So I've been browsing a lot of secular sites and reading people's comments and thoughts and have come to the conclusion that atheism is building a religion. Dogma, predispositions, and close-mindedness have crept in and sullied the name.

I'm reading now that if you don't believe this or that then you're not an atheist. ATHEISM ISN'T A TITLE, ITS A DESCRIPTION. It describes one who does NOT believe in a god or higher power... That's it.

If you are looking to belong somewhere and you need self-affirmation so bad then join AA. This site is to share ideas not to build a religion or dogma.

And for those who don't believe there is a god because your boyfriend/girlfriend dumped you then you deserved to have been dumped. Grow up, stop crying, and run into a wall. A bad reason is worse than no reason.

Atheist holidays, churches, and talking about mobilizing is absurd. "ALL ATHEISTS TO ARMS!" thats what the right-wing facists said for the election about there group. Do things for the sake of doing the right thing and not in the name of "atheism". If you really want to be like every religion then start one and call it 'The Church of the Same Old Shit Just With a Different Name' so people that care about knowledge and bettering the world can get back to work.

Lets get back to sharing knowledge and ideas and stop being just like every other religion on this planet. Although.. I guess thats just human nature.

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Comment by Sentient Biped on April 16, 2009 at 8:45pm
Adam, you have a good point. There are certainly a lot of opinionated people out there, and certainly a lot of people want others to think the way that they do. We can't actually have a 'The Church of the Same Old Shit Just With a Different Name' because it's too hard to come up with a resonant name..... If someone came knocking on your door and said "Hi, I'm from CSOSJWDN", then you are very unlikely to listen to them. Maybe just call them SOSers. OK, I digress. :-)

Rosemary said it so well, I couldn't think of more to say. I keep wanting to tell people, "Can't we all just get along?".

Adam, you are right, atheism is just a description. There as many ways to be atheist as there are atheists. I do think that there are roles for rationalist organisations to counter the power and political influence of the faith-based organizations, create a safe haven from religion, for people who need it, and to find a community and like-minded friends. Like minded in the sense of there should be a few people who you can be yourself with, sometimes, not in the sense of "you must agree with me".
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on April 16, 2009 at 7:59pm
People are atheists for a variety of reasons. They come from a variety of ideological backgrounds. Some have no interest in questions about god or religion or ideology at all. Those people are unlikely to join an atheist group and will just continue to get on with their lives. Some were deconverted from a belief and somey of these were extremely actively involved in it. And there are a whole range of others.

The only linking characteristic is that we all think that there is a very low probability of there being a god or gods. Most, but not all, will extend that to all things supernatural as well.

There is room for "atheist education" and "deconversion support" in this type of social context. There is room for social action as well, especially in places where there is a prevailing religion or ideology which is forcing, or trying to force, its views upon all. Where this does not happen there is no need for such action due to the general prevalence of community concern for the environmental, social support, access to excellent educational programs, regard for human rights and compassion for a range of humans and their behaviors. In countries where these things are the general rule religion is marginalized and atheism is about as important in people's lives as whether they prefer contact, participant or spectator sports.

I am sure that it is no accident that the new phenomena of "organized atheism" is emerging in those countries who do not enjoy the freedom of living life in an environment where religion, or lack of it, is a non issue - and most rampant in those countries where religious power is at its virulent worst.

I predict that the "dogmatic" aspects of the new atheism will modify considerably over the next few decades as "the right to have a normal life with no religion" is successfully won in places as traditionally militant as the USA.
Comment by Adam Johnson on April 16, 2009 at 1:24pm
Yeah agree.. thats why I said its human nature. We are communal animals living in the world and feel like we have to save the masses in order to propagate the species. Funny thing is this species could use a lot less propagating. If an organism's purpose is to reproduce to carry on genes then as the superorganism that the human race is, we should stop having som many babies. Off topic but important. We have a lot more evolving to go I guess.
Comment by greyfoot on April 16, 2009 at 10:25am
Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your candor and rationality, Adam. As I asserted in my very first post, organizations/ideologies eventually and perhaps inevitably become religions themselves. Sooner or later, everyone thinks they have a moral duty to save people from themselves. It's irritating, isn't it, the "with us or against" mentality?

I'm going to post more on this. Thanks again.

grey
Comment by Jennifer W on April 16, 2009 at 10:12am
I think a little differently. I think the "Atheism Cause" can be good and poisoning depending on how the people use it, like peer pressuring or guilt trips or propaganda, but that's just like any cause: PeTA, Greenpeace, etc. But its also nice to meet people that share similar thoughts and views.

One difference people have to decipher is the "Atheism Cause" and being an Atheist. Being an Atheist doesn't necessarily have to mean you share the views or philosophy of people of an Atheist organization. It just means you don't belief in any deity.
Comment by Clarence Dember on April 16, 2009 at 6:11am
While your point about the definition of the word atheist is not about dogma and is all about rejecting a belief in deity is so relevant, those interlopers who give atheism a bad name because they glibbly mirror superficialities they saw or heard yet harbor deep rooted doubt about such things as imaginary controllers of the universe. Those folks are messing up things by amplifying their own confusion.
Comment by Фелч Гроган on April 16, 2009 at 2:53am
Over-subtle sarcasm - its just a surefire way to generate threads that never die (that will celebrate its first birthday in August).
Comment by Adam Johnson on April 16, 2009 at 1:59am
Why redifine atheism? the definition is very concise.

- unbelief in God or deities: disbelief in the existence of God or deities
Comment by Фелч Гроган on April 16, 2009 at 1:39am
I think your next logical step is to ask people to re-define atheism and give it a new name. Let me know when the dust subsides.

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