So, you mave have seen an image similar to this one on the left dotted about the place recently. What does it mean and does the fact that RiPA have it on the website mean that RiPA is 'coming out'?
Ok from the top, The 'Scarlett Letter A', in recent times, is the symbol for Richard Dawkins 'Out Campaign' for Atheism.
Obviously, this “A” refers to atheism but in the past, the same symbol, known as “the scarlet letter”, as a way to 'out' and shame adulterers. It would be placed on the fron t of clothing in Puritan communities in order to publicly humiliate the offender.
So why use this as the symbol for Atheism?
Well the theory behind that is, just as adultery and the adulterer back in the day, there is a certain stigma attached to being an Atheist.
The 'A' was chosen for its past meaning and bought forward in order to represent the breaking of a taboo, almost like coming out in the same way a gay man would, and taking pride in being an atheist.
Ok, im not saying all Atheists are gay, but to some, the fact that they have to admit to say, their catholic parents, that they are Atheist can be a traumatic time.
This sharing of the symbol can be thought of as a little strange though, As the meaning of the 'A' for adulterers is quite the opposite to the meaning of 'A' for the Atheists:
Adultery in a bad thing.
Atheism is claimed to be a good thing.
Adulterers should rightly feel bad and repent.
Atheists are urged to feel good and rebel.
Adultery is destructive to trust, the family and society.
Atheism is said to be constructive.
Adultery is conducive to shame.
Atheism is conducive to pride.
So is it good to be an Athiest? Yeah, sure it is, if you can control it that is. Although its not exactly a religion or a way of life but more a way of thought, just bare in mind about the could bes.
This brings me on to Skepticism. RiPA do alot of work with various groups and associations. Some of these are skeptics. RiPA have ties with publications such as 'The Skeptic Magazine' and various 'SiTP' groups but does that make RiPA a skeptical bunch? Not at all. RiPA have these connections as it is important when dealing with such a diverse field such as paranormal phenomenon. Its good to get as many opposing opinions as you can as this will help future study projects and increase the knowledge base.
Some of the talks and presentations RiPA holds can be quite confusing in this sense as I show both sides of the coin. One such talk for example is one 'Does the subconscious mind exist?' . In this presentation, I spend the first half talking about what the Subconscious mind is, how we use and what it is for etc.
While in the second, I argue against the points I made in the first!. Dont worry, it ties up nicely at the end!
This brings me to what Skepticism should be about. There are two types of Skeptics, those who say 'no' and thats that, and those that say 'its improbable, but not impossible'. RiPA are more geared towards the latter of the two Skeptics.
As you look around the RiPA site, You will find many articles, from the theory behind Anomalistics to ancient practises such as 'Scrying' and 'Dowsing'. All these and more can be found in our PAPERS section.
You will also see that RiPA do go out to allegedly haunted places. So does that mean RiPA are believers?
Well, no, not exactly. Ok, we all have our deep-set personal beliefs and wishes, but thats a personal issue for the individual involved.
RiPA are not to say 'Yes, you MUST believe' or 'NO! dont be silly' that is your choice. RiPA will however educate. This way, you can absorb what you learn and maybe start to change the way you think using CTS and new found knowledge.
Ok, So if RiPA are not Atheists, nor Skeptics or Believers, then just what is RiPA?
RiPA are researchers, RiPA will dig and discover new ways of thinking, new ways to apply rational circumstances to alleged haunting phenomena. A grounding for people who seem to be fooled by the masses. From Psychology to Geophysics, this all plays apart in to WHY people experience paranormal phenomena. RiPA finds out new ways to explain and provide empirical evidence to the cause.
RiPA operate from a balanced research base.
RiPA are NOT 'Ghost-Hunters',
RiPA are NOT a 'Tour/events group'
RiPA do not rely on a 'gimmicky' website.
RiPA has an edge of Skepticism, a touch of Atheism, an understanding of Believers, and to top it all, a bit of everything else all wrapped up in a ball.
Welcome to RiPA.
If you would like to become a RiPA then please visit our Joining page and see if you fit the criteria.
If so, then we hope to hear from you soon.
Tags: ripa join ghost hunting believr atheist skeptic