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Minnesota Atheists Meetup Group Message Board › The Fatal Flaw Of The Dogmatic Atheist

The Fatal Flaw Of The Dogmatic Atheist

A former member
Post #: 35
It seems that a few atheists are going around and actually going to church services and talking on religious radio stations. It would seem to me if these atheists want to preach there atheism they would go where they wouldn't be ridiculed such as an atheist conference or freethinking meetup. I mean how many converts do you think you are going to get? After you leave what do you think they are going to say about you or laugh about what you said? Perhaps these preacher atheists have been so indoctrinated in religion that when they were young they yearn to go church because of there social upbringing. If your going to spread the word wouldn't it be better to go after someone who has a more modern look on life such as those who don't attend religious services much or listen to religious stations? After all those who do attend religious services and listen to religious radio or T.V. every week will be too indoctrinated to listen to any science or godless talk you have to say. And that is a dead end and fatal flaw.
A former member
Post #: 4
It seems that a few atheists are going around and actually going to church services and talking on religious radio stations. It would seem to me if these atheists want to preach there atheism they would go where they wouldn't be ridiculed such as an atheist conference or freethinking meetup. I mean how many converts do you think you are going to get? After you leave what do you think they are going to say about you or laugh about what you said? Perhaps these preacher atheists have been so indoctrinated in religion that when they were young they yearn to go church because of there social upbringing. If your going to spread the word wouldn't it be better to go after someone who has a more modern look on life such as those who don't attend religious services much or listen to religious stations? After all those who do attend religious services and listen to religious radio or T.V. every week will be too indoctrinated to listen to any science or godless talk you have to say. And that is a dead end and fatal flaw.

The atheist outreach program is less about converting or being converted than it is about showing theists that we are not out to eat their children, but actually members of society with a positive contribution. If you are suggesting that atheists completely sequester ourselves and not engage with theists, then you yourself are welcome to stay away.

There are positive effects to what these "few atheists" are doing, and their immediate application may not seem clear to you. But keep this in mind: One or two people who listen to and meet atheists for the first time may stop to think about their faith and wonder if it is just a case of inertia after all. They may stop to think that just because they grew up Christian (for example) it isn't necessarily the only way to live. They may hear a message of rationality and investigate. They may come up to you at a future Minnesota Atheists monthly meeting and say they had been a member of the "Wooddale Church" (for example) until they met the president of Minnesota Atheists at a service, or heard him on the radio, or he came to a debate at their bible college.

Your objection to me seems shortsighted. There are ex-Christians, ex-Muslims, ex-etc members, some of whom had been indoctrinated at one time but found the atheist message to be a lighthouse. Even without the converts, if nobody changed their religion because of the outreach, then perhaps it will inspire them to at least question their faith. I hope that doesn't harm you too much.
A former member
Post #: 16
It would seem to me if these atheists want to preach there atheism they would go where they wouldn't be ridiculed such as an atheist conference or freethinking meetup.

So, only go to places where the people there already share their opinion? That won't make any progress at all. If you're getting at the idea that some Atheists go to church services just to make fun of believers or are just looking to pick a theological fight with somebody, then I can see the argument there. However the Atheists that do that now go for purposes of erasing the old stigma of Atheism leads to "immoral" behavior and jail time, or the further erosion of society - whatever that means.

If we don't have people like August appearing on Christian radio stations to debate them on a regular basis, we don't make any progress at all. We are basically following the orders of that narrow-minded car dealer in California that "joked" that we all sit down and shut up.

Coming from somebody who was an outsider the last two-thirds of my life in the public school system, I have become very thick-skinned over the ridicule that comes my way from people on the other side of the fence who are just obnoxious bullies. If we continue to just debate amongst ourselves and don't allow the people outside our group(s) who never really gave our point of view, or a religious one for that matter, a single thought in their lives, then the cloud of stigma against Atheists and the reliance on dogma and superstition will surely continue.
August B.
augustberkshire
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 17
I appreciate your concerns. As you say, there's almost no chance I'll convert anyone at a church or any Christians listening to KKMS to atheism. So why do I bother to appear? The answer is two-fold. First, for Christians, I am trying to convert their stereotypes of atheists from angry people who are trying to outlaw religion to friendly people who would just as soon live and let live so long as government stays neutral regarding religion. I want them not to be afraid to vote for an atheist. Second, KKMS reaches a lot of people, including atheists. Any time I can get on there it's free advertising for us. As to why I went to church... I was curious to see what the church would say about divorce and I wanted to get to know Jeff Shell, the co-host of KKMS, better. However, one of the side benefits is that the next time you want to invite a Christian friend to hear one of our speakers and that friend is hesitant, you can counter with "Well, the president of Minnesota Atheists recently visited a Christian church so the least you can do is come to one of our meetings!" I have been treated very well on that show and have not been ridiculed. Some of their guests ridicule atheism and my appearing on the show or calling in with a question can help stop that by connecting atheism to a real person and by putting up counter arguments. I am trying to move atheism from the fringes of society into the mainstream of society and to do that I think we have to engage religious people in discussion from time to time. We have the better message, so I see nothing wrong with comparing and contrasting, even if it's in front of a religious audience.
A former member
Post #: 36
So, only go to places where the people there already share their opinion? That won't make any progress at all. If you're getting at the idea that some Atheists go to church services just to make fun of believers or are just looking to pick a theological fight with somebody, then I can see the argument there. However the Atheists that do that now go for purposes of erasing the old stigma of Atheism leads to "immoral" behavior and jail time, or the further erosion of society - whatever that means.

As far as going to places where people already share our opinion that would be a waste of time isn't that why we have dinners,parades,picnics and talks at library's? After all if somebody is interested in knowing more about science or our way of thinking isn't that why we have these events? And there is plenty of resources such as the library or the internet and book stores etc. After all most humans are always curious and intelligent enough to know how to get the information if they chose to do so. It might of been useful to get the word out back when Robert Ingersoll was around because there was no internet or very few library's but as far as pandering at churches or christian radio stations I find unnecessary in my opinion.
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