I feel there is a new cult religion on the rise, and  it may be some sort of demented warped version of a disbelief made to fit an idea. I was reading this article, and many people had the same concerns as me

"What happens in a Atheist Church"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21319945

There is a concern among some non-believers that atheism is developing into a religion in its own right, with its own code of ethics and self-appointed high priest

"It will become an organised religion. It's inevitable. A belief system will set in. There will be a structure, an ethical outlook on life," says architect Robbie Harris.

I understand people like to come together in a common cause or value, but congregating and having sunday meetings is a completely different thing. Things like this really anger me, because this is exactly the opposite being a free rational thinker or skeptic. Other than being an Atheist, we are all independent of our actions and thoughts, we are all our own individual self. We are not connected in any eternal bondage or any of that other nonsensical ideologies.

This is exactly how cults and religion start. It may start out as a harmless thing, but eventually someone will come and try to brainwash and manipulate others to follow that individual as some sort of demi god leader. I just doon't understand why some Atheists or free thinkers or rational thinkers feel the need to give atheism religious characteristics

I would like to hear your opinions on this matter.

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Well said, sir.  And welcome..  Nice to meet ya..

Welcome Matt

Great topic, and one close to my heart.  I lead a service on Sunday mornings.  It is structured as a conversation, a dialogue encompassing philosophical inquiries. From the welcome message:

"There is also nothing to believe or disbelieve. This is a creative service, without a creed or a code. Recognizing that believing or disbelieving may get in the way of living authentically, one of our practices is to suspend belief in favor of inquiries into the unknowable infinity of Being. Notice that I said suspend: you do not have to give up your beliefs. Your beliefs will still be available to you, if you want to take them up again. It is always your choice.

"Inquiring into the unknowable produces distinctions that make a difference in one’s experience of life. We promise that an open inquiry will give you power over the matter in question."

Recent topics have included:

Phenomenological Reduction, Hermeneutics, Facticity (the  truth about Truth), Politics in our Postmodern condition, Semiotics, What is Knowledge?, What is Thinking About?, Philosophies of Science and Technology, and so on.

It's not about a belief system, but rather a method of questioning the Phenomenal World. We find pretending that phenomena are either unquestionable realities or knowable externalities (or even absolutes from which one can postulate a rule), dangerous fallacies can follow on. Unexplainable phenomena are neither evidence of supernaturals nor the outcome of underlying absolutes.

Not everyone who participates is Atheist.  Some are theists.  All are welcome, and all claim to get value from the processes.  Is this true?  It makes no difference.  What makes a difference is that  we've been doing this for over five years, and they keep showing up, week after week, to participate in the ever-unfolding inquiry.

As for the danger of such a thing leading to cultist practices, manipulations, beliefs, following a demigod-like leader and so on, It is a concern.  When Gautama Siddhartha was teaching about his enlightenment, he said something like "here are the four noble truths and the eightfold path. It worked for me; it might work for You, but hey, it's not like we're starting a religion."  Less than eighty years after his death, Buddhism was a religion and they were mythologizing his birth, life and death and venerating the Buddha.  Buddhism is often (perhaps rightly) called "the religion of no-religion," but it is a religion, nonetheless.

Is the value of these ongoing conversations and inquiries worth the risk?  I think so.  Besides, I've taken precautions.  I've instructed my disciples, in the event that I ever ask them to believe something, to nail me to a wooden structure of some sort. ;-)

This is a good post on how to project the messages that are needed for everyone to make better life choices for themselves. If everyone was a pupil in school we learn what we're interested in. Some have proclivities here and there that drives them to be experts. Why do we have so many religious experts? Because of how the message is delivered. You are no longer just a pupil but you now have a higher calling. And you are being taught as if these are facts. Beliefs are not facts. We can bring facts to moral judgment. their gods are not the only dispensers of facts but in order for someone indoctrined into that thinking to hear the words of truth they must be spoken a language the pupil will understand. And the only higher power Atheism has are facts. So if you yell from on high and say I understand how the kingdom of heaven fits into a mustard seed and in just as much fervor as a hell fire and damnation preacher you explain a high level Quantum physics lesson or if you can a little string theory. But it has to be with the vitriol of certainty. We can always be flexible to allow for changes in theories in our personal lives but we need courage to really attempt teaching those who are ignorant. Even if they still choose the path of belief they can at least make those decisions with some facts. those of us who question constantly have knowledge most do not posses. Everyone can use these questions and answers to make life decisions. Without the required tools to do so leaves people to fill in the blanks with statement like "god said so dummy". I know that should be what the college years are for, but religion never stops. Why should reason take a back seat to that onslaught. Belief is still necessary, you have to believe something is true before you can prove it. but relgion screams at its followers to stop proving by stating it is proven by god. Why can't we constantly say, "its not proven until Stephen Hawkings mathmatically proves it." And even then we should always question it.

thanks everybody for the warm welcome:)

Atheist Chuches? UGGGGGGGGGGG

I think that the word church is a bad idea, although it does get the basic idea across quickly. But I don't think that the problem is congregating or curating idea and cultural artifacts  I think you can have good organizations and bad organizations. And those groups can collect around good ideas or bad ideas, either way. 

But the problem isn't going to a social club with a leadership and highlighted ideas and texts. The problem is that people can be manipulated by other people, and that is true inside of churches and outside of them. 

That was cool, even without drugs!

It's the Electric Skychurch for me. 

I don't particularly like the word church being used. I definitely do not like some of the pictures I have seen of these "churches" that have a choir in uniform, a pulpit, and pews. It looks exactly like church on Sunday. 

If atheism is going to do something like this then it should bring back the salons of the enlightenment. It would be the perfect way for atheists and secularists to meet, share camaraderie, and exchange ideas without institutionalizing non-belief. 

I find the answer in federal funding.$$$. As atheist we loose funding because we say it is not a religion. Even though the goverment is suppose to have seperation of church and state they don't. Churches gain funding and atheist loose. To me the answer is money. Sorry we need to stay abreast unless you have a better way to true seperation of church and state.

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