I'm hoping that people here are more open minded than self described atheists.
after lurking & occasionally posting at an atheist site for a few months i found that most of them were engaging in group-think on almost every subject that came up. they didn't want any dissenters on any subject they all agreed on.
i don't believe in a personal god or an after life. the only thing i'm certain of is that nothing is certain.
What I've noticed about almost all "self-described" atheists (as opposed to people the religious identify as atheists which is pretty much anyone who disagrees with their faith) is that they are open-minded but demand credible evidence to believe in things. Faith is not enough. Discovering some fanciful idea or philosophy that comforts our psyche but has no basis in demonstrable fact is not enough for us to "believe" in it or follow it. That is a trait I admire.
And I've seen no evidence of group think on this site. Widely varied thoughts, opinions, ideas, arguments. Almost always engaged respectfully. I don't think it is too strong a statement to say I love this community for that.
Lastly, you are certain of nothing except uncertainty? A rhetorical device, at best. I bet you are certain you need air and water and food to survive. Certain you will die some day. Certain that the rain falling from a storm is not "magic sky water" but is readily explained by meteorology. So many things are certain. And so many things are not.
Just a guess here, but are you just uncomfortable engaging with people who are skeptical of your beliefs or who question your ideas?
There's a whiff of persecution complex in this thread. Unfounded assumptions, eg group-think and the rest. I'd expect a bit of rough and tumble with any group of free thinkers. You know the old saying about heat and kitchens and staying out of them. Well, this kitchen is warmly comfortable in my view. Anyway, my focus is as it has always been: on religion and fighting it.
Of course you're welcome to share any opinions you have but if the entire group thinks your opinions lack merit, the most logical explanation is that it's because they do. (When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.) Blaming group-think for everyone disagreeing with you seems like a dip into grandiose/paranoid/narcissistic territory. I'm not saying that's what you are but that's how that statement is reading to me. It's fine to disagree with everyone but I wouldn't discount all their opinions as "group-think".
Evidence based thinking is pretty much the opposite of group thinking, that is, unless you have a group of evidence based thinkers together.
When looking at science, what the bulk of the research supports, and the scientific consensus of most experts, is more meaningful that a study of a lone person, especially if that person is not an expert int he field. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Group think...humans are dangerously susceptible to it. I'm always embarrassed when i find myself thoughtlessly indulging in it. The reverse is just as bad, and i do it if I'm not careful as well.
Fuck what everyone else is doing. If i can focus on keeping myself out of, or getting myself out of those traps, I'm happy.
"Lurking" on a site sounds dubious. Lots of things are certain. Death is certain. Taxes should be certain but unfortunately the very wealthy avoid them...like that repugnant man in charge.
I am not sure what is wrong with saying I am an atheist.
well, i agree with everything you said at the end. i can't agree or disagree with your experiences, described in the middle, because they are your experiences; they certainly aren't mine. and i most certainly disagree with your assessment of self-described atheists. first of all, am i supposed to wait for someone else to describe me? second of all, i am (self-described again lol) quite open-minded (but you know, there IS that description of the person who is so open-minded that thoughts go in and come out without stopping anywhere in between). maybe you need to be more open-minded about atheists.
I said this before but, the big division is between holding groundless belief or not, the niceties within scepticism are tiny and unimportant compared with that. Some may think that they are on a higher rung of the ladder than others, and that may be true, but the really important thing is to have looked up and started the climb out of the cesspit of ignorance and prejudice which is blind unquestioning faith, looking at the light and not swimming nose down among the sludge where the users want to keep you. Therefore it is cruel and unfair to despise those who use a different ladder or can not climb quite as fast, and for that reason I always call myself a 'Broard Church Sceptic.'
I am an atheist. The term open minded is often used in such a way as to say you should accept my ideas no matter how ridiculous. I was open minded enough that I was able to explore what was real and not real and wise enough to accept what was real even if I did not like it. Even if it meant there was no god.
Gravity does exist of that I am sure most of us are certain. So some things can be certain.
Any religion that does not have an actual god is dependent upon faith.
There is no religion that is not dependent upon faith.
Of this I am certain.
I am quite open-minded. I believe that sometimes 1+1=4. Hey, my opinion on this matter is just as valid as any other opinions. After all, algebra is just a theory. How do you KNOW FOR SURE that you are right?
BTW, I welcome any contrary opinions on this. I hate to be engaged in "group-think."
Not understanding what the options are to being a “self-described” atheist (yes, the compound modifier takes a hyphen ...). Other people telling you what you believe? Staying “in the closet?” I’m an atheist because no one making claims that gods exist has been able to offer an ounce of evidence, and it’s not something I observe in the world around me. That’s it: to me the idea is just unconvincing. Also, you might be thinking of some anti-theists, who believe that religious ideas actually cause harm to individuals and society and so actively oppose religious thinking.
I started responding to this and discovered I was writing a novel, so I will simply say:
I completely agree with your “group-think” comment.
I recently left one atheist page from Australia coz it’s become way too “conform or be banned from commenting” in the comment section.
The only topics on which I have observed groupthink are the same ones that every other segment of society is guilty of practicing as well; mainly PC topics where any form of disagreement with mainstream view, even the semblance of disagreement, is met with open hostility and hatred. Other than that, I do not see what you're complaining about, unless you are referring to the fact that the overwhelming majority of members/commenters are skeptics, atheists, or agnostics; then, what would you expect from us on topics of religion, superstition, and the paranormal or supernatural? We are, by definition, a group of nonbelievers.
Well it is possible for individuals to think alike and remain an individual. Not only possible but something people have always done as they try to "fit in".
Group think is getting a "bad" name but the reality is because we use to to refer to negative types of thinking...and in the some cases not thinking at all but following to feel included.