"Atheist Church" Poll is Counter Productive and Ill advised

I was sort of surprised when I signed in a few minutes ago that there was a poll asking about whether one would approve of / attend an atheist "church". Frankly , and with all due respect for the poll's author... I was disgusted for a number of reasons.

First, the term "church" is antithetical to atheism. A church is a place of worship, for theists. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/church

Secondly, with all the mentally impaired theists calling atheism a "religion" and atheists working to counter their idiocy by telling them that atheism is a religion "like balness is a hair color, like NOT collecting stamps is a hobby" ... here we go talking about an "atheist church", giving them ammunition to renew their claim of atheism = religion.

Thirdly, exactly what do all of us have in common to justify a close knit social structure akin to a theist church? Do we all share a "belief system" in common? A common "world view"? I doubt it. You don't know mine, and I don't know yours, and nothing in being atheist defines one.

Do we feel the need for some "spiritual support" (oy!) by a group of like minded "non-believers"? I'd proffer that we all share in common only one thing...the ONLY thing inferred by "atheism": No belief in God/gods. period. Not much there around which to form a close knit "church" like structure.

Oh yes, we likely have some basic axiomatic principles we all support, like respect for science, the need for evidence to accept a "fact". Most of us accept Evolutionary theory as genuine. Some large percentage of us support the equality for women, and womens right to control their reporductive processes.

But there are already science clubs. There are already womens rights organizations. There are abortion rights orgs. etc. The concept of a Church (argghhh) which seeks to somehow service MY need or ANYONES need driven by one thing and one thing only: "No belief in God/gods" is not only unnecessary, but I find it both irrational and counterproductive to how Freethinkers are perceived.


That's not to say I object to clubs, reading groups, discussion forums, even activist organizations to ensure atheist rights of non-belief and separation of church and state are kept sacrosanct. Hell, I belong to a number of those and they serve a clear and defined purpose. But a formalized "church" is down right misguided. The very concept sets us back 50 years. The poll is misguded and ill advised.

That's my opinion. I could be wrong.
But I doubt it.

Yours in Reason and Reality,
Hump
http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/

Tags: atheism, atheist, church, detrimental, poll, to

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It seems we agree more than we disagree.

Again, the poll used the wording "atheist church" because this is what these groups call themselves. If I was asking for comments on a drink called "Catholic Cola," I would use those words. Even though it doesn't make sense.

As someone who has come from the religious world, and understands the benefits of community, I have often wondered what word we should use. There are: fellowships, assemblies, associations, societies. However, these all have negative connotations as well. Whatever we choose, the groups themselves are definitely needed by many people.

I had the same dilemma when I had to choose what moniker to use when I was secularly ordained. I did not want to use Rev., Father, Priest, Rabbi, etc. I settled on "brother" because it was the only label that represented a horizontal and equal relationship. However, some people are offended by it as well. In some ways, you can't win.

The worst thing we could do is only argue about such things and never actually accomplish anything.
Brother Richard,
Fair enough.
Thanks for the reply, and for having this site.
Just sorry I have been absent so long.

Regards,

Hump
http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/
congregation
There are several varieties of non-theists, but I think that there is a modern atheist movement that respects science as you say and tends to have a rationalist approach to life. It is true that there are clubs and educational establishments already available, but churches are generally open for people to join or visit. They spread their messages more efficiently than universities do because they aren't teaching small groups of the more affluent members of society. You have no pre-requisites for attending a church, and they generally cost nothing. We do not have local science clubs with college professors spending their free time teaching why the stem cell debate is different from the abortion issue. I'm not fond of the church name, but I see why someone would want a secular values educational establishment.
"secular values educational establishment" = public schools, private schools, colleges, universities, museums, art institutes, Smithsonian Institute, National Academy of Science. All are secular, All educate.

Nathan,

But secular "Values" ... I never heard of "secular values" except as it is used by religionists to dehumanize and belittle atheists as immoral scumb who kill babies and want to set old people out onto ice flows to die. Using the term plays into their hands...IMO.

There are "family values," "moral values," Human values," "core values,", "societal values" , "American values" "personal values", "cultural values" , etc. ... how does something called "secular values" differentiate itself from those other values?

How can atheism / secularism have values independent from the values listed above, and be common to every atheist simply because atheists share ONLY a "lack of belief in / deny the existence of God/gods"?

Where / how were you educated in your "Secular Values"? Atheist "sunday school"?

I'm sorry, pal.. I don't mean to be antagonistic, but this whole misconception that atheism is anything more than lack of belief in God, and has special / unique values, is just patently wrong and misguided.

Sure, MOST of us value science and the scientific method; MOST of us understand that words actually mean things; MOST of us need proof / objective evidence before we accept a theory or hypotheisis as valid; MANY of us reject the concept of absolutes. These may be axiomatic to atheists to some extent...but they aren't "values".

Yes, MOST of us value the family unit; MOST of us embrace the basic Western/Judeo-Christian ethic; MOST of us subscribe to the "Rule of Reciprocity"; MOST of us value kindness to animals, old people and the weak; MOST of us ardently practice honesty in business dealings and our social interactions; MOST of us respect volunteerism and charitable work; MOST of us practice and support equality & justice. But these values aren't universal to atheists, NOR are they specific only to atheists/secularists.

We really need to quit trrying to make atheism into a religion, an alternate culture, a cult or a subculture. It's counter productive.

Regards,
Hump

http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/
Mr. Black,

I do not subscribe to the concept of family values, any more than I do "secular values'. I concur with your description.

I was simply listing the types of "values" used in common parleyance.

But thank you.
Hump
Why are some of you guys wanting an atheist church or temple or school?

If you want secularism enforced in education then go to the public schools and purge them of religious teachings and the such.
Amen, brother Jay.

Hump
http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/

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