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How to Evangelize Atheism

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posted on Oct, 29 2008 @ 11:22 PM
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ACA Lecture Series -- October 2008 -- Russell Glasser -- 82 min
Atheist Community of Austin

Russell Glasser will discuss tactics for atheist outreach. Topics covered will include when and why to speak up, knowing your audience, gene...all » Russell Glasser will discuss tactics for atheist outreach. Topics covered will include when and why to speak up, knowing your audience, general principles for dealing with theistic arguments, and how to get attention. Russell Glasser received an MS degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas. Russell is a lifelong atheist, and has been a member of the Atheist Community of Austin since 1999. During that time, he has been producer, host, and co-host on "The Atheist Experience," a founding member of "The Non-Prophets," and a co-creator of the IronChariots.org Iron Chariotswiki site with Matt Dillahunty. Russell is also a prolific contributor to the online atheist community. He has been blogging on religious and political topics since 2005 on both his personal blog, "Kazim's Korner" and the Atheist Experience blog.

The ACA Lecture Series is held monthly in Austin, Texas and is open to the public. The Atheist Community of Austin is organized as a nonprofit educational corporation to develop and support the atheist community, to provide opportunities for socializing and friendship, to promote secular viewpoints, to encourage positive atheist culture, to defend the first amendment principle of state-church separation, to oppose discrimination against atheists and to work with other organizations in pursuit of common goals.


video.google.com...

It's about time the atheists started working on PR & proselytizing logic/reason.
An interesting lecture, that is unfortunately a rarity.

[edit on 29-10-2008 by The All Seeing I]




posted on Oct, 29 2008 @ 11:26 PM
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It's about time the atheists started working on PR & proselytizing logic/reason.
An interesting lecture, that is unfortunately a rarity.


Actually it's a step backwards IMO.

When one feels that they need to evangelize, it indicates that they are insecure in their beleifs.

One who's content in his veiws doesn't feel that their validity is contingent upon how many people follow them.

An evangelical Athiest is no better than an evangelical Christian in my view; they both feel that what I beleive is wrong and should be supplanted by their views.



posted on Oct, 29 2008 @ 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
Actually it's a step backwards IMO.


Agreed.

Frankly, the New Atheism is starting to bug me a bit. Is it just me, or is American Atheism starting to look more and more church-like? What's the point of it? Can someone fill me in?

Maybe I'm just old-school, but I just don't see the point of wearing my atheism as a badge. I am an atheist. I don't need a peer group to validate that.



posted on Oct, 29 2008 @ 11:55 PM
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Catholics have the Catholic League
Jews have the Anti-Defamation League
and Muslims The Council on American-Islamic Relations

These orgs server multiple purposes, but essentially they all boil down to providing representation in info wars. Atheists are often misrepresented as evil and immoral. A step forward is for them to learn how to correct the public's fundamentally twisted perceptions on their character.



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 12:19 AM
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I can see your point -

but: Atheists are not a group in the same way that Catholics are a group.

Enough differences exist between atheists on the simple definition of the word that representation as a group is nearly impossible.

For example, I'm a capital A Atheist, on the absurdist end of existentialism. A close friend of mine is a Buddhist - but in practical terms, he is also an atheist. Buddhisim is not theism, and if pressed, he identifies as atheist. Others declare themselves as atheist but claim some kind of vague spirituality, or agnostic (which just opens up another can of worms).

With such variation, can there be a voice for all - in the same way as the Catholic League (for example)?



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 06:22 AM
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Originally posted by The All Seeing I
Catholics have the Catholic League
Jews have the Anti-Defamation League
and Muslims The Council on American-Islamic Relations

These orgs server multiple purposes, but essentially they all boil down to providing representation in info wars. Atheists are often misrepresented as evil and immoral. A step forward is for them to learn how to correct the public's fundamentally twisted perceptions on their character.


It seems to me that there is plenty of anti-religious disinformation already being spread, out in the world but especially here at ATS, with the Jews, Catholics, and Muslims coming in for way more than their fair share of it in these forums.

I don't believe in God, but many of my friends' lives are enriched by their Christian experience (and others, by their Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and various "spiritual" experiences). How does that hurt anyone?

My closest friend is a devout Catholic. Talking to him about his reinvolvement with the Church has brought me so much understanding of a religious belief and comfort different from my own – much more so than years studying anthropology and the history of religion. What benefit to me if I lost that access to a side of being human that I don't have in myself (or miss for that matter)?

As in politics, I think that people who try to dichotomize issues, make them all black or all white, serve only to turn attention away from the issues themselves and toward how to "win" over the "enemy."

In this case, I see the issue as how to lead a good life. I don't require a belief in God to do so, but the best way for me to demonstrate that to people who think belief is necessary to morality is in action.

Someone like Christopher Hutchens (whose parody of the life of Christ I found very amusing, though I don't remember the title) have in my opinion done just the opposite. By refusing to treat the religious communities with respect he has stooped to the level of the very worst of the fanatical Christian sects who refuse to respect our disbelief but instead demonize us.

Lead a good life, and if someone tells you that you are pleasing to God, tell them thank you but there is no god.

Fight to make sure our children continue to learn about evolution in our public schools.

And join with the reasonable-minded of all faiths who are more interested in learning to live together than shout each other down.



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 09:52 AM
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When one feels that they need to evangelize, it indicates that they are insecure in their beleifs.



Not always the case. It means for us an indication of our faith in God.



Now dingbat made a good post, but, we don't require a belief in God to have morals, we attribute those morals to God and believe in him not to lead a good life, but because we believe he exist. So the goodness we did have in us is attributed to God because he gave it to us in humility.



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


That sounds neat.

Maybe Atheists can have a Pilgrimage?

Trouble is, where would they go?


I there an Atheist Bible? (Adam Smith? Ayn Rand?)



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 11:36 AM
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Just as with any organization, not all members agree, but there are common goals/values they can all agree on. I think this is where atheists have a disadvantage, not that they don't have "common goals/values they can all agree on" but that they have a tendency to be very independent free-thinking people. Such a demographic leans toward being anti-establishment, very skeptical of the mechanics of group-think.

As the old adage goes "There is strength in numbers." Atheists have the numbers but are generally out on their own in terms of representation, and as a result the collective focus/input is not there in political arena. Due to this absence we can see how the religious right has faded the line between church and state.

What we need is more grassroots leadership, like the ACA (who produced this lecture), with a national body (preferably located in DC) that provides support with organizing and campaigns... to pool resources in an effort to maintain focus in raising public awareness.

As for an "Atheist Bible" ... bylaws or constitution of sorts (open for revision) would probably be the way to go. As mentioned, there is a broad scale of people who consider themselves atheists and most of which are very independent thinkers, to present one source/text to follow/agree on, would completely turn them off. I would image a long list of recommended texts would be more acceptable.

As for a pilgrimage, i'm thinking the Galapagos Islands & or Easter Island lol

[edit on 30-10-2008 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 02:16 AM
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Originally posted by JesusisTruthNow dingbat made a good post, but, we don't require a belief in God to have morals, we attribute those morals to God and believe in him not to lead a good life, but because we believe he exist. So the goodness we did have in us is attributed to God because he gave it to us in humility.


Thank you.

I didn't mean to imply that people believed in God to lead a good life, or that most Christians think a belief in God is necessary to be moral. But I have certainly run into many who do take that position, and I think that is part of what the OP is reacting against: those Christians (or other believers) who believe that atheism or agnosticism necessarily leads to debauchery or amorality.

And I wish I could come up with a phrase that better expresses what I mean than "to live a good life," because that really doesn't do it for Christians or for atheists.

But "to be all you can be" is taken, and has connotations I'd rather not drag into the discussion, and "realize your higher self" is awfully new-agey wishy-washy. "Approach the Divine" works for believers but not non-believers. Suggestions would be welcome by u2u



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 08:26 AM
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The following "rant" is not personal and does not reflect my opinion of the OP or anyone else's beliefs.


As an atheist myself, I can't express how much I disagree with this path. Don't get me wrong, atheists should be heard and represented politically, just as every other person, but that's POLITICS.

I couldn't care less about other people's "atheist experience" or their culture or especially "evangelizing". Yuck. That makes me sick! I hate proselytizing and this sounds so much like that.

These people meet on Sunday mornings! It's people and organizations like this that lend credence to the belief that atheism is a "religion". I DO NOT believe atheism is a religion and this organization flies in the face of that belief.

How can people with only one belief in common (no God) be assumed to have anything else in common?

Having said that, I do support their freedom of speech, expression and the right to assemble as they wish. But I would NEVER be a part of this "group".



posted on Oct, 31 2008 @ 06:35 PM
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I don't see the reason. Atheism doesn't need to comprise a collective to encourage those with superstitions to shed them. Atheism isn't a support group, a set of beliefs or world view, to the contrary; it's the denial of these preconditions imposed upon one's perception of being.

People constantly attach unrelated issues to atheism like evolution and humanism. Although these things often follow one's rejection of the supernatural, they are not requirements nor are they components of atheism.

The best way atheists can bring others further towards understanding is simple, just take a look at ATS's slogan; deny ignorance.

When someone, regardless of religious affiliation says something utterly ridiculous, tell them as much. If a man approached you with their belief that penguins secretly rule over us like invisible masters from the south pole, you'd refer them to a good doctor, pat them on the head and send them on their way.

If someone wants to try and tell me there's an invisible entity ruling over our every thought and action, that they have this neat book that talks about a peasant rising from the dead with magical powers and such, I won't sit down and have a lively discussion with the man, why should I? He's clearly delusional.

Atheists need to come to realize, there's nothing you're going to say that will sway a delusional individual into rational thought. It's what you don't say that counts. Deny the argument, there isn't one so don't give people the impression that there is. We as a society haven't gotten past the idea that irrational beliefs don't deserve intellectual recognition, respect or a special pedestal. Once us godless heathens realize we aren't alone and that ridiculing ignorance rather than embracing it won't get us crucified, the day will be ours



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:21 AM
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reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


This Atheist isnt interest in anything that could be consider anything like trying to be a version of Christian nut case . Even if your in the right which I regard Atheists to be you cant change the fact that when you try to force your beliefs on others you only harden there current set of beliefs . There will always be a degree of ignorance surrounding Atheists just look any other set of beliefs .

Cheers xpert11 .



posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 04:33 PM
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it would be stupid for atheism to "evangelize"
we can't force our message to people

honestly, i think dawkins had the right idea when he said he was hoping to help people that were trying to convince themselves that they aren't atheists even though they were.
the people who were brought up to think it was shameful to be an atheist

...and madness leaves the forums again for another few months?



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 08:49 AM
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As with any product, service or cause... if you don't make any public efforts to be seen and heard, your competition or opposing adversaries will reach more people then you do. Part of the reason religions flourish, is because they have this understanding in practice. This whole notion of aggressively going after people in some sort of a recruitment/conversion drive is silly at best. Atheists are not in the business of saving souls to impress god.

What i think is in Atheist's best interests is to collectively work against the smearing of their character and to provide emotional support to those who have been burnt by religion.

[edit on 7-12-2008 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Dec, 7 2008 @ 08:07 PM
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I'm not an atheist or agnostic but I question the nature of God. I believe in God but I doubt the nature of God as the Christian, Jewish, or the Muslim one. That's not a step forward, as another user suggested, it's a step backward. Atheism is supposed to be for science people who don't like God. Telling scientists to think about religion won't help. I don't like religion much myself... I don't think God wants to be worshiped that much and I certainly don't want evangelical atheists...

*shudders at the thought*



posted on Dec, 30 2008 @ 08:21 PM
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Recently ran across this fascinating article of a former evangelistic mormon who goes out at night and preaches atheism on street corners in Phoenix, NM.

Omar Call Preaches Atheism on Tempe's Mill Avenue

A couple segments i found interesting/noteworthy...


Curley explains that he and Call aren't trying to convert people to atheism; all they want is to make people think, to have respectful and stimulating discussions when they come down to Mill.
...
After being damned by the 5-year-old girl, Call works his way back to Borders, where a young woman in a black hoodie inquires about his "RIP GOD" sign. A small but curious crowd has formed around him. Rocking forth slightly on his heels, with a warm smile on his face, Call gives his favorite answer: "I think the concept of God has outlived its usefulness. It's time to put it out of its misery." The woman takes a drag off her cigarette and says she disagrees. She believes in God. Call says he used to believe in God, too. She asks what happened, and the debate is on.






[edit on 30-12-2008 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Jan, 7 2009 @ 09:25 PM
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Looks like Dawkins already had given this OP some thorough reflection...



... and a closeup of t-shirt.



posted on Jan, 9 2009 @ 10:17 PM
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Ah i see now, this is a full fledged campaign that has just been launched:

Atheist bus ads roll in London today: massive success



posted on Jan, 18 2009 @ 12:09 AM
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lol... and now we can see how some adult-children can react to such advertisements...
Man refuses to drive 'No God' bus



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