Cooperation among Humanists

Lausten, you just posted a response to my opening post on the topic “Openness, objectivity, and us.” Because your response opens another topic, I am opening it formally here.
I wish we Humanists would cooperate more fully with each other. So I will tell you what I would like you to do, then I want you to tell me what you want me to do.
I want you to stop conflating religion with theism. They are not the same thing. Every time you conflate them, you insult me and religious humanists generally. As they say in the civil rights movement, “no justice, no peace.” if you want me to cooperate with you, then stop insulting me and other religious humanists. So I want you to stop, now. When you are offering a critique of theistic religion, I want you to say “theism” or “theistic religion” or “theistic belief systems” or some similar language that makes it clear that you are not tossing me and other religious humanists into the bag of infamy. I want your promise. Then I want you to follow through on it.
Please tell me what you want me to do to cooperate with you.

Lausten, you just posted a response to my opening post on the topic "Openness, objectivity, and us." Because your response opens another topic, I am opening it formally here. I wish we Humanists would cooperate more fully with each other. So I will tell you what I would like you to do, then I want you to tell me what you want me to do. I want you to stop conflating religion with theism. They are not the same thing. Every time you conflate them, you insult me and religious humanists generally. As they say in the civil rights movement, "no justice, no peace." if you want me to cooperate with you, then stop insulting me and other religious humanists. So I want you to stop, now. When you are offering a critique of theistic religion, I want you to say "theism" or "theistic religion" or "theistic belief systems" or some similar language that makes it clear that you are not tossing me and other religious humanists into the bag of infamy. I want your promise. Then I want you to follow through on it. Please tell me what you want me to do to cooperate with you.
It isn't Lausten who is conflating theism with religion. It's a good majority of the rest of the world. We have to deal with that and it doesn't do a lick of good to jump up and down and carry on whenever anyone does it. We are vastly outnumbered and it does no good to waste so much time on minor issues. It's like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. If that's what you want to do with your time, do it. Just don't expect the rest of us to join you in your folly. There are two ways to handle this problem--argue until you're blue in the face or simply stop using the word because too many people misdefine it. I choose the latter. I have more to do than spend my time fighting insignificant and unwinnable skirmishes. Lois

Which word do you want to drop, Lois?

When you are offering a critique of theistic religion, I want you to say "theism" or "theistic religion" or "theistic belief systems" or some similar language that makes it clear that you are not tossing me and other religious humanists into the bag of infamy. I want your promise. Then I want you to follow through on it. Please tell me what you want me to do to cooperate with you.
I'm not going to track down the post, but I remember stating exactly this in the "religion v science" thread. I said the qualifiers are needed. So you're asking me to do something that I've already done. I'm not going to do any formal promising because I suspect you will abuse that and use it to get off topic. I've already stated what I want from you and it has become comical at times. My favorite was when you asked for a clear definition using a paragraph when a half sentence would have done, after several pages of being unclear about what you meant by religion. I use definitions of words that appear in dictionaries. Granted a word like "religion" has more nuance and variation than most words, but if you want that included, or think it enhances the conversation, then REQUEST or SUGGEST it. From Google, Oxford and Merriam Webster, the closest I found to what you were saying is, "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith". Which was definition #4 in MW. "Holding something with ardor and faith" instead of basing your claims on evidence is what I was trying to discuss. You were trying to discuss something else using a definition from some obscure scholar. I told you early on to go start your own thread, but you kept on, then complained because I didn't switch my topic to yours and answer your questions and respond to your multisyllabic verbacious posts.

Here are some good guidelines. They don’t come from any religion I know of.

http://www.openculture.com/2013/03/bertrand_russells_ten_commandments_for_living_in_a_healthy_democracy.html
From Google, Oxford and Merriam Webster, the closest I found to what you were saying is, "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith". Which was definition #4 in MW. "Holding something with ardor and faith" instead of basing your claims on evidence is what I was trying to discuss. You were trying to discuss something else using a definition from some obscure scholar. I told you early on to go start your own thread, but you kept on, then complained because I didn't switch my topic to yours and answer your questions and respond to your multisyllabic verbacious posts.
That's the same thing, you just don't see it. Faith doesn't necessarily mean "without evidence," though it usually means without conclusive proof, such as in "faith is taking the first step even though you don't see the whole staircase." If you don't see yourself as a religious person, then you can't expect to approach this from the same perspective as someone who is. Here are some definitions from standard dictionaries and eminent religious scholars that are fully consistent with, and supportive of, my definition of religion as “what a person or group uses to pull together and address life’s central concerns": From the English language’s pre-eminent dictionary, the Oxford: “a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance" From Merriam-Webster: “an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group" From the Free Dictionary, online: “A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion." William James: “the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine". James made it clear that the divine did not necessarily refer to a god or gods in the traditional sense. Emile Durkheim: a “unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things" Frederic Ferré: “one's way of valuing most comprehensively and intensively" Paul Tillich: “the state of being ultimately concerned" None of those definitions includes an absence or lack of evidence within the meaning of religion. You may not favor any of these definitions but they are well within established meanings, and they are used by us religious humanists. You have a choice: you can do what you can to pull humanism together, or you can treat us religious humanists as though we don’t matter, thereby dividing us. Your comment about humanistic religions being “barely" religions comes to mind. This entire argument grew out of this statement in your opening post in the topic “Religion vs Science": “Religion, when challenged, falls back on personal experience." That statement conflates theism and religion. I ask you again to stop doing it. Whether you appreciate it or not, I see this as an insult to religious humanists. Using the more specific term “theism" or “theistic belief systems," when by your own admission that is what you mean, costs you nothing.
Which word do you want to drop, Lois?
Have you been following this thread? Wasn't it you who started it? Is your memory that bad? And here I thought you were on the young side for that. Lois

Dictionaries rank their definitions, with more common ones first. So when I say “I use a dictionary", I include that practice. If you are pulling from a lower ranked definition or one from a liberal, modern theologian like Tillich, it’s important to note that. You however, attempt to overwhelm me with volume again as if that supports your point.
You lack nuance, style and grace. You return, after weeks, to the opening post and state your understanding of it as if that is THE understanding of it. I spent many posts fleshing it out, correcting it, smoothing out the clunky beginning. But you stayed on your message.
No one is out to squash your precious religious humanism. My lack of support is not going to make or break it. You seem to think I am not engaing with you because I have something against religious humanism. It’s because I don’t like you. I don’t care if you started a group to rescue cute kittens, I wouldn’t join because of you. You would accuse me of being a kitten hater.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a blog I wrote 3 and a half years ago, just when I was starting to realize I was an atheist. It’s a review and summation of a critique of the rationalist movement and how the question of humanism should be reviewed. Note that I consider it the best essay in a book of 50.

http://winter60.blogspot.com/2010/06/50-blogs-on-disbelief-best-for-last.html

Which word do you want to drop, Lois?
Have you been following this thread? Wasn't it you who started it? Is your memory that bad? And here I thought you were on the young side for that. Lois Just answer the question. You seem to have met yourself coming around the barn.
Dictionaries rank their definitions, with more common ones first. So when I say “I use a dictionary", I include that practice. If you are pulling from a lower ranked definition or one from a liberal, modern theologian like Tillich, it’s important to note that. You however, attempt to overwhelm me with volume again as if that supports your point.
Culturally, we are a minority. So naturally, we have views that are not those of the majority. That will include our ways of looking at things, including our definitions. The best way for a minority to become a majority is to convince the majority that its now-minority views should be majority views. If they succeed, then those definitions will have top play in the dictionaries. Again, we have to ask "why are we taking this approach."
You lack nuance, style and grace. You return, after weeks, to the opening post and state your understanding of it as if that is THE understanding of it. I spent many posts fleshing it out, correcting it, smoothing out the clunky beginning. But you stayed on your message. No one is out to squash your precious religious humanism. My lack of support is not going to make or break it. You seem to think I am not engaing with you because I have something against religious humanism. It’s because I don’t like you. I don’t care if you started a group to rescue cute kittens, I wouldn’t join because of you. You would accuse me of being a kitten hater. Don’t believe me? Here’s a blog I wrote 3 and a half years ago, just when I was starting to realize I was an atheist. It’s a review and summation of a critique of the rationalist movement and how the question of humanism should be reviewed. Note that I consider it the best essay in a book of 50.
http://winter60.blogspot.com/2010/06/50-blogs-on-disbelief-best-for-last.html
So then, there shouldn't have been any problem. Just acknowledge that your opening statement was poorly phrased, and let's move on.
So then, there shouldn't have been any problem. Just acknowledge that your opening statement was poorly phrased, and let's move on.
Making that suggestion would make sense to a person who believes that they are never wrong.
So then, there shouldn't have been any problem. Just acknowledge that your opening statement was poorly phrased, and let's move on.
Making that suggestion would make sense to a person who believes that they are never wrong. Well, you certainly put me in my place, didn't you. Do you think a remark like that adds anything? I told you that your statement in the opening post in "Religion vs Science" conflates religion with theism: "Religion, when challenged, falls back on personal experience." When I cited the examples of Ethical Culture and some UU congregations, which are humanistic religions that do not fit your description, you replied that they were "barely" religions, the implication being that they don't matter, or maybe are just confused about what religion "is". They may not matter to you but they matter to me, and to the religious humanists in them. The conflation is insulting to religious humanists generally, and to me personally. At that point, you could have written "I didn't realize that you would look at it that way, as a religious humanist." It's quite obvious from your remarks ("barely a religion") that you do not see these humanist organizations as religions, even though the people in them do. But of course, I'm the one who believes he is never wrong. If you want cooperation with religious humanists, this is not a good way to get it.
So then, there shouldn't have been any problem. Just acknowledge that your opening statement was poorly phrased, and let's move on.
Making that suggestion would make sense to a person who believes that they are never wrong.
Well, you certainly put me in my place, didn't you. Do you think a remark like that adds anything?
I'm not trying to add anything, I'm trying to subtract you.
I told you that your statement in the opening post in "Religion vs Science" conflates religion with theism: ....... is insulting to religious humanists generally, and to me personally.
Exactly, YOU TOLD ME, as if you are the authority on the meaning of all words. If you would simply own your interpretations, as you do with the closing words of this paragraph, then we might have something resembling a conversation.
If you want cooperation with religious humanists, this is not a good way to get it.
If I wanted advice on how to seek cooperation, I would not go to you.