I think it would be useful to have a meeting place like church for Atheists. Sure, you do get many clubs that appear secular like sports clubs, book clubs and various charitable organisations. But many prove to be not so secular when it really comes down to it. And that leaves the humanist with a dilemma.
It is a fact that many people feel very uncomfortable with having views contrary to the populist view. Maybe not uncomfortable with yourself but with sharing these views with others. Many have experienced very violent reactions from people they would otherwise consider fairly rational. This is not to say I think Atheists should evangelise. Quite the opposite actually. I think many people would, in a non-confrontational setting, like to discuss how they view the world whether that includes any sort of deity or not. And of course also been surrounded by people that share similar views on how we can obtain real truth in our lives.
But what form would this kind of gathering take? To organise something like this would by definition take organisation. And contrary to popular belief Atheists is not a very organised bunch. It would seem to me that religion has an unfair advantage over the atheist. Children are indoctrinated with false beliefs from an early age with the misconception that religion basically, on the balance of things, does good things. And that the children will be free to believe whatever they like once they grow up. (Ever noticed how much money is spent on ensuring that the children areas at most modern churches are spared no expense)
Children, in my view, deserves better than that .And so I wonder what the response would be if an atheist organisation were to build a hall for the express purpose of atheists gathering to be sociable among others that are not threatened by your opinions. I wonder how many Sunday Christians would rather spend their Sunday mornings in this kind of atmosphere?
It is easy to travel to a new town/city and join the local church. Immediate community for the small price of believing in something without proof but that ultimately does good. It does not ultimately to good. This is a lie that has become so prevalent that even those that peddle it believe it to be true. And many have been so deluded that they allow their children to be forced to believe this. No child decides to become a (insert religion/belief here), children are told to become (insert religion/belief here). These are not easy matters to consider. But ask yourself this, if (deity) is really so omnipotent surely he would eventually reveal himself to your child without you having to do so.
But here religion plays it's trump card! Death!! We can't possibly take the chance of allowing a child to wait until he is old enough to rationalise religion for himself! What if he dies young?? And so the meme is spread further.
This is not an attack on any particular belief, but rather a plea for rationality. And yes you can fall in love and have very moving experiences without having to involve an invisible force. You are allowed to say that based on the available evidence I cannot say X or Y for sure so I will have to wait for further evidence to be produced and until then “I don't know” is the correct answer. You can of course say “I think” or “This makes sense to me” and you could be proven right eventually! But you could just as easily be proven wrong.
It is in the human character to assign purpose to things. Our ego seems to demand that things have happened with the express purpose of arriving at us! This is obviously not true. And perhaps if people had a place to discuss some of the more obvious contradictions (like creationism vs evolution) with the aim of trying to understand the argument. In a environment that lends itself to free thought.
One of the reasons we have been so successful as a species is not only the size of our brains but our ability to work together. We have shared ideas for millennia and it has been the core reason of all the technology we have achieved. As such we are inherently social beings. People overwhelmingly have the desire to socialise. (This is of course also crucial for reproduction but that could be achieved without sharing ideas.) This socialisation became intertwined with religion and soon most great celebrations have something to do with a deity of some sort.
Surely it is time to realise that we have bigger fish to fry. I mean what is the incentive of creating a better world when Armageddon is just around the corner?
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