Do you have any sponsors of your own, @Patrick? There are indeed those who believe they are ‘self-made’ and ‘need no role models.’
So, if you had lived as a Jewish person in Nazi Germany, and you and your dad had hatched a scheme to blow up Nazi headquarters, eliminating Hitler, and you were willing to risk your life to do it, would you conclude that both you and your dad were “terrible role models?” What you don’t get is the terrible price humanity pays --to itself --for not only having, but acting on what you blithely call “thought crimes.” The human potential and propensity for evil, even in its most banal forms, runs deep through every human heart. To deny that is to exercise a blind faith.
Jesus is a realist, and gave it all to change these patterns. This is not child’s play. But we also all have within us great potential for good, being, as we are, "created in God’s image " and He is no moral monster.
Yes I had role models growing up. Robert Kennedy was one I admired greatly. Carl Sagan in the 1980s with Cosmos. I liked Christopher Hitchens a lot. Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor are admirable people. Andrew Siedel of FFRF is a bright upcoming star. all people I have admired were real people.
Since you’ve answered as above, let me ask it again differently, since it might have been confusing on my part the first time.
It is usually quite a different relationship for one to have sponsors vs. to have role models, though it is occasionally possible for role models to be sponsors too.
The point is that more than just ‘admirable people’ measures the heart of a blog’s mission.
Sorry, but I really don’t know what you mean by sponsors.
The title question of yours is then mute, since you don’t know even what you mean in asking about sponsors.
(Aside: Which is how I’d frankly prefer you to stay here if you are indeed as you seem: entirely uninterested in your own soul because you don’t believe in anything immaterial let alone in it, only in a psychologically thin sense of ‘self’, way down in the doldrums.)
It takes a community sometimes. Militant atheists are usually not welcome among Christian communities for good reasons. Joshua is now forming a community based on his own rules, so that is up to him to consider.
The question is not moot, I don’t have any sponsors that are funding me to do this directly or indirectly. I am retired now so I have much more time (and money) to spend on social issues that I care about for me, my children, and grandchildren. I am also a member of various groups who’s ultimate aim is to improve people’s lives through science, technology, and reason.
I am entirely uninterested in my own soul, as I have no evidence that I have a soul as described in theology. But I am very interested in understanding scientifically emotions, feelings, moods in people’s lives. In living these past 60 years, I have seen how one handles adversity really leads to different life paths. For example I say that I am a happy well adjusted retiree, you say that “I am way down in the doldrums”, “nihilistic”, dark gloomy. Why the different views? Perhaps projecting one’s own feelings on the world?
I can tell you that living this life to its fullest and giving up the worry about a next life can be really exhilarating. No gods, no masters, everything to live for and nothing to die for.
Yes, it does take a community to make a better human society. I would be careful about trying to exclude atheist among your perceived solidly Christian communities. I am certain that among your friends, your family, your community that there are many nones, agnostics, and atheists. Perhaps a third to a half of all the people you know, love and interact with. I consider you a 99% atheist as you don’t believe in most of gods in history. I just go one God further than you.
The ultimate irony … the Romans considered Jews to be an exotic form of atheism … because they rejected a whole pantheon of Gods… and noticed only one.
Science & technology. Great! Active & involved already. Reason, ok, one of the human tools, among others like emotions, intuitions, common sense, etc. Let’s reason together, yeah! And keep reasoning. Yet a question arises why it is in doubt for @Patrick that anyone (in fact, many people) could be religiously ‘musical’ as Max Weber once wrote, while also practising science or technology?
Yes, atheists are statistically more likely to live without sponsorship than the majority religious in all countries of the world that I am aware of. The ‘reasons’ for this should be quite obvious as even Patrick could guess for us. He must put in the work alone in this for his ‘godless side’ showing to us that he in fact knows those sociological reasons because he is outnumbered by everyone here.
Why does it tend to be more difficult morally for most people to sponsor an atheist in contrast with sponsoring an evangelical protestant Christian (e.g. like Joshua & Peaceful Science)?
That might be an appropriately proportional return question to this thread’s question asking about the site’s sponsors. So, an answer was given and a follow-up has been asked: why it matters and who sponsors you in response.
The ‘unworried atheist’ (the ones who for a time block out nihilism, just like Tolstoy’s Ivan Ilych) became a thing with baby boomers in several ‘western’ nations. Some turned to Buddhism or other esoteric blend of ‘spirituality’, seeking to find some ground for their existence. Others, became spiritually numb, religious zombies in the historically odd position of claiming that what is alive is actually dead. The next generation is of course, as to be expected, quite another thing spiritually. Thank God for Jordan Peterson speaking to young men the way he does!
“I am certain that among your friends, your family, your community that there are many nones, agnostics, and atheists. Perhaps a third to a half…”
Ok, a little fantasy blip or just bad folk sociology coming from a retired technologist. Please don’t act certain about anything like that. It is bad form that slides easily into prejudice. Yes, I know and have friends who are atheists; that does not change anything I’ve written above.
The efforts of this list could & should be directed to much better things than spending time with incorrigible atheists tugging on the community. Joshua can decide whether or how there needs to be a volume control (though it may sound ‘un-American’ to some, it is simply a technologically preferable democratic option), as there is in any normal functioning social organisation, so that people can speak in the proper place & way.
Considering me (or anyone else here) as an atheist is just sheer & utter impoliteness, no wait, it is delusional as only Richard Dawkins could have moulded that idea into you. Being a monist in contrast with a pluralist, or a monotheist rather than polytheist theologically provides the infantile ‘you’re an atheist too!’ taunting with greater clarity. Can atheists unlearn the spiritless ideology they have swallowed as they live in a comfortable ‘western’ technopoly of both secular & religious individualism? When one witnesses answers to that on a personal level, not just as an academic question, and sees how change is possible, it makes all the difference to how one can ‘spiritually breathe’ or be ‘religiously musical’ in one’s own life.
Perhaps it is good to have a token atheist here to remind everyone else that we are glad we never embraced atheism or are so overwhelmingly glad (e.g. check out Sy Garte’s regular post-atheism thanksgivings on Twitter) that we’ve grown out of it. ‘Militancy,’ might be something to check on Joshua’s future list.
Just one more reminder on the title of this thread:
When I first used the term “sponsor” in reference to these pages, I was referring to PeacefulScience.Org (in parallel to BioLogos.Org). And all of a sudden we were chasing kittens about some “presumed” significant source of funding. The significan source of funding is the cost of maintaining the bandwidth for this Discourse site, paid for out of the generous intentions of Dr. @swamidass.
Be sure to visit his disclaimer!
Just as a quick update, I did turn on an Amazon affiliates system on this forums. This is unobtrusive, and just gives us a small commission if you buy products after clicking a link here to Amazon. This is not lucrative at all. For the last month, it generated less that $15, which is far lower than the monthly cost of this effort. Hopefully, however, we might be self sustaining by this revenue stream. I’m just noting here to be upfront with everyone.
A question came up about my funding to participate in the AAAS Science for Seminaries program. I am including it on this thread to keep questions along these lines in one place.
I hope you included these honorariums on your taxes those years.
They certainly count as income.
Of course I included them on my taxes.
Well then it is a simple matter to look up the records as you (or your accountant) should have kept a copy. But no matter, it seems like it was just a small trival amount and you claimed it to the IRS.
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