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Mixed Messages?
August 4, 2007 3:03 PM   Subscribe

This strange mixture of meanings and symbols confuses me. maybe it's just that some of the ideas are confusingly named.
posted by StrikeTheViol (34 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Taken together, one word comes to my mind: arrogance.
posted by rockhopper at 3:10 PM on August 4, 2007


Metafilter: Bright is a self-identifying term.
posted by hermitosis at 3:10 PM on August 4, 2007


Incidentally, I'm not intending this to be LOLAtheists, I just think it's very strange.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 3:14 PM on August 4, 2007


You have to be careful if you're going to co-opt the scarlet letter. After all, "A" can stand for many things...
posted by hermitosis at 3:15 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks hermitosis, I knew I missed one.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 3:20 PM on August 4, 2007


Godless commies.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:20 PM on August 4, 2007


Eh, most ardent atheists deserve to be laughed at. Often they willingly discard their ideological superiority to expose ignorance rivalling that of the people they mock.

I mean seriously, we should be called brights? Because the scientific method upholds atheism, atheists should segment themselves into an arrogant inward looking minority? Give me a break.
posted by polyhedron at 3:21 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Atheists have always been at the forefront of rational thinking and beacons of enlightenment.

Heh. How is this statement different from from their counterparts? They both ignore their past.

Bright. Heh, again. If I agree, I'm "bright", other qualifications aren't needed.
posted by Mblue at 3:22 PM on August 4, 2007


These are guys who run around naked, right?
posted by delmoi at 3:23 PM on August 4, 2007


As an atheist and graphic designer, I can't tell which part of this is most embarrassing: the weak, thin-stroked A, the dumb co-opting of "outing," or that awful term "bright."

Goddamn, people should run this stuff by me first.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:29 PM on August 4, 2007 [13 favorites]


As someone who would be considered religious by most athiests and atheistic by most religious people, I found this quote from the last link very moving:
To admit that we are matter and mechanism is to ground our selves in the wholeness of the cosmos. In the new physics, self coalesces from the stuff of the stars, exists briefly,... then flows back into wholeness.
posted by treepour at 3:36 PM on August 4, 2007


Your a new breed treepour. Lets run this by Optimus.

Your Chymed.
posted by Mblue at 3:41 PM on August 4, 2007


To admit that we are matter and mechanism is to ground our selves in the wholeness of the cosmos. In the new physics, self coalesces from the stuff of the stars, exists briefly,... then flows back into wholeness.


Buddhism called. it wants the lame, superficial co-opting of its eons-old ideas back.

As an atheist, these people are to me what the "god hates fags" people are to the average, sane Christian: an embarrassment I really wish would stop trying to associate itself with my beliefs.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:59 PM on August 4, 2007 [4 favorites]


Brights? FFS, why not just call yourselves 'Rights' and be done with it?

Also: tossers.
posted by athenian at 4:12 PM on August 4, 2007


Mara the Deceiver, the Evil One, was walking with his servant along a road. Ahead of them, a man was doing walking meditation. As Mara watched, the man fell to his knees and began to closely examine an object glittering in the dust.

"What has this man found?" Mara's servant asked his master.

"He has found a piece of truth," Mara replied.

"A piece of truth? Master, aren't you worried?" the servant exclaimed.

"Not at all," Mara replied calmly. "Watch: the next thing he'll do is make a belief out of it."
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:20 PM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is so embarrassing.
Dawkins was so bright before he became "bright".
The scientific method makes us doubters of everything, not believers in nothing.
How can such a brilliant guy mix up these 2 very different meanings?
posted by bru at 5:16 PM on August 4, 2007


Dawkins is fine when he's writing about science, but I think he "cracked" years ago. It's sad that people will use his current behavior to dismiss his earlier writing.
posted by D.C. at 5:43 PM on August 4, 2007


"the scientific method upholds atheism"

I'm sorry but it does no such thing.
posted by oddman at 5:47 PM on August 4, 2007


I read this a big ad for t-shirts, targeted to people who like to use the t-shirt as a "a big fuck you" delivery medium.
posted by Deep Dish at 5:53 PM on August 4, 2007


I believe in Bright Pepsi Blue.
posted by Sailormom at 6:16 PM on August 4, 2007


Well, let's at least say "scientific methods have failed to produce evidence for your favorite super-sky-fairy, or for anyone else's."

(Except of course for the spaghetti remnants visible in the spectrum of NGC4014)
posted by hexatron at 6:19 PM on August 4, 2007


I read this as a big ad for richard dawkins.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:39 PM on August 4, 2007


Fascinating. Two dozen comments, not one actually trying to take the links seriously. Many people seem to believe that making an bald, unsupported, unargued statement is some form of contribution to the thread.

I've glanced at said links, doesn't seem particularly interesting, but tell me: which religion is *less* stupid than this? (I don't include Buddhism here, which is scarcely a religion at all...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:57 PM on August 4, 2007


I don't know what it was that made me think, "Richard Dawkins is selling shirts with a giant red A using outing metaphors! Metafilter must know!" but there you have it.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 6:57 PM on August 4, 2007


lupus_yonderboy: I included extra links in case people wanted more substantive stuff. The outing book I'd never seen before, and the first "brights post" didn't seem to get very far, so I thought...since 7 or 8 of my last cool sites had been scooped, it was worth bringing up in it's new, oddly syncretic "A for Atheism" form.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:05 PM on August 4, 2007




STV, I don't have a problem with the post, or even with Dawkins in general. I have many of his books, think he's a brilliant guy, and am glad he is a force for good in the world.

But he's a way shitty marketer.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:23 PM on August 4, 2007


Oy vey.
posted by ubiquity at 7:26 PM on August 4, 2007


I understand, OC... as a non-atheist who's had a number of unpleasant experiences with freethinkers, I challenged myself to create a post that didn't come across as a one-sided bash. (Or shill, for that matter.)
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:31 PM on August 4, 2007


which religion is *less* stupid than this?

MetaFilter. Bow, swine.

I know, I know, that's not helping the discussion. I have a real answer, but I doubt it will make anyone very happy.

Real, intelligent, highly-evolved people shouldn't bother to put ANY dog in this fight. Just because (obsolete) religions have set the bar incredibly low doesn't mean that one should just unctuously set their own bar an inch or even a foot higher than that and feel satisfied that one has beaten the belief game.

A religion is an institution that mediates or defines man's relationship with the unspeakable forces of meaning, chaos, and intelligence that govern our lives. It is an agreed-upon platform from which we can either soar or swing from our tethers, and (astonishingly!) even now many people would be unable to conceive of themselves without one. But for those of us who have moved on, who have pushed further, it is a long dark slog, and the temptation to establish the sort of affirmative feedback-loops that most religions do is very tempting, resulting in cults like this Dawkins thing. And it IS a cult, or is at least striving to be, just like the randy Objectivists are one.

I feel that if one is going to explore religions thoroughly enough to declare that one is above them somehow, then that person owes him or her self more than to just skulk on the stoop outside the church. In other words, the religion that is less stupid than this is the one which is self-invented, self-attended, and self-manifested.

I'm not going to go into what I believe and what I do about it. My life is heavily influenced by the traditions of both Eastern and Western mysticism, but benefits from all the ripe juicy fruit of our current era of free-flowing information and historic reference. My various beliefs (or "suspicions" as I prefer to call them) are contradictory, humorously antiquated, dangerously modern, and I rarely discuss them with anyone. There is no need to "come out" because there is no one I am not connected to, no one I agree with, and no one I wish to have a spiritual conversation with on the basis of my apparel.

I am not an elitist, but it's hard not to feel good about one's own position in the world when one look down and sees all the most "intelligent" and "enlightened" people our civilization has to offer, fighting over "truths" like birds over popcorn.
posted by hermitosis at 7:38 PM on August 4, 2007 [6 favorites]


I don't understand any of this. But I do like to poo.
posted by davy at 7:54 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Speaking of which, in case Jessamyn notices my last comment, I just found her a possible peace offering. Not that I'm endorsing it, I ain't even read it yet, but I think the title sounds pretty rarin'.
posted by davy at 7:57 PM on August 4, 2007


I feel that if one is going to explore religions thoroughly enough to declare that one is above them somehow, then that person owes him or her self more than to just skulk on the stoop outside the church. In other words, the religion that is less stupid than this is the one which is self-invented, self-attended, and self-manifested.

Something about this brought to mind a quote I read from someone somewhere (not me, I came across in a book by Peter Sloterdijk) that asserted something like the following: religion is an ontological madness. In other words, it's a madness that's inherent in the very fabric of human being.
posted by treepour at 9:26 AM on August 5, 2007


(I don't include Buddhism here, which is scarcely a religion at all...)

The lack of a necessary monotheism or polytheism doesn't mean it's not a religion. Really.

If you can't get over the theology of it, just look at how it works as an institution. When catholic missionaries first encountered buddhists, they thought that it was a church established by the devil to mock the christian church. Catholicism and Buddhism have very similar structures of monastic life set apart from the laity which supports them, among other things.
posted by Arturus at 12:17 PM on August 5, 2007


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