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Tucson Atheists Message Board › Atheist Creed

Atheist Creed

A former member
Post #: 4
[late night drivel. my apologies in advance]

What does it mean to be an atheist? Does it mean attacking all religion for their stupidity and arrogance? Or does it mean silently standing by while those who are more aggressive about what they believe structure our society around us or against us?

What does it mean to be an atheist? Does it mean we decide to have whatever morals we feel like having that day? Or does it mean we hold ourselves to a higher authority: our own conscience?

What does it mean to be an atheist?

At the last meeting we talked briefly about a Tucson Atheist's group mission statement. I fully intend to do *something* about what I believe in, but at that meeting I realized that reacting to religious groups and holding up picket signs in front of churches is nuisiance behavior and likely to be ignored or even looked upon unfavorably by the general public.

I want to share atheism to the world. To those who haven't made up their mind yet and to those trapped in a religion, not really believing, but too afraid to speak out about their doubts. Even to those firmly rooted in their beliefs, but who have never really understood what an atheist was. I want to show them what an atheist is and how we achieve full happy lives in spite of what their religious peers may believe. I want to show them that atheists can and do succeed.

Before I can show them what an atheist is, however, I have to understand it myself, and I could use your help.

So, what does it mean to be an atheist?
Robert L S.
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 31
I went out and held a sign that says "GOD IS FAKE" today and last night. I was wearing a "JESUS IS PRETEND" hat and t-shirt. The reaction was venomous, hatred. People threw soda, spit, and gave me the finger.

Last night I was standing at Broadway & Kolb and people stopped and talked to me. I passed out flyer's that I downloaded from Normal Bob Smith. Some where nice especially a Mormon that protected me from a growing number of punks. and He even chased a guy that stole my sign and pepper sprayed him. A guy on a bicycle backed me up causing me to fall down (I'm awkward and walk with a cane).

This morning I went to Kolb & Palo Verde by that sign that sign that says "PRAY FOR TUCSON" It was the same thing. Yells of "f*ck you," thumbs down, a guy thew a cup of ice that hit me in the chest.

I was surprised at the anger and outrage. The threats.

I was a Christian for a long time and I would have never acted like they did. What happened to "turn the other cheek" and " love your enemies"?

My Mom told me Jesus died for my sins. Why would my Mom lie to me? Because her Mom lied to her. Not on purpose but they really believed it themselves. I think if I had seen an adult with sign and a shirt when I was a little boy I would have it would have caused me to doubt sooner. I was 50 before I figured it out.

Now, I'm thinking I don't know what to do. Buy myself pepper spray or give up on everybody?
A former member
Post #: 6
Unfortunately, doing bad things to other people (aka "evil") is a human trait, not necesarily directly tied to any religion, or lack thereof. Western religions are popular, in my humble opinion, because they tend to give one a sense of belonging. So any perceived attack on that belief or culture is taken personally, hence the direct attacks on you.

Also, pretty much anyone standing around by themselves with any sort of message is going to be a target for someone walking by who has one of "those" attitudes.

Of course, there are good people out there (your Mormon friend with the pepper spray), but it's the negative people that leave an impression. All it takes is one graffiti artist or vandal to ruin an otherwise neighborhood.

I don't think you should give up on humanity. Since you're an atheist, you should know we're not necessarily doomed. The trick question isn't whether or not to give up on everybody, but what are we going to do about what we see? What can we do?

That's why I've joined this group.

A former member
Post #: 278
Maybe I can shed some light on the reactions of god believers to Atheists. To believe in a god is to believe in a fantasy. A fantasy that guides their lives. In their fantasy, atheists are evil, the scourge of society. The existence of atheists that are upstanding and respected in society threatens their fantasy. Now, if you go a step further and make a direct attack on their fantasy, you can expect some very explosive reactions. Of course, Robert already knows this because he was once a Christian. I think that the fight we should be fighting first is to increase the awareness of the dangers of religion in gov't. Direct attacks on their beliefs will only antagonize them which will want them to disagree with anything we say. Religion should get out of gov't. The evidence of this is history itself. We should be passing this information to the religious community. I have a plan and will be happy to give it to eveyone in detail.

As a side note, I understand the purpose of life. It is to nurture the symbiotic relationship between man and society. Without this relationship we would not exist. It is through this relationship that we can evolve, unhampered, as individuals and as a society. Believing in a fantasy is destructive to this relationship because it stagnants evolution of man and society. Only through the recognition of reality can we remove the fantasy on believers.

A former member
Post #: 1
As I sit here and read your post and the replies to it, I am stuck between the reality that if I tell you the "Truth" - and believe me it ain't like Norm's "truth", then you will not pleased with the answer. If I say nothing though, I will watch yet another atheist make a mistake that could have been corrected early. I have been down this path many times through the years, only to watch a great majority of atheists follow the path that leads to continued "rationalization and justification" of some kind of action.

You wrote: So, what does it mean to be an atheist?

The answer is very, very simple and you already know it. It means you believe that there are no gods.

It has no greater meaning. No deeper do you need to look. And if you do look beyond what is really there, you once again advance down the path of faith.

The question should be" What does it mean to be a "humanist" or whatever group that appeals to you. Atheist tells you nothing other than a belief in the non-existence of something.

Do the religious believe in fantasy? Sure they do, but so...

Norm said, and I do not want to offend, just note: "As a side note, I understand the purpose of life: It is to nurture the symbiotic relationship between man and society."

But that is patently false. It is incorrect to say that there IS a symbiotic relationship at all. Humans evolved as social creatures and the society can take any form that permits reproduction. Life has one purpose: reproduction at all costs. We evolve independently of "society's" evolution. Society is a "quality" issue of life, not a prerequisite of.

Norm also says: "Believing in a fantasy is destructive to this relationship because it stagnants evolution of man and society. Only through the recognition of reality can we remove the fantasy on believers."

So lets get this straight - at 6 billion people, of whom nearly all believe in and are filled with "fantasies" man has failed to evolve? Society has failed to evolve? I'm sorry but that is completely untrue. Man is a rapidly evolving animal, one of the most rapidly. The fantasies that eons of humans have clung to are why they lived to evolve. Society exists because these fantasies exist. Show me a complete society anywhere and anytime that was truly successful without the "burden" of religion. There are none. There are no atheist communities on the planet that have been successful. And though I wish you were right about American history, this is a de-facto christian country. It's Christians who built the roads, the bridges, our neighborhoods, fought our wars and lead our people.

Humans ARE human nature. Human nature is to believe in whatever pleases the mind. There is no education, nothing to offer, no recourse for those that want to believe. Let them believe - let them find peace.

Now ask why... Now look at your place among the believers... What is there to gain when the odds of removing religion from someone and keeping that person sane and happy are so small?

And Norm - sorry to disagree with you publicly.

Take me with a grain of salt and call in the morning.
A former member
Post #: 1
An Atheist Manifesto

Hard to beat this article, he's a brilliant philosopher and excellent writer, although he could use a better web editor. By the way, since I'm the new guy, drinks are on me. Cheers!
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