But my belief system came from somewhere.


The historical trail of Protestant Christianity upon modern Atheism and modern Science is laughably obvious.

When they complain about their Mom, they look silly, Dawkins especially so. I understand the OP. Atheists often seem to be better Christians
than Christians, with the single exception of changing a few words around.

“I believe in God” becomes “God is a concept of Faith, which I reject thanks to Reason” [Faith in the power of Reason has a historically Christian basis, easily traceable].

“Christian values” becomes “Common Sense”.

Oh, and lots of memes get posted and pats on the back, “haha stupid mom and dad! Yeah our parents suck!” – I mean, “Stupid Christians”, etc.

But… all the while being good little boys and girls generally speaking.

I’m agnostic so I don’t have to worry about either Christian or Atheist in debates – I’m the silly buffoon figure for both sides tongue emoticon

My sister, now in her mid 40s, has considered herself a Wiccan since she was a teenager in the early 80s..

We were raised going to a Methodist church; I enjoyed it, my sister was a troublemaker. My mom still goes to church, I haven’t for a long time; the Internet is my church I think tongue emoticon

Yet, my mother and I have often noticed, for someone who is proud of not being a Christian and being a Wiccan instead, she’s more of a perfect Christian than most Christians with the fish on the car and stuff.

So, the perfect Methodist in every way, except by declaration, such as Dawkins may be the PERFECT little Anglican, with the exception of the name.

Actually, that’s the point of academic discussions, like we’re having now.

Humanism is a branch of Christian Protestantism as well.

I know too much about history to pat myself on the back and believe that somehow these values just FELL MAGICALLY FROM THE SKY.

They have a historical basis.

“The first Humanist Manifesto was issued by a conference held at the University of Chicago in 1933.[9] Signatories included the philosopher John Dewey, but the majority were ministers (chiefly Unitarian) and theologians. They identified humanism as an ideology that espouses reason, ethics, and social and economic justice, and they called for science to replace dogma and the supernatural as the basis of morality and decision-making”

Sound familiar?

The concept of “human values” _is_ humanist. When you say “human values” that is humanism.

It’s not a label. It’s a history.

That is part of your faith, and I respect that.

Exactly my point. Where did Logical Positivsm come from? Where did the Progressive movement come from? Where did the concept of Reason being the ultimate guide come from? These things all led to the development of Humanism.

We like to throw away history too much in modern culture, probably because it’s awkward to face it. The world might as well have started in

that’s a lie you were told.
We have a lot of that history. We’re just not taught it. We’re taught that it disappeared after the fall of the Roman Empire and magically revived 900 years later.

That’s a lie.

Classic Greek texts were still taught in Byzantium for that ENTIRE 1000 yrs period of “missing history” – and they’ve got all the record-keeping.

It’s all perfectly traceable.

You’re reflectively projecting the present onto a further away past. We can only go by what we have information on.

We may *assume* many things about pre-written history, but we don’t know.


Of course it is. But we can’t speak about what we don’t have records for. That’s just speculation.

When it’s part of speculation, it’s part of a faith system.

I’m not limiting the word faith to mean Christian. I’m speaking of the nature of belief, of trust in what we’ve been taught, etc.

I‘m primarily a humanist, although not to the extreme of the early Progressives –  On the contrary, I _can_ say where it started because I can only speak what we have records on.

The other stuff is storytelling. I like storytelling but it’s storytelling.

it’s part of my belief system.

But my belief system came from somewhere.

I can trace that belief system up to a point.

I have a few quibbles (of course) with a few things you said but the ‘gist’ (to use that term – I love the term ‘gist’) – is spot on smile emoticon

What you’re talking about _comes out _ of your belief system. The things you state as certainties are a *part* of your belief system and you are professing your beliefs.

Oh I agree. Words aren’t magical. it’s stories and beliefs, including everything I’m saying.

Of course, it’s possible the the Universe is Made of Math instead of stories, but I think that’s also a nice story for the masses as well.

But belief that “it’s all narrative” is part of my belief system as well smile emoticon

My history: I’m 43. I spent most of my life saying, I HATE LABELS”. Then I realized I just hated being _mislabeled_ yet felt free to stick labels on everything else that I didn’t care for.

I was being a hypocrite.

So I decided to see myself as if I was a figure of history being dissected in acadmics. How would THEY label me? And I’ve been trying to crucify my every cherished belief and find its root. It’s been very helpful. I have a long way to go.

It’s ok – it’s a part of discussions and debates – sometimes they get heated. I don’t take anything personally too often, although I still have to sit on my hands for 30 seconds before responding from time to time tongue emoticon

Well, what happened is I was feeling “inauthentic”. I was saying “THIS IS TRUE FOR ALL HUMANITY” in various ways without knowing what was true for me.

So I switched to a primarily subjective perspective on most things. “I believe” “I feel” “I think” and I’ve been trying to trace their roots. I’m not suggesting anybody else do that; It very well might be the WORST IDEA EVER… but I’m trying it smile emoticon

And thank *you* because you inspired me to say things I would not have said had I not been questioned.
In short, I don’t know what I believe until I’m challenged.

I’m grateful for the challenge. I save the things I wrote because I’m hoping that _someday_ it’ll self-organize into a “something”, ncluding the words you helped inspire me to write today.

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