Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Texas Wildflowers: "Nontheist Friends {atheist Quakers?}" subject at World University & School, An Open Wiki School, Teach Out About What You Want

Hi Nontheist Friends,

I recently added a "Nontheist Friends (atheist Quakers?)" subject at World University & School, an open wiki school, where we can all teach to and learn from each other -
I'm in favor of free speech, especially in the context of questions of atheism, Quakers (including especially as a 'religious' body; on an open internet, free speech can feel a lot safer), and idea sharing.

I hope friends will 'teach out about ...' in the sense of teaching creatively (out-spokenly) about atheism and Friends. World University and School is like Wikipedia (with MIT Open Course Ware) where we all can teach to our web cameras. I'm re-posting below an email in the (longest of 3) 'God as Metaphor' thread,' as another response to this thread, too:, where I include the new suggestion to perhaps invite long-time Bonobos researcher Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (see her great TED Talk) to translate from the bonobo Kanzi who knows language, so we nontheist Friends
might learn from a seemingly very pacific species, through conversation.

I invite you teach and learn at WUaS about any subject, especially 'nontheist Friends.'

There's great free software at WUaS to which we can add more as we find it, which you might enjoy:

And there are a lot of courses here, as well:

With friendly greetings,

To Nontheist Friends {atheist Quakers} {from a recent posting on the nontheist Friends' Google Group},

Concerning the subject: "God as Metaphor":

I'm curious about developments nontheist friends might make on Ganesh, Krishna, the Tao and related implications for the 'natural,' philosophically, and including sexuality, vis-a-vis the curious idea of God/Goddess, perhaps minimizing this idea nontheistically, especially in this new year.

With a fascination with evolution by natural selection and symbolic processes, I'm also a little stymied by the return of the three letter word (God, or what it signifies/connotes, for some) so frequently to Homo sapiens' mouths, at least in a portion of the world (viz. Huston Smith's 'The Religions of Man'). I wonder if this tendency emerges somehow in ancestral environments in relation to some kind of abstracted alpha male experience/thinking as human primates, - in common chimps, and the two species of gorillas, but not, in my reading of the primatological literature, in the two species of orangutans (which, I understand, are solitary in the wild), or in Bonobo chimps, which are peaceful (and with which Bonobo I think it would be fascinating for nontheist friends to engage in conversation for learning, using language, - let's ask Sue Savage-Rumbaugh to translate: I'm inclined to engage
the three letter word (God) a lot less than even nontheist friends are doing in this email thread, and to engage in diversity and tolerance of nontheistically friendly ways of thinking about the fabric of life, including the relaxation response, poetry, music, and evolutionarily informed ways of thinking about meaning of life, peace, nonviolence, community and the experience of connectedness, and even making a living.

Ganesh, that happy elephant guy in India and Hinduism, Krishna, that flute-playing incarnation of the divine, the Tao which is about nonaction, and is ineffable and inexpressible, {but which you know when flow is happening} and evolution, with 8-100 million species and a lot of genetic reproduction over 3.5 billion years are fascinating to me, and about which nontheist friends might also share interesting
ideas, vis-a-vis metaphor.

With friendly greetings,

( - January 13, 2010)

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