Monday, April 23, 2012

My PATAS Speech - A Wonderful Convention

I arrived home today from the 2012 Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society Convention. I left last Friday, so if I slur my paragraphs, please forgive me. It was a long trip both ways in a short period of time.

Those who worked on the conference and who are working for "the cause" in the Philippines have my deep respect and admiration.  The conference was excellent and I was fortunate to share the dais with Roar Johnsen; Tanya Smith; John Paraiso, Norm Allen, Jr.; Dan Barker; Jeremiah Camara, Mark Tiers; Red Tani; Ilving Zamora and Jovelean Borces.

While my time in Manila was brief, several of us went for a bus tour of the countryside on Sunday, the day after the conference. The deep poverty was hard to see, however, as our guide and our guests explained to us time and again, the Roman Catholic Church holds such sway over the population. Birth control is deeply disregarded and distrusted by adults and families have 8 to 10 children.  This, my PATAS friends conclude, is a major economic and social justice issue and one the Church wishes to ignore or take any responsibility for creating.

Such poverty caused by high birth rates which cannot support the nation has meant people live in slums and do not receive adequate healthcare or education. In effect, these people are slaves to the Church, so crime and prostitution are deeply ingrained life-ways along with faith, prayer and tithing.

Let me say that I found everyone connected to the conference to be welcoming and generous with their time and enthusiasm.  I would go back to Manila and visit many of the other islands (there are 7,000 I am told) in a heart beat. I now have many new friends and that is personally very exciting.

Here is the text of my speech. I do want to thank many reviewers (Gerald Kamber; Tanya Scott, Michael Dorian) who combed through it for balance and helped me flesh out ideas. I'm probably forgetting someone, so please let me know if I do as it is not intentional.
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THE JOYS OF ATHEISM - FINAL

THANK YOU. I AM DELIGHTED TO SHARE THIS TIME WITH YOU. 

I ALSO THANK MARISSA TORRES LANGSETH AS WELL AS THE PATAS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE AND ITS MEMBERS FOR THEIR HELP AND SUPPORT.

IN ADDITION, I THANK MY OWN BAND OF SEMI-RADICAL ATHEISTS FROM MANHATTAN, A CITY THAT HAS SEEN THE RESULTS OF TERRIBLE RELIGIOUS VIOLENCE ON A MASSIVE SCALE.

I AM HERE TO PERSONALLY BECOME PART OF YOUR COMMUNITY. BUT I ALSO REPRESENT THE NEW YORK CITY ATHEISTS AND ALL THOSE WHO COULD NOT COME TO THE PHILIPPINES BUT WHO WISH YOU WELL AND SEND GLAD TIDINGS IN SECULAR SOLIDARITY.

LAST MONTH, IN WASHINGTON, DC, THE AMERICAN ATHEISTS HELD THEIR FIRST REASON RALLY ON THE NATIONAL MALL. 
THIS RALLY BROUGHT TOGETHER MORE THAN 20,000 INDIVIDUALS AND DOZENS OF ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING ATHEISTS, SECULARISTS, BRIGHTS, HUMANISTS, AND EVERY SHADE OF SECULAR ACTIVIST.

THIS, FOR THE CENTRAL PURPOSE OF ENSURING THAT OUR COUNTRY WILL NOT BE OVERRUN BY THEIST POLITICIANS WHO USE FAITH AND THE BIBLE TO MAKE SOCIAL POLICY, DENY A WOMANS RIGHT TO REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM, STOP THE TEACHING OF EVOLUTION AND FORSAKE THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF SECULARISTS.

THIS WAS A MOMENTOUS DAY AND IT ALLOWED A NUMBER OF PEOPLE TO EXPRESS THEIR IDEAS, TO SPEAK WITH ONE RATIONAL VOICE.

SO WHILE IT MAY SEEM AS THOUGH WE ARE ON SEPARATE TRAINS TRAVELING ON DIFFERENT RAILS, IN ACTUALITY WE ARE ARRIVING AT THE SAME STATION. THAT STATION IS KNOWN AS REASON. AND AT THAT STOP, ALL OF US ARE WELCOME.

ALL OF US ARE INDEED HOME.

SO ON MARCH 24TH WE STOOD UP AND WERE COUNTED. WE WERE COUNTED BY THE MEDIA AND THE POLITICIANS. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY THE CLERGY BEGAN TO COUNT US AS WELL.
DEAR FRIENDS OF PATAS, TODAY IS YOUR DAY, AND THIS IS YOUR TIME TO BE COUNTED AS WELL!

I SALUTE YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS AND YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I KNOW THE HISTORY OF THE PHILIPPINES AND I REALIZE HOW BRAVE EACH OF YOU IS FOR COMING OUT AN ATHEIST, HUMANIST OR FREE-THINKER.

THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO DEFINE OUR MOVEMENT FOR US.  THEY  SAY, YOU ATHEISTS JUST DONT LIKE RELIGION OR YOU ATHEISTS ARE JUST ANOTHER RELIGION OR EVEN STILL,YOU ATHEISTS ARE ALL GOING TO HELL BECAUSE YOU DONT BELIEVE OR WE ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL OR THAT WE HAVE NOT BEEN SAVED.

BUT THIS IS ALWAYS THE FAITHFULS NEGATIVE MESSAGE. IT IS A MESSAGE OF DIVISION AND US VS. THEM,  SOMETHING ORGANIZED RELIGION HAS BEEN DOING FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.  AND THEY DO IT TO DIVIDE HUMANS FROM HUMANS.
AND THE RESPONSE SHOULD ALWAYS BE MET WITH JOY FROM OUR SIDE.

IF I AM ASKED IF IM SAVED, I ALWAYS JOYFULLY SAY, WHY, YES, I AM SAVED. I  AM SAVED FROM THE DOGMA AND SUBJECTIVITY OF YOUR AND EVERY RELIGION ON EARTH.

THIS IS A CENTRAL JOY OF MY LIFE AND I LOVE TO SHARE IT. I SHARE IT BECAUSE I BELIEVE WHAT YOU ALREADY MAY KNOW.
YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT THE REASONS FOR SECULARISM, HUMANISM, AND ATHEISM ARE: PERSONAL AND SOCIAL PEACE, JUSTICE, MORALITY AND GOODNESS.

OUR CAUSE NEED NOT EMBARRASS OR INTIMIDATE THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN GOD. OURS IS A MOVEMENT OF NON-VIOLENCE. WE ARE NOT BULLIES.

WE JUST ASK FOR THE SAME LEVEL OF RESPECT. WE SIMPLY ASK THAT ANOTHERS PERSONAL RELIGIOUS AND SUBJECTIVE MORAL VALUES NOT BE MADE INTO LAWS THAT PREVENT US FROM LIVING A SECULAR LIFE WITH PROSPERITY, DIGNITY AND FREEDOM.

WE CAN ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR ARE SMART PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN GOD. BUT LEARNING FROM A RELIGIOUS PERSON DOESN'T MEAN WE CANNOT COMPARTMENTALIZE THEIR INTELLIGENCE, IDEAS AND HUMANITY WITHOUT EXCLUDING OR AGREEING WITH THEIR NEED TO GRASP ILLOGICAL FAITH.

AS ATHEISTS, TO LIVE A SKEPTICAL LIFE REQUIRES EVIDENCE OF TRUTH. IT DOES NOT TAKE THE WORD OF ANY AUTHORITY WITHOUT PROOF OR THE VALIDATION OF DATA. ANYTHING ELSE WOULD BE DISHONEST.

FROM THE MOMENT A RELIGIOUS PERSON OR POLITICIAN PLACES HIS OR HER FAITH INTO ACTION OR LAW, OR USES IT TO GUIDE THEIR MORAL CONSCIENCE, THEY ARE SETTING UP A PREFERENTIAL SITUATION WHERE NO SUCH PREFERENCE IS WARRANTED.

ONE HAS A RIGHT TO SAY, BLUE IS THE PRETTIEST COLOR OR FOR THAT MATTER, GOD EXISTS. ONE ALSO HAS A RIGHT TO SAY GRAVITY IS A FACT. NOW, ONE OF THESE STATEMENTS CAN BE TESTED; THE OTHER TWO, NO MATTER HOW EMPHATIC OR EARNEST THE SPEAKER, OR PHILOSOPHICALLY ARDENT, JUST STATE AN OPINION.

THIS MEANS WE MUST DEMAND TO BE HEARD AS EQUALS. WE MUST ALSO ACT AS EQUALS WITH OUR OWN SECULAR MORALITY, OUR PHILOSOPHY AND, IN THE FOREFRONT, OUR DEEDS AND OUR POLITICS.

AFTER ALL, WHAT IS FAIR FOR ONE MUST BE FAIR FOR ALL.
FRANKLY, EACH OF YOU SHOULD STAND TALL AND PROUD FOR SPEAKING UP, ORGANIZING AND PARTICIPATING IN THE PATAS CONFERENCE NOW AND IN THE FUTURE.

YOU HAVE CROSSED THE FIRST AND MOST DIFFICULT HURDLE. YOU'VE BUILT A COMMUNITY OF SHARED VALUES AND BELIEFS. THIS IS THE KEY TO UNLOCK YOUR ACTIVISM. KEEP BUILDING!
SO DO NOT LET OTHERS DEFINE YOU, OR YOUR SECULAR FRIENDS, OR THE MOVEMENT WHICH YOU HAVE STARTED. 

I SHARE WITH YOU THE TOTAL JOY THAT ATHEIST LIBERATION HAS GIVEN ME IN MY LIFE.

FIRST, LET ME STATE WHAT YOU HAVE PROBABLY ALREADY GUESSED, I AM AN ATHEIST AND I AM PROUD OF IT.

EVERYONE HERE, IF YOU CAN, PLEASE STAND-UP AND REPEAT THIS OUT LOUD TO YOURSELF AND TO EACH OTHER, I AM AN ATHEIST AND I AM PROUD OF IT.

IVE BEEN A NON-BELIEVER SINCE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD AND THROUGH THE DECADES OF MY LIFE, I HAVE NOT WITNESSED A SINGLE MIRACLE OR ACT OF AN ALMIGHTY GOD THAT WOULD CHANGE MY CONCLUSIONS.  I AM PROUD OF MY ATHEISM AND I AM NEVER DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE OF IT.

DEAR UNIVERSE, THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO LIVE AN EVIDENCE-BASED LIFE!

PERHAPS SOME OF YOU ALREADY SHARE MY JOYFUL TRUTHS. PERHAPS YOU HAVE EVEN ARTICULATED THEM TO OTHERS. BUT NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF COMING OUT AS AN ATHEIST, THATS TOTALLY COOL.

SO THESE ARE MY JOYS AND THEY ARE NOT IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER, NOR IS THIS LIST EXCLUSIVE OR COMPLETE. BUT I CAN GUARANTEE YOU IT WILL BE IN CONFLICT WITH THE FAITH-BASED MINDSET:

             I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I FEEL NO SHAME RELATED TO MY BODY OR ANYONE ELSES BODY OR HOW OUR BODIES WORK
       I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I FEEL NO GUILT RELATED TO SEX AND WITH WHOM AND HOW I PARTICIPATE IN SEX, OR HOW I EXPRESS MY SEXUALITY
             I AM STRAIGHT, BUT I AM PROUD OF MY GAY AND LESBIAN FRIENDS AND THOSE FRIENDS IN THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY WHO HAVE COME OUT.
      I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I ACCEPT SCIENCE OVER SUPERSTITION; NATURAL SELECTION INSTEAD OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN; AND MEDICINE OVER PRAYER
      I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I DO NOT BEND MY KNEE NOR BOW MY HEAD TO ANY AUTHORITY WHICH DOES NOT DESERVE AND HAS NOT EARNED THAT AUTHORITY OVER MY LIFE OR MY WELL-BEING
I AM JOYFUL THAT I SUPPORT A SECULAR CULTURE THAT DOES NOT USE BIBLICAL LAW TO ARREST WOMEN FOR MORALITY CRIMES JUST BECAUSE THEY RUN AWAY FROM ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
       I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE MY LIFE IS FILLED WITH FRIENDS OF ALL RACES, CREEDS, FAITHS AND NON-FAITHS. I DO NOT CHOOSE THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE BECAUSE WE HAPPEN TO BELIEVE OR AGREE ON THE SAME MAGICAL OR IMAGINARY BEING IN THE SKY
       I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I DO NOT HATE OR WISH TO HARM, OR SEE OTHERS AS INFIDELS AND SINNERS. AND BECAUSE I DO NOT SHARE THE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE OF THE FAITHFUL
      I AM JOYFULL BECAUSE I ACCEPT THE IDEAS OF CARL SAGAN, STEPHEN JAY GOULD, NICOLAS COPERINCUS, JOHANNES KEPPLER, ISSAC NEWTON, ALBERT EINSTEIN, GALILEO, CHARLES DARWIN, RICHARD DAWKINS, CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, LARRY KRAUSS AND SO MANY OTHERS.  WAY BEFORE MATTHEW, LUKE, PETER, JOHN, MOHAMMED, JESUS, MOSES, BUDDAH, THE POTATO GOD, TOTEMISMSHALL I GO ON? YOU GET THE PICTURE
          FRANKLY, I AM INSULTED AS AN ANTHROPOLOGIST, LIBRARIAN AND HUMANIST WHEN I HEAR SOMEONE SAY WE MUST GET OUR MORALITY FROM A STONE AGE SET OF BOOKS WHOSE ANCIENT AUTHORS WERE DUBIOUS AND IGNORANT OF THE WORLD. IT IS JUST PLAIN SILLY.  TYPICALLY AND NOT COINCIDENTALLY, THE SPEAKER BELIEVES THEIR BOOKS ARE THE ONE TRUE FAITH.
WE CERTAINLY CAN GAIN INSIGHTS ABOUT OUR COMMON HUMANITY FROM OTHER BOOKS, LIKE "A TALE OF TWO CITIES" OR "DEATH OF A SALESMAN, OR THOUSANDS OF OTHE WORKS OF LITERATURE, POETRY AND SCIENCE BOOKS.

THE DIFFERENCE HERE IS THAT I CANNOT THINK OF ONE WAR THAT WAS STARTED OR BOMB VEST WORN TO BE EXPLODED IN A CROWDED MARKET BECAUSE OF THE INTERPRETATIONS OF THESE NON-RELIGIOUS WORKS OF FICTION OR NON-FICTION.
       I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE MY LIFE HAS AN ACCIDENTAL BEGINNING, A SELF-MANAGED MIDDLE AND A FINITE END.  AND THE END DOES NOT FRIGHTEN ME.  KNOWING THIS MAKES ME WANT TO SPEND EVERY MOMENT INVOLVED, ONLY MAKING IT THAT MUCH MORE SPECIAL AND CONNECTED TO OTHERS AND THE UNIVERSE
      I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I KNOW I CAN BE AN ATHEIST WITHOUT NEEDING TO BE A MARXIST. YES, YOU CAN MAKE A BUCK AND NOT BELIEVE IN GOD. ITS OK, REALLY!
      I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND AND TEACH THAT THE UNIVERSE IS 14 BILLION YEARS OLD; THAT THE WORLD ISNT FLAT; THAT THE EARTH IS NOT THE CENTER OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM; THAT STRING THEORY AND E=MC2 ARE FACTS; AND THAT THE UNIVERSE (OR SHOULD WE SAY MULTI-VERSES) CAN AND WILL SPRING UP FROM NOTHING
       I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I BELIEVE AND TEACH EVOLUTION
       I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I KNOW THAT WARS REALLY ARENT FOUGHT FOR TERRITORY OR GLORY BUT BECAUSE SOME RELIGIOUS PERSON OR GROUP SOMEWHERE WISHES TO TAKE WHAT THEY DO NOT OWN OR SUBJUGATE OR KILL OTHERS BECAUSE THEY ARE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS
        I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I RESPECT WOMEN AND DO NOT SEE THEM AS SLAVES OR BABY-MAKING MACHINES. ALL BIBLES AND RELIGIONS BELIEVE WOMEN SHOULD BE SUBSERVIENT TO MEN (EVERY WOMAN IN MY LIFE IS SMARTER THAN I AND THEY HAVE NO HESITATION IN SHOWING OR TELLING ME THAT I KNOW MY PLACE)
       I LOVE BEING AN ATHEIST BECAUSE I LOVE MY LIFE JUST THE WAY IT IS
       I LOVE ATHEISM BECAUSE I DO NOT NEED TO BE SAVED, AND BELIEVE THAT ANYONE WHO WISHES TO SAVE MY NON-EXISTENT SOUL IS AN INTELLECTUAL FASCIST AND IMPERIALIST, REGARDLESS OF THEIR INTENTIONS
      I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I ACCEPT ALL RELIGIONS AND MYTHOLOGIES AS EQUALLY SUBJECTIVE, NON-LITERAL AND MAKE-BELIEVE AS THEY ARE AN ANCIENT AND UNSCIENTIFIC WAY OF EXPLAINING THE WORLD
       BUT MOSTLY I LOVE ATHEISM BECAUSE I AM A DIVORCED DAD WHO HAS TWO BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS WHOM I DEEPLY LOVE AND FOR WHOM I WANT TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.  THIS, SO THEY CAN LIVE IN A SOCIETY THAT IS KINDER AND WILL PROVIDE BOTH EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL SECURITY AFTER I AM GONE.

THEY ARE NOW YOUNG WOMEN (BOTH ATHEISTS) AND I DO NOT WANT THEIR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS LOST, OR THEIR CHOICE WHEN AND WHO TO LOVE TO BECOME SOMEONE ELSES BUSINESS, OR THEIR FUTURE TO BE ONE WHERE THEY CANNOT PARTICIPATE FULLY OR EQUALLY IN THEIR OWN LIVES, OR IN THEIR JOBS OR IN POLITICS BECAUSE THEY WERE BORN AS WOMEN.

I AM JOYFUL BECAUSE I KNOW THAT WHEN I SPEAK TO GROUPS OR LIVE MY LIFE THAT PERHAPS IN SOME WAY I WILL MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR SOMEONE ELSE.

ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE AND WOMEN WHO ARE RIGHT NOW BEING PERSECUTED, OR MUTILATED OR ABUSED IN SOME WAY, BECAUSE OF THE RELIGIOUS DOGMA OF THEIR FAMILY, THEIR COMMUNITY OR THEIR NATION.

SO I ASK EACH OF YOU HERE TO SPREAD THE JOY OF ATHEISM.  EACH OF US HAS AN OBLIGATION TO STAND UP, TO COME OUT, TO BE COUNTED, TO SHARE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE JOY AND FREEDOM OF OUR LIVES BECAUSE WE ARE ATHEISTS.

EACH OF US ALSO HAS AN OBLIGATION TO STAND UP, TO COME OUT, TO BE COUNTED ON, TO SHARE AND ACKNOWLEDGE AND TO CONFRONT BIGOTRY AND PREJUDICE FROM THOSE WHO WOULD USE THEIR FAITH TO HARM OTHERS; OR PREVENT ANOTHER FROM ENJOYING THE HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS WHICH WE HAVE BESTOWED ON OURSELVES AS FELLOW HUMANS. 

GOODNESS DOES NOT NEED TO COME FROM ACCEPTING GOD OR FOLLOWING A RELIGIOUS FAITH OR PATH.

WE HERE AT PATAS (AND THE REASON RALLY AND BEYOND) ARE LIVING PROOF THAT BOTH OUR WORK AND OUR ACTIONS SHOW THAT WE CAN BE GOOD WITHOUT GOD.

WE WORK AS PARENTS, OR AS TEACHERS, WE WORK FOR NGOS OR AS THERAPISTS, OR BANK TELLERS OR NURSES, OR SOCIAL WORKERS OR LAWYERS. THE POSITIONS AND ROLES GO ON...AND ON...AND ON.

NON-THEISTS ARE A LIVING, BREATHING AND GROWING COMMUNITY. AND WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY!

AND GOD DAMM IT..PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ACTUAL GOODNESS AND JOY COME FROM BEING FREE OF GOD AND FAITH, AND NOT BECAUSE YOU HAVE FAITH OR GOD IN YOUR LIFE.

AS ATHEISTS, WE MOVE FORWARD BECAUSE WE TRUST OURSELVES AND OPTIMISTICALLY TRUST OTHERS. SOME WOULD THINK TO CALL THIS TRUST FAITH. BUT EVEN IF WE USE THE WORD FAITH, IT COMES DOWN TO WHAT WE HAVE FAITH IN THAT MATTERS MOST.

I TRUST A FAITH IN ONESELF, DEFLECTED FROM A SPIRITUAL GUIDE OR A RELIGIOUS CENTER, BUT WITH THE STRENGTH TO BE FOCUSED ON ONESELF (AND OTHERS) TO BRING ME JOY.

I TRUST A FAITH THAT PROMOTES THE EQUAL RIGHTS OF OTHERS RATHER THAN CREATING A GOD TO DEPEND ON, TO GUIDE OUR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS, OR TO ALLEGEDLY HELP US WHEN WE ARE IN TROUBLE.

PRAYER AND RELIGIOUS FAITH ARE FORMS OF SCAPEGOATISM. IF OUR PRAYERS ARE NOT ANSWERED WERE TOLD TO NOT QUESTION THE WAYS OF THE LORD. IF FOR SOME REASON THEY ARE ANSWERED, THEN IT WAS GODS WILL TO HELP YOU. 


THE IDEA THAT ONE CANNOT BE STRONG OR SELF-RELIANT BECAUSE GOD HAS MADE US A CERTAIN WAY OR HAS A PLAN WHICH ONLY THE DIETY KNOWS AND WILL NOT SHARE IS NOT ONLY RIDICULOUS BUT IT IS EVIL.

SUCH A PHILOSOPHY PROMOTES SLAVERY AND DEPENDENCE.  IT IS VOID OF JUSTICE AND GOODNESS AND ALLOWS US TO ACT AS A VESSEL OF VIOLENCE OR SUBJECTIVE DIVISIVE ACTION.
I CAN AND WILL BE STRONG. I AM FREE OF THE CHAINS OF RELIGIOUS FAITH AND HAVE REPLACED THAT FAITH WITH REASON. THEREFORE I AM LIBERATED.

RELIGIOUS FAITH WILL ALWAYS LEAD TO OPPRESSION, CONTROL AND PAIN.

ATHEISM ALWAYS EQUALS FREEDOM AND DISCOVERY. 

FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IT IS NOT OUR CHOICE TO GIVE IN TO DESPAIR WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH. LEAVE THAT TO THOSE WHO FEAR THE END.

OUR JOB (AND OUR JOY) AS ATHEISTS IS TO HELP PEOPLE REALIZE THAT LIFE IS NOT EMPTY OR DEVOID OF MEANING WITHOUT FAITH. BUT THAT BECAUSE WE USE RATIONALITY AND REASON THAT THE TOOLS OF OUR ACTIVE INTELLECT GIVES US OUR COMPASSION, CHARITY, AND REAL ABILITY TO EXAMINE OUR LIVES AND GIVE IT MEANING AND PURPOSE.

SO LOOK TO YOURSELF AND EACH OTHER. YOU WILL FIND THESE SAME VERY HUMAN JOYS AND PERHAPS THE SAME ANSWERS AS WELL.

THANK YOU. 

4 comments:

  1. Great speech, I hope you didn't really shout at your audience (ALL CAPS = Shouting). Word has a function to change text to Sentence Case, which is more readable.
    On the other hand, these sentiments can do with being shouted...

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  2. @Rick. Thank you very much. I worked on the critter for a while and it was fun to present so far away from home to people who are so great to be in community with that day and beyond.

    The "ALL CAPS" and BOLD is an old speaker's trick so when you're glancing down at the text you can see it a little better.

    I didn't shout at the PATAS attendees! :-)

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  3. If I may be allowed to pick at a nit...

    I agree that the statement "BLUE IS THE PRETTIEST COLOR" is an opinion. But I must disagree that "GOD EXISTS" is likewise an opinion. By equating the two, one necessarily lowers the bar of the veracity of the totality of human knowledge. In effect to do so renders the statement "“GRAVITY IS A FACT” to be merely an opinion.

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  4. @ SRS, You can always pick at a nit.

    But what I was saying was that since an opinion like "I love blue" or "I believe in god" are personal, that they are subjective and as such are nothing more than opinions. Granted, loving blue doesn't cause wars or violence like god belief does, so some opinions are more dangerous than others.

    We do not have an opinion that gravity exists. We have scientific evidence that gravity exists which makes it valid and not subjective.

    Cheers,
    David

    ReplyDelete