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Happy Atheist Book

Started by Will, February 15, 2009, 09:06:37 PM

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Will

We, some of the the mechanical and tyrannical moderators here at the HAF, were thinking it might be a good idea to develop a "book" of sorts to be connected with the forum. The idea would be to develop a group of writings intended to communicate what it is to be a happy atheist. This could take on one of myriad forms, make an argument for atheism, tell a personal story, wax philosophical about the meaning of atheism; whatever you feel communicates happy atheism.

We, as the community, will organize them and then place it on the up and coming Happy Atheist homepage as a resource for people wanting to know about us as a forum of what happy atheism might be in general.

You can contribute ideas here or feel free to private message me if it's something personal.

Thanks!
I want bad people to look forward to and celebrate the day I die, because if they don't, I'm not living up to my potential.

Ninteen45

So I can post here?

Oh, yeah, it would be locked.

This is a great Idea, I'd like to see what people have to say.
Now I can be re-gognizod!

Hitsumei

I'll make an epistemological/practical argument for atheism:

It is often asserted that atheism is overstating an agnostic case, as most atheists don't claim to know for certain that no gods exist, but this presupposes that "knowledge" requires certainty, when it does not. Uncertainty is merely part of the human condition -- there is always the possibility anything, no matter how well supported about the world turn out to be mistaken. Only deductive abstractions offer certainty, and only to the extent that their premises are true.

From this, I would assert that in our practical lives, belief in negatives requires less certainty than belief in positives. Unless something is logically impossible, or holds attributes or qualities that are capable of being falsified, then no evidence can exist that would suggest that it is not there, but practically speaking, very few would hesitate in saying that it was not.

Most mythical entities, or any number of entities I could invent for you now fit the above description, but the average theist has no qualms with denying their existence, and asserting them to be false. So at the very least, denying the validity of the atheist's claim to knowledge is inconsistent, and hypocritical coming from anyone who takes a similar positions with similar justification.

This argument doesn't argue for the truth of atheism -- but I think that it a good justification for holding the position.
"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition." ~Timothy Leary
"Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution." ~Bertrand Russell
"[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their

Whitney

I was thinking about why I am happier as an atheist.  I don't think it is caused by not believing in a god but from the mental freedom allowed for by being a free thinker.  Almost every religious view of gods requires the believer to feel ashamed of questioning and thinking outside of the boxed views their religion  has to offer.  I'm going to expand these thoughts into essay format later but thought this could serve as a primer for anyone who was wanting to contribute but wasn't sure where to start (if you think atheism itself brings happiness, by all means write about that).

quizlixx

have any steps been put into place for the book?
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."

Whitney

Quote from: "quizlixx"have any steps been put into place for the book?

It's been a thought in progress for a while now.  The main step missing is content since I already figured out how to create the portal page.  This thread is just another step in the process...we were hoping to be able to make it a community generated book rather than just the work of an individual.

quizlixx

well if content is a problem, i would suspect most everybody has something worthwhile to input.
or is it content ideas you need?
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."

curiosityandthecat

Has any progress been made on this? I was just wondering about the content... is the aim for essays, musings, arguments, or all of the above? Would it be advantageous to have a few prompts on which to write? Should they be casual or scholarly?

Nevermind me. I should be writing a paper and I'm procrastinating. I suppose that's why this popped into my head: the topic is how my religious/spiritual affiliation (or, in my case, the lack thereof) affects my scholarly direction and study.
-Curio

Whitney

Quote from: "curiosityandthecat"Has any progress been made on this? I was just wondering about the content... is the aim for essays, musings, arguments, or all of the above? Would it be advantageous to have a few prompts on which to write? Should they be casual or scholarly?

I'm working on writing something right now.  I'm not so sure how well it is going.  So far I have the start of explaining what about religion bothered me and how trying to find answers to those questions eventually took me to non-belief.  I'm trying to focus on the emotional aspects of the process.  I also have a random paragraph started about why those who organize atheists shouldn't be viewed as atheist ministers...it was sparked by something this one person asked at a local meetup...I might not even use it but wrote it down since it came to mind.

For now, maybe rather than a book we go with a collection of writings (like the knowledge base we use to have before the hacker destroyed it).  I still like the book idea and want to keep it as a long term goal but it's not a fast way to get a portal with content up.

Btw, here is the portal page.  I was just playing around so there is random stuff on it.  I do like the idea of keeping chat, but I think I'll use something different than what is on there.  I need to format the content dividers and all that other fun stuff.  portal.php  So, I'll start being more active on getting it up then once we like how it looks i'll switch it to load when someone comes to the site's main url.

AlP

I seem to remember when I was learning English at school that my teacher advised me to consider the audience I was writing for. It seems to me that an atheist book could have different audiences. Some examples:
  • Atheists
  • Theists
  • Theists considering becoming atheists
Also, what is the goal of writing the book? Depending on the audience and goal, the book might be quite different.
"I rebel -- therefore we exist." - Camus

Whitney

Quote from: "AlP"I seem to remember when I was learning English at school that my teacher advised me to consider the audience I was writing for. It seems to me that an atheist book could have different audiences. Some examples:
  • Atheists
  • Theists
  • Theists considering becoming atheists
Also, what is the goal of writing the book? Depending on the audience and goal, the book might be quite different.

The general idea is thet the book would not only demonstrate to theists that atheists can lead happy moral lives without religion or god belief but also help those who might feel depressed about their being an atheist (something that seems especially common with those who have recently de-converted from theistic beliefs) to see why others do not find it depressing at all.

So, the audience would be all of the above.

btw, until we get something together for the book that is worth presenting this is what I have done to the portal:  portal.php  I'm also going to be changing it so bots show as hidden so they won't be displayed in the list to anyone but admins.

Whitney

OK....here is a start (it needs editing, please point out errors and places for improvement):

If you have found yourself here, you are probably either someone who considers themselves a happy atheist or is curious about how an atheist can be happy.  While it is not possible to provide a boxed explanation for individual atheists, it is our intention to help you understand what makes many of us happy and ethical non-believers.  To start, the following is a loose definition of ‘happy atheist.’  The reason this definition is ‘loose’ is because we don’t want to claim to be speaking for all people who consider themselves happy atheists; this is not a church and we have no dogmas.  However, the following will probably fit most who like to call themselves happy atheists:

    Happy Atheist:  One who finds enjoyment in life without a need to assume the existence of deities or any other creative beings.

You may be wondering how someone could possibly be happy when they do not believe in a god.  The short answer is that no one’s happiness comes from a god.  If you ask most people what makes them happy in life they will list friends, family, pets, sports, hobbies, success, and any number of other things which provide them enjoyment.  When you start to think about it, the fact that atheists can be happy is obvious.  But, apparently it is not obvious enough since we are still often stereotyped as being pissed off assholes how want nothing more than to strip all forms of belief from this world.  Since we are still  working on writing a formal presentation on happy atheism, please join the forum for further discussion.

DIY 1138

#12
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quizlixx

I've already said that I would be willing to tell my story in the book. I personally know a few people around my age who are questioning their "faith' if i know a few in the small town where i am from, i can only imagine the number of people in the exact same boat. You all know what i'm talking about, the "What do i believe, How did i come to this, Now what, Can i tell people, I want to tell people, but am scared" that's the gist of that. the process of developing/budding atheism.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."

SektionTen

I'd like to write an essay on the importance of striking out into the unknown, and finding your own path. Believing what you feel is right. And the importance of independence. How it's possible for everyone.

yeah. Is that all right?