Hello Mr. Ray

According to some quotes I've read, your book "The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture" asks why are people so clear about the faults and failures of other religions and so blind to those of their own? Surely this criticism should also be applied to atheist organisations? I'm asking this in a particularly Irish context since it has been announced that you will be addressing an organisation called Atheist Ireland.

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The next question would be how to overcome the problem once it's identified.

I'm not an atheist I'm a human being. Where religionism starts to enter the habits of the atheist mind in this particular (AI) case is in the structure and behaviour. There are occasions when it's practical to have to describe oneself as an atheist. But how many atheists’ think of themselves as atheists in the same way another mind thinks itself Catholic or Protestant. It's inevitable that when something is rising in popularity, like atheism for example, a lot of people will be attracted to it as a something to belong to. Lots of atheists socialise with atheists, talk atheist talk, read atheist books and wear atheist symbols. They contribute to a culture with generally agreed iconic figureheads. The need to belong to a group is just as traceable in atheist’s circles as it is in religious ones.
People interested in rugby will also socialise with others who are interested in rugby will talk rugby talk,read rugby books and wear rugby clothing too.Its human nature but still my opinion is rugby groups cannot quite be compared as being religious in the faith sense.How many rugby groups do you know that serriously think people will be eternally dammed in some afterlife, for not being a follower of their group
I think you've rather missed the point.

Lots of people are interested in sports in widely varying ways. There are people who enjoy it as a spectacle and a social hobby all the way to organised groups who treat it like a religion. That they think they will be "dammed to the second division" if their team has a bad season rather than "hellfire in the afterlife" is a moot point in terms of their behaviour. Religion is tribalism taught in childhood which results in Catholic tribes and Muslim tribes just as there are particular soccer tribes and rugby tribes.
@Tarquin
Well it is commonly said that the term atheist simply refers to a postion on one particular subject but other than that atheist have no more in common than people who don't collect stamps. So you would not have an atheist referring to "atheists fundamental beliefs" would you?

Go to number 24 if you will.
http://www.atheist.ie/2010/01/25-blasphemous-quotations/

No one ought to be able to make statments that start with "atheists are..." or "atheists are not...". Even going so far as to think I might be a Christian for criticising an ATHEIST (hey, whao, thats our side!) organisation which you know nothing about (that I'm aware of) and coming up with an auto defence responce might be your god virus showing through.

That the members of a religion can't see their own organisational faults is what strenghtens and perpetuates religions movements. Where it exists in an atheist organisation its a virus carried from religion and it should be immunised. But that can't happen if it's not recognised first. The growth of a cancer goes untreated when the victim convinces themselves they could'nt possibly have cancer in the first place.
why are people so clear about the faults and failures of other religions and so blind to those of their own?

I'm not. I always maintain that atheists are just as capable of being stupid, myopic and monomaniacal as their god-ridden counterparts.

You just have to read some more of the posts here.
The problem I'm referring to in the OP is as you've quoted above. It's a lack of individual and collective self awareness. If you are the product of a country soaked in Roman Catholic culture you're bound to carry the mental patterns and in lots of cases do so unconsciously. The solution to having a pope is not to have a new improved pope. The solution is to have no pope.

Speaking of which I gotta go work on some ideas for Herr Ratzingers visit to the UK.
In th particular case in the OP I'm referring to things like an auto level of deference to the pope/chairman. Its automatically accepted that the chair/pope must be above a certain level of questioning. The argument from authority is accepted in the same way a religious leaders opinion carries a certain accepted weight for the believers. The monthly newsletter substitutes for the encyclical. AI have just decided to issue a monthly newsletter to keep the members informed. It's as just as full of the distortions and spin you'll find in anything the Catholic Church issues.

As you've referred to in you post there is an assumption that if you call yourself an athiest you are superior to anyone who calls themselves religious and they will be inferior as long as they do. What many atheists believe by their own investigations, use of rational and evidence is accepted by others who call themselves atheist just because "it's what atheists believe".

Even the idea of an atheist organisation may well be as logical as having a club for solitary independant loners. As soon as you join one you're not what the club is about.

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