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Tribe for Unbelievers

Started by Pharaoh Cat, November 21, 2011, 10:16:05 AM

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Pharaoh Cat

It seems to me the main positive value provided by churches in the lives of their members is large-scale, meaningful face-to-face community.  In this post my word for large-scale, meaningful face-to-face community will be "tribe."  In suburbia and rural areas, churches often represent the only tribe available, and so people who only vaguely believe, and even some who don't believe at all, will join a church so as to have and participate in a tribe.

I feel the need for new tribes to emerge, ones that don't require signing up (or pretending to) with a mindset counter to reason.  The Freethinkers are certainly a step in the right direction.  In addition to them, I would like to see, and think there is a need for, one or more apatheist tribes, entirely friendly to unbelievers of every stripe, but centered not on unbelief or theological skepticism, but rather, on positive practical values unbelievers not only can but usually do endorse.

Today we have a whole generation of young people who have never seriously considered believing in (or attaching themselves to) one of the monotheistic faiths.  The idea just seems silly to them.  They ask the obvious question - "Why?" – get no satisfactory answer and move on.  Being atheist or agnostic isn't a passionate choice for them.  It's more of a shrug and a pass the ketchup, please.  I think most of them are more apatheist than anything else.  I suspect many of them yearn for a tribe.

Oddly enough, what got me thinking about all this is my attempt at some mild creativity in my profile here on this forum.  I'm apatheist and I like cats so I figured I'd encapsulate my world view in a catchy little slogan, What Would Your Cat Do (WWYCD)?  But then I figured I should answer the question, and that triggered a convoluted mental process that resulted in my current signature, and its four key words: Exploration, Victory, Stealth, and Luxury (EVSL).  So now, as I look at that acronym, I realize it puts forward a world view many apatheists could and would endorse, and which could form the mental core of a tribe.  So I'm using it as an example in this post.  Other examples equally workable could be dreamed up pretty quickly.  I happen to have this one handy, so this is the one you get.  ;)

I'll name my example, the Order Felix (OF).  Hey, everything needs a name, right?  8)

So let's say we have this apatheist tribe, the OF, with its mental core, EVSL.  What would its praxis look like?  Well, E for Exploration would be an endorsement of science.  Every kind of support science could be given, including financial, would be on the agenda – and not only the doing of science, but education in science as well.  V for Victory would be an endorsement of personal achievement.  Every kind of support personal achievement could be given, including financial, would be on the agenda.  (Notice how science education gets a double hit, as both E and V would underscore it – but of course any and all modes of personal achievement, scientific or otherwise, would be championed.)   S for Stealth would be an endorsement of the right to privacy.  Every kind of support that could be given to a political and legal right to privacy, including financial, would be on the agenda.  Finally, L for Luxury would be an endorsement of comfort, delight and convenience – bearing mind that some of this can be very serious stuff, as in the case of someone with a physical disability.  Every kind of support that could be given, including financial, would be on the agenda.

We would even see EVSL songs getting composed and sung.  Instead of singing about Jesus, people could belt out tunes about the glory of exploration, the pride of victory, the game of stealth, and the sweetness of luxury.

It should be obvious, I think, that EVSL works well as the mental core for an apatheist tribe that wants to stand for more than just unbelief or theological skepticism.  The cat motif is a bonus, a frivolity, a rallying symbol and a hook to draw attention, as, after all, cats are extremely popular in America and other Western countries.

So that's my example of the kind of thing I think is waiting to be born: an apatheist tribe that stands for positive practical values.  I look forward to the emergence of such a thing, as a competitor to the churches, who currently have the tribe market entirely to themselves in suburbia and rural areas.

"The Logic Elf rewards anyone who thinks logically."  (Jill)


Ah, but the big question is: can cats be herded? ;D

If I would make up my own, I would call it Order Canis, because I've always been more of a dog person. ;) Order Lupus (wolf) is better, but sounds too much like a disease...

I like your sig, though I would place stealth before victory.
I am what survives if it's slain - Zack Hemsey

Pharaoh Cat

Another tribe idea would be something I'll call, Scientifica.  This would be a large-scale, meaningful face-to-face community based on a devotion to science and science education.

My new thread about science-based holidays would be relevant here.  Scientifica would definitely have their own holidays centered on key events in the history of our natural world and our never-ending quest to better know it.

They would also do fund-raising for scientific endeavors, science education, and science awareness.

Scientists and science historians would be invited to give talks.

The equivalent of "Sunday School" would be fun science experiments or expeditions for the kids.

Careers in science would be spotlighted in kid-friendly fashion.

Political action would center on lobbying the government to fund more science, in particular space travel, with "Mars Underfoot" a rallying theme.

In keeping with the premise of this thread, the attitude toward God would be apatheistic, a big yawn.  No time at all would be spent debunking or in any way engaging with theism.  Children raised in the Scientifica milieu would never have a reason to give a moment's thought to weird myths except as anthropological curiosities.

Any real, serious tribe will have at its core a philosophy and praxis around child-rearing.  Scientifica's will be pro-science from every perspective, employing all the latest and best science for the betterment of the children, deeming scientific literacy to be something every adult and the adult community as a whole is obligated to instill in the next generation, deeming the virtues of the scientist to be the virtues we should train our children in, consistently lauding a career in science as the most heroic ambition a kid could have, and encouraging in the children a pro-science patriotism that yearns for the nation of residence to lead the world in the sciences.

Oh, and we could certainly have our pro-science sing-alongs!  ;)

"The Logic Elf rewards anyone who thinks logically."  (Jill)


Quote from: xSilverPhinx on November 21, 2011, 03:14:18 PM
If I would make up my own, I would call it Order Canis, because I've always been more of a dog person. ;) Order Lupus (wolf) is better, but sounds too much like a disease...

It's never Lupus. :P
Strange but not a stranger<br /><br />I love my car more than I love most people.