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Brights ? WTF?

  1. Oct 24, 2008 #1
    "Brights"? WTF?

    Anyone else find the suggestion of Richard Dawkins and Dan Dennett, two of my favorite contemporary thinkers, that philosophical naturalists should anoint themselves "Brights" to be utterly repulsive? What's wrong with the old-fashioned and neutral "Freethinkers"? What's funny about it is that their intent is to create a more positive image for us atheist types. Of course, the word "atheist" has a very negative connotation here in the States, so their point is well taken. But what could be more off-putting than meeting someone who refers to himself as a "Bright"? I'd have to suppress the impulse to punch them in the nuts. I mean, why don't we just get it over with and refer to ourselves as "The Elect"?


    By the way, everyone should read Dennett's Breaking The Spell twice. I've only read it once and I need to read it again to get all the crunchy goodness out of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2008 #2
    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    I think I heard that somewhere. Yeah, that's pretty silly.
     
  4. Oct 25, 2008 #3

    Doc Al

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    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    While I appreciate the intent of having an umbrella term uniting all philosophical naturalists, I'm not crazy about the term "Bright". But at least they refer to non-Brights as "Supers" (for supernaturalists), not Dopes. :smile:

    I like the terms scientific (or philosophical) naturalist and atheist (I use them to describe my own view, as appropriate). Freethinker is OK, too. A friend of mine uses "post-theological". :wink:
     
  5. Oct 25, 2008 #4

    Moonbear

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    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    I prefer being secure enough in my own beliefs or lack thereof that I don't worry about finding names to assign to myself or my beliefs.

    The funny thing about the term "brights" is that it doesn't even conjure up the thought of intelligence when I hear it. Rather, I think bright blinky lights (like the old toy Lite Brite...I think that's how it was spelled). It conjures up thoughts of new agey, ditzy people who like pretty, shiny things like crystals. I guess their efforts backfire on people like me. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Oct 25, 2008 #5

    Evo

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    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    I personally don't wish to be labeled. I guess if I had to be "classified" as to if I think there is a god, people would label me an atheist. Truth is, I really don't care or think about gods or religion unless someone shoves it in my face.

    I really don't like the term "brights". I feel the term would understandably cause anyone religious to bristle. It's just begging to stir up a confrontation.
     
  7. Oct 25, 2008 #6

    Doc Al

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    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    Terms such as "atheist" can be very useful in making one's position clear. What I really don't like is all the waffling and hemming and hawing when asked a simple question.

    Q: Do you believe in god(s)?
    A: Nope. Not even a little. I'm an atheist.

    That's all, in its most fundamental usage, that the term atheist means. Simple, clear, unambiguous. (Of course, I'm no politician. :wink:)
     
  8. Oct 25, 2008 #7

    DaveC426913

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    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    Is 'philosophical naturalist' a synonym for atheist?
     
  9. Oct 25, 2008 #8

    Doc Al

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    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    No. Philosophical naturalism is much more than simple atheism, but all philosophical naturalists would be atheists, at least as I use the term. (I would imagine that a small subset of "atheists" may have all sorts of wacky views inconsistent with philosophical naturalism.)
     
  10. Oct 25, 2008 #9
    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    I read the thread title and thought, "What? A conversation about car headlights?"
     
  11. Oct 25, 2008 #10
    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    Well, "bright" is synonymous to "intelligent" in Britain so that could be an explanation for the choice of the word.
     
  12. Oct 25, 2008 #11
    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    Well, yes, "bright" is a synonym for intelligent or clever on this side of the pond too. However, at least where I live, as soon as you add an "s" on the end of "bright" then you're talking about a feature in car headlights.:biggrin:
     
  13. Oct 25, 2008 #12

    DaveC426913

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    Re: "Brights"? WTF?

    My first thought too.
     
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