Human beings are a queer lot! Every human society appears to be dividing itself like an amoeba! Religions, nations, political parties, any kind of human association seems to be running towarsd a split. Athists are increasing numbers, so we say and think. They are spread all over the world. Sanskrit language has a very apt description of human mind. It says " Pinde pinde matirbhinnah, kunde kunde navam payah!" Every pond ahs diffferent water and every man has a different mind. Atheists are a particularly difficult lot. No atheist will accept anything because someone tells him to. Domination by numbers will simply be rejected.

How are we going to maintain our unity?  We must lay some ground rules to maintain our unity. We can not allow ourselves to stand divided. Any ideas how it can be done?

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

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MK, you wrote "No atheist will accept anything because someone tells him to."

A few words later you tell us "We must lay some ground rules."

Atheists will accept ground rules because you tell us to?

This too; the word "must" is so authoritarian. Try persuasion.

The word 'must' is intended to indicate the force of the circustances,( 0f not wanting a division) not as my command!

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

MK, I will say it plainly, stop using fear to motivate readers.

Do you see circumstances that require immediate action, leaving no time for division?

If so, please take a few moments to describe in writing those circumstances. Please also describe in writing the dangers to which division might lead.

Then, having brought your fears up to a conscious level, put those writings aside and read some of the posts below--Greg LeGore's to name one. Several posters are using persuasion (...a life freely lived, etc), not fear, to motivate readers.

Do not use the fear that religions use to get the unthinking obedience they need.

"MK, I will say it plainly, stop using fear to motivate readers."

There no se of fear, in my mind I am truely anxious about of unity among atheists. I definitely want much more intereaction between atheists of different parts of the world to accelerate spread of atheism. So far, a sort of intellectual leadeship af atheists has appeared in the west, which definitely is helping strengthening and spreading atheism there. No such thing is happening here. I very strongly feel that  prominent atheists from the west should visit India, meet the intellectuals, help propogate atheism here and then help unite everyone together. This has been in my mind since I joined A N.

If such interaction developes at different levels, we are definitely going to encounter  cultural problems, even if everyone keeps religion out. This way, the leadership is going to the west again. This OK, good and desirable. too. I therefore thought and still think that a definite understanding should emerge as earlier possible. I do not agree that there is no immediate need for this. As we say in Marathi, my mother tongue, we can't start digging a well when we are thursty. I have said elsewhwre in one AN discussion that the changes atheism will bring about should not cause a cultural vaccum. I do have my own anxieties and i am placing them before my atheist friends here. There is no need to seek to find what is not there. Tom, do you think that anybody here will be affected by a dimwitted effort to create fear?

MADHUKAR KULKARNI   

I'd say that's what groups like this is all about, no? And simply making an effort to meet "like minded" people goes a long way too. Possibly not what you have in mind, but...

"I'd say that's what groups like this is all about, no?" 

Yes, that is why we are here, but if we do not want to reconcile the regional cultural differences, only local associations should be enough. So, dont we have a larger responsibility?

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

In my opinion, that's one of the positives I have found comes naturally from atheism. The cultural differences aren't much of an issue, as I have found religion seems to be largely responsible for most prejudices. So on the bright side, "uniting" internationally with atheists, I strongly believe, is much easier than with religion.

I am also hopeful that your wish will come about naturally. As you may be aware, the greatest movement with this issue is coming from the young. I know here (Canada) and even my neighbours to the south, the younger the demographic, the greater the percentage of atheism. We are evolving. 

Being an I also feel that there increasing number of Atheists however we are not united..

In country like India when I speak against religion I really feel we are weak in togetherness..

One point, we can be united by the fact that "No atheist will accept anything because someone tells him to. Domination by numbers will simply be rejected.".. I mean to say this is the root of our unity..

 I am very glad to meet an Indian atheist here. A N has to acquire a truely international nature and we all havw to help achive this.

"when I speak against religion I really feel we are weak in togetherness" t

Your idea of 'togetherness' is very similar to my idea of unity, only I am looking at a wider world. I am sure that you will therefore have no difficulty in undarstang the stand I am taking here. Please suppport me as much as you can.

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

 

"Ground rules" ??? How about freedom? Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and freedom of identity. That is the holy trinity that religion wants to take away, and that we are fighting to maintain. It's ironic that in the U.S.  the First Amendment is constantly under attach by the very people who depend on it to have their freedom of religion in the first place.

""Ground rules" ??? How about freedom? Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and freedom of identity. "

Yes, we start with this. why not? Let us move further and suggest something further.

MADHUKAR KULKARNI.

Excellent question.  I think there is a very strong skeptical movement in several countries already pretty well established and organized.  But to be honest with you, I think we are just representatives of the future norm.  I like to think that when science becomes a more convincing conduit towards the "divine" aspirations of humnaity religions will just become obsolete.  Humans have always dreamt of everlasting life, no sickness, no pain, no fear, and so on.  Religion has made a nice effort to attack these questions - but have stopped short of actually trying to accomplish these things. 

 

Its my hope that people will realize that science has been actively trying to solve the riddles of life for all this time for the betterment of every living being and drop the chains of dogma, guilt, shame, hate, and so on (religion)

 

I know that I am not going to be around to see this but I am content with that.  Life is an experiment for me - the universe is so much more amazing, convincing, and 'spiritual' than any barbaric narration will ever be when we consider the questions that may never be answered.  At the very least, maybe science can develop a pill we can take to hybernate until humanity unites in a common goal of self impowerment as a species.

 

So I don't know that we really need any kind of specific organization.  We just are, and in time - most others will follow. When I get frustrated at the ignorance and bad, bad, terrible pain cause by that ignorance, I think of that scene in the Matrix when Neo was given the choice of the 2 pills.  Athiests, I believe, took the pill that wakes you up.

 

That said, I love the idea of keeping in touch and open dialogs with like minded people - if only just for the sanctuary from the chaos out there.  And also to have a few drinks and NOT devolve into a pointless religion vs. Athiesm argument.

 

♫ ting-a-ling ♫

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