Author Topic: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?  (Read 2172 times)

SteveS

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2008, 01:19:13 PM »
Hey cspanther welcome to the board!

I don't know about all this organization stuff.   If there was a meet-up near me, I might check it out.  But honestly, depending upon the people, I may or may not like it.  I obviously feel motivated enough to talk to other atheists to post on this board, though.  So who knows?  I would see a meet-up hopefully as an opportunity to socialize with intelligent and interesting people.  It would be more socially rewarding and enjoyable then it would be "productive" or "goal oriented".  Otherwise it becomes a form of activism, which of course I might not agree with.  I tend to be somewhat apathetic when it comes to activism.

As far as individualism goes, I certainly don't see it as "at odds" with community.  Wouldn't a community of individualists just be a community of people who believe that individual rights are what is most important?  A group of people who formed the community for the purpose of safe-guarding individual rights?  If you view pure collectivism as one extreme, pure individualism is its antithesis.  Both are types of society; both are types of community.  The United States of America, while arguably changed at least somewhat from its inception, was widely considered to be a society on the "individualist" side of the equation.  It probably still is.

Stoicheion

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2008, 01:34:52 PM »
you're welcome ^_^
[size=85]So why does there only have to be one correct philosophy?
I don't wanna go and follow you just to end up like one of them
And why are you always telling me what you want me to believe?
I'd like to think that I can go my own way and meet you in the end
Go my own way and meet you in the end
"Same Direction" - Hoobastank
 [/size]

DennisK

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2008, 06:26:47 AM »
By organizing for some causes (which I would be supportive) I would think you would run the risk of having a number of sects (similar to religious devisions) due to an individuals beliefs not completely conforming the groups views.  Our numbers are impressive, but if we have a 'platform' to define our beliefs, those numbers would diminish IMO.  

I, personally, am yearning for meetings with people locally to discuss various atheist topics.  I want to talk with and learn from smart people whose minds aren't tainted with religion.  I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, however, living in the south has upped my intellect significantly by comparison.  I enjoy atheist forums, but they aren't the same as face to face interaction.

Ho-Humm.  Anyone in Wilmington, NC, USA wanting to gather, let me know.
"If you take a highly intelligent person and give them the best possible, elite education, then you will most likely wind up with an academic who is completely impervious to reality." -Halton Arp

Elvis Priestly

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2008, 01:01:12 PM »
I hope the penalties for crossposting here aren't too severe. I just posted a similar response to a poll in the Philosophy segment, but  I think it is relevant here.  

I personally think that atheists should start organizing with others who have similar behavioral codes and ideals. The social aspects are nice, but I am more concerned about reducing discrimination against atheists and increase public acceptance.

Check out this video on youTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4fQA9mt-Mg

It points out that there are US states that still have laws preventing atheists from holding public office. It also gives a quote by the first President Bush (I have not personally verified it) where he says he believes that atheists should not be considered US citizens.

I can't remember where I ran across it, but I saw a statistic saying that 16% of the US population does not believe in god. This is a large minority that has almost no voice in politics or any other aspect of public life. I am regularly annoyed by the Religious Right, and I see no 'Secular Center' to balance that out. It seems that only the communists support actual atheism, and I am a fan of free markets, so I can't go there.

I haven't really looked for groups advocating the rights of atheists in the US. Does anyone know of such a group that operates on a national (or even statewide level)? I'm curious... and I'm in Seattle, WA if anyone knows of local groups.

Being part of an organized group with similar ideas doesn't mean you can't be a free-thinker as well. Refusing to organize with others who have similar goals does mean you will be politically powerless.
Elvis Priestly

Having fun at the expense of established religion]http://www.thechurchofmike.org[/url]

crocofish

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2008, 01:54:27 PM »
Quote from: "Elvis Priestly"
I haven't really looked for groups advocating the rights of atheists in the US. Does anyone know of such a group that operates on a national (or even statewide level)? I'm curious... and I'm in Seattle, WA if anyone knows of local groups.
I recently heard Lori Lipman Brown speak here in the Dallas area.  She is the director of Secular Coalition for America. She was a guest on the Colbert Report recently.  You can check out their web site for all the details.
"The cloud condenses, and looks back on itself, in wonder." -- unknown

oldschooldoc

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2008, 04:31:57 PM »
I really believe that a group of atheist could come together very successfully. In my view, the majority of atheist tend to be intellectually stimulating whether I agree with everything they say or not. I am a recently self-outed atheist, and it feels so damn good! My only wish now is to meet others who share at least the core values that I do.

I believe religion is a superstitious plague that has claimed the lives of too many people.
I believe religion has been given a free pass. Like Richard Dawkins says, it should be a discussable topic, not hands off by some unspoken rule.
I believe it is my right, under our secular constitution, to express my atheistic views without being harassed.

Unfortunately, I live in rural South Texas. Lord help me (lol, sorry I couldn't resist.)

OldSchoolDoc
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DennisK

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2008, 10:51:25 AM »
Quote from: "Elvis Priestly"
I personally think that atheists should start organizing with others who have similar behavioral codes and ideals. The social aspects are nice, but I am more concerned about reducing discrimination against atheists and increase public acceptance.

I agree, Elvis!  I am coming to the point where I would like to contribute to a cause to further the voice of atheistm.  I understand the 'herding cats' argument to a certain degree, on the other hand, I see it as a crutch for those who are fearful to put their neck out (I am not exempt from this fear).  The Creationists have gone unchecked for too long resulting in a clusterfudge of church and state marriage (or engagement at the least).  Not to mention the fact that religion, in general, gets a free pass as Dawkins and others have stated.

How many children's lives are ruined every day by religious indoctrination?  It's like the cycle of pedophilia.  It infects a child's mind and they grow up infecting others with their disease because their minds are altered, maybe irreparably, at such an early age.  There may be more hope in fighting the disease of church than that of pedophiles.  There certainly is a lot more medicine available to combat religion -knowledge.  Just a little bit can cure one.  The only problem is you can't make someone take it.
"If you take a highly intelligent person and give them the best possible, elite education, then you will most likely wind up with an academic who is completely impervious to reality." -Halton Arp

Elvis Priestly

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2008, 11:21:14 PM »
Quote from: "DennisK"
Quote from: "Elvis Priestly"
I personally think that atheists should start organizing with others who have similar behavioral codes and ideals. The social aspects are nice, but I am more concerned about reducing discrimination against atheists and increase public acceptance.

I agree, Elvis!  I am coming to the point where I would like to contribute to a cause to further the voice of atheistm.  

Well then, you could always blog about atheist issues on my website  :D  http://www.thechurchofmike.org.  My supposed 'disciples' in The Church of Mike told me they wanted to blog, and swore they would write articles regularly.  They are flaking on me in a big way. I'm trying to decide what more to do with the site to build an audience beyond just having a few entertaining pictures.  Maybe it could move into activism, or maybe it stays as mostly humor. Anyone who is interested in contributing, feel free to PM me.

Or you can check out this info and get involved with a more established organization:

Quote from: "crocofish"
Quote from: "Elvis Priestly"
I haven't really looked for groups advocating the rights of atheists in the US. Does anyone know of such a group that operates on a national (or even statewide level)? I'm curious... and I'm in Seattle, WA if anyone knows of local groups.
I recently heard Lori Lipman Brown speak here in the Dallas area.  She is the director of Secular Coalition for America. She was a guest on the Colbert Report recently.  You can check out their web site for all the details.
Elvis Priestly

Having fun at the expense of established religion]http://www.thechurchofmike.org[/url]

Whitney

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2008, 08:47:37 PM »
Speaking of Lori, I was at the same speaking event and really enjoyed it.  I also met her at a party the night before...she is very personable.

Chimera

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2008, 10:23:16 AM »
I think the thing I miss most about not going to church anymore is the community. It was nice to have a place to go a couple times a week and be with other people and enjoy their company and conversation and know we had common interests.

Also, I don't think we'll be seeing an atheist group putting on a Christmas pageant anytime soon. LOL
"I refuse to believe in a god who is the primary cause of conflict in the world, preaches racism, sexism, homophobia, and ignorance, and then sends me to hell if I’m 'bad.'" – Mike Fuhrman

rlrose328

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2008, 10:41:45 AM »
Quote from: "Chimera"
I think the thing I miss most about not going to church anymore is the community. It was nice to have a place to go a couple times a week and be with other people and enjoy their company and conversation and know we had common interests.

Also, I don't think we'll be seeing an atheist group putting on a Christmas pageant anytime soon. LOL

Same here... I really miss the built-in community that comes with attending a church.  Potlucks, outings, events... even bible study... those times to get together with others who share your worldview.

Our local Meet-Up group has Rational Sunday School 2x a month at a local community center.  They put together two programs, one for tweens/teens and one for under tween (so to speak).  The tweens usually play games, have popcorn, maybe watch a movie.  The youngers have music, games... always a rational theme of some sort.

COming up this month, they'll discuss the origins of Santa, learn about Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, etc., have a treat exchange, and have an opportunity to give back (brin canned items for the local food bank and/or donate a toy for the Ronald McDonald house.  They do these charity things several times during the year as well with the kids.

While the folks who orgranize the event do their thing, the rest of us moms either sit in and enjoy or we find a room and just hang out to talk... of course, we usually always end up discussing religion or politics.  LOL!
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Schuyler_Howland

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2009, 09:49:01 PM »
its only natural for people with the same beliefs to communicate with each other and meet up. Why should atheism be any different?
just because you don't believe in a god doesn't mean we shouldn't try to establish a community. i think one of the main reasons why atheism is frowned upon here in the states is because there are very few atheists who are willing to make a community.

I think this is also another reason why atheists are always labeled as "angry", because there is a lack of an inner community, a lack of support with each other. so when we have something to say, we often have to shout to be heard. and people take that shouting and say it's anger.

as long as you are not establishing one set of beliefs within your disbelief (if that makes any sense) everything should be open forum. you would need some organizers, but they shouldn't be considered "leaders" seeing as everyone's words should have the same gravity.

I do believe that atheists need to come out of the closet and organize to make themselves heard.

curiosityandthecat

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2009, 06:42:49 AM »
Quote from: "Schuyler_Howland"
I do believe that atheists need to come out of the closet and organize to make themselves heard.

I completely agree. However, having said that, a number of atheists in the US live in areas that are... shall we say, hostile. Make a shirt or a sign to wear that just says ATHEIST, wear it around one day when you're out doing your shopping and whatnot, and see if anyone treats you any differently. There's still a great deal of animosity and fear directed toward the atheist label. It's unfortunate, but true.
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Nazzer

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2009, 01:55:24 PM »
@The Original Poster:


The only time I agree with this sentiment is if the organization is a gathering "in the name of" atheism (Like to perform activities that could be called "worship"). If these people are gathering just because they are atheists and feel that atheists should gather, than it's indistinguishable from religious gatherings, who gather just because they feel it is a requirement.

However, if they are gathering for social reasons, then I think it's very good, especially in communities like my own, where being an atheist is oftentimes a lonely experience. Meeting with like-minded people does a lot for one's general happiness, and prevents one from feeling like an outcast.

Schuyler_Howland

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Re: Should Atheists organize. . . should they seek community?
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2009, 06:52:22 PM »
Quote from: "curiosityandthecat"
Quote from: "Schuyler_Howland"
I do believe that atheists need to come out of the closet and organize to make themselves heard.

I completely agree. However, having said that, a number of atheists in the US live in areas that are... shall we say, hostile. Make a shirt or a sign to wear that just says ATHEIST, wear it around one day when you're out doing your shopping and whatnot, and see if anyone treats you any differently. There's still a great deal of animosity and fear directed toward the atheist label. It's unfortunate, but true.
I know it may be hard, it may be difficult for people to do. but you have the right to be the person who you choose to be, and not expressing yourself as you normally would out of fear of how people may treat you is basically succumbing to terrorism.

I freed myself from religion so i wouldn't have to live in fear anymore. not so i could hide myself.

and if atheists congregated together, it would be easier because you aren't doing it alone. atheists need to make themselves more vocal so people can see that we are not angry, hateful individuals. if we become more vocals and simply talk to people about what an atheist really is, it could clear up so much misconception that is the root cause of atheists being treated differently.

maybe this is just my equal rights activist side coming out, but if you want to be treated fairly you have to make yourself vocal, regardless of how people treat you. you can't facilitate change by playing it "Safe".