To further conversation about defining nontheist Friends, (which I am also happy calling atheistic Quakers) and complementing and developing Jea's Friendly language (Penn, Nayler or Boulding, I think - in the email nontheist Friends' group), I'd like to 'rif' on George Fox's saying, to suggest that "There is this of nontheist Friends in common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and that of nontheist Friends in Bonobo chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)." (In a nontheistically Friendly way, I appreciate Bonobo chimpanzees peaceableness, and am not surprised by common chimpanzees' team, war-like and violent behavior; both species are the closest to us human primates genetically of all species). To echo Darwin, both behaviors (peaceableness and violence) have been selected for by natural selection. We three are each a species that is millions of years old, and have all navigated a lot of social 'waters' successfully (whereas Neanderthals did not, for example - from the evidence).
Having mentioned this before in these emails in different ways, I think Quaker and nontheistic Friendly communities are a form of troopbonding ('bonding together in groups' ... see John Money here: http://scottmacleod.com/anthropology/determinism.htm and, also, here: http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/05/sweet-birch-questions-of-determinism-on.html and related) among human primates, which I think we are. I would guess / hypothesize that it's a kind of cultural troopbonding that has lead to your ongoing enjoyment of Silent Meeting and Friends, Jea, and perhaps all of ours, in combination with the relaxation response: http://www.relaxationresponse.org/steps, in part. It's nontheistically Friendly discourse (language, community and culture with 350 year old roots, and Friendly teaching and learning about peaceableness that I experience an agreement with, and choose to be a part of sharing in). I also think that Quakers / Friends emerged historically with the Industrial Revolution in Britain, networked and traded with each other, prospered - partly leading to the growth of Friends, and that it was Silent Meeting and Meeting for Business that were the 'institutional' processes for this.
I admire this nontheistic Friends' group in its conversational (email based) approach to seeking a kind of Truth (based on our experience mediated in writing here, and based on reason, as well as a sympathy with the SoF) within the Society of Friends, and beyond, concerning nontheism vis-a-vis the Religious Society of Friends, as well as evolutionary biology, and all the other many themes we converse about. I think the term nontheist friend is very inclusive, and might include many friendly atheists, some of whom had ancestors who were affected by memes (replicating, cultural 'units') from one of the at least 7 great religions mentioned in Huston Smith's "Religions of Man" - (all species are so old, and religions in their symbolic and linguistic expressions are relatively new).
As an ongoing, innovative, nontheistic, Friendly contribution to our conversation, I'd love to explore generating more peace, love and happiness, per this definition - "Like traditional Friends, nontheist Friends are actively interested in realizing centered [[peace]], simplicity, integrity, community, equality, [[love]], happiness, and [[social justice]] in the Society of Friends and beyond," particularly love and happiness. I just re-added 'happiness' to this definition, which is important to me, vis-a-vis nontheist Friends, and wonder in what ways nontheistic Friends could contribute these aspects to the Society of Friends at large, especially in a gathered sense. I also added just the above definition to the nontheistic Friendly subject at World University and School - http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Nontheist_Friends_%28atheist_Quakers%3F%29.
Wikis, in general, invite your edits, ideas, knowledge and contributions.
I'm personally happy that we're all sharing these ideas on this list. In many ways this is a very significant, ongoing conversation, in society at large, and in the SoF to have, in so many ways, and for years now. (Yea, for this archive). :)
I'll start a new email thread for nontheistic Friendly poetry soon. Perhaps some of us have written some. Here's a poem of my which touches on this nontheistic Friendly conversation: http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/10/wild-onsen-harbin-dance.html.
Nontheistic Friends are both visionary and innovative ... let's keep being generative in this conversation ... Yea, friends! :)
With friendly greetings,
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/12/doves-in-snow-to-further-conversation.html - December 19, 2010)