I saw what appeared to be a survey asking what people thought about atheist churches on the main screen a while back. That puzzled me. If the question was about having facilities to help indoctrinate secular values into youth, I would think that atheists would have the sense to not indicate a particular religion when doing so. Atheists can be former Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. and even born and raised atheists. I support the notion of advocating secular values, but I would like to use a term like temple. I know, some people would say that temple indicates Judaism, but there are many cultures that make "temples". There are Buddhist temples, Jewish temples, Greco-Roman temples and temples of doom. What do you think?

Views: 174

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

So... what's wrong with a Freethought Club or some such secular name? Why add the pointless Church, Temple Mosque name with already carries quite a bit of baggage? What would be the advantage in using a name with all that history packed in which just happens to be the very opposite of what secular clubs endorse?
I agree with Dionysus and Kid and many other people who think we need a new term.
Which is why Agora is attractive to me and Grove as well, but to a lesser extent.
"School" will be problematic for many people, Forum and Institute sound too formal to my ears.
I also question the need for a permanent site. Meet-ups and clubs are already growing in numbers, using pre-existing sites on college campuses or libraries.
I laughed (in recognition) at "Library" because - yeah, for me that's where I go when I need info / books about atheism - but not everyone is lucky enough to be in that situation.
I like the notion of an online multi-user live forum. Less restrictive on attendance ...
I am basing this on my personal experience volunteering at my local "Gay Pride" centre - where I was hoping to find some like-minded community but instead found bickering and cliques - not at all useful to me. Also other voluteer based organizations I've been on the periphery of have suffered greatly from the financial hardships of leasing a permanent meeting place, and the emotional hardships of in-group / exclusion personal politics.
I agree completely. Being that a Church is a religious institution, and we non-theist are not studying or praising a deity, I see no reason to use theist ideas for labeling. We are way smarter then that. I prefer " House of Logic " LOL
Who says "a church" can be nothing other than a religious institution?
There already is one: Unitarian Universalist Church is officially agnostic and it's atheist friendly. It proposes that people should define their own spirituality and that questions matter more than answers. It requires no doctrinal assertion and focuses on community values rather than dogma.

Another possibility is to have Epicurean 'Gardens' where people grow their own organic, natural food and discuss philosophy. I think Epicureanism is the most wholesome and intellectually satisfying atheistic philosophy out there, after secular Zen Buddhism. And Epicurus' model was so functional that it was in use for about seven centuries until the Christians destroyed all of the Gardens. They were community centers, schools, centers of gardening and local farming, and brotherhoods of like minded people and they were the most egalitarian of all of the models of philosophical schools in ancient Greece, allowing women and slaves equal status. Very, very progressive for their day.

The label is the main issue to brainstorm. I do not believe that an Atheistic Temple will draw many people. Atheism is not a complete philosophical system. I would argue that a HUMANIST Temple will definitely draw people, and that instead of using the label 'atheist' the temple should use the label 'humanist' because it would be affirming not what it's against, but what it's for, what values it cherishes (human values, not religious values).

There are numerous humanist manifestos that praise science, progress, the importance of education and of human rights, liberties and dignity and even ecological responsibility, etc. These may serve as creeds around which a culture of service and community can evolve.

It should contain a forum to exchange philosophical ideas. Philosophy is to atheists what theology is to theists.

The human condition is at the center of our experience no matter what race, gender or sexuality we are. The only reason why most people don't embrace their human identity is because there are no other hominids or intelligent, civilized species to make us look in the mirror and realize that we're humans. I think people should cherish their humanity more, their vulnerability even. I really like the label and the identity of being a 'humanist', we should elaborate it culturally so that it inspires altruism and a stronger sense of community among atheists.

It should also fill the cultural gap left by churches in terms of providing rites of passage like namings, marriages and funerals without the need to make supernatural claims. I do think that many people find community in churches, and sometimes go to churches just to be with other homo sapiens even if they don't fully agree with their beliefs. People like people. If humanist temples were everywhere, they would be filling that gap, as community centers, where people can meet others without the need to make supernatural assertions.
Quite the writer! Very interesting, I will have to research Epicureanism.
In the U.S. humanism isn't really a political association. However, I will note that there are humanists who reject much of modern atheism due to the elevation of the status of the human over all other life and an exaggerated notion of human specialness. The connotations of the word humanist sound less severe than the connotations of the word materialist though.
You say:
My take is that one need something more basic than party politics to satisfy our emotional needs of company of other humans as biological individuals.

Here in the US, humanism has nothing to do with politics. I guess that is a Swedish phenomenon. Be glad that humanists have enough visibility and political power to even be a force in Swedish politics!!! Here, we are a loooong way behind you in terms of atheists and humanists being part of the public discourse. We are still trying to become more vocal and respectable in the eyes of people.

Also: you should consider that in order to establish community there does not need to be 100% shared ideology. It is okay to differ from others. This is where UU is a great church. Yes, the ideologies become diluted when so many diverse people meet and try to discard their ideological differences.... but would it not make our community just as intolerant as religious bigots, if we required EVERYONE who associates with us to think alike? Would we not be impeding the freedom to question, to dissent and to be an outspoken free thinker if we required all of our associates to think alike and agree on everything?

And so I think the model of Unitarian Universalism is very wholesome. The questions do matter at least as much as the answers. Most churches don't allow questioning. This is a healthy paradigm shift.
The word temple is far superior to the word church.
It also obviously refers to a building, which dismisses a doubt many theists have, for example: "if atheists have a church doesn't that mean they believe in god, also where did i put my ray comfort's patented god-banana¿".

And in the end, the word temple makes me think of the legends of Zelda (OOT in particular) so I get a fuzzy nostalgic feeling.

But now that we're already thinking of new names, I would like to present an entirely new word: "Epistimus" which I derived (pulled out of my aß) form the Greek word "epistimi", meaning science.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service