I’m new to this atheist thing, and think the world is ready for a kinder, gentler, more compassionate atheism—or maybe some of you could tell me where to find it.

A lot of atheists of my acquaintance tend to be typical NTs (in the Myers-Briggs personality model): skeptical (duh!), logical, intelligent, categorical, given to debate (often fairly sarcasticly and impatiently) and definitively *not* all warm & fuzzy (that would be me, a just-as-typical NF).

 

So here’s my question: Do atheists ever have fellowship dinners, where strangers or newcomers are treated as welcome guests? Do they ever enjoy times of communal “sharing”, where they stand and tell good news as well as relate suffering and need and loss, where they ask for and offer encouragement  and emotional support (cf. “prayers”)? Do they ever hug each other when they meet, call each other “brother”? ‘Cause I would love to find that kind of atheism—and I think it would help an awful lot of believers find their way out of the tradition and habit of comforting belief. . . 

Views: 154

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Katie!

I’m glad I’m not alone. We share with believers the human condition with all of its experiences and difficulties (our ontological aloneness, desire for a meaningful life, marriage, the birth of children, family, death)—and yet without shared rituals, traditions, community, and without a shared paradigm to make sense of it all. It would be a shame to feel that I have a greater potential for happiness, meaning and community within a church even though I no longer hold to its basic tenets. (I’m sure now that many people do so . . .) I’d be glad to consider you my “sister warrior” (lol!) in the common cause of life; let me know what you discover out there, and I’ll do the same. I see no need to sacrifice any of the good things I have enjoyed, but life as a non-believer feels pretty darn stark at times.

 

P.S. I’m INFP (mystic/ humanist/ idealist to the core!)

Hi Kasu,

Thanks for your thoughts. In psychology, we often conceptualize models of mind as useful or not useful, rather  than strictly “true” or “false”. I’ve found the MBTI to be a useful model of illustrating and exploring how that all people are different, but different in predictable ways. I know the most reliably validated model of personality is Five Factors, but even though I’m aware of criticisms of the MBTI and of the "Forer Effect”, I still prefer it and find it helpful. (I’m a psychologist).

 

What I’m trying to describe as lacking in the atheist community (as I perceive it) I could best typify as “warmth”. Let’s face it, the ‘kind of people’ who self-identify as atheists don’t come across as warm and cuddly—or maybe that’s just my bias and lack of sufficient experience with them/ you-all. The ‘kind of people’ (there I go again, and I know I shouldn’t) who embrace a less-than-mainstream paradigm seem (in my opinion) to be individualistic, independent, and not overly sensitive to criticism or rejection, and somewhat sarcastic and biting themselves at times as they dish it out. I’m not interested in starting up a movement of some sort myself at this point, just as I didn’t want to start up yet another church (while I was a believer) that would be a teeny tiny bit closer to what I believed was “the Truth”. But until we get some visible atheists starting up charity projects, helping the hungry, reaching out to the outcast (NF and SJ-type behaviours), and getting elected to public office—this will continue to be a hard sell, in my opinion. 

RSS

Forum

Babies Are Not Born Atheists

Started by Ed in Small Talk. Last reply by archaeopteryx 6 hours ago. 4 Replies

Gideons International

Started by Ed in Small Talk. Last reply by Reg The Fronkey Farmer 17 hours ago. 3 Replies

Draw Muhhamed day was yesterday Bring out your drawings

Started by ThyPlagueDoctor in Small Talk. Last reply by ThyPlagueDoctor yesterday. 4 Replies

Bible Belt Promiscuity

Started by Dante in Advice. Last reply by Dr. Bob 16 hours ago. 11 Replies

am i the only athiest that believes in spirits

Started by Katie Patterson in Small Talk. Last reply by Erock68la 2 hours ago. 36 Replies

Events

Blog Posts

The Purpose of Atheism

Posted by Pope Beanie on May 22, 2015 at 8:35pm 0 Comments

Acceptance

Posted by Belle Rose on May 16, 2015 at 4:14am 4 Comments

Services we love!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2015   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service