Strange

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I don't know who Christopher Hitchens was, but I came across this quotation from him, that would be a good "mission statement" for the forum:

Quote

We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors. But we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.

Any better suggestions?

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I like it a lot. As long as folks understand that the meaningfulness of the last sentence is predicated on understanding and thoughtfully applying the first two.

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I like it, too, and Hitchens was a very well known atheist who debated with great ferocity those with ignorant and often creationist beliefs. He was so fierce, in fact, that he's likely better described as anti-theist than an atheist.

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Yeah, looks good. I can't find anywhere to put a chisel in that and it''s not negatively provocative.  :)

Edited by StringJunky

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22 minutes ago, iNow said:

I like it, too, and Hitchens was a very well known atheist who debated with great ferocity those with ignorant and often creationist beliefs. He was so fierce, in fact, that he's likely better described as anti-theist than an atheist.

Ah. Apparently he was "a chain-smoking, atheistic, foul-mouthed, British drunken smartarse" (https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Christopher_Hitchens)

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It looks pretty much like the principle of "Libre Examen" (Free examination) but I can't find anything related in English.

Google translated :

Quote

Free examination (Libre Examen) is a principle which advocates the rejection of the argument of authority in matters of knowledge and the freedom of judgment, this expression is the French layer of liberum examination which was of common use in the Republic of Letters from the very beginning in the Sixteenth century and that was for example the motto of the University of Leiden: ad liberum examen.

Drawn from the thought of Aristotle, it was the founding principle of the universities of the Middle Ages where we live the intellectual world, eager to escape the monasteries as sole places of knowledge transmission, to regroup, like the other craftsmen, in free trades, the "Universitates Studiorum and Magistrorum".

From https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libre_examen

 

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On 1/17/2019 at 8:00 PM, iNow said:

I like it, too, and Hitchens was a very well known atheist who debated with great ferocity those with ignorant and often creationist beliefs. He was so fierce, in fact, that he's likely better described as anti-theist than an atheist.

And this is exactly why I would advice against... The quotation itself is mild and nice, but its author is some sort of atheist god of war.

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2 hours ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

And this is exactly why I would advice against... The quotation itself is mild and nice, but its author is some sort of atheist god of war.

No person is perfect all their life and his thought captured at that moment was.

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3 hours ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

its author is some sort of atheist god of war.

That phrase needs work. Using atheist as an descriptor for a type of god strikes me as unfortunate and insulting to grammar. 

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4 hours ago, StringJunky said:

No person is perfect all their life and his thought captured at that moment was.

True... but my point is something else...

Even if author is all perfect (which I think is not) and even if its quote is polite, reasonable and beautiful (which I think it is), this still is not enough... as long as there is a large group of people who might be offended by the choice, we should refrain from forcing it. Even if this large group of people is all wrong... That was my point.

(I am not being a coward, I just think that SFN is not that kind of forum; not an anti-theist forum... not a fighting forum, but just a discussion forum... but this is only how I see the SFN, other members might have other ideas.)

4 hours ago, iNow said:

That phrase needs work. Using atheist as an descriptor for a type of god strikes me as unfortunate and insulting to grammar. 

Agreed (but I did use it intentionally, because I am skeptical about how much good did Hitchens do for me. I am not sure if I feel comfortable calling myself an atheist if this is enough to evoke a fight-or-flight response in other people.)

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9 minutes ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

Even if author is all perfect (which I think is not) and even if its quote is polite, reasonable and beautiful (which I think it is), this still is not enough... as long as there is a large group of people who might be offended by the choice, we should refrain from forcing it. Even if this large group of people is all wrong... That was my point.

Isn't this a fallacious argument, claiming what he said isn't appropriate because HE said it? It's Hitchens, not Hitler.

I think having a mission statement focusing on reasoned openmindedness from a man who was sometimes considered over-passionate about science is appropriate here. Besides, we can include something to the effect that, if you think we chose Hitchens to offend you, you're all wrong. We can use emojis to further demonstrate our non-offensiveness :-)

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19 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

we can include something to the effect that, if you think we chose Hitchens to offend you, you're all wrong.

 

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Even 'offensive' people say decent things.
And while he may be anti-religion, he is NOT anti-religious people.
IE don't be so sensitive.

But, do we really need a slogan or mission statement ?
What's next ? T-shirts ?
( YES, I want one )

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10 hours ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

And this is exactly why I would advice against... The quotation itself is mild and nice, but its author is some sort of atheist god of war.

I am far more offended by the many religious supporters, mounted on white chargers, conducting never ending crusades against the so called evils of science.

Perhaps the point you are trying to make is the forthright "apparent" abrasive nature of people such as Hitchens and Dawkins. Personally, I see the more "dulcet tones" of the likes of the late great Carl Sagan as far more productive.

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1 hour ago, Phi for All said:

I think having a mission statement focusing on reasoned openmindedness from a man who was sometimes considered over-passionate about science is appropriate here. Besides, we can include something to the effect that, if you think we chose Hitchens to offend you, you're all wrong. We can use emojis to further demonstrate our non-offensiveness :-)

If this can be done, it would be much better :)

But my advice to the owner of the forum remains the same.

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

Even 'offensive' people say decent things.
And while he may be anti-religion, he is NOT anti-religious people.
IE don't be so sensitive.

Hmm... but isn't it that you should be explaining this to new forum visitors? They will be judging this forum by its quotation choice. They will judge that this is a fighting forum and will take the fighting stance (some of them happily and readily). They won't make their judgement by what is quoted, but by who said it.... This is the practical side of my reasoning against the quote.

Yes, I know I am exaggerating (very few people will actually read the quote... and if we also write the author's name in a very fine print...)

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Just now, Danijel Gorupec said:

Hmm... but isn't it that you should be explaining this to new forum visitors? They will be judging this forum by its quotation choice. They will judge that this is a fighting forum and will take the fighting stance (some of them happily and readily). They won't make their judgement by what is quoted, but by who said it.... This is the practical side of my reasoning against the quote.

Yes, I know I am exaggerating (very few people will actually read the quote... and if we also write the author's name in a very fine print...)

99.99% of people won''t care; it's a non-issue.

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

I am far more offended by the many religious supporters, mounted on white chargers, conducting never ending crusades against the so called evils of science.

Perhaps the point you are trying to make is the forthright "apparent" abrasive nature of people such as Hitchens and Dawkins. Personally, I see the more "dulcet tones" of the likes of the late great Carl Sagan as far more productive.

Other then those personal opinions, I'm all for the slogan.  

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

Perhaps the point you are trying to make is the forthright "apparent" abrasive nature of people such as Hitchens and Dawkins. Personally, I see the more "dulcet tones" of the likes of the late great Carl Sagan as far more productive.

Not the topic her, but yes, it does bother me. It seems that people are associating atheism with these prominent and men - but, sadly, mostly to the aggressive part of their image... I noticed that I started to feel bad about revealing my own atheism, or if I am forced to reveal, I quickly say "atheist, but not anti-theist".

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Soooo...
Are we getting T-shirts ?

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I think it should be somewhat humorous in an ominous or inauspicious way.

1. "Omnes relinquite spes, o vos intrantes"    (Abandon all hope ye who enter here)

2. "Welcome to SFN - where ideas are pounded into dust"

3. "Welcome to SFN - where even the greatest ideas are pounded into dust"

4. "Welcome to the SFN destructive testing laboratory - where your best ideas are pounded into dust"

5. "Welcome to the SFN destructive testing laboratory - where every great idea is pounded into dust"

6.  "Welcome to the SFN destructive testing laboratory -  Omnes relinquite spes, o vos intrantes"    (Abandon all hope ye who enter here)

Edited by arc

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On 1/17/2019 at 7:06 PM, Strange said:

I don't know who Christopher Hitchens was, but I came across this quotation from him, that would be a good "mission statement" for the forum:

Any better suggestions?

I am familiar with Christopher Hitchens and his views on religion, abortion, women, politics, etc. He was indeed described as an anitheist because he viewed faith in god or any other superior entity or being as totalitarian belief that impedes individual freedom. While I am an atheist myself and agree with his critiques in general, I also respect the fact that Hitchens fought and argued in favour of science.

I know that there are scientists who are also religious, surely on this forum as well. However, when it comes to Hitchen's above mentioned quoatation in the thread, I see absolutely nothing offensive. Therefore, I personally think that it would make an excellent "mission statement" for the forum.

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The quote seems appropriate to me, if a quote is wanted.

I would say accept it for the value it presents, not judge it on the conditions of the person who presented it.

The contribution shouldn't be devalued because the person is judged to be unworthy of making it.

" Yeah but shes a woman" would not be accepted as  reason to reject the quote. 

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