Grand Rapids Atheists and Freethinkers (GRAF) Pages

This group has emerged as an idea from a small group consisting of participants in the Secular Student Alliance at Itasca Community College and friends of those folks who also appreciate a secular orientation to life and everything. While Grand Rapids is a small community and has a very large presence of churches (about 50 in a town of about 8,000), we know that we are not the only secular people in town. We are sure there are others and that some of them may be interested in joining in a social network providing community support for those who choose secular humanism rather than religious dogma. If you are part of that group or think you might like to be part of that group, you are welcome to join us.

Most of the members, but not all, would describe themselves as atheists at least in some sense. See the page that describes what defines atheists and freethinkers. There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about us because most people don't even know who we are. They typically assume that everyone believes in God and goes to church. The person sitting next to them at work could be an atheist and they wouldn't know. Atheists and freethinkers don't stand out much because they are just like you with one small difference...they don't believe in any god. You may believe in the Christian God or the Muslim God or the Jewish God or the Hindu Gods, but you don't believe in all of them. For atheists the list of gods they don't believe in is just one name longer than yours. It includes all the gods you don't believe in plus yours.

Most atheists and freethinkers were brought up in religious families since that is the norm in our society, but at some point they began to ask questions, have doubts or were troubled by the ideas associated with the religious faith they were being taught. They may have read books or talked with others who questioned religion and found that they couldn't accept the claims being made by religion. As they explored the available answers for the questions they had, they found that there were good answers to be had without any reliance on religion at all. In fact, religion often gave them answers that were obviously untrue while reason, science and observation could give them good answers that would hold up.

So our group explores all sorts of ideas without reliance on any designated authority, dogma or declaration of the absolute "truth". We avoid superstition whether it comes in the form of religion or in other beliefs for which there is no credible evidence. We tend to be skeptical about extraordinary claims like those made by religion as well. For us the invisible and the nonexistent look very much alike. We avoid the seductive simplicity of certainty and appreciate the many shades of grey. We enjoy learning and exploring the never ending wonder of the natural world. When we get together we share ideas and opinions, we appreciate facts when we find them and we expect that we will never run out of things to be curious about.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
What is an atheist? May 12, 2012 2:42 PM Ken E.
What is a freethinker? May 12, 2012 2:12 PM Ken E.
About Grand Rapids Atheists and Freethinkers (GRAF) May 12, 2012 1:27 PM Ken E.

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