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Why I (think) I'm here...

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Old 05-Jun-2013, 06:03 PM (18:03)     1        47073
Psychonautical Buddhist
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1
Default Why I (think) I'm here...

My name is Prem, but I'm known on various forums, YouTube, and Twitter as Xochipilli2012, which is roughly pronounced as zoe-chi-PILL-ee twenty-twelve for us non-Nauhuatl speakers.

I appear in the world as an agnostic atheist, but I'm philosophically a pantheist/monist. I am a disciple of Osho, but not particularly active in that community. My current practice trends Buddhist, but I've never taken any formal vows, and I have no idea if I ever will.

My interest in the skeptic/atheist community comes from my experience as a former born again Christian, and how helpful reading free-thought literature, particularly Robert G. Ingersoll, was for coming to terms with my deconversion--a two-year process where I gradually realized that most of what I had been taught since childhood was a well-intentioned, but nevertheless destructive, lie.

While I embrace a rational approach to understanding the cosmos, I recognize that much of our knowing is provisional, and over time there will be refinements, corrections, with occasional repudiations. For this reason, I take a more agnostic approach with some subjects compared to many in the so-called "skeptic movement."

With respect to the so-called "rift" in the online skeptic/atheist community, I tilt away from the FTB/Skepchick/Atheism+ side. I only got the news about Elevatorgate in February 2013, and what I've learned in meantime suggests that I am no longer a "feminist."

"Gender egalitarian" sounds rather clunky, but if I must use a label, I'm going with that one for now.

I've supported equality for women for as long as I can remember--even as a child in the 70s. And while I won't fault anyone for self-identifying as a feminist, I cannot in good conscience apply the term to myself. While there may well be a whole heavenly host of feminisms--the core teachings promoted Women's and Gender Studies programs around the world seem ideologically-based, crafting a cult of perpetual victim-hood, which tends to harm, not help, women.

Whenever I encounter someone claiming that "feminism is nothing more, and nothing less, than equality for women," I strongly suspect that they haven't really looked into the matter.

I mention feminism because I see the infusion of certain non-scientific feminist ideas (patriarchy theory, "rape culture," intersectionality, free speech for the "oppressed," policed-speech for "oppressors," anti-evo-psych science-denialism, gender-as-completely-socially-constructed, etc.) into any movement that values critical, evidence-based thinking, to be highly problematic. I also think that because so many skeptics/atheists mistakenly believe that feminism is only about "equality for women," they unthinkingly condemn anyone who would dare criticize feminists, or feminist concepts as being "anti-women."

What is most ironic for me concerning the conflicts in this community is that they are not rational. There may be some ideological differences, but the energy driving the conflict is emotional. The most strident parties on whatever "side" (with the caveat that there are more than two) experience the conflict in terms of morality. They see their opposition, no merely as colleagues confused by faulty reasoning, but as bad, even EVIL people. So they adopt a siege mentality, putting tremendous amounts of energy into framing their opponents as sub-human scum who deserve be be raped, kicked in the cunt, to die in a fire, or be anally-violated with all-manner of porcupines.

If we really want this nonsense to stop, we must each first take responsibility for our own part in it. The cop-out of "that mean thing I said/did wasn't nearly as bad as what the other side just said/did" has to stop. I'm guilty of it too.

I'm not suggesting we not be critical, or hold people accountable. But let's not fool ourselves by only complaining about shit when other people do it.

This is more than enough for now. I certainly have a few more ideas where these came from.

Thank you Tim for setting this place up.


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Old 05-Jun-2013, 06:25 PM (18:25)     2        47074
Never's Avatar

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Location: Ohio
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Welcome to the Hub Xochi.
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Old 05-Jun-2013, 06:31 PM (18:31)     3        47075
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Welcome to the Hub, Xochipilli2012!

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Old 05-Jun-2013, 09:36 PM (21:36)     4        47081
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 34

Welcome Xochipilli2012! I recognize your handle from Twitter.

You raise a good point about owning our part in things too. One of the ways I have seen many people here do that is by stopping the name calling and trying to focus on the issues rather than making inferences about the people on the "other side."
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Old 05-Jun-2013, 09:42 PM (21:42)     5        47082
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: The Great State of Confusion
Posts: 281

Impressive intro. Welcome to the Hub.

I tend to be a bit leery of all "isms" and just go with my own flow, be my own distant drummer.
Dog is my copilot.
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Old 06-Jun-2013, 06:56 AM (06:56)     6        47105
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 4
Blog Entries: 1

Welcome, Prem. I always enjoying hearing from another Ingersoll fan. Several of his books and books about him are available on Amazon, and I've been collecting the Kindle versions. He was a great orator, and I love reading his words. I didn't discover him until after I'd lost my faith. I am very glad his words are once more in print.
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Old 06-Jun-2013, 05:15 PM (17:15)     7        47117
faithless and unreasonable

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hello and welcome!
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Old 15-Jun-2013, 07:58 PM (19:58)     8        47308
Doctor Ragnarok
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The darkest corners of your imagination. Or maybe right next to you. I'm not telling!
Posts: 4,015
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Hello and a very belated welcome!
"Time once again for an important GNR public service announcement! Don't feed the yao guai. That is all." ~Three Dog

"Remember kids, a smart man knows when it's time to run like a little bitch!" ~Kanta, Desert Punk
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