Gathering for Free Thinkers

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Discussion by: SAS2006

Due to how those who believe in religion have a place to gather, listen to a speaker, partake in friendly activities on Sundays and other days, it has come to my mind to start up an organization for intellectuals, where we listen to a variety of speakers, educate ourselves and offspring on world and cosmetic matters, partake in picnics and other friendly activities.  Does anyone know how to establish such?  What will it take besides the obvious which is lacking: resources such as financial, networking with people who have the supplies to construct the grounds and buildings, parking lot; people to staff it, maintenance, the land for the above.

This will be open for anyone, not just those of us who have already freed ourselves from religion, but those who are caught in it-but there will be no pressure for them to 'convert' to Athism.

Rasing my daughter without religion amongst a mostly Christian extended family, this has been something I have wanted to provide for her, then others as well.  To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing equivalent for us.

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. Personally, I don’t like the idea of an atheist church, but I can confirm that I feel immediately heartened to be in the presence of fellow travellers. An incident occurred recently at a show featuring the delightful Brian Cox. A complete stranger sitting next to me, mentioned the fact that he was an atheist and assumed that Proff Cox was as well. It’s so rare to come across another person who would say this upfront and we had an interesting discussion at interval.

  2. Atheists are social animals like the religious. But, there are better places to socialize than a church, unless you are a shut-in. The prime function of church services is to confirm the delusion and psychosis. As an atheist, I do not require reinforcement of science and truth. They are arguably self evident.

  3. You could try using meetup.com. I am a member of three groups there – one is local Skeptics, another is local Atheists, and the third is just Science-related. The Science-related ones all have speakers come and talk about their particular subjects in Science. I’ve only been to one of the Skeptic meetups so far and it was about ‘bad statistics’. I’ve enjoyed them so far. Maybe you could start your own meetup group of local Atheists or Skeptics there?

  4. Religion is nothing to be scared of, I can’t say that it’s harmless, but the best vaccine for religion is the knowledge of it. I don’t think atheists should try to isolate themselves and wallow in self-victimisation, which is among the worse aspect of religions.

    I think that lots of atheists have become the figurative vampires who squirm and shrivel at the sight of a cross or a bible. There’s nothing scary about cultural artifacts. Religions, despite their ills, have engaged in millennias of community building. It has developed some very effective methods, so why not borrow some of them and re-purpose them to fit into the modern context? Religion assimilated the customs of early societies, so why can’t we assimilate some of practices of religion? In reality, that question is redundant, because things such as education, scientific enquiry and sanitary reform in the west had religious origins. It would be a shame to see some atheists embrace fundamentalism and not engage with the rest of the religious population.

    Civilization favours the adaptable, critical examinations are better than outright rejection.

  5. When I traveled to London (solo traveler) I was trying to come up with a few ideas of something to do in the evening. One idea was to go to one of those skeptics in the pub events. In the end, I didn’t find time to go, but noticed that they met Wednesday (?) evenings and had a speaker come to give a lecture. I thought the idea was brilliant. Many people would be free to speak in the evening rather than killing part of their weekend morning. It’s a good way to meet people and have fun. Meetup groups could also meet somewhere other than a bar – an art museum, science center, observatory, etc. to switch things up a bit.

  6. It seems to me, all you have to do is get is started, then do a little local advertising. More and more people come as a result of world of mouth. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Take your clue from who shows up.

  7. Mr. Dawkins mentions in his ‘God Delusions’ how unorganized we atheists are-so the idea of a place, not just one but how many are required throughout the world, for us to gather together, to hear each other and discuss issues, what is possible for us to accomplish, what needs are needed in the community to assist people; this would go a long way towards organizing us. So we have a place to go on the weekends-and just as in church-while the adults are listening to different speakers so no one person in charge, our children can be given classes on evolution, science, other cultures around the world, the needs of the local and far spread community (country, world).

  8. I will research the two websites mentioned to see who in the local area might also be needing someone else to engage in intellectual debate but feel, as I do, alone. This area is surrounded by churches, hopefully there are other people out there-again, if we had the means to gather together and to have a place of our own as religion provides synagogues, churches, temples, mosques etc, where we could relax, smile and simply feel part of a community of like minded individuals as I felt while visiting my dad’s church this past Sunday, we might be able to truly stand up to all of the religious nonsense being passed around at various levels of government-such as men controlling what we women should be allowed or banned to do with our own bodies because of the Bible, the prosecution of people who cannot marry, gain benefits etc again, cause of the influence of the Bible upon the larger society and where are we truly to combat it? To truly have a union of fifty states (America, that is the country I live in) that is separate between state and church? Where churches are taxed as they should be and not given the except status only cause of their religious status.

  9. I think the most reasonable way to approach the idea is through the creation of a sort of community event and action center, focused around the idea of community members socializing and working together to achieve common goals. I would envision a center that would sponsor/host events wherein local experts in many areas would give talks and hold discussions about topics they know about and that would be generally beneficial to the community.

    Examples might be:

    – Healthy eating and cooking

    – Dealing with relationship issues

    – Career advancement methods

    – Financial success methods

    – Art and music fora/lessons

    – Personal and political empowerment

    – Critical thinking, ie protecting oneself from manipulation

    It could also serve as a ready platform for

    – Concerts and cultural events

    – Health-related outreach

    – Affordable daycare

    The list is practically endless, and all in an environment of reason, not superstition.

  10. Start this up in a small way with a few close friends. Meet in your home or someone else’s. As it expands, meet in a library meeting room or a community centre. As more people come, there will be a flood of ideas. I would suggest you keep a close handle on the format, minutes maybe, action items maybe, who does what and when. If you are not an organizational person, turn that over to someone who is. If you don’t know enough people, design a flyer outlining your objectives and place and time for a first meeting and post the flyer wherever there is a community bulletin board, as supermarkets, library, certain stores, etc. Good luck. It sounds like fun.

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