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Author Topic:   Ed Braytons Eulogy & Reflections About Purpose
Phat
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Posts: 14587
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 1 of 17 (880999)
08-16-2020 10:24 AM


Reflections From A Secular Humanist
R,I,P.

I was inspired to start this topic after reviewing Tangle and ICANTs exchange and after reading Ed Braytons Eulogy. The wheels just clicked.

ICANT writes:

You said the universe created itself.


Tangle writes:

I said that Hawking and others believes that the universe creates itself. Like you, I haven't a clue.

The only way either of us can understand this high level cosmology is by having the same level of mathematical understanding as they have - or something close to it. I don't have it and neither do you.


Dr.John Lennox is a mathematician and does understand the high level arguments. I will quote him some here.

ICANT writes:

Oh I think if you could explain how the universe could create itself I could understand it.

Tangle writes:

Hawking published his work you know - and I don't mean his popular science books, I mean his hard research, if you really want to know about it, go read it and show where he's wrong. Good luck with that.

Odd phrase, that. One side sees the universe has a purposeful creation. The other side sees chaos theory, randomness and life as we know it essentially arising from nothing and expanding to everything literally as a chance event.

Tangle, to ICANT writes:

All I'm doing here is pointing out that you are a liar when you continue to say that Hawking believed in a creator.

Also Krauss

quote:
A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing is a non-fiction book by the physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, initially published on January 10, 2012 by Free Press. It discusses modern cosmogony and its implications for the debate about the existence of God. The main theme of the book is how "we have discovered that all signs suggest a universe that could and plausibly did arise from a deeper nothing—involving the absence of space itself and—which may one day return to nothing via processes that may not only be comprehensible but also processes that do not require any external control or direction."[1][2]

A Universe from Nothing - Wikipedia

Krauss is as rabid an atheist as I am, does he believe in a creator too?

No, and he is fair game for my refutations also.

Attempting to recruit celebrity cosmologists into your belief system that don't share your beliefs at all is dishonest and you know it.
Not sure that ICANT or Christians in general are being dishonest at all. ICANT may not fully understand the science, but he has every right to attempt to use Hawkings work to support his own claims.

Next, Ed Braytons last Column:

quote:
Some of you no doubt know this already, but I have decided to end my battle to the death with death. I’m entering hospice care and would like to slip into the eternal abyss in the next couple weeks. I reached the point where I simply have no fight left in me. I wish it were not so. But I have a few things to say first.

First, a profound thank you to those of you who turned this blog into a community. It has meant the world to me that it has become not merely a place for me to write, but a place where we shared ideas and values and helped fight the battles for equality, justice and liberty. Thank you all so much. Also to my fellow bloggers here. You have all added to my life immeasurably and I am forever grateful.

I’m also very grateful for an amazing group of friends and family who have gone way above and beyond to support me and love me. And to the doctors, nurses and aides who have taken care of me along the way. But it’s a time like this that makes one evaluate their life and most important beliefs. So, to that task.

I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid to die painfully and with suffering. My hope is that hospice will put me on a morphine or dilaudid drip and knock me out so I don’t feel anything, then I can just slip away. That’s essentially what happened with my dear friend Connie a few years ago. And I hope we can do it at home, as we did with her. I’d rather be with loved ones than in a facility. I’ll stay either with my best friend Rick or my parents.

Regrets? Mostly about the things I’ll never get to do now. I would love to have made Secular Quemanism a reality. Perhaps someone else can run with the idea now in my place (Mike Slomka? Bueller?) I still think it’s a great and important idea. I won’t be able to continue to advocate for humanism as an important philosophy. That sucks. I just have so much more to say and do.

My greatest hope is that after I’m gone the world continues to become more fair, just and equal. What else could we possibly hope for and work for? I urge you all to keep fighting the good fight for those core values. Who should you look to for leadership? I nominate Dale McGowan, the finest example of humanism I know, and Matt Dillahunty. They should be the public face and voice of this movement, not Dawkins or Krauss or Shermer.

Don’t be sad about this, be hopeful. I got to make the decision myself and spare others from that awful task. I did it while still of sound mind, if not body. That means the world to me. I maintained my self-determination until the end.

In closing, let me just say thank you again. You made my life better, richer and more fulfilled and who could ask for more? Goodbye, one and all. I will miss you as I hope you will miss me. Be good to each other along this incredible journey.


Lets discuss this.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : added photo

Edited by Phat, : eliminated excess wordiness..will discuss as thread unfolds


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.”- Francis A. Schaeffer

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killosophy


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by nwr, posted 08-16-2020 10:24 PM Phat has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5623
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 2 of 17 (881044)
08-16-2020 10:24 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
08-16-2020 10:24 AM


It's not at all clear what you want to discuss.

In case you didn't notice, Ed Brayton died a few days after that post.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 08-16-2020 10:24 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
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Posts: 7911
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 3 of 17 (881052)
08-17-2020 2:34 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by nwr
08-16-2020 10:24 PM


nwr writes:

It's not at all clear what you want to discuss.
In case you didn't notice, Ed Brayton died a few days after that post.

I'm glad you said that, I don't know what he wants to discuss either.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by nwr, posted 08-16-2020 10:24 PM nwr has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
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Posts: 14587
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 4 of 17 (881055)
08-17-2020 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by nwr
08-16-2020 10:24 PM


R.I.P. Ed Brayton
I did notice, and would like to emphasize that I respect the mans passing and was impressed with his self written eulogy. He knew he was going to die. Thanks to our very own Moose, I was inspired to click on the link and learned a great deal about how many of you think as opposed to how the Christians think. Tangle always insists that I dont understand how atheists(at least Tangle) think and so seeks to instruct me and attempt to school me, which I am thankful for.

In this topic, I want to discuss Ed Braytons worldviews, the worldview of secular humanism in general and how it contrasts with the Christian worldview which I attempt to push. I have respect for the man just by reading his eulogy and seeing how empathetic he was towards his fellow humans.

So in that measure of respect, I started this topic to showcase some of the distinctions.


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.”- Francis A. Schaeffer

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killosophy


This message is a reply to:
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Tangle
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Posts: 7911
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 5 of 17 (881056)
08-17-2020 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Phat
08-17-2020 7:57 AM


Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
Phat writes:

In this topic, I want to discuss Ed Braytons worldviews, the worldview of secular humanism in general and how it contrasts with the Christian worldview

Secular humanism is Christianity without all the religious bollox.

Surely you've come across this before?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Phat, posted 08-17-2020 7:57 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
Stile
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Posts: 4001
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.5


(3)
Message 6 of 17 (881062)
08-17-2020 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Phat
08-17-2020 7:57 AM


Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
Phat writes:

In this topic, I want to discuss Ed Braytons worldviews, the worldview of secular humanism in general and how it contrasts with the Christian worldview which I attempt to push. I have respect for the man just by reading his eulogy and seeing how empathetic he was towards his fellow humans.

I'm not going to attempt to speak for Ed Brayton, I don't know much of anything about him.

But, in general, I've always thought (reduced to extremely short sentences):

Worldview of Christians: "Following God is the best way to live life. God is love."
Worldview of Secular Humanists: "Following Love is the best way to live life."

It seems to me that the two are, in a practical-sense, the same thing.
The Christians just add this "God" figure on top of it. And then cause a lot of drama about the God figure. Removing focus from the Love part.
Secular Humanists don't include the God figure, so there's no extra drama from that... and focus on the Love part. Because that's the only part.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Phat, posted 08-17-2020 7:57 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5623
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 7 of 17 (881089)
08-18-2020 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Phat
08-17-2020 7:57 AM


Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
In this topic, I want to discuss Ed Braytons worldviews, the worldview of secular humanism in general and how it contrasts with the Christian worldview which I attempt to push.

I don't know what were Ed's worldviews. He may have denied that he had any.

For that matter, I don't know if I am a secular humanist. I've never given much thought to that. But I did mostly agree with Ed Brayton's views. I've been following his blog for a long time.

I guess I would say that Tangle and Stile have it about right. Secular humanism amounts to Christianity without the rituals, without the creeds, without the pretenses and without the hypocrisy. Just try to be a decent human being.


Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Phat, posted 08-17-2020 7:57 AM Phat has responded

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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 6089
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 8 of 17 (881100)
08-18-2020 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Phat
08-17-2020 7:57 AM


Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
I want to discuss Ed Braytons worldviews, the worldview of secular humanism in general and how it contrasts with the Christian worldview which I attempt to push

This seems to be your only point of interest in life... Kind of odd that you are presenting it as if this has never been discussed before.

via GIPHY

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.


"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine

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Phat
Member
Posts: 14587
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 9 of 17 (881102)
08-18-2020 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Hyroglyphx
08-18-2020 10:10 AM


Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
I have a varied life and I assure you that apologetic's is not my only interest. My life does center around Jesus Christ, however. Without Him, this life would have no true meaning. Many of you do not understand this, mock it, or are saddened by what you see as a narrow and archaic world view. The fact is, Christianity would never have caught on had it simply been a vehicle for Global conquest and exclusivity. The Resurrection is a key concept, not only in regards to personal and societal regeneration, but as a world view which challenges Materialistic Naturalism.

Tangle writes:

Secular humanism is Christianity without all the religious bollox.

Surely you've come across this before?

Indeed I have, and moreso recently. I am unafraid to think and do research from a wide variety of learned opinions. Perhaps my only real flaw (from y'alls standpoint) is that I do not seek to disprove but rather validate what I already believe. Nevertheless, I do investigate claims from different sources besides Apologists and Theologians. You won't find many other believers who do that. My first question to you Tangle is this:
Who is Sorenson? You may start with why you adapted his worldview as most closely mirroring your own...after you tell me who he is/was?

Anyway, allow me to get this topic going.
Secular Humanism Defined

Several points in regards to Secular Humanism that differentiate it from Christianity.

quote:
To me, secular humanism’s unique selling proposition is rooted in the balance it strikes between cognitive and emotional/affective commitments. Paul Kurtz captures this when he identifies knowledge (cognitive) and courage and caring (affective) as “key humanist virtues.”2 Christopher Hitchens makes the same point more obliquely when he contrasts “those who believe that god favors thuggish, tribal human designs, and those who don’t believe in god and who oppose thuggery and tribalism on principle” (emphasis added).3

Secular humanism’s cognitive thrust lies in its naturalistic worldview; its emotional or affective thrust lies in its positive ethical outlook. Each element is equally essential to secular humanism; neither stands alone. I submit that this meaningfully differentiates secular humanism from religious humanism, and from simple atheism as well. Continuing with Hitchens’s language, secular humanists necessarily disbelieve in God (naturalism) and just as necessarily oppose thuggery and tribalism on principle (an outgrowth of ethics). Of course, many atheists, agnostics, and religious humanists do the same. But when atheists and agnostics adopt positive ethics, they do so for reasons independent of their atheism or agnosticism. When religious humanists defend naturalism, they do so for reasons outside the boundaries of their religious humanism. Only for the secular humanist do both commitments arise organically within his or her life stance.(...)
How about atheism? When people ask me whether I’m an atheist, I say, “Yes, but that’s just the beginning.” Unlike simple atheism, secular humanism affirms an ethical system that is:

  • rooted in the world of experience;
  • objective; and
  • equally accessible to every human who cares to inquire into value issues.

    I make this point cautiously, since religionists often falsely accuse atheists of having no values. Most atheists I know have strong value systems. In fact, some of my favorite atheists are secular humanists without knowing it. But atheism is only a position on the existence of God, not a comprehensive life stance. Nothing about atheism as such compels atheists to adopt any particular value system. British author Jeaneane Fowler noted that “while atheism is a ubiquitous characteristic of secular humanism, the most that can be said of an atheist is that he or she does not have belief in any kind of deity; the majority of atheists have no connection” with secular humanism.



  • "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.”- Francis A. Schaeffer

    “The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
    - Criss Jami, Killosophy


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 8 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-18-2020 10:10 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 10 by Tangle, posted 08-18-2020 11:41 AM Phat has responded
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    Tangle
    Member
    Posts: 7911
    From: UK
    Joined: 10-07-2011
    Member Rating: 2.8


    Message 10 of 17 (881109)
    08-18-2020 11:41 AM
    Reply to: Message 9 by Phat
    08-18-2020 11:15 AM


    Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
    Phat writes:

    Who is Sorenson? You may start with why you adapted his worldview as most closely mirroring your own...after you tell me who he is/was?

    Other than he's a philosopher I've no idea who he is, he's just someone who wrote what I quoted and it seemed as good as anything I've seen on the subject of creation. It's not a world view.

    Several points in regards to Secular Humanism that differentiate it from Christianity.

    All of which is just a long-winded way of saying Christianity without the distraction and waste of theology.

    (Atheists have values, who knew?)


    Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

    "Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

    "Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
    - Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 9 by Phat, posted 08-18-2020 11:15 AM Phat has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 13 by Phat, posted 08-18-2020 1:26 PM Tangle has responded

      
    ringo
    Member
    Posts: 18753
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005
    Member Rating: 1.7


    Message 11 of 17 (881115)
    08-18-2020 12:27 PM
    Reply to: Message 9 by Phat
    08-18-2020 11:15 AM


    Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
    Phat writes:

    The fact is, Christianity would never have caught on had it simply been a vehicle for Global conquest and exclusivity.


    Not a fact.

    "I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 14587
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.0


    Message 12 of 17 (881120)
    08-18-2020 1:23 PM
    Reply to: Message 11 by ringo
    08-18-2020 12:27 PM


    Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
    Say what you want. You state that God is a myth anyway, so I'm not going to entertain any naturalistic evidence based argument from you. You are quite good at denying the Creator, but not so good at explaining what thought process led you to back off of the correct answer.

    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.”- Francis A. Schaeffer

    “The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
    - Criss Jami, Killosophy


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 11 by ringo, posted 08-18-2020 12:27 PM ringo has responded

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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 14587
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.0


    Message 13 of 17 (881121)
    08-18-2020 1:26 PM
    Reply to: Message 10 by Tangle
    08-18-2020 11:41 AM


    Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
    Note the last sentence:
    quote:
    atheism is only a position on the existence of God, not a comprehensive life stance. Nothing about atheism as such compels atheists to adopt any particular value system. British author Jeaneane Fowler noted that “while atheism is a ubiquitous characteristic of secular humanism, the most that can be said of an atheist is that he or she does not have belief in any kind of deity; the majority of atheists have no connection” with secular humanism.
    . Your atheism is nothing special in and of itself. The question that I would ask, however, is whether you consider yourself a secular humanist.

    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.”- Francis A. Schaeffer

    “The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
    - Criss Jami, Killosophy


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by Tangle, posted 08-18-2020 11:41 AM Tangle has responded

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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 14587
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.0


    Message 14 of 17 (881123)
    08-18-2020 1:29 PM
    Reply to: Message 7 by nwr
    08-18-2020 12:32 AM


    Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
    nwr writes:

    I don't know what were Ed's worldviews. He may have denied that he had any.
    For that matter, I don't know if I am a secular humanist. I've never given much thought to that. But I did mostly agree with Ed Brayton's views. I've been following his blog for a long time.

    I guess I would say that Tangle and Stile have it about right. Secular humanism amounts to Christianity without the rituals, without the creeds, without the pretenses and without the hypocrisy. Just try to be a decent human being.

    Sounds pretty simple. I seriously doubt whether any Secular Humanists would get in much trouble with the Big Guy if He ultimately DID exist...based on your statement.

    But let me begin to read some of what Ed Brayton blogged so that I can include him in the conversation.( posthumously, of course. )

  • Rational Wiki Note:
    Ed Brayton was a civil libertarian blogger and former comedian who wrote at Dispatches from the Culture Wars. He specialized in civil rights issues, particularly police misconduct, education policy, and transparency in government. He also had a soft spot for crazy ideologues, namely Joseph Farah and his menagerie.

    Brayton's blog was the main ScienceBlogs political journal, but after National Geographic acquired the network, he founded Freethought Blogs together with a few other bloggers, including PZ Myers, and moved his main blogging activities there. In August 2015, he moved his blog once again, to Patheos.

    Brayton and Myers were the two main founders of the Freethought Blogs collective. Though Ed and his readers had a brief feud with PZ Myers and his readers some time ago (mainly over framing issues), the hatchet has long since been buried in some concern troll's skull.

    Brayton and Myers agree the freethought movement should not be dominated by aging white men like themselves. Both strongly support the view that Freethought Blogs should provide a platform for others, notably sex positive feminists. Brayton is willing to accept some controversy to achieve this.[1]

    Also of interest to EvC Forum:

  • Critical Analysis Of Evolution
    According to Ed Brayton, the critical analysis of evolution is the fourth stage in the development of the anti-evolution movement in schools, which he believes to be the creationism du jour following the failure of intelligent design in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. The first stage was censorship of evolution in schools (e.g., the Butler Act), the second stage Creation Science, and the third stage Intelligent Design.

    No wonder you guys liked to read Eds Blog so much. He addresses some of the same issues that are addressed here at the Forum.

    Edited by Phat, : added features


    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.”- Francis A. Schaeffer

    “The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
    - Criss Jami, Killosophy


  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 7 by nwr, posted 08-18-2020 12:32 AM nwr has acknowledged this reply

      
    Tangle
    Member
    Posts: 7911
    From: UK
    Joined: 10-07-2011
    Member Rating: 2.8


    (2)
    Message 15 of 17 (881126)
    08-18-2020 1:51 PM
    Reply to: Message 13 by Phat
    08-18-2020 1:26 PM


    Re: R.I.P. Ed Brayton
    Phat writes:

    Your atheism is nothing special in and of itself.

    I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but maybe you're beginning to get it. Atheism is an absence - it's not a thing.

    The question that I would ask, however, is whether you consider yourself a secular humanist.

    Probably, by default. I'm not much of a joiner of things.


    Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

    "Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

    "Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
    - Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 13 by Phat, posted 08-18-2020 1:26 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

      
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