Hello all, I'm new to think Atheist, fairly new to the idea of forums.  

I'm 28, from northern Ireland, where it is hard to find groups of people so commonly minded so I started exploring this site a couple of days ago to see if i could involve myself in some though provoking conversations.  (though so far i've just written and read a few comments)

I would love to talk to people with a like mind, or with people who oppose my viewpoints for for friendly debates or explorative conversations.  I do hope to use skype as much as i can for this as my dyslexia makes this stuff difficult.

Can't wait to meet you all!

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hello, and welcome :-)

Hello and welcome. You will definitely have fun around here

Welcome, David.

Welcome to Think Atheist! 

I would love to talk to people with a like mind, or with people who oppose my viewpoints for for friendly debates or explorative conversations

You will definitely find a lot of both here! It's a pleasure to have you!

We are the forest of ideas here. Hope you find a great spot of shade however fleighting.....

Hi, welcome!  We're glad to have you join up. Take a look around. Join some groups, if you like. There are a lot of good posts worth checking out that aren't listed under What's New Today.

I don't think I've ever talked to an Irish person before, on all my surfing of the internets. Wow. My family is stupidly proud of our Irish heritage (but forget the rest of those European countries, Ireland is way more romantic). It weirds me out even though I appreciate Irish culture well enough.

Ok, I have to ask: Is it true they're asking the unemployed to leave Ireland over there? Sorry to put you on the spot, but if so, why would they do that? I know they tried to pay the homeless to move out of New York City a couple of years back...so don't think I'm looking condemning Ireland if it's true. These are messed up times.

Thanks for the good tips, its hard to get used to the site but im sure i will.

I'm not sure what way the unemployed are treated down south, sorry.  I am unemployed myself but live in the north (which is still owned by the U.K)

If you have an interest in whats going on here and in religious debate, you may be interested to know that the 'troubles' seem to be starting back up again with the most recent bomb going off in Belfast last week end.  Athough the bombs have only recently came back, there has been deep routed religious segregation for many years and acts of violence, riots and destruction is never to far.  All of this in the face of the majority on both sides wanting peace however.

If you are interested in the effects of the religious unrest and segregation, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.  I like to see myself as politically neutral, and as an Atheist youth worker i think my prospective is quite unique.

I am so very sorry to hear about the bombing. I sincerely hope that things don't continue to escalate. Damn extremists. How awful! What I know of the troubles makes my heart ache for you and your community--all sides. Try to be safe.

I suppose my question would be why do you think things are flaring up again? If it's not a specific incident that you can pinpoint, would you say it's a culmination of the segregation....or something else? Do you think the economy influences exstremists, terrorists, and religious tribalism?

What do you do in your capacity as an Atheist youth worker? What a novel idea.

Amazing, I have not heard anything here(Oregon- US) about Belfast for some time. Guess I'll need to review that history. Sadly 'nutty' is everywhere...

You would think that would make the national news and hit the gossip circles.

I'l respond to a few here.

I'm sure it would have made world news but we were lucky. One of the recent bombs only partially exploded (whatever that means) and the other, people just got lucky I guess. no one was hurt in either attempt.

If I was to take a guess as the the reason for the flair up, I'd say its probably a mix of things. The more extreme nutters just want to remind us that they are here.  Some are to young to remember how bad the past was so I guess they are more easily indoctrinated.  I guess the recession has a part to play to, unemployment and dwindling finance for social programmes cant help matters.

As an atheist youth worker, I aim to help bring along social change in our community.  This is done on many fronts, the most basic of which is giving young people somewhere safe to go, to hang about with their peers and meet people from various different backgrounds.  It goes more in depth when issue based and cross community programmes try to encourage young people to think for themselves, to question their old beliefs and pus personal and sociological boundaries.  

As far as my atheism goes in youth work, I keep it at home just as much as I expect religious youth workers to do the same.  It gets hard when asked a direct question about it though.  I'l never lie, but insure to point out that my views are only one of many.  I never tell young people what to think, But I try to encourage them to question their own beliefs and to think twice when someone does tell them what to think.

Sorry for the book there, I think that just about sums up what's going on here now, and what my part in it is (all be it a small one)

We don't like new people here. Go away!

JUST KIDDING!

As long as you're a rational person, you'll be okay here.

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