Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Raving Atheists Forum

Seeing as the Raving Atheists Forum recently made the list of atheist sites on the Troll Hit List (a place where trolls or anyone can vote to troll or not troll suggested sites, I thought to myself "It is time to give the Raving Atheists Forum a review."  

http://ravingatheists.com/forum/index.php  is the addy.  The site itself is done in shades of blue and off-white which is easier on my brain-damaged eyes than many other colors.  Like many of the atheists on the site itself, Raving Atheists Forum is organized in a way that is logical and makes sense.  It is also easily navigable.

The forum has three major headers: TRA Announcements, Atheism, and General/Other.  A new member is encouraged to introduce him or herself in "Introduce Yourself" under the latter header.  One thing that is immediately clear is that folks who respond to the newbies indeed have a sense of humor along with a sense of how to construct a sound logical argument.

There is a steady flow to the conversations under all three headers. A Christian does show up from time to time and a few are regulars. Not all Christians are trolls of course.  The trolls will start a topic by asking a question which is designed to be provocative but quickly becomes rhetorical.  Thus, one troll may generate an inquiry about all of the natural disasters going on around us and tie that into uneasy feelings and the end times.  Another may state at the onset that they wish to convert the atheists on the forum to Christianity-- usually a form of Christianity that takes the Bible literally-- and thus win souls for Christ.

The Christians who aren't trolls are up front about their religious viewpoints and will not ask questions in order to prove a point.  Those Christians and atheists seem to get on alright in the forum in spite of the bold views being expressed rather loudly by the atheists.  

Many atheists are conscious of logical fallacies and endeavor to avoid them when having a heated discussion about anything with others.  [A lengthy list can be found at http://skepdic.com/ticriticalthinking.html ].  In my experience, many fundamentalist Christians aren't. And to me, that is rather unfortunate and the cause of much of the difficulties when two or more people attempt to have a conversation.  When the fundamentalist Christian begins to insist that "God said it in the Bible" [or alternately quotes an added paragraph in Josephus to prove that Jesus existed], the atheist will start using words like "circular reasoning" or "appeal to authority."  The insistence on historical or scientifically peer-reviewed citations and critical thinking skills by the atheist causes the fundamentalist Christian to default vigorously to "God said it..." and possibly to engage in some name-calling.  The atheist may also engage in some name-calling.

The Christians do not usually visit every thread.  In the threads predominated by the atheists on the site, there is certainly a bit of anger expressed.  That anger is understandable in a society which is slow to recognize that atheists are suitable to run for office and can indeed serve as military chaplains.  There is crude language, some crude joking, and crude pictures posted which are offensive to the sensibilities of the more sensitive personalities.  The Raving Atheists Forum has two words in its' name that indicate that the site is not for folks who cry easily or are fragile.  Raving is exactly what gets done.  Raving is enjoyable and a necessary release.  And atheists in general are known for being intellectual and dogmatic about logic.  There are other forums and places on the web for different kinds of atheists of course-- there are places for happy atheists, thinking atheists, positive atheists and so forth.  The Raving Atheists Forum is accurate and self-descriptive by name.  When you go there, you can expect to find a). a forum of b). atheists who are indeed c). raving.  The experience can be enjoyable or unnerving or frightening or boring.  It just depends upon where your head is at.

sapphoq reviews says:  I like the Raving Atheists Forum.  Fundamentalist Christians who venture there should be prepared for atheists who rave, atheists who insist upon the well-crafted argument, atheists who are fully aware that you are the visitor.  For those with the temperament to withstand biting humor and even to engage in it, for those who can craft and respect a logical argument, for those who relish atheists who are comfortable enough within not to sugarcoat their experiences, the Raving Atheists Forum just might be the place for you.  Thumbs up along with all of the other fingers.

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