A Bright Unto the World?
A drive to coin a new word for nonbelievers has implications for religious people and divides the atheist community.
07/26/2006 03:20:58 PM
The "Dimmed" is more like it! Bright? You're talking about the Light of God. Maybe next time you'll use your "intellectual abilities" and come up with something more suitable!
03/21/2006 05:17:01 PM
While there is an issue of low visibility that athiests feel the need to correct, and while picking a word with positive associations as a label is a good strategy, "bright" was not the word to use. The perception that atheists are smug imtellectuals is already deeply ingrained, and the word "bright" does not allay this. I suppose one could object that "gay" could have originally have been taken to mean that hetero people weren't happy and lighthearted. The difference is that there wasn't a history of homosexuals accusing heterosexuals of having no fun and being too serious. Try again next time, atheists...
03/17/2006 01:16:01 PM
For many years now, I have seen my personal religion as a quest, a work in progress. To accomplish this, I must be willing to admit that I do not have all the answers, and that I, like everyone else, make some assumptions when forming my worldview. If I learn something that challenges or even disproves my current belief, then I must admit I was mistaken, and go on, continuing to read, study, talk to people of varying beliefs, and think. I dislike the term "Bright" since it implies that people with strong religious views are not "bright." That is patently false. Religious people just tend to make different assumptions than nonbelievers. Even atheism and agnosticism operate on a set of assumptions, or leaps of faith.
02/18/2006 11:03:23 PM
Being a Bright, I can say with enthusiasm that the label solves the problem today and will (likely) adapt by selection to whatever problem or fitness challenge occurs tomorrow. It is practically unimportant WHAT the first word was that attached to the idea since it set the boundary for the next round of definitions according to the framework of the founders. And you cannot argue with the publicity generated! We are not Against God or apart from God or turning our backs on God. We are not Against rabbits or apart from rabbits or turning our back on rabbits. If you repeat this formula long enough you can understand (assuming a willingness to think 'of what is not the case' for your framework) that we cannot define ourselves by what we are not. Especially if the reference is to a supernatural power - which we do not see the motivation for at all.
09/03/2005 05:11:13 PM
I think the best thing would be better for atheists to identify themselves by their personal philosophy (e.g. humanist, objectivist, eudaimonist, etc). If not, simply use atheist, agnostic, nontheist, etc.
05/28/2005 10:42:10 PM
I agree with others that "Bright" is a very unfortunate word choice. No doubt Jerry Falwells is chuckling over it in between dinner courses somewhere. Plus, a question: I am not an athiest, but it would seem to me if Christianity was unacceptable, I would simply pursue another world religion. Why not look into Buddhism, as just one example, or even UU, instead of serving oneself up as cannon fodder for the religious right wing nuts? If nothing else, the book The Question of God (comparing CS Lewis' religious faith with Fredu's atheism) pointed out that life as an atheist 'ain't all that.' And, that in turn said, Christianity is not the only game in town. It almost seems atheism seems to ignore the fact that it's a mighty big world out there, geographically and religiously. It's easy to overlook that amid our tragic American Christian theocracy we are hurtling towards now.
06/17/2004 01:03:39 PM
Why not be a Nat, for someone with a Naturalistic worldview. Or a Free, for those whose worldview is free of supernatural and mystical elements? Or an Indi, for independent thought? But Bright? That's really going to backfire. Athiests are already widely disliked. Identifying yourself as A Bright is only going to throw gasoline on that fire. I'm really stunned that so many bright people can allow themselves to embrace such a politically tone deaf moniker.
11/11/2003 03:38:28 PM
Worse than being arrogant, the flight to the term "Bright" embraces the marginalization that skeptics must endure in American society.
09/15/2003 02:09:06 PM
Using the term "Brights" opens up nonbelievers to more ridicule for being arrogant. A bright idea would be the realization that the term "Skeptic" already covers the definition.