Special Project – 3 Questions

Posted by on August 24, 2012 in 3Q, Featured, Thoughts | 11 comments

Yesterday, when looking for inspiration for something to write that didn’t involve misogyny or Atheism Plus (yes even I get tired of talking on some topics), I got an idea for a small project, one that involves you, dear reader. It’s called “3 Questions”, and it is exactly as it sounds; I will ask the atheist/agnostic/skeptic community 3 questions about the importance of atheism, skepticism or agnosticism to themselves, the wider community, and the world, and post the results here.

Why do I think this is important or even interesting?

Mainly because I see a lot of very vocal atheists and skeptics getting their viewpoints seen, heard and read, and yet for the majority of us, our opinions just become part of the cacophony of noise that is the internet, never to surface past a few Tweet views, or a Facebook post that whizzes by at the speed of light. The fact is, the atheist/agnostic/skeptic communities is made up of millions of individuals, each with their own opinions and stories, each with their own reasons for being a vocal atheist, agnostic or skeptic. If it weren’t for these millions of people who see an importance in voicing their opinions, then the community would not exist at all. See this project as an attempt at inclusiveness, where all voices will be seen as equal, and equally relevant, to show how in fact we are a hugely diverse culture.

What will this achieve?

Not much, but it will be interesting. If anything, it might serve as a reminder that within our communities there are many opinions and voices, and they may not agree, and often don’t agree on everything. Sometimes we have a tendency to see the communities we are part of as embracing exactly the same values and interests that we do as individuals. But if diversity shows us anything, it is that through many differing  opinions and experiences we can reach a much better outcome in most situations. It’s not a mission statement made up by millions, moreover it’s raising the voices of those who speak softly, those who are afraid to speak, or those who are intimidated by the larger community. I hope to show not only the similarities we as atheists, skeptics and agnostics share, but also to highlight the diversity of views, experiences and values that the communities are made up from.

When will this begin?

I have already put out a call for volunteers on Twitter. I will do the same on Facebook. people who respond will be added to a list which I am in the process of compiling, and will be contacted individually over the coming week or so. I will then send out the 3 questions, compile the answers, and publish the results here. If the answers are too long, or if there are too many, the results may be published over several blogs over the coming weeks.

Can I be involved?

Of course. The only criteria is that you fit into the category of “atheist” “skeptic” or “agnostic”, and are willing to have your words published. If you do want to participate, just click on this link and you will be delivered to the survey form.

Sounds like a bit of fun, no?

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
Special Project - 3 Questions, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

11 Comments

  1. I’m certainly interested in contributing to what may prove to be an enlightening project Marty. If you need more personal details than you have available just pm me on fb.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  2. August 24, 2012
    I think that the activism and awareness of the atheist community is important because:
    >Too many public policies, (especially regarding the environment and  the health of women, the elderly, and the indigent) are based upon the superstitious, patriarchal beliefs and prejudices of religious politicians.  These average politicians use their piety to promote a preoccupation with wealth acquisition, corporate greed and — absurdly — corporate “personhood.”  Such illogical, irrational protection of corporate person hood comes at the expense of real people by scapegoating such marginalized groups.  These groups include atheists, gays, lesbians, the poor, the sick, racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants – both legal and illegal, and the mentally ill who are all too often blamed for their predicaments, (something a number of religious texts seem to be a bit schizophrenic about) . . . And this stigmatization and scapegoating MUST stop.  It seems to me that atheists and agnostics, with their frequent insistence on rational, legal thought and action are uniquely qualified to fight absurdities such as corporate personhood. This seems especially germane because many of the major corporations in this country happen to be tax-exempt – (churches) – and they represent the complete antithesis of what atheists hold most dear: individual rights and responsibilities.
    >Of all the folks in the world who can identify with being stigmatized and having to live in the closet, atheists are probably (or should be) most able to empathize and support other marginalized groups, since they belong to one of the least trusted and most demonized of all people.   I have observed that frequently atheists put their often scientific or philosophic objectivity to use in the service of  humanity and “stewardship” of the planet  in ways that the fatalistic fundies simply cannot muster.  This inability to responsibly face the facts of global warming and other environmental degradation occurs often because of  the superstitious and dangerous attachment to rapture and Armageddon scenarios that are clearly becoming self-fulfilling prophecies in the face of mass indifference, resulting in a loss of true ethics on a global level.  It is the rightful destiny of an empathic atheist dialectical to inform, educate and transform the world, or this planet DOES go the way of religious prophecy.
    >Non-believers are in a unique position to work for environmental, social and economic justice because they have no economic or emotional investment in the self-serving, bureaucratic, TAX-EXEMPT corporate structures that we now call “churches,” and atheists and agnostics generally do not buy into the self-fulfilling Armageddon prophecies about which believers  shrug their shoulders, since believers think their Imaginary Friend has a special plan which will save and exempt them from recycling or concerning themselves about whether or not bringing 7 kids into the world matters to its future,and ironically enough, about whether or not it matters to the future of their progeny.  Interestingly, atheists seem to have fewer children than believers.
    >It is also important that the scientific method — (and not commercialized pseudo-science, with which I have frequently been duped, before I became a better skeptic) — be used in research and support of environmental justice and social services, especially family planning, sexual hygiene and  nutrition education programs so that all citizens — especially teenagers and youth —  can learn all the facts of population science, physiology, and healthful living without superstitious repression blocking out legitimate facts of reality, (such as global warming and population pressures and the safety and efficacy of a variety of birth control methods). 
    >Morality and ethics should no longer be considered the exclusive domain of the real-estate bloated churches. Morality and ethics should  be — (and more often than not are) —  the major concern of scientists, secular educators, and law-makers who should always be informed from a non-superstitious perspective, not from religious prejudices pre-dating the first century.  That’s why the “new atheism” is important — not for what it does NOT support, but for what it DOES support — a rational approach to a world that could be dying because of sexist, racist, patriarchal, xenophobic, irrational, corporately-pathological, dysfunctional, and outmoded ideas. 
    This is not to say that atheists are in any way not products of their own societies; they are not  immune to any “-isms” or obsessions,  but many are inoculated against irrational assumptions and know how to change their minds based on facts and rational research.  This is because they are intuitively skeptical, have trained themselves, or have been professionally trained to understand the difference between evidence and faith. As the saying goes,”Faith flies you into buildings and Science flies you to the moon.”  My observation and experience with the average atheist is that most of them operate in the far “above average range” regarding how to cope with, and bring about change in an often  irrational world.  (Most of them have far surpassed me in that regard).
    >Many American atheists work tirelessly to maintain a healthy separation of church and state, which incidentally protects ALL citizens, ESPECIALLY religious ones (who often balk that they feel oppressed, despite the fact that no one has recently enacted any laws about which I am aware that prevent any American from practicing their religion unless it impinges upon the civil rights of someone else).
    >Many atheists also labor for social justice and civil rights the world over, presenting legal challenges to those who would oppress and destroy what our constitution stands for – “we the people,” NOT WE THE RELIGIOUS.  If anyone is fit to do this, certainly one of the most oppressed, hated, misunderstood and mistrusted groups in the history of the world ought to be able to model and demand protection for individual well-being, over superstitious oppression, repression, and ignorance. 
    Thanks for asking us about this, Marty! And sorry about the redundancies. It’s a rough draft.  Do what you wish with it.
    Namaste – The good in me recognizes the good in you!  Debbie GoddardRebecca Busch Debbie Burdick Rebecca Tobias Sara Chase  Dawn Delishious Nichols Jessica Taube 
     

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  3. I am up for it

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  4. Ready when you are.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  5. ok
     

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  6. ok
     

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  7. what are the three questions?
     

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    •  @Shay_Chandler I’ll DM you the link so you can have a look at them :)

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  8. I do have to laugh at the irony of it all… So many people are atheists because they are fed up with religion being stuffed down their throats, fed up with other people trying to convert them to a way of thinking. Yet some of the most vocal and militant voices are those of atheists. 

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    •  @collhannah And this applies to my survey how exactly?

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
  9. Of course – please DM link when ready

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 3 Questions – An Update | Martin S Pribble - [...] unheard or discarded because of the sheer volume of opinions out there. As I noted in my last 3…
  2. 3 Questions – The Results Part Two | Martin S Pribble - [...] second question I asked in my 3 Questions survey was: Why is it important to be vocal as…

Have your say

%d bloggers like this: