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View Full Version : What is the largest atheist or humanist "group" in America



bachman
07-04-2007, 07:35 PM
If any.

Just curious.

JimboX
07-04-2007, 07:37 PM
The Bendis Board.

stevapalooza
07-04-2007, 07:37 PM
Liberals!!! (shakes fist at gay agenda)

WillieLee
07-04-2007, 07:38 PM
The Shriners. Don't believe the hype.

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 07:38 PM
American Atheists are pretty big. I joined them for awhile, but they turned out to be a bunch of fanatical assholes.

Ray G.
07-04-2007, 07:41 PM
They're generally not affiliated. They're just scattered.

From my own experience, it seems that there's a surprisingly large numbr of "cultural Jews" - atheists who keep certain Jewish traditions more out of a sense of community and ethnic culture than any religious obligation.

bachman
07-04-2007, 07:41 PM
3 smart-ass answers before a real one, that's about right :D

The AA people are assholes? That sucks. Are they outwardly angry and obnoxious about religion, as opposed to simply questioning it?

bachman
07-04-2007, 07:42 PM
They're generally not affiliated. They're just scattered.

From my own experience, it seems that there's a surprisingly large numbr of "cultural Jews" - atheists who keep certain Jewish traditions more out of a sense of community and ethnic culture than any religious obligation.

Ooohh... like in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage?

bradical
07-04-2007, 07:47 PM
oregon.

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 07:48 PM
3 smart-ass answers before a real one, that's about right :D

The AA people are assholes? That sucks. Are they outwardly angry and obnoxious about religion, as opposed to simply questioning it?

I joined after Bush got elected, when I thought church and state were getting a bit too intertwined. (All that talk of "faith-based organizations" and so forth didn't make me very comfortable.) I saw that they were a pretty big lobbying group, so I figured I'd throw them my money and see what happened.

The headline of their newsletter after 9/11 was "September 11, 2001: Where Was God?" And while that might not actually be too far from what I was thinking, I thought it was in really poor taste. Not the best time to be taking potshots, particularly since a lot of harmless people were taking comfort in their respective faiths after that whole mess.

I wanted to belong to a group that would go after the assholes like Falwell, who said God was punishing the liberals, or whatever it was he said. Instead, I was basically part of an equally extreme group... just on the other side. So I quit.

bachman
07-04-2007, 07:56 PM
That sucks, I was afraid it was something like that.

I have been slowing "evolving" from a lapsed catholic to an atheist (humanist, secularist, whatever) over the past several years, and I have yet to come upon a group of individuals that share a rational and open-minded sense of simply "questioning". For the most part, the atheists I've known just seem content to make fun of Christ and Christians (having "funny" pics of Jesus in their avatar or signature for example). They seem just as angry and bitter about their non-belief, as the believers do about their beliefs.

Ben
07-04-2007, 07:58 PM
That sucks, I was afraid it was something like that.

I have been slowing "evolving" from a lapsed catholic to an atheist (humanist, secularist, whatever) over the past several years, and I have yet to come upon a group of individuals that share a rational and open-minded sense of simply "questioning". For the most part, the atheists I've known just seem content to make fun of Christ and Christians (having "funny" pics of Jesus in their avatar or signature for example). They seem just as angry and bitter about their non-belief, as the believers do about their beliefs.I recommend Michael Shermer's Skeptic Magazine as a good place to start.

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 08:00 PM
That sucks, I was afraid it was something like that.

I have been slowing "evolving" from a lapsed catholic to an atheist (humanist, secularist, whatever) over the past several years, and I have yet to come upon a group of individuals that share a rational and open-minded sense of simply "questioning". For the most part, the atheists I've known just seem content to make fun of Christ and Christians (having "funny" pics of Jesus in their avatar or signature for example). They seem just as angry and bitter about their non-belief, as the believers do about their beliefs.

Yeah.

I mean... I do like some of the snarky bumper stickers and so forth (don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church, etc.)... but you can hardly base a belief system around that.

Well, I suppose you COULD.

Ben
07-04-2007, 08:01 PM
Yeah.

I mean... I do like some of the snarky bumper stickers and so forth (don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church, etc.)... but you can hardly base a belief system around that.

Well, I suppose you COULD.I don't really understand what kind of discussion you're expecting to take place. All the logical reasons why religions make no sense can be spelled out in a couple minutes. Other than making fun of religious ideas and people, what else is there to discuss?

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 08:04 PM
I don't really understand what kind of discussion you're expecting to take place. All the logical reasons why religions make no sense can be spelled out in a couple minutes. Other than making fun of religious ideas and people, what else is there to discuss?

I was hoping they were a political force to help organize people against what I felt was a serious encroachment of religion into government. Lobbying against my tax money going to churches, school prayer, that sort of thing.

I was hoping they'd be more... you know, reasonable. Not quite so fanatical.

bachman
07-04-2007, 08:05 PM
Yeah.

I mean... I do like some of the snarky bumper stickers and so forth (don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church, etc.)... but you can hardly base a belief system around that.

Well, I suppose you COULD.

Oh, I'm all for snarky. In fact, I myself am pretty much an asshole 24/7. But if, as a skeptic, your whole argument is based on being rational, flipping out and becoming irrational kind of negates itself.

bachman
07-04-2007, 08:07 PM
I don't really understand what kind of discussion you're expecting to take place. All the logical reasons why religions make no sense can be spelled out in a couple minutes. Other than making fun of religious ideas and people, what else is there to discuss?

After dismissing all religion as silly...

Atheist Lesbian Make-Out Sessions for the remainder of the hour?

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 08:08 PM
Oh, I'm all for snarky. In fact, I myself am pretty much an asshole 24/7. But if, as a skeptic, your whole argument is based on being rational, flipping out and becoming irrational kind of negates itself.

Exactly.

As I said... their newsletter had some fun ads for places that sold cool bumper stickers and stuff. I had this sticker on my front door:

http://valiante.plugnpay.com/scstore/graphics/No%20Preaching%20Large.jpg



And they did have a decent book review section that turned me on to some great literature (Bertrand Russell, for example).

Magnum V.I.
07-04-2007, 08:09 PM
Exactly.

As I said... their newsletter had some fun ads for places that sold cool bumper stickers and stuff. I had this sticker on my front door:

http://valiante.plugnpay.com/scstore/graphics/No%20Preaching%20Large.jpg



And they did have a decent book review section that turned me on to some great literature (Bertrand Russell, for example).

Russell is good. I read more Existential, and Humanist philosophy but I tend to enjoy it more. Even though for the better part of 4 years I have been converting to Judaism. Go figure.

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 09:15 PM
I don't really understand what kind of discussion you're expecting to take place. All the logical reasons why religions make no sense can be spelled out in a couple minutes. Other than making fun of religious ideas and people, what else is there to discuss?

Oh, and I think I may have realized what you meant here...

I wasn't signing up for an organization where I actually met and interacted with people and discussed stuff. I would have liked to have done that, but I lived out in the middle of nowhere at the time, so it wasn't really an option.

What I signed up for was a lobbyist group that helped fund court cases and political campaigns that favored the cause. Mostly I paid like $100 for a membership card and a quarterly newsletter.

Ben
07-04-2007, 09:28 PM
I was hoping they were a political force to help organize people against what I felt was a serious encroachment of religion into government. Lobbying against my tax money going to churches, school prayer, that sort of thing.

I was hoping they'd be more... you know, reasonable. Not quite so fanatical.I think they do do all that. I kind of agree with you about them being kind of nasty, but their lobbying agenda fits what you wanted.

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 09:32 PM
I think they do do all that. I kind of agree with you about them being kind of nasty, but their lobbying agenda fits what you wanted.

Yeah, I just felt like a hypocrite, you know?

There's one guy who makes an excellent, level-headed case for not teaching creationism in schools and stuff like that. Doesn't come off as arrogant or condsescending or anything, and makes a great talking head against the frothy church guys like Falwell. Dawkins, maybe? That's the kind of person I'd rather get behind.

Yelling and being obnoxious about it just makes it seem like you're insecure about your point. And you're not going to sway anyone that way.

Matt O'Keefe
07-04-2007, 09:33 PM
I never got the point of atheist groups. Do they get together to find evidence that God doesn't exist?

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 09:35 PM
I never got the point of atheist groups. Do they get together to find evidence that God doesn't exist?

See above. Lobbying against school prayer, federal funding for churches, etc.

Ben
07-04-2007, 09:35 PM
I never got the point of atheist groups. Do they get together to find evidence that God doesn't exist?Your nickname is Mr. Original, isn't it?

Matt O'Keefe
07-04-2007, 09:43 PM
See above. Lobbying against school prayer, federal funding for churches, etc.

Guess I should have read past the first 10 posts:Oops:


I don't understand why people fight against teaching creationism. You don't necessarily need to go into specifics, just say that's one theory. It's not like it's plausible/possible to prove the existence of God one way or the other.

Magnum V.I.
07-04-2007, 09:44 PM
Guess I should have read past the first 10 posts:Oops:


I don't understand why people fight against teaching creationism. You don't necessarily need to go into specifics, just say that's one theory. It's not like it's plausible/possible to prove the existence of God one way or the other.

Creationism should only be taught in a Theology or Philosophy class because there is not adequate enough science to back it up.

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 09:46 PM
Guess I should have read past the first 10 posts:Oops:


I don't understand why people fight against teaching creationism. You don't necessarily need to go into specifics, just say that's one theory. It's not like it's plausible/possible to prove the existence of God one way or the other.

It's possible to teach proven scientific fact (or very widely accepted scientific theory) without contradicting people's religious beliefs too.

If you want to teach Creationism in some kind of religion class, or something else that keeps it in the proper context, I'm all for that. My high school's AP English class read the Old and New Testaments as literature and I had no problem with that.

It's when you teach it as history or science that it bothers me.

Matt O'Keefe
07-04-2007, 09:52 PM
Creationism should only be taught in a Theology or Philosophy class because there is not adequate enough science to back it up.

But is it wrong to simply mention that that's one of the many theories in the beginning of, well, everything?

Magnum V.I.
07-04-2007, 09:54 PM
But is it wrong to simply mention that that's one of the many theories in the beginning of, well, everything?

Yes. In my Opinion anyway. There is no 'science' to back up that claim. I'm all for offering different opinions on why the dinosaurs went extinct. A Gamma Burst, a Meteorite, A Disease, Something. because there is evidence behind those theories. The only thing behind Creationism is poorly disguised faith. Which is why it should be taught in a Philosophy/Theology class, which I think all High Schoolers should take.

bradical
07-04-2007, 09:57 PM
Yes. In my Opinion anyway. There is no 'science' to back up that claim. I'm all for offering different opinions on why the dinosaurs went extinct. A Gamma Burst, a Meteorite, A Disease, Something. because there is evidence behind those theories. The only thing behind Creationism is poorly disguised faith. Which is why it should be taught in a Philosophy/Theology class, which I think all High Schoolers should take.

get out of the atheist thread ya zealot!

The Hodag
07-04-2007, 09:58 PM
I don't understand why people fight against teaching creationism. You don't necessarily need to go into specifics, just say that's one theory.

Another theory, this one from Egyptian mythology:

The sun god, Atum, masturbated and created from his semen the personifications of air and water, who in turn created the earth and the sky. Does it get to be mentioned or can science teachers just get past Creationism in a single sentence by saying "some people believe in it"?

WillieLee
07-04-2007, 09:59 PM
But is it wrong to simply mention that that's one of the many theories in the beginning of, well, everything?

Yes.

Magnum V.I.
07-04-2007, 09:59 PM
get out of the atheist thread ya zealot!

I'm as Fiery as Phineas!

AAlgar
07-04-2007, 10:00 PM
Okay, I'm punching out of this thread before it becomes another one of THOSE things. :?

Matt O'Keefe
07-04-2007, 10:03 PM
Yes. In my Opinion anyway. There is no 'science' to back up that claim. I'm all for offering different opinions on why the dinosaurs went extinct. A Gamma Burst, a Meteorite, A Disease, Something. because there is evidence behind those theories. The only thing behind Creationism is poorly disguised faith. Which is why it should be taught in a Philosophy/Theology class, which I think all High Schoolers should take.

I can understand that, but then you wouldn't be able to discuss the creation of the universe at all in any science class. There's no way to prove how nothing became something, just like there's no way to prove that God(s) exist.

bradical
07-04-2007, 10:04 PM
Okay, I'm punching out of this thread before it becomes another one of THOSE things. :?

how fat is she?

Ben
07-04-2007, 10:04 PM
But is it wrong to simply mention that that's one of the many theories in the beginning of, well, everything?Yes, because creationism is not a theory! It's not even a hypothesis because it's not falsifiable!

Ben
07-04-2007, 10:05 PM
Okay, I'm punching out of this thread before it becomes another one of THOSE things. :?I should probably do the same.

Magnum V.I.
07-04-2007, 10:07 PM
I can understand that, but then you wouldn't be able to discuss the creation of the universe at all in any science class. There's no way to prove how nothing became something, just like there's no way to prove that God(s) exist.

There is science to back up the fact that the Universe was created during the big bang, and recently there is evidence to suggest scientist can see the universe before the big bang. So the Big Bang Theory is a plausible theory, backed up by scientists and articles in peer reviewed journals talking about echo radiation or some such sciency stuff that explains how we came to be. There is actual documentation to this that is testable and able to be confirmed or denied.
With Creationism there is no possible right or wrong answer. No testing, No echo radiation. And Unless we find a Time Stamp from heaven in the black of night it is not science. It is Faith and beliefs.

The Hodag
07-04-2007, 10:09 PM
There is science to back up the fact that the Universe was created during the big bang, and recently there is evidence to suggest scientist can see the universe before the big bang. So the Big Bang Theory is a plausible theory, backed up by scientists and articles in peer reviewed journals talking about echo radiation or some such sciency stuff that explains how we came to be. There is actual documentation to this that is testable and able to be confirmed or denied.
With Creationism there is no possible right or wrong answer. No testing, No echo radiation. And Unless we find a Time Stamp from heaven in the black of night it is not science. It is Faith and beliefs.

:thumb:

Magnum V.I.
07-04-2007, 10:11 PM
:thumb:

The funny part is...I believe in God! :D!


But I am trying to be helpful and give a rational explanation and hold a good debate before someone runs in and becomes the Jackass.

The Hodag
07-04-2007, 11:32 PM
The funny part is...I believe in God! :D!


But I am trying to be helpful and give a rational explanation and hold a good debate before someone runs in and becomes the Jackass.

:thumb: even more than before.

Dan McLellan
07-05-2007, 12:21 AM
As long as religion never puts itself forward as fact/science/truth, i'm okay with it. Let it exist in the realm of belief.