Introduction

Hello.
My name is Miro Kocur, i am from Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
(should be pronounced “kotsoor”, try at your own risk)
In last few years I found myself in arguing against religious discrimination versus heavy metal bands, festival promoters and other people involved in my country. Due these events I shifted from agnostic towards atheism.
There is a large difference being an atheist in USA and being an atheist in post-communist country. Even when Slovakia has 60% of citizens of catholic belief, there is still stigma of forceful atheism which was sign of conformism with communist regime. Some of self-styled humanists here in Bratislava openly defend ideas of non-democratic systems, or are affiliated with certain hoax-spreading media.
(Well, lets say there are people claiming that they are secular humanists, and atheists, while they dont have problem to spread anti-vax, chemtrails and many other hoaxes.)
I hope i might find out here how is humanism and atheism defined by people on this forum.

Hello. My name is Miro Kocur, i am from Bratislava, Slovak Republic. (should be pronounced "kotsoor", try at your own risk) In last few years I found myself in arguing against religious discrimination versus heavy metal bands, festival promoters and other people involved in my country. Due these events I shifted from agnostic towards atheism. There is a large difference being an atheist in USA and being an atheist in post-communist country. Even when Slovakia has 60% of citizens of catholic belief, there is still stigma of forceful atheism which was sign of conformism with communist regime. Some of self-styled humanists here in Bratislava openly defend ideas of non-democratic systems, or are affiliated with certain hoax-spreading media. (Well, lets say there are people claiming that they are secular humanists, and atheists, while they dont have problem to spread anti-vax, chemtrails and many other hoaxes.) I hope i might find out here how is humanism and atheism defined by people on this forum.
The first thing is that atheism is in no way related to agnosticism. Atheism is a position on belief. Agnosticism is a position on knowledge. They are completely unrelated conceots. You can be an atheist and an agnostic at the same time. Welcome to the forum. You'll be a good addition. Lois

I’m not sure what the connection of religious discrimination, heavy metal, promoters, etc. has to do with each other but in any event, welcome and enjoy.

I'm not sure what the connection of religious discrimination, heavy metal, promoters, etc. has to do with each other but in any event, welcome and enjoy.
Short to say... Christian politicians were pressing on police and office of prosecutor to ban metal festival and concert, because it is blasphemous (which is not a crime here). They pointed out that lyrics of the metal songs are real and not a fiction.

That sounds like the sort of thing we went through in America in the 80’s and 90’s. Good luck with that.
“Offler”? Does that name come from Terry Pratchet, by any chance? :slight_smile:

That sounds like the sort of thing we went through in America in the 80's and 90's. Good luck with that. "Offler"? Does that name come from Terry Pratchet, by any chance? :)
Yes, its from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. I used that nick for few years on different forums many years ago. I was fan of metal music since 2006. In 2014 there was first such attempt. I realized its in conflict with our laws and constitution. I slowly came to realization that what christian politicians wanted is suppression of free speech, luckily police and other officials were aware of that. That way i became an activist and later i found similar cases in USA (btw Speech of Dee Snyder to Pippa Gore is amazing to watch), and i found people like Pat Robertson. That way I got to James Randi and later to Christopher Hitchens.
btw Speech of Dee Snyder to Pippa Gore is amazing to watch
The (possible) irony there is that Dee Snider was and still is quite a devout Christian. But I agree his testimony was brilliant.
The first thing is that atheism is in no way related to agnosticism. Atheism is a position on belief. Agnosticism is a position on knowledge. They are completely unrelated conceots. You can be an atheist and an agnostic at the same time. ... Lois
I never looked at it this way. Thank you for helping me realize that. Makes perfect sense.
btw Speech of Dee Snyder to Pippa Gore is amazing to watch
The (possible) irony there is that Dee Snider was and still is quite a devout Christian. But I agree his testimony was brilliant. Its a common thing that members of metal bands have opposite stances to lyrics or the way how the performance appears to be. Few examples = band Slayer, song Angel of Death. Band was accused of glorifying nazism. The context is important thing, as Tom Araya is from Chile. The band itself was accused of satanism - again lyrics. Again people are mistaking fiction and band performance with real life, as Tom Araya is catholic. And of course Laibach. I still meet a lot of their fans, who happen to be far-right, not aware of their real political stance "D

The standout example for me is Alice Cooper (of whom I’m a huge fan), whose stuff, including “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell”, is basically advertising for the “straight and narrow”. (Even in “Blow Me a Kiss”, ostensibly about school shootings, he can’t resist throwing in a bit about making sure your soul’s in good shape before you meet your maker.) And none other than Black Sabbath’s earlier songs (e.g., “War Pigs”, “Lord of This World”) are like Christianity 101 – good people are saved and bad people go to hell.
Old-school headbanger that I am/was, I never was too familiar with Slayer. Aren’t a lot of their lyrics pretty bluntly atheistic, or am I thinking of somebody else?

Hm. Unusual article about my home city :slight_smile:
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jan/01/bratislava-spotlight-slovakia-25-years-capital?

Hello Miro & Others,
My name is Attila Csanyi (Chahn-yee), originally from Budapest, Hungary, from a Transylvanian family, but living in the USA since 1957 (after the Hungarian Revolution of '56), among the trees in the Manzano Mountain East of Albuquerque, NM.
I still consider myself a freedom fighter, politically a libertarian (former State Chair and pol. candidate in New Mexico), and a member of the NM Humanist Society, though a minority among mostly leftist Democrats. Also, New Mexicans for Science and Reason, and founder of the Hungarian-American Club of NM. Philosophically closest to Epicurus and Heraclitus, a non-theist, with BSc., MSc., Ph.D., (Psychology, Anthropology and Linguistics), I call myself a “born-again skeptic”
As a free thinker, I dislike the label of “atheist” because my conclusion is there are millions of gods, not in some outside realm, but created by and residing in the cortical circuits of believers, as are many other conceptual beings the believer had never experienced in real life (unicorns, Klingons, centaurs, etc.). My Hispanic wife of 48 years happens to be one of the believers, but we get along wonderfully. We have 4 children, 7 grand children, and 8 great-grandchildren in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial family. spread from here to the East Coast and to Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Happy New Year to all.

Welcome Cosmo. Okay if I call you Cosmo? I don’t get much diversity up here in the frozen north, so it’s always nice to meet someone with such history. I also have a believer wife, although she’s been dropping some major hints lately about just how fragile her belief is. I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about. I just read a book on the history of Zoroaster and the others in the region, so I’ll try to map that to what you posted.

Thank you Lausten,
Sure, Cosmo is OK.
Where in the “frozen north” are you? Here in NM we have not had much rain or snow for a couple of months. Hope we don’t get wildfires like California.
Let me know what you think of Zarathustra. I consider all of the so-called “Abrahamic” religions to be offshoots of Zoroastrianism, especially the presence of angels, an “evil being”, and an eschatology with a Saoshyant (“messianic”) figure and some kind of “Armageddon” (“sons of light vs. sons of darkness”. All of this reminded me again last night with ABC’s special about Waco and the self-proclaimed “messiah” David Koresh. Another “Koresh” appeared at the end of the 19th Century, Cyrus Reed Teed, who also formed a commune, named himself “Koresh” and wrote a book about “Koreshanity” called “The Immortal Manhood”, in which he predicted his and his “Koreshan” followers’ resurrection, after which they would be taken up to heaven.
I guess they both took the name from the Persian king Cyrus (Greek Κῦος, Kȳros, Old Persian Kūruš. and modern Persian Koorosh), who was declared the Lord’s chosen “messiah” in the book of Isaiah.
My father was a Seventh-day Adventist minister in Hungary, a religion of which the Davidians and David Koresh were offshoots. Hence my interest and familiarity with this subject. I say religions and their sects multiply and mutate like viruses.

Hm. Unusual article about my home city :) https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jan/01/bratislava-spotlight-slovakia-25-years-capital?
cool picture of the old town, tried posting it but comes across too big. Talk about the old country, first settled by Celts. Thanks for linking to that. I know the Danube, but only made it as far east as Budapest back in 1977. Cosmo, my mom's roots are in Budakeszi. It was an amazing week for me, an amazingly beautiful city (Budapest) though still showing the scares of the war. It's where I first realized how much good got forever destroyed by WWI/WWII. (NM, funny that, I'm next door in Colorado) Welcome to both of you, and bet we're all looking forward to hearing from you both.

Most scars of the war were cleared up after 1945, but some more are made by the Soviets during our 1956 Revolution, a war for for freedom and independence. I came to the USA after our defeat by the Soviets. Was too close to the provisional government we created during the revolution.
Budakeszi is also a nice town. My roots go back to Transylvania where my family was named after one of its towns. My father was born there, but my grandparents were refugees when it was taken from Hungary and annexed to Romania. Did not want to live under foreign rule. As Szekelys, we are the leftovers of Attila’s Huns. Now the father, grandfather and great-grandfather of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-color family of 20 Americans.

Looks like I repeated myself from a previous message. Apologies.

Most scars of the war were cleared up after 1945, but some more are made by the Soviets during our 1956 Revolution, a war for for freedom and independence. I came to the USA after our defeat by the Soviets. Was too close to the provisional government we created during the revolution. Budakeszi is also a nice town. My roots go back to Transylvania* where my family was named after one of its towns. My father was born there, but my grandparents were refugees when it was taken from Hungary and annexed to Romania. Did not want to live under foreign rule. As Szekelys, we are the leftovers of Attila's Huns. Now the father, grandfather and great-grandfather of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-color family of 20 Americans.
*That must make for some interesting cocktail party questions/discussions? Any good stories to share? So you've been here since the 40s, do you go back for visits? Are you familiar with that family history going way back?

Came to the USA in 1957 after our '56 revolution. Managed to escape from being picked up and jailed or executed by the newly reestablished Communist govt., like most of the ones associated with the revolutionary govt. Yes, I do have some stories to tell, having lived through the Nazis, WW2, that struggle for freedom in '56, and learning to live in the New World (education, jobs, a large family, politics, etc.)
I do have a family history prepared by my father that goes back to the 1500’s when we received the family name based on where my ancestor was from. First visited my family in '87 after a 30-yr. exile, which was followed by several trips home, to introduce my Spanish wife to the family and to the rest of Europe and the Mid. East, including Israel while I was still young enough to do all that traveling.