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  1.    #1  
    Interested to hear comments on whether people think atheists, et al calling themselves "Brights" is a great way for them to gain more social acceptence (per "gay" instead of homosexual), or an inane and self serving way way to label themselves.

    I personally think it's a step towards dumbing down our society, but I could be wrong as I'm not Bright.

    I'm not intending to start a conversation (debate, fight) about whether atheism/humanism is right/wrong, but whether this move towards labelling themselves versus being named, is a good/smart/stupid/bad/inane/brillant move.
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  2. #2  
    I've never heard that before in my life. Why do they insist on that? Is it no different than men (or women) wanting to be called "Superiors"? Just so they feel better? That would be silly.

    On the other hand, if there's a good reason for it, I don't really care.
  3.    #3  
    October issue of Wired magazine has an article written by a guy who calls himself a "Bright". I won't go through his whole reason for wanting this new name, but the gist of it is so other people and the media will call him that instead of atheist, humanist, etc.

    I feel it will just make the word bright lose it's true meaning. He uses the word gay to show how a group (homosexuals) supposedly used another word to make themselves more mainstream.

    I argue that it just made gay into a word that doesn't mean what it used to anymore.

    Gay people used to be happy and joyful, now they're homosexual.

    Does that mean that while bright people used to be intelligent, clever and smart they're now going to be atheists?

    He uses the argument (weak in my view) that they won't be using bright as an adjective but a noun (the same as gay) so it's not supposed to mean the same thing.

    How stupid does he think people are?

    I'm sure Wired will put the article online when it starts to add content from the Oct. issue. I'll keep an eye out and post a link when it does.
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  4. #4  
    I've never heard of this, but it sounds rather dim to me. If you can't deal with being called an atheist/humanist/whatever, perhaps you should re-evaluate your beliefs.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  5. #5  
    I object to it because it's ascribing a value to the person. "Gay" vs. "homosexual" is fine by me simply because being happy doesn't imply you are better than the population at large. Being brighter, though, does.
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by KRamsauer
    I object to it because it's ascribing a value to the person. "Gay" vs. "homosexual" is fine by me simply because being happy doesn't imply you are better than the population at large. Being brighter, though, does.
    They don't call themselves 'Bright_er_s', though. Logically, they both have the same implication. If one's being 'Bright' means others are 'Unbright' (i.e. stupid or something), then one's being 'Gay' implies others are 'Ungay' (i.e. unhappy). This binary thinking is not inherent in either word, IMO.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  7.    #7  
    I guess I'm not the only one who caught the flavor of this new "meme" as Richard Dawkins called it. He's professor who wrote the before mentioned Wired article.
    Here's some quotes from the editorial (all italics his):

    (watch for the doublespeak)

    "... but 2003 is seeing the deliberate launch of a new meme. It is bright, and we are at its birth. The bright meme is intentionally imitating gay's provenance in the explicit hope of copying its success.
    The gay meme improved the image, and I dare add, the happiness of a once unpopular minority. Similarly bright, is intended to come to the aid of another beleaguered community in the US: those who, in the most religiose country in the Western world, have no relgion, who are variously labeled atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, philosophical naturalists, or humanists."


    (I didn't know athesists, et al were being persecuted)

    "I am a bright. You are (quite probably) a bright. Most of the people I know are brights. The majority of scientists are brights. Presumably the are a lot of closet brights in Congress, but they dare not come out. Notice from these examples that the word is a noun, not an adjective. We brights are not claiming to be bright (meaning clever, intelligent), any more than gays claim to be gay (meaning joyful, carefree)."

    (awfully confident about that, isn't he?)

    " Whether there is a statistical tendency for brights (noun) to be bright (adjective) is a matter for research. I would dearly love to see such research undertaken, and I know the result I am betting on, but it is no part of the definition of the noun."

    (take that you non-brights!)

    and

    "So the bright meme is launched. Will it spread like gay, and basically, and the backward baseball cap? Or will it nose-dive into the sand? I'm hoping it will take off. I'm even betting it will despite the hostility of those who misunderstand the humble noun as an arrogant adjective, and those who, notwithstanding the success of gay, resent all such coinings out of hand. But mostly, I am simply curious, as a disinterested scientist, to see what will happen."

    (How can he be both a "disinterested scientist" and yet also say he's "... hoping that it will take off"?)
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  8. #8  
    Looks like wired has run out of relevant things to write about..

    how sad..

    I used to like that magazine, but I have to admit I stopped reading it regularly while ago because of "fluff" articles...

    as far as the term "bright" goes, I have never heard of it either, sounds like something he made up..
    "One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no ‘them’ out there. It’s just an awful lot of ‘us’." -- Douglas Adams
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by BobbyMike
    "So the bright meme is launched. Will it spread like gay, and basically, and the backward baseball cap? Or will it nose-dive into the sand? I'm hoping it will take off. I'm even betting it will despite the hostility of those who misunderstand the humble noun as an arrogant adjective, and those who, notwithstanding the success of gay, resent all such coinings out of hand. But mostly, I am simply curious, as a disinterested scientist, to see what will happen."
    I hope to high heaven it doesn't take off. I don't know what you'd call my particular belief system but I certainly don't want to be lumped in with a bunch of low-wattage "brights" who can't take pride in just being non-religious.

    The only reason I've ever known for the use of the term "gay" is because it *used* to be "homosexuals and lesbians." now it's "gays and lesbians." HELLO! Lesbians are homosexuals! You don't change facts by separating the term! Saying "gay" just makes it less harsh. Ditto "straight" instead of heterosexual. Of course, "homo" has a lot of negative connotation, but "hetero" doesn't. Meanwhile we drink homogenized milk because *that* is better than heterogenous milk.

    What I'm saying likely doesn't make much sense. It doesn't really to me. I've been up since noon Saturday (it's 8 am Sunday now) and I won't be seeing bed until at least 5 this afternoon.
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by BobbyMike
    [...] (I didn't know athesists, et al were being persecuted) [...]
    Either you need to get out more, or broaden your definition of 'persecuted'. That being said, the non-religious are usually left alone _provided_ that people don't find out they're non-religious, IME. _That_ being said, I find the categorization of the US as the most religious nation on Earth dubious. While we may pay the most lip service and have more than our fair share of Christian fundamentalists, I'm hard pressed to believe that we're really the most religious (or 'bright') for that matter with, for example, the number of abortions performed here on a regular basis.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  11.    #11  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Either you need to get out more, or broaden your definition of 'persecuted'. That being said, the non-religious are usually left alone _provided_ that people don't find out they're non-religious, IME. _That_ being said, I find the categorization of the US as the most religious nation on Earth dubious. While we may pay the most lip service and have more than our fair share of Christian fundamentalists, I'm hard pressed to believe that we're really the most religious (or 'bright') for that matter with, for example, the number of abortions performed here on a regular basis.
    I get out alot, I just don't see atheists, et al being persecuted. In fact I see a court system that bends over backwards to make sure their rights aren't being trampled and they aren't offended.
    I believe that a lot of religious people don't understand how a person cannot believe in God (or a version of God), but I don't see them chased off the streets, lynched, or even yelled at. Give me an example, I don't mind broadening my definition.

    As to your abortion example, I have to agree - although the matters have been muddled by people trying very hard to deny scientific fact to achieve a political end - which in itself is a kind of religion.

    What I find interesting is the entire tone of the movement. I'm thinking of it as more of a marketing move.
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by Toby
    ...I find the categorization of the US as the most religious nation on Earth dubious.
    I find it much more dubious that you quote him wrongly, and then try to disprove what he never said - According to BobbyMike Dawkins wrote "[the US are] the most religiose country in the Western world" - not "most religious nation on Earth".

    I perfectly agree with Dawkins' version. There is no other nation in the Western world that comes close to the US regarding religious fundamentalism. I guess this is because many members of all sorts of religious sects were pushed out of Europe and found a new home across the ocean in the west. Things like killing or threatening people who work in an abortion clinic, Creationism, and other by-products of religious fundamentalism are unheard of in Europe (or at least play only a tiny role in society).

    Regarding Dawkins: personally I don't see the need for "Bright" - in addition, it sounds arrogant. I have read much better things from him, e.g. "The Blind Watchmaker".
  13. #13  
    This is the Dawkins of Blind Watchmaker fame? I didn't know. What a great book.
  14.    #14  
    Originally posted by clulup
    I find it much more dubious that you quote him wrongly, and then try to disprove what he never said - According to BobbyMike Dawkins wrote "[the US are] the most religiose country in the Western world" - not "most religious nation on Earth".

    I perfectly agree with Dawkins' version. There is no other nation in the Western world that comes close to the US regarding religious fundamentalism. I guess this is because many members of all sorts of religious sects were pushed out of Europe and found a new home across the ocean in the west. Things like killing or threatening people who work in an abortion clinic, Creationism, and other by-products of religious fundamentalism are unheard of in Europe (or at least play only a tiny role in society).
    You're quite right about those religious nuts, they're much worse than those tame non-religious nuts like skinheads, ethnic grudge holders, soccer(football) hooligans, the ubiquitous masked youths and other political terror groups that have been spawned in nice non-religiouse Europe.

    By the way Creationism is a byproduct of the Bible (see Genesis), not a newly discovered American thing.

    As to the religious sects that were "pushed out of Europe" - I think you're confused, most of the early settlers were very happy to escape religious persecution from their fellow Europeans (Either Catholic, or Church of England, etc.) and had to fight in order to get to leave.

    I don't want to denigrate the 4 people I know have been killed in Abortion clinic related murders (and I don't believe the muderers will get quite the reception they're hoping for when they die), but that's not really much when you consider how many more people have been killed by extremists of other sorts (all over the world, including the US). Since Christianity is supposed to be a religion that preaches (and lives) love, it's hard to twist it into a thing of hate although many try (and some succeed as seen above in those instances).

    I think that it's very easy to forget that things like socialism, communism, fascism, often replace religion in peoples life, and as they don't have a real message of hope and redemption inherent in them, they often lead to the very violence, persecution and bloodletting that all rational people find abhorrent.
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  15.    #15  
    Originally posted by clulup

    Regarding Dawkins: personally I don't see the need for "Bright" - in addition, it sounds arrogant. I have read much better things from him, e.g. "The Blind Watchmaker".
    You liked that? I still don't know how a man as smart as he is (professor at Oxford, etc.) can totally ignore entropy and thermodynamics.
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by BobbyMike


    You liked that? I still don't know how a man as smart as he is (professor at Oxford, etc.) can totally ignore entropy and thermodynamics.
    You deduce he ignores entropy and thermodynamics just because he doesn't elaborate on it in "The Blind Watchmaker"? Believe me, he knows much more about both topics than would fit into a book for the general public.
  17. #17  
    Originally posted by BobbyMike


    You're quite right about those religious nuts, they're much worse than those tame non-religious nuts like skinheads, ethnic grudge holders, soccer(football) hooligans, the ubiquitous masked youths and other political terror groups that have been spawned in nice non-religiouse Europe.

    By the way Creationism is a byproduct of the Bible (see Genesis), not a newly discovered American thing.
    As if the US would not have more than enough non-religious weirdos, starting from Ku Klux Klan to the Oklahoma bombers etc. ...

    Of course Creationism stems from the Bible, but isn't the Bible a byproduct of religion as well? However, the US is unique in the Western world in putting any importance in the creationist view.

    Geocentricm and "Flat Earthism" are also "byproducts" of the Bible - does that make them any more important? Did you know that "geocentrist (Tom Willis) was intrumental in revising the Kansas elementary school curriculum to remove references to evolution, earth history, and science methodology" (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/wic.html). How can you accept that someone who denies that Earth circles around the sun has any influence on education in the US?
  18. #18  
    Originally posted by clulup
    I find it much more dubious that you quote him wrongly, and then try to disprove what he never said -
    I find it interesting you should care. First of all, it was a casual aside, not trying to 'disprove what he never said'. Second, I _am_ human and simply read it without 'Western'. Me and my sloppy weekend reading.
    According to BobbyMike Dawkins wrote "[the US are] the most religiose country in the Western world" - not "most religious nation on Earth".
    Have his lawyers contact me.
    I perfectly agree with Dawkins' version. There is no other nation in the Western world that comes close to the US regarding religious fundamentalism. [...]
    Having a large number of fundamentalists does not make a religious nation in my book. Those sorts of people are the antithesis of religion in my view.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  19. #19  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Have his lawyers contact me
    Well, well, I can see that I took this a bit too serious. Why don't we try to settle this dispute without going to court? How about a donation to Internet Infidels (not that I know them...)
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by clulup

    Well, well, I can see that I took this a bit too serious. Why don't we try to settle this dispute without going to court? How about a donation to Internet Infidels (not that I know them...)
    Well, I clicked an ad, so that'll have to do. Thanks for reminding me that I needed to replace my shark emblem since I traded my truck last year.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
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