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Tuomas Holopainen & Troy Donockley - Openly Secular

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Tuomas Holopainen and Troy Donockley of the world renowned symphonic metal band Nightwish explain why they are Openly Secular. They prefer to embrace this wonderful world through the factual revelations of science and reason, through love and happiness.

 

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great! thanks for posting! :)
just in case someone is interested what this "openly secular" group is all about:

It's "a coalition to highlight and overcome discrimination against nonreligious & atheists" formed by the Richard Dawkins foundation and other secular groups.

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Cool :)

 

I like the footage they used in the background while TGSOE is playing. Very similar to what was chosen for the fan-made lyric video. Made me think it would be cool if Nightwish made an official lyric video for it.

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I love this bit - Troy: "From living with such denial, it’s inevitable that we should end up swinging between sporadic bursts of happiness and misery and self-pity.”

Tuomas: “Which gets really boring.”

 

Hey now, so many great (not boring) Nightwish songs are about just this - Tuomas' happiness, misery and self-pity (and self-flagellation and self-aggrandizement :) It's good to see he can write music from other emotions too.

 

I always wondered if Century Child and other things of that general period were partly without hope due to loss of religious faith, and a struggle with that. 

 

It's interesting that the video focuses on parents (or adults in general) misleading children. Tuomas adores his parents so much, but someone obviously raised him in faith. 

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This makes me so freaking proud. And how could you not be proud to share an ideology with the people you look up to? 

 

June 30th this year I will celebrate that I have walked this amazing Earth for two decades, carrying a gift perhaps only second to life itself - an open mind. A chance to choose my own truth, beliefs and morals, to the point where I gladly go against those of my elders, be they caused either by social norms and upbringing of a different time, or just differentiating ideals in general.

 

We do not choose to be born. We do not choose the circumstances of our birth. How we're not given the undeniable right to choose how to use this gift, instead expected to be someone based on our place of birth, skin color, sex, gender and upbringing, religious or not - just to name the big ones - is incomprehensible to me.

 

I am openly secular!

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I love it. Openly secular, that's how I feel now and that's how I have felt almost all my life. 

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I'm not a fan of this video. 

What these two have went through (assuming they were) is PRECISELY what I've went through with my atheist parents. It is amazing what temper tantrums people can throw just because their kid wants to spend two hours in church on Sunday.

That is why I dislike about secularists the most - they accuse religious people of the precisely the same things they can be guilty of themselves.

Also one thing that I really mind about the video - the whole ''you have to be secular to appreciate the universe and its beauty.'' God, does that get on my nerves. 

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Well if that's what they believe (or don't) good for them.

 

Just no need to put others down about such things. You can still appreciate beauty in this world regardless of beliefs. One of things I like about living is meeting people of different beliefs and ways of living and things like that. (To me the many differences in people are part of "every form most beautiful" so to speak) I still don't see how science and faith are in such conflict with each other for some. Both can be flawed? but whatever. Side eyeing the site for it's use of "atheist closet" though but that's another topic. Troys got a good voice and I like the background....?

 

When I first watched it for a moment I kinda felt kinda crappy for actually believing in something (how ever vague that may be) but I'm going to guess they weren't trying to put people down for that. Anyway like I said, good for them. People should be able to be open about such things. 

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I don't think the intention was to make anybody feel badly about their beliefs. They may be irreligious, but that doesn't mean they're saying religion is inherently bad... just the abuse of it. I think Tuomas would say that it's perfectly okay to have faith or convictions about the existence of higher powers or god(s) as long as they aren't blind or based on absolutely nothing or used to oppress or indoctrinate. The lyrics to Weak Fantasy reflect this, for example. I obviously have no way of knowing, but I believe the line "What's God if not the spark that started life" in LROTD speaks a lot toward how Tuomas feels about the existence and influence of deities. I also think Tuomas would agree that faith/spirituality and science are not mutually exclusive entities.

 

I can see why a video such as this could be considered divisive, but I think the intention was more to make a statement about the power of science and human understanding through reason, not to put anyone down for believing in god or religion. If anything it seems more like an extra way to advertise the new album and tour.

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This I loved, and I think it worked because it felt very personal to them. They didn't put down any group or idea really other than what people have already said: blind faith in things.

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I don't know. I'd like to believe that the intention wasn't to offend, but comparing religious belief to fairy tales and vampires is very, very bad strawman that they bash.

Religious belief is generally a belief in Someone Who is beyond proof - by that definition, they do say all religion is bad, it's all tribal tradition and tribal fantasy.

This makes me feel as if all that talk about Dawkins' involvement with the album would be a purely scientific one is out of the window - there's more than science here, there's ideology.

In a time period when scores of Christians are brutally murdered, raped and enslaved in the Middle East, they decide to endorse an organization that has for its goal the fight against discrimination of the irreligious - I assume they'll be donating 20 million to the Children's Sore Throat Prevention Center next.  :help:

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I don't know. I'd like to believe that the intention wasn't to offend, but comparing religious belief to fairy tales and vampires is very, very bad strawman that they bash.

Religious belief is generally a belief in Someone Who is beyond proof - by that definition, they do say all religion is bad, it's all tribal tradition and tribal fantasy.

This makes me feel as if all that talk about Dawkins' involvement with the album would be a purely scientific one is out of the window - there's more than science here, there's ideology.

In a time period when scores of Christians are brutally murdered, raped and enslaved in the Middle East, they decide to endorse an organization that has for its goal the fight against discrimination of the irreligious - I assume they'll be donating 20 million to the Children's Sore Throat Prevention Center next.  :help:

Believing in higher force might not be akin to fairytales, but believing in the whole set of religious credo and the whole cosmogony up to tiniest details basically comes up to formalised fairytale. 

And Christians in the Middle East are not murdered by atheists, so it is rather lame to accuse a non-involved party, which, btw, is also persecuted by those fundamentalists (you do not believe that atheists in ISIS are allowed to express their skepticism, right)? 

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Hah, of course I know that ISIS wouldn't allow skeptics. Christians are at least allowed to pay for their lives with gold on a monthly basis. Yay.

At least in Christianity you don't have to believe to the ''tiniest details'' - and that's a rather ancient belief, not something that came about as a response to evolution.

On a positive note, I'm glad they're out in the open with their (lack of) beliefs, and that they're taking a stance against discrimination.  :)

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Tuomas could have contributed more I think...Actually I'm pretty sure...

 

Still, I don't think how learning about facts can necessarily help you overcome misery... It can increase it even more if you are built that way...though their stance is expressed pretty nicely...I'm not saying that believing in God can do any different for that matter, especially if you are not a believer in the first place.

I'm more for the undeniable and overwhelming will permeating the whole existence. It could be Evolution in the scientific terms, some moving force, which can also be God, but also, nature, love, art, beauty..but definitely not some Grandpa from the Bible, or any Grandpa I've been taught to believe in...I think that is the crux of what they wanted to say... 

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Goodbye forever, Nightwish.

 

I am sad because this was one of my favourite bands, but enough is enough. They are free to have their beliefs about how much nonsense or unreal the story of Christ is to them, they are free to be perfectly "joyful and happy" in a world in which according to their views billions of people die in extreme misery and then never get an ounce of justice or mercy ever but simply rot away for eternity, they are free to look down upon and think people like me are stupid or scared or delusional, but I am free to not buy their new album, which I haven't, or listen to their material.

 

It's one thing to critisize certain aspects of people's beliefs, but this clearly is throwing in the trash all "faitryale" beliefs, as they put it.

 

And pretty much the entire philosophy of "reality" that they present here stands in complete contrast to all that I hold dear about the world of art, so yeah, I really couldn't be more far apart from these gentlemen.

 

 

This I loved, and I think it worked because it felt very personal to them. They didn't put down any group or idea really other than what people have already said: blind faith in things.

Lol. They completely did not say that. They threw any and all faith in the trash. Look, I'd rather this wasn't as it is, but this is indeed the "reality" behind the new Nightwish. People of faith or even people open to spirituality are not welcome.

 

I would ask a queston like "What further proof do you want? Richard Dawkins to come sing on their album?" But wait......

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This isn't a statement by Nightwish, but of Tuomas and Troy. Besides, I don't feel that what they did here spilled over to their songs (or at least, too much).

If it does spill over, I'll simply skip the ideology-filled songs. Just because baker is an atheist doesn't mean I can't enjoy his or her pastry. :-)

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This isn't a statement by Nightwish, but of Tuomas and Troy. Besides, I don't feel that what they did here spilled over to their songs (or at least, too much).

If it does spill over, I'll simply skip the ideology-filled songs. Just because baker is an atheist doesn't mean I can't enjoy his or her pastry. :-)

Richard Dawins is singing/talking on their songs, dude.

 

There is literally nothing no bigger "HEY THIS IS FOR ATHEISTS" message they could have possibly put out.

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But he's not talking about atheism. Sure, his message has atheistic undertones, and that's only one song (Greatest Show on Earth), and a tone that shouldn't bother a religious person much. 

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By all means if you have a way of looking at it or it doesn't bother you, you are of course free to continue listening to the band. For me though, it can't work out.

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I've like the people of Nightwish as people, first and foremost. They make choices I disagree with (and disagree vehemently), but that won't change the fact that they've been a really positive influence on my life. I wouldn't stop being friends with my Christian buds if they turned full-fledged atheists (and the opposite is true). Both Christianity and secularism can agree that a human person is more than his or her beliefs, his or her idealogies. When we stop seeing people in that context, we can start to hate, and I'm afraid that is what happened when Dawkins was first announced for the EFMB. 

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Of course Tuomas and Troy are free to have and express whatever views they like, and if they are happy with who they are, and this view of life makes the most sense to them, that's great. That's the point of deciding on something. I have nothing against their faith as such.
But.
 
I'm just so tired of black and white thinking, and sadly there's an abundance of that from both camps (religious and secular). One would think that the "openly secular" with their "clear minds" would be a bit more open minded and less "our way is the only right way, others are blind and uneducated" - but nope. 
 
I love the parts of this that are a statement against discrimination. And the parts that expresses their love for art and the beauty in the world.
But how this is any different from "join Jesus and he'll wash all your tears away" - "we're secular and now we're no longer miserable", now we can truly appreciate art, now we can truly take a stand against discrimination (as if a person with any kind of faith or spirituality can't, as if everyone except the secular (=atheists, because that's what they mean even though they use the word secular - it's not the same thing...) are inherently close minded) - I fail to see.
 
It's just so frustrating that it always has to be connected to an ideology.
 

I've like the people of Nightwish as people, first and foremost. They make choices I disagree with (and disagree vehemently), but that won't change the fact that they've been a really positive influence on my life. I wouldn't stop being friends with my Christian buds if they turned full-fledged atheists (and the opposite is true). Both Christianity and secularism can agree that a human person is more than his or her beliefs, his or her idealogies. When we stop seeing people in that context, we can start to hate, and I'm afraid that is what happened when Dawkins was first announced for the EFMB.

What you said!
 

I don't think the intention was to make anybody feel badly about their beliefs. They may be irreligious, but that doesn't mean they're saying religion is inherently bad... just the abuse of it. I think Tuomas would say that it's perfectly okay to have faith or convictions about the existence of higher powers or god(s) as long as they aren't blind or based on absolutely nothing or used to oppress or indoctrinate. The lyrics to Weak Fantasy reflect this, for example. I obviously have no way of knowing, but I believe the line "What's God if not the spark that started life" in LROTD speaks a lot toward how Tuomas feels about the existence and influence of deities. I also think Tuomas would agree that faith/spirituality and science are not mutually exclusive entities.

I can see why a video such as this could be considered divisive, but I think the intention was more to make a statement about the power of science and human understanding through reason, not to put anyone down for believing in god or religion. If anything it seems more like an extra way to advertise the new album and tour.

I hope this is true, but I don't personally get that feeling. If that's what Tuomas thinks, he's not expressing it very clearly in my opinion.

 

I wish Tuomas and Troy would put as much focus to the issue of discrimination and people being hurt for who they are, as they do about their ideological views. They have a voice, and I would very much support a bit of social awareness from Nightwish.

 

If they are taking this road. Nightwish being just about the music is very fine too, that's what they've always done in the past. But it seems that's no longer how it is. (I am aware that they donate money to charities to support children, so I'm not saying they aren't doing anything.)

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I'm glad this band isn't trying to be politically correct, and they don't have to be. Nobody has a right not to be offended. You can move on if you disagree, but this is their band and their own thoughts.

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I've like the people of Nightwish as people, first and foremost. They make choices I disagree with (and disagree vehemently), but that won't change the fact that they've been a really positive influence on my life. I wouldn't stop being friends with my Christian buds if they turned full-fledged atheists (and the opposite is true). Both Christianity and secularism can agree that a human person is more than his or her beliefs, his or her idealogies. When we stop seeing people in that context, we can start to hate, and I'm afraid that is what happened when Dawkins was first announced for the EFMB. 

I mostly disagree with your religious views Bojan, but this is perfectly said.We shouldn't judge people by their beliefs.

  

"There is more to life than our

Higher positions,race for perfection

Better,Faster

We must return to the laws of the nature

free ourselves from madness"

 

This is the way we should live FadeToBlack not to be ignorant towards other people believes(or in this case different believes from yours) 

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Goodbye forever, Nightwish.

 

I am sad because this was one of my favourite bands, but enough is enough. They are free to have their beliefs about how much nonsense or unreal the story of Christ is to them, they are free to be perfectly "joyful and happy" in a world in which according to their views billions of people die in extreme misery and then never get an ounce of justice or mercy ever but simply rot away for eternity, they are free to look down upon and think people like me are stupid or scared or delusional, but I am free to not buy their new album, which I haven't, or listen to their material.

 

It's one thing to critisize certain aspects of people's beliefs, but this clearly is throwing in the trash all "faitryale" beliefs, as they put it.

 

And pretty much the entire philosophy of "reality" that they present here stands in complete contrast to all that I hold dear about the world of art, so yeah, I really couldn't be more far apart from these gentlemen.

 

 

This I loved, and I think it worked because it felt very personal to them. They didn't put down any group or idea really other than what people have already said: blind faith in things.

Lol. They completely did not say that. They threw any and all faith in the trash. Look, I'd rather this wasn't as it is, but this is indeed the "reality" behind the new Nightwish. People of faith or even people open to spirituality are not welcome.

 

I would ask a queston like "What further proof do you want? Richard Dawkins to come sing on their album?" But wait......

 

Of course, it's your choice to abandon and curse NW, but seriously, guys, since when is espousing publicly that one does not believe called ideology? I'm sick of attaching -ism to anything one wants to revile (here in Serbia right-wing people insist on using the term "homosexualism" in order to present it as an ideology instead of a psychological/biological category). 

And saying that theist people are not welcome in NW camp is simply over-dramatic. I really dislike Tolkien, yet songs like Wishmaster or Elvenpath never made me realise I would be not welcome as a NW fan. I simply skip and diss those songs when I can lol

And just like you think them expressing their "religious credo is a fairytale" attitude equals "throwing trash" on your believes, I, or anyone else here can argue that your theist explanations are "throwing" trash on my own skepticism. It's a circular argument, to put it mildly. 

But of course, it's up to you whether you want to be exclusive or not. 

 

On another note, I have a problem with the very concept of this foundation "Openly secular". Secularism does not equal atheism/agnosticism, it simply implies eradication of religion from the public sphere. Theoretically speaking, you can have a totally secular society in which 100% of members are religious within their private sphere. I find therefore their agenda to be misleading. And I also find Troy's views a tiny bit naive and superficial, although I'm not a believer myself, but whatever, I definitely don't see a reason for drama here. 

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We're obviously all interpreting Tuomas' and Troy's statements very differently. That's ok. But I wouldn't take this as an official Nightwish statement. Had it been a band thing, the whole band would be there. This is just two people supporting a cause.

 

(Personal) secularism is distancing yourself from religious teachings. It doesn't exclude people of faith or spirituality. Saying that these are no longer welcome to Nightwish couldn't be more wrong. I mean no offense, but if you no longer feel welcome it's really your loss. (Because awesome music.)

 

It's a pity that humans tend to think in black and white, but that's how we work. I'd say it's a survival instinct. (If something is not safe, it will kill you.) To avoid the "my way is the right way, yours is the wrong way" I try to think that no way is the right way. We will never know the full truth, but constant observation and experimentation will always be better than old writings (from the time when women were property and yada yada...) That I stand by. I also stand by that if there are parts of your beliefs that you're not ready to question you will never have a fully open mind.

 

Also I think all people would benefit from not always having to find a purpose in everything all the time.

 

Also, I'm totally open to the idea of a "supreme being creator deity" which created everything and then left without a track. Or maybe several of these? And what kind of deity lets you do whatever you want but really wants you to be a certain way and punishes you afterwards if you weren't? No thanks, I'll do as I like and worry about what happens after that some other time. Secularism is fun!

 

Aaaaaalso, thanks, Baki, for further proving my point during the time I wrote this. Hehe...

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