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"
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.
According to the article no 'nonsensical ideology' was involved. The meeting consisted of a Powerpoint presentation about science, urgings to live a good life (because there's no afterlife), and classic rock-n-roll.That sounds more akin to taking a class at a liberal arts college than to eternal bondage.
Exactly how many cults, religions, and gods originate in vehement opposition to belief in cults, religion and gods? Or based on Queen's 'We Will Rock You'? Or based on antimatter theory?
The aim is to offer atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, and freethinkers all the educational, inspirational, and social and emotional benefits of traditional faith-based churches; using a rational and secular approach to religious questions of life, love, meaning, and happiness.
Gathering for Sunday meetings is not "exactly the opposite being a free rational thinker or skeptic". That was your objection in your OP. So the rest of this is academic.
So why does someone need to attend daily Sunday meetings for anyone of these things?
Nobody said anyone needs to attend. But obviously some want to.
If I wanted to learn science, I would go take a class or go attend a Science seminar.
Sure. Or you could go to Sunday Assembly and learn the science of antimatter theory. Or be surprised by whatever scientific subject is presented each week. But guest speakers offering interesting presentations about science are only one facet of what Jones is doing.
You cannot compare such things to organized weekly congregations.
We are comparing them right now.
Organized congregations serve for one purpose only and which is to farther an agenda or ideology.
Ridiculous. No agenda or ideology is required for people to congregate. A congregation is simply a gathering of people. An annual costume party is a congregation.
What ideology does this "Atheist Church" need to congregate for?
You tell me. Your question assumes they have an ideology. Do they? If they do, is it inherently harmful simply to have an ideology or agenda at all?
If you are not a basketball fan, are you going to come together weekly and celebrate that you are not a basketball fan with other non basketball fans?
Freethinking is not basketball. But I might just celebrate my non-fandom if money was printed with the words "In Basketball We Trust" and public schools taught kids the Earth is a giant basketball created 6000 years ago by Bill Russell.
There is no point in celebrating default positions, it serves no purpose whatsoever.
Of course it does. The purpose is to offer freethinkers the educational, inspirational, and social and emotional benefits of faith-based churches using a rational and secular approach.
Cults and religions start for all different reasons and circumstances.
Sure. But how do you base a cult, religion, and god on freethinking, which is opposed to the very idea of cults, religions, and gods?
Usually they start from an ideology that has been twisted to mold a certain viewpoint.
Even if that's true, I don't see that Jones is twisting an ideology.
Opposition to any view or ideology doesn't not hinder a group of being in danger of being taken over by an extreme view point. With the right words and propaganda, even secularists can fall prey to cultists movements.
So Sunday Assembly is harmless presently. You're opposed because it might become harmful someday. That is, one day an extremist might take over, develop an ideology, twist that ideology, use propaganda, become a cultist, and then freethinkers like you and me fall prey.
(Presumably the Think Atheist community is facing the same peril. Well, don't worry. Morgan Mathew, the one true chosen prince of Secular Xenu, uses his mental mind powers to keep that from happening.)
I believe one can get educational, inspirational and social benefits without having to attend traditional style faith based churches.
So do I.
Psychologically and in evolutionary terms, I do understand human beings need a communal and social gathering for the benefit of the species, but there are better ways to achieve that than engaging in faith based style worship houses.
The purpose is to offer freethinkers the educational, inspirational, and social and emotional benefits of faith-based churches using a rational and secular approach.
Let's assume you're correct and there are better ways to achieve that purpose. (What are they, by the way?) It does not follow that only the best way of achieving a purpose should ever be employed, if that purpose is accomplished in a less effective way.
I expect that someone coming in to make a case for being 'saved', will be ment with jeers and offered a six pack of 'You are not Welcome' beer. It might be very fun to have someone that has some deep understanding about church history, which I would attend as time allowed.
Sounds like a happening place. I wonder how many times a year they need to call a fire truck to extinguish the burning cross on the front lawn? Maybe they have a desert rock feature? I think if I ran the place I would actually build a cross with a 'For Rent sign' on it, just in case the local rabble need some target for their frustrations.
If I ever get to Texas again, my last trip was summer 1975, I'll try and look them up.
Some people are happier with a social community. At present, religion offers that, and for the most part, atheism doesn't.. I see no automatic problem with atheism growing such that it can offer that, too... In fact, I think it's a good idea, on whole.
Yet, it does have some potential issues, if this church starts telling people how or what to think..
People give it religious characteristics because humans have an overwhelming desire to be a part of a community. I know this quite personally because of my life, my beliefs and whatnot. I am mixed with a few different ethnicities and I witnessed the "sheep" mentality first hand. I've been told I'm not this, or not that, therefore I don't fit in. Everyone wants to be a part of something and "atheists" making their personal NON beliefs into a religion is pretty much inevitable because we all want to be a part of the herd. Then it turns into "my herd is smarter than your herd" and so on and then you have wars. Sure, it doesn't quite escalate that quickly, but you probably get my point.
I'm a "satanist" (I don't worship the devil, please look into this before you make ignorant assumptions). Before I became a satanist, I was just an atheist. Somehow, I got caught up in the herd mentality and latched onto satanism because, pretty much, they're just atheist's without the humanistic aspect, and quite frankly...I think stupid people should just....die off. Survival of the fittest, no? As much as I tried to dodge following into this mentality, I managed to search out a "religion" that I could walk with so I wouldn't feel so alone.
Anyways, that's my take on why people are slowly turning atheism into a religion. Of course, this is all just speculation and I in no way am trying to say these are facts.
I did a little research on the subject of Satanism in order to refrain from ignorant assumptions, and I learned about atheistic satanism, to which I believe you refer. I'm going to zone in on what wiki calls the 11 satanic rules of the earth. Most of them seem reasonably sane, although I see where they support cruelty towards and destruction of your 'enemies' and I'm not sure whether that is a vile doctrine or is a true reflection of how humans actually are. That doesn't sit well with me.
The one rule that did stand out was this:-
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
Now I do have a bit of a problem with magic. Does satanism require you to believe in magic?
I'm asking because I don't like to make spontaneous judgements without sufficient information.
Thank you. I'd be interested to learn more about it, because this is the first time I've come across it, having waved off the odd encounter with the term 'satanist' as either a Christian insult, or some kind of devil-worshipping cult, and I see that I have been mistaken.
I'm not sure about the 'intolerance' related aspects. However, the nice shiny Christian motto of "love thy neighbour" doesn't seem to work that way in real life anyway, so I'm not sure exactly where I stand on the matter. Thanks for being so open :)
Elena if you look at the top right of the TA page there are 'friend' requests. You have to be 'friends' with someone you wish to dialogue privately with. I'm just interested in knowing more about your choice of 'faith' and would be happy to continue my questions there so as not to hijack this thread.
Blaine, I see your point and I am not arguing in any direction here, simply because I don't know enough of the matter to comment.