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David Sloan Wilson 
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Post David Sloan Wilson
I heard David Sloan Wilson on the a radio program called The State We're In. He is an evolutionary scientist based in Binghamton, New York. He spoke about two research projects that he was involved with that took the principles of evolution and applied them to human society. If he is on the right track, I'd say it is some of the most exciting work being done. He also addressed the issue of the value of church - he is an atheist. He is an attender. His explanation: church congregations are the best examples of a functional community that can accomplish goals that we have going.

Here is the radio broadcast:
"For 20 years, he was a self-described ‘slacker’, but then he decided to put his academic background to work. The results: improved neighbourhoods, an educational program for at-risk teens and a surprising respect for religious communities even though he’s an avowed atheist."
http://www.rnw.nl/english/radioshow/street-warriors

Here is his website:
http://evolution.binghamton.edu/dswilson/


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Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:10 pm
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Post Re: David Sloan Wilson
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He also addressed the issue of the value of church - he is an atheist. He is an attender. His explanation: church congregations are the best examples of a functional community that can accomplish goals that we have going.


Sounds very familiar to me. If I want to do volunteer work, the best organised charities are religious. Maybe atheists should establish a rival to St. Vincent de Paul. I attend church with my wife who is a believer and my stepson who is a non-believer and have done a lot of volunteer work with a lot of good people in the religious community. I don't enjoy the anti-gay marriage or anti-abortion ads, but it's not all bad.

As far as atheist community goes, there is an atheist meetup group in my area that I went to early in my days of non-belief but I found it very disenchanting to sit around and bash religion all day. If that's what some people want to do that's fine, but it's not what I want to do. Hey, I'll bash religion myself in some contexts. Atheists who claim the high moral ground in regard to rationality are often very irrational in their critique of religion, and often have a skewed view of religion and its effects on people's behaviour. It's good to hear an atheist who thinks differently. There are others out there too, but their voices are drowned out by the empty atheist vessels making the most sound.

I'm not saying that there isn't a place for the Ditchkinses of the world, but I don't think it's right to undermine someone's belief system without giving them something meaningful to replace it with. The suggestions of some atheists about a meaningful life are just glib and superficial, not to mention unrealistic. A prime example is Michael Shermer who describes how life can still be beautiful without God, citing the example of his getting married in Chartres Cathedral. How many people can afford to get married in Chartres Cathedral?



Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:46 pm
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Post Re: David Sloan Wilson
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He spoke about two research projects that he was involved with that took the principles of evolution and applied them to human society.


I look forward to seeing this published. I've had vaguely similar ideas after reading Guns, Germs, and Steel but I'm not an expert in the area.



Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:51 pm
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Post Re: David Sloan Wilson
in my local area attending church wouldn't work because mostly they are hotbeds of mental illness.

basically they feed off of psychological submission. you have to submit.

the doctrines and practices and whole vibe of the places is a recipe for mental illness.

suicides, marriage breakups, sexual hangups, all the way down to reinforcing ignorance and giving license to all sorts of outrageously dangerous mental outlooks.

basically if you value wholeness and healing and well being you would have to ditch those mofos, coz they is ignorant sons of b....

even if my local churchs fed everyone i would still be against them (not the feeding)

i would say you fed their bodies but poisoned their minds.

the problem seems to be a whole lot of people who cant stand on their own two feet, they never grew up and so remain in a position of psychological submission to a priesthood and a belief system which they have never thought through.

i see the same pattern with

people and church
people and government
people and media
people and banks

ie. a lot of folks who have not been able to get an education and challenge the baloney or even understand it.

it's like they are still children, they just submit.



Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:35 pm
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