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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:12 PM
Original message
Another first: Obama acknowledges 'non-believers'
Source: usa today

On a morning of countless firsts in U.S. history, add this: Barack Obama's inaugural speech is the first time a president has ever explicitly acknowledged not only "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus" but non-believers as well.
"This inclusiveness is a signature moment in American inaugural history," says David Domke, professor of communications at the University of Washington in Seattle, who has analyzed religious language in seven decades of inaugural and State of the Union addresses.

Obama's speech was "right in the middle" of recent presidents in the number of references to God more than Reagan, fewer than George W. Bush according to Domke's tally.

Read more: http://www..com/news/religion/2009-01-20-obama-non-beli...
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merwin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. They left out Clinton.
How many references did he have?
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jeff30997 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
42. Well if I remember correctly...
He said Goddamn,Christ and Hell a couple of times but LBJ was swearing far more than Bill. :P
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. I was really pleased by this, startled and really, really, really pleased.
We'll take what we can get.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I was insulted. I'm a realist, not a non-believer. I believe in science!
Edited on Tue Jan-20-09 11:25 PM by L. Coyote
Why are scientists and realists defined by religion and the dominant delusions?
That was the most dufus thing in the whole speech, and it is offensive.
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create.peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. i am a member of the reality based community on ning
hey it's a start, and he did say rather pointedly that he was bringing science back into the whitehouse/
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heliarc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
35. I hated Rick Warren's Sanctimonious nonsense...
and I thought that his speech was way out of line. And I have to wonder if the nod to non-believers was the reason Rick Warren was brought along to begin with. He gets to talk about "God" a lot and has to do so alongside a President who acknowledges the rights of non-believers.

I think it was an interesting jab at least.
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create.peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. hey, go to the new whitehouse.gov site and tell him!
i am going to write there all the time, already did today
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. As a realist and a believer in science, your post offends me.
This was a clear acknowledgement that not everyone is defined by religion. To claim otherwise is pissing just to piss.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-09 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
93. Thank you for responding
to that post so I don't have to.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. As a non-believer in science, I have no idea about that to which you refer.
Science is not a "belief" at all since it is based on universal constructs expressed in mathematical language.

One doesn't "believe" that pi is an irrational number that, among other things is a constant reflecting the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. One "discovers" it and two people in two disconnected cultures can independently discover it and produce values that will converge as a broad series of investigators examine it.

Basically, I am offended by your statement about "belief," since I am professionally and otherwise involved in science and do not consider it a "belief."

But I can say that as an atheist and as a scientist, I was very, very, very pleased with the President's address which struck me as the best I have ever heard, and I'm not a particularly young man.
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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Well, I for one *AM* a atheist - a non-believer - and proud of it.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. As a scientist and a non-believer,
I find your post odd.

Science is not a belief system.
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TheDoorbellRang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. We have a need in our language for a new term for this
"Non-believer" implies that "believer" is the default setting. It reminds me of when people say "lady doctor" and "black friend." But what to say instead? "Atheist" does the same -- "theist" is the default setting there.

What designation works for you that he could have used instead? (I'll assume you'll agree he couldn't go with "non-delusionists." ;) )
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DUlover2909 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:19 AM
Response to Reply #16
37. There is a book called The Universe Next Door that describes the 7 possible world views.
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 02:21 AM by DUlover2909
In it, the author posits that there are only 7 world views that any sentient creature can have. Atheism is not listed, but it is mentioned. Atheism is only one aspect of other world views. I found Th's book discarded by a religious studies major one semester and decided to read it. Atheists can find themselves as natural humanists, nihilists, or existentialists. The other choices are monotheists, polytheists, pantheists, and mystics. Monotheists comprise Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Polytheists comprise believers in things like Roman and Greek mythology, and pantheists comprise the eastern religions/philosophies such as Hinduism, Vedanta, and Buddhism. Mystics are comprised by believers of things like voodoo, magic, ghosts, animism, and other supernaturalism that is apparent in the developing world and in many ancient cultures that may or may not include deities.

Everyone "believes" in something. There is no way to avoid it unless we spiral away into solipsism, which is the belief that only our own perception counts and that if we could only program our brains to experience life in only perfect conditions, then life would be perfected, which runs into the barrier of reality. We need food to survive and thereby nourish our blood and we need oxygen to breathe and thereby respire our brain cells. A label like atheist in a misnomer because it only describes a non-belief. Jews are not defined properly as those that do not believe that Jesus Christ was the savior of mankind. Neither are nihilists defined as atheists.

It would have been awkward, given the prevailing belief system in the USA, for Obama to have said anything in his speech about nihilists, naturalists, or existentialists. Maybe in another century can someone speak up for those world views. For the time being, I will gladly accept "non-believer" if it furthers the progress toward more inclusiveness and intellectualism.
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TheDoorbellRang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #37
60. I agree, it would have been awkward
First it would seem we need to raise Americans' level of awareness. At least Obama acknowledged there were those here in America who don't adhere to some religious faith. It's a start, anyway.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #37
74. On the contrary, atheist is a fine label. It's quite simple and easy to apply.
Atheists lack belief in gods (due to the lack of evidence for any). That's all it means.

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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #37
80. kindly allow me to clarify a couple of points
though somewhat off topic - as a follower of orthodox theravada buddhist teachings (which may be about as close as you could get nowadays, to the Buddha's original teachings; and that is open to speculation) i'd like to clear up a few common misconceptions.

while i haven't read the book you quote, in the sutras (sermons - talks - lessons) directly ascribed to him, the Buddha specifically denies the existence of an omnipotent, creator god (i.e.: buddhism is atheistic); he denies the existence of any kind of a 'soul' entity (i.e.: buddhism states that all life forms are without soul); and he denies any kind of continuity of existence, even moment to moment, much less from life to life. He basically reduced life to a chemical reaction.

the only positive (as opposed to non-belief) buddhist belief that is 'faith' based, as it were, is that of conditioned causation - i.e.: that willed thoughts, words, & actions, will create a reactive energy, that will cause the formation of a life, upon which the results of the original actions will be visited - a kind of metaphysical combination of 'the conservation of energy' & Newton's 3rd law (i believe) of physics. while this is quite open to doubt & speculation, there is no buddhist belief in any manner of supernatural life forms which have the capability of influencing any other life form. in other words, we are solely responsible for our own volitional (self-willed) actions.

since buddhism adapted the then & there prevalent language of the hindu faith, to describe itself, it used the hindu term "devas", or 'gods' to describe life forms which may exist in other dimensions, worlds, or universes, which might exist outside the 4 dimensions of our universe (i.e.: extra-terrestrials & extra-universals). while some later sects of buddhism may have co-opted pagan & animistic deities, orthodox buddhism rejects any kind of homage, petition, or belief, in any supernormal beings.

- for what it's worth.
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #37
88. For a start, there are many more than "seven" world views.
Edited on Thu Jan-22-09 10:21 AM by onager
This reminds me of the famous C.S. Lewis "trilemma," which claims Jesus was either "lord, liar or lunatic" and there are no other possible choices. In fact, there are many other choices, even without getting into the whole idea of whether or not Jesus existed.

Now this pompous pigeonholing annoyed me right off the bat:

Monotheists comprise Christians, Muslims, and Jews...Mystics are comprised by believers of things like voodoo, magic, ghosts, animism, and other supernaturalism...

All three of the monotheistic religions have mystical branches. I've lived in the Middle East for nearly 6 years, currently in Egypt. The Sufis are the mystical branch of Islam and have greatly influenced mainstream Islamic belief. e.g., a Sufi moulid (festival) held here in Egypt every year attracts about 3 million Muslims. That's a million more than make the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

And as a proud Fundamentalist Atheist, I just have to point out that a belief in "magic" is at the bottom of ALL religions, not just the mystical versions.

Atheists can find themselves as natural humanists, nihilists, or existentialists.

Actually, I find myself defining this author as a myopic and mentally constipated asshat.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #16
55. Humanist?
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TheDoorbellRang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #55
62. That's much better, isn't it?
A much more positive term:

humanist - of or pertaining to a philosophy asserting human dignity and man's capacity for fulfillment through reason and scientific method and often rejecting religion.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
71. Ironic, isn't it? Atheist is the default position -- all babies are born atheist...
...due to the fact that they have no concept of gods, not having been yet taught the idea -- yet "theist" ends up the default!

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skyounkin Donating Member (722 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Little bothered by the phrase "non-believer"
He couldn't just say Atheist? But "meh" I'll take the acknowledgement at least!!

=D

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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:23 AM
Response to Reply #18
51. on issues like that
I think it's often difficult to know just what exactly people prefer to be called, or even what kind of language might get the other side riled up. He was probably just trying to be as uncontroversial as possible. He might've thought the RWers would key on the word Atheist and give him and Atheists grief over it. Not sure, just playing Devil's advoca..... wow, almost screwed up there. Not good to refer to Satan to an atheist, you don't believe in that. Thank God I had the judgment to catch myself. :)
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #18
75. I hear you, since they mean the same thing (as atheism is NOT a religion).
NT!

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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #18
87. Same here
I noticed that, and was pleased to hear it. Sure must have pissed off the fundies!
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-09 06:12 AM
Response to Reply #87
89. ... on both sides by the look of it ...
:hide:
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-09 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #89
90. The only objections
center around semantics. It was as unthinkable that Presidents Carter and Clinton would have made references to us, as it was for the Bushes and Reagan. We've finally come to a point where our diversity is acknowledged.

It's sort of like hearing your grandmother use the word "Negro" in the early 1970's, you cringed a bit, but not as much as hearing someone else's grandmother using a far more derogatory term for African-Americans. At least you knew your grandma's heart was in the right place.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-09 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #89
95. There's no such thing as a fundamentalist atheist. There are no fundamentals to be zealous about.
It's a lack of belief in gods.

That's all.

The end.

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galloglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
21. Get a grip!
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 12:16 AM by galloglas

Correct spelling for "Dominionists"> It's hard to keep up with the crazies. Let alone the spelling of the various sugments thereof:

Obama acknowledged "non-believers". This is shorthand for "deists, agnostics, atheists, non-believers, et al."

Obviously, (by your words) you fit somewhere in there, as do I.

Let's not hang it on Obama for failing to parse out every detailed definition that describes someone not a "right-wing, Dominionist, tub-thumping, cater-waulering, hymn-humming, Spiritual-spouting troglodyte"?

Whenever it becomes important to correctly identify those of us who are not fall-in-line, Goose-steeping, without-a-doubt True Believers, I am sure he can find the words. After all, he only had eighteen minutes today... not quite enough to accurately deal with all of the varieties of non-belief which our Founding Fathers left behind.



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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #21
64. I'm not sure Deists can be included with non-believers.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
27. Many atheists would disagree with you.
They wouldn't say that they "believe" in science, that science isn't subject to faith.
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smiley Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:49 AM
Response to Reply #27
33. BINGO!!!
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
29. I'm a Christian, a realist and I believe in science
WTF?
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smiley Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #29
34. then you have a multiple personality disorder...
:silly:
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:15 AM
Response to Reply #34
50. hold on while I ask one of my selves to get back to you on that one
:)
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #50
76. Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself.
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"

http://www.daypoems.net/poems/1900.html
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:40 AM
Response to Reply #4
31. I'm not insulted. But I am disappointed by the use of that term.
Be brave and say it: Atheist.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-09 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #31
92. More accurate and inclusive to say "non believers" though. "Atheists" generally assumed to mean
people who are fairly certain there is no God. Most "non believers" are not that certain. Includes agnostics and people who just go to church for the feel good social experience as well as people who consider themselves "spiritual" but not part of any organized religion, as I see it.
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smiley Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
32. wow... I'm surprised that you wer insulted by this.
Your post in many ways is confusing to me. You say you believe in science and that you are a realist and not a non-believer.

What exactly insulted you about this statement? Seems to me Obama was including you in his speech. Non-believers IMO are those that don't have 100% faith in an almighty power.

If you're a realist and a believer in science then you must believe that the existence/non-existence of God can't be proven. I too believe in science, however consider myself an agnostic.

Has science disproved the existence of a higher being? If it has then please post a link. I would love to hear/read about it.

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ShadesOfGrey Donating Member (646 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #32
54. Good point!

Non-believer is a much more inclusive term than atheist is.

I for one am VERY grateful that Obama acknowleged people that don't believe in God and I could care less what term he used. Sheesh! Bush said that we were un-American, now THAT'S insulting!
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #54
78. Atheist and non-believer mean the same thing -- a lack of belief.
NT!

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DUlover2909 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #32
72. I can try to give it a whack, rhetorically.
First, you have to define what God is. Once you do that, then we can make a series of logical questions that leads to either a paradox or contradiction. We know it's impossible to prove a negative, but we don't have to in this case.

Let's say, God knows everything and is eternal. If he knows everything then he knows how he came to be. If he knows how came to exist, then there must have been time before his existence and is therefore, not eternal. If he doesn't know his own origin, then he doesn't know everything.

Let's say God is defined as a power with the ability to do anything. Can then, God destroy himself? If he destroys himself then he ceases to exist.

I say the burden of proof is entirely on the side of the believers. Until then I really don't think I need to bother with the notion of a supreme being.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #32
77. Um, it's not established that gods CAN'T be proven. Only that they never HAVE been.
One cannot disprove gods, simply because that would require knowing all information in the universe -- which would essentially make you a god.

The burden of proof lies with those who assert that gods exist. So far, they have no corroborating evidence to back up such assertions, so the reasonable conclusion to draw is that, absent evidence, gods don't exist.

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
44. bwahahahahah.
of course you were insulted. Every breath that Obama draws offends you.

by dog, you are transparent!
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:48 AM
Response to Reply #4
45. at least he acknowledged your non-belief of religion in complimentary fashion. eom
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TerribleLarryDingle Donating Member (231 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
65. Your kidding right?
WTF did you find so offensive? As a proud NON-Believer I finally felt included. Get over yourself.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
68. Actually, I think he said 'unbeliever.'
I see that as wider than 'nonbeliever.'
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
70. One doesn't believe in science. One accepts its demonstrable facts.
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 05:27 PM by Zhade
Belief is not required to accept science.

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Merlot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
82. But aren't you a non-believer in religions?
Because he was listing religions. And science isn't a religion.

I was pleased he said that, because not everyone falls into the religion-believing category. There are some who believe in god, goddess, spirits, the gods, or the flying spaghetti monster. Those people don't believe in religion, but believe in something else, like you do with science.
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create.peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. yes, i would have preferred freethinkers, but....
my dad is a confessed 'wait'n'seer' = he just lives a sweet life. he raised me to think for myself, i used to get myself to sleep imagining infinity, but i'll take non believer for the time being/
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Say what?
"non-believers?" Might as well call us heretics or apostates.

How about "secular people?"
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. That's much better. nm
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DUlover2909 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
73. LOL. That's true. HERETIC! BURN THE WITCHES!
:fistbump: :rofl:
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R Thanks N/T
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Doctor Cynic Donating Member (965 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
10. But he didn't mention Bhuddists! Or Jainists! Or Sikhs! Or Pastafarians!
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. or pagans.....nt
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #10
57. Buddhists are non-believers, Jains are neither believers nor non-believers
Sikhs and Pastafarians are believers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transtheistic
"Transtheistic is ... a system of thought or religious philosophy which transcends theism, and is thus neither theistic nor atheistic."
"Zimmer applies the term to the theological system of Jainism"

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #57
79. Um, Pastafarians are JOKING.
:p

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #79
84. So was L. Ron Hubbard
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 08:14 PM by bananas
Just wait a few years, you'll see.
They're already performing Pastafarian Wedding ceremonies:
"PastafarianWedding.com - 100% Legal Pastafarian Weddings"
http://www.pastafarianwedding.com /

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-09 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #84
96. That would be so ironic, considering virtually every Pastafarian is actually an atheist...
...rightfully mocking the laughable nonsense that is creationism.

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SnoopDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. 'Non believers' - Is that a reference to ...
those who don't believe in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy?


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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
13. you know, we might have gotten a stealth liberal into office
I know it's sort of unthinkable, we're conditioned to expect a wolf in sheep's clothing, and maybe the DU conventional wisdom will prevail, but all indications on Day 1 (glastnost on whitehouse.gov, positions seemingly to the left of the ones he had to campaign on, like mentioning non-believers (even Jefferson had to kiss God's butt in both of his inaugurals)) suggest a lamb in wolf's clothes, somebody who talked up the right wing credibly enough to plunge the dagger in their cold backs, like what judo-master Clinton did but in the other direction. I'm sure I'll be subsequently disappointed but I have a feeling the right is going to be wearing Depends if they aren't already for demographic reasons.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #13
39. Don't get too excited - Tony Blair said this kind of thing all the time
Blair was always careful to put in something like "and those with no belief" if he started rattling off lists of religious followers. It's nice to be acknowledged, but Blair turned out to be far more driven by religious fervour (eg increasing the influence of religion on education) than his Tory predecessor John Major, who just didn't talk about religion much.
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:25 AM
Response to Reply #39
43. I know, stiff upper lip.
The odds are in your favor if the past is prologue, but what if Obama studied history deeply enough not to repeat it verbatim? There has to be a progressive arc to the human trajectory or there'd be no Magna Carta, no UN, no internet, just cavemen trapped in the amber of Sartre's "No Exit" and/or four more years of Hitler XIII (in the Ray Bradbury version). Maybe my hypothesis is unbridled optimism, but sometimes good things happen every 200 years or so.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:52 AM
Response to Reply #43
47. Yeah, I reckon Obama's good for a variety of reasons - there may just not be much to read into this
I don't want to be a wet blanket - he's got the Guantanamo prosecutors to ask for a suspension of the dodgy tribunals, for instance.
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #47
58. "they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy..."
Remember that "gaffe"? If my spidey sense is right, that's the man behind the curtain, and the rest of the campaign was about mollifying these same clingy voters, or at least keeping them from crawling on broken glass for McCain in November and Hillary in post-ides of March primaries:
After the quotes surfaced on a political blog Friday, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and GOP hopeful John McCain immediately decried them as evidence that Obama is "elitist" or "out of touch."

"My opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter. Well, that's not my experience," Clinton told a crowd in Philadelphia. "As I travel around Pennsylvania, I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves ... Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them, they need a president who stands up for them."

http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/891685,CST-...

I mean in retrospect, it almost seems like we elected an egghead humanist non-believer type. Sorry, I'll stop gloating, but I think we might have witnessed a rope-a-dope for the ages; hopefully the next hundred days will reinforce the suspicion.
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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #58
83. your mouth - to the non-deity's ears. ;-) here's to hope; & change. (n/t)
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foo_bar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #83
86. Day 2: looking pretty damned good
I know I'm hopped up on hope, and the promised pony, but it seems Obama didn't come all this way to do the same old shit.
To the extent that this order is inconsistent with any provision of any prior Executive Order, this order shall control.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ExecutiveOrd... /
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buzzard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-20-09 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
17. As a scientist and agnostic I found it refreshing. n/t
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motocicleta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
19. That was great, wasn't it?
I am, beyond something similar to an agnostic, definitely a 'non-believer'. So nice that he referenced us in a positive way. I can remember no such reference by any other politician in my 39 years.
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caseymoz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
22. I'm an atheist and I found it pleasantly surprising.

Yes, we might quibble over terms, but for any Monotheist, not believing there is a God is pretty strange to them. Nonbeliever is okay, more neutral than almost any other thing he could have called us.

And he was the first President to even acknowledge we were there. Although I bet the Buddhist and Wiccans are feeling pretty put-out at this moment.

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smiley Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #22
36. true buddhists don't believe in a god
They may have iconographic symbol that recognizes their religion, but true Buddhism is about humanism and the depths of our mind and soul.

Wiccans, for what I know of, don't have a god. But believe in the natural rhythms of our planet and the healing powers it holds. Which when explored by science, can be proven in many circumstances.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
23. Well, I'll take "non-believer" for now ....
Something for the "believers" to begin to think about ...

Remember the over-the-top aggression/ignorance of GOP-Newt Gingrich in proclaiming that

there was no right not to believe --??!!!

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CadenBlaker Donating Member (150 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
24. I shouted out loud when he said non believers!
This was amazing. I am SO glad he included us in his inaugural speech.
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #24
52. Me too!
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 07:03 AM by JNelson6563
I don't quite get the whining and hair splitting (but hey, it is DU). Obama reminded the world we are out here and we count.

:toast:

Julie
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
26. He should've said "atheists and agnostics."
It would even have meshed well with the pairs he was rattling off.

But I'll take it. Nice to be thrown a bone for once.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
28. He did the best he could considering
the climate of hate we live in. Should he have sacrificed himself for the satisfaction of a few or throw a bone to the less radical elements? I'm a firm believer in good science and I hate the idea of faith based pseudo science. But Obama will be the president of all. Nuff said.
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #28
59. Exactly.
I knew what he meant, and I'm in the middle of a different fight right now.

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pop goes the weasel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
30. broken link
please fix
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #30
38. Too late for them to edit, but here it is:
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:47 AM
Response to Original message
40. Only thing better would have been "non-make-believers"
but I'll take it, it works for me, for now.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 03:49 AM
Response to Reply #40
46. I'd rather he stay mature about it instead of condescending either side as you wish for. eom
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DesertDiamond Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 02:48 AM
Response to Original message
41. I've learned the value of baby steps
Transitions of perception such as the one President Obama started to day need to be done a little at a time; it makes it easier for people to accept them. Our amazing new president took a BIG baby step today toward revealing his true nature as a president who respects others who do not share his religious beliefs. I'm a Buddhist; my father was an atheist who also practiced Buddhism on occasion. On behalf of myself and my father, I thank President Obama for his courageous move to honor us.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:03 AM
Response to Reply #41
53. i liked that he said that and
while I am not atheist, I took it to mean those who don't follow the religions of the Middle East because he couldn't possibly mention every religion-- so that included me.
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meowomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:51 AM
Response to Original message
48. He is a true American President
For all of us, not just the white, heterosexual, male Christians. Wow, I am feeling so proud of us right now!
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lanlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
49. I was delighted by his reference to non-believers
--especially following upon Rich Warren's oddball performance. (He looked like he thought he was going to ascend into heaven right there and then--yuck).
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
56. About time we are acknowledged without derision.
Wasn't it just 20 years ago that Poppy Bush was saying that we shouldn't be allowed to be citizens?
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
61. Imagine no religion... n/t
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ObamaRules Donating Member (35 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
63. Obama is going to do his best to include all Americans
That's one of the things that makes him special.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
66. How about "non-believers" and "non-non-believers"
That would put the non-non-believers in their place.

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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
67. I cheered. Right there in the front of the room, I just automatically cheered.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
69. I was very happy to see him acknowledge we atheists. The nonreligious are citizens, too.
I heard about it before I watched his speech, so it wasn't a surprise, but it was still great to hear!

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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
81. cheers. feeling better about the Prez; awaiting his activist chops in action. (n/t)
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llmart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
85. As a nonbeliever.......
I thought that was wonderful. Let's not pick everything he does apart.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-09 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
91. That will probably be enough to trigger a Pat Robertson fatwa right there.
Not to mention banning torture etc.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-09 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
94. every believer in a particular religion is a non-believer in the others.
so, in essence, EVERYONE is a non-believer.

but what BHO meant was non-believers in deity-based religions, particularly the monotheisms, one of which he "believes" in (hopefully in the way that clinton & bush 1 did, which is, when it's neccessary to be seen doing so).
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