I am a Ph.D student in sociology and currently part of a research team studying atheist organizing in Southern California.  We are looking at atheist social movements through atheist organizations in the area.

 

Although I will not be using data from this website formally, I was curious to hear many of your opinions.  What do you think is the purpose of atheists joining together on websites like this or in formal meeting settings?  Is it for a sense of community or is there a bigger purpose?  Why should atheists organize?  Are there social and political implications for doing so? 

 

I am obviously an atheist myself and find this question interesting.  It is one of the many interview questions we are asking our subjects and we get a wide range of answers.  Just wanted to hear your thoughts. 

 

 

Tags: community, organizing, purpose

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That about nails it for me as well.

I live in India & I have only ever met 1 atheist in my life, he was a friend when we were 10. I have met a few liberal people & a few non-religious theists. I just wanted to interact with fellow atheists.

This is new & exciting for me. Even though I have been an atheist since I was a little kid, I only started reading about or watching youtube videos about atheism last year. Before that I was more of a passive atheist.

Hang out, chat about things with people who are not going to freak out when you say something non-respectful about (or even hostile to) religion, and in general socialize.

The political aspect (church/state separation, etc) is certainly a consideration, but it is secondary in my mind.
People's beliefs inform their actions. Many theists come right out and state that people cannot be moral without their god. Others may not state it, but ask questions like, "How can a person be moral without God?”

When a group of people believe that some other group is morally inferior they have a tendency to act superior to that group. This sort of behavior can manifest in many ways, such as the Pew research study that shows 63% of Americans would not vote for a presidential candidate that does not believe in God.

And how about the numerous stories on this site and many others about friends and families cutting ties with a person who comes out as an atheist? I think organizing is an important tool used to inform people that atheists are people to love, not monsters to be oppressed.
Many of us organize for the sake of intellectual discussion. However, there should be no atheist "organization" or else we may become associated with religion itself. However again, it is important that people understand what an atheist really is. The bible preaches about how anyone who doesn't believe cannot do any good and is doomed to hell (was in psalms I think). Other religions have a similar message. So, to prevent such ignorance from persisting, the formation of an atheist organization is important and needed, especially in the modern age where many closet atheists still exist and need some encouragement to say what they truly feel.

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