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"Best Thing About TAM #12: Richard Wiseman. I don't even remember what he said now. I just remember that he was hilarious, and made us want to run out and buy all of his books." Glad I'm not the only one! I came home raving about how amazing his talk was. Then someone asked me what it was about. Took me a minute to figure it out. (And yeah, I ran out and got Quirkology. Also ordered Paranormality as soon as I got home.) He was definitely one of the best parts of TAM. But George Hrab's musical opening is definitely near the top of my list. Did you catch that? "If you're gonna make eggs then spray some Pam, TAM! TAM! TAM!" TAM9 was amazing. Now I want to go to every conference I hear about.
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Rick, I'm not going to answer in Greta's place, but I do suggest digging around her blog a bit in the time you have before she gets back. It seems like you just found this blog, and there is a lot to sort through, but it'd probably give you at least some of the answers you're looking for. Like for the out-of-body experience one, she already has one article here (I have to say, though; thanks for posting an actual, laid-out argument with citations and everything. Hopefully it'll allow for a much better discussion!) I have my own responses, but I'm not going to hijack Greta's questions, haha. But I definitely suggest digging through what she's already written! Hopefully you'll find some interesting stuff. -Brenda
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2011 on Brief Blog Break at Greta Christina's Blog
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way! I've always felt a bit guilty when someone is telling me that they're totally on my side about how bad most religions are, but that theirs is different and loving and wonderful. Yes, it's great that you're not bigoted. But that doesn't mean you're any less wrong. It's so hard to resist pointing out what I really think, but at the same time I don't want to start arguing with people when it's not quite the right place. And on the "coming out as an atheist tells them they're wrong" point: I agree. Both views can't be right. But it's also true in the reverse. Someone saying they're Christian or Muslim or Jewish or anything else means that they think we're wrong. It just frustrates me that Christians can say they exist and it's not offensive, but saying atheists exists is offensive. Everyone drives by dozens of churches every day, all proclaiming that God does exist. But when atheists just say that we exist (not even that we're right, just that we EXIST), it's now offensive. Yes, we think they're wrong. But they also think we're wrong. And I've never met an atheist who took it personally.
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Showed this to some of my friends who don't believe that people hate atheists. I'm in Northern California, just north of San Francisco, so of course it isn't nearly as bad as it is in these places...but it does still exist. And as frustrating as it is for people to tell me I couldn't possibly have ever been discriminated against, it's even more frustrating when they think that everywhere is like NorCal. Someone told me Damon Fowler wasn't treated like that for his atheism--he MUST have done a bunch of other bad things/made stuff up/whatever, because religious people would never do something like that. Hopefully this article can help show them...
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Jun 17, 2011