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Any UK students? - last commented 14 July 2011 09:00 AM

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Go to: The "So" meme

PepeisBest's Avatar Jump to comment 141 by PepeisBest

Comment 32 by Richard Dawkins :

PS to Post 30.

Although "I was like" could turn out to be a genuinely useful (because economical) addition to our language, the earlier, indiscriminate usage of "like" to mean "um" or "er" (or "basically") is not enriching. I have even heard sentences beginning with "Like", in exactly the same way as the "So" with which I began this discussion. "Like, I was walking down the like street and I met this like man . . ." That is the reverse of economical and I couldn't defend it."

Richard

I quite agree. The English language is very rich and rewarding to use, and definitely my favourite. However, when people around you use those sorts of memes quite often it becomes increasingly hard to escape them: I find myself saying 'like' and so on (and 'bare' in Norwegian) far too often for my liking. Writing thus becomes very refreshing because it's much easier to escape those memes, and it's as though I regain the full use of my vocabulary.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 23:07:00 UTC | #925490

Go to: Any UK students?

PepeisBest's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by PepeisBest

Comment 28 by scottishgeologist :

PepeisBest,

St Andrews is my Alma Mater. When I was there, quite a few years ago, the CUwas quite noticeable but I wouldnt say "in your face" We used to refer to them as "God Squad" or "Jesus Freaks" - they always looked like bearded hippies (well it was the 70s) but they always stuck together, like in cliques.

Nowadays they look like American evangelicals with (more often than not) exceptionally bad dress sense. =) But to be fair, it might be that they seem 'in your face' to me because my flatmate this year is so heavily involved in the CU. All the events they insist on being present for, all the lecturers who are involved in their Bible Studies and church events, seem very noticeable indeed to me because I know about it from my friend.

"C" Block in Andrew Melville Hall was solid God Squad. The rest of the hall was total hedonism....

I think it's Albany Park nowadays..

The thing about St Andrews, both as a town and as a University (the two are almost equivalent) is that the religious history there goes back a very long way - almost the entrire religious history of Scotland is to be found in StA. So religion and its legacy are almoist impossible to avoid.

That's very true, and very interesting historically, but it shouldn't necessarily mean that St Andrews is more religious than any other place in Scotland. For example, most of Norway's religious history is centered around Trondheim, but that area is no more religious than any other.

And consider the Clan Gathering properly and forever thoroughly avoided. =)

And thanks to SpirituallyAtheist for valuable words!

-K.

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 00:07:13 UTC | #848069

Go to: Any UK students?

PepeisBest's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by PepeisBest

Comment 25 by Marios.Richards@gmail.com :

Do you have any sense of what people would do in this society?

Marios

My idea in the first instance was to create an arena for likeminded people to meet and discuss a range of topics - a bit like here on this website, where most people have one thing in common but are still so different as to create really interesting, insightful and constructive debates. That's one of the thing that's interesting about atheists as a 'group'; because atheism is such an undefining feature of most lives, atheists tend to be extremely diverse people. So yeah, I guess you could just join the Debate Union, but then you might miss out on the meeting likeminded people aspect. Like I said earlier, I think it would be nice to just meet up at the pub as well. It would be a setting to meet people you maybe wouldn't otherwise meet.

I don't think it's an issue of popularity so much as being easier to create and maintain a society that's for something rather than against something.

You're probably right that it's easier to have a group that's for something, but it would still be an issue of whether it's popular or not; if most people in the relevant 'demographic' wouldn't want such a group, then there is little need to create one.

Anyway, like I said in my last post, I'll put my plans on the shelf for now, think a bit more until September and then see. Again, all comments have been extremely constructive and very much appreciated!

Fri, 08 Jul 2011 03:43:57 UTC | #847540

Go to: Any UK students?

PepeisBest's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by PepeisBest

All warnings of herding cats appreciated and understood! =) Anyway, the majority of you seem to think it's rather unnecessary and unlikely to be popular - I guess I'll wait until semester starts in September and have a rethink then, but for now I think I'll terminate any plans of mine.

Comment 13 by jesusdiedLOL :

I am also in a similar position over here in New Zealand. Our religious groups dominate the student clubs market, giving them influence in the overall workings of the university, which i abhor.

I don't think an "atheist" group will be particularly popular, myself and others have looked into this and have decided a better group would be "science and reason" based. Atheism would of course be implied, but this leaves the group open to co-operate with other groups, such as the debating society.

Seems like a good idea, maybe I'll look into that instead. Good luck with your club and with eradicating all that post-modernist nonsense!

-K.

Thu, 07 Jul 2011 11:56:01 UTC | #847259

Go to: Any UK students?

PepeisBest's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by PepeisBest

Wow, thanks for all the input!

There does seem to be a sort of general 'of course I don't believe in gods, but so what?'-feeling amongst atheists, and I can indeed identify with that.

There are over 130 societies at St Andrews (I don't know how that compares to other universities), and most of them are of the 'let's meet at the pub'-type, with a few special events thrown in. That would be rather what I'd aim for - a place to meet likeminded people and chat about stuff, and then maybe organise bigger events if there was a mood for it.

One thing I might want to do would be to highlight exactly how pervasive the CU is; for one, I don't think it's right that they're involving themselves in Fresher's Week beyond organising events for members. Last time, they wore t-shirts that looked pretty much identical to those of the official welcoming group, stuck their uninvited noses in pub crawls, etc. Nothing terrible at all, but still involving themselves to a degree where people should be aware of it. For myself, I was only made aware of it because my flatmate is exceptionally religious and very involved in these things (a very good friend, but we do go head to head at times...). Although I guess this would be a good issue for the student newspaper to write on.

Would it perhaps be more inviting if it was a sceptic society, rather than an atheist society? It might get more people coming, and encourage a wider range of topics. Also, becoming affiliated to the BHA would probably be a good idea.

Comment 15 by SpirituallyAtheist :

When we create a group, we must not fall into the trap of making its objectives so broad because we want to include as many people as possible. This often leads to watering things down. Finding a couple of atheists who agree on some core issues and are willing to pursue a common goal is not of little value.

You have a very good point! How broad is a broad array of objectives, though? What about something like the RDFRS mission statement? Critical thinking, evidence-based understanding, etc.

Comment 14 by besleybean :

Hey, I'm just dipping in to say both my kids are at St Andrews!

Oh, great! May I ask what they're studying?

Comment 6 by mummymonkey :

I went to see Richard at St Andrews a while back and the event was very well attended.

When exactly was that? Guest lectures do tend to be very well attended, especially if it's someone interesting. I would imagine it must have been absolutely packed - David Attenborough was there earlier in June (unfortunately after I'd left), and the tickets sold extremely fast. I'd hate to have missed Richard too!

Anyway, thanks again!

Thu, 30 Jun 2011 15:48:53 UTC | #844855

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