Who are you, what brought you here, where are you coming from, when were you made aware of AU, why did you decide to join...
Joan Denoo, thank you for your kind reply.
Religion is so easy to sum up: it is nothing but contrived lies, portrayed as a divine doctrine, designed to frighten and coerce the masses in order to elicit their unconditional compliance.
Organized religion utilizes B.F. Skinner's "reward-punishment" system to elicit the desired behavioral responses of its "lab rats". The only marked difference is that rats don't WANT to be duped. They can't help it. Humans lap it up.
In effect, religion is what idiots deserve.
Since it's been 10 years since I was here last, I feel like I should redo one of these! How is everybody!? I'm not sure who will remember me. My name is Markie Isabella Strange but I did go by another that was close. She/Her is my pronoun. I am an author, an activist, an atheist, and a very strange person in general (pun intended). I am an open book if anyone has curiosities, I think it's pretty human to be curious, but it can be disrespectful if it's not consensual so I'm going to get it over with. If you are unfamiliar with the LGBTQ community the Trans community in particular I am and will be happy to try to answer your questions. I am only one person and I can only speak from my experience so answers may vary from the consensus. Anyway, that's it! Hello all!
Hello, I've been here 9 years, so I guess I missed meeting you back then. Good to see you back.
Yeah pretty much just missed me. lol, I was around a few times after that but I disappeared again. Thank you. Good to meet you this time around.
Me: old white male Southerner (Texas), raised in Houston in the 1950s -- when the Lord's Prayer was compulsory. I can recite it backwards now. Was not taught a lot of other important things, though.
Active in the Civil Rights movement in the 60s', including Voter Reg. in Fayette Cty Tenn, in 1964 (Freedom Summer). Became a very committed hard Left Marxist then and remained one for 20 years. Did a few months in military prison because I didn't want 'our' side to win in Vietnam (when you're young, you're stupid, or rather, you act as if you were stupid, no matter what your IQ). Have a BA in History, an 11B10 in Killing People, an MSc and PhD in Computer Science. I read a lot.
A believer in Popper's idea of seeking disconfirming evidence for beliefs about facts; in Korzybsky's skepticism/wariness about inappropriate use of the 'to be' verb; might follow Colin McGinn's 'new mysterianism' (I would call it being in a 'cognitive cage'.)
Politically, I'm really an FDR/JFK liberal, but ... that's long gone. Then we fought for the right of Blacks to use 'White' restrooms. Now, apparently, we're supposed to fight for the right of men to use women's restrooms. No thanks. I'm a pragmatist. Nothing is perfect. Most politics is a choice among evils. You go to war with the army you've got.
I think Western civilization, the best thing mankind has invented in its long sorry blood-soaked history, is on the way down the tubes, with the USA -- its core defender, imperfect as it has been -- leading the way. I watch Right wingers take up Left wing positions -- Hate the Corporations! No Free Trade -- and Left wingers take up Right wing positions -- No Free Speech for those we hate! -- and sometimes want to disconnect from the internet and disable the TV and radio, and work on Junior Olympiad Math Puzzles until I'm called home to the arms of Jesus. Or whatever. (Is there anyone I haven't offended yet?)
Whats a good old southern boy doing in my neck of the woods? England.
Well, my answer to that has to be the one given by the very old woman -- long long ago -- who lived in the countryside before the invention of radio and TV, and who never had seen a newspaper, or had much education at all.
One day the circus came to a nearby town ... and an elephant escaped, and ended up in her garden, eating her cabbages. She saw this strange beast from her window, and rushed out and down the lane to town, and hurried, out of breath, into the sheriff's office.
"Sheriff, sheriff," she cried. There is a an enormous strange grey animal in my garden! It has no head, and two tails!"
"What's it doing?" asked the bemused sheriff.
"Well, with one of its tails, it's pulling up my cabages!" she replied.
"And then what's it doing with the cabbages?" asked the increasingly-puzzled sheriff.
She blushed and replied, "You wouldn't believe me if I told you!"
And that has to be my answer as to how a Texas boy ended up in England.
Well, I hush my mouth! Good story Doug
Hello Doug. Nice to meet you.
Have you tried the Lord's Prayer backwards? It's supposed to summon demons.
I too have a long history with Marxism. I still think it's good as an analysis of history and capitalism but there's no blueprint for the future. Beyond a few slogans, there's almost nothing in Marx about how he saw socialism. The attempts of Lenin, Mao etc to base a new society on Marxism have obviously failed. We need new ideas. I still belong to the Left though.
Scepticism is the only credible position for anyone who thinks. Something has to be seen to hold water before it can be relied on. Science is always a work in progress and today's facts can be disproved tomorrow but like Western society it's the best we have so far.
My personal philosophy in life is a mixture of things taken from people like Epicurus and Camus. I even have a tattoo of Sisyphos!
I'm in a couple of groups here: 'Coffee Break' and 'Aging Atheists' which are quite good.
See you around!
The Marxist dialectic is a useful tool in understanding the conflict between capital and labour but only that. I still call myself a socialist