This question has been posed in may forms and ways, on this platform and the other platforms elsewhere. I need to pose it once more: Are We (the community of Free-thinkers and Atheists or in our indivual non-group associations) such a bad example of human freedom? People have been saying many things about the charecters of leading atheist, dead and alive. We have been labelled drunkards, sexual immoral, illicit language users, drug users. Is that the picture of this community/ these individuals?

I am in this dilemma beacause I have an understanding ( ofcourse from personal experience) that in the first two years of my consciously and publicly declaring my free thinking stance I wanted to boycott god and religion. So my mission was to oppose, by lifestyle, everything that is promoted by religion. As now I am maturing in my understanding and by associating with experienced Free-thinkers, in this platform and other platforms, I am begining to realise that all this moral things or behaviours that were hijacked by religion were actually part of human evolution, when humans civilized themselves and set laws to gorven behaviours. Thus by upholding  most of the behaviours that were promagated by religion will make me an eveloved species, not a god fearing human being. In the words of one atheist, I can be good without god.

For sure , I am not in the mission of converting people to be free thinkers, however I would not want them to dread associating with atheism/free thinking because of my lifestyle. Would I now?

What is your take , Free-thinkers? are we that immoral? Are we the sum total of everything that the civilized commnuities if human species dread?

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"Free to hold ourselves accountable". I think that is where I (I emphasised) should and must capitalise. Taking accountability of all my decision, be it viewed negetively or having negetive consequenses in my relating to other humans or my own health. Thanks Kris

Do you really think that the sexual revolution has been a positive for society? Why? Can you with an unbiased perspective list the pros and cons of it?

I even went and listened t oChristopher Hitchens debating the motion of whether the catholic church is the force for good.What intilligence!!

that full debate is great, though i will admit the second time through i skipped the obvious bits.

Stephen Fry is full of it.

No one claims that swearing is an indication of a poor vocabulary. Swearing is an indication of poor impulse control. 

No one claims that swearing is an indication of a poor vocabulary

nope, I've heard people make that claim, many times.

The label of free-thinking has the potential to be abused, and often is.  I have noticed (please tell me if you have as well) that people tend to need to feel superior in some way to others, as a part of self-worth.  That seems to be why there are so many dichotomies/cleavages in society.  If it's us vs. them, and we're right, and we feel safe.

Freethought is about investigating life's biggest questions (why am I here, am I a good person, etc.) honestly, independently, rationally, and without dogma.  The idea is to value the veracity of an idea more than the label. Using the label of "freethinker" or "intellectual" to make yourself feel superior to the religious IS hypocritical.  I'm thinking especially of many (obviously not all) antitheists, like Hitchens, now.  Religious people are NOT stupid, even if their beliefs on the particular subject of God are inaccurate.  Compartmentalizing and confirmation bias effect all of us.

It's much easier to shop for an ideology than to consider all angles and decide for ourselves what is moral and immoral.  However, freethinkers more than anyone else must accept this challenge.  You absolutely can be good without god/s; if you are honest about your values and do your best to be consistent with them. 

LOL that was kind of all over the place.  I'd love to hear people's response to those ideas, I've been thinking about it for a  while. 

I wonder, Renee, if humans by virtue of their evolution do not require some kind of restrain in their behaviours, or some kind of reference, be it from other humans who view matters the same as they do or who have aligned their thinking patterns in a particular way that fancies the eye of the one who chooses to follow the path. Though that may sound like the us-against-them cenario, but human interactions are and have been the us -against-them affair. I do have a feeling of wanting to "feel superior in some way to others" esp the religious folks, beacuse I habour the conclusions that they are still living in the dreams of their unvolved mental capacity, therefore I have discovered what they may die before discovering.

" I have noticed (please tell me if you have as well) that people tend to need to feel superior in some way to others, as a part of self-worth."

I am not sure I can agree with that statement. What is the value in having a sense of superiority over another individual intellectually? Should we feel better about ourselves simply because we think we have a superior mental prowess? The luck of genetic lineage should probably take the credit more so than our own developed ability to think on our own two feet. I do believe many theists get the impression that atheists consider themselves mentally superior to the everyday religious follower. That is unfortunate and it only makes our acceptance as a legitimate segment of society more difficult.

A positive religious institution is necessary to build and maintain a civilization.

Humans have been naturally selected for religiosity*. Religious institutions will always exist because religiosity is not cultural, it is biological. The biological religiosity module in our brain offers significant advantages in increasing courage, empathy and the initiation of the search for objective morality. There are also downsides to this module, as it can also activate a desire to build an utopian "Chosen Ones" society that might war with other societies.

From a game theory perspective, objective morality is a detriment to individual selection but aids group selection. Positive religious institutions that activate religiosity modules and channel them towards objectively moral virtuous behavior benefit a society. Similarly, negative religious institutions can also start holy wars.

If existing positive religion institutions are destroyed, there is an enormous risk that in the absence of religious institutions, dictators could channel religiosity activations of their subjects towards themselves, to the overall detriment of society. Marxist dictators often use this tactic to maximize power and control.

* An archive of articles and books related to this topic is available: http://evolution.binghamton.edu/religion/resources/article/

The pro-social benefits of religiosity: http://faculty.virginia.edu/haidtlab/mft/jessepublications.html

Didn't you try this bit in a different post, which went to spawn one of your own, which failed horribly?

I think I'm hearing an echo.

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