothing more than a cesspool of hicks and rednecks who have hatred in their hearts. I know better than that because the South has been my home for as long as I've been alive. I can promise you that southern hospitality is not a myth. I meet people daily at my job who are from NY, LA, Chicago, Boston, Europe, etc. who marvel at the kindness and warmth they receive when they visit the South. I also find that there is just as much bigotry in the big cities and elsewhere as there is in rural parts, only its often aimed at the opposite demographic. It seems to be acceptable to to dog Southerners and paint them with tons of negative stereotypes. I think this is just as wrong and ignorant and bigoted as being prejudiced against the AA or LGBT community. I think we need to reach a point wherein we recognize all bigotry as bad and evil. This is why, as a classical liberal, and someone believes in enlightenment values, I'm not rushing off to disavow and malign the South. Despite its history, the South has come a very long way, and I think we continue to improve as time goes on. We're just waiting for others to have the intellectual honesty to recognize it.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about:

I'm from a little town of about 3,000 people in the heart of the rural South. Everyone knows everyone, and the town has not changed or grown in decades. Almost every day of the week for past ten years there has been this little man who stands out in front of our courthouse holding up signs that contain various white-separatist sentiments. He also has confederate flags hanging off of him. He runs for congress (or at least claims to) every election as a write-in. I once was sitting at the traffic light in town, and he walked up to my window and handed me a packet of his literature and it had a DVD in it. I took it home and popped it in the DVD player. It was filled with various public speeches he had given over the years, and they were all very white-supremacist in nature.

Virtually my whole town regards this man as a crackpot and someone who does not represent their values. I have seen numerous facebook discussions about him on local facebook groups in my hometown, and nearly everyone disavows him. One of our police deputies even led a large group of people in my town to stand in front of the courthouse with signs that read "he is not ours" and other such sentiments. We are not even a particularly liberal town. And I think that's a good point that needs to be made. Conservatism is not equal to social bigotry and hatred. Most of us feel that conservatism represents a commitment to personal responsibility and liberty, rather than an insular and ignorant view of the world. Most of us oppose large government, and feel that America works best with a free market and hard-working citizens. That is what being a conservative means to me, and I think most Southerners feel the same. I don't think it helps minority communities to continue feeding into a social safety net at the expense of hard working Americans that replaces their personal responsibility for their own situation with handouts. I think this only helps them sink further into depravity and dependency. The esteemed professor Carol Swain at Vanderbilt University (a successful black woman) is a beacon of this position. I want what is best for my country, and that means for ALL people. I just don't agree that you get there with what the left proposes.

The last thing I'd like to say is that the South tends to inherit most of the flack. It is amazing how many on the liberal side rag on the South ad nauseam, yet find little fault with other cultures that are far more conservative, far more subversive to liberal values, and far more intolerant to the rights of women, LGBT people, and others. Yes, I'm talking about muslim culture. Some people on the left even go so far as to defend it as a "peaceful and tolerant" culture. I find that cognitive-dissonance of this sort is common among the left, and it's why I cannot now consider myself as being part of the left. I seek to protect enlightenment values and to spread reason throughout the world. That means I cannot turn a blind eye to true problems even though recognizing them might be the current taboo position in our culture.

So in conclusion, I think you are wrong about the South, and I hope you and others can come to learn more about it and change your tone about it a bit. I promise you, southern culture and Christianity are not the biggest problems the world faces currently. Not even close.

« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 02:50:27 PM by JCM800 »

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 03:11:48 PM »
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That was what? The 1950s? Things have changed by orders of magnitude since then, my dude. If anything, much of the bigotry has shifted to the North and to the city. I left college because I was constantly reminded there that I, a straight, white, male, was the scum of the Earth. Southern (and white) people have spent a great deal of time revamping and changing our attitudes and behaviors regarding others throughout history. In fact, we're peobably the only ones who have spent this much time and effort doing so. I don't deny that racism and other forms of backwards thinking still exists in the South, but I've been working in my state's capital city for the past year in the hospitality industry wherein I meet people from all over the world, and I can tell you that there is just as much ignorance and bigotry in the city. The only difference is that much of it is against Southerners and whites. We don't deserve it any more than anyone else. Many of us have abandonded the racism and backwards ways. It's time we figure put how to stop playing the blame game and victim poker, and moved on. That's my opinion.
JCM, you are quite right--I left Alabama in '59.  I've been back a couple of times, but not since '85.  Most of my Dad's side of the family is from the Houston area, and have been there a couple of times.  So, my info is rather old.  If things have changed as you say, then that is a good thing.  And I do realize that racism was not/is not just located in the south, but everywhere.  And always has been.  Well, then, keep up the good work.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Hakurei Reimu

Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 04:51:50 PM »
Hellow.

I'm interested in good discussion, too. But it has to be good discussion. So, fair warning.
Warning: Don't Tease The Miko!
(she bites!)
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Re: Hello everyone!
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2017, 07:08:31 PM »
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Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.

Are you a recent convert? The way you talk makes me think you're young, well younger than me anyway. If so, I'll ask you to consider that you've left the victim culture of Christianity. Christians have convinced themselves that despite consisting of 70.6% of America, despite nearly all elected officials being professed Christians, they are somehow under attack. Because their special privileges, which are illegal according to the Constitution, are slowly being taken from them, they're claiming to be under attack. That victim culture bleeds into Conservative culture as well, where straight whites are convinced that despite having disproportionally high representation in government, being less likely to be in poverty, being given more lenient punishments for identical crimes committed by blacks and Hispanics, and being more likely to have a college education, they are the ones being persecuted. What you perceived of as persecution on account of your light skin tone was likely due to other factors. I suggest you think about the ways your political views may color the way you see things.

The point of government "hand outs" are to help people make ends meet. Being a minority in America does put you at a significant disadvantage. Even without laws directly segregating neighborhoods by color, you'll still find that nicer neighborhoods are nearly completely white. That isn't a coincidence. The old laws may be gone, but that does not mean people have had enough time to recover from the damage that was made. You, as a white man, do not know what it is like to be black, Hispanic, or any other race.

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« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 07:14:51 PM by Blackleaf »
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

 

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